AgDay Daily Recap - May 5, 2011

May 5, 2011 05:04 AM
 

TODAY ON AGDAY:
MAY 5, 2011

FARMER LAWSUIT:
MORE THAN TWO DOZEN MISSOURI FARMERS ARE SUING THE U.S. GOVERNMENT FOR BLOWING A HOLE IN A LEVEE THAT WAS HOLDING BACK THE SWOLLEN MISSISSIPPI RIVER. THAT WATER NOW COVERS MORE THAN 130,000 ACRES OF FARMLAND IN SOUTHEAST MISSOURI.
THE SUIT CLAIMS THE GOVERNMENT VIOLATED THE FARMERS' RIGHTS BY TAKING THEIR LAND WITHOUT ADEQUATE COMPENSATION. THE ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS SAYS THE FARMERS' PROPERTY IS PART OF A FLOODWAY ESTABLISHED IN THE 1920'S, WHICH ALLOWS THE GOVERNMENT TO FLOOD THE LAND. THE CORPS BLEW THE LEVEE MONDAY IN AN EFFORT TO TAKE SOME OF THE PRESSURE OFF THE FLOODWALL AT CAIRO, ILLINOIS. A SECOND HOLE WAS CREATED DOWN-RIVER TO ALLOW THE WATER BACK INTO THE MISSISSIPPI.  THE COMPLAINT SAYS THE CORE VIOLATED THE "TAKING CLAUS" OF THE 5TH AMENDMENT, WHICH BARS THE GOVERNMENT FROM TAKING PRIVATE PROPERTY WITHOUT DUE PROCESS. WE'D LIKE TO HEAR FROM YOU ABOUT THE CORPS OF ENGINEERS DECISION TO BLOW THE LEVEE...AND THIS LAWSUIT. DO THESE FARMERS HAVE A CASE, OR IS IT A RISK THEY FACE, BY OWNING LAND NEAR THE RIVER. SEND YOUR COMMENTS TO THE AGDAY INBOX. THAT ADDRESS IS INBOX@AGDAY.COM .

TEXAS AG LOSSES:
WE BEGIN OUR BEEF TODAY REPORT IN THE LONESTAR STATE, WHERE PRODUCERS OUT WEST ARE STRUGGLING WITH DROUGHT AND WILDFIRE.  STATE OFFICIALS ESTIMATE FIRES IN APRIL ALONE CAUSED MORE THAN 20 MILLION DOLLARS IN AGRICULTURAL LOSSES. DAMAGES TO THE RANCHING INDUSTRY MAKE UP THE LARGEST PORTION OF COSTS. THE DROUGHT AND WIND FUELED FIRES DETROYED FENCES, BUILDINGS, GRAZING PASTURES AND KILLED LIVESTOCK ACROSS THE REGION.
WITH MORE THAN 2 MILLION ACRES OF PASTURE BURNED UP AND RAIN SHOWERS ON SEBATICLE, LIVESTOCK MARKETING SPECIALISTS RECOMMEND GETTING PLANS IN PLACE.

BT TODAY:
AS CATTLEMEN DECIDE WHETHER TO SHIP CATTLE TO MARKET, EXPORT DEMAND IS HELPING SUPPORT PRICES. BEEF EXPORTS IN FEBRUARY WERE UP 25% OVER LAST YEAR. ACCORDING TO THE U.S. MEAT EXPORT FEDERATION--IN THE FIRST TWO MONTHS OF 2011--THE U.S. EXPORTED ABOUT 9.5% OF ALL U.S. BEEF PRODUCTION. A SLIGHTLY STRONGER WORLD ECONOMY AND WEAK U.S. DOLLAR ARE HELPING DRIVE DEMAND.  IN EUROPE A FRIENDLIER TRADE ENVIROMENT BETWEEN THE U.S. AND EU IS HELPING REBUILD EXPORT VOLUME FASTER THAN EXPECTED. THE EU AGREED TO EASING RESTRICTIONS ON CATTLE RAISED WITH GROWTH HORMONES, AND THE U.S. COMMITED TO ELIMINATING RETALITORY TARIFFS ON SOME EU PRODUCTS. U.S. BEEF SHIPMENTS IN THE FIRST YEAR MAY HIT 16.5 METRIC TONS.

