Good morning I’m Clinton Griffiths. A little more than a week after winning reelection, President Obama is addressing the country regarding his plans for the next four years.
Immigration reform is an important topic for many farmers, especially those who rely on migrant workers in dairy operations or hand-picked crops. We talked with Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley about immigration. He criticizes the President for the lack of action his first term.
We also asked the Senator about the un-finished Farm Bill. He serves on the Senate AG Committee. Grassley says he prefers Congress pass the five year Farm Bill before Christmas. But he expects Congress will pass a one year extension of the current bill which expired at the end of September.
AG COMMITTEE LEADERSHIP:
As far changes in the leadership of the Senate AG Committee. Grassley says Senator Debbie Stabenow will remain as chair of the committee.
Now to production news - the condition of the winter wheat crop continues to decline. The AG Department says 42% of the crop is rated as fair. That's the same as last week. However, we saw a three point downward shift in the "good" category. And a three point climb in the "poor" category. We talked to a Nebraska farmer about the drought which continues to stifle the plains.
Just like many farmers across the U.S., Bruce Trautman says he's hoping for above normal moisture this winter to help recharge the soil. But unfortunately, we're not seeing much - if any - improvement in the plains and western corn belt. Now let's continue our look at winter wheat conditions. Mike Hoffman has a few locations for us in cropwatch.
WHEAT FOR FEED:
In our beef today report, numbers from the recently released USDA supply demand report show a sharp rise in wheat for feed. It projects us wheat feed and residual usage at 315 million bushels this year. That's more than double its average over the previous decade. High corn prices have forced many livestock operations to switch to the lower cost protein. Hard red winter wheat stocks seem to be the most heavily fed. Ending stocks are down nearly 40%.
The amount of beef being shipped outside of the U.S. Is way down this year. That's according to the latest data from the U.S. Meat export federation.
In agribusiness today - despite concerns that it will further low water levels on the Mississippi River, the corps of engineers will proceed with plans to reduce flow from a South Dakota reservoir. The corps says it will reduce the flow by 40% later this month. A trade group representing towboat and barge operators says the reductions will have a significant impact to water levels between St. Louis and Cairo, Illinois. The American Waterways Council says barge traffic on the river could effectively come to a halt in early December.
We talk a lot about conventional grains - corn, soybeans and wheat. But this morning, we'll focus on a specialty grain. And it's one enjoyed by millions of people. And that's popcorn. According to data at the agricultural marketing resource center at Iowa state. Fewer than a thousand farms produce the popcorn supply on just over 200-thousand acres. Annual production is about 900 million pounds. Nebraska is the top popcorn-producing state with 34% of all popcorn production.
Right now Mexico is the largest U.S. popcorn export market. But as we found out in this morning's analysis, china's demand continues to grow. Here's Farm Director Al Pell.
As urban sprawl encroaches on rural America, historic farmsteads become hidden treasures. Tyne Morgan shows us why each year, changing out of official FFA dress and putting on their old work clothes has become quite the treat for FFA members across the country. Garvey says Maplelawn farmstead just got placed on the national parks register. To learn more, you can go to their website, maplelawnfarmstead.org....food and your family is next.
In food and your family....it was a tough year for many apple growers. An early spring warm up and subsequent freeze severely damaged many crops. Despite that, apple production nationwide stood strong.
TREES FOR TROOPS:
No doubt you've already seen the commercials, but Christmas will be here before we know it.