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THIS WEEK ON U.S. FARM REPORT

EPISODE # 2068

MARCH 30-31, 2013   

 

JOHN’S OPEN:

HELLO AND WELCOME TO U-S FARM REPORT, I'M JOHN PHIPPS. THIS WAS A WEEK TO FORGET. STARTING WITH THE HEAVIEST - IN EVERY SENSE OF THE WORD - SNOWFALL OF THE SEASON AND CAPPING OFF THE WEEK WITH A MARKET PLUNGE, NOT MUCH TO ENJOY. EXCEPT THEY FINISHED REPAIRING THE WALLS IN OUR CHURCH SANCTUARY AND NOT EVEN THE MOST CRITICAL EYE CAN SEE WHERE THE PAINT WAS TOUCHED UP. THIS LONG DELAY BEFORE PLANTING HAS ALLOWED AN OVERDUE NEW TILLAGE TOOL TO GET DELIVERED IN TIME FOR SPRING USE. THE SNOW FORCED ME TO SPEND MORE TIME IN MY WOODSHOP, AND I MADE SERIOUS PROGRESS ON MY LATEST PROJECTS. AND WE HAVE DISTANT GRANDCHILDREN COMING TO VISIT. WAIT - WHAT WAS IT I WAS GRIPING ABOUT?

HEADLINES:

THANK YOU JOHN. THE INDUSTRY WAS WATCHING CLOSELY AS USDA UNVEILED ITS LATEST GRAIN STOCKS FIGURES. AND ONCE AGAIN, THE AG DEPARTMENT SEEMED TO SURPRISE THE TRADE. USDA SAYS THERE ARE FIVE-POINT-FOUR BILLION BUSHELS OF CORN IN STORAGE. THAT'S A 10% DROP FROM THE SAME REPORT LAST MARCH, BUT IT WAS STILL HIGHER THAN PRE-MARKET EXPECTATIONS. SOYBEAN BUSHELS COME IN AT ONE BILLION, DOWN 27% FROM A YEAR AGO. AND THE ALL-WHEAT TALLY COMES IN AT ONE-POINT TWO BILLION. BUT CORN WAS THE MOVER. AS FAR AS THE OTHER BIG REPORT - PROSPECTIVE PLANTINGS - THE AG DEPARTMENT EXPECTS JUST OVER 97 MILLION ACRES OF CORN, SLIGHTLY AHEAD OF LAST YEAR. SOYBEAN PLANTING HITS 77 MILLION, DOWN A BIT FROM LAST YEAR. AND ALL WHEAT ACRES ARE MEASURED AT JUST OVER 56 MILLION ACRES. USDA IS FORECASTING COTTON TO TOTAL TEN MILLION ACRES, DOWN 19% FROM LAST YEAR. BITTER RIVALS IN THE MULTI-BILLION DOLLAR SEED INDUSTRY HAVE DROPPED THEIR COUNTER-LAWSUITS OVER THE USE OF SEED TECHNOLOGY. IN OTHER BUSINESS NEWS - ROBUST DEMAND FOR IRRIGATION SYSTEMS HAS RESULTED IN A RECORD QUARTER FOR LINDSAY CORPORATION. THE COMPANY SAYS ITS IRRIGATION EQUIPMENT REVENUES ARE UP 41% IN THE U.S. FROM A YEAR AGO. THEY SAY HIGHER COMMODITY PRICES, RECORD FARM INCOMES AND HISTORIC DROUGHT CONDITIONS ARE DRIVING SALES. LINDSAY SAYS INTERNATIONAL REVENUE FOR PIVOTS IS UP 34%.

CROP WATCH:

CROP WATCH THIS WEEK IS A THREE-STATE SWING.

ROUNDTABLE:

AL IS HERE TO TALK MARKETS WITH BRIAN BASTING AND JOE VACLAVIK.

