AgDay Daily Recap - July 27, 2011

July 27, 2011 03:38 AM
 

TODAY ON AGDAY:
JULY 27, 2011

COTTON STRUGGLES:
GOOD MORNING EVERYONE, CLINTON GRIFFITHS IS ON ASSIGNMENT. THIS WEDNESDAY MORNING WE'RE FOCUSING ON COTTON. THE NATION'S TOP-COTTON-PRODUCING STATE REMAINS IN THE BULLSEYE OF DROUGHT SWEEPING ACROSS THE SOUTH. TEXAS A&M AG ECONOMIST JOHN ROBINSON SAYS THERE IS A RECORD NUMBER OF COTTON ACRES GETTING ABANDONED IN WEST TEXAS. THOSE FIELDS ARE PRIMARILY NON-IRRIGATED. WITH ABOUT SEVEN MILLION ACRES PLANTED, TEXAS PRODUCES ABOUT HALF OF ALL COTTON IN THIS COUNTRY. IT'S SPLIT IN HALF BETWEEN DRYLAND AND IRRIGATED CROPS. HE SAYS SEEDS IN MANY FIELDS DID NOT GERMINATE DUE TO WATER EVAPORATION. WHEN ALL IS SAID AND DONE, ROBINSON EXPECTS TEXAS TO LOSE HALF OF ITS PLANTED COTTON ACREAGE.

GROWERS REAX:
MEANWHILE, OUR REPORTING PARTNERS AT AGWEB SAY THE DROUGHT HAS PUSHED COTTONSEED PRICES HIGHER. SOME COTTONSEED CONTRACTS, DELIVERED TO THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST, ARE FETCHING $500 A TON. READ MORE ABOUT IT ON www.agweb.com. WE TALKED WITH COTTON PRODUCERS WHO WERE ATTENDING CORN COLLEGE LAST WEEK ABOUT THIS YEARS CROP. IN MONDAY'S CROP PROGRESS REPORT, USDA PUTS 81% OF THE TENNESSEE COTTON IN GOOD TO EXCELLENT SHAPE. VIRGINIA AND ARIZONA HAVE SIMILAR HIGH MARKS. BUT OVERALL, 29% OF THE U.S. COTTON CROP IS GOOD TO EXCELLENT. ANOTHER 30% IS FAIR. THE REST IS POOR TO VERY POOR.

DETASSLER DEATHS:
TWO TEENAGERS WORKING AS DETASSELERS IN AN ILLINOIS CORN FIELD HAVE DIED. THE LOCAL SHERIFF SAYS THEY WERE ELECTROCUTED WHEN THEY TOUCHED A CENTER-PIVOT IRRIGATION SYSTEM. THE ACCIDENT OCCURRED MONDAY IN NORTHWEST ILLINOIS - IN WHITESIDE COUNTY. THE TWO VICTIMS WERE BOTH 14 YEARS OLD. TWO OTHER DETASSELERS WERE SERIOUSLY INJURED. SIX OTHERS RECEIVED WHAT THE NEWS RELEASE DESCRIBED AS NON-LIFE-THREATENING INJURIES. THE SHERIFFS OFFICE SAYS THE TEENS WERE PART OF A 72-PERSON DETASSELING CREW. THERE'S NO WORD YET ON HOW THE TEENS CAME IN CONTACT WITH THE IRRIGATION SYSTEM. "OSHA" IS NOW INVESTIGATING.

MACHINERY MINUTE; FARM LICENSE:
IN MACHINERY MINUTE, THE U-S DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION SAYS IT WANTS TO "CLARIFY" ITS POSITION ABOUT REQUIRING FARM-HANDS TO HAVE A COMMERCIAL DRIVERS LICENSE TO OPERATE A TRACTOR OR OTHER FARM EQUIPMENT. AS WE FIRST REPORTED, DOT IS SEEKING FEEDBACK ON HOW CURRENT COMMERCIAL TRUCK SAFETY REGULATIONS IMPACT THE AG COMMUNITY. BUT IT GOES BEYOND TRUCKS. THE AGENCY IS ALSO CONSIDERING A RULE TO REQUIRE A COMMERCIAL DRIVERS LICENSE FOR ANY OPERATOR WHO TAKES SELF-PROPELLED FARM EQUIPMENT ON A PUBLIC ROADWAY. THIS COULD INCLUDE TRACTORS. LIKEWISE, THEY'RE CONSIDERING WHETHER FARM EQUIPMENT SHOULD BE TAGGED AND LICENSED LIKE A COMMERCIAL VEHICLE. THE DEPARTMENT SAYS IT HAS RECEIVED A LOT OF CRITICISM ABOUT THEIR PROPOSALS. DOT EXTENDED THE PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD UNTIL AUGUST FIRST TO GAIN FURTHER INPUT. AS YOU MIGHT IMAGINE, WE RECEIVED A LOT OF FEEDBACK ABOUT THIS STORY. FROM MACON, MISSOURI, VIEWER GARNETT SIMINGTON SAYS "WHAT CONCERNS ME IS THAT SOMEBODY IN WASHINGTON, WHO IS BEHIND A DESK, AND HAS NO IDEA ABOUT OPERATING FARM EQUIPMENT, IS REQUIRING THAT A LICENSE BE GIVEN. VIEWER LINCOLN SCHECK SAYS "I WORRY ABOUT IT INCREASING THE INSURANCE RATES. I JUST SEE IT AS AN EXCESSIVE BURDEN ON US THAT NEED-NOT BE THERE." AND FROM MORTON, ILLINOIS. CHAD UNZICKER SAYS HE "FEELS THIS IS ONE MORE AVENUE FOR OUR BROKE COUNTRY TO GET MORE MONEY." HE GOES ONTO SAY THAT HIS "FARMING OPERATION TAKES EXTRA STEPS TO ENSURE EVERYONE'S SAFETY, BUT WE CAN ONLY DO SO MUCH AND TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR OURSELVES." THANKS EVERYONE FOR SHARING YOUR COMMENTS.

