THIS WEEK ON U.S. FARM REPORT
EPISODE # 2024
MAY 26-27, 2012
Hello and welcome to US Farm Report, I’m John Phipps. It has been interesting to watch the adjustment across the industry to expanded trading hours. For instance AG media have quietly ditched the before the bell predictions. Many of us are checking our smartphones at new times. Elevators are struggling to decide how and when bids are calculated. Consider if the USDA decides to delay reports until that brief window when the markets close in the afternoon. It would mean a blockbuster, game changing crop production report would begin trading at the same time as happy hour. What's wrong with that picture?
For the first time this season USDA is now releasing its harvesting update for the winter wheat crop. Some states have made substantial gains. 3% is now harvested; normally at this time it is just a hash mark in this column. Oklahoma was at 14% harvested as of Monday. And in Kansas winter wheat harvest is underway. That's one of the earliest starts in memory according to the Kansas Wheat Commission. Unfortunately the lack of rain in recent weeks has taken a toll. The condition rating dropped 9 points in one week, 43% is good to excellent, down from 52%. In Oklahoma it's also canola harvest. Yields seem to range from 15 to 50 bushels to the acre with most fields about 40%. Compared to last year the crop had good moisture levels this year. There is been an uptick in the number of acres planted this year. Harvest spread out this year. It's over loaded for a couple of the custom harvesters; for the most part we seem to be working through it. We will probably wrap up the first week of June. It's very high value crop. Almost double the price of wheat. That is 40-bushel canola almost worth as much as an 80-bushel wheat crop. He estimates there are about 200,000 acres of canola planted with most of the acres in Oklahoma. The big story is condition of corn. In the western Corn Belt the crop rates are in the low 80s and in North Dakota 88% of their corn is called good to excellent. In other news, Monsanto is expanding beyond its core business of seeds and trait technology. The company announced it’s reached an agreement to purchase “Precision Planting” an Illinois company that develops after-market planter add-ons. Precision Planting was founded in 1993. The USDA has cleared two California dairies under quarantine after last month's find of BSE in one cow. The AG department completed their investigation at the dairy. USDA says feed records show the facilities were following regulations and both are in compliance. They also found the progeny of the positive cow. The one living offspring was euthanized, it tested negative for BSE. Other birth siblings of the positive cow have also been traced and ruled out as threats.