Paris, 1 January 2007

EFITA newsletter / 290 / European Federation for Information Technology in Agriculture, Food and the Environment

Happy New Year 2007!

Thought after Christmas: Wall Street golden boys - who got for Christmas more than 24 billions US $ - are more expensive than direct payments to US farmers
Voir :
Contact : JP VIGNAL
Mél : jaypeevee(a)

Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering for a Sustainable World - AgEng2008 - International Conference on Agricultural Engineering & Industry Exhibition
23-25 June 2008 - HERSONISSOS, Crete - Greece
- Plenary lectures focusing on the state of the art technologies and targets, of agricultural engineering.
- Oral and poster presentations of scientific research, development and demonstration projects, applications, industry issues, and agricultural markets.
- Exhibition of agricultural technology equipment and services.
- Fora and workshops on specific agricultural engineering issues.
- Scientific and industry tours.
- Social programme.

Programme at a Glance:

- Power and Machinery, Tractors, Tillage & Seeding, Fertilising & Plant Protection, Harvesting, Automation Technology.
- Information Systems and Precision Farming.
- Energy Technology, Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency.
- Livestock Technology, Structures, Precision Livestock Farming.
- Environmental technologies.
- Fruit & Vegetable Cultivation Systems, Protected Cultivation, Greenhouse Technology.
- Land & Water Use and Environment.
- Processing & Post Harvest Technology and Logistics.
- Systems Engineering and Management, Emerging Industrial Products, Marketing Service Systems, Traceability.
- Ergonomics, Safety and Health.
- Education and Extension Service.

Seminar about agricultural data dictionaries, interoperability - Summer University on Information Technology in Agriculture and Rural Development
21-22 August 2006 - DEBRECEN
This was the first time that the Hungarian Association of Agricultural Informatics organised the Summer University on international level cooperate with Faculty of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development at University of Debrecen and other partners. 60 professors, researchers and students from 6 European countries participated on this event.

Environmental Working Group - Farm Subsidy Database
The EWG Farm Subsidy Database now tracks eleven years of payments (1995-2005) to 3.2 million recipients, totaling $164.7 billion.
Calendar year 2005 is by far the most expensive year for farm subsidy payments since the controversial 2002 Farm Bill was enacted.
Payments tracked through EWG's Farm Subsidy Database exceeded $21 billion last year, of which $16 billion (76 percent) was provided in commodity subsidies, with $1.9 billion for conservation and $3 billion for disaster aid.
A majority of farmers-66 percent, according to the Census of Agriculture-do not collect government payments, largely because they do not grow one of the five crops that account for over 90 percent of the payments in any given year (rice, wheat, corn, cotton and soybeans).
Among subsidy recipients, ten percent collected 73 percent of all subsidies amounting to $120.5 billion over 11 years.
The top 10 percent of recipients between 1995 and 2005, who numbered 320,442, averaged $34,190 each in annual payments over that period. The bottom 80 percent of the recipients (over 2.5 million of them) saw only $704 on average per year-48 times less than those at the top of the subsidy pyramid.
Ownership interests in more detail. This update incorporates the new, more detailed data on ownership interests that USDA made available in May, 2006. Since ownership interest does not necessarily equate directly to subsidy benefits for a particular owner, we still cannot fully track the ultimate recipients of the subsidy payments. Virtually all of the new detail pertains to large operations that had complex ownership structures in previous versions of our database, such as farming companies owned by other companies, that in turn are owned other companies...and so on, with no indication of the humans involved. With this update, we have been able to associate more indivduals' names with some of these large operations.
An asterisk marks all recipients for which we have at least some ownership information. Of course, the vast majority of farm subsidy recipients have always been completely transparent because they are small, individual operators or simple partnerships, and you've always seen the names on the site. Transparency is mostly a problem in larger operations with complex ownership structures.
For most recipients we've presented the most recent ownership share information we received from USDA, in May 2005, which can be for years as recent as 2005 but may be for earlier years. USDA provided data for several years and we included it. But in cases where there have been changes you'll see a choice of two or more recent years, picked via pull-down menu. That can help you examine how ownership structures have changed.
We still do not have information on subsidies received through rice cooperatives, an issue we've raised for years, and was singled out as a significant problem by the payment limits commission (Report in PDF format). Presumably, those details on rice subsidy recipients will have to wait until USDA releases the Section 1614 benefits tracking database that was mandated in the 2002 Farm Bill.
Which is to say, EWG has yet to receive that database. It has been promised many times, most recently for delivery in August.

CORE Organic pilot call for transnational research in organic food and farming

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