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USFR Weekly Recap - April 27-28, 2013

April 27, 2013

                                                                                                                                                                                             

THIS WEEK ON U.S. FARM REPORT

EPISODE # 2072

APRIL 27-28, 2013   

 

JOHN’S OPEN:

HELLO AND WELCOME TO U-S FARM REPORT, I'M JOHN PHIPPS. I WAS WALKING AROUND WATCHING WATER POUR FROM TILE OUTLETS THIS WEEK DURING YET ANOTHER RAW MARCH DAY THAT SOMEHOW GOT TRANSPLANTED TO APRIL THIS YEAR. THE WIND WAS ABOUT 2O MPH AND THE HUMIDITY HIGH ENOUGH TO HASTEN HEAT LOSS. STANDING WITH MY BACK TO THE WIND AND ROCKING BACK AND FORTH TO KEEP WARM, I WAS FLOODED WITH MEMORIES OF MY TIME AS A PARENT OF A HIGH-SCHOOL ATHLETE. THIS IS TRACK MEET WEATHER. SO FOR ALL YOU DUTIFUL FATHERS AND MOTHERS WHOSE CHILDREN ARE RUNNING, JUMPING AND THROWING INTO A STIFF FRIGID BREEZE, I OFFER MY ADMIRATION TO YOUR STAMINA AND HARDINESS. MEANWHILE, I'M URGING MY GRANDCHILDREN TO JOIN THE CHESS CLUB.

HEADLINES:

THANKS JOHN. FROM SNOW IN THE NORTH, TO SUB-FREEZING TEMPS IN THE SOUTHERN WHEAT BELT, AND FLOODING IN-BETWEEN, THERE'S NO SHORTAGE OF WEATHER CHALLENGES FACING GROWERS THIS SPRING. WHILE LEVELS ALONG THE UPPER MISSISSIPPI RIVER ARE STARTING TO GO DOWN, THERE'S STILL CONCERN ABOUT WHAT'S TO COME. SNOW STILL COVERS FIELDS IN THE DAKOTAS AND PARTS OF MINNESOTA. A WARM-UP THIS WEEKEND IS EXPECTED TO CREATE A BIG MELT-OFF. THAT COULD BE ADDITIONAL PRESSURE ON ALREADY SWOLLEN RIVER BANKS AND LEVEES. RESIDENTS ALONG THE RED RIVER IN FARGO, NORTH DAKOTA HAVE BEEN PREPARING FOR WEEKS IN ANTICIPATION OF A "TOP FIVE" FLOOD. AND IN THE GREAT PLAINS, THE WINTER WHEAT CROP HAS TAKEN A BIG HIT FROM TEMPERATURES THAT DIPPED INTO THE TEENS THIS WEEK. THE OKLAHOMA WHEAT COMMISSION BELIEVES NEARLY 70-PERCENT OF THE STATE'S WHEAT SUSTAINED SOME LEVEL OF DAMAGE. THE CROP IS HARDY AND AGRONOMISTS SAY THEY'LL NEED SOME WARMER TEMPERATURES TO GET AN ACCURATE MEASURE OF CROP LOSS. AS YOU MIGHT EXPECT, CROPS ARE TAKING A BEATING. JUST EIGHT PERCENT OF WINTER WHEAT NATIONWIDE IS HEADED. THE AVERAGE IS 19-PERCENT. LAST YEAR, IT WAS 42-PERCENT AT THIS TIME. SPRING WHEAT IS AT SEVEN PERCENT PLANTED, WHICH IS BEHIND THE AVERAGE PACE AND CERTAINLY BEHIND LAST YEAR. AND FOUR PERCENT OF THE NATION'S CORN IS PLANTED. THE FIVE YEAR AVERAGE IS 16-PERCENT.

CROP WATCH:

REGULAR VIEWER ROCK KATCHNIG - WHO FARMS IN HENRY COUNTY, ILLINOIS - SENT US FOOTAGE THIS WEEK. IT SHOWS THE POWER OF FLOOD WATER ON LEVEES. THIS IS ONE OF SEVERAL BLOWOUTS ON GREEN RIVER. IT WENT FROM A TRICKLE TO A GAPING HOLE IN ABOUT A HALF HOUR. HEADING OUTSIDE THE CORNBELT - IN YAKIMA, WASHINGTON, WE'RE TOLD THAT PLANTERS ARE ROLLING ALL AROUND THERE. GOOD MOISTURE AND TEMPERATURE.

