Grazing the Net
Greg Henderson and Friends
Our editors spend some time roaming the web looking for stuff cattle people and others in agriculture might find useful or entertaining.
Dr. Seuss and the Farm Bill
Sep 25, 2013
Wouldn't it be great if a member of Congress had as much passion for the farm bill as Ted Cruz has for defunding Obamacare? After our night of slumber, Cruz was still at it. In case you missed it, he even read his children a bedtime story of Green Eggs and Ham from the Senate floor.
But alas, with other little things like Obamacare and the pending government shutdown, it looks like the farm bill is the baby thrown out with the bath water. RollCall.com doesn't give the bill any chance of passing since, well, there's no combined bill from the House and the Senate to vote on ... I do not like green eggs and ham.
The Detroit Free Press leads this mornings news with the catchy headline "No action on farm bill could lead to shortages at grocery stores." Although we think that's more of an attention-grabber than a truth at this point. ... I do not like them Sam I am.
According to the New York Times, house leaders are now talking "end of the year" as a goal to shoot for on the farm bill. Other verbiage in the story not encouraging to farmers says food stamps are financed through the appropriations bill, and their funding will continue despite farm bill uncertainty. ... I do not like green eggs and ham!
A new report from the USDA's Inspector General says one of the crop insurance programs pays farmers too much and discourages them from planting second crops. Ok ... no one has said the current farm bill is perfect. In fact, the masses agree it needs a major overhaul. But no farm bill? ... I would not like them here or there. I would not like them anywhere.
Where's Sam I Am when we need him?
With everything else going on in Washington, D.C., immigration reform lacks the oxygen it needs to survive for some time. But the Washington Post reports it isn’t dead yet. And for another interesting twist on the topic, the Huffington Post reports that more Americans have moved to Mexico in recent years than vice versa. Bet that raised your eyebrows a bit. We didn’t fact-check their story, but it does cite some government studies. (We all know how accurate they are.)
Save Your Pennies for Chicago
A large number of ag interest groups, including NCBA, sent the Commodity Futures Trading Commission a letter regarding proposed rule changes. According to Agri-Pulse, the amount of pre-margin money required to be in a trading account would almost double if the proposal went into effect, and that would put some risk managers out of the market. Expanded trading limits on cattle contracts a few years back had a similar effect, requiring traders to double the money in their accounts to cover a maximum one-day market move.
If you’re not into hedging, we'd at least hedge our bets on preconditioning your calf crop. It's one way to make up for a bit of softness in calf prices seen the last few days. Premiums paid for a preconditioned calf far outweigh the $5/cwt back quoted from last week's USDA marketing report.
The Ayes Have It
Smithfield shareholders have officially inked the deal with Shuanghui Holdings with 96 percent of the owners voting in favor of the acquisition. Agriculture.com reports there are several positives for U.S. pork producers. But food & water watch and Food Poisoning Bulletin are quick to offer skepticism on food safety.
Chipotle is working even harder to become our least favorite restaurant. The company announced yesterday it will remove the bacon used to season its pinto beans so that the beans will be completely vegetarian. We have nothing against vegetarians. Really. If they want to eat bland pinto beans, feel free.