Soybean Kudzu Bugs Getting the Attention of Researchers

Pioneer's Kinston NC Research Station held an open house on Tuesday to update corn, soybean and corn producers on progress on varieties for the east coast…SFN’s Rhonda Garrison was there…and asked Zach Shearin researcher with Pioneer about their research on kudzu bug on soybeans…

“We noticed it was a problem in 2009 and at this point we are trying to find a potential native source of resistance. We are trying to find an existing resistance gene in soybeans to incorporate into our product line up.”

The widest drought to grip the United States in decades is getting worse with no signs of abating. This according to a report newly issued by the U.S. Drought Monitor. Richard Pavelsky is a farmer in central Wisconsin whose farm is completely irrigated. He's in good shape and will provide feed for needy farmers. But he says that this drought is a really bad one.

“Its to the point where if you are not irrigated you have no crop.”

Perry Keys, a central Wisconsin cattle and corn farmer, says that the situation on his farm is bad and he says that no rain is having an serious impact on his ability to raise his cattle and corn.

“It just won’t rain here. I do have a little irrigation and my corn is surviving but the hay and the pastures are pretty much dried up.”

Small fruit and vegetable farmers throughout the Midwest are struggling with a once-in-decades drought. Some have lost crops, while others are paying a lot more to irrigate. AP correspondent Robert Ray reports.

“’The plants just dried up and died.’ Without rain in June and July along with above average temperatures, their normally thriving vegetable crop that supplies farmers markets in Chicago is all dried up.”

Livestock producers say the mandated the use of ethanol in fuel should be put on hold. AP correspondent Jerry Bodlander reports.

“As corn prices hit a record high, livestock producers want to put the renewable fuels standard on hold. They say the requirement that a large portion of the corn harvest be turned into ethanol makes it harder for them to feed their livestock and many have been forced to reduce the size of their herds. Corn prices have jumped more than 50% in just the last six weeks.”

Drug and chemical company Bayer AG says its second-quarter earnings were a third lower than last year because of one-time charges that included money set aside to deal with lawsuits linked to a contraceptive.

Revenues rose 10 percent however and the company raised its full-year outlook.

Sales boomed 17 percent in the company's farm chemical business, continuing strong sales from the first quarter. The company said business was helped by high prices for agricultural products. is dedicated to serving the agricultural industry in the Carolinas and Virginia with the latest ag news, exclusive regional weather station readings, and key crop market information. The website is a companion of the Southern Farm Network, provider of daily agricultural radio programming to the Carolinas since 1974. presents radio programs, interviews and news relevant to crop and livestock production and research throughout the mid-Atlantic agricultural community.