AgDay Daily Recap - May 9, 2017

May 9, 2017 02:57 AM
 
AgDay

TODAY ON AGDAY
MAY 9, 2017


HEADLINES
THE SECRETARY OF AG TOURS TOURS FLOODED FIELDS. PLUS PLANTING PROGRESS UPDATES. IN AGRIBUSINESS, BREAKING DOWN THE KANSAS WHEAT TOUR. DAIRY PRODUCERS ARE WATCHING NEW IMMIGRATION LEGISLATION. AND RAISE THE CURTAIN ON A FRESH APPROACH TO FARM THEATRE. AGDAY-BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE DEPENDABLE, LONG LASTING CHEVY SILVERADO.

PERDUE TOURS FLOOD DAMAGE
THE SECRETARY OF AG TOURS TOURS FLOODED FIELDS. PLUS PLANTING PROGRESS UPDATES. IN AGRIBUSINESS..BREAKING DOWN THE KANSAS WHEAT TOUR. DAIRY PRODUCERS ARE WATCHING NEW IMMIGRATION LEGISLATION. AND RAISE THE CURTAIN ON A FRESH APPROACH TO FARM THEATRE. AG SECRETARY SONNY PERDUE TAKING A TOUR OF FLOODING CONDITIONS IN  ARKANSAS OVER THE WEEKEND. THE SECRETARY ALONG GOVERNOR ASA HUTCHINSON TAKING IN A BIRDS EYE  VIEW. AS WE'VE BEEN REPORTING SOME FIELDS ARE COVERED IN 6 TO 8 FEET OF  WATER. THE UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS IS ESTIMATING THE FLOODING IS IMPACTING OVER 937-THOUSAND ACRES OF THE STATE'S CROPLAND WITH LOSSES TALLYING UP TO 64-POINT-5 MILLION DOLLARS.  PERDUE SAYS THE DEPARTMENT OF AG IS READY TO HELP. "WE'LL DO EVERYTHING IN OUR POWER GOVERNOR, TO MAKE SURE YOUR FARMERS CAN CONTINUE  ON. CERTAINLY, CROP INSURANCE IS A BIG PART OF THAT. WE WANT THEM TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF ALL  THOSE TYPES OF RESOURCES FROM THE USDA."PERDUE ALSO SAID HE WANTS FARMERS TO CONTINUE TO GROW CROPS AND HE  TAKES IT VERY SERIOUSLY THAT HIS RESPONSIBILITY IS TO SELL THOSE CROPS  ALL OVER THE WORLD-- AS A SAFE, ABUNDANT FOOD SUPPLY.

CROP PROGRESS
IT WAS HEAVY RAINS ABOUT A WEEK AGO THAT FLOODED FIELDS THROUGHOUT  THE MIDWEST.  PLANTED CROPS WERE UNDER WATER AND FARMERS WERE ON HOLD WAITING  FOR THINGS TO DRY OUT.  USDA CROP PROGRESS THIS WEEK, THE FIRST CHANCE TO GET A FEEL FOR THE NATIONAL IMPACT ON PLANTING PROGRESS. USDA SAYS CORN PLANTING IS NOW 47 PERCENT COMPLETE. THAT'S 5 POINTS BEHIND THE FIVE YEAR AVERAGE. IN THE THREE EYE STATES ILLINOIS AND INDIANA BOTH REMAIN AHEAD OF THE  FIVE YEAR AVERAGE...EVEN THOUGH THERE WAS LESS THAN ONE DAY SUITABLE  FOR FIELD WORK LAST WEEK.   IOWA CORN PLANTING IS THREE POINTS BEHIND.   MINNESOTA IS 20 POINTS BEHIND AVERAGE. NATIONALLY 15 PERCENT OF THE CROP HAS EMERGED. MEANWHILE LIKE CORN, SOYBEANS FALLING BEHIND THE FIVE YEAR AVERAGE  LAST WEEK. SOYBEAN PLANTING IS 14 PERCENT DONE.  IT'S NORMALLY 17 PERCENT COMPLETE BY NOW. DOWN SOUTH, PLANTERS ARE BY IN LARGE RUNNING AHEAD OF SCHEDULE...THE  FARTHER YOU GO NORTH THE SLOWER THE PROGRESS. FOLLOW BLIZZARD LIKE CONDITIONS IN THE SOUTHERN PLAINS, THE WINTER CROP IS NOW RATED 53 PERCENT GOOD TO EXCELLENT. THAT DOWN JUST ONE PERCENT FROM A WEEK AGO. HALF OF THE CROP HAS NOW HEADED-- FOUR POINTS AHEAD OF THE FIVE YEAR  AVERAGE.

