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USFR Weekly Recap - November 6-7, 2010

November 8, 2010

THIS WEEK ON U.S. FARM REPORT
EPISODE #1943
NOVEMBER 6-7, 2010

JOHN’S OPEN: HELLO AND WELCOME TO U.S. FARM REPORT, I'M JOHN PHIPPS. AS OUR NEWS AND MARKET EXPERTS WILL ATTEST TO, IT IS HARD TO FIND A COMMODITY CHART THAT ISN'T SLOPED UPWARD. MOREOVER, THEY DON'T APPEAR TO BE SPIKES FROM SHOCKING ONE-TIME EVENTS, BUT A RELENTLESS CLIMB BEGINNING LAST SUMMER. IT IS THE ACCUMULATION OF CONTRIBUTING FACTORS THAT I FIND MOST AMAZING. FROM MONETARY ISSUES TO FOREIGN DEMAND TO ADVERSE WEATHER TO INVESTMENT STRATEGIES TO GOVERNMENT POLICY - ALL SEEM TO BE SHINING A FAVORABLE LIGHT ON COMMODITIES. OF COURSE, NONE OF THESE INFLUENCES ARE PERMANENT, BUT THE POSITIVE AGGREGATION OF SO MANY IS SIGNIFICANT AND RARE. THIS IS THE FACE OF HISTORIC OPPORTUNITY, I THINK. TIME NOW FOR THE HEADLINES.....HERE'S AL PELL

COTTON SOARS: THANK YOU JOHN. COTTON PRICES HIT ALL TIME HIGHS THIS WEEK. ON TUESDAY THEY HIT A NEW HIGH AT $1.34 A POUND AND CONTINUED TO CLIMB. ON THURSDAY, DECEMBER PRICES HIT $1.41 A POUND. PRICES FOR THE FIBER STARTED CLIMBING AFTER CROP FAILURES IN CHINA AND PAKISTAN PUT THE CROP IN SHORT SUPPLY. WITH DEMAND REMAINING HIGH, COTTON CONTINUES ITS HISTORIC PRICE MARCH UPWARD--RISING 71% THIS YEAR. FOR U.S. PRODUCERS, THE GOOD PRICES ARE MATCHING A GOOD HARVEST.

HARVEST COTTON: AS OF MONDAY, ABOUT HALF OF OKLAHOMA'S COTTON CROP HAD BEEN HARVESTED, NATIONWIDE, IT'S ABOUT 60%. IN BOTH CASES, THAT'S 17-POINTS AHEAD OF THE FIVE YEAR AVERAGE.

WOOL PRICES: COTTON ISN'T THE ONLY NATURAL FIBRE ENJOYING A SPIKE IN PRICES. AROUND THE GLOBE WOOL IS SELLING AT ITS HIGHEST A MARK IN DECADES. ACCORDING TO THE AMERICAN SHEEP INDUSTRY ASSOCIAITON, U.S. WOOL IS SELLING FOR NEAR 2 DOLLARS A POUND FOR 21 TO 22 MICRON WOOL. THAT'S THE HIGHEST PRICE IN SOME 20 YEARS. THE ASSOCIATION SAYS SEVERAL THINGS ARE PLAYING INTO THE INCREASE, INCLUDING BETTER EXCHANGE RATES FOR EXPORTS. 60% OF U.S. WOOL IS EXPORTED. MAJOR PRODUCERS AUSTRAILIA AND NEW ZELAND HAVE SEEN A 50% DROP IN PRODUCTION IN RECENT YEARS...LOWERING SUPPLY.

ND WHEAT CROWN: IF YOU'RE LOOKING FOR THE TOP PRODUCING WHEAT STATE IN THE COUNTRY...AIM NORTH. NORTH DAKOTA IS CLAIMING THAT PRIZE FOR A SECOND YEAR IN A ROW. THE NORTH DAKOTA WHEAT COMMISSION SAYS THEIR STATE BEAT OUT KANSAS BY 15 MILLION BUSHELS. HIGH YIELDS ARE HELPING CARRY THAT CROWN...IN SPITE OF FEWER PLANTED ACRES THE LAST TWO YEARS, NORTH DAKOTA HAS AVERAGED MORE THAN 44.5 BUSHELS PER ACRE.

