AgDay Daily Recap - April 17, 2012

April 17, 2012 04:39 AM

APRIL 17, 2012

Good morning I’m Clinton Griffiths. While American agriculture continues its adoption of technology, sometimes technology just doesn't cooperate. Each week - starting in April - USDA releases its weekly crop progress report. That report shows the status of the major crops - from planting through harvest. We usually get the information on Monday afternoon at 4:00 EST. But that won't happen this week. The Ag Department sent-out an advisory stating the delay is a result of power and server outages in the USDA Headquarters in Washington. The outage affected NASS offices across the country. USDA says other reports were held-up as well, including turkey hatchery and potato stocks reports. The Ag Department says it expects to release the reports later today.

Last week, USDA said corn planting was sitting at 7%. We're expecting to see a big jump when the report does come out. In Illinois last week, corn was 17% planted, which is weeks ahead of the normal pace. But that early advancement also put that crop at risk.

Todd Gleason from the University of Illinois Extension sent us this photo growing the result of Wednesday night's hard freeze. Farm Journal Agronomist Ken Ferrie tells us he thinks thousands of central Illinois corn acres were damaged when temps dipped into the 20's. A professor at the U of I Crop Sciences Division says a re-plant is quite likely. Nafziger says weekend rains and warmer temperatures will help the surviving crop. He says agronomists and farmers will have a better handle this week on whether the frozen crops will be okay or if they'll need to be re-planted.

Nafziger says weekend rains and warmer temperatures will help the surviving crop. He says agronomists and farmers will have a better handle this week on whether the frozen crops will be okay or if they'll need to be re-planted. In many areas, growing season is early for alfalfa. The upper Midwest got an extremely fast start. But there's still concern for frost damage. If temperatures hold and the crop continues, Michigan State Extension says first cuttings in their area could be week or more early. That may force some farmers to split time between planting commodity crops and swathing hay fields.

April 30th is a big day for the nation's dairy producers. It's the day dairy processors must notify the USDA which farms have somatic cell counts above 400,000. If a farm's three-month SCC average is above that amount a farm's milk can't be used for export products. One of the major contributors to high somatic cell counts is mastitis. Chuck Denney of UT's Institute of Ag tells us about new research the university is doing to combat this problem.

Tom Grisafi

Maybe it's a myth or maybe its reality but there's a stigma that eating healthy costs more. Which is why many cash strapped families say they make less wholesome choices. The Univeristy of Missouri recognizes the problem is trying to help by teaming up with several local food pantries.
Kent Faddis with Missouri Extension has more on the project to improve nutrition.

In Food and Your Family, if you opt for a glass of red wine to help you unwind and relax, it may be helping prevent weight gain at the same time. A new study from Purdue University has found a compound in red wine, grapes, blueberries and other fruit, that helps reduce fat cell build up. The compound is called piceatannol and researchers say it opens the door for a new way to control obesity. The compound is similar in structure to another compound found in red wine and grapes, which is thought to help fight cancer and heart disease. The newly found compound will continue to be researched for its health benefits at Purdue University.

From healthier adults to healthier kids. We've all heard the stagger statistics about childhood obesity. Now U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has set a goal to turn the tide. Its plan, cut childhood obesity to under 15% of school aged kids by the year 2020. Its currently at about 17%. To get there, a new study says kids need to eat less. 64 calories per day less to be exact. The research says without cutting those 64 calories the average weights of children and teens will go up four pounds by 2020...the obesity rate would be 20%.

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