WHEAT TOUR
THIS IS WHAT SCOUTS SAW IN WESTERN KANSAS DURING LAST WEEK'S WINTER  WHEAT TOUR. THAT TOUR PUTS WHEAT YIELDS--FOR FIELDS EXPECTED TO BE HARVESTED-- DOWN 40 PERCENT FROM 2016...WITH A STATEWIDE AVERAGE 46 BUSHELS TO THE  ACRE.. ROUGHLY 282 MILLION BUSHELS IN ALL.  HOWEVER, AGRONOMISTS AND SCOUTS SAY THERE COULD BE MORE ACRES  ABANDONED DEPENDING ON HOW FIELDS COME OUT OF THE RECENT SNOWFALL.  <"SO THIS YEAR WAS A VERY CHALLENGING YEAR WE REACHED OUT THE 282  HERE AND I THINK THAT'S A FAIR NUMBER FOR US TO BE AT RIGHT NOW BUT  AGAIN DEPENDING ON WHAT THE SITUATION IS GOING TO BE IN WESTERN  KANSAS WITH AFTER ALL THAT SNOW IT CAN BE 2.35 OR 3.10 RIGHT LOOK AT THE  LONG TERM HAS AVERAGED AND WE ARE AT 300 310 I THINK WE'RE SAFE IN  ASSUMING WE'RE SLIGHTLY BELOW THAT SO I THINK THAT WAS A SAFE  ASSUMPTION NOW DEPENDING ON THE FATE OF THE CROP IN WESTERN KANSAS  IT CAN BE WE STILL HAVE PRETTY BIG RANGE WHERE WE CAN BE AT THIS YEAR."> WE'LL HAVE MORE ON THE TOUR AND WHEAT PRICES COMING UP IN ANALYSIS.

NAWG AND TRUMP ADMIN
WHILE THE CROP CONDITION IS A WORRY AT HOME,  U.S. WHEAT GROWERS ARE CONCERNED ABOUT THE TRADE PICTURE OVERSEAS.  ACCORDING TO POLITICO, CEO OF THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF WHEAT  GROWERS, CHANDLER GOULE, SAYS THE TRUMP ADMINSTRATION 'MUST HAVE A  SENSE OF URGENCY' ON THE TRADE FRONT OR OTHER BIG WHEAT PLAYERS LIKE  RUSSIA, UKRAINE AND ARGENTINA COULD FILL THE MARKETS U.S. PRODUCERS  NEED.  "IF YOU WANT CHEAP, DIRTY GRAIN, YOU CAN GO TO RUSSIA. IF YOU WANT GOOD QUALITY GRAIN, YOU GO  TO THE UNITED STATES AND SO AS LONG AS WE CAN MAINTAIN THAT STATUS WE WILL BE DOING GOOD BUT  AGAIN IT COMES BACK TO ENGAGEMENT IN THIS FARM BILL BY OUR PRODUCERS AND IT COMES BACK TO  THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION. IF THEY'RE NOT GOING TO LET US HAVE TPP, WHEN ARE THEY GOING TO  ANNOUNCE THE BI-LATERAL? I'M ASKING NOW. WHO IS IT GOING TO BE WITH? WE HAVE TO START WORKING  ON THOSE TODAY." SPEAKING OF MARKETS AND TRADE, AGRICULTURE GETTING THE ATTENTION OF  LAWMAKERS DURING THE  SENATE AGRICULTURE COMMITTEE'S FARM BILL FIELD HEARING IN MICHIGAN  OVER THE WEEKEND.  " BUT THE REALITY IS, WE WILL HAVE TO DO MORE WITH LESS." 

