TOUGH MARKET ROOK:
With historically high prices for many commodities in 2011, marketing was relatively easy, but that's not been the case this year at least for corn. The potential for near record acreage was being talked about last fall and that's helped lead a drop in new crop prices. Add in European economic woes and buying from China, and many farmers are finding marketing their harvest a real challenge. Agday's Michelle Rook reports.
Wheat prices continue to remain relatively strong. Crop problems around the world and increasing usage for feed wheat are helping improve demand. I was in Oklahoma last week and spoke to Oklahoma State’s grain marketing specialist, Kim Anderson about how that feed wheat demand is likely to continue.
HONEY BEE LOSSES:
There's good news to report about the status of the nation's bee hives. Winter was not as tough this year on these important pollinators.
Lower prices at the gas pump make customers happier. But it's also an indicator of global economic problems. Crude oil is the key-pin in a world economy. Chip Flory and Brian Grete join us from our Profarmer studios in Cedar Falls, Iowa to lay it all out in this week's profit briefing.
Today's 4-H is taking an aggressive approach to improve the math and science skills in our children. 4-H members are now learning how to apply those important skills in real-life. For instance, in Brownsville, Tennessee, some of the kids are using today's technology to help protect their hometown from future floods. Chuck Denney has details in this report provided by the University of Tennessee.
FOOD AND YOUR FAMILY:
The government has decided sweetener made from corn will not be getting a new name.
In a related matter - the makers of Hunts Ketchup say it will revert back to its old recipe which includes high fructose corn syrup. In a report published online at foodnavigator.com, Con-Agra says it will switch its recipe due to "lackluster" demand. The company switched the recipe two years ago, responding to consumer concerns about HFCS. But the company says sales numbers did not reflect a strong response. In other news from the food industry - the Department of Agriculture will start testing beef trim for six different strains of E-coli. These are different from the OH-157 strain which is often associated with food illnesses. Beef industry officials had suggested that the USDA conduct more baseline studies of the prevalence of these other strains before launching the program. But the agency said it's clear that the strains are present. However, the AG Department says it's impossible to say how prevalent they are. The CDC estimates that these previously-untested strains cause 112-thousand illnesses annually. About a third are related to beef.