TODAY ON AGDAY
MARCH 9, 2012
Good morning. The United Nation's Food and Agriculture Organization says that 2012 world wheat production will be the second highest on record at 690 million tons. If that's true, it'll be down about 1.5% from last year's record crop, but still well above the five year average. The FAO plantings have increased or are forecast to increase in many countries this year. That 690-million forecast is higher than guestimate from both Australia's Crop Bureau and the International Grains Council. The FAO says its data reflects an estimate of high global plantings. But it also expects yields to return to average after bumper levels last year.
During Commodity Classic last week in Nashville, I talked with Alan Brugler of Brugler Marketing and Management. He says - simply put - there's too much wheat.
The monthly NASS reports show half of the Kansas wheat crop is good to excellent. There are also good reports from Oklahoma where two-thirds of the state's wheat crop is called good to excellent. 22% has jointed. In Texas, about a third of the wheat crop is good to excellent. Another third is fair. In Montana, winter wheat condition is rated 24% good to excellent.
MACHINERY MINUTE; FILTER BLASTER:
In today's Machinery Minute, with the increased price of fuel, farmers are constantly looking for ways to cut back in the fuel they use. What if it's a simple fix, like cleaning out the air filter? Dennis Grieve with Salmon River Innovations has created a device called the filter blaster, which is designed to do just that. The filter blaster is a tool you connect to your air compressor and has an interchangeable air ride barring on the end. The blaster goes inside in the filter, then once the air hose is on, the operator slowly moves the blaster slowly up and down once. The vibrations from the airride hub on the end creates a fast vibration that cleans all the dirt and unwanted debris from the air filter. He says a clean filter translates into better fuel efficiency. He says the fuel savings was 5 gallons an hour the third day. According to his equations, that's a savings of 250 dollars a day by ensuring the filter is clean.
In Agribusiness USDA will release its monthly supply-demand report this morning. It comes out at 7:30 central time. Analysts say the March report - like February - does not typically get a lot of attention by the markets. However, our partners at Pro Farmer Newsletter say this year might be different due to the weather problems in South America. Brazil and Argentina have been short in rainfall and that's eating into the soybean yields especially. You'll be able to access those reports at 7:30 on www.agweb.com.
In this morning's analysis, we're discussing the soybean market, which continues to watch developments in South America. Farm director Al Pell was in Grand Forks, North Dakota earlier this week for the annual industry day sponsored by CHS Ag Services.
IN THE COUNTRY; LED LIGHTS:
It's not unusual to grow plants under light. The type of light used, however, can waste useful energy costing growers more money. As University of Tennessee's Chuck Denney shows us, researchers are finding it pays to go green... or purple... or red. Thanks, Chuck. NASA was the first to use led lights to grow plants. They used the lights for plants in space and potentially on other planets. Up next, find out how milk helped a Wisconsin teenager get to the Super Bowl! Food and Your Family is just two minutes away.
FOOD SAFETY ONE AGENCY:
With tightening federal budgets, there's growing pressure to condense the number of agencies that oversee food inspections in this country. Right now, USDA and FDA both monitor various elements of the food industry. Last year, congress passed a law that changed the focus of FDA. The food safety modernization act requires FDA to prevent outbreaks rather than responding to them. The food safety measure requires companies to adopt plans to prevent food contamination outbreaks. It also requires more inspections. Next month the top food safety officials with FDA and USDA will host a forum on major issues regarding the Food Safety Modernization Act.