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THIS WEEK ON U.S. FARM REPORT

EPISODE # 2081

JUNE 29-30, 2013   

 

 

 

 

JOHN’S OPEN:

HELLO AND WELCOME TO U-S FARM REPORT, I'M JOHN PHIPPS. IT WAS A BUMPER CROP FOR THE AG MEDIA THIS WEEK AS ACTIONS IN WASHINGTON KEPT US ALL OFF-GUARD. AFTER THE UNPRECEDENTED FAILURE IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, THE PREVIOUSLY UNCLEAR FUTURE FOR FARM POLICY WENT TOALLY DARK. THE FARM BILL NEEDS LEGISLATIVE ACTION TO ADVANCE, AND RIGHT NOW CONGRESS IS SETTLING INTO WHAT LOOKS LIKE TRENCH WARFARE WHERE BOTH SIDES DO LITTLE MORE THAN SUFFER CASUALTIES.JUST LIKE WORLD WAR ONE, LEADERS HAVE BEEN UNABLE TO GRASP A NEW KIND OF WARFARE IS NOW IN PLACE. MEANWHILE, ACROSS THE POND, OUR EUROPEAN COUSINS HAVE MANAGED TO REFORM THEIR COMMON AG POLICY. WE SHOULD NOTE IT TOOK THEM DECADES TO DO SO.

HEADLINES:

DESPITE ALL THE REPORTS ABOUT UN-PLANTED CORN ACRES IN IOWA AND THE UPPER MIDWEST, USDA IS STILL CONVINCED THERE'S A BIG CORN CROP OUT THERE. USDA ALSO RELEASED ITS QUARTERLY GRAIN STOCKS REPORT WHICH SHOWS CORN STOCKS AT JUST UNDER TWO-POINT-EIGHT BILLION BUSHELS. THAT'S 12-PERCENT LOWER THAN A YEAR AGO. SOYBEAN STOCKS ARE PEGGED AT 435 MILLION BUSHELS - DOWN 35-PERCENT FROM A YEAR AGO. ALL WHEAT STOCKS ARE DOWN THREE PERCENT. IN OTHER NEWS THIS WEEK - THE COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION HAS FILED A CIVIL SUIT AGAINST THE FORMER C-E-O OF M-F GLOBAL, JON CORZINE. CORZINE WAS CHIEF OF THE COMPANY WHEN MORE THAN A BILLION DOLLARS IN CUSTOMER FUNDS "DISAPPEARED" IN 2011. C-F-T-C SEEKS TO BAN CORZINE FROM TRADING IN THE FUTURES MARKET AND PAY PENALTIES. AND THE SUPREME COURT REJECTED CHALLENGES TO E-P-A'S DECISIONS TO ALLOW FOR A HIGHER BLEND OF ETHANOL IN THE NATION'S GASOLINE SUPPLY. THE JUSTICES LEFT IN PLACE A FEDERAL APPEALS COURT RULING THAT DISMISSED CHALLENGES BY TRADE ASSOCIATIONS WHO FOUGHT AGAINST E-15. LEGISLATORS ARE DEMANDING THE E-P-A IMMEDIATELY BEGIN REGULATING POTENTIALLY EXPLOSIVE FERTILIZER CHEMICALS.

CROP WATCH:

CROP WATCH THIS WEEK...WE HIGHLIGHT SOME OF THE WEATHER EXTREMES. FROM CENTRAL ILLINOIS, WE RECEIVED A PHOTO SHOWING THE RESULT OF NEARLY FIVE INCHES OF RAIN ON TUESDAY NIGHT. WAY TOO MUCH STANDING WATER IN THE CORN AND SOYBEAN FIELDS. AND THE OTHER END OF THE SPECTRUM, TAKE A LOOK AT THESE DROUGHT CONDITIONDS IN NEW MEXICO. THIS WAS TAKEN NEAR TUCUMCARI  THIS STATE IS GROUND ZERO FOR DROUGHT. THEY'VE HAD ABOUT THREE INCHES OF RAIN SINCE MAY...AND THEY ARE THANKFUL FOR IT.

ROUNDTABLE:

AL IS HERE TO TALK MARKETS WITH SUE MARTIN AND JOE VACLAVIK.

