AgDay Daily Recap - March 29, 2011

March 29, 2011 02:42 AM

MARCH 29, 2011

Rook Plantings Report

USDA will release its 2011 planting intensions report on Thursday morning. It's a much anticipated survey with historically tight ending stocks for nearly every crop going into the new season.  With row crop prices near 2008 levels and historically high prices for cotton, every crop will be battling for acres.  Which ones will win out?  Agday's Michelle Rook asked some growers. The biggest unknown is still the weather.  The eastern corn belt has been wet which may slow planting.  Plus the recent snow and flooding in the northern plains will mean some planting delays and could shift some corn and spring wheat acres to soybeans.  Down south its dry and the southwest is staring at its worst drought in some forty years.  The report comes out Thursday morning at seven-30. You can access it on  Plus watch for analysis from our partners at pro farmer.


Sow Herd

The planting intentions report isn't the only numbers update from the USDA. It also just released the latest hogs and pigs inventory numbers. The results surprised analysts with the total number of hogs and pigs up about one percent on the year. With just less than 64 million head--industry watchers were anticipating numbers remaining unchanged.  The USDA says the nation's breeding herd is also up, although slightly--at a half a percent--but its still four percent below the five year average.  Intentions for the coming months, are forecast to be 3 percent lower than last year.


Neb Cattle ID

Switching gears, the northern plains continues to deal with health issues from brucelosis.

The disease can spread from cattle to wildlife and causes premature calving. Some infected cows become sterile. The issue is forcing states to be more vigilant.  As we've reported brucelosis is popping up in the Yellowstone region--including Idaho, Montana and Wyoming.  Now the Nebraska state Department of AG, is getting tough on animals entering the state from that area.

It's calling for animals brought into Nebraska to be permanently marked so they can be traced back to their state of origin.  The order includes all sexually intact cattle and bison.

Colorado also recently implemented a similar rule. It starts September first.


Dt Dairy Cull

In our dairy today report...extremely favorable cull cow prices is encouraging dairy producers to send their animals to slaughter. According to our reporting partners at dairy today, 249-thousand dairy cows were sent through federally inspected slaughter plants in February. Citing USDA data, this is 12-percent more than a year ago. In January, 264-thousand dairy cows went to slaughter.       Dairy today is finding extremely strong cull prices. Arizona producers are getting 68-dollars per hundredweight. Minnesotan's are getting 63-dollars and Pennsylvania dairy producers are seeing 65-dollars per hundredweight.  Cooperatives working together announced last year it was going to focus its attention on dairy exports, instead of herd buyouts, to strengthen milk prices.  To that end, c-w-t said Monday it has helped export 19-point-six million pounds thru the first three months of this year. Last year, they helped with the export of 77-million pounds.


DT Tightness

Meanwhile, market volatility in the dairy sector is expected to continue until japan's situation becomes clearer. That's the word from analysts at Rabobank {rah-bow bank}. In its quarterly dairy report, the international bank said the dairy price rally was halted when the market reacted to the Japansese disaster. It was the same market jitters that impacted grain prices over the past two weeks. Economists at Rabobank say they see market tightness thru the second quarter of this year, backed by improving demand.



In agribusiness this morning..U.S. Grain futures struggled to ride last week's wave. Traders spent the day looking for more evidence of corn sales to China. Corn fell 18 and half cents...good news for the livestock industry which continues face high input costs and tight margins. Al Pell and Gary Wilhelmi are here with a look at the livestock sector in this morning's analysis.


ITC:  LSU Cattle Reproduction

It seems like the days of heading to the sale barn to buy a herd bull are quickly disappearing into the rear view mirror. Today, advances in livestock genetics are almost jaw dropping. On the outskirts of Baton Rouge, a research facility conducts work on cloning, embryo transfer and epi-genetics.  Tobie Blanchard of LSU's Agcenter has the story.


Pineapple Plastic

In food in your family this morning, scientists in Brazil have gone bananas. Or i should say...they hope to go-- thanks to bananas, pineapple and other fruit fibers.  The Brazilians say they've found a way to make car parts using fruit leftovers. Scientists have created plastics strengthened by fruit fibres from things like pineapples, bananas, coconut shells, agave and even cat-tails.  The result is plastic that's 3 to 4 times stronger and 30 percent lighter. It's even more resistent to heat, water and spilled gasoline. Experts say the new product could find its way into automobiles within the next two years.


Human cow milk

Now to an interesting if not an odd scientific breakthrough in the Chinese dairy world. Scientists from that country say they've developed genetically modified dairy cows capable of producing milk with the same characteristics of human milk. It's allegedly easier to digest and contains nutrients that help boost immunity.  State laboratories say they've created a herd of more than 200 cows capable of producing the human-like milk.  The national ministry of AG has issued a permit for a 22 month study.



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