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September 2013 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.

Viewers Speak: The Fed, Yields, & GMO's

Sep 23, 2013


***Editor’s Note:  The following comments were received in response to the September 21-22, 2013 edition of U.S. Farm Report…

#1:  When it comes to economics John you don't have a clue. The fed had taken actions that are short term beneficial and long term disastrous. Japan has followed similar policies and they have experienced over a decade of stagflation. Is that what you think we want in this country? You should talk about things you know something about whatever that is. Stephen Palmer

#2: John,

I heard you on ag radio talk about why you do not tell your fellow farmers what your yield is. That you think it is valuable to Cargill. You are wrong. My barn burned in the mid 1990's and my brother who is in IT sent me an enhanced picture from a weather satellite that showed the people, fire hoses, everything. They can even tell you the brand of golf ball you are playing with from space. Cargill no doubt watches every truck you fill and measures every square foot you combined to fill it. They know exactly what your yield is. Every big player uses this technology including the Chinese. They can see every corn plant from space, measure every drowned out area, and they have a very good idea what the US production is. They want to pit you against your fellow farmers so they can get your crop as cheaply as possible. You must also know the USDA has been lying to you about the US crop. It is clear there was no carryover from the barges going up the Mississippi and the fact that they are paying you $1 to $1.5 over for your early beans. You are not so astute and they are doing you no favors. They are paying you $1.50 over because they have no left over beans and they know there are not going to be enough beans. I am retired and my farm is sold so it does not involve me anymore, nor you for long. But if your son is to have a chance of getting a fair return on his investment and a chance of getting a fair price, farmers all over the world are going to have to openly share their information in order to level the playing field. I kept a few acres and grow a little corn for my few chickens and some sweet corn for us. My sweet corn was 3 weeks late. My field corn aborted all the second ears and tip-back was severe. Stalks are as fragile as glass. We did not have drought, only lots of clouds and cold and then lots of clouds and heat. I got it in early because I plant so little. My neighbors were not so lucky and the corn on these old clay hills will not make it. I have seen the pictures, seen the flash drought, and I have no doubt the crop will be much smaller than they predict. I also see the record short position out there, but what you have to realize is that for every short there is a long and those longs are going to demand delivery and when those shorts try to cover they will not find the corn to do it and there will be a wild short covering rally. The farmers foolish enough to sell their corn for $4.50 while the good fields are harvested first will be the losers when those figures for the drowned out fields come in.  John Geis

#3:  There’s a lot of Monsanto money influencing the scientific debate on GMOs.  The U.S. Farm Report would do well to balance that by inviting some of the well-known opponents to GMOs to give the counter arguments to Monsanto’s claims.  Please invite Jeffrey Smith or Howard Vlieger and give them a fair time slot.  Thank you, Eli Dumitru

Viewers Speak: Was the Bailout a Good Investment?

Sep 04, 2013


***Editor’s Note:  Last weekend’s (August 31-September 1) Mailbag segment drew quite a bit of viewer reaction.  We will first print a transcript of John’s comments, followed by several viewer comments…

Farm Report Mailbag:

            Time now for our weekly look inside the Farm Report Mailbag.  Carol Kirkhorn is concerned about my belief the bailout was a good idea.  "Why are you a fan of our out-of-control spending (the bailout)?"

            Carol, for many people it is hard to imagine any good out of government seemingly throwing money around at problems.  But not only is that an inaccurate description, what Secretary Paulson and Presidents Bush and Obama did will, in my opinion, be a textbook example of prompt action to stop a panic.  But the major point is it cannot be out-of-control spending if you get your money back.  Look at the numbers:  We sent about $250 million to banks to shore up their  liquidity, $187 to Fannie & Freddie, $80 to car companies, $70 billion to AIG, $19 billion to buy questionable assets like CDO’s, and another 10 to subsidize homeowners for a total of $608 billion. Meanwhile, look what we’ve gotten back.  Banks have repaid $367 billion as of August 27th, and the despised mortgage giants and others have sent $187 billion in dividends and interest to the treasury.  Another reader pointed out the U.S. probably will lose money on their GM stock, but the cash still pouring in will soon make the whole $608 billion a remarkably good investment.  Incidentally, this action is exactly what farmers demand the government do for their section when sugar and dairy prices drop…and in this instance I remain convinced it was a courageous and lucrative decision.

Viewer Response #1: John, while I appreciate your service to our country and the fact that you are a real farmer, I think that you are as crazy as a squashed cat if you think that the monetary policies that our government has pursued have in any way been beneficial. I am very surprised that a man of your education and experience would actually support such destructive fiscal policies. That is in my mind incomprehensible.  Sincerely, Wayne Kahlbau - Fairhope, Alabama

Viewer Response #2:  Hi John - In the mail bag this morning you were giving a rundown on what the government spent bailing out several businesses.  While I and others feel that the auto industry only asked for a loan I do not count the financial aid Uncle Sam gave GM and Chrysler a bailout.  That was a loan.  Why that government official bought stock in GM was a person with a whole lot of screws loose or missing because the stock market has to be hit just right to make a gain and that is still a crap shoot.  Frankly that was someone making a bad decision that went from bad to worse.  It is going to take a while for the auto industry to get there stock prices back to what they were.  The only way to make money on that dumb move is to be patient. James Brancheau

Viewer Response #3:  You state you are convinced the bailout was a courageous and lucrative decision.  Oh really?  Since the government has no money except that which they tax, borrow or print it’s not very courageous to use money that doesn’t belong to you or is created without the corresponding production of goods or services.  And in so doing, they reward poor decision makers and delay the purging of excesses that are needed so that real growth can occur that benefits the public. And lucrative for whom?  The Comptroller of the Currency’s first quarter report shows total US bank notional exposure to derivatives of $231.6 trillion.  This doesn’t include the trillions of liabilities banks are allowed to move off their books, such as mortgage backed securities which took down Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and AIG.  Four of the too-big-to-fail commercial banks account for 94% of this exposure.  When the next big financial crisis hits, which will dwarf 2008, we will see just how "courageous and lucrative" the bailout was.  Too-big-to-fail may just become too-big-to-save.  Dave Sauers

Viewer Response #4:  Thanks for taking the time to respond to my email.  You set me straight and I am embarrassed that I jumped to the wrong conclusion without doing my homework.  I saw on your website that you explained it quite thoroughly on your previous show.  I apologize.  I've always admired your level headed, bipartisan approach, guess I'll learn to do likewise. 

Blessings, Carol Kirkhorn

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