AgDay Daily Recap - October 7, 2011

October 7, 2011 06:11 AM

OCTOBER 07, 2011

Good morning. Exhibitors and visitors from around the globe spent the week at the World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wisconsin. Now in its 45th year, the event continues to grow. According to our partners at Dairy Today Magazine, better milk prices in 2011 is making for more smiles at the event.  It's also helped attendance. Visitors from 57 countries, exhibitors from 28 countries, more than 2,500 cows from 37 states and seven Canadian provinces has the Alliant Energy Center bursting at the seams. While there's not talk of moving the expo--there has been mentions of adding more space.  Expo manager Mark Clarke says the exhibition hall needs another 100,000 square feet and there's a need for more cattle barns.

According to the Greater Madison Convention and Visitors Bureau the World Dairy Expo has a direct economic impact of nearly 16 million dollars.  AgDay regional reporter Michelle Rook is at the expo. She was able to catch up with general manager Mark Clarke for an update. Thanks Michelle. Michelle will have more coverage from the expo next week starting on Tuesday. We'll be taking a look at everything from policy, current dairy markets even advances in equipment. That special coverage of the expo is set for next Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. In the meantime, our partners at dairy today are onsite following the event. You can keep up with the expo and the entire dairy industry at

The big federal reserve banks are keeping a close eye on farm lending as farm land values continue to rise. It's stress testing local banks in hopes of avoiding a massive bubble. According to a report from Bloomberg, small banks are now running scenarios like "what if land values fell 25%, 50 or even 75%" in an effort gauge a bank's financial health. The fed is now looking at lending standards as everything from drought, to volatile global commodity markets have the ability to strip income from farming operations.

A wild weather year has harvest results all over the board. Earlier this week I sat down with Paul Schickler, president of Pioneer Hybrids, to talk about how the 2011 season looks from their perspective.

In Agribusiness Koch Agronomic Services says its acquisition of Agrotain is complete. Koch says it’s excited to add the fertilizer stabilization business to its portfolio. It says Agrotain customers will see very little change in terms of sales support, marketing and customer service.

Ag giant Monsanto says 2012 looks like another good year. The company just released its next year outlook. Monsanto says it expects gross profits from its seeds and genomics in the range of 5.7- 5.8 billion dollars. It's also planning to spend a billion and a half dollars on research and development.  Over all, net cash from operations is forecast between 2.2 and 2.5 billion.

Gary Wilhelmi

As a child, did you know what you wanted to be when you grew-up? It's always helpful to teenagers to give them some real world experience. In this report from Mississippi State, Leighton Spann tells us about a new camp to do just that. Thanks Leighton. Food and Your Family is next.

In Food and Your Family this morning the national restaurant association says the industry continues to be in decline. Its performance index fell to its lowest level in 13 months. The index came in at 99.4 for August. When it's above 100 the figure signifies expansion. This is the second consecutive month below that benchmark. Researchers say it shows a softening in the restaurant industry. Almost 40% of operators say same-stores sales are down over the last year.

Restaurants in the desert southwest may have a new source for a vegetable favorite. New Mexico state university and local growers are teaming up to try their hand at broccoli production. Broccoli seedlings from NMSU are being transplanted into local fields this month, even as other local vegetables are being harvested. New to the Mesilla Valley of Las Cruces, in this climate the vegie does better in the cooler temperatures of spring and fall. The broccoli brigade is planting about 20,000 plants into five different locations. Harvest begins in late October and will run through December.

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