AgDay Daily Recap - July 21, 2011

July 21, 2011 05:10 AM
 

TODAY ON AGDAY:
JULY 21, 2011

CORNBELT HEAT:
GOOD MORNING EVERYBODY. CLINTON IS ON ASSIGMENT AT FARM JOURNAL'S CORN COLLEGE. AND THE POPULAR TOPIC THERE IS THE HEAT THAT'S TRAPPED OVER A LARGE SECTION OF THE COUNTRY. THE OPPRESSIVE CONDITIONS EXTEND FROM THE NORTHERN PLAINS TO TEXAS AND FROM NEBRASKA TO THE OHIO VALLEY. AND THEY'RE EXPANDING EASTWARD. CLINTON JOINS US FROM HEYWORTH, ILLINOIS. CLINTON.

BTR; CATTLE HEAT:
THANKS CLINTON. THE HEAT AND ITS IMPACT ON LIVESTOCK IS OUR TOP STORY IN THE "BEEF TODAY REPORT". DROVERS CATTLE NETWORK IS REPORTING BETWEEN A THOUSAND AND 1,500 HEAD OF CATTLE HAVE DIED FROM THE EXCESSIVE HEAT AND HUMIDITY IN THE STATE OF SOUTH DAKOTA. THE STATE VETERINARIAN SAYS HIS OFFICE IS STILL COMPILING NUMBERS. REPORTING IS NOT MANDATORY AND MANY PRODUCERS MAY NOT CHECK-IN WITH THE STATE OFFICIALS. A BIG PROBLEM FOR CATTLE IS THAT THERE'S BEEN NO REPRIEVE IN THE EVENINGS. WHEN NIGHTTIME LOW TEMPERATURES REMAIN ABOVE 70 DEGREES, CATTLE CANNOT SHED THE BODY HEAT THEY BUILT UP DURING THE DAY.

BTR TEXAS HEAT:
MEANWHILE IN THE NATION'S TOP CATTLE STATE, PRODUCERS ARE CULLING DEEPER INTO THEIR HERDS BECAUSE OF THE LACK OF GRAZING, DWINDLING HAY SUPPLIES AND SHRINKING SURFACE WATER. THE TEXAS AGRI-LIFE EXTENSION SAYS LIVESTOCK PRODUCERS ARE SELLING LARGER HEIFERS AND 3-6 YEAR-OLD COWS THAT SHOULD FORM THE CORE OF FUTURE PRODUCTION. PRODUCERS ARE ALSO SELLING CALVES EARLY. AT SOME AUCTION BARNS, THE CATTLE COUNT IS TWICE THE NUMBER THAN NORMAL. THE EXTENSION SAYS IN SOME CASES, AUCTION MARKETS ARE TURNING AWAY PRODUCERS BECAUSE OF THE HIGH VOLUME OF ANIMALS.

CATTLE ON FEED:
IN A RELATED NOTE, THE CATTLE ON FEED REPORT COMES OUT ON FRIDAY. OUR REPORTING PARTNERS AT BEEF TODAY SAY SOME ANALYSTS ARE PREDICTING LOWER CATTLE PLACEMENTS. THAT WOULD BE CONTRARY TO WHAT WE'RE HEARING ABOUT DROUGHT FORCING CATTLE TO MARKET. BEEF TODAY SAYS SOME STOCKER CATTLE MAY BE GOING INTO SMALLER YARDS THAT ARE NOT PART OF USDA'S CATTLE ON FEED SURVEY. OUR ANALYSTS SAY THOSE ANIMALS ARE STILL OUT THERE AND WILL MOVE TO LARGER YARDS AND SLAUGHTER EVENTUALLY.

BTR; CATTLE BACTERIA:
IN OTHER NEWS, THE TICK BORNE DISEASE ANAPLASMOSIS CAN TAKE A TOLL ON CATTLE. ACCORDING TO UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA LIVESTOCK SPECIALISTS, AS MANY AS 50% OF ADULT CATTLE OVER THE AGE OF THREE WILL DIE FROM THE DISEASE IF LEFT UNTREATED. TREATING THIS BACTERIAL INFECTION CAN COST FARMERS AS MUCH AS 400 DOLLARS PER ANIMAL - A COST THAT IS PASSED ONTO CONSUMERS AT THE STORE. BUT NEW RESEARCH AT THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA COULD HELP FIND A VACCINE FOR THE BACTERIA. UF SCIENTISTS HAVE MAPPED OUT THE GENETICS OF MULTIPLE STRAINS OF THE BACTERIA. BY FINDING OUT WHAT THE DIFFERENT STRAINS HAVE IN COMMON, RESEARCHERS HAVE CLUES TO FIND A VACCINE TO FIGHT THE ILLNESS. DOCTOR DARK SAYS THERE ARE ABOUT 20 KNOWN ANAPLASMA BACTERIA THAT MAKE CATTLE SICK. ALSO, THEIR RESEARCH COULD ALSO HELP FIGHT HUMAN DISEASES. HE SAYS THE PATHOGENS ARE SIMILAR TO HUMAN PATHOGENS. BY STUDYING THE ANIMAL MODELS, THEY COULD CREATE BREAK-THROUGHS IN HUMAN DISEASES.

