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USFR Weekly Recap - May 19-20, 2012

May 19, 2012




EPISODE # 2023
MAY 19-20, 2012



Hello and welcome to US Farm Report, I’m John Phipps. At the risk of seeming naïve I will venture to say things are looking up for much of Agriculture and our fellow citizens. Not every business or every location, but some sort of normal. Even the wild market gyrations for commodities has become less alarming for all of us. And this is just as how things are right now and as we will try to highlight, some surprising adaptations to this new environment proves once again people usually find a way.



The drought looks to be diminishing for some portions of the Southern Plains which is helping to improve cattle numbers. This week’s Cattle on feed report shows analysts expecting April placements to be about 1.5 million head lower than last year or about 12%. That would be the smallest placements since 2009.

About a year ago feedlot inventories hiked as the drought caused the green pastures to turn brown in the Southern forcing producers to liquidate much of their herds. The recent rains have improved pastures, which may translate into smaller Beef supplies later this year.Agriculture is still feeling the brunt of a roller coaster year for weather in 2011. From drought to floods to fires, it was the year that farmers and ranchers seemed to see it all. There's a new tally on crop losses from those disasters. New data from the Risk Management Agency shows crop insurance companies paid out nearly $11 billion last year alone. This marks a new record topping the previous of 8.7 billion set in 2008. The agency said the crops that endured the most damage were corn, cotton, wheat, soybeans, grain sorghum, pastor, range land and tobacco. Just when you think land prices can't go any higher, two new reports show they continue to climb in 2012. The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago reports AG land values increased 19% in the first quarter of 2012 over the same period last year. While it is not the record pace we saw in 2011, it’s still a big jump. Iowa continues to lead the way with land values jumping 27%. Just to the east Illinois is climbing rapidly with a 20% increase. Kansas City Fed. also released its quarterly report and it shows that cropland values climbed more than 20% for the second year in a row. Ranchland values grew 16%.Nebraska land prices saw the biggest jump in the first quarter of 2012, with an increase of more than 41% for irrigated land and nearly 39% for non- irrigated.

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