AgDay Daily Recap - June 8, 2011

June 8, 2011 05:59 AM
 

TODAY ON AGDAY:
JUNE 8, 2011

WEATHER CHALLENGES:
TO USE THE WORD EXTREME TO DESCRIBE THE WEATHER THIS SPRING WOULD BE AN UNDERSTATEMENT. ANOTHER WORD COULD BE EXPENSIVE. MUCH OF THE EASTERN CORN BELT, SPECIFICALLY INDIANA AND OHIO, HAS BEEN VERY WET THIS SPRING. OHIO FARMERS FINALLY GOT A BREAK AND HAVE NOW PLANTED 58% OF THEIR CORN AND 26% OF THEIR SOY CROPS. OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY SAYS FARMERS IN THE BUCKEYE STATE STAND TO LOSE NEARLY A BILLION DOLLARS IN INCOME FROM THE LATE PLANTING AND LOWER EXPECTED YIELDS. AG ECONOMISTS SAY THEIR ANALYSIS ACCOUNTS FOR ONLY CORN AND SOYBEANS. THEY ALSO EXPECT SUBSTANTIAL LOSSES IN OTHER SECTORS, SUCH AS FRUIT AND VEGETABLE PRODUCTION.

MISSY COMMENTS:
JUST TO THE NORTH, MICHIGAN HAS SEEN ITS OWN SET OF PROBLEMS. ACCORDING TO THE USDA ABOUT 85% OF THE CORN CROP IS NOW PLANTED, USUALLY IT'S ALL BUT FINISHED AND EMERGING. COOL WET WEATHER AND HEAVY RAINS HAS KEPT FARMERS OUT OF FIELDS. THAT DELAY HAS WEEDS SPROUTING UP, FORCING MORE TILLAGE AND INCREASING INPUT COSTS. AFTER AN IDEAL FALL, AGRONOMISTS DIDN'T EXPECT SO MANY CHALLENGES.

AZ FIRE:
IN THE SOUTHWEST SEVERE DROUGHT ISN'T HELPING. AN UNCONTROLLED WILDFIRE HAS BURNED MORE THAN 350,000 ACRES IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS OF EASTERN ARIZONA. OFFICIALLY THE THIRD WORST FIRE IN STATE HISTORY, TOWNS ARE BEING EVACUATED AND 2,300 FIREFIGHTERS ARE BATTLEING THE BLAZE. SMOKE FROM THE FIRE HAS BEEN REPORTED AS FAR AWAY AS IOWA.

TEXAS DROUGHT:
ALSO IN THE SOUTHWEST, TEXAS AG OFFICIALS SAY IT'S NOT THE WORST DROUGHT ON RECORD. . . BUT IT'S PRETTY CLOSE. THE U.S. DROUGHT MONITOR SHOWS A THIRD OF THE STATE IS UNDER AN EXCEPTIONAL DROUGHT, THE MOST SEVERE CATEGORY. HALF OF THE STATE IS UNDER SEVERE OR EXCEPTIONAL DROUGHT. LIFELONG FARMERS THROUGHOUT THE STATE ARE TELLING TEXAS AGRILIFE EXTENSION SERVICE AGENTS THIS IS THE DRIEST THEY'VE EVER EXPERIENCED. LET'S CHECK IN WITH CINDI CLAWSON FOR CROP COMMENTS, CINDI.

CORN HERBICIDES:
GIVEN THE EARLY SEASON GROWING CONDITIONS, FARMERS NEED TO BE CAREFUL TO EVALUATE THE HEIGHT AND AGE OF THEIR CROP BEFORE SPRAYING IT WITH A POST-EMERGENCE HERBICIDE. TODD GLEASON HAS MORE ADVICE FROM THE WEED SCIENTISTS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS.

CORN YIELD CONTEST:
CORN GROWERS WHO WANT TO ENTER THE NATIONAL CORN YIELD CONTEST ARE GETTING A LITTLE MORE TIME THIS YEAR. THE NATIONAL CORN GROWERS ASSOCIATION IS EXTENDING THE EARLY ENTRY DEADLINE FOR THIS YEAR'S CONTEST BY TEN DAYS. ENTRIES ARE NOW DUE JUNE 25TH. NCGA SAYS AFTER DELAYS IN THE PLANTING SEASON FOR MANY CORN GROWERS, IT FELT THE NEED TO CHANGE THE DEADLINE.

GPS INTERFERENCE:
IN MACHINERY MINUTE, THERE'S A FIERCE BATTLE GOING ON IN THE WORLD OF GPS. A TERRESTRIAL INTERNET COMPANY CALLED LIGHT SQUARED WANTS TO BUILD A NEW NETWORK ACROSS THE COUNTRY. THE PROBLEM IS ITS PROPOSED BROADCAST FREQUENCY IS NEXT TO THE FREQUENCY USED BY GPS AND PRECISION AG SYSTEMS. JOHN DEERE SAYS THE LIGHT SQUARED SIGNAL WOULD CAUSE SUBSTANTIAL INTERFERENCE. THE EQUPIMENT COMPANY HAS DONE TESTING ON THE EQUIPMENT AND MET WITH THE FCC ON THE ISSUE. DEERE RECIEVERS COULD BE IMPACTED UP TO 22 MILES AWAY. SO FAR THERE DOESN'T APPEAR TO BE ANY SOLUTIONS--ALTHOUGH OTHER COMPANIES ARE OFFERING IDEAS. AGRONOMISTS SAY LOSING GPS COULD BE A SERIOUS BLOW TO MODERN AGRICUTLURE. KEN ALSO SAYS GPS HELPS FARMERS WORK INTO THE NIGHT--EXTENDING WORK HOURS AND THE SPEED OF FIELD WORK. THE FCC CHAIRMAN SAYS IT WON'T ALLOW LIGHTSQUARED TO BEGIN COMMERCIAL SERIVCE WITHOUT RESOLVING ANY POTENTIAL INTERFERENCE WITH GPS.

