AgDay Daily Recap - March 7, 2012

March 7, 2012 04:12 AM

MARCH 7, 2012


Good morning. Since the first of the year, drivers have seen prices at the pump climb steadily higher. And a new report from the government seems to indicate those prices are going to continue to climb. On Tuesday the energy information administration raised its projection for gasoline prices for 2012 by a quarter. Last month the EIA forecasted gasoline prices at $3.55 a gallon. This month that forecast has jumped to $3.379 a gallon. EIA expects west Texas intermediate crude oil to average about $106 a barrel in 2012, five dollars higher than the previous outlook and eleven dollars higher than a year ago. The agency said supply disruptions in the Middle East and Africa contributed to a significant increase in world crude oil prices during February.

Sorghum growers in the southern U.S. are dusting off planters and preparing to put seed in the ground. But after last year's widespread drought in the heart of sorghum country there's questions about getting enough seed. Severe drought wrecked last year's crop in the southern plains. But greater than expected winter moisture has agronomists optimistic about the 2012 season. Planters are already running in the coastal bend areas.
And according to county extension agents, core samples indicate there is enough moisture to get the crop up. Many farmers are looking to drought tolerant sorghum in lieu of last year's lack of rain. And that is raising concerns about seed shortages. While seed growers hope for a better year, many dairies in the southern plains are considering sorghum silage. The water conserving crop may get a boost in acres as farmers switch from water intensive crops like corn.

It's projected farmers worldwide will double their yields by the year 2050. More yield means moving more grain. In our Future of Farming series, national reporter Tyne Morgan shows us if the U.S. transportation system is ready for increased traffic on its waterways, Tyne. Infrastructure is a key to U.S. agriculture... The way essential goods are moved throughout the nation and then exported to other countries. Many areas of infrastructure, however, are in desperate need of improvement and finding the funds to do that creates a challenge. Some leaders think if it doesn't get fixed in the near future, the U.S. could lose its exporting edge. Vilsack says that's what congress is elected to do... make the tough decisions and improve systems that need it, like locks and dams. What about the Panama Canal expansion project? I know the impact it will have in the future is a major focus for many in agriculture. When panama finishes the project in 2014, fully loaded Panamax ships will be able to pass through. That means larger loads of grain. But right now, there are very few ports in the U.S. that can accommodate those ships...which is a concern for many in the ag sector.

Sue Martin

Five years ago, 4-H clubs across the state of Mississippi were celebrating 100 years of 4-H in the Magnolia State. Part of that celebration included the opening of a special museum that traced the heritage of the youth organization in Mississippi. Now, five years later, the museum has undergone a transformation. In this report from Mississippi State Extension, Amy Taylor tells us how the museum now reflects the changing face of 4-H. Thanks Amy. Neat place. Food and Your Family is next.

In Food and Your Family, if you want the latest on food recalls in your state, just log on to Twitter. The USDA announced it's turning to social media to give consumers the latest information. The department says it plans to create a new twitter account for each state. On their feed, they'll post consumer alerts about recalls of meat, poultry and processed egg products. So far, USDA has created accounts for 8 states, including Texas and New Jersey. It says this provides another way to provide consumers with critical information fast.

Most parents of newborns do everything they can to make sure their child doesn't catch even a cold. But what if you could boost your child's immunity by the formula you feed them? New research shows adding pre and probiotics to an infant's formula could make a difference. The idea is to make the milk more like breast milk. The study found the probiotic formula helped improve immunity, especially in babies delivered by C-section. Researches said the addition of probiotics helped grow important bacteria in infants' intestines, which formula-fed infants lack.

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