Good morning I’m Tyne Morgan. Clinton Griffiths is on assignment. As one crop reporter told the Iowa "NASS' office - 'this is the earliest harvest I have observed in my career." And the latest data indicates Iowa is not alone. Bauer says it's important not to do a "drive-by" when checking crops for harvest maturity. And considering the poor stalk and grain quality many drought-stricken areas are experiencing, harvesting as soon as the crop is dry is mature important. There's an early start to soybeans as well. Monday's crop progress report shows 10% is now cut. Compared to the 4% average. Minnesota and the Dakota’s are both well ahead.
Catfish production and prices in the United States continue their downward spiral. On Thursday, USDA released its latest data on the industry. Industry analysts tell AgDay that lower cost imports are taking a big chunk away from domestic production. For catfish producers to survive, they are looking for ways to be more efficient. In this report from the Arkansas Farm Bureau, Ken Moore talked with one producer who is trying to cut costs in his energy bill. Alabama, Arkansas and Mississippi are the top three catfish producing states. USDA says the water surface area to be used for catfish production in those states totaled 78-thousand acres, down 4% from a year ago.
It's been a tough year for many sorghum growers, as they too struggled with the drought. That crop is now coming-out of the fields. A third has been harvested. That's about average for mid-September. Let's get our first look at Tuesday’s weather. Meteorologist Mike Hoffman has details from the AgDay weather-center. Good morning Mike. We're headed to Sargent County, North Dakota for cropwatch this morning. One farmer told us his soybean harvest is half done. Yields are varied but generally slightly above average. Corn harvest has begun but yields are disappointing. There has been no precipitation here for 6 weeks it is very dry. In Colbert County Alabama, a farmer posted on AgWeb that his 1000 acres averaged about 90 bushels an acre. His corn harvest has wrapped-up for another season. And in the heart of the cornbelt, a farmer from northwest Illinois says yields are much better than anticipated many corn yields are near 200 bushels an acre. Soybeans in the mid 50's and 60's. Thanks for sharing for crop comments.
In news from our partners at Dairy Today - fluid milk sales are struggling. The milk processor education program - or milk-pep - says it's a result of the down economy. Editor Jim Dickrell has details from our Dairy Today office in Minnesota, Jim. Thanks Jim. While fluid milk sales struggle, one bright spot is cheese demand associated with pizza sales. We'll slice-up the pie later on AgDay. But first Mike Florez and Al Pell discuss fluctuations in the market place.
In agribusiness today - Bayer Healthcare is buying the animal-health business of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries. Teva is based in Israel, but its animal health division is based in the U.S. It has a plant in St. Joe, Missouri that employs 300 people. The purchase price is 145-million dollars. The acquisition allows Bayer to expand its companion and food animal product lines in the United States. Assuming the deal is approved by regulators, the companies hope to close on the deal in 2013.