Farm Bill Passes First Vote on Senate Floor

The Senate has voted to move forward on a wide-ranging, five-year farm bill.

In a procedural vote, the chamber voted 75-22 to take a step toward passage of the legislation, which costs almost $100 billion annually and would set policy for farm subsidies, food stamps and other farm and food aid programs.

The bill has stalled in the last week as Democrats and Republicans have not been able to agree on the more than 150 amendments to the bill.

The legislation would eliminate some subsidies paid to farmers whether they grow crops or not and would make a small cut to food stamps – about $400 million a year out of the program's almost $80 billion annual cost. It would also create new subsidy programs for Midwestern and Southern farmers.

Cotton Council International Hosting Chinese Cotton Buyers

With fewer and fewer textile mills in the US, it’s becoming more and more important to show off the US cotton industry to perspective buyers from across the world. John Burch with CalCot Limited, in Bakersfield California, and president Cotton Council International explains that there’s a trade mission scheduled to get underway this Sunday for Chinese and Hong Kong buyers:

“We start out in the east and move west where they will be exposed to Cotton Incorporated as well as National Cotton Council and Cotton Council International. And a number of cotton associations in the southeast and Memphis and the far west.”

Burch explains the goal of CCI hosting foreign buyers:

“The goal of these special trade missions that CCI coordinate, is to get some hands on experience with foreign buyers so they can see and talk to US cotton producers and traders to get a better understanding of buying and selling US cotton. And to differentiate US cotton from other foreign growths.”
The trade mission gets underway this Sunday and wraps up on the 16th.

Virus Linked to Organic Frozen Fruit

AP correspondent Mike Gracia reports the FDA is inspecting processing facilities of Townsend Farms in Oregon.

“The FDA says the strain of hepatitis linked to a frozen berry mix produced by Townsend Farms of Oregon is rarely seen in North or South America. It is found in North Africa and the Middle East. Last week an attorney for Townsend Farms said the frozen organic blend bag now under recall includes pomegranate seeds from Turkey.”

Consumer Food Waste is Environmental Hazard

The government wants people to stop wasting so much food. CBS News Correspondent Bill Whitney explains.

“The biggest single type of waste going into American landfill is food waste. That’s according to EPA which is teaming up with the agricultural department to reduce the amount of food we throw away. Its estimated we throw away about one third of what we buy, over 33 billion pounds a year. New programs will allow food to be donated easier rather than discarded. The EPA says its an environmental issue because food decomposing in landfills can create greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming.” is dedicated to serving the agricultural industry in the Carolinas and Virginia with the latest ag news, exclusive regional weather station readings, and key crop market information. The website is a companion of the Southern Farm Network, provider of daily agricultural radio programming to the Carolinas since 1974. presents radio programs, interviews and news relevant to crop and livestock production and research throughout the mid-Atlantic agricultural community.