TODAY ON AGDAY
FEBRUARY 28, 2012
Good morning. Soybean prices are clawing their way back, hitting a five month high Monday.
May and July contracts topped 13-dollars a bushel driven by rising export demand.
China is showing more interest in U.S. beans after South American countries like Argentina and Brazil struggle with dry weather. Farm Journal's cameras were in Brazil last week for harvest.
This farm stretches across 13,000 acres. They use seven combines cutting a 240 foot swath to harvest roughly 750 acres per day. Soybean guru--Kip Cullers of Purdy Missouri says yields were in the 60's at this location. You can read more about this trip that also included Farm Journal field agronomist Ken Ferrie and Farm Journal machinery editor Margy Fischer online at www.agweb.com.
The crop pathogen - soybean rust - is already getting a foot-hold this season. USDA says a case of rust was found on Kudzu in southern Mississippi and Louisiana. Because of the mild winter, diseases that usually die-off may cause problems this year. Tobie Blanchard has details in this report from the LSU Agcenter.
Due to mild temperatures and adequate rain in January, the overall Kansas winter wheat condition has improved. The monthly 'NASS' reports shows half of the crop is good to excellent. Better than a third is fair. And there's been very little wind or freeze damage. And in Montana, the NASS office says winter wheat condition is rated 24% good to excellent. 64% is fair. At this time last year, 71% was good to excellent. Warm and windy conditions over the past month have driven-down the condition. The important snow-pack largely melts away within days of accumulating. About a third of the crop has wind damage.
Wheat growers in the northern plains went back to class recently to improve their agronomic skills. They took part in the Farm Journal Wheat College. Cliff Naylor from affiliate kfyr-tv tells us what lessons the producers learned.
Some of those wheat growers in North Dakota now have snow-cover for their wheat crops as a winter storm moved through over the weekend. Meanwhile, wheat is advancing quickly in drier regions. Mike Hoffman has details in Crop Watch. Good morning Clinton. We'll begin in Glacier County, northern Montana. A grower says it was eight degrees when he woke-up yesterday morning. He says there's a long way to go before the ground thaws and seeding begins. And in Dooly County, Georgia, a farmer says this year is starting out like 2011. It's mild and very, very dry. So far, total rainfall in Dooly County has been 3.5 inches - and two of that came in one rainstorm. He says winter wheat is probably two-to-three weeks ahead, so it's in danger of freeze damage.
In news from our partners at dairy today - one of the world’s largest snack companies is making a big investment into the dairy industry in New York State. PepsiCo is joining forces with the Theo Mueller Company - the largest privately owned dairy in Germany. The companies are creating a joint venture to produce yogurt. The 200-million dollar plant will be built in Batavia, New York and generate 200 manufacturing jobs. The state of New York already has 29 yogurt plants. And according to the state's business development office, the state leads the country in the production of Greek-style yogurt.
DAIRY EXPORTS HILMAR:
Meanwhile, Hilmar ingredients - a subsidiary of Hilmar Cheese - are enjoying the success of the prosperous export market. The California-based company produces whey and lactose products. Company Vice President Kevin Hoyt says the world's growing population and increasing demand for dairy and protein products is an opportunity for the U.S. dairy industry. According to our partners at Dairy Today, Hilmar has seen its export market increase from 22 countries to 44 in the past five years. And don't forget, for the very latest news affecting the dairy industry, including production and policy issues, check out www.dairytoday.com.
IN THE COUNTRY; PIANO PLAYER:
one of the keys of life - especially for those in their golden years - is to remain active. That free piece of advice comes from Lillian Solbue - a 94 year old South Dakota resident who uses 88 keys to remain young at heart. As KTIV's Al Joens tells us Lillian isn't ready to slow-down at the keyboard or in life--any time soon. Thanks Al. That Lillian is a pretty neat woman. She still lives at home, helps with meals on wheels, is president of her local seniors club, does all her own house work and even mows her own lawn. Incredible. Food and Your Family is next.
When it comes to recipes and what to cook, where do you turn? It used to be mom or family tradition, but according to a new study, social media is the new king of the kitchen. That tops today's Food and Your Family. The study called clicks and cravings looks at the impact of social technology on food culture. It found almost half of consumers now learn about food through social networking sites like Twitter or Facebook. Another 40% use websites, apps or blogs. The authors say this new media is replacing traditional avenues of food advice...making it less of a sensory experience and more of a visual or rational decision process.
And you have the chance to give a little advice of your own. NASA is looking for a few good food tasters. The space agency needs people to taste test food for four months during a simulated trip to mars. They're trying to figure out what people like to eat and how to avoid the monotony of eating space food week after week. There is a catch. You need to have a bachelor’s degree in math, engineering, biological or physical science or computer science. Winners will get a round trip to Hawaii where they'll live astronaut style for four months. If you'd like more information go to the website on the screen. http://manoa.hawaii.edu/hi-seas/.
The deadline is tomorrow the 29th.
We'd love to hear from you! Contact us at 800-7-9-2-43-29. Or drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also check us out on some of that new technology, at www.facebook.com/agday.