AgDay Daily Recap - October 6, 2011

October 6, 2011 09:21 AM

OCTOBER 06, 2011

There have been trade rumblings for weeks that China is importing U.S. corn. The U.S. grains council projects total sales to China between 5 and 6 million metric tons this year. The growing country could be a huge potential market for U.S. corn but there are still impediments to trade. Part of the holdup includes the reluctance of Chinese consumers to accept biotech grain.
On a recent trade mission to the U.S. a Chinese delegation talked openly with AgDay's Michelle Rook about the need for acceptance of GMO corn technology to help meet the exploding demand in China. The U.S. grains council forecast strong Chinese import demand this year. USGC announced Tuesday that China would harvest a good corn crop, but also noted China's production will be insufficient to meet its anticipated domestic demand. The U.S. grains council projects Chinese corn production at 167 million metric tons, 11 million less than the September USDA estimate.

In our beef today report, we're looking at the potential impact that three free trade agreements could have on the U.S. beef sector. As AgDay first reported on Tuesday, the White House has submitted FTA’s with Colombia, Panama and South Korea to congress for its approval. USDA says that the three trade deals would increase U.S. Ag exports by nearly 2.5 billion dollars. Today, the U.S. meat export federation says the South Korean deal alone would mean an additional one billion dollars in beef exports when the deal is fully implemented. That's double the current levels.

Cattle markets had another positive day at the board of trade. Prices continue to be strong as the country works to sort out ramifications from the severe drought in the southern plains. Some economists think strong prices are here to stay--for now.

Farmers in the western corn belt are being urged to take extra precaution this harvest season because of the risk of fire. Our partners at AgWeb have received numerous reports of field fires in Iowa and Nebraska over the past week. In many cases, dry crops are getting ignited by combines. A giant, wind-swept wildfire in Stapleton, Nebraska burned through 40 square miles.
It started Tuesday and quickly raced thru farm fields and yards. According to AgDay affiliate KNOP-TV, firefighters believe this fire may have started in a combine in a soybean field. But they are still investigating. Firefighters from as many as 60 departments across Nebraska were helping fight the fire.

Pork producers have seen stresses ease over last week. USDA's September hogs and pigs report showed only a slight increase in the size of the U.S. breeding herd--.6% above last year. However sows are more efficient producers. Pigs per litter may top ten for the first time ever. Overall, pork production is expected climb marginally, up 2-3%. On the flip side, hog prices are expected to be higher led by strong exports and domestic demand--as beef supplies shrink. Total feed costs are also down.

Brian Basting

World renowned animal scientist, Temple Grandin enjoyed a party in her honor. Colorado State where she's a professor celebrated her accomplishments this week, following a busy year for Grandin. Temple was just recently on our leave a legacy show. The animal behavior and welfare specialist now has a scholarship in her name. Several big donors gave money to Colorado State to establish a fully endowed fund--called the Temple Grandin scholarship in animal behavior and welfare. The scholarship fund will support Grandin's teaching and research by helping her graduate students.

If you grew-up around a farm, you probably remember the first tractor you ever drove. That's certainly the case for Sonny Beck - an Indiana farm kid who is now the president of the company bearing his family's name. Beck's is a regional seed company in the Midwest. Last month, the company hosted its annual "beck-nology days". During the event, Sonny was presented with some aging iron, a gift from his children. The Farmall f-20 brought-back some memories. Still to come, a new push for food labeling - especially food that's made from engineered foods. Food and your family is next.

Continuing our GMO discussion from earlier, in Food and Your Family a coalition of organizations and companies are petitioning the FDA to label all genetically engineered foods. The group believes now is the time to make the change. It believes the American consumer is reading product labels and showing more concern about the ingredients in foods they buy. Members in the biotech industry itself say there's simply no need for labels--citing studies have shown no health issues related to biotech. The FDA0echoes that sentiment.

Scientists in California say they've come up with self-cleaning cotton. The fabric kills bacteria and breaks down chemicals like pesticide residues when sunlight hits it. The researchers at U.C. Davis say the protective clothing would be perfect for health care, food processing or farm workers. The cotton fabric is covered with a chemical compound that bonds to the cellulose so it won't wash off. When light hits the clothing the compound goes to work.

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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