USFR Weekly Recap - November 2-3, 2013

November 2, 2013 03:30 AM
 

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THIS WEEK ON U.S. FARM REPORT

EPISODE # 2099

NOVEMBER 2-3, 2013   

 

 

 

 

 

 

As always, we want to hear from you, send comments to mailbag@usfarmreport.com or leave us a voice mail at 800-792-4329.

 

JOHN’S OPEN:

LIKE MANY OF YOU JAN AND I HAVE TO PLAN WAY IN ADVANCE IN ORDER TO PULL TOGETHER ANY KIND OF MAJOR VACATION EXPERIENCE. SO FOLLOWING OUR PATTERN OF ONLY ACKNOWLEDGING ANNIVERSARIES DIVISIBLE BY 5 WE'VE BEEN TARGETING A TRIP TO FRANCE NEXT YEAR. MY ECONOMIC THEORY WAS ACCORDING TO MOST PREDICTIONS BY NOW GREECE WOULD HAVE COLLAPSED AND THE EUROPEAN ECONOMIC CRISIS WOULD HAVE DRIVEN THEIR CURRENCY TO MONOPOLY MONEY STATUS. BUT GUESS WHAT, GREECE HAS NOT MELTED, SPAIN, PORTUGAL, IRELAND AND ITALY ARE CLIMBING OUT OF RECESSION AND THE EURO IS PULLING AWAY FROM THE DOLLAR. THIS IS GOOD NEWS FOR U-S FARM EXPORTS, BAD NEWS FOR FARMER TOURISTS, HOWEVER.

CROP PROGRESS:

MANY COMBINES ARE PARKED ACROSS THE COUNTRY, AFTER A MAJOR STORM SYSTEM SOAKED FIELDS ACROSS MUCH OF THE NATION'S MID-SECTION.

U OF I BIG YEILDS:

AS HARVEST CONTINUES TO PROGRESS, INDEPENDENT FIRMS, LIKE ROACH AG MARKETING, HAVE UPPED THEIR YIELD FORECAST. AUGUST RAIN SHOWERS WERE NEARLY NON-EXISTENT IN MUCH OF THE CORNBELT. SO WHAT'S THE EXPLANATION BEHIND THESE UNEXPECTED
YIELDS?

PROPANE PROBLEMS:

DELAYED PLANTING IS PUTTING A BOTTLE-NECK IN HARVEST. AND THAT'S CREATING ANOTHER PROBLEM - A SHORTAGE OF PROPANE TO OPERATOR GRAIN DRYERS. SHORTAGES ARE BEING REPORTED IN THE UPPER MIDWEST AND PLAINS, INCLUDING MINNESOTA, NORTH AND SOUTH DAKOTA. PROFARMER'S DAVIS MICHAELSON SAYS DON'T EXPECT L-P PRICES TO COME DOWN ANTYIME SOON.

BONDS:

THE FEDERAL RESERVE ANNOUNCED THIS WEEK IT WILL CONTINUE ITS LARGE BOND-BUYING STIMULUS PROGRAM AT THE CURRENT LEVEL. THE RESERVE SAYS THE REASON IS UNEMPLOYMENT IS STILL HIGH, AND THERE'S A SLOWING IN THE HOUSING MARKET. THE RESERVE ALSO CITED FISCAL POLICIES THAT ARE WEIGHING ON THE U-S ECONOMY.

ASIA OUTLOOK:

MEANWHILE, WARNING OF AN ECONOMIC CRISIS BREWING IN ASIA. THE BANK OF INTERNATIONAL SETTLEMENTS RELEASED A PAPER ON THE TOPIC. OFFICIALS SAY WHAT'S KNOW AS QUANTITATIVE EASING BY THE FED HAS MADE LOANS SO CHEAP, ASIAN COMPANIES ARE HIKING UP BORROWING GREENBACKS. THE BANK OF INTERNATIONAL SETTLEMENTS FEARS IN THE FUTURE, THIS COULD CAUSE RISING INTEREST RATES AND LEAVE SOME RESIDENTS UNABLE TO PAY THE MONEY BACK.

