AgDay Daily Recap - November 1, 2011

November 1, 2011 04:39 AM

NOVEMBER 1, 2011

Good morning. Authorities have now recovered three more victims of a weekend elevator explosion in northeast Kansas. The explosion occurred Saturday night at the Bartlett Grain Company Elevator in Atchison. KSHB-TV reports three bodies - all elevator employees - were recovered Saturday. But unstable concrete, hanging steel beams and other damage forced crews to delay the search for additional victims. The three found Monday included an elevator employee and two state grain inspectors. Two other people are hospitalized with severe burns. The cause of the explosion remains under investigation.

In our dairy today report, milk prices are down nearly 20% from their august high. Analysts say softening demand and increased production are to blame.  Futures prices on the Chicago Merc for class three milk are trading near 18 dollars per hundred. But get out into February and those contracts are below 16.50. Retail milk sales are down 3-4% through the first 8 months of the year. Butter and cheese are also lower. However, production is up thanks to 2011's strong prices. U.S. milk output is up nearly 2% in September.

When we talk about precision ag, it usually involves equipment in the field. But there's also precision in the dairy barn. Jeff Franklin has details in this report from the University of Kentucky. Thanks Jeff and don't forget, for the very latest news affecting the dairy industry, including production and policy issues, check out

In North Dakota, the state's farm bureau is looking for new legislation of its own. It's hoping to make farming a constitutional right for residents there. North Dakota is the nation’s largest producer of about a dozen different crops. It's that production the state farm bureau wants to protect. It's trying to collect nearly 27,000 signatures to get a vote on amending the state's constitution to make farming a right. The state farm bureau president says it’s to prevent animal welfare groups like HSUS from enacting unreasonable regulations. Some worry the amendment could actually hurt farmers--for example, by limiting property rights.

Mike Florez

Fall foliage is painting America’s countryside in autumn’s pallet. That's happening now in Tennessee where the state's forests grow some of the best timber in the country. Chuck Denney, with UT Institute of Agriculture recently caught up with extension researchers. They say when landowners properly manage their forests the benefits are real. Thanks chuck. Up next, Food and Your Family.

In Food and Your Family the USDA says consumers in China are enjoying more U.S. produce. Fresh fruit exports to that country are up nearly 20% this year. Oranges, apples and grapes are leading that export surge. So far, in the first 8 months of the year, exports of fresh fruit to China are nearly 250 million dollars, almost 40 million higher than the same period last year. The USDA says online and TV sales are helping Chinese consumers gain access to high quality U.S. produce. China is the United States’ largest agricultural export market.

This year's World Food Prize winner and former president of Brazil just received his award for fighting hunger. Now he's in a fight for his life. The Brazilian leader has been diagnosed with throat cancer. Just last month, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva accepted the World Food Prize in Des Moines for his work in alleviating hunger in his home country of Brazil. Doctors say Lula will begin chemo therapy treatment after discovering a cancerous tumor in his throat. The 66 year old is attributed with lifting 21 million Brazilians out of poverty and helping modernize the nation's agricultural infrastructure.

And if you're a baseball fan, you probably want to know about a big sale. The field of dreams farm--featured in the 1989 Kevin Costner feature film --just sold. The 200 acre Iowa farm was owned by the Lansing family for more than a century. A Chicago investment group bought the property and plans to preserve the legacy. They also hope to add a dozen or more fields to host tournaments for kids.

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