GOVERNMENT BIOFUELS:
ALSO OUT OF WASHINGTON, THE PRESIDENT IS MAKING A BIG PUSH FOR ALTERNATIVE FUELS IN FEDERAL CARS. PRESIDENT OBAMA WANTS THE ENTIRE FLEET OF MORE THAN 600,000 VEHICLES USING ALTERNATIVE FUEL BY 2015. HE ISSUED A PRESIDENTIAL MEMORANDUM TUESDAY ORDERING THE CHANGES. IT'S PART OF NEW "FEDERAL FLEET MANAGEMENT PRACTICES" SEEKING TO CUT OIL IMPORTS BY ONE-THIRD BY 2025 AND PUT ONE MILLION ADVANCED VEHICLES ON THE ROAD BY 2015. THAT MEANS THE VEHICLES MUST BE HYBRID, ELECTRIC, COMPRESSED NATURAL GAS, OR RUN ON BIOFUEL. BOTH THE ETHANOL AND BIODIESEL INDUSTRIES WERE PLEASED WITH THE NEW ORDER. THEY HOPE THE MOVE WILL INCREASE THE NUMBER AND AVAILABILITY OF ALTERNATIVE FUEL VEHICLES AND DISTRIBUTION POINTS.

ANALYSIS:
MARK GOLD

IN THE COUNTRY; PLANT DOCTOR:
BELIEVE IT OR NOT--NOT EVERYONE HAS THE GIFT OF GREEN THUMBS.  WHETHER IT'S DISEASES, INSECTS AND WEEDS PLAGUING PLANTS--IT DOESN'T TAKE LONG FOR ONE TO GET UNHEALTHY. BUT THE DIFFICULT PART FOR MANY GARDENERS IS DETERMINING WHAT'S AILING THE PLANT. NOW LOUISIANA GROWERS HAVE HELP. LSU AGCENTER'S TOBIE BLANCHARD VISITS A PLANT DIAGNOSTIC CENTER WHERE THE PLANT DOCTOR IS IN. THANKS TOBIE. WE'VE GOT A CHECK ON FOOD PRICES AND WHAT LOOKS LIKE AN INCREASE IN FOREIGN TRAVELERS. FOOD AND YOUR FAMILY IS NEXT.

FAO FOOD PRICES:
IN MY FAMILY WE ALWAYS SAY, IT'S EXPENSIVE TO LIVE AND IT LOOKS LIKE FOOD PRICES AREN'T MAKING IT ANY CHEAPER. IN FOOD AND YOUR FAMILY THIS MORNING, THE UN'S FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION SAYS WORLD FOOD PRICES AREN'T COMING DOWN.  THE FAO PREDICTS HIGH AND VOLATILE AG COMMODITY PRICES WILL LIKELY BE A STAPLE THROUGH THE REST OF THIS YEAR AND NEXT. LOW WORLD GRAIN STOCKS ARE HELPING SUPPORT THOSE INCREASES. THE REPORT SAYS EVEN WITH RECORD CROPS-- PRODUCTION LEVELS WILL SIMPLY JUST COVER DEMAND. THE GROWING SEASON IS ALREADY A CONCERN IN PARTS OF THE WORLD, AND THE NEXT FEW MONTHS WILL HELP BUILD THE PICTURE. OVERALL FOOD PRICES FELL BY ABOUT ONE PERCENT LAST MONTH BUT THE HIGH PRICES ARE THREATENING LOW-INCOME, AND FOOD DEFICIT COUNTRIES.

TOURIST RESTAURANT BOOM:
THOSE HIGHER PRICES WILL LIKELY MEET YOU FOR DINNER AT U.S. RESTAURANTS. BUT THERE IS GOOD NEWS FOR THOSE IN THE FOOD SERIVCE INDUSTRY...MORE INTERNATIONAL TRAVELERS. THE COMMERCE DEPARTMENT SAYS IT EXPECTS INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL TO THE U.S. TO GROW SIGNIFICANTLY IN THE NEXT FIVE YEARS...UP ABOUT 7% ANNUALLY. SO HOW DOES THAT TRANSLATE. RESTAURANTS TYPICALLY GET ABOUT 40% OF THEIR SALES FROM TRAVELERS AND VISITORS. THE LION'S SHARE OF TRAVELERS ARE EXPECTED TO COME FROM CHINA, SOUTH KOREA, BRAZIL, INDIA, CANADA AND MEXICO.

CONTACT PAGE:
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