CROP WATCH:

A FARMER FROM RENVILLE, MINNESOTA WONDERS WHAT A ONE OR TWO INCH RAIN IN AUGUST COULD HAVE DONE TO HIS CROPS. HE SAYS HE FEELS GOOD OVERALL WITH THE YIELDS CONSIDERING THE AMOUNT OF RAIN THEY GOT. BY THE WAY, HE SAYS HE JUST FINISHED TILLAGE SO HE'S GLAD TO BE PARKING THE EQUIPMENT. AND FROM CHRIS HEITING IN NEBRASKA - CHRIS TOLD US HE TOOK THIS PHOTO OF ICY SUNFLOWERS EARLIER THIS WEEK. HE'S ONLY ABOUT 40 PERCENT DONE ON SUNFLOWER HARVEST. HE ALSO HAS PINTO BEANS AND MILLET TO GET OUT OF THE FIELD. AND FROM BERKS COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA ONE FARMER POSTED ON THE BIG 180 DEGREE SWING FROM LAST YEARS YIELDS. HE HAS SOME CORN AS HIGH AS 245 BUSHELS AN ACRE. AND BEANS AROUND 90 BUSHELS. HE SAYS ELEVATORS ARE FULL AND CLOSED SOME DAYS TO NEW GRAIN.

JOHN’S WORLD:

WE HAVE FINALLY BEGUN THE CRUCIAL WORK OF CRAFTING A FARM BILL FROM THE VAGUELY RELATED PIECES OF LEGISLATION PASSED BY THE TWO HOUSES OF CONGRESS SOMETIME IN THE DISTANT PAST. MEMBERS OF BOTH AG COMMITTEES ARE MEETING IN CONFERENCE TO HAMMER OUT A COMPROMISE. TRY NOT TO BE CYNICAL, BUT IF WE HAVE LEARNED NOTHING ELSE THIS YEAR ABOUT THIS CONGRESS, IT IS THAT WHAT COMMITTEES DO MATTERS MUCH LESS THAN WHEN THE BILL IS VOTED ON AND WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING AT THE TIME. THE FACT THAT A RELATIVE HANDFUL OF AG-STATE LAWMAKERS THINK THEY HAVE A DEAL MAY NOT MEAN VERY MUCH ANYMORE TO THEIR MORE NUMEROUS URBAN COUNTERPARTS. ANY COMPROMISE WILL BE EXTREMELY HARD, I FEAR. THE NEW POLITICS OF SCARCITY WILL MAKE EVERY DIME IMPORTANT TO FIGHT FOR. THE AG COMMUNITY IS HARDLY UNITED EITHER. BUT THE FACT THAT SO MANY PEOPLE IN WASHINGTON ARE SAYING "WE SIMPLY MUST PASS A FARM BILL" COULD BE THE GREATEST OBSTACLE TO ITS SUCCESS.
THE NECESSITY OF PASSING A BUDGET RESOLUTION DIDN'T KEEP THE GOVERNMENT RUNNING AFTER ALL. AND THE WELL-ADVERTISED HORROR OF SOVEREIGN DEFAULT BARELY WAS ENOUGH TO BUY A FEW MONTHS TO ARGUE. THE CRITICAL IMPORTANCE OF THESE LEGISLATIVE ACTIONS IS WHY THEY WERE OBSTRUCTED BY EVERY METHOD IN THE BOOK FOR COMPLETELY UNRELATED PURPOSES.

2ND HALF

HEADLINES:

A CATTLE ON FEED REPORT DOESN'T ANSWER THE CRUCIAL QUESTION, "WHERE'S THE BEEF?"

JOHN OPEN:

WELL, HALLOWEEN IS OVER, SO IT IS OFFICIALLY CHRISTMASTIME, RIGHT? AND THE HOLIDAY SEASON MEANS A PREDICTABLE SOUNDTRACK FOR OUR LIVES. YES, I'M TALKING ABOUT THOSE SAME CHRISTMAS SONGS PLAYING REPETITIVELY IN OUR HOMES, OFFICES AND STORES. BUT HERE'S SOMETHING YOU MAY NOT HAVE REALIZED. IF YOU SET ASIDE THE TRADITIONAL HYMNS AND CAROLS YOU ARE LEFT WITH A COUPLE DOZEN POPULAR CHRISTMAS SONGS LIKE WHITE CHRISTMAS, SILVER BELLS, OR MY OWN EARWORM CANDIDATE - THE LITTLE DRUMMER BOY. AND ACCORDING TO MY FAVORITE WEBCOMIC - XKCD - ALL OF THEM WERE WRITTEN FROM 1930 TO 1970. THAT'S RIGHT, IN YOUR EARS, AT LEAST CHRISTMAS IS ALL ABOUT BABY BOOMER CHILDHOOD MEMORIES.

