USFR Weekly Recap - February 22-23, 2014

February 22, 2014 02:30 AM
 

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THIS WEEK ON U.S. FARM REPORT

EPISODE # 2115

FEBRUARY 22-23, 2014   

 

JOHN’S OPEN:

HELLO AND WELCOME TO U-S FARM REPORT, I'M JOHN PHIPPS. MANY OF THE MARKET BEARS SEEM TO HAVE GONE INTO HIBERNATION. AN UNEXPECTED CRAWL UPWARD IN GRAIN PRICES HAS MANY FARMERS CONTEMPLATING CLEARING A PATH TO THEIR GRAIN BINS. UNDOUBTEDLY OUR ANALYSTS WILL DISSECT THIS RATHER SURPRISING TREND LATER. THE SURGE IN PRICES COULD BE INFLUENCED BY WEATHER IN OTHER WAYS AS WELL. BE SURE TO CHECK OUT MIKE'S OUTLOOK FOR SPRING PLANTING IN THE CORN BELT. REGARDLESS, THE MEANING OF A WINTER WONDERLAND JUST BECAME CLEARER. I'M WONDERING IF IT WILL EVER END.

HEADLINES:

AFTER THIS WEEK, THERE'S ANOTHER GROUP IN THE CAMP OF MORE SOYBEAN ACRES THIS YEAR. AND THAT'S THE USDA. MEANWHILE, USDA CHIEF ECONOMIST JOE GLAUBER SAYS HE EXPECTS THE AVERAGE CORN PRICE TO FALL TO 3.90 PER BUSHEL THIS YEAR. SOYBEANS TO 9.65. GLAUBER FORECASTS WHEAT AT 5.30 A BUSHEL. USDA ALSO RELEASED ITS MONTHLY CATTLE ON FEED REPORT FRIDAY. AND IT SHOWED ON FEED NUMBERS DECLINED FOR THE 17TH STRAIGHT MONTH. THE 3% DROP IS BELOW THE 4% THAT TRADE WAS EXPECTING. FEEDLOT PLACEMENTS WERE ACTUALLY UP YEAR OVER YEAR, BY 9%.  SMALL BUSINESSES COULD GET MORE TRADE OPPORTUNITIES IN THE FUTURE. THAT'S ACCORDING TO NEWS STRAIGHT FROM THE PRESIDENT'S DESK. PRESIDENT OBAMA SIGNED AN EXECUTIVE ORDER THIS WEEK THAT WOULD IMPROVE EXPORT AND IMPORT PROCESSING AND APPROVAL TIMES TO MINUTES INSTEAD OF DAYS. AND HE SAYS IT'S ALL POSSIBLY WITH A NEW INTERNATIONAL TRADE DATA SYSTEM THAT WILL BE IN PLACE BY DECEMBER 2016. MEANHILE, PRESIDENT OBAMA MET WITH THE CANADADIAN PRIME MINISTER AND THE MEXICAN PRESIDENT THIS WEEK FOR THE NORTH AMERICAN LEADERS' SUMMIT.  THE LEADERS DISCUSSED IMMIGRATON, BORDER SECURITY AND TRADE. THE WHITE HOUSE SAYS IF THEY CAN WRAP UP NEGOTIATIONS ON THE TRANS-PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP, OR T-P-P, AND GET IT PASSED, IT WOULD BE A HUGE SUCCESS FOR THE ADMINISTRATION. MEANWHILE, A PIPELINE THAT WOULD RUN FROM CANADA TO TEXAS SAW ANOTHER SETBACK THIS WEEK. A NEBRASKA STATE COURT RULED THE DECISION BY THE GOVERNOR TO APPROVE WAS NOT HIS TO MAKE. INSTEAD THE APPROVAL WILL BE DETERMINED BY THE LITTLE KNOWN PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION. THIS COULD SET THE PROJECT BACK A YEAR. THIS IS WELCOME NEWS FOR SOME FARMERS IN THE STATE WHO WOULD HAVE TO GIVE UP LAND FOR THE PIPELINE. RUSSIA IS SET TO RESUME IMPORTS OF PORK PRODUCTS FROM U-S AND BRAZIL. THE RESTRICTION ON PORK CONTAINING RACTOPAMINE, HOWEVER, STILL EXISTS.  PORK SUPPLIERS WILL NEED TO BE APPROVED BEFORE IMPORTING GOODS. NO U-S COMPANIES HAVE RECEIVED THE GO-AHEAD AT THIS TIME. AS POLITCAL TENSIONS HEATED UP IN UKRAINE THIS WEEK, PROTESTS TURNED DEADLY. AND NOW THERE ARE FEARS IT COULD LIMIT SPRING GRAIN SALES IN BOTH UKRAINE AND RUSSIA. REUTERS REPORTS VILMORIN, A FRENCH SEED MAKER, IS THE LARGEST SUNFLOWER SEED SUPPLIER TO THOSE TWO COUNTRIES. BUT THIS YEAR, THE FOCUS WAS MORE CORN SALES. THE COMPANY IS AFRAID THE TURMOIL WILL TIGHTEN FINANCING IN THE COUNTIRIES, MAKING IT TOUGH FOR FARMERS TO PAY FOR SEED.