FARM BILL MEETING
SENATE AG CHAIRMAN PAT ROBERTS AND RANKING DEMOCRAT DEBBIE  STABENOW LISTENING  TESTIMONY FROM PRODUCERS AND LEADING AG  OFFICIALS.  SOME OF THE KEY POINTS AT THE  HEARING INCLUDE THE POSSIBILITY OF  INCREASING FUNDS FOR THE 2018 FARM BILL, HOW WELL CROP INSURANCE  SAFETYNETS ARE WORKING, INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND A RELIABLE AG  WORKFORCE  <"LABOR CONTINUES TO BE OUR NUMBER ONE ISSUE ON OUR FARM. I MUST SAY,  THERE IS NO INSURANCE FOR NO LABOR. THE SOLUTION FOR THIS PROBLEM  MUST COME SOONER VERSUS LATER. I'VE PERSONALLY WITNESSED CROPS  WASTING AWAY ON TREES BECAUSE THE PRODUCER WASN'T ABLE TO SECURE A  DOMESTIC WORKFORCE."> STABENOW SAID IN HER REMARKS: AG  IS THE STATE'S SECOND LARGEST INDUSTRY SUPPORTING ONE OUT OF FOUR JOBS. 

CROP COMMENTS
SOME POCKETS OF THE WESTERN CORN BELT GOT A CHANCE TO DRY OUT OVER  THE WEEKEND. MIKE HOFFMAN HAS AN UPDATE. GOOD MORNING, CLINTON. OUR FIRST PHOTO COMES FROM SOUTH EAST SOUTH DAKOTA.  THIS PRODUCER SAYS WHILE THE FIELDS ARE STILL A LITTLE WET, SEVERAL  START TO PLANT ON MONDAY.  THE WEATHER IS QUITE A CHANGE FROM OVER A WEEK AGO WHEN SNOW  BLANKETED THE AREA.  BUT SOME AREAS COULD STILL USE A DRY DOWN.  HERE'S A PHOTO TAKEN SUNDAY IN PERU, ILLINIOS.  AS YOU CAN SEE, SOME FLAT FIELDS ARE STILL COVERED IN WATER. 

TEASE
WE'LL CONTINUE OUR WHEAT TOUR CONVERSATION AFTER THE BREAK  INCLUDING HOW MARKETS MAY BE LOOKING AT THE RECENT NUMBERS. AND LATER, TAKE A TRIP TO THE THEATRE--THESE TENNESSEE FARMERS ARE  HOPING IT COULD BE GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH. <"I'M BETSY JIBBEN. MOTHER NATURE FINALLY GAVE FARMERS IN EASTERN IOWA A GOOD WINDOW TO  PLANT. WE'LL HAVE THAT STORY TOMORROW ON OUR I-80 PLANTING TOUR IN EASTERN IOWA ON AGDAY,">

FLOOR OF THE CME
GRAINS WERE IN THE RED EARLY MONDAY. LET'S SEE HOW THE MARKETS  CLOSED FROM THE FLOOR OF THE CME.  GENERALLY STRONGER DAY IN THE CATTLE AND THE HOGS - CATTLE  RESPONDING FINALLY TO THE FACT THAT THERE WERE PRETTY FANCY PRICES  PAID FOR CATTLE WITH 1.45 T O 1.48 WAS PAID IN SOME PARTS OF THE PLAINS  AND THAT'S A FULL 10 DOLLARS MORE THAN WE'VE PAID THE PREVIOUS WEEK.  THAT'S CREATED SOME SELLING INTEREST ON FRIDAY BECAUSE OF LONG  LIQUIDATION ON THE SPECULATIVE BUYERS BUT THE FUTURES ARE STARTING TO  REBOUND ON TODAY AND CLOSE ON A FIRM NOTE FOR A MONDAY.  HOG MARKET ALSO TRADING HIGHER FINDING GOOD SUPPORT. THE CASH MARKET HAS BEEN FIRM IF NOT EXACTLY RUNNING AWAY LIKE THE CATTLE MARKET BUT IT'S TRADING ON A FIRM NOTE. AND EVEN THOUGH THERE'S PLENTY OF HOGS OUT THERE. THERE'S PLENTY OF DEMAND TO TAKE UP THE SLACK. THAT'S KEPT PRICES FIRM. THANKS VERY  MUCH. THIS IS JACK SCOVILLE ON THE FLOOR OF THE CME WITH  SOME COMMENTS FROM THE MARKETS. 

