AgDay Daily Recap - November 8, 2011

November 8, 2011 03:44 AM

NOVEMBER 8, 2011

Good morning. Many farmers are now in the harvest homestretch. Grain bins are filling-up and fall tillage is underway. Northern Indiana farmer Mike Morehouse finished harvest Friday night. Now, work is underway to get the fields ready for next spring. This field is being seeded with wheat. It's been continuous corn since 1967. Morehouse says every four-to-five years, they plant a cover-crop to improve the condition of the field. Morehouse says his soybean yields came in under expectations, but corn yields were better. He says the later planted corn pollinated at the right time and missed the intense heat during the last two weeks of July.

Nationwide 87% of the corn crop is out of the field, up nine points from last week and 14-points ahead of average. Illinois, Iowa, and Minnesota corn crops are just about finished. Indiana is three quarters done. And there are big delays in Ohio with just a third in the bin. As far as soybeans, just 8% is left to cut. Other than Ohio, the other top 18 states are either at- or well ahead the average pace. For those of you keeping tabs on cotton, it's at 70% harvested. That's a 15-point bump from last week and 17-points ahead of the five year average. Alabama and Arizona growers are behind the harvest average, otherwise cotton harvest is moving along quickly.

In Louisiana sweet potato harvest is well underway. So far growers say this year's crop is average to above average. Tobie Blanchard with the LSA Ag Center says good weather during harvest season is helping farmers get their potatoes out of the ground.

In our Dairy Today Report--Greek yogurt sales are exploding in the U.S.
From less than 1% of the U.S. market in 2006--today it’s nearly 20% of all yogurt sales. The extra thick, high protein dairy product is leading expansion at Agro Farma--it makes Cho-Bani yogurt. The company plans to open a new 100-million dollar Greek yogurt facility in Twin Falls, Idaho next year.

As harvest wraps up, cows may be headed for winter grazing on cornstalks.
Some veterinarians are warning about acidosis or eating too much grain. Depending on the field, those with a lot of kernels or cobs on the ground might be too much for cows not accustomed to a high grain diet. Overeating can cause everything from diarrhea, depression, down cows or even death. As a rule of thumb, problems generally occur if harvest leaves more than 10 bushels per acre behind.

And some of the biggest dairy producers in the country are in Las Vegas this week for the elite dairy producer's conference. Hundreds of managers and owners of commercial dairies are on hand for networking, education and policy discussions about the industry. Speakers this year are covering everything mobile milking technology, to immigration and migrant workers to surviving volatile markets. And don't forget, for the very latest news affecting the dairy industry, including production and policy issues, check out

In Agribusiness Deere and Company announced Monday it’s continuing to invest in Russia. The equipment maker says it plans to spend 32 million dollars to expand production there. The Moline, Illinois based Deere says Russia represents huge market potential. It has already purchased a factory in Orenburg and plans to renovate the facility. The work will increase new manufacturing space by some 600%. Currently the Orenburg plant assembles seeding equipment. The expansion will add models and, include tillage and application equipment.

Greg Milkovich

A dairy farmer near the Alabama-Mississippi state-line is very "social". From Facebook to Twitter, he uses just about every form of social media to get the word-out about American agriculture. Will Gilmer sees his communication work as part of the responsibility of being a farmer. In this report from Mississippi State, Leighton Spann has more on this farmer who's bridging the gap. At last count will had 2,700 followers on Twitter and 1,800 hundred Facebook friends. Food and your family is next.

In food and your family apple harvest is still underway out west. And so far, growers says it's been a late year compounded by workers that are hard to come by. Apple picking usually starts in mid-August, this year it didn't get going until after Labor Day. Good weather through September, October and now November has helped. But, finding enough hands to do the work during a busy harvest season has been a challenge. Low unemployment in Mexico, tightening immigration laws and more deportations means fewer migrant workers. Growers say they may have to abandon some lower value orchards due to the labor shortage. Only 10-15% of the crop remains to be picked.

And how would you like to stop at the gas station, get gas, a cup coffee and a couple beef filets? Michael Tomberlin of the Birmingham news reports a convenience store in Odenville, Alabama just installed a meat dropping vending machine. A company seen here, called smart butcher is behind the concept. Customers can buy everything from pork steaks, to sausage to rib eyes. The machine accepts bills, credit or debit cards.

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