AgDay Daily Recap - May 13, 2011

May 13, 2011 08:59 AM
 

TODAY ON AGDAY:
MAY 13, 2011

SOUTHERN FLOODING:
THE RISING MISSISSIPPI RIVER HAS REACHED LOUISIANA, SENDING WATER OVER LEVEES AND TAKING OUT CROPS. DOWNSTREAM, OFFICIALS WITH THE PORT OF NEW ORLEANS SAY THE COAST GUARD COULD CLOSE THE RIVER TO SHIPS AS EARLY AS MONDAY. BARGES HEADED SOUTH FROM THE CORN BELT WOULD BE UNABLE TO REACH GRAIN ELEVATORS. CARGO SHIPS THAT CARRY AG EXPORTS WOULD BE UNABLE TO MOVE. THOSE LOSSES WILL BEGIN TO MOUNT ONTOP OF CROP LOSSES WE'VE SEEN UP AND DOWN THE RIVER. FARMLAND LOSSES ARE ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE TO FATHOM. ACCORDING TO REUTERS NEWS AGENCY, AN ESTIMATED THREE MILLION ACRES OF FARMLAND IN ARKANSAS, MISSISSIPPI AND TENNESSEE WILL BE SWAMPED BY THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER AND ITS TRIBUTARIES. IN ARKANSAS ALONE, AN ESTIMATED 300,000 ACRES OF RICE WILL BE HIT BY THE FLOODWATERS.  ACCORDING TO THE ARKANSAS FARM BUREAU, THAT EQUALS 10% OF THE TOTAL U.S. RICE ACREAGE PLANTED.

TENNESSEE FLOODS:
THIS IS A SIMILAR SCENE FROM MISSOURI TO LOUISIANA. MILLIONS OF ACRES OF SWAMPED FARM-LAND AND HOMESTEAD. THIS FOOTAGE IS FROM NORTHWEST TENNESSEE, WHERE 300,000 ACRES ARE UNDERWATER. WE TALKED WITH THE TOP AUTHORITY FROM THE CORPS OF ENGINEERS ABOUT THIS RECORD-SETTING FLOOD.

MISS COVERAGE:
IT'S NOT ONLY THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER THAT'S CAUSING THE PROBLEMS...BUT THE TRIBUTARIES THAT FEED INTO THE BIG RIVER, LIKE THE YAZOO RIVER IN MISSISSIPPI. AND THAT LEVEE SYSTEM IS VULNERABLE. THE CORPS OF ENGINEERS HIRED A PRIVATE CONTRACTOR TO LAY A THICK PLASTER BARRIER ON FOUR MILES OF THE YAZOO BACKWATER LEVEE NORTH OF THE CITY OF VICKSBURG. MORE THAN TWO MILLION SQUARE FEET OF THE TARP WAS LAID. THIS IS WHERE THEY EXPECT THE GREATEST PRESSURE...AND THE POTENTIAL FOR LEVEE FAILURE. "OVER-TOPPING" THE LEVEE IS EXPECTED. THE CORPS JUST WANT TO AVOID LEVEE FAILURE.

MISSOURI RECAP:
IT WAS ABOUT A WEEK AGO WHEN THE CORPS OF ENGINEERS INTENTIONALLY BREACHED A LEVEE IN SOUTHEAST MISSOURI.  IT WAS AN ATTEMPT TO SPARE THE TOWN OF CAIRO, ILLINOIS...HOME TO ABOUT 3,000 PEOPLE. WHEN THAT DECISION WAS MADE, IT PUT 130,000 ACRES IN THE DIRECT PATH OF SURGING WATER. AND THOUGH THE WATER HAS RETREATED SOMEWHAT, IT'LL BE SOMETIME BEFORE LIFE RETURNS TO NORMAL. EARLY ESTIMATES PUT THE LOSS AT ABOUT 290 REDISENTIAL STRUCTURES, 10 CHURCHES, THE SMALL COMMUNITY OF PINHOOK...ALONG WITH THAT 130,000 ACRES OF FLOODED FARMLAND.  AND THOSE 26 PARTIES FILING SUIT AGAINST THE ARMY CORPS ESTIMATE LOSSES AT 300-MILLION DOLLARS. SOME FARMLAND MAY NEVER BE RESTORED.