AGRIBUSINESS
AS I MENTIONED THE KANSAS WHEAT TOUR WRAPPED UP LATE LAST WEEK BUT  THERE ARE STILL A LOT OF UNKNOWNS IN THE FINAL TALLY.TYNE MORGAN JOINS US FROM THE AGRIBUSINESS DESK WITH MORE. HERE NOW WITH JOE VACLAVIK OF STANDARD GRAIN 'S JOE. WE SAW THE KANSAS WHEAT TOUR TAKE PLACE  LAST WEEK. IT HAPPENED ON THE HEELS OF A MASSIVE SNOWSTORM SO REALLY WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT  THE WHEAT TOUR OVERALL. HOW ACCURATE IS IT GOING TO BE ONE WE HAVE THIS DAMAGE THAT YOU  REALLY COULDN'T ACCOUNT FOR. I THINK THAT WE TOUR WAS INCONCLUSIVE I THINK THE PEOPLE WHO  PARTICIPATED IN THE WHEAT TOUR WOULD PROBABLY BE THE FIRST ONES TO TELL YOU THAT THERE WAS JUST  SUCH A BIG PORTION OF THE WESTERN PART OF THE STATE WHICH IS THE MOST HEAVILY DAMAGED PART OF  THE STATE WHEN IT COMES TO SNOW AND FREEZING TEMPERATURE AND JUST REALLY ADVERSE CONDITIONS  THEY JUST DIDN'T GET THE SAMPLES THAT THEY NEEDED. SO I I THINK IT 'S GONNA BE A WHILE UNTIL THAT  THE REAL LEVEL OF DAMAGE IS ASSESSED AND TILL WE HAVE A BETTER FEEL FOR WHAT 'S POSSIBLE FROM A  PRODUCTION STANDPOINT. BUT WHEN THAT FINAL NUMBER CAME OUT OF KANSAS I MEAN WE SAW WHEAT  PRICES GOING TO THE DUMPS AND IT TOOK A MASSIVE FALL. WAS IT JUST BECAUSE OF THOSE FINDINGS IN  THAT SHOW THAT MAYBE THE WHEAT CROP WAS IN HIS BAD IS WHAT SUMMERS HAD EXPECTED OR  WHETHER OTHER FORCES THAT PLAYED INTO THAT HUGE DOWNTURN IN PRICE. I THINK THAT IS SOMETHING TO  DO WITH THAT I THINK IT ALSO HAS SOMETHING TO DO WITH THE GRANDER SCHEME. MONEY FLOW TYPE  FACTORS. FINES HAVE BEEN SHORT AS WE MARK IT FOR EVER. THEY BEEN ABLE TO ROLL INTO A CARRY FOR  MONTHS AND MONTHS AND MONTHS HAS BEEN LIKE AN ANNUITY. IT JUST PAYS FOR THEM EVERY YEAR SO  A QUICK WE TALKED ABOUT ON ON THE EARLIER SEGMENT IT 'S GONNA BE SOMETHING THAT I CAN BE  DIFFICULT TO SHAKE THAT THE SHORT SIDE OF THIS WHEAT MARKET I THINK I MEAN MUCH DAMAGE DO WE  NEED TO SEE IT TO REALLY IMPACT THIS MARKET WHEN WE'RE SITTING ON A TON OF OLD CROP WHEAT NOT  JUST FROM LAST YEAR A YEAR BEFORE TOO WELL THAT 'S THE PROBLEM. THE PROBLEM IS THAT IS THAT ONE  WE GOT WAY TOO MUCH. WHEAT IN THIS COUNTRY THAT TWO WE DON'T MAKE THE WORLD MARKET FOR  TWEEN ANYMORE I USED TO DO THERE ARE OTHER BIGGER PLAYERS THAT ARE DOING MORE EXPORT  BUSINESS THAN US AND IT 'S JUST THE DEMAND BASE JUST ISN'T THERE EVEN IF YOUR COMPETITIVE EDGE  IT SEEMS LIKE THE BLACK SEA REGION CONTINUES TO JUST OUTDO US IN TERMS OF OF EXPORTS AND  THINGS OF THAT NATURE SAID IT IS DIFFICULT FOR US TO FIND ANY FOOTING HERE ALRIGHT THANKS SO MUCH JOE STAY WITH US WILL HAVE A MUCH MORE AND A WHEN WE COME BACK 

