Good morning I’m Clinton Griffiths. There's a new call this morning to limit the amount of the nation's corn in the fuel supply. Cardin represents many poultry producers in his home state of Maryland. Poultry, as well as livestock, producers are feeling the effects of higher feed costs associated with the drought. As we reported last week, the Environmental Protection Agency says it's not inclined to change the fuels standard. AgDay talked with Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley whose home state leads in ethanol production. Despite the lower prospects for the corn crop, he doesn't want lawmakers to be too hasty. Grassley thinks Washington needs to wait a few more weeks - when harvest begins - to gauge how bad the crop is before implementing programs.
Continuing our drought watch coverage this morning, AG Secretary Tom Vilsack is still adding to the primary natural disaster rolls. 76 counties in six states were designated disasters on Wednesday. So far USDA has designated disasters in 1,369 counties in 31 states. Two thirds of the continental US Is in a moderate to exceptional drought.
MISSISSIPPI GETTING LOW:
Just a year ago we were reporting on the severe flooding along the Missouri and Mississippi rivers. Farmers in southeast Missouri, for instance, were still dealing with the tens-of-thousands of acres of farmland that had been inundated by flood water earlier in the spring. Well, what a difference a year makes. According to the Corps of Engineers Office the Mississippi River in Memphis is now 56 feet lower than the high reading taken during last year’s floods. In 1988, the river level was about a foot lower than it is now.
In cropwatch this morning, meteorologist Mike Hoffman takes a look at the northern plains.
Some areas are hanging on while others are moving in the opposite direction.
Even as drought hammers crops across the country, weeds continue to thrive. These yield robbers and the growing concern over resistance has the entire industry searching for sustainable solutions. AgDay national reporter Tyne Morgan has more.
Thanks Tyne. In related news, University of Illinois Extension says Palmer Amaranth is now showing-up in Illinois. Weed specialist Aaron Hager confirmed a case in Cass county Illinois, which he says is the furthest north this aggressive weed species has been spotted. The weed wasn't found in a row crop field. Instead Hager found it in a CRP field.
In agribusiness today - the Goodyear company is road-testing some tires that have a definite farmer influence. Researchers are using soybean oil in tires. Goodyear says the soy-bean based product could help increase tread life by 10%. The company says if it works, their use of petroleum based oil would drop by seven million gallons a year. Goodyear expects consumers will be able to buy the tires by 2015. The soybean check off gave Goodyear a half million dollar grant to help cover expenses of the research.
It’s been about three months since CME and other exchanges announced they were switching to a 22-hour trading day. These days most grain trading happens on-line. The days of the open outcry in the pit are quickly fading. Farm Director Al Pell has an update.
When buying a car, you can find out the miles per gallon. For new appliances, you can check the energy star label, but currently there is not an energy rating for homes. A new program launching this year will change that. Kent Faddis with University of Missouri Extension has more. For more information about the program go to Homeenergyscore.gov.
FOOD AND YOUR FAMILY:
Several consumer groups think soft-drinks should get the same treatment as cigarettes when it comes to packaging. When it comes to global cheese production - the US is the undisputed champion this year.