CATTLE FUTURES:
BACK HOME U.S. CATTLE MARKETS ARE UNDER PRESSURE. FUTURES PRICES HAVE FALLEN TO A SEVEN-WEEK LOW--NEAR A $1.10 PER POUND FOR LIVE JUNE CATTLE. FEEDER CATTLE IN JUNE ARE HOVERING AROUND $1.29. A SLOW START TO SUMMER GRILLING SEASON AND HIGH CONSUMER PRICES ARE BEING BLAMED FOR THE SOFTENING DEMAND.  INCREASED GASOLINE PRICES AREN'T HELPING EITHER.

BEEF REPORT PROMO:
YOU CAN GET MANY MORE UPDATES ON THE BEEF INDUSTRY, INCLUDING MARKET AND PRODUCTION INFORMATION FROM OUR PARTNERS AT WWW.BEEFTODAY.COM .

VEETC BILL:
CATTLEMEN ARE SUPPORTING A NEW CONGRESSIONAL BILL SEEKING TO END ETHANOL SUBSIDIES AND TARIFFS. OKLAHOMA SENATOR TOM COBURN AND CALIFORNIA SENATOR DIANNE FEINSTEIN INTRODUCED THE LEGISLATION THIS WEEK. THE ETHANOL SUBSIDY AND TARIFF REPEAL ACT ELIMINATES VEETEC--A TAX CREDIT REFINERS GET FOR BLENDING ETHANOL WITH GASOLINE--AND IT WOULD END THE IMPORT TARIFF ON FOREIGN ETHANOL. SPONSORS OF THE BILL CALL THESE ETHANOL SUBSIDIES BAD ECONOMIC POLICY ADDING THE TARIFFS ARE KEEPING GAS PRICES HIGH. THE NATIONAL CATTLEMEN'S BEEF BOARD SAYS IT WANTS A LEVEL PLAYING FIELD WHEN IT COMES TO BUYING CORN AND DOESN'T SUPPORT GOVERNMENT PROPPING UP AN INDUSTRY THAT SHOULD BE ABLE TO STAND ON ITS OWN FEET. SUPPORTERS, INCLUDING AG SECRETARY VILSACK SAY ETHANOL IS IMPORTANT TO NATIONAL SECURITY AND JOBS IN RURAL AMERICA.

SCC UPDATE:
OUR REPORTING PARTNERS AT DAIRY TODAY HAVE AN UPDATE ON A PLAN TO LOWER THE SOMATIC CELL COUNT IN THE U.S. DAIRY HERD. DELEGATES TO THE NATIONAL CONFERENCE ON INTERSTATE MILK SHIPMENTS VOTED AGAINST A PROPOSAL TO LOWER THE U.S. GRADE-A STANDARD TO 400,000 CELLS. IN A SURPRISE, THE PROPOSAL FAILED BY JUST ONE VOTE, 25 TO 26. THAT AFTER EARLIER AMMENDMENTS ON THE TOPIC PASSED WITH WIDE MARGINS. DELEGATES AGAINST THE DECREASED STANDARD WORRIED TOO MANY SMALL AND SOUTHERN FAMERS WOULD BE FORCED OUT OF BUSINESS. AS WE SAID TUESDAY, IF THE MEASURE HAD PASSED, 14% OF U.S. DAIRY HERDS WOULD BE OUT OF COMPLIANCE.

CONAGRA BUYS POST:
IN AGRIBUSINESS THIS MORNING, CONAGRA FOODS IS MAKING A RUN AT THE OWNER OF POST CEREALS. CONAGRA SAYS IT OFFERED POST PARENT COMPANY RAL-CORP $86 PER SHARE OR NEARLY FIVE BILLION DOLLARS. THE ALL-CASH PROPOSAL WOULD GIVE CONAGRA ALL OUTSTANDING COMMON SHARES OF RALCORP. IN ADDITION TO POST, RALCORP MANUFACTURES MANY PRIVATE LABEL AND BRANDED CONSUMER FOODS.

