Air Monitoring & Less Planting

Air Monitoring & Less Planting

Air Monitoring & Less Planting plus Food Forethought. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Northwest Report.

The new USDA Prospective Plantings report show gains for some crops, losses in acreage for others, but overall farmed acres will see a substantial drop. Lance Honig with Ag Statistics says that may be as much as 8-million acres.

HONIG: That’s a fairly significant change. It appears to be a response to some of the economic uncertainty that exists in the marketplace right now with commodity prices being lower than a year ago, input costs are a little bit unstable at this point.

The EPA wants to know what is in the air your kids are breathing at school and have announced a plan to monitor air quality around 63 schools in 22 states. The air monitoring plan comes in response to a USA Today investigation that used government data to identify schools that could be located in so-called "toxic hot spots." Monitoring will begin as early as mid April and be phased in over the next three months. Monitoring will last at least 60 days.

Now with today’s Food Forethought, here’s Lacy Gray.

Aw, nuts! Here we go again! Now they’re telling us to avoid all foods with pistachios. As if the national salmonella outbreak due to contaminated peanut product wasn’t enough. This is beginning to have the feel of a nightmare you can’t awaken from.  On the plus side, if there is a plus side to all this, the FDA and the central California-based pistachio processor where these nuts originated from have been pro-active by issuing consumer warnings and voluntarily recalling a large portion of the at risk nuts. Reportedly the FDA was alerted to the possible salmonella contamination by complaints from two people of gastrointestinal illness after ingesting the nuts, and even though the connection hasn’t been confirmed, the pistachio plant shut down processing. In lieu of the fact that California is the second largest producer of pistachios in the world it will undoubtedly take several weeks to find out how many products may actually be affected. Considering that the nuts are in products ranging from cookies and cakes to ice creams and puddings, the job to identify, isolate and recall all contaminated product will be immense. Our nation’s food producers must be feeling a lot like Job right about now.

Thanks Lacy. That’s today’s Northwest Report. I’m Greg Martin on the Northwest Ag Information Network.

Previous ReportOil Tumbles & Expanding Public Lands
Next ReportCuban Restrictions & No April Fool's