Good morning I’m Tyne Morgan. Clinton Griffiths is still on the road covering the 2012 wheat harvest. We begin with growing concerns about dryness in the Corn Belt. Whether it's a catchy phrase like "flash drought", or stubborn dryness, farmers in the Corn Belt are telling us it's way too early to turn-off the spring showers.
Because of the Memorial Day holiday, USDA will delay its weekly crop progress report by a day.
It will be released this afternoon at 4pm eastern. We know Winter Wheat harvest is in full swing in the southern plains. A third is harvested in Texas and Oklahoma and about ten percent in Kansas. Clinton joins us from Kingfisher, Oklahoma.
USDA said Friday it would accept nearly 4 million acres into the conservation reserve program. CRP pays Farmers and Ranchers for taking environmentally sensitive land out of production. USDA said the acres would bring total enrollment in the CRP to about 29 million as of October 1st. Even with the additional acres, the figure would still remain below the 32 million acre cap allowed by congress. The proposed Senate farm bill would reduce the maximum CRP acres to 25 million acres by 2017.
2012 FARM BILL:
Meanwhile, the Senate AG Committee chair says it's time to move forward with the 2012 farm bill. Senator Debbie Stabenow says the bill will be brought to the Senate floor for debate during the first week of June. However, our partners at Profarmer are reporting that the farm bill has not been included on the summer legislative agenda on the house-side. That agenda was released Friday by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor.
Moving on to other legislation, the controversial egg bill we've been following on Agday has been introduced in the Senate. California Senator Diane Feinstein introduced the bill last week. The bill would create a national standard for hen housing and require producers to move from conventional cages to new enriched cages. The bill was created by the United Egg Producers and HSUS.
In news from the dairy industry - research firm "Tetra Pak" says the next big growth opportunity could come from developing countries with new purchasing power. If that's true - that would mean nearly3 billion more dairy consumers.
In Agribusiness today - a popular weed control for many of the nation's corn growers will remain in the market. Syngenta - the maker of Atrazine - has agreed to pay 105 million dollars to settle a class action lawsuit by several water utilities in the Midwest. They sued Syngenta eight years ago, claiming the corn herbicide tainted nearby drinking water. In response to the settlement, the national corn growers association said its pleased the case is resolved and that farmers will still be able to use the weed control on their fields.
USDA says it wants to hear from the public on whether it should change the release times and procedures of their key reports, like supply figures and grain production. It’s in response to several major exchanges which changed their electronic trading hours. The AG department says it will open an official public comment period in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, the CME group announced it will offer expanded floor trading hours in its Cbot grain and oilseed futures and options during major USDA crop reports,
This next story may fall into the "now, I’ve seen everything!" category. A couple in Kentucky created and is now selling swings. . . for pets. The husband and wife were inspired by their dog, Bella, who likes to nap on the couple's porch swing. And the rest they say is history. Of course, there's a long path from idea to completion. And they got help from the University of Kentucky.
FOOD STAMP FRAUD:
Each year, many Americans rely on food stamps to feed their families. People taking advantage of this system, however, is growing in numbers and causing the USDA to take action.
It seems cell phone applications have an endless number of ways to improve fitness on the go. And the trend is growing worldwide.
Finally this morning our reporting partners at top producer magazine are inviting you to tour with them to visit one of America’s biggest trading partners - Canada.