AgDay Daily Recap - April 9, 2012

April 10, 2012 09:53 AM

APRIL 9, 2012

Good morning I’m Clinton Griffiths. Farmers across the country plan to hit fields hard as we begin the second week of April. USDA's crop progress report comes out later today. As of last week 3%t of the country's corn crop had been planted....the earliest start since 1999. Soybean planting hadn't officially started. But, if weather holds agronomists expect planters to run wide open. While planting is underway and ahead of normal in many states, many farmers in Iowa and Nebraska are holding off until the crop insurance date goes into effect, which is this week. If weather cooperates, farmers will be running full throttle this week, getting seed in the ground.
One Nebraska farmer says warm temperatures have enticed growers to start early. But for him, it was simply too early.

Those warmer temperatures are giving llanos farmers a wide window to get in and apply herbicides. Many will clean up fields using a cut rate application. In this report from university of Illinois, Todd Gleason says farmers should proceed, but with caution.

The University of Illinois' Aaron Hager says using multiple modes of action to control weeds is becoming more popular, but that doesn't mean it's always the most effective. He says it’s important to target applications to specific weeds...which may require one mode or many to get the job done. He says broadleaf weeds, like giant ragweed, can be difficult to control with a just one herbicide. Hager says, to reduce the chance of weed resistance, make sure each part of the mix has a similar efficacy against the weed species being targeted.

According to the U.S. climate prediction center, la Nina has been fading since February and is expected to disappear by this summer. Now the CPC predicts once la Nina passes, there's a chance el Nino could return. El Nino typically brings more rainfall and could potentially disrupt fall harvest.

A recent study claimed a link between an insecticide used as a seed treatment to the disappearing of bees. Researchers at Bayer Cropscience says that study is flawed and factually incorrect. The company says the authors of the original studies assumed the majority of U.S. corn acres are treated with insecticide. However, in the past eight years the total corn acres treated accounts for less than a half a percent.

Land is a hot commodity for more than just farmers. The USDA says it's using offshore drilling fees to purchase nearly 20,000 acres of forest land from North Carolina to Oregon. It says the land will be used to preserve wildlife habitats and safeguard clean water. Ag Secretary Vilsack says quote, "In keeping with the Obama administrations' America’s Great Outdoors Conservation Initiative, the USDA is committed to conserving and restoring our forests and bringing jobs to rural America." Vilsack says the purchase will also help promote outdoor recreational spending that contributes 14.5 billion dollars each year to the U.S. economy.

Jim Heminger

If you're a regular viewer of this program, chances are you are very familiar with Bob Utterback. In addition to owning a grain marketing firm, he's also farm journal's economist. And you may have noticed he's lost weight - a lot of it. National reporter Tyne Morgan has more on Bob's big transformation. Clinton, even though I'm relatively new to AgDay, I've seen Bob for years on this program and at farm shows. I met him recently at a meeting in Chicago. And I was amazed by his weight loss. He underwent a bariatric surgery about 15 months ago. And it's been quite successful. We talked to Bob a few months ago during this journey towards a new lifestyle. As a market analyst and trader, Bob Utterback spends a lot of time at his desk...on the the computer...exercising the mind, but not exercising the body. Bob lived that sedentary lifestyle for decades and it took its toll. There was also a family history of heart disease that weighed on Bob's mind. But that all changed when he - and his wife Karen decided - bob would undergo gastric bypass surgery. After doing their home-work and undergoing counseling, Bob was ready for the surgery. Bob has a reputation as a bear in the market. But this decision was more like a bull, charging forward. Still there was trepidation. Recovery takes time and patience. It was not only about recovering from major surgery, but changing a lifestyle in the household. Bob felt it was important to share this very private story...and very private a very public way - - to inspire others to take action. And for Bob and Karen both, simple things - like going to the store - put smiles on their faces. Bob wishes he had taken this step in his 40's. He knows it was the right decision for him. And Bob is very disciplined when it comes to his diet. We were both at one of the winter farm meetings where there was a huge spread of food. I was going for cinnamon rolls and Bob stayed clear. He's very focused and determined. Exercise is a big part of the plan. He swims 3-to-4 times a week. It's been an amazing journey and it's not over yet, Clinton. Thanks Tyne. We talked to Karen the other day. She says Bob has lost 170 pounds to date. He wants to lose another 60-to-80 pounds. His waist went from 64 inches to 48. And one of the nicest things - his pain level has dropped considerably. Bob had severe knee pain. He will eventually have knee replacement surgery.

In Food and Your Family, if you tell people you're addicted to food, you could now have substance to beef up your argument. Although many experts don't believe food is addictive, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse Nora Volkow is making the case that they are wrong. Since food doesn't lead people to behave like addicts, many people dismiss the idea of it being addictive. But she says food is actually more addictive than drugs like crack cocaine. Volkow says of the people use who use drugs, less than 20% of users are addicted. She says, however, 34% of adults over 20 are obese and have a difficult time controlling food.

Baseball season is officially underway, and that means the start of hot dog season. During America's favorite past-time, Americans will consume more than 20 million hot dogs this season alone. The Texas Rangers' Ballpark is projected to serve the most hot dogs this year -- topping out at 1.6 million. Milwaukee's miller park is projected to be the winner in sausages, serving 900 thousand.

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