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November 2010 Archive for U.S. Farm Report Mailbag

RSS By: U.S. Farm Report, US Farm Report

Comments, questions, opinions...this is your chance to speak out regarding anything and everything reported on U.S. Farm Report. Viewer feedback updated regularly.

Talking China & Saying Thanks

Nov 29, 2010

***The following comments were received following the November 27-28, 2010 edition of U.S. Farm Report...


   I am not a farmer and don't know anything about it.  But I really enjoy watching US Farm Report. It's nice to learn something about another area of life besides what I do for a living.

   But I would like to see you "dumb  it down" a little for people like me.  For example, today you talked about GIPSA.  I don't even know what that stands for. And  your discussions on the stock market are always interesting, but not knowing anything about the stock market, I need more specific definitions to understand what you're saying.

   Also, some topics I would like to hear more about especially the "why" of the situation.
Like today, one of your guests mentioned China can't feed its population and has
to buy food.  I would like to know why that is and exactly what's happening. 
Thank you for listening and for a very interesting program.
David Mahan
Flint, Michigan 


   I really like your show. I am a small, small farm operator selling only to my local community. Low overhead and small acreage and I'll make it. I want to know as much as any what the future holds. Your show gives one glimpse.

Keep the faith.

Susan Dietrich, Rappahannock Academy Virginia on RFDTV.


    The Columbia Basin area in Central Washington State we are still in the middle of corn harvest but the snow that came a week half ago has stop the corn harvest big time!!! We have around more than half of the Basin to still harvest!!!!!!

Nancy Johnson

Moses Lake, WA



Dear Mr. John Phipps,
   I read Popular Mechanics December issue article on "China's Secret War Plans". It detailed their plans and capabilities when confronting a US carrier battle group. It is but one of many articles about the increasing might of China's military. What the article didn't detail was where they got the economic basis to build their military. The truth is we have given away, sold or have had stolen a sizeable chunk of our industrial base to or by China.
   Now consider the huge amount of ag based products China buys from the US. That ability is a direct result of their manufacturing prowess and a sign of our manufacturing demise.
   Hooray for today's high commodity prices! ...but how long will it last?
Only a fool would conclude that the US can endure another 25 years of huge trade imbalances with China. The end result will be a trade war or war period. For agriculture the times will resemble what happened when Carter embargoed the Russian grain.
   Throw a bowl full of grain in front of the chicken coop. The chickens never hear trhe axe being sharpened nor will they bother to look up when the farmer and his axe stroll their way. And so it is with greed and when times are good, a person or group never bother to glance up and see what's coming their way !
    I do enjoy your show and your segments are first rate.
 Robert Blain
 Cedar Falls, IA
   Almost 25 years ago my three little kids and I joined a  4-H club in rural MN. I realized how little I knew about the farm kid’s world so went to dairy day judging to learn what makes one animal worth more than another. I remember as the vet slapped one of cows on the rear referring to her as petite. I realized that was not good. I went from that to finding US Farm Report on TV. I have been hooked all of these years on your program. O have learned so much about the forces shaping my world. I appreciate your simply laying information out for me to examine and try to fit into what I already know. It is the one program where I don’t feel flimflammed by someone wanting me to hand over my future since they are so much smarter. 11/28/10 I loved the comment where the gentleman said he wanted to be the dumbest guy in the room of authorities he brings together and wants to share the risk with them too. I had not thought of the shared risk being part of the variable before but after what we have experienced from the financial world I think he is correct. I am curious to see if that concept will eventually work its way into the financial world.  Regulation will never reign in the financial world. It will only be market conditions that will change the ability of the financial world to create investments that even they don’t understand just want to skim a commission from. You have really made me think today.
    Thank you for giving me tools to grapple with trying to understand my world. I appreciate it. Do love the tractor, church anniversaries, etc. I spend much of my time at work and out in the world feeling like I have fallen off my planet and landed on an alien planet I don’t understand. Once a week I get to listen to people who still value what I do. Keep up the good work.
Ann Dorsey
St Joseph, MN

   Thanks for an interesting and informative show. I have enjoyed watching the program for some time, however, due to the early show time(5:00 a.m. PST), I am not always able to watch. Keep doing what you are doing well.