TP SEMINAR:
WE REALIZE MANY OF YOU MAY BE GETTING A LATE START IN PLANTING THE CROPS THIS YEAR, BUT IF YOU CAN AFFORD TO TAKE A DAY OFF THE TRACTOR, WE HAVE JUST THE PLACE TO BE. OUR PARTNERS AT TOP PRODUCER MAGAZINE ARE HOSTING ONE OF THEIR VERY POPULAR TOP PRODUCER SEMINARS! WE TYPICALLY HOLD THE SEMINAR EACH JANUARY IN CHICAGO. BUT BECAUSE OF THE GROWING POPULARITY OF THE EVENT, WE'VE ORGANIZED A MID-YEAR TUNE-UP TO HELP YOU HONE YOUR FARM BUSINESS SKILLS. INDUSTRY LEADERS WILL TALK ABOUT MAINTAINING MARGINS, MANAGING CROP RISK, AND A MARKET OUTLOOK. THERE'LL ALSO BE A SESSION FOR YOUNG PRODUCERS, WITH A FOCUS ON BUYING LAND. THE TOP PRODUCER SUMMER SEMINAR IS SET FOR JUNE 7TH AND 8TH IN BETTENDORF, IOWA. THAT'S RIGHT ALONG THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER. IF YOU WOULD LIKE MORE INFORMATION OR TO REGISTER, GO TO www.agweb.com AND CLICK ON THE "TOP PRODUCER" TAB. YOU CAN ALSO CALL 515-832-1436.

AG EXPORTS:
U.S. AGRICULTURAL EXPORTS SET A RECORD HIGH FOR THE FIRST SIX MONTHS OF THE FISCAL YEAR. USDA SAYS U.S. FARM EXPORTS FROM OCTOBER FIRST THROUGH MARCH 31ST OF THIS YEAR REACHED 75-BILLION DOLLARS. THAT'S A 27% INCREASE OVER THE SAME PERIOD A YEAR AGO. AG SECRETARY TOM VILSACK SAYS THAT PUTS THE U.S. ON TRACK TO REACH THE USDA EXPORT FORECAST OF 135-BILLION DOLLARS. NEARLY 20% OF ALL U.S. AG PRODUCTS ARE HEADED TO CHINA. CANADA IS THE SECOND-LARGEST MARKET. VILSACK SAYS THE RECORD EXPORTS SHOW THAT AMERICA'S FARMERS AND RANCHERS ARE LEADING THE WAY IN ECONOMIC RECOVERY FOR THIS COUNTRY.

IN THE COUNTRY; PEACE GARDEN:
IN A COUPLE OF WEEK'S A TEAM OF GARDENERS WILL GRAB THEIR HAND-TOOLS AND FLATS OF FLOWERS TO PLANT ONE OF THE LARGEST GARDENS IN THE COUNTRY. THE INTERNATIONAL PEACE GARDEN COVERS OVER 2,000 ACRES OF BLOOMS. OF COURSE TO PLANT THAT MANY PETUNIAS, MARIGOLDS AND GERANIUMS, YOU NEED TO START YOUR SEEDS EARLY. OUR OLE' BUDDY CLIFF NAYLOR FROM KFYR-TV IN BISMARCK, NORTH DAKOTA VISITED THE GREENHOUSES WHEN MORE THAN A FOOT OF SNOW WAS STILL ON THE GROUND. I'M SURE CLIFF WILL VISIT THE GARDEN ONCE THE PLANTING BEGINS. WE'LL SHOW YOU THEIR EFFORTS LATER THIS SPRING. TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THIS GARDEN ON THE U.S.-CANADIAN BORDER, GO TO WWW.PEACEGARDEN.COM . FOOD AND YOUR FAMILY IS NEXT.

ASK KAREN:
IN FOOD AND YOUR FAMILY, TECHNOLOGY COMES TO YOUR PICNIC TABLE! NOW THE USDA HAS PUT ANSWERS TO FOOD SAFETY QUESTIONS ON YOUR CELL PHONE. AS GRILLING SEASON GETS UNDERWAY, THE USDA'S FOOD SAFETY AND INSPECTION SERVICE UNVEILED THE "ASK KAREN" APP. IT'S A WEB BASED SMARTPHONE APPLICATION THAT INSTANTLY ANSWER QUESTIONS REGARDING FOOD SAFETY. KAREN IS A VIRTUAL EXPERT ABLE TO GIVE ADVICE ABOUT FOOD HANDLING, STORAGE, AND PREPARTION. IT'S PART OF A NEW INITIATIVE TO INCREASE AWARENESS AND SUPPORT FOR FOOD BORNE ILLNESS PREVENTION. IT'S ALSO AVAILABLE ON THE WEB.

CONTACT PAGE:
WE'D LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU! CONTACT US AT 800-792-4329. OR DROP AN EMAIL TO INBOX@AGDAY.COM . YOU CAN ALSO CHECK US OUT ON SOME OF THAT NEW TECHNOLOGY, AT WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/AGDAY .
 

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