AgDay Daily Recap - March 28, 2012

March 28, 2012 02:28 AM

MARCH 28, 2012

Good morning I’m Clinton Griffiths. Global dairy markets continue to expand at a rapid pace. New data from says the value of the global dairy market is set to reach nearly a half-trillion dollars in the next three years. The global research firm analyzed sales data to come-up with its forecast. The company says the global dairy market was valued at 323-billion dollars in 2009. It expects the value to reach nearly 420-billion by 2015. That's about 4% annual growth. says the importance of dairy products to the ag industry cannot be under-estimated. The U.S. is the world's largest dairy producer. It's coming off a record year in exports. Dickrell says emerging markets have increased their milk production, but they're unable to fulfill domestic demand. That gives the U.S. dairy industry an optimistic outlook.

If you're like most people, you probably tried to drive less last year as a way to save on gasoline costs. New research from the NPD Group says U.S. consumers purchased nearly 2% less gas in 2011. Unfortunately, you still paid a lot more when you did buy. The NPD motor fuels index says consumers paid 24% more in 2011 than 2010 at the gas pump. The company says drivers not only bought less gasoline, they also drove fewer miles. It estimates U.S. drivers collectively cut back on their driving by 36-billion miles through the end of 2011.

In North Dakota the state NASS office expects the statewide average start date for field work will be Monday April 2nd. NASS says that's over a month ahead of the 2011 average start. It would be the earliest since 2003. Also in the northern plains, about half of the South Dakota winter wheat crop is gauged as good or better. A third is fair. In Montana, NASS says more than half of the crop is just fair. A quarter is good and just 3% is excellent. And in Wyoming, winter wheat is showing lots of promise. 71% is good, the rest is fair.

The slow foods movement continues to grow. Whether it's new farmers' markets or purchasing food from a menu that features a farmers' name, the movement is reaching cities across the U.S... No matter the size. In AgDay's ongoing Future of Farming series, national reporter Tyne Morgan shows us how one farmer is building his fields out of brick and mortar in a major metropolitan area. Edel says plant Chicago isn't a money-making business right now. But he hopes that will change in the future with the help of new ventures, like leasing out space to a new brewery currently under construction inside the plant. So how is the project being funded now? Well, right now, mainly out of Edel's own pocket. And he says for this concept to really take off in the future, he will have to prove it's not only profitable, but sustainable over time.

Chris Hurt

Taking care of an animal is usually a chore but in this case a specially trained dog is making life easier for a farmer with a disability. Kent Faddis with University of Missouri Extension introduces us to a farm dog helping its owner get the chores done. With all of the training involved, Trammell's service dog will cost around five thousand dollars. The pharm-dog program relies on donations to help with funding. If you'd like to help, go to the University of Missouri Extension website – www.extension.missouriedu. Food and Your Family is next.

Here's a sweet story you'll want remember. A new study from the archive of internal medicine shows eating lots of chocolate helps keep you thin. Researchers looked at more than 1,000 healthy men and women averaging 57 years old. They found the people who ate chocolate more frequently had smaller BMI's---or body mass index which is used to measure obesity. Researcher say in spite of the calories chocolate is full of antioxidants and other ingredients which may promote weight loss. A study last year showed eating chocolate frequently meant people were 40% less likely to get heart disease and 30% less likely to have a stroke.

And country folk know the importance of a strong handshake. But it could also be important to your health. Researchers at the Boston Medical Center are linking the risk of dementia and stroke to the strength of a person's handshake. They followed some 2,500 men and women for more than 10 years. The study found having a strong grip was associated with a 42% lower risk of stroke in people over 65. Doctors say the suspicion is that a weak grip could be a sign of poor cardio-vascular health.

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