Ray Ferrari



     Endless TV talk about the value on China's currency, but not a word about the 13% VAT they put on our soybeans.  Read the attached and update to current prices and you will see that Chinese Gov't takes in ~$20 from every acre of Soys grown in the US.  I'll bet many other farmers are like me and their farms make more $ for the Chinese Gov't than the US.  John: calculate it for your own farm. 
    The VAT is 17% on most products.  What would be the effect on our unemployment if we put an equal tax-tariff on the things we buy from them?
Bird Vincent
Vincent Centennial Farm
Freeland MI


Viewers Offer Compliments & Complaints

Nov 22, 2010


***Editor's Note:  The following comments were received following the November 20-21, 2010 edition of U.S. Farm Report...


   Since the Irish are a part of the world, I'd hope that their banking/economic situation was just as important as everyone elses. (But I have Irish in me so maybe I'm partial). P.S. Baxter Blacks' stethoscope looks like it's cutting off the blood supply to his head. I'm concerned.(although, like me, he's still able to talk. Good luck w/that old cow!

Peace out,

Martha J.Kelley


   My thanks for you and all the people behind you for the Farm Report. I grew up in Houston but had Grandparents the raised cattle outside of Houston. Taking care of cattle, barbed wire fences, field and forest fires, haying, feeding and constantly checking. Lived the concrete jungle and suburbs Houston and had come to believe that the world was just a place that was nothing but crime, killing, and taking from those that worked hard to live. Your show has installed in me that there still is a great portion of this planet that still works hard from daylight to dark and perseveres for decades and tries to pass this work ethic and self-sufficiency on to the next generation.
Many memories of that time and my struggles through six decades are vindicated. thank you for helping me to find myself again. Age 68, living in the rural mountains of Colorado. Your program and The Last American Cowboy are the fondest moments in my week.
Al Gandy
Florissant, Colorado
   You said this morning that the cosumer has seen no inflation in some time. You obviously don't shop for groceries. In the past year some items have gone up from 20% to 70 %. Our monthly spending for food  has gone up over doubled.   
   Another matter , I don't know why you put any prices or stock quotes at the bottom of the business report as you very seldom get all the way thru it  I get so mad I turn you off.
James Roger Jones
Submarine Veteran
   Another great program today.  I like your market analysis section with different advisers/analysts...should finish corn today, might snow tonight in central North Dakota.  Yielding 120 to 140... all time time high yields, 119 last year, moisture  16 to 18%...will let you know the actual number when we tally up.
Bill Ongstad
Harvey, N.D.


Time to Harvest Christmas Trees

Nov 19, 2010

This weekend we start harvesting trees for our wholesale customers who are setting up their tree lots early next week, preparing for the busy Thanksgiving weekend when the public start buying trees to take home.  So, the crew is assembled, the equipment is ready, the exact number and sizes of trees ordered are tagged....let the cutting, dragging out, shaking, baling, counting and loading begin.

Last year it was so wet and muddy, we had trouble keeping the trees clean. This year it is so dry and dusty, we may need dust masks while shaking the trees.  What a difference a year makes!
Our choose and cut customers have been calling about tagging a tree early.  We aren't tagging this year and will let them start coming out on Friday, Saturday and Sunday after Thanksgiving to walk the fields and choose and cut their family tree.
Thanks for your time!
Mike Jacobs
Glenview Tree Farm
9480 Caleb Road
Argenta, IL


VIewers Speak Out

Nov 15, 2010

Editor's Note:  The following comments were received following the November 13-14, 2010 edition of U.S. Farm Report...


   I farm in Midland MI. and a cheap dollar will make the price of corn, beans, and wheat go up in the USA. To foreign buyers they will seem the same or cheaper. That will get us more sales, GREAT. There is always a but...foreign input will cost us more to buy oil, fertilizers  and more for our seed grown outside the USA, and any thing imported. The other dirty secret is everyone gets a pay cut. The money you earn stays the same but does not buy as much. People living on fixed incomes don't get the interest they once did. So to live they have to dip into savings. We in AG are lucky at least for a while. Working people however, and most other's standard of living will drop and then they will wonder what happened. So sing the praises of QE2, a $13,718,935,000,000.00 National debt. With a social security, prescription drug and medicare unfunded liability of $111,251,059,000,000.00 as of 11/13/2010. If all this good news keeps going, corn will be $20.00 in ten years or less. WONT THAT BE GREAT!! It will not however buy a gallon of gas.

