AgDay Daily Recap - October 18, 2011

October 18, 2011 09:20 AM

OCTOBER 18, 2011

Good morning, it’s good to be back with you this week. We begin this Tuesday with a definitive statement from the EPA. The environmental Protection Agency says enough with the myths. There will be no new farm dust regulations from its offices. For months the industry has raised concerns about possible regulations of farm dust including rural roads.  The concerns started after EPA began reviewing the national ambient air quality standards for particulate matter. Last week in a letter to two senators, administrator Lisa Jackson, said the agency won't be expanding its current air quality standards for dust created by agriculture. While the EPA still acknowledges the threat particulate matter can have in human health--agency scientists and an advisory council are recommending standards remain the same. David Bryan of the EPA regional office for Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska released a statement saying...quote "EPA hopes that this action finally puts an end to the myth that the agency is planning to tighten (particulate regulation) which has been in place since 1987."

There has been plenty of dust in the dry fields this harvest season. According to the latest crop progress report...corn harvest is approaching 50%. That's up from last week's 33%. And ahead of the average pace. There were big gains in the western corn belt and upper Midwest. Progress is also being made with the soybean harvest. About 70% is finished. Big gains were registered in most states. In the north, Minnesota leads the pack with 96% complete. While Louisiana leads in the south with 92%. Now to cotton, about a third of the crop is out of the field. It's five points ahead of average. Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee had big gains on the week. And now to sorghum. USDA's crop progress report shows it's at 44%. Up seven from last week but five points behind average. Arkansas and Louisiana farmers have finished that crop.

The dairy industry is now fighting a lawsuit brought on by a firm representing consumers and animal advocacy groups. The suit alleges over the last five years the industry has been fixing prices through the cooperatives working together herd retirement program. They say the result put more than 9 billion dollars in member's pockets. AgDay's Michelle Rook looks at the lawsuit and how livestock and dairy groups are working to get ahead of the movement. The agricultural industry has come together to try to get ahead of not only animal activists, but all anti-agriculture groups. Last fall they formed the U.S. Farmer Rancher Alliance which has developed a campaign to help tell agriculture's positive story to the public.  And don't forget, for the very latest news affecting the dairy industry, including production and policy issues, check out

In agribusiness, I spent last week in Des Moines at the World Food Prize.  Also on hand, were leaders of some of the biggest Ag companies in the world. I got a chance to interview the CEO of FMC. FMC is a chemical company serving agriculture, industry and consumer markets around the globe. Brondeau says the business is focused on new technology to help producers get more out of fields. He says over the last 5 years, FMC has brought 20 new products to market. Today there are 40 in the development pipeline and with EPA approval they will hit the market in the next 3 to four years.

Darren Frye

How often have we heard about a car trying to cross a flooded stream, only to get swept away? Water is very powerful. Flash floods can develop quickly, sometimes in just a few minutes without any warning. Fire departments must be ready to rescue victims stranded or trapped in cars. Kent Faddis with the University of Missouri Extension tells us one of the best places to train for water rescues might surprise you. Thanks Kent. The MU Fire Rescue and Training Institute gives emergency personnel hands-on training to deal with everything from structure and wild fires to disaster and flooding response. Food and your family is next.

In food and your family this morning General Mills says it's standing behind its claims regarding the company's fruit snacks. A lobby group called the center for science in the public interest says its filing a lawsuit against General Mills saying the company is misrepresenting its fruit snacks as healthy. It calls the fruit rollups, fruit gushers and fruit by the foot--basically candy. General Mills says its stands by the accuracy of its advertising.

As more Americans dive into a cup of yogurt, drink and snack giant Pepsi-CO is stepping into the circle. The company wants to become a global dairy powerhouse. It’s working on a joint venture with company, Theo Muller Group. Closing the deal will give Pepsico a foothold in the fast growing U.S. yogurt market. It plans to launch a new yogurt brand in the near future.

We'd love to hear from you! Contact us at 800-792-4329. Or drop an email to You can also check us out on some of that new technology, at

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