Jul 29, 2014
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THIS WEEK ON U.S. FARM REPORT

EPISODE # 2125

MAY 3-4, 2014   

 

 

 

 

 

 

As always, we want to hear from you, send comments to mailbag@usfarmreport.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

JOHN’S OPEN:

HELLO AND WELCOME TO U-S FARM REPORT, I'M JOHN PHIPPS. JUST AS FARMERS ACROSS MY HOME STATE OF ILLINOIS WERE PLANTING MILLIONS OF ACRES OF CORN AND SOYBEANS, A CURIOUS ARTICLE APPEARED IN FARMWEEK, A FARM BUREAU TABLOID. IN IT MIKE ROEGGE FROM THE ILLINOIS EXTENSION POINTS OUT THE STARTLING FACT THAT MY MAJOR FARM STATE IMPORTS 95% OF ITS FOOD FROM OUT OF STATE. GETTING STUFF FROM FLORIDA OR CALIFORNIA IS NOT THE SAME AS IMPORTING IT FROM EUROPE, OF COURSE, BUT STILL. I TRY TO REMEMBER WHILE MY FARM PRODUCES A LOT A RAW MATERIAL AND INGREDIENTS, IT TAKES THE WORK OF MANY OTHERS TO MAKE WHAT I GROW FOOD. LATER TODAY WE'LL MEET SOME FARMERS WHO TRULY FEED THE WORLD - AND THEY'VE GOT TROUBLE.

HEADLINES:

FARMERS MAY BE PUTTING THEIR FOOT DOWN TO RECORD HIGH CASH RENT PRICES IN THE COMING YEAR. THE RESULTS ARE IN. USDA RELEASED ITS 2012 CENSUS OF AGRICULTURE FINDINGS FRIDAY AND IT SHOWS WHILE THE AVERAGE AGE OF FARM OPERATORS IS 58 YEARS OF AGE, NEARLY A QUARTER ARE BEGINNING FARMERS. THAT MEANS THE NUMBER OF FARMERS OPERATING FOR LESS THAN TEN YEARS DECREASED 27 PERCENT FROM the 2007 CENSUS.  THE CENSUS SHOWS AGRICULTURE IS ALSO GROWING MORE DIVERSE WITH 30 PERCENT OF ALL FARM OPERATORS BEING WOMEN.  AND SURVEY RESULTS SAY CORN AND SOYBEAN ACRES TOPPED 50 PERCENT OF ALL HARVESTED ACRES FOR THE FIRST TIME. THE LATEST CROP PROGRESS REPORT SHOWS MOTHER NATURE COOPERATED FOR SOME PLANTING LAST WEEK, BUT THE NATIONAL AVERAGE IS STILL BEHIND. USDA SAYS 19% OF THE CROP IS NOW IN THE GROUND, THAT'S 9 POINTS BEHIND AVERAGE. ILLINOIS FARMERS MADE BIG GAINS, JUMPING UP 27 POINTS IN JUST A WEEK. USDA SHOWS THE WINTER WHEAT CROP IS BEHIND. ONLY 18-PERCENT IS HEADED. 33% OF THE NATION'S WHEAT IS IN GOOD TO EXCELLENT CONDITION, 34 PERCENT IS POOR TO VERY POOR.

CROP WATCH:

CROP WATCH THIS WEEK STARTS IN THE WEST WHERE A BRUTAL DUST STORM CAUSED QUITE THE CHAOS.

ROUNTABLE:

TYNE MORGAN RETURNS TO TALK MARKETS WITH BRIAN DOHERTY AND MIKE NORTH NEXT ON U-S FARM REPORT.

