TODAY ON AGDAY:
April 6, 2011
Good morning. We've talked about it for months today its official. Corn traded for a short time at a new record high, surpassing previous records set in 2008. News of potential purchases from china kept the market trending upwards. And with the entire growing season still ahead, prices may not be done. July corn futures at the Chicago MERC ended the day at 7-72...but traded over 8 dollars during the session. The all time record was set back in 2008 at 7-79. Last week's USDA grain stocks report has the industry nervous about tight supplies. Tuesday the U.S. grains council says Chinese corn stocks appear to be lower than expected. They anticipate the country will need to import up to 3 million metric tons. Pro farmer's Chip Flory says with stocks running low, this rally may not be over. We'll have more from chip and the team at ProFarmer after the April supply demand report comes out. It's due out this Friday. You can also see complete coverage on agweb.com
While producers work toward growing a record crop, researchers with Rabobank say there has to be more acres planted. It's calling for record production just to keep up with global demand. The Rabobank research and advisory group, says to get supplies to sufficient levels, the U.S. needs 237 million acres planted this year. And that's just the four major U.S. crops; corn, cotton, soybeans and wheat. If production hits the target, it would be 7 million acres more than last year and more three million above the record...set back in 2008. The authors say what's different about this year is that prices for all of the major commodities have risen together...making the battle for acres...just that.
Thanks Cindi. Now to a story that's building a buzz in the dairy and cattle industries.
Stray voltage is being blamed from Idaho to Wisconsin for herd health problems.
Old wires, and overloaded circuits have some producers pointing at the power company and looking for compensation. Confirming the cause is leaking electricity often involves complex if not controversial science. Affiliate reporter Steve Grant from KY3 has the story of one Missouri producer and his quest for answers.
In agribusiness according the energy information administration, ethanol production continues to trend higher. At the current pace, the u.s. will produce 14 point one billion gallons. But demand for the biofuel is actually down. The first ethanol production report of 2011 shows plants are churning out more than a billion gallons per month. That's helped push up stocks. While at the same time total demand for the fuel is dramatically lower. From December 2010 to January of 2011, demand fell 9 percent.
Yesterday we compared the run in 2008 with today's current market situation. Al Pell is joined now by analyst Greg Wagner who says he's looking back even further for a template to follow.
ITC: CATTLE FITTING
The world's largest junior livestock show and competition just wrapped up in Oklahoma.
The Oklahoma youth expo attracts thousands of kids and their families to the state fair gounds every year. While the judges usually spend their time evaluating the animals -- in a few cases it's the showmen and women who are on display. Oklahoma State's Dave Deken takes us to a competition outside of the ring that often makes the difference between grand and reserve inside. Thanks Dave..lots of good memories there.
Dave reports the team ended up third in this year's competition. Congratulations to them and everyone involved. Alright up next in food and your family the fda is considering a new food testing policy. Details right after the break.
FOOD TESTING PROPOSAL
In food and your family new changes in food safety inspections are on the horizon. That's if USDA gets permission to implement a new test and hold rule. The idea is to require companies to delay sending beef, pork and poultry to grocery stores while inspectors complete safety tests. USDA says the move would prevent recalls, consumer illnesses and even deaths from contaminated meat. It believes that 44 of the most serious recalls between 2007 and 2009 could have been prevented this way. The new regulation is gaining strong support from industry giants like Cargil and Tyson. The tests usually take between 24 to 48 hours.
CHICKEN WASTE PLASTICS
While those poultry producers wait they may want to gather up the left overs. Scientists say they've taken a key step toward using billions of pounds of chicken feathers to make plastic. Apparently this is science that's been tried before. Researchers say the problem is these thermo-plastics don't perform well when wet. Traditional thermo-plastic is found in everything from nylon, poly-ethylene, soda bottle, car bumpers and dozens of others products...and usually made from oil or natural gas. Researchers say they may have figured out how to improve chicken feather bio-plastics. They recently created plastic film that's stronger than the same thing made from soy protein or starch.