AgDay Daily Recap - December 9, 2010

December 9, 2010 05:25 AM
 

TODAY ON AGDAY:
DECEMBER 9, 2010

AG COMPETITION:
WHETHER IT'S THE SEED YOU BUY OR THE PRICES YOU GET FOR LIVESTOCK, THE ISSUE OF COMPETITION IN AGRICULTURE IS COMPLEX. THAT'S ONE REASON WHY THE DEPARTMENTS OF AGRICULTURE AND JUSTICE HELD A SERIES OF HEARINGS TO EXPLORE THE APPROPRIATE ROLE FOR ANTI-TRUST AND REGULATORY ENFORCEMENT IN U.S. AGRICULTURE. THE FIFTH AND FINAL USDA-DOJ HEARING ON AGRIBUSINESS WAS HELD WEDNESDAY IN WASHINGTON, D.C. SINCE SPRING, THE DEPARTMENTS HEARD COMMENTS FROM PRODUCERS RANGING FROM COMPETITION IN SEED AND CHEMICALS, TO LIVESTOCK, DAIRY PRICING AND POULTRY. THE HEARING, LED BY AG SECRETARY TOM VILSACK AND ATTORNEY GENERAL ERIC HOLDER - FOCUSED ON MARGINS AT DIFFERENT LEVELS OF THE SUPPLY CHAIN. DURING COMMENTS FROM THE PUBLIC, FOOD RETAILERS HEARD SOME VERY HARSH STATEMENTS...MOSTLY HOW THEY WORK WITH SUPPLIERS. FARMERS SAY THEY'RE CONCERNED ABOUT MARKET POWER REDUCING HOW MUCH OF EACH FOOD DOLLAR THEY GET. U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL ERIC HOLDER ALSO SAYS THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT IS PURSUING SEVERAL LEADS ON POSSIBLE ANTI-COMPETITION CASES IN AGRIBUSINESS. VILSACK ALSO TOLD PEOPLE IN ATTENDANCE THAT USDA RECEIVED 57,000 PUBLIC COMMENTS ON THE PROPOSED GIPSA RULES OF LIVESTOCK MARKETING. WITH NUMBERS THAT HIGH, HE SAYS A FINAL RULE MAY NOT BE PUBLISHED UNTIL SUMMER.

AUSTRALIA WHEAT:
AS U.S. WHEAT PRODUCERS WATCH PRICES INCH UP, IN AUSTRALIA, WHEAT GROWERS ARE RAISING THEIR OWN EXPECTATIONS. PARTS OF THAT COUNTRY HAVE SEEN RECORD RAINFALL THIS GROWING SEASON.  AUSTRAILIAN AG FORCASTERS EXPECT AUSSY WHEAT TO REACH A RECORD 26.8 MILLION TONS. YET, SOME ANALYSTS AREN'T SO SURE.  THE WORRY IS THAT HEAVY RAINS ARE RUINING QUALITY AND STUNTING GROWTH.

BRAZIL COTTON:
DRY WEATHER IS ALSO CAUSING FEWER SOYBEAN ACRES TO BE PLANTED. U.S. AG OFFICALS NOW REPORT 370,000 ACRES OF SOYBEANS WERE SWITCHED TO COTTON. BRAZILIAN COTTON PRODUCTION IS EXPECTED TO JUMP 40% THIS SEASON. THAT WOULD SEND OUTPUT NEAR 7.6 MILLION BALES AND STRAIN THE COUNTY'S COTTON INFRASTRUCTURE. U.S. OFFICIALS SAY MUCH OF THE MOST FERTILE LAND IS BEING RESERVED FOR COTTON PRODUCTION. IT'S THE SAME ACRE DECISIONS FARMERS ARE MAKING HERE IN THE U.S.

