Good morning I’m Clinton Griffiths. Other than a couple of states, there's little hope for the 2012 corn crop. As another big wave of heat consumes the Midwest - the crop progress report shows another big drop in the condition rating report due to the drought. There's a nine point plunge in the condition of the nation's corn crop. Less than a third is good to excellent. In that same combined category, three states are now in single digits - Indiana, Kentucky and Missouri. And while the western cornbelt had been holding-on through much of spring and summer, it's now seeing significant declines in the condition ratings. Iowa and Minnesota are both down ten points, Nebraska down four.
Indiana is one of the hardest hit states as far as the Midwest drought. Statewide, the corn crop saw another five-point decline from last week’s crop progress report. Just 8% is good to excellent. At this point many producers are trying to determine their next course of action. Is there any benefit to harvest for grain, or should they just cut it for silage? National reporter Tyne Morgan has been looking into this angle of the story.
For producers who rely on grazing for their herds, the news isn't any better. The crop progress report now shows 18-percent of the nation's pasture and range-land in good to excellent shape. That's down three points from last week.
In other news - many livestock groups are encouraged that the environmental protection agency has decided to withdraw its proposed livestock reporting rule.
The BSE scare - commonly referred to as Madcow -disease - from earlier this spring has not had a lingering impact on beef exports. You’ll remember back in late April, USDA announced the fourth case of BSE in the United States. It came from a dairy cow in California. Fortunately for the industry, the news did not panic consumers. The month of May was the first month in which any BSE-related decline could be detected in export statistics. US meat export federation says may beef exports did not reveal a major impact, although global totals were likely affected to some degree by the market closure in Saudi Arabia and negative media coverage in some Asian markets.
One of the true delights of summer as a kid was eating watermelon...spitting the seeds and letting the juice run-down your chin. Recently, the LSU Agcenter hosted a garden fest where gardening enthusiasts could sample some new varieties of that sweet summer melon. LSU Agcenter correspondent Tobi Blanchard has our story.
USDA FOOD PRICES:
The USDA says consumers will be paying more for beef and less for vegetables at the grocery store for the rest of year, while other food prices stay fairly steady. Bob Ellison has details in this report provided by USDA.