ROUND TABLE: MIKE NORTH OF FIRST CAPITOL AG

JOHN’S WORLD: ONE FREQUENT COMMENT I GET ABOUT U.S. FARM REPORT CONCERNS OUR MARKET COMMENTATORS. PEOPLE ASK WHAT GOOD IT IS WHEN THE EXPERTS HAVE SUCH A WIDE RANGE OF OPINIONS AND OUTLOOK. WHAT GOOD IS IT TO HAVE ONE FORECAST ONE WEEK, AND ANOTHER NEXT WEEK? THIS IS THE ETERNAL MARKETING DILEMMA. PRODUCERS ARE OFTEN LOOKING FOR SOOTHSAYERS, NOT ADVISORS. AND THIS YEAR SOOTH WAS HARD TO COME BY, AS GRAIN MARKETS HAVE DEFIED PREDICTION. BUT THE REASON BEHIND MARKET ADVISORY SERVICES IS NOT FORTUNE-TELLING, BUT HELPING PRODUCERS MANAGE THIS ASPECT OF AGRICULTURE SO THAT IT IS A PART OF AN ENJOYABLE, FULFILLING CAREER - NOT AN OBSTACLE. THERE IS A BIG DIFFERENCE BETWEEN GOOD MARKETING AND HITTING THE HIGHS. THIS IS WHY I THINK YOU'LL FIND THE MARKETING RALLY 2010 USEFUL. WITH SIXTEEN EXPERTS SIDE-BY SIDE, YOU CAN COMPARE AND CONTRAST. YOU CAN ALSO DISCOVER WHICH APPROACH SEEMS TO LOWER YOUR ANXIETY LEVEL AND MATCH YOUR PERSONAL GOALS. I LOOK TO SEE WHERE THE OPINIONS HAVE THE MOST CONSENSUS AND WHERE THEY ARE SHARPLY DIVIDED. YOU CAN ALSO MINE THE PARTICULAR EXPERTISE OF EACH ANALYST, WHETHER IT'S CHINESE DEMAND, BRAZILIAN PRODUCTION OR GOVERNMENT POLICY. THE GOAL FOR MARKETING RALLY 2010 IS TO PROVIDE ONE-STOP SHOPPING FOR YOUR MARKET PLAN CONSTRUCTION NEEDS. YOU'LL HAVE FACE TIME WITH THE EXPERTS AND CHANCES TO SOUND OUT OTHER GROWERS AS WELL. I HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE. LET US KNOW WHAT YOU THINK.... SEND EMAILS TO INFO@USFARMREPORT.COM OR CALL AND LEAVE US A VOICE MAIL.

2ND HALF:
JOHN’S OPEN:
HELLO AND WELCOME TO U.S. FARM REPORT, I'M JOHN PHIPPS. AMERICAN VOTERS SENT A CLEAR MESSAGE TO WASHINGTON THIS WEEK. THEY WANT MORE JOBS AND LESS GOVERNMENT SPENDING. UNFORTUNATELY, THOSE TWO THINGS ARE RARELY ECONOMICALLY COMPATIBLE. BUT THE REAL NEWS THAT WAS OVERSHADOWED BY BREATHLESS ELECTION COVERAGE WAS THE SURPRISINGLY BOLD ACTION BY THE FEDERAL RESERVE TO STIMULATE GROWTH IN THE ECONOMY. THE OUTLOOK FOR INTEREST RATES JUST BECAME MUCH CLEARER: THEY ARE GOING TO BE VERY LOW FOR A LONG TIME. WHILE THIS IS GOOD NEWS FOR THOSE WHO USE CAPITAL - LIKE FARMERS - IT IS NOT FOR THOSE WHO DEPEND ON INTEREST INCOME. AND IF YOU'VE BEEN SAVING UP FOR A VACATION ABROAD, I'D LEAVE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. LET'S GET STARTED WITH THE HEADLINES AND AL PELL....

ELECTION ON AG: THANK YOU JOHN. TUESDAY'S ELECTION WILL HAVE AN IMPACT ON WHO HEADS-UP THE AGRICULTURE COMMITTEES IN CONGRESS. SENATOR BLANCHE LINCOLN'S DEFEAT IN ARKANSAS LEAVES AN OPENING ATOP THE SENATE AGRICULTURE COMMITTEE. MICHIGAN SENATOR DEBBIE STABENOW APPEARS MOST LIKELY TO GET THE POST SINCE SHE DOES NOT ALREADY CHAIR A MAJOR COMMITTEE. HOWEVER, SENATOR KENT CONRAD OF NORTH DAKOTA, WHO’S FACING RE-ELECTION IN TWO YEARS, COULD GIVE-UP HIS POSITION AT CHAIRMAN OF THE BUDGET COMMITTEE TO TAKE THE AG POST. ON THE HOUSE SIDE, OKLAHOMA CONGRESSMAN FRANK LUCAS, AS THE RANKING REPUBLICAN, WILL TAKE THE CHAIR FROM MINNESOTA DEMOCRAT COLLIN PETERSON. PRO FARMER WASHINGTON EDITOR ROGER BERNARD EXPLAINS WHAT THESE MOVES WILL MEAN.

ESTATE TAX: THANKS ROGER. ANOTHER ISSUE FACING LAWMAKERS IS THE ESTATE TAX, WHICH COULD DRAMATICALLY IMPACT FARMERS.  UNLESS CONGRESS TAKES ACTION DURING THE LAME-DUCK SESSION, THE ALLOWABLE LIMITS DROP BACK DOWN TO ONE MILLION DOLLARS EXEMPTION PER PERSON ON JANUARY FIRST. THE ESTATE TAX CLIMBS TO 50%. CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER AND FARM JOURNAL COLUMNIST KEVIN SPAFFORD SAYS FARMERS WHO HAVEN'T PLANNED, COULD BE HIT HARD. CALLING IT THE SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT TAX ISSUE LEFT UNRESOLVED BY CONGRESS, THE AMERICAN FARM BUREAU IS PUSHING CONGRESS TO APPROVE A FIVE MILLION DOLLAR EXEMPTION WITH A TOP RATE OF 35%. THAT'S IT FOR NEWS...TIME NOW FOR THE NATIONAL FORECAST FROM METEOROLOGIST MIKE HOFFMAN.

ULTIMATE FARM QUEST: LEON FARMS ABOUT TWO THOUSAND ACRES OF CORN AND SOYBEANS IN SOUTH-CENTRAL MICHIGAN. WITH ADVICE FROM FARM JOURNAL'S MISSY BAUER, HE'S BEEN MAKING SOME CHANGES TO HIS OPERATION. HE'S DECIDED TO PUT ABOUT 10% OF HIS ACRES UNDER PIVOT.

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