Good morning I’m Clinton Griffiths. There's new help for livestock producers struggling with forage needs for their herds.
Secretary Vilsack designated 33 additional counties in eight states as AG disasters. Most are related to the drought. To date - more than 18-hundred counties in 35 states have received that designation.
As the lower Mississippi River approaches record low stages, the corps of engineers is working to keep the important waterway open for grain shipments headed south.
Field scouts from the 2012 Profarmer Midwest crop tour are now in the home-stretch. Teams that started in Ohio and Nebraska are now in Iowa. This morning they'll pack-up and head north towards southern Minnesota. They spent much of Wednesday in Illinois before moving into Iowa. Crop tour director Brian Grete says the yield potential is all over the board. The scouts noticed weak ear shanks and says the integrity of the stalks is beginning to be an issue. On some routes in Illinois, soybean yields were actually higher than corn yields. AgDay National Reporter Tyne Morgan has details from the road. Now to the western leg. On Wednesday scouts wrapped up their tour of Nebraska and spent the afternoon in Iowa. Both legs of the tour now head into Minnesota. Of course, we'll have daily coverage both online and on-air. Be sure to get regular updates from our partners at Agweb.com. There are all sorts of tweets of the tour. Plus, Tyne has been posting a ton of material on our Facebook page. Now here's Mike Hoffman with cropwatch.
The crop tour scouts are keeping busy, but they're still sending us snapshots from the road. Chris Barron sent this photo from Warren County, Indiana. The county borders Illinois, about a third of the way down the state. This farmer is getting 105 bushels to the acre. In Colorado, the 'NASS' office says sorghum progress increased to 85% headed with 35% turning color. More than half of the Colorado sorghum crop is rated as poor to very poor. And in New York State, hay crops are rated 16% poor and 47% fair. In Livingston County, producers have started chopping corn that will not make grain.
In our beef today report, steps toward establishing a massive grassland preserve took a major step forward.
After nearly two decades of negotiations, Russia has joined the world trade organization. Russia was allowed to enter, despite refusal of the U.S. to grant permanent Russia normal trading relations. That means Russia will keep higher trade tariffs with the U.S. than other countries. House and Senate committees have voted to grant PNTR, but the measure has not reached the floor yet. The U.S. Meat Export Federation says Russia is one of the fastest-growing markets for U.S. beef. Through May, exports to Russia were 24% ahead of last year.
Livestock producers are fretting this year’s drought. Which end-user is most at risk? Farm Director Al Pell has some possible answers in analysis.
NEXT GENERATION BIOFUELS:
With debate heating up over the renewable fuels standard--researchers continue to look for alternatives to cereal crops. One idea looks at lands not suitable for traditional AG. Kent Faddis with the University of Missouri has more on taking poor soils and turning it into the runway for launching a new generation of biofuels.
And finally this morning, the CDC says this year's West Nile outbreak is the largest ever for the U.S.