FARM BILL BEGINS:

THE FARM BILL IS ON THE WASHINGTON BOOKS AGAIN FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE JULY.
THAT'S WHEN THE HOUSE PASSED ITS VERSION OF THE LEGISLATION.

CATTLE ON FEED:

THE OCTOBER CATTLE ON FEED REPORT WAS RELEASED ON THURSDAY THIS WEEK, POSTPONED FROM THE GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN. THE REPORT SHOWED FEEDLOT PLACEMENTS UP 1 PERCENT FROM A YEAR AGO. ON THE MARKETINGS SIDE, USDA FED CATTLE IS PERCENT HIGHER. PROFARMER'S JULIANNE JOHNSTON SAYS THAT NUMBER IS SLIGHTLY POSITIVE, AS IT'S MORE AGGRESSIVE THAN EXPECTED. THE REPORT SHOWED CATTLE AND CALVES ON FEED AT 10 POINT 1 MILLION HEAD. THAT'S DOWN 8 PERCENT FROM THE SAME TIME LAST YEAR. THE NUMBER OF HEIFERS AND HEIFER CALVES WAS ALSO DOWN 8 PERCENT FROM 2012.

JAPANESE POULTRY IMPORTS:

JAPAN SAYS IT WILL LIFT ITS BAN ON POULTRY PRODUCTS FROM ARKANSAS AND WISCONSIN.
OFFICIALS SUSPENDED IMPORTS AFTER AVIAN INFLUENZA WAS FOUND IN ON FARMS IN THOSE STATES EARLIER THIS YEAR.

FOOD ALLERGIES:

THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT HAS ISSUED ITS FIRST GUIDELINES ON HOW TO PROTECT CHILDREN WITH FOOD ALLERGIES WHILE AT SCHOOL.

NUTRITION RATINGS:

AND - NAVIGATING HEALTH AND NUTRITION INFORMATION ON FOOD PACKAGING CAN BE DAUNTING. BUT ONE GROCERY STORE CHAIN IN THE NORTHEAST THINKS COUNTING YOUR STARS CAN HELP. MAINE-BASED HANNAFORD STARTED THE 'GUIDING STARS' PROGRAM. GROCERS PUT GOLD STARS ON THEIR PRICE LABELS AND USE A PROPRIETARY FORMULA TO RATE NUTRITION - EARNING ONE, TWO OR THREE STARS. A NEW STUDY BACKED BY USDA AND FDA FOUND THE RATING SYSTEM COULD BE WORKING.

HEARTLAND:

WHEN IT COMES TIME TO RETIRE, NOT ALL FARMERS ARE WILLING TO GIVE-UP THEIR SEAT ON THEIR FAVORITE TRACTOR. THAT'S CERTAINLY THE CASE FOR ART JOENS OF MANILLA, IOWA. ABOUT A DOZEN YEARS AGO HE BOUGHT A FENDT TRACTOR FROM GERMANY - THE FIRST IN HIS AREA. AND THOUGH ART NO LONGER FARMS THE LAND, HE KEEPS HIS FAVORITE MACHINE BUSY.

NEXT WEEK:

NEXT WEEK WE'RE HEADED TO KENTUCKY WHERE HORSE CARE IS BIG BUSINESS. WE'LL FOLLOW ONE VETERINARIAN AS SHE TRAVELS THE SCENIC BYWAYS OF THE BLUEGRASS STATE. VETS ON CALL - NEXT WEEK ON U-S FARM REPORT.

BAXTER BLACK:

WELCOME BACK...IF YOU'RE NOT FAMILIAR WITH TEAM-ROPING AT A RODEO, YOU MAY NOT UNDERSTAND THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A HEADER AND HEELER.
BAXTER BLACK EXPLAINS FROM HIS ARIZONA RANCH.

TRACTOR TALES:

JOHN, WE HAVE A MINNEAPOLIS MOLINE WITH IT'S WORKING CLOTHES ON. WHEN WE VISITED HAROLD THIS SUMMER, HIS 1950 U WOULDN'T START, BUT HE ASSURED US THAT IT RUNS AS GOOD AS ANY TRACTOR HE OWNS.

