Kansas City, MO – For the last couple of years, feed prices have been so high that US farmers lost money on almost every pig they raised. China was one of the bright spots for US producers, their third largest, and fastest-growing export market. But H1N1 put a stop to that. Chinese officials said they were worried about catching "SWINE" flu from eating US pork, even though you can't. It was just cover, according to Ron Plain an agricultural economics professor at the University of Missouri.
Kansas City, MO – The U.S. Senate has approved $32 million for a massive Kansas lab aimed at research on foot-and-mouth and other diseases.
The money is in the Homeland Security Appropriations bill that the Senate approved on a vote of 79-19 Tuesday. The House has already approved the $44.1 billion compromise spending bill, which is headed to President Barack Obama.
Kansas City, MO – Legislation to fund construction of a federal research lab in Kansas has moved forward. Federal officials chose Manhattan, Kansas late last year as the site for the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility.
Kansas City , Mo. – Reports from the federal government last week underscore optimism about the farm economy. But for farm activists, there are lingering concerns.
The US Department of Agriculture and Federal Reserve reports suggest the farm economy is in relatively good shape. Among the reasons are stabilizing land and commodity values, greater demand for corn-based fuel because of higher prices for crude oil, and the potentially record crop harvests.
Kansas City, MO – Food, Inc., a documentary film about the modern agricultural industry, is a hit with big-city movie reviewers, small-scale organic farmers and vegetarians. Full of disturbing scenes depicting chickens, hogs and cattle being crowded into confined areas, the movie argues that large-scale agriculture produces inexpensive meat and vegetables at a high cost to the environment - as well as Americans' health.