AgDay Daily Recap - November 10, 2011

November 10, 2011 02:37 AM

NOVEMBER 10, 2011

Good morning. Production figures in three major crops were all reduced in USDA's November ninth report. And those numbers dipped below average trade expectations. Let's get right to the numbers. USDA says the corn crop is forecast at 12.3 billion bushels, down 1% from the October forecast. Yields are down nearly a bushel and a half from October. USDA pegs the national average yield at 146.7 bushels an acre. That's down six bushels from last year. And the lowest average since 2003. The soybean crop is down slightly from October. The Ag department lowered average yield by two-tenths of a bushel to 41.3. That pegs production at just over three billion bushels. And cotton production is also lower. The Ag department says cotton growers will produce 16.3 million bales. That's down 2% from October's forecast and ten percent lower than last year. Bale weight is 794 pounds, down 18 pounds from a year ago.

The USDA also made adjustments to carry over. For corn, it's projecting year ending stocks at 843 million bushels. That's down more than 20 million bushels from its October forecast. Corn wasn't alone, wheat supplies also fell by 9 million bushels. That change comes from update production estimates in the northern states. USDA resurveyed farmers where significant acres were un-harvested in early September. Five million bushels of that reduction came from North Dakota alone. Soybeans stocks were down 14 million bushels. Pro Farmer's Brian Grete continues our coverage.

Corn futures prices have pulled back about $1.50 from the nearly eight dollar high set earlier this summer. However, the crop is still projected to be smaller than a year ago which has livestock producers concerned about feed availability - which then leads to the debate of food versus fuel. AgDay regional reporter Michelle Rook has our story. Higher priced cattle will ultimately result in higher food prices. However Ag leaders say consumers may need to start getting used to paying more for food, especially with the growing demand around the world.

Greg Milkovich

Sustainability has become a big buzz word in agriculture recently. How can farmers and ranchers remain productive while still protecting the environment? The University of Tennessee is dedicating a new facility to studying just that. As Chuck Denney with the UT Institute of Ag reports, the work is exploring the proper blend of commerce, research and preservation. Thanks Chuck. The Little River Unit will also allow UT agriculture students to study animal and crop production on site. Up next a new tax for Christmas tree growers. Food and your family after the break.

In food and your family it won't be long until Christmas trees start making appearances. But the holiday symbol is already poking its way into the news. Earlier this week the USDA said it would mandate a 15-cent tax on trees to help pay for promoting the industry. The money will go to a new Christmas tree promotion board--much like a check off program. The 15 cent per tree tax was only for the big guys, producers or importers of fresh trees that sell or import more than 500 a year. Now after outside criticism--the USDA says it will delay implementation of the tax and revisit the action later.

And if you feel mentally run down this next story might perk you up. Researchers at the University of Georgia are looking at whether black pepper or rosemary could give people a boost. Spices are an important part of any meal but many alternative medicine practitioners tout their ability to combat fatigue. But does it? A professor at the University of Georgia aims to find out. McCormick is providing the spices and funding for the research.  They hope to determine whether mental energy is altered, compared to placebo after eating black pepper or rosemary.

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