WEATHER
WELCOME BACK TO AGDAY WITH MIKE HOFFMAN. MIKE, AS WE WERE TALKING BEFORE WE STARTED  HERE, IT'S KIND OF A WEIRD LOOKING MAP FOR THIS TIME OF YEAR. IF YOU PAY CLOSE ATTENTION  SOMETHING ON THIS MAP IS MOVING WEST AND NORTHWEST. THAT'S HOW STRANGE IT IS WITH THE TROUGH  LOWS WE'RE SEEING.  AT THE JET STREAM LEVEL. WE'LL TAKE A LOOK AT THAT JET STREAM COMING UP. NOW WE'LL PUT THE MAPS  INTO MOTION. YOU'LL NOTICE THIS IS THE ONE  LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM THAT 'S MOVING QUICKLY. IT 'S  DIVING DOWN THE BACKSIDE OF A CUTOFF LOW SO IT 'S GONNA BLOW OVER QUICKLY THROUGH ILLINOIS AND INDIANA AS WE HEAD THROUGH TODAY SO THE  RAIN WILL BE SPREADING INTO THE CENTRAL APPELLATIONS BY LATER IN THE DAY TODAY. JUST KIND OF A US  TRIP OF A HALF TO ONE INCH RAINFALL AMOUNTS WITH AREAS NORTH EAST IN SOUTH WEST OF IT NOT GETTING  MUCH IN ALL. THIS SYSTEM REALLY CAN LINGER IN THE DESERT SOUTHWEST SOME OF THE ENERGY STARTS TO COME INTO  THE WESTERN PLAINS AS WE HEAD INTO  TOMORROW NIGHT AND ON INTO WEDNESDAY BUT ALL IN ALL, WE'RE NOT TALKING A TON OF RAIN WITH IT  QUITE YET WITH A SLOW MOVER LIKE SO WE'LL HAVE  TO WATCH THAT AS IT  COMES EASTWARD HOW MUCH OF  THAT GULF MOISTURE WILL PICK UP? HEADING  TOWARD TOMORROW MORNING, THEN YOU CAN SEE SOME SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS COMING OUT  AHEAD OF IT THAT'S IN NORTHWESTERN TEXAS AND INTO PARTS OF THE MISSOURI VALLEY.  AND AS WE HEAD THROUGH TODAY TOMORROW THIS SYSTEM IS WAY OFFSHORE INTO THE ATLANTIC. THE  SYSTEM SITTING  OVER THE ATLANTIC IS ACTUALLY MOVING NORTHWESTWARD INTO MAINE WITH  SOME  SHOWERS AND A SYSTEM VERY SLOWLY MOVING INTO THE NORTH WESTERN GREAT LAKES WITH A FEW SHOWERS AS  WELL. SO WE DO START TO MOISTEN THE SYSTEM UP HERE   BUT IT DOES LOOK LIKE WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE JET STREAM THAT IT WILL EVENTUALLY KIND OF UNFOLD  EASTWARD INTO THE EASTERN CUTOFF. AGAIN A STRANGE SITUATION OR A VERY STRANGE SITUATION