AgDay Daily Recap - November 30, 2011

November 30, 2011 02:59 AM

NOVEMBER 30, 2011

There's no doubt about the challenges farmers faced this year and yet new data from the USDA shows another banner year for farm incomes. The latest numbers from economists estimate net farm income will be up nearly 30% in 2011. If realized total receipts would top 100-billion dollars--a first for the agricultural profitability measure. The jump is attributed to higher commodity prices in both crops and livestock. Tight carryover and strong demand helped push corn to near eight dollars a bushel and soybeans past 14 earlier this year. The livestock sector found support in overseas markets and strong export demand. Breaking it down receipts for corn are estimated at 60 billion dollars, that's up nearly 35% year over year. Oil crops including soybeans hit 38 billion...up 8%. While, wheat receipts totaled more than 13 billion dollars, up 30%...cotton also gained about 30% on the year. In receipts for cattle are estimated at 62 billion dollars, 21% higher than last year. Hogs totaled nearly 22 billion, 23% higher. Dairy is up 26% at just less than 40 billion dollars. Poultry struggled this year...sales were down about 5%.

Farm income may hold next year as economists start estimating planted acreage for 2012. Darrel good with the University of Illinois says, he expects more planted acres and more harvested acres next year. Good says its likely weather issues in the form of drought and flooding will have less impact. The USDA reports there were nearly 10 million acres of prevent plantings in 2011. Add to it fewer acres of hay and a net drop in the number of acres enrolled in CRP and its likely more land will end up in row crops in 2012. Good says harvested acres still depend on weather during the growing season.

USDA released its final national crop progress report for the 2011 growing season. For the most part, the U.S. corn harvest is now over. However for some farmers in the eastern Corn Belt, they're still trying to get'er done. Indiana is at 95%. Michigan is 91%. Ohio is at 76%. The "NASS" office says Ohio fields are muddy, wet and haven't had a freeze to help things out.
Now to the south, peanut harvest is nearing an end. It's at 97%. Cotton harvest is 92%, which is ten points ahead of the average pace. Winter wheat is 92% emerged. More than half of that crop is called good to excellent. 35% is fair.

Many corn and soybean growers in the Midwest could save two to three dollars per acre on their crop insurance premiums in the New Year. Similar savings may be found the year after that in other crops. USDA's risk management agency announced it’s updating the methods it uses to set premiums. As a result, RMA re-rated the two crops. RMA says new crop technology has resulted in fewer crop losses even under "trying" weather conditions. The agency says it will begin re-rating wheat, cotton, rice, grain sorghum, potatoes and apples in 2013.

In today's machinery minute, we're looking at some technology that could prove beneficial when it comes to water conservation on the parched plains of Texas. The Texas alliance for water conservation has developed two tools to help producers manage their water. Regional reporter Erica Goss tells us about the research to maximize profitability while using less irrigation water. If you are interested in using these resources, go to

Greg Wagner

With the catchy title you see over my shoulder, you might think this next story is about a bad "B-rated" horror movie. Actually, it does involve a chainsaw. The lead character is a craftsman from the Ozarks who uses the machine to create some seasonal works of art. Steve Grant from affiliate KY3-TV in Springfield, Missouri has our story. Thanks Steve. Still to come this morning, the debate over apple juice continues and buying beef may cost you more in 2012. Food and your family is next.

In food and your family we have more discussion over the safety of apple juice. Now the FDA says it’s taking a second look at arsenic levels in the popular drink. This all started earlier this year when the Dr. Oz TV show-- ran an episode showing high levels of arsenic in apple juice. The FDA was quick to denounce those results--saying it has every confidence in the safety of the juice. It also explained the difference in organic and inorganic being basically harmless and inorganic more dangerous at high levels over a prolonged period. Now the FDA says its considering setting new rules for inorganic arsenic once it collects more information.

And you'll likely pay more for beef at restaurants next year. A new report by BB&T Capital Markets says food businesses face dramatically higher beef costs in 2012. According to USDA--supermarket beef prices are up nearly 10% this year. That trend is expected to continue. Analysts say they expect consumers to stick to low cost cuts, like ground beef and hamburgers.

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