Wednesday, December 7, 2016

CCC Interest Rates Set for December

From the USDA

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Commodity Credit Corp. (CCC) announced interest rates for December 2016.

The CCC borrowing rate-based charge for December is 0.750 percent, up from 0.625 percent in November.

The interest rate for crop year commodity loans less than one year disbursed during December is 1.750 percent, up from 1.625 percent in November.

Interest rates for Farm Storage Facility Loans approved for December are as follows: 

*** 1.125 percent with three-year loan terms, up from 1 percent in November
*** 1.375 percent with five-year loan terms, up from 1.250 percent in November
***1.750 percent with seven-year loan terms, up from 1.5 percent in November
*** 2 percent with 10-year loan terms, up from 1.750 percent in November and; 
***2 percent with 12-year loan terms, up from 1.750 percent in November.

The interest rate for 15-year Sugar Storage Facility Loans for December is 2.125 percent, up from 1.875 percent in November.

Further program information is available from USDA Farm Service Agency’s Financial Management Division at (202) 772-6041.

FFA Camp Looking for Summer Workers

The Oswegatchie FFA Camp in northern New York is seeking workers for the 2017 summer season.

Anyone who needs more information should go to this link

The application deadline is Feb. 9.

Monday, December 5, 2016

USDA Investments Result in Patents, Inventions

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has released results of investments in scientific research, including 222 new inventions, 94 patents awarded and 125 new patent applications filed in 2015.

The USDA Annual Report on Technology Transfer includes new agriculture-related discoveries, inventions and processes made by USDA researchers, universities and small businesses with the potential for commercial application.

Highlights from the 2015 report include:
** A bio-refinery that turned a city landfill into an “energy park”
** Computer chips made from wood fiber
** Mosquito-resistant uniforms for U.S. military personnel
** A new biological control agent to combat a major citrus disease
** An on-line climate and weather tool to better manage farm pests and plant diseases
** Cost-effective solar-powered irrigation pumps for remote communities
** Flu eradication through genome editing in pigs
** Bacteria repellent cooking pan surfaces

** Robotic apple pickers
** Affordable tornado-safe rooms
** Virus-based fire ant control

The full 2015 Technology Transfer Report, as well as a look at previous USDA research and discoveries, is available at this website  

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Red Meat, Corn, Soybeans Production Up in New York; Potatoes Down

Commercial red meat production for New York totaled 3.8 million pounds in October, up 12 percent from the 3.4 million pounds produced in October 2015.

Cattle slaughter totaled 3,300 head, up 10 percent from October 2015. The average live weight was up 6 pounds from the previous year, at 1,164.

Calf slaughter totaled 6,500 head, up 132 percent from October 2015. The average live weight was down 60 pounds from last year, at 115 pounds.

Hog slaughter totaled 5,500 head, up 15 percent from October 2015. The average live weight was up 4 pounds from the previous year, at 258 pounds.

Sheep slaughter totaled 4,100 head, 15 percent below last year. The average live weight was 103 pounds, down 3 pounds from October a year ago.

Corn production in New York is forecast at 83.8 million bushels, up 2 percent from the October forecast but down 1 percent from last year.

Based on conditions as of Nov. 1, yields are expected to average 133 bushels per acre, up 2 bushels from the October forecast but down 10 bushels from 2015. Area harvested for grain is forecast at 630,000 acres, unchanged from the October forecast but up 7 percent from 2015.

Soybean production in New York is forecast at 13.7 million bushels, up 2 percent from October and up 6 percent from last year. Based on Nov. 1 conditions, yields are expected to average 42 bushels per acre, up 1 bushel from last month but down 1 bushel from last year. Area for harvest is forecast at 326,000 acres, unchanged from last month.

Fall potatoes production for 2016 is forecast at 3.31 million hundredweight, down 20 percent from last year. Area harvested, at 13,800 acres, is down 7 percent from the previous year. The average yield forecast, at 240 hundredweight per acre, is down 40 hundredweight from last year’s yield.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

USDA Surveying Cattle Operations

In January, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service will survey more than 40,000 cattle operations nationwide to provide an up-to-date measure of U.S. cattle inventories.

“This information helps producers make timely, informed business decisions such as planning for herd expansion or reduction. It also helps packers and government leaders evaluate expected slaughter volume for future months and determine potential supplies for export,” said Northeastern Regional Director King Whetstone. “Obtaining the current count of cattle will serve as an important decision-making tool for the entire agriculture industry.”

During the first two weeks of January, Northeastern producers will have the opportunity to report their beef and dairy cattle inventories, calf crop, death loss and cattle on feed operations. 

To make it as easy as possible for producers to participate in the survey, the National Agricultural Statistics Service offers the option of responding via the Internet, telephone, mail or a personal interview with a local statistics service representative.

The statistics service safeguards the privacy of all responses and publishes only state- and national-level data, ensuring that no individual producer or operation can be identified.

The January Cattle report will be released Jan. 31. This and all statistics reports are available online at For more information, call the Northeastern Regional Field Office at (800) 498-1518.

Friday, December 2, 2016

USDA Proposes Amending Nutrition Label Regulations for Meat, Poultry

From the USDA:

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service Dec. 1 proposed a critical step in ensuring that consumers have updated nutritional information for meat and poultry products, helping Americans make better informed decisions when purchasing meat and poultry products.

The Food Safety and Inspection Service is proposing to amend the nutrition labeling regulations for meat and poultry products to parallel the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's final nutrition regulations, which were published May 27.

The proposed rule will improve the presentation of nutrition information to assist consumers in maintaining healthy dietary practices.

"This new rule will provide more transparency on nutrition labels so that American consumers can make informed decisions about the foods they eat and feed their families," said Alfred Almanza, Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety at USDA. "The new nutrition facts panel will complement the many other proactive, prevention-based food policies that we've put in place in recent years."

Specifically, the Food Safety and Inspection Service is proposing to:
  • Update the list of nutrients that are required or permitted to be declared;
  • Provide updated Daily Reference Values and Reference Daily Intake values that are based on current dietary recommendations from consensus reports;
  • Amend the labeling requirements for foods represented or purported to be specifically for children under the age of 4 years and pregnant women and lactating women and establish nutrient reference values specifically for these population subgroups;
  • Revise the format and appearance of the Nutrition Facts label;
  • Amend the definition of a single-serving container;
  • Require dual-column labeling for certain containers;
  • Update and modify several reference amounts customarily consumed (reference amounts); and
  • Consolidate the nutrition labeling regulations for meat and poultry products into a new Code of Federal Regulations part.
The proposal may be viewed on the FSIS website at this link.