LIKE A  CLINTON POINTED OUT. THERE'S THE JET STREAM OVER THE LAST 24 HOURS AND THE STRIP OF  AFTER ONE INCH RAINFALL AMOUNTS HEADING TOWARD THE SOUTHEAST OVER THE NEXT THIRTY SIX HOURS  THEN THAT MOVES INTO THE CENTRAL APPALACHIANS JUST IN A SMALL AREA. THIS SYSTEM DOES START TO  MOISTEN UP AS WE HEAD THROUGH  TOMORROW OR LESS OVER THE NEXT THIRTY SIX HOURS. WE ARE LOOKING AT ONE TO TWO INCH AMOUNTS IN  SOME AREAS WITH THAT. IT AT ALL DEPENDS ON WHERE THE HEAVIER THUNDERSTORMS HIT. STILL SHOWING  THE SNOWFALL MAP IS NOT A WHOLE LOT GOING ON BUT YOU WILL NOTICE OVER THE NEXT THIRTY SIX HOURS  WILL ADD A LITTLE BIT TO THE HIGHEST ELEVATIONS. COLORADO AND NORTHERN NEW MEXICO. TAKE A LOT OF HIGHS TODAY INTO THE EIGHTIES ALL THE WAY UP  INTO A SOUTHERN IOWA, CENTRAL ILLINOIS. BUT IT 'S ONLY IN THE FORTIES AROUND THE GREAT LAKES THAT'S  BEEN THE CASE MOST OF THE WEEKEND AND EARLY PART OF THIS WEEK ALREADY LOWS TONIGHT IN THE  SIXTIES FOR MUCH OF THE SOUTHERN PORTIONS OF THE THE CORN BELT. BUT SHE CAN SEE OFF THE NORTHEAST STILL THIRTIES AND FORTIES ACROSS THE GREAT LAKES. HIGHS TOMORROW MORE THE SAME. ALTHOUGH DOES TRY TO WARM UP A LITTLE BIT INTO THE  NORTHERN PLAINS AS WELL. SOME SIXTY SHOWING BACK UP. JET STREAM AS WE START THE WEEK THERE  'S A CUT OFF OVER THE NORTHEAST START TO SEE A LOW CUT OFF OVER THE NORTHWESTERN PORTIONS OF MEXICO SOUTHWESTERN U.S. YOU CAN  SEE HOW  THAT HE EVENTUALLY KIND OF FOLDS EASTWARD AND COMES INTO THE EASTERN TROUGH AS WE  HEAD INTO THIS WEEKEND BUT WE'RE STILL TALKING A RIDGE IN THE PART OF THE COUNTRY WHEN IT'S WARM  AND WE'RE STILL TALKING CUTOFFS WEST AND EAST. THAT'S' A LOOK ACROSS THE COUNTRY. NOW LET'S TAKE A LOOK AT SOME LOCAL FORECASTS.  FIRST OF ALL FOR  SPOKANE, WASHINGTON, PARTLY SUNNY AND QUITE COMFORTABLE TODAY HIGH OF  SEVENTY TWO DEGREES. LUFKIN, TEXAS GOOD DEAL OF SUNSHINE AND WARM HIGH OF EIGHTY FIVE AND  KALAMAZOO, MICHIGAN AND COOL WITH CLOUDS AND SOME SUNSHINE HIGHER ON FIFTY SEVEN DEGREES.

