What a difference a year makes. In 2011 North Carolina crops struggled with debilitating heat and drought, only to have what survived damaged by Hurricane Irene. This year, in spite of a hot start to July, NC’s row crops are in good shape, according to Ag Commissioner Steve Troxler:
“Right now we are set up to have a good year. The statistics show that the production of corn, soybeans, peanuts, tobacco is up in North Carolina compared to last year.”
Midwestern crops continue to bake under D-4 classification drought, putting the nation’s long-term corn supply in question, especially for livestock production. As a grain-deficit state, North Carolina’s corn crop is very important, and thus far in good shape:
“It’s thirty percent up from last year and that is good news to our livestock producers.”
All of North Carolina’s corn and soybean production is used as animal feed for the state’s hog and poultry production.
For North Carolina’s latest crop progress report, CLICK HERE.
Corn Numbers Shouldn’t Go Much Lower
When USDA released it’s production report on Friday, the first of the season that’s based on actual field surveys, it showed just how devastated Midwestern crops are, and USDA’s World Ag Outlook Board Chairman says these latest corn yield estimates are solid and he’s not ready to concede they will go much lower next month.
USDA’s latest estimate of 123.4-bushels an acre is down more than 22-and-a-half bushels from last month’s estimate - which was down about 20-bushels from June. That’s a production loss of 4-billion bushels in two-months. But World Ag Outlook Board Chair Gerald Bange is not giving into expectations of further big yield losses…
“I would not say that because the current forecast of 123.4 bushels per acre reflects what the National Ag Statistics service saw when they went out to look at the crops.”
Bange says the early-planted crop is two or three weeks further along than usual - giving surveyors a better fix on final harvest numbers
Restaurants Try to Hold Prices Steady
The nationwide drought is threatening restaurants with higher food costs, but many chains say negotiating decent supply contracts, cutting other costs and raising menu prices for consumers will help protect their profits.
Dry, hot weather in the Midwest, which began in June, has damaged crops of corn and soybeans, which are critical livestock feeds that can drive up prices for beef and chicken. The drought also has scorched grass in pastures and hurt the production of hay, which cattle eat.
Restaurants have been struggling for more than a year with rising food costs, as weak consumer confidence in the economy has made it difficult for them to raise menu prices without deterring traffic.
NCBA Perplexed by Organization for Competitive Market’s Actions
National Cattlemen’s Beef Association President J.D. Alexander expressed disgust following an announcement that the Organization for Competitive Markets has formed a partnership with the Humane Society of the United States to destroy more than 25 years of market development and consumer demand building by the Beef Checkoff Program.
Specifically, OCM announced that it will file a lawsuit seeking an injunction against USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service, Cattlemen’s Beef Board and the Beef Promotion Operating Committee. OCM President and Director Fred Stokes stated HSUS is helping fund its efforts to file the lawsuit. OCM claims to advocate for a fair, competitive agricultural marketplace; however, in doing so it partnered with an organization known for its anti-agriculture agenda.