NC Producer Sees 50/50 Chance at 2012 Farm Bill

Several state commodity leaders spent a few days in Washington last week discussing farm bill and other ag-related issues. Donny Lassiter, president of the North Carolina Cotton Producers Association and farmer from North Hampton County was in that group. Lassiter’s perception is that if a farm bill is presented this year, all will be for it, but it’s not looking promising:

“Well we met with every congressman and senator from North Carolina and I think they’re supportive of getting something done, but the action of actually getting it done, I’m not sure. I’d say it’s a 50/50 shot on whether or not something actually happening.”

Whether the new farm bill is written this year or next, Lassiter says it’s pretty much a foregone conclusion that direct and counter-cyclical payments will be eliminated.

Incomes & Savings Grow in January

Our earnings and savings both went up in January according to the latest government report. The Commerce Department says consumer incomes rose point03percent and spending went up point 2 percent. Savings was at 4 point 6 percent. CBS Moneywatch dot come Editor at large Jill Schlesinger:

“Economist would like to see consumers spend a lot more, and financial advisors would certainly like to see American save a lot more, so maybe this is somewhere in between”

VA Producer Named 2012 Young Sustainable Farmer

John Shepherd, a 27-year-old grain farmer from Blackstone, Virginia, has been named the 2012 Young Sustainable Farmer by Bayer CropScience at the 2012 Ag Issues Forum that took place during the Commodity Classic in Nashville.

The award, sponsored by Bayer CropScience, recognized young agricultural producers who demonstrate excellence in business and environmental sustainability. Shepherd and his business partner, Jordan Brandon, operate Tri Country Grain Farms, LLC where they farm 1,350 acres of corn, soybeans, wheat and barley. Shepherd’s barley won the Virginia state yield contest with a yield of 152.26 bushels per acre. He also ranked second in state wheat yields with 120.89 bushels per acre. Entrants are judged on entrepreneurial initiative and new approaches to farming, environmental and other on-farm sustainability efforts, and economic stability. He attributes his success in large part to having a detailed nutrient management plan for each field, through ongoing soil and tissue sample analysis.

Vilsack to press for More Research Funding

Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack spoke to attendees of the 2012 Commodity Classic in Nashville last week and said he will press for more research money for agriculture.

“We’re going to continue to press the case for research. You know the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes on Health have gotten billions of dollars, and they’re doing some great work. But, at the end of the day, if we can’t figure out how to feed nine billion people in the next 30 or 40 years; increasing agricultural productivity by 70 percent. If we can’t figure out how to do it with less water, less pesticides and less chemicals and in amore precise way, we’re not going to be doing everything we need to be doing.”

Food Costs Could Rise with US Poultry & Livestock Relocation, Reduction

Paying more for food may not be out of the question for consumers if regulations on the US poultry and livestock sectors increase. In fact, consumers could pay up to $16.8 billion more annually for meat, milk and eggs if regulations are imposed on US poultry and livestock farmers that raise input costs by 25 percent.

The Consumer and Food Safety Costs of Offshoring Animal Agriculture, a recent soy checkoff funded study, evaluated current US supply and demand for poultry and livestock products and the impact of regulations on retail price. The study indicates that potential regulations could raise consumer costs. For example, requiring cage-free housing for laying hens would increase the costs of eggs from $1.68 to $2.10 per dozen, a total cost of $2.66 billion per year for US consumers.

Today’s Farm Fact:

US farms sold $239 billion in goods in 2010, that’s bigger than the GDP’s of nearly 200 countries. 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.