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December 2011 Archive for From the Editor

RSS By: Brian Grete, Pro Farmer

Pro Farmer Editor Brian Grete takes time to talk with Pro Farmer Members about some of the key issues in each week's Pro Farmer newsletter.

From the Editor for Dec. 23

Dec 23, 2011

Chip Flory

From The Editor

Dec. 23, 2011

Hello Pro Farmer Members!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Even with the markets open today, our schedule with our printer meant we had to put this week's newsletter to bed yesterday. And with everything that was going on in Washington, we had to "write around" a couple of issues.

Actually, we didn't do too bad with the payroll tax extension issue. We suspected House Leader Boehner (R-Ohio) would agree to a deal. We explain in the newsletter why Boehner's idea was a better idea than the Senate's two-month extension... and we hint at how farm programs might become part of the payroll tax negotiations when Congress has to revisit the issue again in about 60 days (which they will).

Remember the farm bill proposals from the Senate and House Ag Committees delivered to what was supposed to be a budget-cutting "Super Committee?" Don't be surprised if they blow the dust off these proposals early in 2012. The across-the-board spending cuts scheduled to be initiated in January 2013 would cut about $15 billion from USDA's farm program spending. The proposed bill from last month would have cut $23 billion from spending. Don't be surprised if Congress looks to the proposed $23 billion in spending cuts as one way to help pay for the payroll tax cut extension.

Of course that means the farm budget would probably still be subject to the across-the-board cuts about one year from now, too.

We're also still waiting on official word from the EPA about usage mandates for renewable fuels under RFS2. Word is the Office of Management and Budget signed off on the final rule from EPA yesterday, but EPA still hasn't announced it. We're not expecting any major surprises in the mandated usage levels, but the industry needs the details ASAP to prepare for the new year.

Finally... everyone at Pro Farmer wishes you and yours a very Merry Christmas as we all celebrate the birth of our savior Jesus Christ!

And despite the fact we published the 52 issue of Pro Farmer this week, we will be back with a rare 53rd issue next week!

That's it for this week...

From the Editor for Dec. 16

Dec 19, 2011

Chip Flory

From The Editor

Dec. 16, 2011

Hello Pro Farmer Members!

That was a busy week! We've got the process started to once again lock up the site to PF Members only. Thank you for taking the time to go through the signup process again... it's the only way we can reserve the information on the site for Members only.

In addition to Pro Farmer newsletter, we also produced another issue of the Crop Tour newsletter. The timing of this issue couldn't have been better because the market is starting to pay close attention to crop problems in Europe as well as potential problems in South America. Instead of spending a lot of time talking about the issue, just click on this link and follow it to the Crop Tour newsletter to get up to speed with the latest global crop development issues.

That's it for this week...

Have a great weekend!!

From the Editor for Dec. 2

Dec 02, 2011

Chip Flory

From The Editor

Dec. 2, 2011

Hello Pro Farmer Members!

I would have liked to have spent more time in this week's newsletter talking about what Senator Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) said on two very critical issues for the year ahead: The farm bill and the Ag Committees' hearings on the bankruptcy of brokerage house MF Global. Obviously, these are two issues that will be with us for a while, so I just touched on the highlights and will let you read the conversation PF Washington consultant Jim Wiesemeyer had with Roberts last week in Inside Washington Today to get all the details.

And I will add this perspective: We warned immediately the MF Global issue would be a "big" issue for a while... unfortunately it will be an issue for months. Roberts, however, showed his experience and level-headedness on the issue by saying he hopes the bankruptcy doesn't result in a round of new regulations. Reason: there are plenty of regulations in place already. It's just that those involved in the futures industry must abide by the laws to make those regulations work. When individuals don't abide by the laws, things like the MF Global bankruptcy are the result. It's another case of enforcing the laws already in the books.

The "theme" of this week's front page is clear: It's a "macro-" versus "micro-economic" factor page. Eventually -- and sooner rather than later -- we see the micro-economic factors of the grain markets taking control of day-to-day price action rather than the current macro-economic focus in place. When that happens, some grain traders assume the corn market will be ready to march higher through the first half of the year. That's possible, but the front page should point out that conditions are almost constantly changing... and corn has plenty of competition (although uncertain) in the global feed markets.

One of the stories we didn't cover in this week's newsletter that I wished I'd had room for in the 2012 crop budget story is about direct payments. We know -- and so do you -- that Direct Payments will disappear. There is an assumption in farm country, however, that these payments have already been eliminated and that there will be no Direct Payment on 2012 program crops. The way things stand today (and there's no guarantee this will stick with the current Congress), you will receive a payment on 2012 program crop production as long as you've signed up for the farm program. So don't forget to include the $20- to $25-per-acre payment in your 2012 crop budgets. That payment, however, will very likely be eliminated for the 2013 crop year.

And finally... I'm leaving next week's Pro Farmer newsletter in the very capable hands of Pro Farmer Managing Editor Brian Grete... which means Pro Farmer Markets Editor Julianne Johnston will slide into the job of writing next week's Analysis pages for the newsletter. I will be on my annual vacation and wandering around the timber and CRP fields of east-central Iowa chasing whitetails!

That's it for this week...

Have a great weekend!!

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