JOHN’S WORLD:

I HAVE BEEN WAITING TO COMMENT ON THE NEW FARM BILL UNTIL IT WAS CLEARER WHAT THE OUTCOME WAS LIKELY TO BE. THAT STRATEGY ISN'T WORKING SO WELL. WHILE I WAS NOT SURPRISED TO SEE IT FAIL IN THE HOUSE, EVERYTHING AFTER THAT PROVIDES EXCITING READING EACH MORNING. SO HERE ARE SOME THINGS FOR FARMERS TO WATCH: FIRST DON'T BET ON THE SO-CALLED PERMANENT FARM LAW TO FORCE SOME KIND OF AGREEMENT. I KNOW, I KNOW, MILK PRICES WILL DOUBLE, BUT OTHER THAN THAT WE'RE ALL A LITTLE HAZY ON WHAT HAPPENS. THESE ARE VERY SIMILAR POLITICAL SENTIMENTS TO WHAT WE HELD BEFORE THE DREADED SEQUESTER, REMEMBER. JUST LIKE WE'RE LIVING WITH MINDLESS CUTS MEANT MORE AS A THREAT THAN A BUDGET PLAN, WE COULD ACTUALLY TIME-TRAVEL TO 1949 ON AG POLICY. IT'S BEEN A BAD BET TO COUNT ON TOTALLY UNWANTED OUTCOMES TO FORCE COMPROMISE. SECOND, THE TALK ABOUT SPLITTING FARM AND FOOD INTO SEPARATE BILLS IS GAINING MOMENTUM. THIS LONG-SHOT POSSIBILITY IS GAINING CONVERTS IN THE HOUSE AND POSES A LEGISLATIVE PUZZLE FOR ANY EVENTUAL CONFERENCE COMMITTEE. I HAVE ALWAYS HELD THIS WOULD BE A DEATH BLOW TO FARM SUBSIDIES. WE MAY FIND OUT. FINALLY, THE AG NEEDS TO ASK FOR SOME OF THEIR LOBBYING MONEY BACK. ACCORDING TO RECENT RESEARCH, THE LAST FARM BILL ATTRACTED MORE SPECIAL INTEREST MONEY - 175 MILLION - THAN ANY BILL OTHER THAN FINANCIAL REGULATION. THAT'S ALSO MORE MONEY THAN THE SPENDING FOR HEALTH REFORM. I'M BETTING WE BROKE THAT RECORD WITH THIS FARM BILL, AND MAY HAVE LITTLE TO SHOW FOR IT.

2ND HALF

JOHN’S OPEN:

HELLO AND WELCOME TO U-S FARM REPORT, I'M JOHN PHIPPS. WHILE IT'S HARD TO TEAR OUR ATTENTION AWAY FROM WASHINGTON THE LAST FEW DAYS, THERE ARE A FEW OTHER DEVELOPMENTS AROUND THE WORLD THAT WILL IMPACT AMERICAN AGRICULTURE AS MUCH IF NOT MORE.  GLOBAL ECONOMIES ARE STRUGGLING JUST AS WE THOUGHT WE HAD SOME MOMENTUM. THE UNEASY POSSIBILITY OF INTERVENTION IN SYRIA JUST AS WE ARE ABANDONING BILLIONS OF DOLLARS OF WAR MACHINES IN AFGHANISTAN REMINDS US PEACE IS A 7/24/365 EFFORT.  BRAZIL - ONE OF OUR FOREMOST AG COMPETITORS - IS EXPERIENCING INCREASED POLITICAL FERMENT. AND IT IS ABOUT TIME FOR ANOTHER PANIC OVER THE EURO. IN SHORT, THE WORLD ISN'T TAKING A BREAK JUST BECAUSE WE HAVE INTERNAL ISSUES.

HEADLINES:

MANY SECTORS OF AGRICULTURE ARE WATCHING THE IMMIGRATION REFORM DEBATE VERY CLOSELY. THE FINAL OUTCOME COULD HELP DETERMINE THE WORK FORCE FOR DAIRY FARMERS AND FRESH PRODUCE GROWERS FOR YEARS TO COME. THE FRUIT INDUSTRY - LIKE MICHIGAN FRUIT GROWERS - ARE WATCHING DEVELOPMENTS CLOSELY. THEY RELY ON MIGRANT WORKERS TO HAND-PICK THE SEASONAL CROP. I TALKED WITH AN APPLE AND CHERRY GROWER IN NORTHERN MICHIGAN THIS WEEK.  HE SAYS WHILE THERE ARE PIECES OF THE LEGISLATION HE ISN'T NECESSARILY PLEASED ABOUT, IT'S BETTER THAN THE CURRENT SYSTEM.  NEW SNACK STANDARDS WILL IMPACT WHAT YOUR KIDS BUY IN SCHOOL VENDING MACHINES AND CAFETERIA LINES. NEW DATA FROM THE AG DEPARTMENT SHOWS MILK CONSUMPTION IS ON THE DECLINE, WITH THE YOUNGER GENERATIONS LEADING THE WAY. USDA SAYS AMERICANS BORN IN THE 1990'S CONSUME MILK LESS OFTEN THAN PEOPLE BORN IN THE 1970'S...AND EVEN LESS THAN THOSE BORN IN THE 50'S. THE ABOVE AVERAGE RAINFALL THAT LED TO FLOODING THIS SPRING COULD NOW CAUSE THE DEAD ZONE IN THE GULF OF MEXICO TO GROW TO THE SIZE OF NEW JERSEY. THE FORECAST IS COMING FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN AND LOUISANA STATE UNVIERSITY. RESEARCHERS SAY NITROGEN AND PHOSPHORUS RUN OFF INTO THE GULF WILL CREATE GIANT ALGAE BLOOMS WHICH CAUSES THE DEAD ZONE. RESEARCHERS ESTIMATE THE SIZE AT 85-HUNDRED SQUARE MILES. CONVERSELY, LAST YEAR'S ESTIMATE - DURING THE DROUGHT - WAS AS LOW AS 17 HUNDRED SQUARE MILES.
POT PIGS:

YOU MAY BE FAMILIAR WITH POT-BELLIED PIGS. BUT WHAT ABOUT A POT-FED PIG? YOU HEARD RIGHT. A FARMER IN WASHINGTON STATE HAS COOKED UP A CANNABIS CONCOCTION FOR HIS PIGS. JEANNIE OHMS FROM THE ASSOCIATED PRESS SAY IT'S PART FLAVOR EXPERIMENT, PART GREEN RECYCLING.

LEGACY REPORT:

THIS WEEK WE'RE TAKING A DIFFERENT APPROACH TO OUR NEXT FEW SEGMENTS. TODAY'S LEAVE A LEGACY STORY IS ALSO TIED IN WITH TRACTOR TALES AND OUR COUNTRY CHURCH SALUTE.

TRACTOR TALES:

AL IS BACK...I HEAR TRACTOR TALES IS FROM THE STORY WE JUST RAN??? THAT'S RIGHT JOHN...WE FEATURED THE FAMILY BEHIND THE OLIVER 6-60 AND NOW WE WANT TO FEATURE THE TRACTOR ITSELF.

CHURCH SALUTE:
WE'RE NOT QUITE DONE WITH THIS INDIANA FARM FAMILY...THIS WEEK'S COUNTRY CHURCH SALUTE TAKES US TO THE PINHOOK CHURCH OF CHRIST - THE THOMAS FAMILY CHURCH FOR SIX GENERATIONS. THE PRESENT CONGREGATION WAS STARTED IN APRIL 1911. HOWEVER SOME RECORDS DATE BACK TO 1865 WHEN THE AREA WAS KNOWN AS MOUNT UNION. AS DECADES PASSED, THE MEMBERSHIP CHANGED AND MOVED-ON TO START WHAT EVENTUALLY BECAME PINHOOK.  THERE WERE 35 CHARTER MEMBERS AT THE FIRST SERVICE. THESE SAME PEOPLE WERE RESPONSIBLE FOR HAULING LOGS TO THE SITE AND BUILDING IT FROM THE GROUND-UP. IN 1954, THE CHURCH UNDERWENT A MAJOR RENOVATION. BUT EVEN BY 1971, THERE WAS STILL NO RUNNING WATER INSIDE. SO THEY DECIDED TO BUILD A NEW CHURCH WHICH IS STILL IN USE TODAY. OUR THANKS TO BETTY OOLEY FOR SHARING THE CHURCH HISTORY, AND TO THE THOMAS FAMILY FOR ALL OF THEIR HELP.

MAILBAG:

TIME NOW FOR OUR WEEKLY LOOK INSIDE THE FARM REPORT MAILBAG. MY FREQUENT COMMENTS ON NEW DRAINAGE TILES ON MY FARM BROUGHT THIS ANONYMOUS RESPONSE.

 

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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