Good morning I’m Clinton Griffiths. We hope you had a nice labor day. We begin with a status check of the U.S. seed supply which has not been immune to the summer's drought.
It appears agriculture continues to be one of the few bright spots in the American economy.
Hurricane Isaac’s swing through the Midwest should help improve drought conditions. As of last week the National Weather Service showed 52% of the U.S. Is in moderate drought or worse.
USDA GRAZING EXTENSION:
To help ranchers weather the dry conditions, U.S. AD Secretary Tom Vilsack is extending emergency grazing of the nation's CRP acres for an additional two months.
Not all cattle producers have turned to emergency grazing just yet. Jon Blin of Independence, Iowa says he doesn't have a large herd, which is working in his advantage. But if things don't get better, that option is on the table. He says the droughts impact could be felt for years and may dictate how many animals he raises.
Meanwhile, USDA's Farm Service Agency is urging livestock producers affected by natural disasters such as hurricane Isaac and the historic heat and drought to keep thorough records of their livestock and feed losses. Here’s what you need:
- Documentation of the number and kind of livestock that have died. Photographs or video records of ownership and losses would help.
- You should have dates of death supported by birth recordings or purchase receipts.
- Costs of transporting livestock to safer grounds or to move animals to new pastures.
- Feed purchases if supplies or grazing pastures are destroyed.
Most cattlemen welcome the return of green to parched pastures.
But right now, some of the greenest grass is deadly to livestock.
In southwest Missouri one farmer lost five head of cattle to Johnson grass, and he's warning others of the danger. Linda Russell with AgDay affiliate KY3's explains.
In our dairy today report - the state of Iowa is now screening milk received in the state for aflatoxin. The state department of AG implemented the policy as a result of the drought.
CROP TOUR AFLATOXIN:
Aflatoxin was a popular topic during the ProFarmer Midwest Crop Tour. Scouts saw evidence of the fungus, aspergillus which is what aflatoxin is derived. We caught up with one Illinois farmer who was harvesting. He says even though he scouted his fields, it was undetected he took the grain to the local elevator.
Cropwatch takes us to three distinct regions of the country. Mike Hoffman joins us from the AgDay weather-center with details, Mike.
The dairy of today continues to add technology and systems that help keep these operations in business, even during times of low prices. But for many farmers, choosing to keep the milk flowing is putting them at a crossroads. Norm Hyde from the Virginia Farm Bureau shares a story about one family that decided to switch directions rather than dive in deeper.
FOOD AND YOUR FAMILY:
In food and your family, it looks like the federal government is headed back to court. A couple of groups are suing the FDA saying it’s failed to protect the food supply. And when you go out to eat, ambiance is often unique to each dining experience.