Good morning I’m Clinton Griffiths. The corn crop in the eastern Cornbelt shows big declines from the lack of rain. And combines may big gains in the wheat harvest. While winter wheat harvest races in the south, spring wheat continues to mature. It's nearly all emerged with 79% good to excellent. In Ohio, most of the state is in the early grain fill stage. Plant Pathologists at Ohio State University say it’s important scout for disease during this critical time. Now to corn - the lack of rain is becoming quite obvious, especially in the eastern Cornbelt. Overall 72% is good to excellent, down five points from last week.
In Illinois there's a 13-point decline, Indiana has seen a 14-point decline. In the western belt, Iowa’s corn crop has dropped four points, but 77% is still in good to excellent shape. And Nebraska is up a point.
While the nation's farmers make lots of progress, it's the weather that's our limiting factor. Mike Hoffman has our first look at the forecast in today's crop watch.
The March warm-up, followed by a cold snap in April, has taken a toll on apple production in the eastern United States. The only area that did not experience the record warmth this March is the Pacific Northwest, where a record apple crop is possible. Agday national reporter Tyne Morgan talked with one Michigan grower who says he has some crop losses, but diversity in varieties can really pay off.
Meanwhile, blueberry growers in Mississippi saw ideal spring weather grow an abundant, high quality blueberry crop this year. Florida and Georgia typically provide the most early blueberries. The cold snap in those states reduced production, creating a unique opportunity for Mississippi growers. Mississippi State University says harvest is about three weeks ahead this year and prices are strong.
From cotton to corn - what will it take for the market to see seven dollars? Farm director Al Pell has that discussion in today's analysis.
You probably didn't see this on your calendar, but May is wetlands month. And the USDA offers various programs to help keep wetlands healthy. In this report provided by the AG Department, Bob Ellison tells us about the environmental benefits for one of those programs.
TOMATO FLAVOR FIX:
Ever thought tomatoes from the store just didn't seem to taste as good one's straight out of the garden. That's long been a long running complaint from consumers. Now researchers in Florida think they may be able to resolve that flavor gap.
If someone in your house is looking for a summer job, they may want to look at some local restaurants.