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THIS WEEK ON U.S. FARM REPORT

EPISODE # 2075

MAY 18-19, 2013   

 

JOHN’S OPEN:

HELLO AND WELCOME TO U-S FARM REPORT, I'M JOHN PHIPPS. WE HAVE A STORY LEADING OFF ABOUT THE INCREASINGLY COMPLEX BATTLE OVER INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS. NOTHING ABOUT THIS ISSUE IS SIMPLE EVEN TO EXPERIENCED LAWYERS, AND NEW TECHNOLOGIES ARE ONLY MAKING IT WORSE. AT A TIME WHEN GREAT IDEAS ARE MORE LUCRATIVE THAN EVER, DEFENDING THE RIGHTS OF INNOVATORS HAS BECOME EXPENSIVE AND TIME-CONSUMING.  SYCHRONIZING LEGAL RIGHTS ACROSS CULTURES IS HANGING UP TRADE AS WELL. IN FACT, THIS GROWING HEADACHE COULD SLOW TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCE GLOBALLY FOR NO GOOD REASON.

HEADLINES:

THANK YOU JOHN. THE 2013 FARM BILL TOOK A BIG STEP THIS WEEK AS BOTH THE SENATE AND THE HOUSE AG COMMITTEES PASSED THEIR VERSIONS OF THE LEGISLATION. BUT NOW THE REAL HARD WORK WILL BEGIN. MEANWHILE THE DAIRY ELEMENT OF THE HOUSE FARM BILL ALSO BROUGHT OUT SOME VOCAL DEBATE. THE COMMITTEE VOTED AGAINST AN AMENDMENT WHICH WOULD HAVE CUT THE "SUPPLY MANAGEMENT" ASPECT OF THE DAIRY SECURITY ACT. CORN PLANTING IS BEHIND IN EVERY STATE BESIDES PENNSYLVANIA. BUT AT WHAT POINT DOES LATE PLANTING IMPACT YIELDS? UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS CROP SCIENCES PROFESSOR EMERSON NAFZIGER SAYS THE WEATHER DURING THE GROWING SEASON HAS THE MOST AFFECT. HE SAYS, HOWEVER, PLANTING AFTER MAY 20TH CAN EAT AWAY CORN YIELDS.

CROP PROGRESS:

THE FLOW-CHART FOR THIS WEEK'S CROP PROGRESS REPORT REFLECTS THE IMPROVING PLANTING CONDITIONS. AS OF LAST MONDAY, 28 PERCENT OF THE NATION'S CORN WAS PLANTED. REMEMBERING THIS IS NEARLY WEEK-OLD DATA, MY GUESS IS WE COULD SEE THE BIGGEST WEEKLY ACREAGE JUMP EVER WHEN MEASURMENTS ARE TAKEN NEXT SUNDAY. NEXT WEEK WE'LL LOOK AT SOYBEANS AS WELL.

CROP WATCH:

FROM SOUTHEAST WISCONSIN, A FARMER IN JEFFERSON COUNTY SAYS HE'S PLANTED ABOUT A THIRD OF HIS CORN ACRES, BUT NO BEANS YET. HE WAS ENJOYING THE WARM TEMPS THIS WEEK TO MOVE HIS CROP ALONG.

ROUNDTABLE:

AL TAKES OVER TO TALK MARKETS WITH MIKE NORTH AND BRYAN DOHERTY.

