DISASTER ASSISTANCE BILL:
Good morning I’m Clinton Griffiths. During one of the worst droughts in US History, Congress is taking steps to help America’s food producers. A coalition of AG organization banded together Thursday to express their disappointment in the bill. It includes the American Farm Bureau, Soybean Assocation, corn and wheat growers and milk producers. They say the measure would help cattle, sheep and a just a small segment of dairy producers. But it leaves out poulty and hog operations as well as fruit and vegetable growers.
BROWN FEED EXPENSE:
In drought watch - the outlook for feed prices is dismal, at best. Scott brown is an Agricultural economist at the University of Missouri. He says until harvest occurs, it's difficult to pinpoint exactly how devastating this drought will be for livestock - but there are plenty of warning signs. Brown told AgDay that he expects feed expenses in 2013 could be 70% higher than what farmers have been paying each year over the past four years.
Meanwhile, the new drought monitor rolled out Thursday. Extreme drought conditions continue to spread even though recent rains reduced the overall drought area just slightly. That prompted AG Secretary to announce two new pieces of disaster assistance. First emergency haying and grazing is expanding to 3.8 million acres of conservation land--many of those acres in wetland areas. Second Vilsack says crop insurance companies are agreeing to provide a short grace period for farmers paying their insurance premiums in 2012. That gives farmers an extra 30 days to may those payments without interest penalties.
New analysis from the department of AG says the cost to raise crops and rear livestock reached a record high in 2011. USDA pegs farm production expenditures at nearly 319-billion dollars. That's a 10% increase over 2010. Average production expenditures per farm were 147-thousand dollars. USDA says the largest expenditure category was feed.
Crops are hanging in there some place while in the show me state harvest is underway. Cindi Clawson has details in this morning's crop watch.
In a patent infringement lawsuit between Monsanto and DuPont Pioneer, Monsanto walked away with a victory in this round.
Also this week, the House of Representatives voted to extend current tax code for another year. That includes an extension for the estate tax.
In machinery minute, Case New Holand had several announcements Thursday. In its second quarter the equipment manufacturer announced a 3% increase in sales and 11% gain in earnings. The company says its on track to spend 1 billion dollars on R&D this year alone. It also announced plans to purchase Brazilian based Atman Company. Atman is an input distribution and grain sales company.
THIEVES STEALING RADIATORS:
In northeastern Kansas, a local sheriff is warning farmers to keep a close eye on tractors and other farm equipment. He says thieves looking for scrap metal have been stealing radiators and other scrap parts from rural areas near Holton Kansas. It's a problem that's being reported all over the country. Authorities say it's a good idea to keep a close eye on machinery or lock it up if possible.
In the southern US, corn harvest has started. In the Midwest, farmers are expecting what could be the earliest start on record. So it's time to think about the 2013 crop. If you're a subscriber to the Profarmer newsletter, here's what you can expect when it hits your inbox or mailbox later today.The renewable fuels standard is becoming a key battleground. Profarmer's Washington based staff will provide insight.As private crop estimates continue to fall, traders are awaiting USDA's first survey-based corn and bean estimates next Friday. Profarmer will get you ready.
To many of us the Florida Everglades is good place to swat mosquitoes and gaze at 'gators. But the thousands of acres of sub-tropical wetlands are also an important watershed. The Department of Agriculture is working with landowners and local officials to help restore the environmentally sensitive everglades. The USDA's Bob Ellison has more. In 2008 the state of Florida agreed to buy US Sugar Company which owned 187-thousand acres of the everglades. The goal is to eventually dismantle the sugar-making facilities located on the grounds and help restore the land to its original condition.
FOOD AND YOUR FAMILY:
A false advertising lawsuit has put corn sugar producers in hot water. A California judge ruled in favor of sugar companies in the case. After controversy over the company's stance on gay marriage was revealed, Chick-Fil-A had a record setting day Wednesday.