USFR Weekly Recap - August 10-11, 2013

August 10, 2013 03:30 AM
 

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THIS WEEK ON U.S. FARM REPORT

EPISODE # 2087

AUGUST 10-11, 2013   

 

JOHN’S OPEN:

HELLO AND WELCOME TO U-S FARM REPORT, I'M JOHN PHIPPS. EVEN THOUGH MANY OF US SAW THIS COMING, THERE IS STILL SOME SADNESS AS AN ICON OF AGRICULTURE: OPEN-OUTCRY TRADING IN THE PITS AT CHICAGO IS DWINDLING. THANKS TO A NEW RULE FOR SETTLEMENT PRICES, THE SHIFT TO ELECTRONIC TRADING HAS ACCELERATED THIS YEAR, AND I EXPECT THE CME TO JOIN MOST OTHER MAJOR TRADING FLOORS TO EVEOLVE INTO RELATIVE QUIET DESK JOCKEYS STARING AT FLICKERING SCREENS AND CLICKING KEYBOARDS. FOR THE MEDIA, THIS IS NOT GOOD VIDEO COMPARED TO WILD GESTURES AND THROAT-KILLING SHOUTS, BUT I SUSPECT YOUNGER FARMERS WILL WONDER WHY WE EVER THOUGHT THAT WAS ANY WAY TO DO BUSINESS. TIME NOW FOR THE HEADLINES.....HERE'S TYNE MORGAN .

HEADLINES:

THANK YOU JOHN, AND HELLO EVERYONE. BARE FIELDS AND GIANT HOLES IN THE MIDDLE OF GREEN ACRES. THAT'S THE VIEW YOU GET WHEN LOOKING AT NORTHEAST IOWA AND SOUTHERN MINNESOTA'S CROP CONDITIONS THIS YEAR FROM ABOVE. MEANWHILE, CORN HARVEST IST JUST A FEW DAYS AWAY FOR SOME FARMERS IN THE SOUTH. IN LOUISIANA, THE LARGE CORN EARS ARE DRYING DOWN AND READY FOR HARVEST. JUST LAST YEAR, LOUISIANA'S BUMPER CROP SET RECORD YIELDS. THIS YEAR, SOME FARMERS THINK THEY CAN BEAT THOSE RECORDS. WHILE TRAVELING IN BRAZIL, AG SECRETARY TOM VILSACK SAID HE MAY CUT-OFF COTTON PAYMENTS TO BRAZIL. VILSACK BLAMES CONGRESS FOR A LACK OF A FARM BILL. EPA IS SIGNALING IT MAY RELAX THE ETHANOL MANDATE IN 2014. THE ADMINSTRATION FEELS INCREASED ETHANOL PRODUCTIONS LEVELS, LAID OUT BY CONGRESS BACK IN 2007, ARE UNREALISTIC TODAY. ADJUSTING THE MANDATE IS ONE OF MANY OPTIONS BEING EXPLORED.

CROP WATCH:

CROP WATCH THIS WEEK STARTS IN WASHINGTON COUNTY, OREGON A FARMER TOLD AGWEB THAT HIS WHEAT YIELDS HAVE BEEN GOOD, 100 TO 125 BUSHELS AN ACRE. THE CORN IS PUSHING THROUGH POLLINATION. HE'LL KEEP HIS IRRIGATION RUNNING, AS THEY HAVEN'T SEEN ANY RAIN SINCE JUNE 26TH. AND FROM KNOX COUNTY, ILLINOIS - A FARMER'S BEEN DOING THE MATH ON GROWING DEGREES. USING DATA FROM THE PAST TWO WEEKS, HE EXPECTS GROWING DEGREES ARE 24-PERCENT BELOW NORMAL IN HIS AREA. AT THAT RATE, CORN PLANTED MAY 30TH IN HIS AREA WON'T SEE MATURITY UNTIL OCTOBER 20TH.

ROUNDTABLE:

AL TAKES OVER TO TALK MARKETS WITH DUSTIN JOHNSON AND THOMAS GRISAFI.

JOHN’S WORLD:

THE EPA ANNOUNCEMENT IT WOULD RECONSIDER THE RENEWABLE FUELS STANDARD FOR 2014 IS A WELCOME ADMISSION OF THE BASIC PROBLEM OF MANDATES.  LIKE ALL OTHER EFFORTS TO FORCE THE MARKET TO DO WHAT ONE SPECIAL INTEREST WANTS, STUFF HAPPENS IN THE MEANTIME. IN THIS CASE, AMERICANS DROVE LESS AND DID IT IN BETTER-MILEAGE CARS. ASIDE FROM BEGINNING TO DEAL WITH THE BLEND WALL, THIS DECISION ALSO MAKES CLEAR WHAT MANY OF US - EVEN ETHANOL PROPONENTS - HAVE LONG AGO CONCLUDED: CELLULOSIC ETHANOL IS THE COLD FUSION OF AGRICULTURE.THE HOPES FOR ADVANCED BIOFUELS FROM CORNSTALKS IS NOT JUST UNREASONABLE, BUT DOWNRIGHT SILLY. THE MOST OBVIOUS REASON IS ENERGY DENSITY. UNLESS YOU HAVE AN ETHANOL PLANT IN SIGHT OF YOUR COMBINE, TRANSPORTING CROP RESIDUE WILL COST MORE ENERGY THAN IT CAN YIELD. AND MORE THAN FEW PRODUCERS HAVE FIGURED OUT WE'D BE CARTING OFF A LOT OF EXPENSIVE-TO-REPLACE P AND K ON THOSE TRUCKS AS WELL. WE'VE KNOWN THIS ALL ALONG, BUT SIMPLY DEMANDED ACTION BY THE GOVERNMENT TO FORCE THE NUMBERS TO WORK. I WILL ALLOW THAT ETHANOL FROM MUNICIPAL WASTE MIGHT MAKE MORE ECONOMIC SENSE, BUT THOSE MACHINES THAT COLLECT AND BALE COBS AND STALKS HAVE NO FUTURE IN THE REAL WORLD. THE MOST EMBARRASSING PART OF THIS WISHFUL SCIENCE WAS HOW FARMERS PRETENDED TO BELIEVE INSTEAD OF LAUGHING OUTRIGHT AT THE IDEA. AFTER STRAINING TO FINAGLE THE NUMBERS TO MAKE CORN ETHANOL COME OUT TO A POSITIVE ENERGY BALANCE, WE ALL KNEW STOVER COULD NOT COME CLOSE.