JOHN’S WORLD:

IT'S BEEN NICE WHILE IT LASTED. EVER SINCE BETTER SMALLER, FASTER COMPUTING DEVICES, EASIER SOFTWARE, AMAZING SEARCH ENGINES OPENED UP THE INTERNET TO VIRTUALLY EVERYONE, IT HAS HAD ONE VERY ATTRACTIVE FEATURE: IT WAS FREE. THERE'S ONLY ONE PROBLEM WITH THIS - GIVING AWAY STUFF - EVEN IF IT'S JUST PIXELS ON A SCREEN COSTS SOMEONE REAL MONEY. SO NOW WE SEE EFFORTS TO FIND SOME GOLD AT THE END OF THE ON-LINE RAINBOW. IT LOOKS CLEAR, FOR EXAMPLE, THAT ON-LINE RETAILING WILL NOT BE ABLE TO SKIP STATE SALES TAXES MUCH LONGER. BETWEEN RECENT COURT RULINGS AND NEGOTIATED AGREEMENTS, GIANT SELLERS LIKE AMAZON WILL BE TACKING ON SALES TAXES FOR YOUR STATE WHEN YOU ORDER. NEWSPAPERS HAVE BEEN DEVASTATED BY ON-LINE READERS WHO EFFECTIVELY COULD GET THEIR PRODUCT FREE. EFFORTS TO USE ON-LINE ADS TO REPLACE LOST DEAD-TREE SUBSCRIPTIONS HAVE BEEN A DISMAL FAILURE. SO MORE MAJOR NEWS ORGANIZATIONS ARE PUTTING UP PAYWALLS OF VARIOUS KINDS. FOR EXAMPLE, MANY WILL ALLOW 10 OR 20 FREE ARTICLES PER MONTH, WITH CHARGES AFTER REACHING THE LIMIT. THIS MAY HAVE A PERVERSE TWIST. THE REMAINING FREE SITES WILL LIKELY BE RIDDLED WITH ADVERTORIALS -THINLY DISGUISED COMMERCIALS POSING AS NEWS STORIES - TO GENERATE INCOME. THE PAYWALL COULD BECOME THE MARK OF INTEGRITY AND LEGITIMATE JOURNALISM. ON THE OTHER HAND THIS COULD JUST ACCELERATE THE DECLINE OF READERSHIP. EITHER WAY, THE INTERNET JUST RAN INTO THE REALITY OF THE MARKET, AND SOME OVERDUE BILLS MUST BE PAID.

2ND HALF

JOHN’S OPEN:

HELLO AND WELCOME TO U-S FARM REPORT, I'M JOHN PHIPPS. IS CHINA OVER? FIRST BANK OF AMERICA STARTED THE RUMOR THAT THEIR PROJECTIONS SHOWED CHINA'S TOP-HEAVY AGING POPULATION WOULD BECOME A DRAG ON THEIR ECONOMY SOONER THAN MANY ANTICIPATED. NOW THE FED HAS JOINED IN THE CHORUS OF WARNINGS ABOUT THE CHINESE FUTURE. THE PERNICIOUS EFFECTS OF THE ONE-CHILD POLICY ARE DELIVERING A WRENCHING CHANGE IN THEIR CULTURE AND ECONOMY. THEY ARE NOT THE ONLY POPULATION SURPRISE. CLOSER TO HOME THE MEXICAN FERTILITY RATE HAS FALLEN SO FAST IT COULD EASE THE ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION PROBLEM ON ITS OWN IN THE NEXT FEW YEARS. FORECASTING DEMOGRAPHIC TRENDS THESE DAYS IS LIKE TRYING TO PREDICT CORN PRICES.

