Former EU Commissioner on Ethanol and Trade Talks

In Audio, Ethanol, Food vs Fuel, International, Trade by Cindy

The former commissioner of agriculture for the European Union says the food versus fuel controversy is unfair. “They don’t differentiate between food price and agriculture price and the agriculture price is usually only a small component of the final food product,” Franz Fischler told me during an interview in Austria Friday. Fischler says that second generation biofuels will be key …

McCain at the Iowa State Fair

In Ethanol, Politics, Trade by Cindy

Republican presidential candidate John McCain visited the heart of the corn belt Friday, ate a pork chop on a stick and talked about increasing trade opportunities for agriculture. During a speech at the Iowa State Fair, McCain promised to open markets for agricultural products. “There’s $150 to be made for every hog that’s raised and pig that’s raised in this …

World Food Conference to Focus on Biotech and Biofuels

In Administration, Biotechnology, Current News, Ethanol, Exports, Food Prices, Trade by Cindy

Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer will present a three pronged strategy to deal with rising food prices, climate change and energy security when he travels to Rome next week for the conference on World Food Security being held by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. Schafer says the strategy is basically to “provide food and other support …

Bush Visits USDA

In Ethanol, Farm Bill, Trade by Cindy

The president doesn’t get to visit all the different departments of the federal government as often as he would like, so it was a pleasure for him to drop in at the US Department of Agriculture this week for the swearing in ceremony of Ed Schafer as new ag secretary. “The roots of this Department stretch back to the presidency …

Biotech Education Efforts Paying off in Spain

In Biotechnology, International, Trade by Cindy

While the French were busy banning the production of biotech corn last week, their neighbors to the south were importing more US corn than they have in almost a decade. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign and Agricultural Service reports that the United States sold 2.5 million bushels of corn for shipment to Spain the week ending January 11 – …

Activists Get Their Way in France

In Biotechnology, Farming, International, Trade by Cindy

When European activist wackos act like spoiled children, they get their way. That’s basically what happened when French President Nicolas Sarkozy made a “political” decision this week to ban the only genetically modified crop grown in France, Monsanto 810 – better known here as YieldGard Corn Borer. The variety produces a naturally occurring toxin, Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), that kills corn …

NAFTA Fully Loaded

In Farming, Trade by Cindy

Fourteen years after the North American Free Trade Agreement was signed it has been fully implemented. As of Jan. 1, the final trade restrictions on U.S. exports of corn, dry edible beans, dry milk and high fructose corn syrup were removed under the agreement. This has sparked protests by farmers in Mexico. Now, is it just me, or does this …

Corn Growers Comment on WRDA Passage

In Current News, General, Trade, Transportation by Cindy

Congress voted to override the presidential veto of the Water Resources Development Act, or WRDA, because it authorizes funding for water projects from coast to coast, but the centerpiece of repairing locks and dams on the Mississippi River was the main concern for corn growers. “When it comes to this issue, nothing has been easy,” said NCGA President Ron Litterer. …

Trading Places

In Current News, Exports, General, Trade by Cindy

The majority of U.S. agricultural organizations are strongly in favor of free trade, whether it be global or bilateral. The “level playing field” phrase is most often used as the reason for that support. Exports are a significant part of the agricultural economy of our nation, and therefore of the economy as a whole. According to USDA, agricultural exports hit …