ROUNDTABLE:

AL IS IN TO TALK MARKETS WITH BOB UTTERBACK AND CHRIS HURT.

JOHN’S WORLD:

I WAS HEADED DOWN TO A FIELD RECENTLY WHEN I SAW AN ENORMOUS NEW TRACTOR AND FIELD CULTIVATOR HEADED TOWARD ME. EXPERIENCE HAS SHOWN ME GUYS WITH NEW EQUIPMENT USUALLY HAVEN'T MASTERED THEIR ROAD WIDTH PROBLEMS, SO I DEFENSIVELY PULLED OFF INTO A NEIGHBORING FIELD. THEN IT STRUCK ME - WASN'T THIS THE FUTURE IN WHICH WE ALL WOULD BE DRIVING TWENTY-YEAR-OLD 150-HORSE TRACTORS AND OWNING NOTHING BUT A PLANTER, SPRAYER AND COMBINE? BACK IN THE NINETIES, WHEN NO-TILL BEGAN TO CATCH FIRE, PROPONENTS PREDICTED THE DEATH OF BIG IRON AND A NEW AGE OF AGRICULTURAL PRACTICE. WHAT HAPPENED TO NO-TILL? IT'S CERTAINLY STILL AROUND - I HAVE DEDICATED NOT-TILL NEIGHBORS. BUT I ALSO KNOW SOME WHO HAVE REVERTED TO SOME OR LOTSA-TILL. NO-TILL STATS ARE HARD TO COME BY. THE BEST WE HAVE ARE FROM 2007 AND EVEN THAT NUMBER IS AN ESTIMATE. BACK THEN THERE WERE A LOT OF NO-TILL BEANS INTO CORN STUBBLE, BUT FAR LESS NO-TILL CORN. IN FACT, ONLY ABOUT 16 PERCENT WERE IN TRUE, CONSTANT NO-TILL. WHEN GLYPHOSATE APPEARED ON THE SCENE, NO-TILL PROMISED LOW-IRON FARMING. BUT NATURAL ADAPTATION SOON DIMINISHED THAT DREAM. IN FACT, AG PESTICIDE USE MAY BE INCREASING. GROWING CONTINUOUS CORN TO FEED OUR ETHANOL-DISTORTED MARKET PROVED TO BE ANOTHER HEADACHE. WHILE MANY NO-TILLERS STILL MANAGE THE CHALLENGES, MANY HAVE QUIETLY MADE TILLAGE COMPROMISES. NO-TILL HAS BEEN OUR STANDARD ANSWER TO ENVIRONMENTAL ACCUSATIONS, BUT AS NO-TILL ACRES LANGUISH, IT'S NOT MUCH OF AN ANSWER ANYMORE.

2ND HALF

JOHN’S OPEN:

HELLO AND WELCOME TO U-S FARM REPORT, I'M JOHN PHIPPS. IT HAS BEEN A WELCOME RESPITE, BUT HAVE YOU NOTICED WE HAVEN'T HAD MANY STORIES ABOUT THE FARM BILL IN THE LAST FEW MONTHS? THAT'S CERTAINLY GOING TO CHANGE, AS SENATE ACTION OF SOME FORM MAY COME AS EARLY AS NEXT WEEK. FOR MANY OF YOU, I KNOW, YOUR EYES GLAZE OVER AS WE WADE THROUGH THE BYZANTINE POLITICS AND INTRICATE ANALYSES OF FARM LEGISLATION. BUT THE STRENGTH OF THE BUDGET AUSTERITY MOOD IN WASHINGTON IS A NEW WRINKLE IN THESE PERENNIAL NEGOTIATIONS. THE ODDS OF JUST HANDING OUT MORE MONEY TO GET TO AN AGREEMENT ARE VERY SMALL, I THINK. IT WAS NICE WHILE IT LASTED, BUT BRACE YOURSELF FOR RANCOROUS DEBATE AND QUESTIONABLE ECONOMICS.

