CROP TOUR OVER:
Good morning I’m Clinton Griffiths. After traveling thousands of collective miles, gathering thousands of samples, crossing through seven states - the 2012 Profarmer Midwest Crop Tour is now in the books. This afternoon at two o'clock central time, the editors of Profarmer will issue national corn and soybean yield estimates and total crop estimate. Last night, analysts from ProFarmer crushed the numbers that they gathered through-out the week in both corn and soybean fields. ProFarmer Editor Chip Flory says the pro farmer estimate also includes forecasts for the entire country, not just the seven states sampled on the tour. This is what the scouts have found so far in these four key regions. Western Iowa corn yield is 30 bushels lower than the three year average, coming in at 137 bushels to the acre. Eastern Iowa was even worse at 111 eleven bushels. In Illinois and Indiana both are 42 bushels lower. And Nebraska is 25 bushels smaller in corn yields. It wasn't intentional, but it appears the crop tour left the best fields for the last day. Minnesota has been a rare exception this summer, as it's avoided most of the drought. But it's still not a bin buster either. Both legs of the tour have a field agronomist who provides expertise on crop diseases and other challenges. We talked with the agronomist handling the chores in the western corn belt. He commented about a familiar theme in western Iowa - downed corn. National Reporter Tyne Morgan spent the day in Iowa, gauging the crops in the eastern and northern counties. She traveled with a veteran scout who has seen "better years" on the tour, Tyne. Again, ProFarmer releases their data at 2 central time. Click on AgWeb for those results as well as look at reports from through-out the week. There are all sorts of tweets of the tour. Plus, Tyne has been posting a ton of material on our Facebook page. And we'll have a special recap of the tour next Friday on AgDay.
the crop tour scouts saw firsthand how the summer drought cut a wide swath through the nation's midsection. Meanwhile, the southeast United States is enjoying plentiful rain. Here's Mike Hoffman with crop watch.
The country's biggest AG groups are banding together in support of the 2012 Farm Bill.
39 of agriculture's more influential organizations are calling on Congress to get the legislation finished before the current bill expires in September. The coalition is calling itself farm bill now. They're asking supporters to contact local Representatives and Senators. Learn more at farmbillnow.com.
The U.S. beef herd continues to shrink. The USDA says the domestic herd at ranches feedlots and dairies was 97.8 million head on July 1st. That's the smallest it’s been in nearly 40 years. Drought and dry pastures have forced many ranchers to liquidate or cull poor performers. According to USDA beef output is expected to hit a 9 year low in 2013, falling roughly 4%.
MILAN FOOD BANK:
The old adage says "it takes a village to raise a child". Conversely, it takes just one American farmer to feed about 150 people worldwide. Much of that success is due to technology in seed and equipment. Recently a group of Tennessee farmers stepped outside their fields to volunteer for a cause. In this report provided by UT, Chuck Denney tells us about an effort to fight hunger - by the people who grow our food supply. Tennessee's farmers versus hunger program is just one example of how American agriculture is stepping-up to help. Another way is the "Farmers Feeding the World" initiative. It's a program driven by the Farm Journal Foundation.
FOOD AND YOUR FAMILY:
In food and your family, USDA continues its investigation of a California slaughterhouse after video footage surfaces showing what they call unacceptable treatment of cattle. And scientists in Illinois think they've got a tasty way to help people suffering from diabetes. They found compounds in blueberry and blackberry wines that inhibit the enzymes responsible for carbohydrate absorption. It could help diabetes sufferers decrease blood sugar. The scientists say a de-alcholized fermented fruit beverage may have the most impact.