TODAY ON AGDAY
NOVEMBER 7, 2011
Good morning. The Environmental Protection Agency is requiring states in the Chesapeake Bay water shed to submit precise plans on how the states will reduce run-off from flowing into the bay. It was just about a year ago EPA released its "pollution diet" to the six states and District of Columbia. Officially, it's called the total maximum daily load. Coming up in December, states like Pennsylvania must show what progress has been made to reach the EPA goals. Last week, a house Ag subcommittee held a hearing on the Chesapeake diet. A spokesman for the American Farm Bureau testified that the scientific models used by EPA are flawed.
The American Farm Bureau currently has a lawsuit against the EPA, challenging its authority to impose mandates on states. The Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia Farm Bureaus are in support of the suit. And other state farm bureaus - like Texas - are watching closely. They're wondering which part of farm country could next face mandated nutrient levels. Matt Felder has details in this report provided by the Texas Farm Bureau. The Farm Bureau says EPA’S model does not take into account the steps already being taken by farmers to reduce run-off.
In other news out of Washington, it looks like pieces of USDA’S GIPSA rule are headed for the office of management and budget. But missing are some of its most controversial parts. Industry reports says the rule has been split three ways and what’s left will have little impact on beef or hog producers. Poultry however may see changes, to things like the suspension of delivery birds, breach of contract and capital invest criteria. Missing are the pieces of the rule prohibiting packer to packer sales, and record requirements.
Cotton prices finished last week below 100. A new global estimate says demand for cotton is basically flat. China, India and Pakistan, which make up two thirds of global demand aren't planning to increase usage, while production worldwide is forecast 8% higher.
In the U.S. however, production is forecast down more than 10% due to drought in the southwest. A smaller harvest and the need for more cattle feed has cottonseed prices double last year's average. Texas Agrilife agents say cottonseed is selling for 340 dollars per ton...usually its closer to 200 per ton. Cottonseed is used as a filler for feed to beef and dairy cattle.
The hotel reservation line is now open for people attending the 2012 Beltwide Cotton Conferences. The annual gathering of the cotton industry will be held January 3RD-6TH in Orlando, Florida. The meetings take place at the Orlando World Resort-Marriott. Conference coordinator Bill Richardson says there's a benefit for staying at this Marriott property. Again, the 2012 Beltwide Cotton Conferences are scheduled for January 3rd-6th. For more information, check out the website www.beltwide.cotton.org.
Peanut harvest is getting close to wrapping up. Last week's crop progress put 73% harvested six points ahead of the five year average. A new crop progress report hits presses later today. Overall the 2011 U.S. peanut crop is estimated at 3.6 billion pounds. That's up 170 million pounds from last month. Harvests in the southeast are expected to be better than anticipated thanks to abundant late season rains. However, yields are still expected to be down 13% over last year and the smallest in 5 years.
In agribusiness the CEO of now bankrupt MF Global says he’s stepping down. Jon Corzine resigned himself from his post as chairman and CEO. MF Global filed for bankruptcy protection last week after bad bets on European debt spooked partners and investors. The FBI is now investigating after millions of dollars disappeared from customer accounts. Al Pell has more on what this means to ag markets in this morning's analysis.
IN THE COUNTRY; BARNYARD WEDDING:
The fall wedding season is quickly coming to a close. But in southwest North Dakota, the seeds of love are sprouting. Fertile cropland has been converted into a unique rural wedding venue where marriage vows are exchanged not in a chapel, but in a barnyard. Our old friend Cliff Naylor from affiliate KFYR officiates the story. Thanks Cliff. Up next, for those of us married a little longer, new research says tart cherries may help you sleep. Food and your family--after the break.
TART CHERRY SLEEP:
In food and your family there's no doubt on the importance of a good night’s sleep for healthy living. Now a new study says the juice from a stone fruit might help drinkers get some shut eye. Scientists in Europe say they found tart cherry juice significantly increases melatonin levels in the body. Melatonin is the hormone that regulates sleep. The researchers say the people who drank tart cherry juice concentrate slept longer and with improved sleep quality. The small scale study was published in the European Journal of Nutrition.
There may be a new tool to fight foodborne illnesses and food spoilage. And that tool may come from honey bees. Researchers at Cornell University say that a compound found in honey was effective against a range of bacillus and listeria. Professor Randy Worobo from Cornell tested thousands of bacteria found in eight different varieties of honey. According to a report from www.foodnavigator.com, the best results were found in honey that came from bees which pollinated sunflowers in South Dakota.
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