The USDA's 2012 budget summary offers some insight into a complex organization.
USDA’s total outlays for 2012 are estimated at $145 billion. Roughly 81 percent of outlays, about $117 billion in 2012, are associated with mandatory programs that provide services as required by law. These include the majority of the nutrition assistance programs, farm commodity programs, crop insurance, export promotion programs and a number of conservation programs. The decrease in mandatory outlays in 2012 is primarily due to crop insurance.
What does the future of America hold? Some good perspective from a recent video series at the Wall Street Journal titled "America: A Portfolio of Ideas" featured several different perspectives and is highly recommended. To give you a feel for what it holds we share this brief audio featuring John Naisbitt (Megatrends) and Gloria Naisbitt on the influence of culture on our trading relationship with China.
Agricultural economics plays a major role in shaping the world. Farmers, producers, and managers all want to know what to plant, when to buy, when to sell, and why. People in ag econ help do the research and discover the key inflection points to help those in production make decisions.
What is Agriculture's Macro Economic Condition? - Dr. Terry Barr, CoBank's Knowledge Exchange Group, and Ross Anderson, Chief Credit Officer with AgriBank, discuss (audio) major topics of concern in today's agricultural arena. Do we feed or export grain? Turn it into ethanol? And when will the Washington debate turn to the Farm Bill?
Feed grain producers across the nation should increase the financial strength of their operators over the next five years, helped by strong commodity prices. Farms that have been in marginal or poor financial position in the last several years because of lower grain prices should recover and climb into stronger financial positions.
The Wall Street Journal highlighted the news that Coharie Hog Farms Inc. filed for Chapter 11 protection November 6, 2009, blaming swine flu for its collapse into bankruptcy. According to the article, Coharie ultimately filed for bankruptcy in order to liquidate its livestock and other assets. Coharie, based in Clinton, N.C., is the largest independent pork supplier to Smithfield Foods Co. and was ranked as the 22nd largest pork producer in the country by Successful Farming magazine.
Not good news for the industry, but to paraphrase an economist, "on the other hand…"
The calamity, as the North American swine industry undergoes a historic retrenchment, must give way to transition to what the industry will become. Accordingly, SwineCast continues to bring you insight, ideas, and possible solution paths to management / industry issues that we will face as we continue in pork production.