Yours Truly,

Kevin Draves



   This a community surrounded by poor communities with no jobs and the governor has helped kill dairy farming. Now read what has happened to our area and of the poor (depressed) state of Kentucky.
Mr. D. Richards


Lots of Feedback

Nov 08, 2010

***Editor's Note:  The following comments were received following the November 6-7, 2010 edition of U.S. Farm Report...


Dear Mr Phipps,

   I watch the US Farm Report weekly.  I am a very small farmer(5 head of beef, 3 breeding sows and 5-10 tons of hay sold yearly), photo studio owner, Washington farm Bureau member and 4-H leader with Spokane County 4-H.  Last year in our 4-H club the kids started a busines/scholarship program named Pandora Design.  In the business plan the 4-H kids developed, the services they offer include video production, graphic design and photography.  

   This last summer the kids negotiated a contract for production of and completed a documentary of a community garden project.  The contract was for $3,000.00.  It included extensive distribution and display.  Here is a link to a Youtube version:
   The kids learned alot and have dramaticaly improved their video skills during production as you can see in the video.  They are very proud of the "Learn By Doing" motto of 4-H.  I have to learn alot myself to keep ahead of these guys!
I saw your show this morning and heard your invitation for submission of video footage by veiwers.  I would like to ask you to consider this proposition.  We produce a 2 plus or minus minute piece on our grain growing region called the Palouse for you to purchase.  You may ask what is the Palouse?  It is a region that produces wheat production that exceeds the "Kansas Standard".  Take a brief look at these websites: 
What do you think?
Bill Demers
Spokane Washington



   I enjoy watching the US Farm Report and was wondering if you have ever considered having a year-end tax session on the show.

   I am writing the The FarmCPA blog on and have done several tax articles for Top Producer and I think it would be great to have at least one year-end tax session. 
Paul G. Neiffer, CPA
Kennewick, WA



Hi John,  I know you used to direct a choir and was wondering if you still do.  It would be so nice if your choir would sing for us on your show for Christmas.  Any chance of that happening?

Lois Schuessler



  I am a heavy equipment mechanic in southern tier of New York and covering area for my company from finger lakes toward Penn. state's Tioga state forests and even follow our rentals further at times. I think one of the greatest perks AND headaches around are the GAS FIELD opportunities for farmers . I say this mostly in light of New York's regulatory MESS . Penn state is becoming similar with WILD EXPANSIVE regulation (fighting over FRACKING) and in so killing a farm commodity, in this region, of NATURAL GAS. 

    Although there are some true concerns , the REGULATIONS aren't MATCHING reality . In fact , regulations make it OBVIOUS these states are fighting for UPFRONT CASH leaving NO natural market work to glean from MARKET rewards and increased land valuation . These THIEVES want BOTH, FRONT regulatory cash and to siphon off later production as well . Confiscatory government working is so pervasive it is killing our type of business along the way . Politicians , so-called, are NOT IN ANYWAY considering MARKET VALUE and MARKET FORCES in their legislation.

    John, I'm talking about areas with BILLIONS of gallons of water flowing by in major rivers & streams and REGULATIONS FORCING companies to drive 15 miles for a small truckload of MUNICIPAL water to wet roads for dust suppression. For FRACKING they are trucking MUCH FURTHER often times, and we're talking fracking ponds of 10,000,000 to
20,000,000 gallons . Fuel costs alone become astronomical. Arguing for or against fracking becomes IRRELEVANT when municipalities are regulating to take extra cash in NEW FEES upfront. Contracts to farmers and others are hurt .
   ROAD regulations tighten to ridiculous standards barely allowing the NORMAL farm vehicle PRESENT on the roads . In some wild cases even individual companies are individually regulated apart from others .  I'm not talking about just the roads . HOWEVER , gas work certainly destroys roads . Few gas companies argue their responsibility and most , not all ,but most do a good job of maintenance . I travel these roads for service work with a truck that is NOT "ride-friendly" and many roads are a big improvement from their previous NORMS.
   Anyway , just thoughts to ponder of farm plight here in Northeastern region . It is already bad enough as normal , standard fertilizer and chemicals regulated tightly and then even the replacements , "eco-friendly" are harshly regulated . Manure to offset fertilizer is approaching levels where what i call "POO-police" will soon be prowling . it is TRULY SAD .
   Contractor and farmer repairing flooded and damage streams , authorized by New York , are then FINED for their necessary & authorized work IN , on and around those streams ; "turbidity" , cloudy water FLOODING ALREADY CAUSED . It is a bizarre world, my friend .
   I'll see if i can get up next broadcast to see your reply, IF this meets good standards of farm concerns .
   Thanx for US Farm Report . Here's to hoping you're not regulated off the air .
Pops Howard
Apalachin , N.Y.  


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