TEASE
WHEN WE COME BACK, WE'LL LOOK AT THE DAIRY MARKET INCLUDING  MOVEMENT IN WASHINGTON POLICY THAT COULD IMPACT FARMERS. PLUS. <"I'M CHARLES DENNEY. SOME TENNESSEE PRODUCERS ACTING OUT. YOU'LL  HAVE A FRONT ROW SEAT TO FARM THEATER. AND  HEAR THEIR MESSAGE FROM  THEIR PERFORMANCE.THAT STORY COMING UP ON AGDAY.">

DAIRY REPORT
A BILL INTRODUCED LAST WEEK IN THE U.S. SENATE WOULD GIVE  FARMWORKERS A PATH TO LEGAL STATUS AND CITIZENSHIP.  THE LEGISLATION ALLOWS UNDOCUMENTED FARMWORKERS WHO HAVE WORKED  IN AGRICULTURE FOR AT LEAST 100 DAYS IN EACH OF THE PREVIOUS TWO YEARS  TO EARN A "BLUE CARD," WHICH WOULD ALLOW THEM TO WORK LEGALLY.  THEY WOULD EVENTUALLY BE ELIGIBLE FOR A GREEN CARD OR LEGAL PERMANENT RESIDENCY, WHICH OPENS THE DOOR TO EARNING CITIZENSHIP. LAST WEEK WE TOLD YOU ABOUT AG SECRETARY--SONNY PERDUE'S DECISION TO  ADJUST SCHOOL MEAL STANDARDS...INCLUDING BRINGING BACK FLAVORED 1  PERCENT MILK. NOW, SEVEN OF THE LARGEST SCHOOL DISTRICTS IN THE U-S ARE BANDING  TOGETHER ANNOUNCING THEY WILL NOT RELAX SCHOOL MEAL STANDARDS. THE DISTRICTS ORGANIZING AS THE URBAN SCHOOL FOOD ALLIANCE...WITH A  COMBINED ENROLLMENT OF 3.1 MILLION STUDENTS AND SPEND NEARLY 600  MILLION DOLLARS A YEAR ON FOOD AND FOOD SUPPLIES.  THEY INCLUDE, NEW YORK CITY, LOS ANGELES, CHICAGO, DALLAS, MIAMI-DADE  COUNTY FLORIDA, ORANGE COUNTY FLORIDA, AND BROWARD COUNTY IN FORT  LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA. THE GROUP PLANS TO CONTINUE REDUCING SODIUM LEVELS, INCREASE WHOLE- GRAIN FOODS TO 100 PERCENT AND SERVE ONLY NONFAT FLAVORED MILK  RATHER THAN ONE PERCENT MILK. ALSO IN WASHINGTON, THERE CONTINUES TO BE A PUSH TO LIMIT THE TERM MILK  TO BEVERAGES THAT COME FROM ANIMALS AND NOT PLANTS.  DEMOCRATIC U.S. SEN. TAMMY BALDWIN OF WISCONSIN INTRODUCED THE DAIRY  FRIENDLY LEGISLATION. ALTHOUGH NOT EVERYONE IN AGRICULTURE IS ON BOARD.  AMERICAN SOYBEAN ASSOCIATION SPOKESMAN PATRICK DELANEY SAYS PEOPLE  WHO DECIDE TO PURCHASE AN ALTERNATIVE TO DAIRY MILK KNOW THE  DIFFERENCE. HE SAID SOYBEAN FARMERS HAVE ALSO BEEN GETTING INTO THE MILK MARKET  BECAUSE OF DEMAND.

TEASE
WHEN WE COME BACK, WE'LL TURN THE LIGHTS ON A THEATRICAL  PERFORMANCE FROM A GROUP OF FARMERS. WHY DID THEY TAKE THE STAGE?  DETAILS STRAIGHT AHEAD.