CROP WATCH:

CROP WATCH THIS WEEK.

ROUNDTABLE:

TYNE TALKS MARKETS WITH NAOMI BLOHM AND BRIAN ROACH.

JOHN’S WORLD:

WE HAVE OFTEN BEEN CRITICIZED AND FAIRLY SO, FOR CONCENTRATING OUR COVERAGE ON THE CORNBELT. GUILTY AS CHARGED. BUT THE SITUATION IN THE SOUTHWEST AND CALIFORNIA IN PARTICULAR DESERVES FAR MORE ATTENTION THAN IT HAS BEEN GETTING. FIRST AND FOREMOST THIS IS AN EPIC MULTI-YEAR DROUGHT, ALREADY REQUIRING DRASTIC MEASURES BY THE GOVERNOR AND WATER SUPPLY AUTHORITIES TO KEEP MINIMAL SUPPLIES TO POPULATIONS AND FARMS. BUT A LITTLE RESEARCH WILL SHOW HOW BIG AN IMPACT LOOMS FOR OUR NATIONAL FOOD SUPPLY. WHILE CORN FARMERS LIKE ME LIKE TO BRAG ABOUT HOW WE FEED AMERICA, LET'S GET REAL - WE GROW PRIMARILY FEED AND FUEL. THE FOOD COMES FROM PLACES LIKE CALIFORNIA. IN FACT AN AMAZING SHARE OF IT.
CONSIDER THESE NUMBERS: CALIFORNIA SUPPLIES 85% PERCENT OF AMERICA'S CARROTS, 90% OF THE GRAPES. IT GROWS 80% OF THE WORLD SUPPLY OF ALMONDS AND 40% OF ITS PISTACHIOS. IT IS THE TOP RAISIN PRODUCER, AND I COULD GO ON FOR OVER 200 FRUITS AND VEGETABLES. IT ALSO HAS AN ENORMOUS DAIRY AND MEAT INDUSTRY, ALTHOUGH THOSE OPERATIONS ARE SLIPPING AWAY TO WETTER LOCATIONS. IN ALL, CALIFORNIA AG IS A $45B COMPONENT OF OUR GDP. WHILE THIS UNDERSCORES THE IMPORTANCE OF DOING EVERYTHING POSSIBLE TO KEEP CALIFORNIA AG WATERED, IT ALSO DEMONSTRATES THE DANGERS OF SUCH A CONCENTRATION OF FOODSTUFF SOURCING. WHILE THE EFFICIENCY OF CALIFORNIA HAS MADE IT THE MOST ECONOMICAL PLACE TO GROW, WE MAY BE FACING CLIMATE THREATS THAT CALL INTO QUESTION PUTTING ALL OUR VEGETABLES IN ONE BASKET.

2ND HALF

JOHN’S OPEN:

HELLO AND WELCOME TO U-S FARM REPORT, I'M JOHN PHIPPS. IF YOU GO BY THE NUMBER OF COMMERCIALS ON TV, YOU'D THINK AMERICANS EAT PIZZA PRETTY MUCH EVERY MEAL. THAT'S NO FAR OFF. EVERY DAY, THIRTEEN PERCENT OF US CONSUME PIZZA. MOREOVER IF YOU'RE BETWEEN 6 AND 25 THAT SHARE RISES TO 25%. THIS IS GOOD NEW TO DAIRY FARMERS, OF COURSE. AS WHOLE MILK CONSUMPTION SLIDES, CHEESE INTAKE HAS RISEN. MUCH OF THAT CHEESE IS SPREAD ON PIZZAS. IN FACT, MORE THAN A FEW OF YOU ARE DOUBLTESS ENJOYING A COLD SLICE FOR BREAKFAST RIGHT NOW, WASHED DOWN WITH MOUNTAIN DEW.  MOVE OVER APPLE PIE - WE HAVE A NEW ICONIC AMERICAN FOOD.

