I was surprised that 85% of the people who voted in the poll said they would veto the farm bill. It does have flaws but it does finally recognize the importance of the produce industry. There is going to be a problem with the WTO over this bill.
I added a comment from one reader of my Newsletters. Ron occasionally makes comments, and I felt you all would enjoy reading what he had to say about the farm bill.
Regarding the Farm Bill article in your AgPlus Newsletter, I feel that the farms are very deserving of some relief when it comes to financial support. American farmers have taken it on the chin for us throughout many years. On top of this, many farms are struggling to survive today, while a great number of them are even closing shop and going out of business.
Our government spends our tax money in many foolish ways, but this is not the case when it comes to our farmers. Where do people think our food comes from? Who grows it? American farmers are hard working people who feed us day in and day out. If all American citizens visited a farm to see what a farmer has to go through in the cost to grow a common crop or raise cattle, they would be opening their wallets right then and there to offer a contribution on the spot. But the average person on the street knows very little or nothing about our farmers and their struggles to put food in our supermarkets and restaurants.
And so, my vote is to give aid to the American farmers who struggled to feed us over the years through all sorts of costly challenges. It's time we took the American farming industry serious. Show me a place you can't buy food today in America.
Support the American Farming Industry! “
President & CEO
RonProCon - Power-Produce
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May 27, 2008 10:36 AM, By Dan Bryant
A trio of leaders analyzed the prospects for the almond, grape, tree fruit, and vegetable industries during the recent spring ag outlook conference of the California chapter of the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers in Bakersfield.
Joe MacIlvaine, president of Paramount Farming Company, Bakersfield, said the health of the California almond industry is good, although not as spectacular as the days of $3 per pound prices in 2005.
By the end of March, the industry had shipped nearly 900 million pounds after last year’s record 1.4 billion-pound crop. “This shows a remarkable effort on the part of the almond industry and bodes well for the future,” he said, adding that distribution channels are being maintained and the industry is not facing an over-supply situation.
Bearing almond acreage for 2007 was 615,000, and yield per acre averaged 2,200 pounds, reflecting a substantial hike since the mid-1990s when yields were around 1,400 pounds. “This is a remarkable increase in the level of production and it is primarily due to better varieties, better growing methods, improved irrigation and additional trees per acre,” said MacIlvaine, whose company is the largest grower of almonds in the U.S.
Growth has been seen in both domestic and export markets, and foreign demand is taking about 70 percent of the crop, mostly to Spain, but also throughout the world as developing nations seek to improve diets.
Although almond prices have been favorable, especially for premium Nonpareil nuts, MacIlvaine said direct costs of production for a typical Kern County orchard have risen sharply, from about $1,800 per acre in 2005 to $2,300 today.
“That’s over 25 percent more in just three years,” he said. “We haven’t seen that kind of escalation for a long time, and it is due mainly to increased costs of fuel and fertilizers.
The Associated Press
IRAPUATO, Mexico: Antonio Martinez no longer pays smugglers thousands of dollars each year to sneak him into the United States to manage farm crews. Now, the work comes to him.
Supervising lettuce pickers in central Mexico, Martinez earns just half of the US$1,100 a week he made in the U.S. But the job has its advantages, including working without fear of immigration raids.
"Because I never moved my family to the U.S., I was always alone there," said Martinez, 45, who could never get a work permit, even after 16 years in agriculture in California and Arizona. "When I got the opportunity to be close to my family, doing similar work, I didn't even have to think about it."
Martinez, now a legal employee of U.S.-owned VegPacker de Mexico, is exactly the kind of worker more American farm companies are seeking. Many have moved their fields to Mexico, where they can find qualified people, often with U.S. experience, who can't be deported.
American companies now farm more than 45,000 acres (18,200 hectares) of land in three Mexican states, employing about 11,000 people, a 2007 survey by the U.S. farm group Western Growers shows.