IN THE COUNTRY
IT'S NOT A COMBINATION YOU HEAR OFTEN – FARMING AND THEATRE. BUT SOME TENNESSEE PRODUCERS ARE CLIMBING ON STAGE AS ACTORS TO  TELL OTHERS ABOUT THEIR PROFESSION, BOTH THE GOOD AND THE BAD. UT EXTENSION TEAMED WITH THE UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY TO HOST A FARM  THEATRE TOUR IN SEVERAL TOWNS. CHARLES DENNEY RAISES THE CURTAIN ON ONE PERFORMANCE. "OH I'D BETTER GIVE JANE A CALL. SHE HAS ME ON A SCHEDULE. I TOLD HER I'D BE WORKING ON THE  KNOB THIS MORNING." RHEA COUNTY FARMER HAROLD FISHER IS PLAYING A VERSION OF HIMSELF. HE'S ONE OF THE ACTORS IN THIS FARM THEATRE PROGRAM. OTHER PRODUCERS JOINED HIM ON STAGE, AND IN THE AUDIENCE, FOR THREE SKITS. THERE WERE PLENTY OF FUNNY LINES, BUT ALSO MORE SERIOUS TALK ABOUT ISSUES FARMERS FACE – STRESS, OCCUPATIONAL HAZARDS, AND HEALTH AND AGING. "SOME OF SCRIPT, THE SCARY PART IS IT FITS ME TO A T. I HAVE TROUBLE HEARING, AND A LOT OF OTHER  FOLKS HAVE TROUBLE HEARING. IT'S EXCITING. IT'S INTERESTING TO DO." NO NEED TO MEMORIZE LINES. THE ACTORS READ FROM A SCRIPT. BUT THE IMPORTANCE HERE IS NOT ON PERFORMANCE, BUT MESSAGE. UT EXTENSION HELPED COORDINATE THIS NEAR SELL-OUT EVENT IN EVENSVILLE. "SKITS THAT WE'RE GOING TO BE DOING ARE BASED ON ACTUAL ACCOUNTS THAT PRODUCERS HAD IN FARM  SAFETY ACCIDENTS. AND SO HOPEFULLY THEY'LL LEARN SOMETHING TONIGHT AND APPLY THAT ON THEIR  OWN FARM." "THE FARM THEATRE WAS STARTED BY THE UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY'S COLLEGE OF NURSING. USING  GRANT MONEY, ADMINISTRATORS DID RESEARCH WITH FARMERS IN KENTUCKY AND TENNESSEE, AND THEN  WROTE THE SCRIPTS BASED ON STORIES AND INTERVIEWS WITH PRODUCERS." "WHAT WOULD MAKE YOU THINK ABOUT THINGS ON THE FARM? THEY SAID WELL, IF WE LISTEN TO EACH  OTHER. BECAUSE THEY LEARN FROM EACH OTHER'S STORIES ABOUT WHAT ALMOST HAPPENED TO JOE  DOWN THE ROAD TO WHAT DID HAPPEN TO HARRY YOU KNOW UP THE ROAD. SO WE THOUGHT OKAY,  STORIES ARE GOOD." A GERONTOLOGIST BY TRADE AND A CHILDHOOD IN AGRICULTURE, UK'S DR. DEBORAH REED DESIGNED  THE FARM THEATRE. SHE LEADS A DISCUSSION AFTER EACH SKIT, WITH ADVICE ABOUT SAFETY AND MENTAL AND PHYSICAL  HEALTH. "AS YOU BEGIN TO AGE, FARMERS ARE JUST PEOPLE LIKE EVERYBODY ELSE. SO THEY HAVE ISSUES WITH  ARTHRITIS, THEY HAVE ISSUES WITH HEARING LOSS, THEY HAVE ISSUES WITH CATARACTS, FATIGUE, TRYING  TO MULTITASK." IN THEATRE, WHEN YOU WISH SOMEONE GOOD LUCK ON STAGE, YOU SAY 'BREAK A LEG.' YOU DON'T WANT THAT IN FARMING, LITERALLY SPEAKING. BUT WHEN AN ACTOR SPEAKS – ESPECIALLY ONE WHO'S REALLY LIVED THE PLOT – IT'S A PERFORMANCE  ANY AUDIENCE CAN APPRECIATE. THIS IS CHARLES DENNEY REPORTING. THANKS CHARLES.

CLOSE
THAT'S ALL THE TIME WE HAVE THIS MORNING. WE'RE GLAD YOU TUNED IN.  FOR ALL OF US HERE AT AGDAY, I'M CLINTON GRIFFITHS. HAVE A GREAT DAY.

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