HEADLINES:

WINTER SEEMS TO BE STICKING AROUND, AND SO ARE HIGH NATURAL GAS PRICES. THE FUTURES CONTRACT TRADED ABOVE THE 6 DOLLAR MARK THIS WEEK. THAT'S THE HIGHEST PRICE IN 4 YEARS. WEATHER WAS A DRIVING FACTOR IN PUSHING PRICES HIGHER AS FORECASTERS ARE CALLING FOR CONTINUED COLD ACROSS MUCH OF THE COUNTRY NEXT WEEK. UNITED EGG PRODUCERS SAYS IT'S ENDING THE TWO YEAR FIGHT OF TRYING TO PASS A NATIONAL EGG BILL. THE LEGISLATION WOULD HAVE CREATED NATIONAL HEN HOUSING AND WELFARE STANDARDS FOR EGG PRODUCERS. U-E-P TRIED TO GET IT INCLUDED IN THE NEW FARM BILL, BUT FAILED.  MANY AG GROUPS WERE AGAINST THE BILL, AS U-E-P WORKED CLOSELY WITH H-S-U-S TO DRAFT IT. THE SPREAD OF A DEADLY PIG VIRUS ISN'T SLOWING DOWN. INSTEAD, IT'S RAMPING UP. 265 NEW CASES OF PORCINE EPIDIMIC DIAHREA VIRUS, OR P-E-D-V, WERE REPORTED IN JUST A WEEK. THAT MEANS THE ACCUMLATED TOTAL IS CLOSING IN ON 3 THOUSAND. APHIS SAYS THIS NUMBER IS ACTUALLY LOW, SINCE P-E-D-V REPORTING ISN'T REQUIRED AT THIS TIME. IN AN EFFORT TO PROTECT FARM WORKERS FROM PESTICIDE EXPOSURE, EPA ANNOUNCED PROPSED PROVISIONS TO THE WORKER PROTECTION STANDARD THIS WEEK. SOME OF THE PROPOSED CHANGES INCLUDE WORKER TRAINING EVERY YEAR, VERSUS EVERY FIVE YEARS.  ALSO, CHILDREN UNDER THE AGE OF 16 WON'T BE ABLE TO TOUCH THE CHEMICALS. THE EXEMPTION TO THAT ARE FAMILY FARMS.  THE CURRENT WORKER PROTECTION STANDARD WAS ESTABLISHED IN 1992. THE MAJORITY OF PRIMARY GROCERY SHOPPERS SAY THEY AREN'T WILLING TO PAY MORE FOR NON-GMO PRODUCTS. BUT HALF OF SPECIALTY STORE SHOPPERS WILL. THE RESEARCH COMES FROM THE N-P-D GROUP. THE FIRM SAYS PRICE IS THE DRIVING FACTOR BEHIND PURCHASING DECISIONS. AND 67 PERCENT OF SHOPPERS SAY IF GMO PRODUCTS COST MORE, THEY WON'T DISH OUT THE EXTRA CASH. NPD FOUND MORE THAN HALF OF U-S CONSUMERS DID EXPRESS CONCERNS ABOUT GMO'S, BUT WHEN ASKED TO DESRIBE THOSE PRODUCTS, PRIMARY GROCERY SHOPPERS SEEMED CONFUSED.

SPIRIT OF THE HEARTLAND:

RAIN OR SHINE, ANIMAL PRODUCERS RARELY GET A DAY OFF.  TODAY IN OUR VETS ON CALL SERIES, WE MEET A VETERNAIRAN WHO SAYS EVEN WHEN TROMPING THROUGH A LAYER OF SNOW, MINIMIZING THE STRESS ON CATTLE IS IMPERATIVE YEAR ROUND.