HEADLINES:

THANK YOU JOHN. THE U-S DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE IS EXPECTING AMERICAN FARMERS WILL PLANT A RECORD-SIZED CORN CROP THIS YEAR. THE AGENCY RELEASED ITS ANNUAL PROSPECTIVE PLANTINGS REPORT THURSDAY, A REPORT BASED ON A NATIONWIDE SURVEY OF 83-THOUSAND GROWERS. THANKS TYNE. IN OTHER NEWS NOW...NOT ONLY DOES SMOKEY BEAR STOP WILDFIRES, NOW GRAZING-CATTLE MAY BE CALLED TO DUTY. A NEW BILL IS BEFORE THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES CALLED THE CATASTROPHIC WILDFIRE PREVENTION ACT. NOW TO THE HEALTH OF OUR WATERWAYS....THE EPA SAYS 55% OF THE NATION'S RIVERS AND STREAMS ARE IN POOR CONDITION FOR AQUATIC LIFE. THIS COMES FROM IT'S 2008-09 NATIONAL RIVERS AND STREAMS ASSESSMENT. E-P-A LOOKED AT A COUPLE THOUSAND SITES ACROSS THE COUNTRY.  EPA SAYS THE CONDITIONS ARE WORSE IN THE EASTERN HALF OF THE COUNTRY. AND ON THIS EASTER WEEKEND, MANY OF THE KIDS ARE GOBBLING UP HARD-BOILED EGGS.

WEED WARRIOR:

AS MANY OF US ANXIOUSLY AWAIT THE START OF THE 2013 PLANTING SEASON, WORK CONTINUES IN LABS ACROSS THE NATION TO TACKLE THE TESTIEST WEEDS FACING FARMERS TODAY. EACH YEAR WE LIKE TO FEATURE "WEED WARRIORS", THOSE WHO ARE ON THE FRONT LINES OF THIS ONGOING BATTLE. IN THIS REPORT PROVIDED BY THE UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE, CHUCK DENNEY INTRODUCES US TO ONE SUCH EXPERT WHO IS HELPING GROWERS IN HIS STATE GET THE UPPER HAND ON AN OLD NEMESIS.

BAXTER BLACK:

WELCOME BACK. MANY OF YOU MIGHT BE ENJOYING THIS SHOW WHILE EATING BREAKFAST. DID YOU KNOW THERE'S A SONG ABOUT FLAPJACKS? BUT BAXTER BLACK THINKS IT DOESN'T MAKE SENSE.

TRACTOR TALES:

AL, WHAT DO YOU HAVE FOR US THIS WEEK? JOHN WE'RE HEADED TO THE NORTH-WEST CORNER OF WASHINGTON STATE FOR THIS WEEK'S CLASSIC TRACTOR.

CHURCH SALUTE:

TODAY'S COUNTRY CHURCH SALUTE GOES TO FIRST PREBYTERIAN CHURCH OF MONTICELLO, ILLINOIS. THE YEAR WAS 1842 WHEN TEN FAMILIES ORGANIZED THE CHURCH.
THEY HELD MEETINGS AND SERVICES IN THE MONTICELLO COURTHOUSE. THE CHURCH STRUGGLED FINANCIALLY AT FIRST. IT WAS JUST TURNING THE CORNER WHEN THE CIVIL WAR BROKE OUT. FIVE YEARS AFTER THE WAR ENDED, THE CONGREGATION STARTED TO BUILD A NEW CHURCH. IT INCLUDED A THOUSAND POUND BELL WHICH STILL EXISTS TODAY! A NEW CHURCHED WAS DEDICATED IN THE EARLY 1900'S. REVERAND KATIE HOPPER IS THE CURRENT PASTOR. OUR THANKS TO BRUCE STODDARD FOR SHARING THE NEWS OF THEIR 170TH ANNIVERSARY.

MAILBAG:

TIME NOW FOR OUR WEEKLY LOOK INSIDE THE FARM REPORT MAILBAG. KERRY BRYSON, FROM UNION COUNTY, MISSISSIPPI DETECTED A LOGICAL INCONSISTENCY LAST WEEK WHEN I SPOKE ABOUT THE SO-CALLED FARMLAND BUBBLE.

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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