FERTILIZER COSTS:
IN AGRIBUSINESS, THE RISING COST OF FERTILIZER. USDA'S AGRICULTURAL MARKET SERVICE SAYS FERTILIZER CONTRACT PRICES FOR FALL DELIVERY IS 814 DOLLARS A TON FOR ANHYDROUS AMMONIA, 688 A TON FOR "DAP" AND 627 DOLLARS PER TON FOR POTASH. USING THESE FERTILIZER PRICES TO CALCULATE 2012 FERTILIZER COSTS, THE UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS SAYS THAT'S ABOUT 162-DOLLARS PER ACRE ON HIGH-QUALITY FARMLAND. THAT FIGURE IS HIGHER THAN 2010 AND 2011 INPUTS, BUT BELOW 2009 COSTS. IF THOSE PROJECTED COSTS ARE TRUE, THAT WOULD BE THE SECOND HIGHEST ON RECORD FOR CENTRAL ILLINOIS FARMS.

MOSAIC EARNINGS:
OF COURSE, THOSE RISING INPUT COSTS MEAN BIG PROFITS FOR FERTILIZER MAKERS. THE MOSAIC COMPANY REPORTS FOURTH QUARTER NET EARNINGS OF 649 MILLION DOLLARS. THAT COMPARES TO 396 MILLION FOR THE SAME TIME PERIOD LAST YEAR. MOSAIC SAYS NET SALES ARE UP 54% INCREASE FROM A YEAR AGO. IT ALSO SAYS NET INCOME IS THE HIGHEST IN COMPANY HISTORY.

ANALYSIS:
MARK GOLD

IN THE COUNTRY; HORSE BRAIDING:
A NORTH DAKOTA RANCHER IS KEEPING AN OLD-WEST TRADITION ALIVE - ONE HORSE HAIR AT A TIME. HORSE-HAIR-BRAIDING IS A FOLK-ART. BACK IN THE DAY, WHEN CATTLE DRIVES WERE COMMON, COWBOYS WOULD SIT AROUND THE CAMPFIRE AT NIGHT AND CREATE THESE 'STRANDS THAT BIND'. OUR BUDDY CLIFF NAYLOR FROM KFYR-TV IN BISMARCK, NORTH DAKOTA SAYS IT'S A TIME-CONSUMING CRAFT, BUT THE RESULTS ARE AMAZING. CLIFF SAYS HORSE-HAIR BRAIDING DATES BACK TO THE 8TH CENTURY. NATIVE AMERICANS USED THE TECHNIQUE TO MAKE EVERYTHING FROM BASKETS TO BRIDLES. STILL TO COME, WOULD YOU CHOOSE ONE HOTEL OR ANOTHER BECAUSE OF A CUP OF COFFEE? THAT'S NEXT IN FOOD AND YOUR FAMILY.

HOTEL STAYS:
WHEN CHOOSING A HOTEL FOR YOUR FAMILY, DOES A CUP OF COFFEE MAKE THE DIFFERENCE? IT MAY. DETAILS IN FOOD AND YOUR FAMILY.  A NEW SURVEY SHOWS THAT A GROWING NUMBER OF CONSUMERS SELECT HOTELS NOT ONLY ON THE AMENITIES THEY PAY FOR, BUT THE FREEBIES THEY DON'T. THE STUDY WAS CONDUCTED BY THE MARKETING GROUP TECHNOMIC. IT FOUND THAT WHEN CHOOSING A HOTEL, CONSUMERS SAY COMPLIMENTARY OFFERINGS SUCH AS BREAKFAST AND IN-ROOM COFFEE ARE MORE IMPORTANT TO THEM THAN OTHER AMENITIES. OVERALL, 40% OF BUSINESS AND LEISURE GUESTS SAY THAT FOODSERVICE OFFERINGS ARE VERY IMPORTANT TO THEIR CHOICE OF HOTEL. TECHNOMIC SAYS THE HOTEL COMPLIMENTARY BREAKFAST IS OFTEN VIEWED AS A DRAIN ON REVENUES, HOWEVER THE FIRM BELIEVES IT DRIVES TRAFFIC AND ENHANCES THE GUEST EXPERIENCE.

SEAFOOD CONSUMPTION:
AS WE TOLD YOU YESTERDAY, THE LOUISIANA SEAFOOD INDUSTRY IS STILL FEELING THE IMPACT OF THE GULF-OIL SPILL. THE INDUSTRY FEELS PUBLIC PERCEPTION IS HURTING THEIR SALES. TODAY, A NEW STUDY FROM FOOD MARKETING GROUP NPD SAYS THE DECLINE IN SEAFOOD SERVINGS AT U.S. RESTAURANTS HAS LESS TO DO WITH DISASTERS LIKE THE SPILL AND MORE TO DO WITH THE ECONOMY AND PRICE. NPD SAYS SEAFOOD CONSUMPTION AT RESTAURANTS IS DOWN TWO PERCENT VERSUS TOTAL CONSUMPTION. THE DROP COINCIDES WITH THE RECESSION. NPD SAYS THERE ARE EXCEPTIONS. IT SAYS NON-FRIED SEAFOOD, LIKE SALMON AND SUSHI POSTED GAINS.

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