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Retail Beef Prices Continue Upward

Although the pace has slowed from that of last year, retail beef prices have continued to rise faster than food prices overall, according to the latest Consumer Price Index for Food. The report shows beef prices increased by 0.6 percent between April and May, and 5.4 percent between May 2011 and May 2012. For this year, USDA projects an annual increase of 4 to 5 percent over 2011.

The projected annual increase is one of the highest among food categories listed in the report, but is well below the 10.2 percent annual increase in beef prices last year. Fish and seafood is the only category matching beef’s rate of inflation, with an increase of 4 to 5 percent projected for this year.

Supreme Court’s Ruling on Arizona’s Immigration Law Just Muddies the Water

The United States Supreme Court struck down key provisions of Arizona’s immigration law on Monday. National Milk Producer Federation’s Chris Galen says it was a mixed ruling not specifically aimed at the dairy industry. He says the one major thing that came out of the decision is the need for wholesale immigration reform…

“I think what this really just shows, is that we still need to hae a more comprehensive approach to immigration reform. Because, if you’re an employer on the one hand you have the Executive Order by the Obama administration a couple of weeks ago that will allow more people to stay in the country, and then you have this ruling by the Supreme Court which may or may not slow down states from passing their own laws, because they certainly didn’t do anything that would prohibit states from taking certain steps that are more aggressive than what the federal government is doing.”

Galen says even though the High Court may have muddied the waters with its ruling – it may be the impetus needed that will push federal officials and dairy groups to find a solution to the immigration problem

Virginia Loses Immigration Enforcement Request

Virginia has lost its bid to have state troopers enforce federal immigration law. Gov. Bob McDonnell submitted a request for a 287(g) agreement to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano in August 2010. These agreements permit participating state and local police to question and detain illegal immigrants suspected in crimes.

McDonnell said U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement notified him in February that the request was denied. The agency's denial letter said it would focus on other programs and would no longer consider 287(g) agreements with states and localities.

US Importing Less Foreign Oil

For years the catch phrase has been ‘reduce dependence on foreign oil’, and it appears to be working. The U-S is a LOT CLOSER to reducing its need for foreign oil, than you might think.

America will cut its need – for Middle Eastern oil – IN HALF by the end of the decade… And COMPLETELY by 2035…

Energy experts give that prediction to the Wall Street Journal. New technology is allowing us to tap oil, in the U-S that had been out-of-reach… More efficient cars and renewable fuels are also curbing the need for petroleum.

The U-S may be able to focus on the Middle East LESS, over time. But Michael O'Hanlon – a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution – says the U-S will continue to play a key role in protecting Middle Easter oil supplies, to keep oil prices more stable and to help our allies. 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.