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AgDay Daily Recap - October 28, 2011

08:28AM Nov 01, 2011

OCTOBER 28, 2011

Good morning. When it comes to crafting the 2012 Farm Bill, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is urging congress not to make deep-cuts when it comes to bio-fuels. Recognizing the need the cut-spending, Vilsack says biofuel production brings jobs to rural America. Earlier this week, Vilsack laid-out his priorities for the USDA in regards to the 2012 farm bill. He made his comments during a tour of a John Deere factory in Des Moines, Iowa. Vilsack says safety net programs for farmers must be made more efficient. And they must better reflect the diversity of American agriculture. Vilsack also wants the next farm bill to contain funding that would expand the production of bio-fuels beyond corn-based ethanol.

As Vilsack continues his belief in American grown biofuels, researchers continue their search for answers. In the south switch grass is being considered as an energy source because of its biomass potential. If successful that could be another source of income for landowners. LSU Ag Center's Tobie Blanchard shows us a researcher growing switch grass with pine trees.

An Oregon dairy will be looking for more forage themselves after a massive fire burns 800 tons of hay. It happened at Noris Dairy in the northwest part of the state. 40 firefighters attempted to put out the flames but ended up in defensive mode as the hay raged out of control. The owners did save all 400 dairy cows.

Earlier this week, we reported economists believe come January 2012, the U.S. cattle herd will be smaller. New analysis from Allendale Incorporated echoes those beliefs. Allendale released its 2012 beef projections. It’s forecasting a near 4% drop in beef production next year. That would be the sharpest single year decline in 8 years. In spite of the challenges, this year, production actually grew slightly. Allendale says after heavy cow culling it expects production declines through 2015. The drop in production will limit the amount of beef available for consumers. Allendale expects per capita consumption to fall three and half percent. It says as U.S. meat supplies decrease customer demand will see a slight increase. The firm is forecasting new records in 2012. The projections for cash cattle average 125 with a top end of 130 per hundred weight.

It's that season again, earning's reports are rolling off the presses. In agribusiness this morning, Dow Chemical says sales topped 15 billion dollars--that's up 17% year over year. Net income is up nearly 60%.

Ag equipment maker, Agco also released third quarter numbers. The worldwide company reports net sales of six point 3 billion for the first 9 months of 2011. That's up 32% year over year. The company says sales growth has exceeded expectations. It’s pointing to a favorable farm economy, global demand, and improving conditions in Western Europe.

Gary Wilhelmi

Many of you will be taking your kids 'trick-or-treating' or going to a Halloween party this weekend. So we have a haunted tale for you. It takes us to a 4H camp in Tennessee. The campground has an amazing history, and with it, a spooky legend by the name of "Herman the German". And nobody can tell the story like, University of Tennessee's Chuck Denney. Thanks Chuck. And I want to say good job to Chuck's photographer, Doug Edlund, who edited that 'spook-tacular' story. Up next, Food and Your Family.

As kids get prepared for Halloween and the biggest candy eating holiday of the year, the FDA is warning about candy overdose. But this is one parents and grandparents may want to heed. The food and drug administration says black licorice can be dangerous for people over 40. Eating two ounces a day for at least two weeks can cause irregular heart rhythm--also known as arrhythmia. Experts say the reason lies in the flavor. Black licorice gets its taste from a sweetening compound found in the licorice root. That compound can cause potassium levels to fall, which in turns leads to an irregular heartbeat. To fix it--stop eating so much licorice.

It's pheasant season in many states right now. And depending on the location, weather had a big impact on what the game-bird populations are like this year. In Iowa, sportsmen are not very optimistic about this year’s chances to bag a ring-neck. When the state DNR conducted its summer survey, they saw a big drop in the number of pheasant. The forecast is 200,000. It used to be a million. The DNR says the downturn is tied primarily to a five-year blast from winter. Much heavier snow and cold temperatures. Joe says closing the season will not turn-around the Iowa pheasant population since the rebound depends on hens which are not hunted. As far as other states, "Pheasants Forever" says tough weather - from drought in Kansas to hard winters in the Dakotas - did its fair share to hurt pheasant population. It also says a five million acre reduction of CRP land reduce prime nesting grounds. Pheasants Forever has a state by state pheasant forecast for 2011 on their website. It's

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