AgDay Daily Recap - February 8, 2012

February 8, 2012 06:54 AM

FEBRUARY 8, 2012

Good morning. As the market prepares for the next supply-demand report coming-up on Thursday, many in the grain sector are also keeping their eyes on South America which has struggled with intense heat and drought. On Monday, Chicago soybean futures reached levels not seen in more than three months. Grain crops especially in Argentina have been withering and that's boosted prices for some U.S. grains.

Our reporting partners at Pro Farmer say traders wouldn't be surprised if USDA made bigger-than-expected changes to the demand side of the balance sheets given the recent trend of report surprises.

As we head towards a new growing season, many farmers and ranchers are still counting the weather losses from 2011. From floods to fire, there was no shortage of weather challenges last year. According to the national climatic data center, over the past 30 years there have been 114 weather disasters with damages exceeding a billion dollars. Fourteen of those came in 2011 alone. Over the next three days, national reporter Tyne Morgan will take a closer look at the economic impact to American agriculture in a special report "From Flood to Fire", Tyne. Clinton, agriculture plays an important role in the Texas economy. The drought that plagued Texas led to a record five-billion dollars in Ag losses. Of course, the drought hit much of the southwest and southern plains. The impact will be felt for years...especially in the livestock sector. Clinton, Texas has received some showers this winter. Actually 5% of the state is now considered drought-free. That's in the Dallas area. But 60% is still in an extreme or exceptional drought. Of course, some farmers in the Midwest had too much water. That's true. Like in southeast Missouri, where a levee along the Mississippi River was intentionally breached, but you might be surprised to hear many farmers were still able to get a crop. We'll have that story tomorrow.

Randy Blach

The thought of allowing kids in the kitchen makes some parents cringe. In this report provided by the University of Missouri, Kent Faddis explains why kids cooking in the kitchen are not a recipe for disaster, but a recipe for healthy and tasty meals. MU Extension is partnering with Operation Food Search in St. Louis to expand the Cooking Matters for Kids program across the Show-me State. To learn more, visit Up next a new look for a familiar product. Details in Food and Your Family.

In Food and Your Family, the nation's largest retailer has unveiled a new logo to convince shoppers that their food products are healthy. Wal-Mart debuted its "Great for You" logo. The image will now appear on its store-brand products, such as the "Great Value" canned goods. Wal-Mart says the front-of-pack label is intended to make it easier for customers to find healthier food. To qualify for the logo, Wal-Mart says the food must meet the 2012 dietary guidelines set by the Federal government.

From soup companies to the school lunchrooms, it seems everyone is trying to cut down on salt. Now the CDC has come up with the top ten sources of salt in the American diet. Surprisingly at the top of the list, bread. That's followed by rolls, cold cuts, pizza and poultry. The Centers for Disease Control says the top ten foods account for nearly 45% of the sodium Americans eat. Sodium in the diet mainly comes from salt which can lead to increased risk of high blood pressure. The CDC says salt intake should be limited to about a teaspoon per day. Most of us eat quite a bit more.

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