JOHN’S WORLD:

I HAVEN'T PAID MUCH ATTENTION TO ANYTHING BUT FUEL LEVELS AND PLANTER MONITORS SINCE LAST WEEK, AS MONDAY BROUGHT GOOD ENOUGH WEATHER TO START AND MID-WEEK RAINS FIZZLED. BUT I HAVE CHECKED THE NEWS IN THOSE 7 MINUTE STRETCHES BETWEEN TURNS - LOVE THAT AUTO-STEER. NOW I KNOW WE HAVE SCANDALS AT EVERY HAND, TOO MANY UNEMPLOYED, AND THE USUAL ABUNDANCE OF ANGER, OUTRAGE AND DISGUST WITH THE WAY THINGS ARE GOING IN THE U-S. BUT BURIED UNDER ALL THIS ANGST, I FIND SOME ENCOUREGMENT. DESPITE POLLS SHOWING AMERICANS DEEPLY WORRIED ABOUT THE DIRECTION OUR COUNTRY IS HEADING, MANY IMPORTANT METRICS ARE IMPROVING. THE MUCH-MALIGNED FEDERAL DEFICIT IS DECLINING FASTER THAN EVER, AS NEW ESTIMATES SHOW SHARP DOWNWARD REVISIONS. UNEMPLOYMENT CONTINUES TO INCH LOWER AS WELL. INFLATION AND INTEREST RATES ARE STILL FLAT-LINED. MEANWHILE IF YOU HAVE A 401K, RETIREMENT MAY LOOK A LITTLE MORE POSSIBLE. CRIME RATES ARE DROPPING, ENERGY SUPPLIES ARE BOOMING, AND THE MOST AMAZING TO ME, HEALTHCARE COSTS ARE INEXPLICABLY SLOWING THEIR CLIMB. IT'S NOT HAPPY DAYS OF COURSE, BUT WE'VE BEEN EXPECTING MUCH WORSE. WE CAN'T PINPOINT ALL THE REASONS WHY THINGS ARE IMPROVING, SO MANY WILL UNDOUBTEDLY TAKE CREDIT, BUT FOR ME IT REINFORCES A BELIEF THAT OUR POLITICAL SYSTEM, ECONOMIC ENGINE, AND CULTURAL FRAMEWORK IS REMARKABLY ROBUST. I THINK THE INDIVIDUAL ACTIONS OF 316 MILLION CRANKY AMERICANS ARE OVERCOMING OUR OWN CYNICAL DOUBTS AND GLOOMY EXPECTATIONS.

2ND HALF

JOHN’S OPEN:

HELLO AND WELCOME TO U-S FARM REPORT, I'M JOHN PHIPPS. AS I GOT OFF THE TRACTOR TO HEAD TWO HUNDRED MILES NORTH TO SOUTH BEND TO RECORD THIS WEEK'S SHOW, I FOUND MYSELF DREADING THE TRIP, SOMETHING I USUALLY DON'T MIND. THEN IT DAWNED ON ME - I WAS BUMMED OUT BECAUSE I WOULD HAVE TO STEER THE WHOLE WAY. AFTER LONG HOURS OF TURNING AROUND AT THE ENDS ANDS PUNCHING A BUTTON FOR SUB-INCH DRIVING ACCURACY, THE IDEA OF ACTUALLY CONTROLLING THE DIRECTION OF MY CAR SEEMED ANTIQUATED. MAYBE THIS IS ONE REASON I THINK GOOGLE'S SELF-DRIVING AUTO WILL TAKE OFF FASTER THAN EVERONE THINKS. THE TECHNOLOGY IS THERE, AND ONE TASTE IS ADDICTIVE. I'D BE ONE OF THOSE BLEEDING EDGE ADAPTERS WHO PAY THROUGH THE NOSE FOR AN EARLY MODEL.

HEADLINES:

THE U-S SUPREME COURT ORDERED AN INDIANA FARMER TO PAY MONSANTO 84-THOUSAND DOLLARS FOR IMPROPERLY USING THEIR SEED TECHNOLOGY WITHOUT PAYING FOR IT.

