THIS WEEK ON U.S. FARM REPORT
EPISODE # 2028
JUNE 23-24, 2012
Hello and welcome to U.S. Farm Report. I’m John Phipps. Farmers have multiple distractions competing for their attention right now. Farm Bill action in congress, gyrating markets and advancing drought conditions. These could prove to be small ripples compared to global trends that may overwhelm them. Economies around the world are on the edge of recession while the US is still growing, slowdowns in India, China and Brazil remove much of the cushion. Keeping up with complex global economy is hard when it's all you can do to cope with no rain and a fractious government. It's never been more important to at least try. We will do our best to help. Time for the headlines. Here is Tyne Morgan.
It’s been a busy week for Farm Bill discussions and it ended with the Senate passing its version of the Bill late last week with a 64 to 35 vote. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said the Senate debated more than 70 amendments throughout the week. Among discussions was debate about the crop insurance inclusion in the Farm Bill. Ohio State University AG Economist Carl Zulauf says the big issue is how to design a program that’s complimentary to crop insurance. He says the Senate discussions have been addressing more than just farm support programs. The issues will include the conversation program, the funding and type of conservation program, the degree of cuts if any, the limitations on payments to farmers by farm programs and the structure and support for the sugar industry and the United States. On Wednesday the Senate voted to not change the depression era program that protects United States sugar growers. The proposed amendment would have reduced the program and required the government to buy surplus sugar. The House said it'll likely start markups on July 11th after they come back from the upcoming recess. Russia will join the World Trade Organization or WTO by the end of summer. In a testimony before the House Committee on Way and Means last week, US Trade Representative Ron Kirk urged Congress to grant them permanent normal trade status. He said this would ensure groups like US farmers and ranchers receive the full benefits of Russia entering into the WTO. He said if the United States doesn't grant Russia the trade status then US businesses and exporters will be at a competitive disadvantage compared to other countries. Crop progress isn't looking much better in the eastern corn belt as many states are still begging for rain. The driest areas seem to be in Indiana. The latest crop progress report shows a continuing decline in the condition of the corn crop there. 32% of the Indiana corn is good, another 5% is excellent. That's a 12 point decline from last week and a 22 point decline in two weeks. Ohio has an 11 point drop from a week ago.