AgDay Daily Recap - March 2, 2011

March 2, 2011 03:06 AM
 

TODAY ON AGDAY:
MARCH 02, 2011

WHEAT CROP:
PARTS OF THE PLAINS SAW SOME SHOWERS THIS WEEK. . . AND THAT'S A GOOD THING FOR STRUGGLING WINTER WHEAT CROPS. ON MONDAY, USDA RELEASED PROGRESS REPORTS ON THE WHEAT CROPS IN KANSAS, OKLAHOMA AND TEXAS. IN KANSAS, THE LACK OF MOISTURE AND SNOW COVER THIS WINTER HAS MANY FARMERS CONCERNED FOR THEIR WINTER WHEAT CROP AS FEBRUARY CLOSED AND SPRING DRAWS NEAR. 40% IS POOR TO VERY POOR. 35% IS FAIR. IN TEXAS, 56% IS CALLED POOR TO VERY POOR WITH 26% FAIR. AND IN OKLAHOMA, 42% POOR TO VERY POOR. 39% IS FAIR. THE TEXAS AND OKLAHOMA CROPS WERE HURT BADLY THIS WINTER BY THE DRYNESS. THEY ALSO SUFFERED BY ARCTIC COLD TEMPERATURES AND LITTLE SNOW COVER TO PROTECT IT.

OIL PRICES:
UN-REST IN NORTH AFRICA AND THE MIDDLE EAST CONTINUE TO BE FELT IN THE CRUDE OIL MARKETS. THE PRICE FOR A BARREL OF OIL CONTINUES TO HOVER AROUND A HUNDRED DOLLARS. AT THE PUMP, YOU'RE PAYING ABOUT 20-CENTS MORE A GALLON THAN A WEEK AGO FOR GASOLINE. FOR DIESEL IT'S 16-CENTS HIGHER THAN A WEEK AGO. AND 85-CENTS HIGHER THAN A YEAR AGO. I TALKED WITH BILL BIEDERMANN FROM ALLENDALE INCORPORATED ABOUT LOCKING-IN YOUR ON-FARM FUEL COSTS.

ETHANOL PRODUCTION:
MEANWHILE, 2010 WAS A RECORD YEAR FOR AMERICAN ETHANOL PRODUCERS. THE RENEWABLE FUELS ASSOCIATION SAYS DAILY ETHANOL PRODUCTION HIT MORE THAN 36-MILLION GALLONS. THAT EQUALS 13.3 BILLION GALLONS EACH YEAR. IN 2009, ETHANOL PRODUCTION REACHED 10.7 BILLION GALLONS.

ETHANOL TAX CREDITS ROGER:
AS LAWMAKERS SHARPEN THEIR BUDGET KNIVES TO CUT SOME OF THE NATION'S DEBT, ETHANOL SUBSIDIES SEEM TO BE AT RISK FOR CUTS. A NEW REPORT FROM THE GENERAL ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE SAYS DUPLICATION AMONG FEDERAL PROGRAMS MAY BE WASTING BILLIONS OF DOLLARS. AMONG THE PROGRAMS UNDER CRITICAL REVIEW ARE THOSE ASSOCIATED WITH ETHANOL. THE GAO SAYS ELIMINATING SOME OF THE FEDERAL PROGRAMS TO INCREASE ETHANOL PRODUCTION COULD SAVE ABOUT SIX BILLION DOLLARS A YEAR. PRO FARMER WASHINGTON EDITOR ROGER BERNARD HAS DETAILS.

MM MASSEY TRACTOR:
IN MACHINERY MINUTE, IF YOU DO A LOT OF FRONT-END LOADER WORK ON YOUR OPERATION, MASSEY FERGUSON HAS A NEW TRACTOR THAT MAY BE WORTH LOOKING AT. DURING THE NATIONAL FARM MACHINERY SHOW, THE COMPANY UNVEILED ITS 54-50 MID-RANGE TRACTOR. THIS MACHINE WAS DESIGNED WITH A SLOPED-HOOD TO IMPROVE VISIBILITY. MASSEY SAYS NO MATTER WHAT THE JOB IS, THE OPERATOR CAN SEE THE TIP OF THE BUCKET. IT WAS SPECIFICALLY DESIGNED AS ONE-UNIT.  THE 54-50 IS A 75-HORSE PTO. IT IS ALSO TIER-THREE EMISSIONS-COMPLIANT.

