It’s been an usually wet spring in parts of the Carolinas and Virginia, particularly those areas east of I-95. Donny Lassiter, North Hampton County farmer says that they’ve struggled to get crops plated due to the wet weather, and their early planted corn has been yellowing:
“Some of the corn looks pretty good, some of it because of the rain and all is getting a little bit of a yellow tint, because I guess from loosing some micronutrients and fertility from all the rain fall. But, for the most part, the corn that we’ve planted looks pretty good.”
Lassiter just hopes that a wet spring isn’t a warning of a dry summer:
“Things seem to change from one extreme to the other in farming, so, if that’s any sign, we’re going to be very dry this summer, I hope that’s not the sign because it’s been unusually wet and a challenge to get the crop planted this year. However, I’d rather work around the wet weather than the dry weather.”
Virginia to Resume Log Shipments to China
Virginia has a six-month window to resume log shipments to China following more than a one-year ban. China banned exports of un-milled soft- and hardwood logs from Virginia and South Carolina in April 2011, citing pests found on U.S. exports. Gov. Bob McDonnell's office said that Chinese officials have now agreed to the six-month pilot project starting June 1 to reopen its borders to those Virginia wood products. Virginia's log exports have an estimated value of nearly $57 million. South Carolina didn’t receive the same 6-month reprieve as Virginia.
Seven in 10 Americans cooking more instead of going out
Although Americans are dining out, they are still cutting back in how often they do so. In looking at the past six months, about one-third say they are eating less frequently at fast food chains (36 percent), casual dining restaurant chains (34 percent) and local casual dining restaurants (34 percent).
There's also a gender difference as women are more likely than men to say they are dining out less frequently in these three types of restaurants over the last six months. This according an online poll that surveyed 2,451 adults between March 12 and March 19 by Harris Interactive.
USDA Doesn’t Want to Change Report Release Times without Public Input
Before USDA considers changes to the release times of market-moving farm reports in the face of expanded trading hours - Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack says the department will seek public input. Some traders would like USDA to release major reports while markets are closed - others would like to capture the instantaneous surges in trading that would accompany a live release of significant information.