AgDay Daily Recap - November 2, 2011

November 2, 2011 06:09 AM

NOVEMBER 2, 2011

Good morning. For the most part, America’s farmers are making good advances on the corn and soybean harvest this fall.

USDA’s crop progress report shows more than three-quarters of the nation's corn was harvested as of October 30th and only a little more than 10% of the soybean crop remained in the field. Nationally, both corn and soybean harvests are running well ahead of the five year average. We were in Potter County, South Dakota where harvesters are running hard to bring-in the crop.

Forgey was standing in a wheat field that was cut in August. They planted a "cocktail" cover crop which includes oats, flax, canola, radishes and field peas.

Meanwhile at 89%, most winter wheat is now seeded. Other than Texas, most of the major wheat states are at 90% or better. And about 70% has emerged, which is near the average pace. As far as condition, 41% is fair. Another 41% is good. There are also big gains in the cotton harvest. It's at 55%, twelve points ahead of average. Other than Alabama and Oklahoma, most cotton states are ahead of the normal pace.

As we continue our I-80 harvest tour across the Midwest, we're stopping in north central Ohio. You may remember, the eastern Corn Belt - especially Ohio - had big delays in planting. The May 16th crop progress report showed 63% of the nation's corn was planted. In Ohio, it was just 7%. The state's five year average is 70%. As it turns out, those delays weren't so bad. The Meyers usually plant about 300 acres of wheat. Jeff says a lot of winter wheat will not get planted in his area because of the late harvest.

A new EPA regulation has gone into effect and it could impact farmers who spray pesticides in or near water. The measure is part of the clean water act. The American Farm Bureau Federation and the National Corn Growers Association say this adds another burden on farmers by increasing the permit process. They feel water quality concerns were already addressed by other federal laws. The house had taken action to stop this pesticide permit. But the senate did not, so the rule went into effect on Monday. The NCGA says farmers will now be exposed to a new set of legal liabilities and potential lawsuits.

In agribusiness as you begin to "pencil in" your inputs for next year, you may need to add some "led" to fertilizer costs. Potash-Corp CEO Bill Doyle expects strong demand for potash throughout 2012 due to tight supplies. He says that potash production capacity was being constrained due to the uncertainty about other economic factors impacting farmers. Doyle says some fertilizer purchases are holding-off until some economic stability is seen. And with strong on-farm income this year, Doyle says American farmers will be digging deep into their pockets to ensure future crop strength.

Bill Biedermann

An Indiana based seed company is celebrating its 75th anniversary in a high-powered way. Beck's Hybrids commissioned a famous - or infamous - motorcycle maker to come-up with two custom choppers. As Wes Mills tells us the machines are memorable, but the driving message behind the bikes maybe even more telling about the company. The Beck's bikes will be on display at various farm shows in the Midwest this winter. They'll also be at the National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville, Kentucky. The winner of the two-wheeled bike will be announced at commodity classic which takes place in Nashville in March. If you'd like to get into the drawing and learn more about the 'we care' adoption fund, go to www.beck'

The folks at Dekalb also commissioned a custom bike. This bike helps commemorate Dekalb's's 100th anniversary. It was unveiled at farm progress show this fall. The Dekalb chopper was designed and built by Paul Junior of the American Chopper TV show. The chopper will be sold through an online auction, which will begin in January. Proceeds will go to the American Red Cross disaster relief effort.

A group of raw-milk drinkers protested in front of the FDA headquarters Tuesday, accusing the government of "criminalizing" raw milk. The group - called "farm food freedom coalition" - criticized the agency for conducting raids on farms where un-pasteurized milk is available. Twenty states have laws that ban the sale of raw milk. The FDA says there have been 143 outbreaks of illness associated with the consumption of raw-milk since 1987. The diseases include listeria, salmonella and e-coli. In response to the protest, FDA reiterated its position. It says the agency "does not regulate the intrastate sale or distribution of raw milk. Whether to permit the sale and distribution of raw milk within a state is for the state to decide." As far as "interstate" sale and distribution, the FDA says it "has never taken, nor does it intend to take, enforcement action against an individual who purchased and transported raw milk across state lines solely for his or her own personal consumption."

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