COMMODITY CLASSIC:
IN AGRIBUSINESS, THE TOP CORN, SOYBEAN, WHEAT AND SORGHUM GROWERS ARE GATHERING THIS WEEK FOR THE ANNUAL COMMODITY CLASSIC TRADE SHOW. THIS YEARS BIG MEETING IS BEING HELD IN FLORIDA. AND AS YOU WOULD EXPECT, THE FARM JOURNAL TEAM IS THERE. CLINTON GRIFFITHS IS ON ASSIGNMENT THERE. WE'LL HEAR FROM HIM LATER THIS WEEK. TAMPA IS NO STRANGER TO HOSTING THIS BIG SHOW. IT WAS LAST HELD THERE IN 2007. THE TRADE SHOW DOESN'T REALLY KICK INTO HIGH GEAR UNTIL TOMORROW. TODAY IS USUALLY RESERVED FOR MEETINGS OF THE GROWER GROUPS. THAT'S WHERE THEY'LL OFTEN SET THEIR AGENDA AND DISCUSS POLICY. WE'LL HAVE REPORTS FROM TAMPA LATER THIS WEEK.

ANALYSIS:
BILL BIEDERMANN

IN THE COUNTRY; ROBES FOR HOPE:
4-H'ERS IN ONE TENNESSEE TOWN ARE USING THEIR SEWING SKILLS TO EASE SOME OF THE BURDEN ON ABUSE VICTIMS. THEY'RE MAKING SPECIAL ARTICLES OF CLOTHING FOR WOMEN WHO ARE IN BAD NEED OF SUPPORT. IN THIS REPORT FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE, CHUCK DENNEY TELLS US ABOUT THE LESSONS LEARNED IN "ROBES OF HOPE".  CHUCK SAYS LOUDON COUNTY HAS APPLIED FOR A GRANT TO EXPAND THIS PROGRAM. STILL TO COME, FOOD AND YOUR FAMILY LOOKS AT HOW ST. LOUIS IS BATTLING FOOD SHORTAGES ONE "DESERT" AT A TIME.

VITAMIN D ALLERGIES:
IF YOUR CHILD DOESN'T GET ENOUGH VITAMIN D, IT COULD PUT THEM AT HIGHER RISK FOR ALLERGIES. DETAILS IN FOOD AND YOUR FAMILY. RESEARCHERS AT THE ALBERT EINSTEIN COLLEGE OF MEDICINE IN NEW YORK ARE STUDYING THE IMPACT OF LOW VITAMIN D LEVELS IN CHILDREN. THEY STUDIED 6,500 CHILDREN AND ADULTS. THEY FOUND NO LINK BETWEEN VITAMIN D LEVELS AND ALLERGIES IN ADULTS. BUT, FOR CHILDREN, LOW VITAMIN D LEVELS COULD BE LINKED TO SENSITIVITY TO 11 OF THE 17 ALLERGENS TESTED. THEY TESTED COMMON CAUSES OF ALLERGIES, LIKE RAGWEED, DOG HAIR, AND PEANUTS. CHILDREN WHO HAD VITAMIN D DEFICIENCY WERE 2.5 TIMES AS LIKELY TO HAVE A PEANUT ALLERGY THAN WERE CHILDREN WITH SUFFICIENT LEVELS OF VITAMIN D.

FOOD DESERT:
A UNIQUE ST. LOUIS INNER CITY GROCERY STORE CATCHES THE ATTENTION OF THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE. ROGER BEACHY DIRECTOR OF THE NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF FOOD AND AGRICULTURE TOURED THE OLD NORTH GROCERY CO-OP IN NORTH ST. LOUIS. THE NEIGHBORHOOD WAS ONCE A FOOD DESERT BECAUSE OF NO GROCERY STORE NEARBY. BUT WITH THE HELP OF UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI EXTENSION AND AREA AGENCIES, THE GROCERY CO-OP OPENED ITS DOORS LAST YEAR. BEACHY SAYS IT'S IMPORTANT THE USDA WORK CLOSELY WITH LAND GRANT UNIVERSITIES TO CREATE SOLUTIONS.  BEACHY SAYS IT WILL TAKE THE HELP OF BOTH PRIVATE AND PUBLIC SECTORS TO INCREASE ACCESS TO HEALTHY AFFORDABLE FOODS AND ELIMINATE FOOD DESERTS IN URBAN COMMUNITIES ACROSS THIS COUNTRY.
 

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