TODAY ON AGDAY
NOVEMBER 25, 2011
Good morning. Clinton is enjoying a couple of days off with the family. Topping our news - farmers who are reclaiming farmland that was destined for development. It's the result of strong commodity prices and a weak economy. The weak economy chased some developers away from residential and commercial projects. And with strong commodity prices, farmers paying down debt and some are buying land. In some cases, they are buying-back the same land they had sold earlier to developers. The editor of land-owner newsletter calls it a reverse 1031 strategy. The Federal Reserve Bank in Chicago released its latest farm-land values report for the seventh district. The Fed says the value of good farmland increased 25% from October 2010 to October 2011. Iowa saw a 31% increase. That district is made-up of five states, including all of Iowa, most of Illinois and Indiana, Wisconsin and Michigan. The Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank released its report as well. Likewise, it showed a 25% jump in farmland values. That district includes Nebraska which saw a 40% surge in farmland values.
Those higher land values are in part due to corn prices. And farmers are getting their money out of the field. The latest crop progress reports shows 96% of crop has been harvested. That's 8 points ahead of the five year average. Ohio is the furthest behind--only 70% of that crop is out of the field. And in winter wheat most of it has emerged. Nearly 90% is out of the ground. So far the crop doesn't look too bad. 50% is rated good to excellent, 34% fair and only 16% is poor or very poor. Texas is the exception. Half of its crop is rated at poor or very poor due to continued drought in that state.
In Louisiana many wheat farmers are still waiting to plant due to dry weather. As the LSU Agcenter's Tobie Blanchard reports, that lack of rain is keeping farmers out of their fields.
In agribusiness the pork industry is expected to have a profitable year in 2012. Purdue Ag Economist Chris Hurt says the level of profitability could be the most favorable during the high-priced feed era. Hurt says profits in 2012 are currently forecast to be near 17-dollars a head. That would be the highest level since 2006. Back then, corn prices were about $2.30 a bushel. Hurt says the pork industry - like most other animal industries - had to make adjustments to live in a world of high-priced feed. He feels the pork industry probably has turned the corner on high feed prices. He also expects the industry will take advantage of abundant and cheap feed wheat.
CAPITOL CHRISTMAS TREE:
For many of you the day after Thanksgiving is when you start putting-up your Christmas tree. Well the tree that adorns the front of the U.S. capitol is not ready for decorations, but it's on the way. The tree was cut-down about two weeks ago from the Stanislaus National Forest, which is located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California. It's a 65 foot tall Sierra White Fir. It was loaded on a special flat-bed truck for the 20-day, three thousand mile trip. The tree is supposed to arrive in Washington on Monday. The lighting ceremony is December sixth.
IN THE COUNTRY; NO BULLY 4H:
Students from elementary to high school say one of the biggest challenges they face each day is being bullied by their fellow students. Bullying has gotten to be such a serious issue in one Kentucky County, students and the community decided to do something about it. And as Jeff Franklin reports, they came up with a "super" way to tackle the problem. Thanks Jeff, neat program. Still to come, heart patients were told to avoid grape-fruit because it interfered with certain medications. But new research is changing that. Details next in food and your family.
If you're on certain heart medications, you've probably heard the warnings about avoiding grape-fruit and grapefruit juice. Stephanie Vichera has details in how these warnings can be removed. If you're on certain heart medications, you've probably heard the warnings about avoiding grape-fruit and grapefruit juice. Stephanie Vichera has details in how these warnings can be removed.