EPA ADMIN RESIGNS:
Good morning I’m Tyne Morgan in for Clinton Griffiths. The Obama administration has another cabinet position to fill after the e-p-a chief announces she is stepping down.
The snowstorm that blew across the upper Midwest last week is bringing some relief to parched regions of farm country, but not nearly enough to relax the droughty chokehold. Nationally the weekly drought monitor is unchanged from last week. Gold says while it’s definitely possible another drought is on the horizon, the U.S. can't afford two bad crop years in a row. He says we haven't seen a situation like this since the dust bowl era.
While the recent blizzards didn't provide much relief on the drought monitor, it's also having little impact on the Mississippi river conditions. The American Waterways Organization projects commerce to come to a halt as early as January 3rd near Thebes, Illinois. That’s about two weeks earlier than original estimates. AWO says as the water drops below the required 9 foot channel depth, consequently barge traffic will be forced to come to a stop. Meanwhile, work is still being done to remove those rock pinnacles in the area.
As we've been reporting, the drought continues to plague many regions. Frank Waugh of AgDay affiliate WNDU has details in this morning's crop watch.
FARMER OF THE YEAR:
Each year at this time, the editors at Profarmer newsletter go back through their notes and news stories to find one person who really made a difference in agriculture. They are then named the "AG Person of the Year". Profarmer Editor Chip Flory joins us from the Profarmer studios to explain why they took a different approach this year.
In agribusiness, a new wheat initiative has been formed to help boost yield potential in wheat. The National Wheat Growers Association says the focus will be on wheat genetics and could increase yield potential by 50%.
With the Mississippi river continuing to recede, concerns continue to mount on the ability to ship grains south and inputs - like fertilizer - northward. Some farmers chose to pass on applying anhydrous this fall; instead they'll wait until spring-time. But that could put even more pressure on getting that important input upstream.
Profarmer Editor Chip Flory and Profarmer inputs reporter Davis Michaelsen join us from the Profarmer studios to analyze where input prices could be headed due to the river.
A farming couple in Louisiana is getting a lot of attention these days for their farm-raised ducks. They represent the growing trend of farmers who are selling directly to fine restaurants which want the highest quality of ingredients. In this report provided by the Louisiana farm bureau, AJ Sabine says it's a perfect combination of farm-fresh goodness and fine dining in New Orleans.
FOOD AND YOUR FAMILY:
In food and your family, if you're planning a big New Year’s Eve bash, this next story may come in handy. According to a new study by Journal of Food Science, asparagus may help prevent a hangover. As we look to the New Year, we have the list of 5 up-and-coming fast-food restaurants in 2013. Surprisingly, fast-food giants like McDonalds, Burger King and Wendy’s may have growing competition next year.