Farm Bill Talks & Cattle Loss

Farm Bill Talks & Cattle Loss

Farm Bill Talks & Cattle Loss plus Food Forethought. I'm Greg Martin with today's Northwest Report.

The House passed a motion Friday to go to conference with the Senate on the farm bill and have named their farm bill conferees. The lists include 21 House Ag Committee members. The same day - the House began debate of the House resolution that would urge farm bill conferees to adopt an amendment in the Senate farm bill to reduce crop insurance subsidies for farmers making more than 750-thousand dollars per year. The House passed by voice vote a resolution instructing House conferees to support a Senate farm bill provision to include this crop insurance change.

Action on the Farm Bill can be attributed to the recent devastating loss of livestock in the midwest. South Dakota Governor Dennis Duagaard, Senator John Thune and State Ag Secretary Lucas Lentsch toured areas of the state hit by last week's record setting snow storm. Some livestock producers have reported losses of up to 50-percent of their herds. Lentsch says the aerial view just confirmed the devastation.

LENTSCH: When you are traveling from an aerial view and you just see how wind drove cattle across the top of the prairie or behind bluffs and how it literally forced them into areas where they would collapse on top of one another in crick bottoms you know you just feel the absolute loss.

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

The latest salmonella outbreak involving Foster Farms brand raw chicken has obviously raised concerns about food safety, with nearly 300 people in 17 states having been sickened between the months of March and September. Foster Farms has not issued any recalls of the chicken, opting instead to advise consumers on the correct way to handle raw chicken; though the Foster Farms plant in Kelso, Washington did make improvements after the outbreak, which greatly reduced the pathogen. With salmonella bacteria being commonly found in all raw commercial chicken products, this perhaps isn't as callous a stance to take as it seems. Following the proper handling and cooking instructions on packages of raw chicken will assure that the chicken is safe to eat. But there have been concerns raised that some of the salmonella strains in this latest outbreak are showing sign of antibiotic resistance. Does that mean these are "super monster bugs" that can't be destroyed? Food safety experts assure us that "these bugs" can be killed by cooking the chicken at a temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. But bottom line, if in doubt, throw it out.

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

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