AgDay Daily Recap - August 2, 2011

August 2, 2011 04:53 AM
 

TODAY ON AGDAY:
AUGUST 2, 2011

DROUGHT LEVELS:
GOOD MORNING. THE HOPES OF MANY TEXAS RANCHERS AND FARMERS WERE QUICKLY DASHED THIS WEEKEND WHEN TROPICAL STORM DON FAILED TO PRODUCE MUCH WIDE-SPREAD RAIN. TEXAS IS IN THE MIDST OF A DROUGHT - THE LIKES OF WHICH VERY FEW PRODUCERS HAVE EVER SEEN. WHILE THE LONE-STAR STATE IS AT THE CENTER OF THE BULLSEYE, OTHER SOUTHERN STATES ARE IN SIMILAR SHAPE. THE NATIONAL DROUGHT MITIGATION CENTER REPORTS 12% OF THE CONTIGUOUS U.S. LAND AREA EXPERIENCED "EXCEPTIONAL DROUGHT" IN JULY. THE CENTER SAYS THAT'S THE HIGHEST LEVELS IN THE 12-YEAR HISTORY OF THE U.S. DROUGHT MONITOR. THE DROUGHT MONITOR COMBINES NUMERIC MEASURES OF DRYNESS AND FIELD REPORTS FROM CLIMATOLOGISTS, EXTENSION AGENTS AND OTHERS ACROSS THE COUNTRY. THE LAST REPORT SHOWED 59% OF THE COUNTRY WAS DROUGHT-FREE. TWO WEEKS AGO, IT WAS 64%. STATE BY STATE, THESE ARE THE "LEADERS" IN THE DUBIOUS CATEGORY OF STATES IN AN 'EXCEPTIONAL DROUGHT'. IN TEXAS, 75%... GEORGIA 68%...OKLAHOMA 52%...NEW MEXICO 48% EXCEPTIONAL...THESE ARE THE EXTREME, BUT ALL STATES ACROSS THE SOUTH AND SOUTHEAST ARE EXPERIENCING AT LEAST "ABNORMALLY DRY CONDITIONS".

RICE HARVEST:
THAT DROUGHT IS GRIPPING MUCH OF PRIME SOUTHERN U.S. RICE-GROWING AREA. ON TOP OF THAT, ACREAGE IS DOWN THIS YEAR. ACCORDING TO OUR CORPORATE COUSINS AT AGWEB THE PROSPECTS OF A REDUCED HARVEST HAVE HELPED SUPPORT PRICES. HALF OF THE NATION'S RICE CROP IS PRODUCED IN ARKANSAS. A UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS ECONOMIST SAYS IT'LL BE A SHORT CROP THIS YEAR BECAUSE OF FLOODING EARLIER THIS SPRING. ABOUT 300,000 ACRES OF ARKANSAS RICE FIELDS WERE HIT BY FLOODING. READ MORE ABOUT THE U.S. RICE CROP AT www.agweb.com.

CROP PROGRESS:
IN MONDAY'S CROP PROGRESS REPORT, USDA SAID ABOUT HALF OF THE RICE CROP IS HEADED. THAT'S JUST OFF THE AVERAGE PACE. OVERALL, 64% IS CALLED GOOD TO EXCELLENT. IN CALIFORNIA, 85% RATES THAT HIGH...MOST OF THAT IS EXCELLENT. STAYING IN THE SOUTH, THE COTTON CROP SHOWED A SLIGHT IMPROVEMENT FROM LAST WEEK.  30% IS GOOD TO EXCELLENT, UP A POINT. VIRGINIA, TENNESSEE AND ARIZONA ARE ALL REPORTING VERY FAVORABLE CONDITIONS.  62% IS SETTING BOLLS, WHICH IS RIGHT ON PACE. NOW TO CORN - WE'RE GETTING OUR FIRST NATIONAL REPORT OF THE CROP REACHING "DENTED" STAGE. IT'S 4%. 18% OF THE CROP IS IN THE "DOUGH' STAGE.  CONDITION-WISE, IT REMAINS EVEN FROM LAST WEEK. 62% IS GOOD TO EXCELLENT. ACROSS THE WESTERN CORNBELT AND UPPER MIDWEST, THERE ARE OVERALL VERY FAVORABLE RATINGS IN THE UPPER 70'S AND LOW 80'S. SOYBEANS ARE RUNNING A BIT BEHIND ACCORDING TO THE AG DEPARTMENT REPORT. 34% HAS SET PODS. ELEVEN POINTS OFF AVERAGE.  60% IS CALLED GOOD TO EXCELLENT. THAT'S DOWN TWO POINTS.