RUST WATCH:
LOUISIANA CONFIRMED ITS FIRST CASE OF ASIAN SOYBEAN RUST FOR THIS YEAR. IT WAS FOUND ON KUDZU IN IBERIA PARISH. THAT'S IN THE EXTREME SOUTHERN AREA OF THE STATE. USDA'S RUST MONITOR SAYS THE SEVERITY OF THIS CROP DISEASE IS LOW. THAT'S ONE OF THE BENEFITS OF THE HOT, DRY CONDITIONS OVER MUCH OF THE SOUTHEAST. IT HELPS KEEP SOYBEAN RUST IN-CHECK. OTHER THAN THIS NEW CASE, SOYBEAN RUST HAS ONLY BEEN FOUND IN ONLY FOUR COUNTIES IN FLORIDA. NOW LET'S GET SOME OTHER CROP CONDITIONS FROM METEROLOGIST MIKE HOFFMAN. GOOD MORNING MIKE.

AGROTAIN SOLD:
IN AGRIBUSINESS ST. LOUIS-BASED AGROTAIN INTERNATIONAL SAYS IT WILL SELL ITS ASSETS TO KOCH FERTILIZER. ASSUMING IT PASSES THE REGULATORY TEST, THE DEAL IS EXPECTED TO BE COMPLETED IN THE THIRD QUARTER. AGROTAIN INTERNATIONAL IS A LARGE PRODUCER OF STABILIZED NITROGEN FERTILIZERS. IT'S MARKETED UNDER THE BRAND NAME OF AGROTAIN. COMPANY CEO MIKE STEGGMAN SAYS THE DEAL WITH KOCH IS THE BEST WAY TO PROVIDE FOR A SUCCESSFUL FUTURE.  HE SAYS THAT THE LANGE-STEGMANN COMPANY IS NOT PART OF THE PURCHASE OFFER AND WOULD CONTINUE ITS TERMINAL OPERATIONS IN ST. LOUIS.

ANALYSIS:
CHRIS HURT

IN THE COUNTRY FIVE AND DIME:
YOU MAY NOT KNOW THIS, BUT WAL-MART GREW OUT OF WHAT WAS ONCE A SMALL TOWN DIME STORE IN ARKANSAS. JUST ACROSS THE BORDER IN BRANSON, MISSOURI THERE'S A "FIVE AND DIME" THAT WILL NEVER BE WAL-MART...AND IT INTENDS TO STAY THAT WAY. STEVE GRANT FROM AFFILIATE KY-3 TAKES US THROUGH A 50-YEAR-OLD SHOPPING INSTITUTION. THANKS STEVE. IT'S NICE TO SEE SOME THNGS DO NOT CHANGE. UP NEXT, ARTISTS ARE SLATHERING A TON OF BUTTER TO CREATE A WORK OF ART. YES, IT'S BUTTER SCULPTING TIME IN OHIO.

BUTTER SCULPTURE:
AND FINALLY THIS MORNING, ITS PRETTY COMMON PRACTICE FOR STATE FAIRS TO OFFER SOME KIND OF BUTTER SCULPTURE AS A WAY TO CELEBRATE THE DAIRY INDUSTRY. OHIO IS NO DIFFERENT. BUT THIS YEAR'S DESIGN AT THE OHIO STATE FAIR IS CERTAINLY "OUT OF THIS WORLD." THREE CINCINNATI-BASED SCULPTORS HAVE SPENT MORE THAN SIX WEEKS TURNING NEARLY A TON OF BUTTER INTO THE COCKPIT OF A SPACE SHUTTLE. THE DISPLAY PAYS TRIBUTE TO THE NATION'S SPACE PROGRAM AND RECOGNIZES THE RECENT RETIREMENT OF THE SPACE SHUTTLE PROGRAM. OHIO HAS MADE SIGNIFICANT CONTRIBUTIONS TO FLIGHT AND SPACE EXPLORATION. ASTRONAUTS JOHN GLENN AND NEIL ARMSTRONG CAME FROM OHIO. SO DID THE WRIGHT BROTHERS. SO, THE AMERICAN DAIRY ASSOCIATION THOUGHT IT WAS ONLY "RIGHT" TO HAVE A "BLAST" WITH BUTTER. THE SCULPTURE INCLUDES A FLOATING ASTRONAUT WHO IS EATING FREEZE-DRIED ICE CREAM INSIDE THE COMMAND CONTROL. IN ADDITION TO THE SHUTTLE, SCULPTORS ALSO CREATED A COW AND CALF SET. THAT PAIR TAKES ABOUT 800 POUNDS BY THEMSELVES. THE FAIR OPENS TODAY IN COLUMBUS FOR ITS 12-DAY RUN.

CONTACT PAGE:
WE'D LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU! CONTACT US AT 800-792-4329. OR DROP AN EMAIL TO INBOX@AGDAY.COM. YOU CAN ALSO CHECK US OUT ON SOME OF THAT NEW TECHNOLOGY, AT WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/AGDAY.
 

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