HEADLINES:

THANKS JOHN. MUCH OF THE NATION'S MID-SECTION IS STILL RECOVERING FROM SEVERE FLOODING AND NOW THERE'S CONCERN ABOUT A QUICK WARM-UP IN THE NORTHERN STATES STILL COVERED IN SNOW. THE ILLINOIS DUMPS INTO THE MISSISSIPPI JUST NORTH OF ST. LOUIS. IN NORTHEAST MISSOURI, THE RIVER LEFT ITS BANKS AND TEAMS OF VOLUNTEERS UP AND DOWN THE RIVER HAVE BEEN SANDBAGGING TO PROTECT SMALL TOWNS, LIKE HERE IN CLARKSVILLE. BARGE TRAFFIC HAS BEEN AT A STANDSTILL ALL WEEK. IN CALIFORNIA IT'S A DIFFERENT, BUT VERY FAMILIAR PROBLEM - 'SHORTAGE' OF WATER SUPPLIES FROM LACK OF SNOWFALL. GROWERS IN THE SAN JOAQUIN VALLEY SAY THAT'S A SECONDARY ISSUE THIS YEAR. THEY FACE WATER SHORTAGES DUE TO ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATIONS. THIS YEAR FARMERS IN THE AREA WILL ONLY GET 20 PERCENT OF THEIR ALLOCATED WATER. THIS MEANS FALLOWING HUNDREDS OF ACRES THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN IN AN ANNUAL CROP LIKE COTTON AND TOMATOES. THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION IS WARNING THAT A NEW STRAIN OF BIRD FLU IN CHINA IS ONE OF THE MOST LETHAL KINDS. THE FAMED OAK TREES AT TOOMER'S CORNER AT AUBURN UNIVERSITY NO LONGER EXIST.

SPIRIT OF THE HEARTLAND:

AS THE LOCAL MOVEMENT CONTINUES TO GROW, IT'S GIVING NEW FARMERS THE OPPORTUNITY TO DO SOMETHING UNIQUE. THAT'S THE CASE FOR ONE NEBRASKA PORK PRODUCER. IT'S QUALITY VERSUS QUANTITY THAT'S CREATING HIS NICHE' AND HE'S GOING BACK TO THE INDUSTRY'S ROOTS TO SERVE UP A PRODUCT CHEFS AND CONSUMERS ARE GROWING TO ENJOY.

BAXTER BLACK:

WELCOME BACK...TIME NOW FOR OUR COWBOY POET, BAXTER BLACK. THIS WEEK BAXTER HAS THE STORY OF A TOWING TASK GONE BAD. HE JOINS US NOW FROM A ROCKY HILLSIDE NEAR HIS ARIZONA RANCH.

TRACTOR TALES:

AL, WHAT DO YOU HAVE FOR US THIS WEEK? JOHN, THIS WEEK'S CLASSIC TRACTOR COMES TO US FROM CENTRAL MONTANA.

CHURCH SALUTE:

TODAY'S COUNTRY CHURCH SALUTE GOES TO IVESTER CHURCH OF THE BRETHREN LOCATED IN GRUNDY CENTER, IOWA. A GROUP OF PIONEERS STARTED THE CHURCH IN THE FALL OF 1867. IT WAS THEN CALLED THE GRUNDY COUNTY GERMAN BAPTIST BRETHREN CHURCH. FOR YEARS, THE SMALL CONGREGATION MET IN A FARM SHED. IN 1876, THEY BUILT THEIR FIRST CHURCH. IT WAS REPLACED IN 1912. CURRENTLY THERE ARE 150 MEMBERS UNDER THE GUIDANCE OF A PASTORAL HUSBAND-AND-WIFE TEAM - PARKER AND KATIE-SHAW THOMPSON. OUR THANKS TO DANIEL SHELLER FOR SHARING THE NEWS. DANIEL IS A GREAT-GREAT-GRANDSON OF ONE OF THE ORIGINAL CHARTER MEMBERS OF IVESTER.

MAILBAG:

TIME NOW FOR OUR WEEKLY LOOK INSIDE THE FARM REPORT MAILBAG. WE HAVE A COMMON COMPLAINT ABOUT THE UNIQUE NATURE OF OUR BUSINESS THIS WEEK.

 

 

 

 

 

 

As always, we want to hear from you, send comments to mailbag@usfarmreport.com or leave us a voice mail at 800-792-4329.

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

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