FLORIDA WEATHER:
FLORIDA IS ASSESSING FREEZE DAMAGE AFTER A COLD BLAST BLANKETS MUCH OF THE STATE. THE UNSEASONABLY FRIGID TEMPS, LED TO THREE HELICOPTER CRASHES IN ONE MORNING AS PRODUCERS TRY TO SAVE THEIR CROPS. ALL OF THE CRASHES HAPPENED NEAR LAKE OKEECHOBEE, IN THE SOUTH-EAST REGION OF THE STATE. ACCORDING TO WPTV, THE CHOPPERS WERE IN THE AREA TO CIRCULATE AIR AND KEEP CROPS WARM. AS YOU CAN SEE, AT LEAST ONE OF THE HELICOPTERS HAD BEEN HOVERING OVER A SWEET-CORN FIELD. POLICE SAY THE PILOT MAY HAVE HIT A POST AND BROKEN THE TAIL ROTOR BEFORE CRASHING. THE PILOT SUFFERED MINOR INJURIES...AND WALKED AWAY FROM THE INCIDENT. AUTHORITIES ARE INVESTIGATING THE CAUSE OF THE OTHER CRASHES. BUT ALL OF THE PILOTS SURVIVED WITH MINOR INJURIES.

ANALYSIS:
GARY WILHELMI

IN THE COUNTRY; CORN STOVES:
BACK IN THE EARLIER PART OF THE 1900'S, MANY TOWNS HAD A THEATER THAT SHOWCASED STAGE PERFORMERS AND EVENTUALLY THOSE NEW-FANGLED PICTURE SHOWS. SADLY, MANY OF THOSE BUILDINGS ARE NOW GONE. BUT IN WATSEKA, ILLINOIS, THE THEATER IS ENJOYING A RE-BIRTH. AND AS WES MILLS TELLS US, AMERICAN FARMERS PLAY A STARRING ROLE IN THIS STORY OF SUCCESS. CHUCK ALSO HEATS THE ATTACHED CAFÉ AND BANQUET ROOM WITH THE SAME KIND OF CORN STOVES. AND THEY'RE NOT LIMITED JUST TO CORN. HE SAYS ABOUT ANY CROP COULD BE USED AS FUEL - - SOYBEANS, RICE, EVEN CHERRY PITS. WE'LL PUT LINKS TO BOTH ILLINOIS CORN STOVE AND THE WATSEKA THEATER ON OUR HOME PAGE. FOOD AND YOUR FAMILY IS NEXT.

EATING HEALTHY:
NEW REPORTS SHOW AMERICAN'S KNOW WHAT IT MEANS TO EAT HEALTHY...YET MOST PEOPLE DON'T. IN FOOD AND YOUR FAMILY THIS LATEST INFORMATION SAYS FOUR OUT OF FIVE ADULTS HAVE A DIET THAT NEEDS IMPROVEMENT. THIS COMES FROM THE NPD GROUP, A FOOD INDUSTRY MARKET RESEARCH FIRM. THE REPORT SAYS EATING BEHAVIORS VARY BY GENERATION. GENERATION X- Y AND YOUNG BOOMERS AGES 21 TO 54 HAVE THE LEAST HEALTHFUL DIETS. WHILE OLDER CONSUMERS...54 AND UP, HAVE THE BEST HABITS AND THE GREATEST NEED, MOSTLY FOR HEALTH REASONS. ALL GROUPS DON'T EAT ENOUGH FRUITS, VEGETABLES, OR DAIRY PRODUCTS AND EAT TOO MANY FATTY FOODS. AUTHORS SAY PEOPLE UNDERSTAND HOW TO EAT HEALTHY BUT ITS GETTING THE YOUNGSTERS TO DO IT-- THAT'S THE NEXT STEP IN A HEALTHY AMERICAN DIET.

ORION SAMUELSON:
AND FINALLY THIS MORNING, WE'D LIKE TO CONGRATULATE LEGENDARY AGRIBUSINESS BROADCASTER ORION SAMUELSON. ORION IS CELEBRATING 50 YEARS OF RADIO WORK AT CHICAGO'S WGN RADIO.  THE CITY WILL RECOGNIZE HIS CONTRIBUTIONS WITH AN HONORARY STREET NAMING. THE CEREMONY TAKES PLACE THIS MORNING IN CHICAGO. FOR GENERATIONS, ORION'S VOICE PROVIDED MARKET INFORMATION AND COMMENTARY ABOUT RURAL AMERICA THROUGH-OUT THE MIDWEST. A SIGN AT THE CORNER OF ILLINOIS STREET AND CITY-FRONT PLAZA DRIVE WILL BEAR THE NAME "ORION SAMUELSON WAY". SAMUELSON MARKED THE HALF-CENTURY MILESTONE IN SEPTEMBER.

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

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