CHURCH SALUTE:

TODAY'S COUNTRY CHURCH SALUTE GOES TO EBENENZER-SALEM UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST. IT DATES BACK TO 1866. AT SOME POINT, THEY CONGREGATION SPLIT, WHICH CREATED EBENEZER EVANGELICAL IN PEARL CITY, ILLINOIS AND SALEM REFORMED IN LORAN, ILLINOIS. IN THE MID 1950'S THEY RE-UNITED. THE TWO SEPARATE CHURCH BUILDINGS STILL EXIST BUT THERE IS ONE COMMON CHURCH BOARD, BUDGET AND PASTOR.
OUR THANKS TO RANDALL PETERSON. AND OUR SECOND SALUTE GOES TO TAMARACK LUTHERAN IN ARCADIA, WISCONSIN. THIS YEAR THEY'RE CELEBRATING 150 YEARS. BACK IN THE 1950'S, THE NORWEGIAN-ROOTED CONGREGATION ENJOYED THE ANNUAL LUTE-UH-FISK DINNER. FOR THOSE OF YOU UNFAMILIAR WITH LUTE-UH-FISK - IT'S COD FISH SOAKED IN BRINE WHICH INCLUDES LYE. IT'S AN ACQUIRED TASTE, NO DOUBT. SINCE THE 1970'S THE DEMOGRAPHICS OF THE CHURCH SHIFTED AWAY FROM FARM FAMILIES. BUT IT'S NOW GROWING AGAIN. CONGRATULATIONS TO TAMARACK LUTHERAN OF ARCADIA, WISCONSIN.

MAIL BAG:

TIME NOW FOR OUR WEEKLY LOOK INSIDE THE FARM REPORT MAILBAG....JOHN FOX QUESTIONS MY COMMENTS ABOUT SPENDING. "WHEN THE GOVERNMENT SPENDS MONEY, THEY TAKE IT FROM THE ECONOMY AND REDISTRIBUTE IT TO PEOPLE...YOU INSINUATED THAT MOST PEOPLE'S INCOMES ARE DERIVED FROM GOVERNMENT SOURCES." JOHN, AS I OFTEN HAVE TO DO, I SHORTENED YOUR EMAIL TO GET YOUR POINTS ON THE SCREEN, BUT I REMIND VIEWERS TO VISIT OUR WEBSITE FOR ALL THE MESSAGES IN FULL. THANKS TO ALL FOR WRITING. FIRST OF ALL, WHILE THE U-S GOVERNMENT DOES REDISTRIBUTE WEALTH VIA SAFETY NET PROGRAMS, MOST OF THE BUDGET IS JUST SPENDING. WHETHER IT IS THE PAY FOR A SOLDIER OR PAYMENT FOR BRIDGE CONSTRUCTION, GOVERNMENT SPENDING IS JUST LIKE ANY OTHER DOLLAR SPENT IN OUR ECONOMY. TAXES DO NOT LEAVE THE ECONOMY, THEY ARE PLOWED RIGHT BACK IN. THIS MISUNDERSTANDING - THAT GOVERNMENT SPENDING SOMEHOW IS DIFFERENT FROM YOURS AND MINE - ENCOURAGES ANOTHER ECONOMIC MYTH: THAT GOVERNMENTS CANNOT CREATE JOBS. JUST LOOK AT THE FURIOUS LOBBYING OVER THE F35 FIGHTER. ALL THAT THE CONGRESSIONAL ADVOCATES FROM ALL OVER THE POLITICAL SPECTRUM TALK ABOUT IS HOW MANY JOBS THIS ENORMOUS PROJECT WILL CREATE. FINALLY, I DID NOT MEAN TO IMPLY MOST PEOPLE'S INCOME COMES FROM GOVERNMENT. WHAT I SAID IS ALMOST ALL OUR INCOME COMES FROM SPENDING OF SOME SORT. MY POINT IS WE ARE USING THE WORD SPENDING AS IF IT HAS SOME MORAL QUALITY. IT DOES NOT. IT IS SIMPLY MONEY IN CIRCULATION BETWEEN BUYERS AND SELLERS OF GOODS AND SERVICES.

 

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