LEGACY:

FOR THE PAST TWO YEARS WE'VE FOLLOWED THE TRIALS AND SUCCESS STORIES OF FAMILIES ACROSS THE COUNTRY WHO'VE WORKED HARD TO KEEP THEIR LEGACY ALIVE.   BUT WHAT ARE THE STEPS TO GET THERE? IN THIS LEAVE A LEGACY REPORT, CLINTON GRIFFITHS CHECKS IN WITH THE EXPERTS WHO HAVE THE KEYS TO KEEP YOUR FAMILY FARM THRIVING FOR YEARS TO COME.

TRACTOR TALES:

WHERE ARE WE HEADING THIS WEEK FOR TRACTOR TALES, AL?  WELL, JOHN, WE'RE OFF TO SOUTHEASTERN MINNESOTA TO VISIT A CLASSIC '55.

CHURCH SALUTE:

TODAY'S COUNTRY CHURCH SALUTE GOES TO THE FORK HILL BAPTIST CHURCH IN HEATH SPRINGS, SOUTH CAROLINA. THIS PAST OCTOBER, THE CHURCH CELEBRATED 200 YEARS OF FELLOWSHIP AND WORSHIP. DURING THAT TIME, THEY HONORED TWO WORLD WORLD TWO VETERANS WHO ARE ALSO MEMBERS OF THE CHURCH. JUST AS THEY DID WHEN THE CHURCH BEGAN, FORK HILL BAPTIST CENTERS AROUND FAMILY. TODAY THE CHURCH CATERS TO ADULTS OF ALL AGES, AS WELL AS YOUTH AND CHILDREN. THE CONGREGATION CONTINUES TO HAVE ACTIVITIES FOR the YOUTH, INCLUDING MISSION OPPORTUNITIES, TO STRENGTHEN THEIR FATIH. OUR THANKS TO JOE HAYNES FOR SHARING THEIR STORY.

MAILBAG:

TIME NOW FOR OUR WEEKLY LOOK INSIDE THE FARM REPORT MAILBAG. RICHARD PATON IN ONTARIO SENDS US A HEADS-UP ABOUT REGULATORY ACTION ON A WIDELY USED PESTICIDE. "CONCERNS ABOUT BEE HEALTH HAVE BECOME A BIG PROBLEM IN ONTARIO AND THERE IS TALK OF BANNING NEONICOCIDES WHICH WOULD BE A FINANCIAL BURDEN TO FARMERS". RICHARD, THE SUSPECTED LINK BETWEEN NEONICOTINOIDS USED TO TREAT SEED CORN AND HONEYBEE DIE-OFFS HAS ALREADY TRIGGERED A TEMPORARY BAN IN THE E-U. THE PESTICIDE REGULATORY AGENCY IN CANADA WILL RULE SOON ON A PETITION TO BAN THE USE THERE. BUT THE PROBLEM SEEMS SOLVABLE TO ME. AS LONG AS NEONICS STAY ON THE SEED UNDERGROUND THEY POSE LITTLE THREAT. IT IS THE INADVERTANT COMBINATION OF MODERN PLANTERS WHICH USE HIGH VELOCITY AIR FOR SEED HANDLING AND THE ADDITION OF TALC ON THE SEED TO PREVENT SEED FLOW PROBLEMS. WHEN THE TALC CONTACTS THE SEED AND THEN IS HIT WITH A BLAST, TALC PARTICLES ARE SO FINE THEY CAN SPREAD FARTHER THAN FARMERS CAN IMAGINE. THIS PROBLEM LARGELY BLOWOUT WHEN LIFTING AND TURNING AT FIELD EDGES. WHEN DUST LANDS ON FLOWERS, IT CAN KILL BEES WITH MINISCULE DOSES. THIS IS THE WORKING THEORY, ANYWAY. A REPLACEMENT LUBRICANT, BETTER PLANTER DESIGN AND OPERATOR TRAINING CAN FIX THIS, IT SEEMS TO ME, ALONG WITH FARMER AWARENESS OF WHAT TALC ESCAPES REALLY MEAN. FARMERS DON'T WANT TO KILL INSECTS THEY ARE NOT AIMING FOR, AND A LITTLE INNOVATION UP AND DOWN OUR PRODUCTION CHAIN CAN RESOLVE THIS.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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