2ND HALF

JOHN’S OPEN:

HELLO AND WELCOME TO U-S FARM REPORT, I'M JOHN PHIPPS. IT'S BEEN A LONG TIME SINCE I WENT TO THE STATE FAIR, SO I WAS STUNNED BY A REPORT FROM AN ECONOMIST WHOSE BLOG I READ WHEN HE TOOK HIS FAMILY OUT TO TRY THE FOOD AT THE INDIANA STATE FAIR. I KNEW FOLKS WERE DEEP-FRYING SOME UNUSUAL DISHES, BUT HAD NEVER HEARD OF THE PULLED LAMB PARFAIT OR THE RED-NECK BURGER: BEEF, ONIONS, CHEESE, BACON, BEANS, AND FRIED BOLOGNA. THERE WERE BACON-GLAZED DONUTS AND DEEP-FRIED COOKIE DOUGH. I COULD GO ON, BUT I THINK I JUST FELT AN ARTERY CLOG. LUCKILY THE FAIR ONLY COMES ONCE A YEAR, WHICH IS BARELY ENOUGH TIME TO EXERCISE THOSE MEALS AWAY. LET'S GET STARTED WITH THE HEADLINES AND TYNE MORGAN...

HEADLINES:

THE NATION'S LARGEST MEAT PROCESSOR ROCKED THE INDUSTRY THIS WEEK WHEN IT ANNOUNCED IT WOULD TEMPORARILY STOP BUYING BEEF CATTLE THAT'S BEEN USING A FEED ADDITIVE CALLED 'ZILMAX'. ZILMAX HELPS CATTLE ADD WEIGHT AND LEAN MUSCLE JUST PRIOR TO SLAUGHTER. TWO HORSE SLAUGHTER PLANTS WILL HAVE TO WAIT FOR AT LEAST 30 DAYS BEFORE THEY COULD POSSIBLY OPEN. A FEDERAL JUDGE RULED THAT TWO PLANTS COULD POSE A THREAT TO THE ENVIRONMENT... A RULING THAT FAVORS ANIMAL WELFARE GROUPS. VALLEY MEAT IN ROSWELL NEW MEXICO AND 'RESPONSIBLE TRANSPORTATION' OF IOWA HAD HOPED TO OPEN THIS WEEK. BUT OPENENTS SUED, CLAIMING AN ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW NEEDS TO BE CONDUCTED. THE JUDGE AGREED. THE RULING PUTS AT LEAST A 30 DAY HALT ON THEIR START. OF COURSE, HERD NUMBERS HAVE BEEN DOWN DUE TO THE LONG-TERM DROUGHT IN MUCH OF CATTLE COUNTRY. THE LIVESTOCK MARKETING INFORMATION CENTER SAYS U-S BEEF COW NUMBERS ARE DOWN ABOUT TWO CENTER. THAT'S THE SEVENTH STRAIGHT YEAR OF COW REDUCTION. HEIFER NUMBERS ARE ABOUT THE SAME - AS SOME RANCHERS HANG ONTO LIVESTOCK IN AREAS WITH PASTURE CONDITIONS. MEANWHILE, DUTCH SCIENTISTS ARE LOOKING FOR A POSSIBLE REPLACEMENT TO HAMBURGER TO HELP FEED THE WORLD.  AND THEY ARE TURNING TO COW STEM CELLS.

SPRAYER OPERATOR:

WHEN YOU'RE SPRAYING YOUR FIELDS WITH FERTILIZER OR PESTICIDES, HOW MANY ACRES DO YOU COVER IN A SINGLE DAY?  THEN IMAGINE - JUST HOW LONG IT WOULD TAKE TO SPRAY A MILLION ACRES OF FARM LAND. GLEN SLABAUGH {SLAY-BAW} DOESN'T HAVE TO IMAGINE. HE'S REACHED THAT MILESTONE. HE'S BEEN COVERING CORN AND SOYBEAN FIELDS IN INDIANA FOR MORE THAN 37 YEARS. THIS YEAR, HE WAS NAMED NATIONAL "OPERATOR OF THE YEAR" BY AGCO. WE CAUGHT UP WITH GLEN WHILE HE WAS WORKING THE FIELDS NEAR LEESBURG, INDIANA.

USDA LAND VALUES:

FARMLAND CONTINUES TO BE A HOT ITEM. NATIONWIDE, THE AVERAGE PRICE OF CROPLAND RINGS IN AT 4 THOUSAND DOLLARS PER ACRE.

LAND AUCTION:

IT'S THOSE HIGH PRICES THAT HELP LAND AUCTIONS TODAY DRAW QUITE THE CROWD. SOME ARE SERIOUS BIDDERS WHILE OTHERS ANXIOUSLY WAIT TO SEE IF HISTORY WILL BE MADE. A RECENT AUCTION IN MY BACKYARD SPARKED MY INTEREST.

 

  

 

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