THE SENATE PASSED THE WATER RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT ACT THIS WEEK, LEGISLATION AIMED AT IMPROVING INFRASTRUCTURE ON WATERWAYS. THE ADDITIONAL FUNDING WILL ALLOW FOR PORT MAINTENANCE AND DREDGING EACH YEAR.  IT WILL ALSO EXCLUDE MANY PRODUCERS FROM EPA'S SPILL, PREVENTION, CONTROL AND COUNTERMEASURE RULE. THAT RULE WOULD HAVE PUT REGULATIONS ON FARMS THAT STORE OIL IN ABOVE-GROUND TANKS. INVESTIGATORS HAVE YET TO DETERMINE THE CAUSE OF LAST MONTH'S FIRE AND EXPLOSION AT THE WEST TEXAS FERTILIZER PLANT. STATE AND FEDERAL OFFICIALS SAY THE POSSIBILITY OF THE FIRE BEING SET INTENTIONALLY STILL HASN'T BEEN RULED OUT. THE INVESTIGATION REPORTEDLY INVOLVED INTERVIEWING 500 PEOPLE, SORTING THROUGH 300 THOUSAND POUNDS OF CORN AND COST 1 MILLION DOLLARS. 2012 IS GOING INTO THE BOOKS AS THE DEADLIEST YEAR FOR WEST NILE VIRUS.

SPIRIT OF THE HEARTLAND:

A CAREER CHANGE IS NOT UNSUAL. LOOK AT ME - I STUDIED ENGINEERING, RAN A NUCLEAR SUB AND ENDED-UP BACK AT THE FARM. NOW, MEET A LAWYER-TURNED-FARMER WHO COMES FROM A LONG LINE OF SHEPHERDS! IN THIS REPORT FROM VIRGINIA FARM BUREAU, NORM HYDE TELLS US ABOUT THE UNUSUAL CAREER MIX.

LEAVE A LEGACY:

THE FUTURE OF A FAMILY FARM ISN'T ALWAYS CLEAR CUT. THAT'S BEEN THE CASE FOR ONE CALIFORNIA CHEESEMAKER WHO'S LOVE FOR COWS HELPED CHURN HER OWN NICHE.  AS NATIONAL REPORTER TYNE MORGAN SHOWS US IN THIS "LEAVE A LEGACY" REPORT, THE FIFTH GENERATION ON THE FARM IS BECOMING A SECOND GENERATION CHEESE MAKER,WITH BIG GOALS TO TAKE THEIR LOCAL BUSINESS WORLDWIDE.

TRACTOR TALES:

AL, WHAT DO YOU HAVE FOR US THIS WEEK IN TRACTOR TALES?" JOHN, WE MET A FAMILY IN SOUTHERN INDIANA, WITH A FONDNESS FOR OLIVERS.

CHURCH SALUTE:

TODAY'S COUNTRY CHURCH SALUTE GOES TO FREEMOUNT LUTHERAN CHURCH IN LINDSBORG, KANSAS. A GROUP OF SWEDISH SETTLERS ORGANIZED THE CHURCH IN JUNE 1869. THEIR ORIGINAL CHURCH WAS BUILT FROM STONE CUT FROM NEARBY BLUFFS. AS THE CONGREGATION GREW, THEY ADDED A SECOND, LARGER, BRICK CHURCH. BUT IT WAS DESTROYED BY FIRE WHEN IT WAS STRUCK BY LIGHTNING. AND ONCE AGAIN THE CONGREGATION HAD TO RELY ON ITS "OLD STONE CHURCH". A THIRD CHURCH WAS BUILT IN 1927 AND IT REMAINS IN USE TODAY. BUT THE MEMBERS ARE STILL FOND OF THE ORIGINAL STONE STRUCTURE. IN FACT, THEY ADDED CLIMATE CONTROL TO HELP PROTECT CHURCH ARTIFACTS. OUR THANKS TO THE ALMQUIST FAMILY FOR SHARING THE NEWS.

MAILBAG:

TIME NOW FOR OUR WEEKLY LOOK INSIDE THE FARM REPORT MAILBAG. MY COMMENTARY ABOUT THE EGG PRODUCERS PROVOKED A SPATE OF SHARP LANGUAGE ABOUT THE HUMAN SOCIETY OF THE UNITED STATES AND THIS INSIGHTFUL RESPONSE AS WELL.

 

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