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Cranberries, subsidies and food safety

The production of Market To Market #3612 is in full swing this Thursday afternoon.

We’ve got producers sorting through a new study by Iowa State University’s Center for Agriculture and Rural Development about the future of the ethanol industry without the extension of the ethanal tax credit. We should learn in the next few weeks about the future of the 45-cent-per-gallon ethanol tax credit and import tariff worth 54-cents-per-gallon. This is a follow up study released back in July, but many things have changed since then. What impact will the markets and supplies have on the industry?

Plus the issue of food safety is again in the news. This time, a bill passed by the House a year ago have finally been passed the Senate. The bill provides more power to the FDA to prevent food-borne illness. But the bill still has hurdles including concern for the impact on small farmers. Another obstacle is a possible amendment that would ban earmarks, the popular rallying cry of this year’s election.

And it is Thanksgiving time again and many of you will enjoy cranberries with your meal. But what is the status of that industry? It is a business that has many cooperative agreements, including the those involving the big producer Ocean Spray. How will companies like Ocean Spray and the others fare post-recession?

Analyst Darin Newsom will be joining us to discuss the commodity markets. If you’ve got a question, drop it in our comment section below and we’ll try to get that answered promptly.

Be sure to check out our last post about Mark Pearson’s trip to Idaho.

Posted in Production on November 18th, 2010 by paul – Be the first to comment

Dam breaks, environmental issues and alternative fuels - 3548

Flooded drive-thru in Manchester, Iowa. July 23, 2010.

Flooded drive-thru in Manchester, Iowa. July 23, 2010.

The weather is a big deal for every producer. There’s no secret there. But how about 6-10 inches in a 12-hour period.

That was the case in northeast Iowa where areas along the Maquoketa and Wapsipinicon Rivers are still dealing with large amounts of water.

A 83-year-old dam making Lake Delhi broke last week. What will be the impact on the farm land around the break? Significant — 8,000 acres were damaged in two counties alone.

How have you been impacted by water this season?

We’re also looking at President Obama’s environment plan and statements made this week on climate change. What will this mean for carbon credits and other programs like it?

Plus we’ll hear more about the renewable fuel tax credits that are in danger of expiring in December. What will happen if those credits don’t live on into 2011?

An Iowa State University professors who also is the director of the Center for Agricultural and RuralĀ Development has completed a ‘what if’ study on how the ethanol industry could survive without a subsidy or import tariff. Bruce Babcock makes a bold statement about the future of the industry. Hear it on this week’s program.

A little note for you, two of our producers were on the road this week. One to New Orleans and the gulf region to see what’s happening in the dead zone following the oil spill.

We also had a producer in New York City this week to talk about urban farmers.

Look for those stories in the coming weeks on Market to Market.

Posted in Production on July 29th, 2010 by paul – 1 Comment