SOYBEAN COLLEGE:
NEARLY 200 FARMERS SHOWED-UP AT COLDWATER, MICHIGAN FOR FARM JOURNAL'S FIRST-EVER SOYBEAN COLLEGE. LIKE ITS PREDECESSOR, CORN COLLEGE, THIS EDUCATION GIVES PRODUCERS PRACTICAL "HANDS-ON" AND "IN THE FIELD" EXPERIENCE. FARMERS FROM 15 STATES AND TWO COUNTRIES WERE REPRESENTED AT THE CLASS. WE TALKED WITH ONE GROWER WHO FARMS NEAR CANCUN, MEXICO. DEMATTEIS SAYS HE STARTED READING FARM JOURNAL THREE YEARS AGO. HE SAYS IT HELPS HIM KEEP UP TO DATE ON U.S. AGRICULTURE.

DTR; FEED COSTS:
THE COSTS TO FEED THE NATION'S DAIRY HERDS HAS REACHED A LEVEL NOT SEEN IN THREE YEARS. OUR REPORTING PARTNERS AT DAIRY TODAY SAY IT'S NO COINCIDENCE THAT'S THE SAME YEAR, CORN FUTURES HIT EIGHT DOLLARS. ACCORDING TO "DAIRY TODAY", RISING FEED PRICES DROVE THE JUNE 2011 OVERALL MONTHLY DAIRY COST OF PRODUCTION TO $23.62 CENTS PER HUNDREDWEIGHT. THAT'S THE HIGHEST LEVEL SINCE DECEMBER 2008. AS PART OF THE TOTAL AVERAGE COST OF RUNNING A U.S. DAIRY IN JUNE, OVERALL FEED COSTS ROSE TO $11.77 PER HUNDREDWEIGHT. USDA'S ECONOMIC RESEARCH SERVICE SAYS THAT'S ALSO THE HIGHEST SINCE DECEMBER 2008.

DTR; FARM SIZE:
DO SMALLER DAIRIES PRODUCE A HIGHER QUALITY PRODUCT THAN COMMERCIAL DAIRY FARMS? NOT NECESSARILY. THE FOOD SCIENCE DEPARTMENT AT THE UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN STUDIED MORE THAN 14,000 WISCONSIN DAIRY FARMS. ACCORDING TO THEIR RESEARCH, THE LARGER THE FARM, THE HIGHER THE QUALITY OF MILK. THOSE RESULTS ARE BASED ON 'STANDARD PLATE COUNTS' AND 'SOMATIC CELL COUNTS'. THE SMALLER FARMS HAD FEWER THAN 119 COWS. THE AVERAGE SOMATIC CELL COUNT - OR SCC - WAS 369,000. THE LARGER DAIRIES HAD AN AVERAGE SCC OF 273,000. THEIR HERDS RANGED FROM 120-800 ANIMALS. AND DON'T FORGET, FOR THE VERY LATEST NEWS AFFECTING THE DAIRY INDUSTRY, INCLUDING PRODUCTION AND POLICY ISSUES, CHECK OUT WWW.DAIRYTODAY.COM.