ANALYSIS:
CHUCK CONNOR

INDIANA WINE:
WHEN YOU THINK OF WINE GROWING STATE'S, INDIANA DOESN'T EXACTLY COME TO MIND BUT A RECENT CAMPAIGN IS PROMOTING A SINGLE GRAPE THAT IS GROWING... JUST LIKE THE STATES WINE INDUSTY. FRANK WAUGH FROM AFFILIATE WNDU-TV IN SOUTH BEND, INDIANA EXPLAINS THAT THIS GRAPE IS TOUGH ENOUGH TO SURVIVE NORTHERN INDIANA'S HARSH WINTER CLIMATE AND SWEET ENOUGH TO SELL BEYOND ITS BORDERS. THANKS FRANK. THERE ARE JUST OVER 50 WINERIES IN INDIANA...MORE THAN HALF ARE NOW GROWING TRAMINETTE GRAPES. FOOD AND YOUR FAMILY IS NEXT.

TOP TEN FOOD BUGS:
IN FOOD AND YOUR FAMILY, THE CHICKEN INDUSTRY IS TAKING EXCEPTION TO A NEW REPORT THAT PUTS CONTAMINATED POULTRY AT THE TOP OF A LIST OF FOOD BORNE ILLNESSES. THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA RELEASED A STUDY THAT REVEALS THE TOP TEN RISKIEST COMBINATIONS OF FOODS AND DISEASE-CAUSING MICRO-ORGANISMS IN THE UNITED STATES. THE NUMBER ONE BUG IS CAMPYLOBACTER WHICH IS OFTEN ASSOCIATED WITH RAW CHICKEN. FLORIDA RESEARCHERS SAY THE BACTERIA CAUSED THE MOST FOODBORNE ILLNESSES IN THIS COUNTRY - - MORE THAN 600,000 PEOPLE A YEAR... AT A COST OF MORE THAN A BILLION DOLLARS. THEIR RESEARCH LOOKED AT THE COSTS AND OVERALL PUBLIC HEALTH BURDEN FROM VARIOUS FOOD BUGS. THEIR SCIENTISTS SAY IT SHOULD HELP GUIDE THE FDA TO ADOPT A MORE PREVENTATIVE APPROACH TO REGULATION. IN RESPONSE TO THE REPORT, THE NATIONAL CHICKEN COUNCIL SAYS THE INDUSTRY TAKES FOOD SAFETY VERY SERIOUSLY. IT SAYS THE PRESENCE OF THE MICRO-ORGANISMS IN RAW CHICKEN HAS BEEN GREATLY REDUCED. THE NCC REMINDS CONSUMERS TO TAKE THE NECESSARY SAFETY PRECAUTIONS, SUCH AS PROPER COOKING TEMPERATURE, TO INSURE THE SAFETY OF THE FOOD. BACK TO THE LIST, CAMPYLOBACTER IN POULTRY WAS NUMBER ONE, FOLLOWED BY TOX-OH-PLASMA IN PORK, LISTERIA IN DELI MEATS AND SALMONELLA IN POULTRY. E-COLI IN BEEF WAS NUMBER SIX.

MEAT MYTHS:
MEANWHILE, THE MEAT INDUSTRY IS LAUNCHING A CAMPAIGN TO CRUSH WHAT IT CALLS "POPULAR MYTHS" ASSOCIATED WITH MEAT AND POULTRY. THE AMERICAN MEAT INSTITUTE AND THE AMERICAN MEAT-SCIENCE ASSOCIATION CREATED A WEBSITE CALLED WWW.MEATMYTHCRUSHERS.COM . IT PROVIDES INFORMATION AND RESOURCES FOR CONSUMERS TO RESEARCH MODERN FOOD PRODUCTION.  THE WEBSITE FEATURES A DOZEN VIDEOS WHICH THE GROUPS HOPE WILL INFORM THE PUBLIC ON HOW MEAT IS PRODUCED.

CONTACT PAGE:
WE'D LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU! CONTACT US AT 800-792-4329. OR DROP AN EMAIL TO INBOX@AGDAY.COM . DON'T FORGET TO SEND US YOUR COMMENTS ABOUT THE LAWSUIT FILED AGAINST THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT FOR BURSTING THAT LEVEE IN MISSOURI. AND OF COURSE, YOU CAN CHECK US OUT ON WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/AGDAY .
 

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