AgDay Daily Recap -October 18, 2012

October 18, 2012 05:57 AM

OCTOBER 18, 2012


Good morning I’m Clinton Griffiths. Government climatologists verify what we already know - it was a hot summer. But just how hot?


NOAA released some preliminary data on the warm year we've had. Their reports say the U.S. warm season had an average temperature of 68.2 degrees. For the lower 48 states, that's 2.6 degrees above average. That warmth erased the old record set during the "warm season" in 1934. Some other interesting notes - 33 states said this summer was among their 10 warmest years on record. And at the same time, 24 states set their hottest temps ever in the 1930's. And none of them have been challenged since 2010. Perhaps even more problematic is the dryness. 'NOAA' says the national precipitation totals averaged 14.4 inches, an inch and half below average. Again, these are national averages


Unfortunately, it does not appear the central United States will get much relief this fall.

Much of that region remains in a severe drought.


Because of improved grazing in the nation's top beef-producing state, Texas ranchers are a bit more optimistic this fall than last year. But according to economists at Texas Agri-life extension, those livestock producers remain cautious when it comes to rebuilding herds.

As the Texas herd shrinks, more cattle are finding their way across our southern border.

According to Derrell Peel at Oklahoma State, last year nearly one and half million head of Mexican cattle were imported to the U.S. That's the second highest total ever. He says imports in the first half of this year were on track to trump that number but have fallen off in recent months. Peel also thinks Mexico is exporting less because they're essentially running out of cattle. He says many of the recent imports were of heifers, and light weight calves. As drought conditions have improved, especially in northern Mexico, he thinks producers there are starting to keep more cattle in an effort to rebuild herds.

In agribusiness today - two of the nation’s largest commodity trading floors say they're joining forces. On Wednesday the CME group announced its plans to buy the Kansas City Board of Trade for 126 million dollars in cash. The move combines hard red winter wheat contracts with the current soft red winter wheat contracts already being traded at the CME. It’s also agreed to keep the Kansas City trading floor open for at least six months. The Kansas City board says any excess cash from the deal will be distributed to members at closing.


In analysis, farm director Al Pell discusses the fiscal health of China and Europe and how their financial heartbeats are felt here.


FFA members in Elizabethtown Kentucky are learning hunger is closer than many of us think.

That's why the Central Hardin chapter is stepping-up to face that challenge in their own community. But their work is also being felt on the other side of the world. Their efforts are part of a new program called FFA Food For All. Tyne Morgan has the story. The grants from national FFA were possible thanks to support from Farmers Feeding the World and the Howard G. Buffett Foundation. Tyne wraps up her series tomorrow when she profiles the good deeds of the FFA chapter in Checotah, Oklahoma.


After a long battle, stretching across nearly 20 years, America’s fresh pears could be on their way to Chinese markets soon. The two countries appear to have found common ground on a long standing dispute.


Peanut butter is a favorite around my house and now scientists think they've found a way to make it even healthier.



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