Friday, July 13, 2007

Friday Farm News Roundup

The Iowa Department of Public Safety's Intelligence Bureau reports that metal thefts of all varieties have increased in Iowa and other states in the past year, as metal prices have reached new highs. Thieves originally focused on copper, but recently have begun to target other types of metals, including hog feeders, metal dairy equipment made of galvanized steel and stainless steel, and other farm equipment.

A columnist for Bloomberg.com has dubbed our junior senator as "Tom Harkin (D-Pork)." Read the Bloomberg columnist's screed here. And on the subject of the 2007 farm bill, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns makes his case on the Bush administration's views for the bill here.

The Environmental Protection Agency recently held its first-ever conference with agricultural leaders, and is planning to form an independent federal advisory board to deal with ag issues. Wallaces Farmer is reporting that one of the topics discussed at the conference involved how the EPA can improve its relationship with ag producers and get them more involved with environmental protection.

The Coalition to Support Iowa's Farmers is organizing a series of cattle feedlot tours. The tours are designed to provide farmers with information on growing their operations responsibly and successfully.

In the last two decades, the number of farm operators in the United States under age 35 dropped from 16 percent to 6 percent, as noted in this article in BusinessWeek.

Chefs in fancy restaurants are requesting fattier pork. The Des Moines Register reported this week that the demand is growing on the East and West coasts for juicy pork, a move away from the lean and dry pork that has been popular for years.

After sitting idle for nearly three years, the Iowa Quality Beef Supply packing plant in Tama may soon be sold. The Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier reported this week that investors from the Middle East nation of Qatar may be interested in purchasing the packing plant.

The National Cattlemen's Beef Association is having a big gathering next week in Colorado, where they will discuss environmental policy issues affecting cattle operations. The 2007 Cattle Industry Summer Conference will be held from July 16 to July 20 in Denver.

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