PILGRIMS PRIDE:
IN AGRIBUSINESS, ONE OF THE NATION'S LARGEST CHICKEN PROCESSORS IS CLOSING A PLANT IN DALLAS. ABOUT A THOUSAND WORKERS WILL LOSE THEIR JOBS. PILGRIMS PRIDE SAYS IT WILL CLOSE THE PLANT WITHIN 60 DAYS AS A WAY TO REDUCE COSTS. THE PRODUCTION WILL BE SHIFTED TO THREE OTHER PILGRIM'S PRIDE PLANTS IN THE REGION. PILGRIMS IS THE SECOND LARGEST CHICKEN COMPANY IN THE U.S. IT LOST 128-MILLION DOLLARS IN THE SECOND QUARTER. FOR THE YEAR, IT HAS LOST NEARLY 250-MILLION DOLLARS. PILGRIMS BLAMES HIGH CORN COSTS AND WEAK CONSUMER DEMAND. THE COMPANY SAYS ITS TOTAL FEED INGREDIENT COSTS FOR THE FIRST HALF OF THIS YEAR ARE 400-MILLION DOLLARS HIGHER THAN THE FIRST HALF OF LAST YEAR.

ANALYSIS:
GARY WILHELMI

IN THE COUNTRY; GOAT MILK ICE CREAM:
HERE'S A DID YOU KNOW QUESTION? DID YOU KNOW GOAT MILK IS THE MOST CONSUMED MILK IN THE GLOBE. THAT'S WHAT OUR FRIEND TRACY SELLERS OF CALIFORNIA COUNTRY TV SAYS AFTER TAKING A TOUR OF A GOAT DAIRY IN THE GOLDEN STATE. SHE GOT A LESSON IN HOW A FARM WITH 12-HUNDRED GOATS IS HELPING A HOLLYWOOD PRODUCER CREATE A FIRST OF ITS KIND GOAT MILK ICE CREAM. THANKS TRACY. SHE SAYS LA LOO'S ICE CREAM IS NOW BEING SOLD IN 1,400 STORES NATIONWIDE.  FOOD AND YOUR FAMILY IS COMING UP NEXT.

PEACHES TO MEXICO:
IT'S BEEN 17 YEARS BUT FINALLY PEACHES FROM THE SOUTH ARE FREE TO HEAD SOUTH OF THE BORDER. IN FOOD AND YOUR FAMILY AN AGREEMENT SIGNED BY THE U.S. AND MEXICO ALLOWS PEACH EXPORTS FROM SOUTH CAROLINA AND GEORGIA TO OUR SOUTHERN FRIENDS.  SHIPMENTS WERE STOPPED IN 1994 BECAUSE OF CONCERNS OVER INVASIVE PESTS. THE NEW DEAL INCLUDES STRICT RULES IN ORDER TO KEEP FRUIT EATING INSECTS OUT OF MEXICO. SOUTH CAROLINA IS THE NATION'S SECOND LARGEST PRODUCER AND GEORGIA IS THIRD LARGEST.  RESTARTING EXPORTS IS LIKELY TO MEAN HIGHER PRICES FOR PRODUCERS AS THEY ENTER THE HEIGHT OF PEACH SEASON.

FREEZE DRIED FISH:
AND RESEARCHERS IN ALASKA SAY THEY'VE DEVELOPED A NEW WAY FREEZE DRY SALMON. THEY SAY THE NEW METHOD REMOVES ABOUT 97 PERCENT OF THE MOISTURE, BUT REHYDRATES QUICKLY, MAINTAINS ITS ORIGINAL COLOR AND SHRINKS LESS--WHILE TAKING LESS TIME TO PROCESS. SCIENTISTS SAY THE FINDING COULD SALVAGE MORE OF THE FISH AND HELP INCREASE PEOPLE'S ACCESS TO THE HEART HEALTHY FOOD.

CONTACT PAGE:
WE'D LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU! CONTACT US AT 800-792-4329. OR DROP AN EMAIL TO INBOX@AGDAY.COM. YOU CAN ALSO CHECK US OUT ON SOME OF THAT NEW TECHNOLOGY, AT WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/AGDAY.
 

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