AgDay Daily Recap - April 3, 2012

April 10, 2012 07:38 AM

APRIL 3, 2012

Good morning I’m Clinton Griffiths. The National Agricultural Statistics service is beginning its weekly crop progress reports. And planting of summer crops is already underway. Corn planters are rolling in some key Corn Belt states. Even though it's the first week of April, about 3% of the nation's crop is already in the ground. NASS says planters are rolling in the northern states Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Nebraska and Ohio. The five year average shows typically none of those states have started. Five percent of the crop is planted in Illinois. It's 2% in Michigan. Down south Texas is slightly behind its five year average. While Tennessee, North Carolina and Missouri are ahead of normal.

In Louisiana, farmers hit fields back in February. A large part of the corn crop is already in the ground. LSU Ag Center's Tobie Blanchard says warm weather helped planting get a quick start.
Thanks Tobie. Kruse says early planting will like push harvest up a couple of weeks. He expects combines to hit fields in late July.

Also from the crop progress report, NASS says barley in five key states is 8% complete. That's four points ahead of average. Oats are also four points ahead at 48%planted. And spring wheat is moving right along. It's 8% planted six points ahead of the five year average. Nationwide winter wheat conditions continue to improve. 58% of the crop is good or excellent. 30% fair.
Last year only 37% was good or excellent. Texas growers are facing the biggest hurdles. About a third of that state's winter wheat is rated poor or very poor.

The ethanol industry is applauding the latest decision from EPA regarding E15 ethanol. On Monday the agency approved E15 as a registered fuel. In February the ethanol blend passed the EPA’s health effects testing. The renewable fuels association says E15 could start showing up at stations across the Midwest as early as this summer.

Thanks Mike. The fallout from lean finely textured beef, continues this week. AFA foods, which separates beef from lean trimmings is filing for bankruptcy. The company is based in Pennsylvania. It says coverage about lean finely textured beef and pink slime has cut demand for its products. In court paperwork AFA leaders say questions regarding the products wholesomeness has dramatically reduced demand for all ground products. AFA's competitor, Beef Products Inc, or BPI said last week it was temporarily suspending production at facilities across the country.

In our Dairy Today Report, last week's grain numbers from the USDA helped milk prices finish the month strong. Since Friday April contracts on class three milk were up nearly 60 cents. On Monday class three milk finished the day near $15.85 for April. And it's above 16 dollars through August. Market watchers say Friday’s rally pushed prices through a resistance point. USDA’s grain stocks and acreage reports were seen as bullish for hopes that increases in planted acres will drive down corn and feed prices.

When you think of dairy imports coming to the U.S., Uruguay may not your first thought. According to that country's foreign minister, he think dairy shipments to Americans will double by the year 2020. He says producers there are quickly investing to improve production.

And if you've worked around cattle much, you know they've all got their own personality.
A new study is trying to shed more light on dairy cows and their temperament. Researchers in the Netherlands say cows react differently to their surroundings. They hope by better understanding bovine temperament, herds can be selectively bred to improve production and general health.

In Agribusiness, new reports from USDA show China made large purchase of U.S. corn. The country bought 120,000 tonnes to be shipped by the end of August. That brings its total for the season to nearly 4 million tonnes. That's right in line with the USDA’s forecast for the year which makes it the highest import total in nearly two decades.

Mike Florez

Long gone are the days of red barns and three-legged milking stools. Today dairy farming families across the country produce milk using state of the art technology. Ed Wolff with the Texas Farm Bureau shows us a university offering the public and its students a glimpse at the industry of today. Thanks Ed. Up next we leave dairy behind and take a look at the latest information on vegetable production from the USDA. Food and Your Family is next.

In Food and Your Family this morning, we've got a look at the latest market info on the nation's vegetable market. The USDA expects farmers to plant one million more acres this year. A big part of the boost comes from dry beans, sweet potatoes and mushrooms. USDA says the supply outlook for all vegetables is strong which may forces prices lower this year. California tomato growers intend to harvest 3% more in 2012, while potato growers are expanding production by 6%. The big winner may be mushrooms. The mushroom market is now worth one and quarter billion. That's a record and trends indicate that market will continue to expand.

Vegetable growers may want to add chili peppers to the list. According to a new study a compound found in hot peppers is good for heart health. The study was presented at the American Chemical Society. It revealed that capsaicin, the chemical known for giving peppers their heat may help protect against heart disease. The research done on hamsters shows capsaicin helps lower cholesterol by breaking it down in arteries, and it increases blood flow to the heart and other organs.

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