JOHN’S WORLD:

SUPREME COURT WATCHERS WERE MILDLY SURPRISED BY THE STRONG DEFENSE OF EPA ENFORCEMENT ACTIONS IN THE COURT'S RECENT RULING ON EMISSIONS FROM COAL POWER PLANTS. THE DECISION IS SEEN AS A BROAD ENDORSEMENT OF EPA RULES TO ENFORCE CLEAN AIR STANDARDS. WHILE THIS RULING WILL HAVE SERIOUS IMPACTS ON COAL PRODUCING AREAS AND UTILITY COMPANIES, IT ALSO HAS IMPLICATIONS I THINK FOR THE CURRENT BATTLE FARMERS ARE WAGING AGAINST NEW RULES UNDER THE CLEAN WATER ACT. THE EPA HAS BEEN TASKED BY THE COURT VIA CONFUSING RULINGS IN 2001 AND 2006, AND PETITIONED BY SEVERAL INVOLVED PARTIES TO CLARIFY MANY PORTIONS OF THE CLEAN WATER ACT. IN THEIR NORMAL GLACIAL PACE, THE AGENCY HAS ASKED FOR COMMENTS AND WILL REVIEW THE FLOOD OF OPINONS RECEIVED. THE AG COMMUNITY HAS BEEN ACTIVE TRYING TO PREVENT WHAT IT SEES AS GOVERNMENT OVERREACH, BUT THE CLEAN AIR RULING THIS WEEK SHOULD GIVE US PAUSE. THE SUPREME COURT, INCLUDING CONSERVATIVE MEMBERS, ONCE AGAIN GAVE STRONG GUIDANCE FOR THE EPA TO UPHOLD THE VARIOUS STATUTES UNDER ITS JURISDICTION. IT ALSO HAS MADE IT CLEAR IT BELIEVES THE EXISTING LEGISLATION AUTHORIZES THE AGENCY TO ACT VIGOROUSLY TO ACCOMPLISH THOSE GOALS. WE WILL BE REPORTING MORE ON WHAT THE IMPLICATIONS OF THIS AIR QUALITY RULING MIGHT BE FOR FARMERS, BUT ONE THING WAS CLARIFIED THIS WEEK: TAKING IT TO THE SUPREME COURT MIGHT NOT BE A WINNING STRATEGY FOR FARMERS.

2ND HALF

JOHN’S OPEN:

HELLO AND WELCOME TO U-S FARM REPORT, I'M JOHN PHIPPS. I'M REACHING THE AGE WHEN I CAN STUN YOUNG PEOPLE BY MAKING STATEMENTS THAN BEGIN WITH "WHEN I WAS YOUR AGE…" RECENTLY, AN ANNOUNCEMENT FROM NASA ADDED TO MY COLLECTION. WHEN I WAS MY GRANDSON'S AGE THERE WERE NINE PLANETS - AND THOSE WERE THE ONLY PLANETS WE KNEW ABOUT. BUT SINCE 1995, WE HAVE DISCOVERED OVER 1800 EXOPLANETS - PLANETS OUTSIDE OUR SOLAR SYSTEM.  LIKE PEOPLE WHO HAVE NEVER NOT HAD A CELLPHONE OR COMPUTER, IT IS HARD TO EXPLAIN THE MIND-BLOWING IMPACT OF FINDING EXOPLANETS. AND I WONDER WHAT DISCOVERIES WILL ROCK HIS VIEW OF THE UNIVERSE.

HEADLINES:

 A POSSIBLE CHANGE IN THE WAY ORGANIC PRODUCTS ARE PRODUCED CAUSED QUITE THE CONTROVERSY THIS WEEK. CONNECTICUT LAWMAKERS ARE CONSIDERING BANNING DAYCARES FROM SERVING WHOLE OR TWO PERCENT MILK TO CHILDREN. THE SPONSORS OF THE BILL SAY THE GOAL IS TO CURB CHILDHOOD OBESITY. THE LEGISLATION STATES NO DAY CARE CAN PROVIDE MILK WITH A FAT CONTENT GREATER THAN 1 PERCENT TO ANY CHILD 2 YEARS OF AGE OR OLDER. THE EXCEPTION IS A CHILD NEEDING HIGH MILK FAT CONTENT FOR MEDICAL REASONS.  THE MILK INDUSTRY FIRED BACK SAYING THE LEGISLATORS ARE USING OUTDATED INFORMATION ON THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF MILK.  AN UPDATE TO THE ABC AND B-P-I INCORPORATED DEFAMATION LAWSUIT CURRENTLY IN THE HANDS OF THE SOUTH DAKOTA SUPREME COURT. IT DEALS WITH THE WAY A-B-C HANDLED ITS REPORTING OF LEAN FINELY TEXTURED BEEF, NAMING IT "PINK SLIME." THE STATE SUPREME COURT HAS APPROVED ABC'S REQUEST FOR A MOTION TO STAY, WHICH HALTS ALL PROCEEDINGS IN THE TRIAL. B-P-I NOW HAS UNTIL MAY 5 TO APPEAL.  NOAA RELEASED ITS MONTHLY DROUGHT OUTLOOK THIS WEEK. IT SHOWS IMPROVEMENTS IN THE WESTERN CORNBELT, IN STATES LIKE IOWA, KANSAS AND NEBRASKA.  AS FOR THE WEST, IT DOESN'T LOOK GOOD. NOAA PREDICTS CONDITIONS TO WORSEN FROM CALIFORNIA TO TEXAS. THE SOUTHERN PLAINS IS KNOWN FOR NOT ONLY HOW DRY IT IS, BUT ALSO ITS FIERCE WINDS. BUT THIS WEEK, WINDS TOPPED 60 MILES PER HOUR, SHUTTING DOWN ROADS AND EVEN CLOSING SOME SCHOOLS.

4H ROCKETS:

ACADEMIC FIELDS LIKE SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY ARE IN THE SPOTLIGHT IN OUR NATION'S SCHOOLS. THAT'S BECAUSE GLOBAL COMPETITION TO FILL HIGH-TECH JOBS IS INTENSIFYING.  A 4-H CHAPTER IN INDIANA HAS FOUND A WAY TO GET AHEAD OF THE TECHNOLOGY LEARNING CURVE  TYNE MORGAN INTRODUCES US TO THE GROUP, WHO ARE BLASTING INTO AN INNOVATIVE CAREER FIELD ON THE FINS OF A PROJECT ROCKET.

CALIFORNIA WATER:

A FEW WEEKS AGO I VISITED VISALIA, THE EPICENTER OF THE CALIFORNIA DROUGHT AND VISITED WITH YOUNG FARMERS AND RANCHERS. IT WAS AN EYE-OPENING EXPERIENCE FOR THIS MIDWESTERNER.

TRACTOR TALES:

AL, I UNDERSTAND WE HAVE A YOUNG COLLECTOR THIS WEEK." THAT'S RIGHT JOHN! JAMIE IS STILL IN SCHOOL, BUT HE LOVES HIS ALLIS-CHALMERS.

CHURCH SALUTE:

TODAY'S COUNTRY CHURCH SALUTE GOES TO THE SALEM GROVE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH OF GRASS LAKE, MICHIGAN.  IN 1853 A MEMBER DONATED THE GROUND ON WHICH THE CHURCH WAS LATER BUILT.  THE CONGREGATION GREW SO FAST THAT A PARASONAGE WAS ADDED IN 1869 FOR A RESIDENT PASTOR.  FOR MORE THAN 160 YEARS, THE CONGREGATION HAS BEEN GENEROUS WITH GIFTS AND OFFERINGS TO HELP RENOVATE AND BEUTIFY THE CHURCH THAT STANDS TODAY. OUR THANKS TO MR. FUGATE FOR SHARING THEIR STORY.

MAILBAG:

TIME NOW FOR OUR WEEKLY LOOK INSIDE THE FARM REPORT MAILBAG. MY COMENTS ABOUT CLIVEN BUNDY SPARKED SOME RESPONSES LIKE THIS ONE FROM STEVEN LUKE: " IF YOU WANT TO DISCUSS SOME PHILOSOPHICAL MYSTERY TO THE THINKING OF A "FARMER'S"LAND OWNERSHIP, DON'T SIMPLIFY THE TRUE REASON MR. BUNDY IS BEING FORCED OFF THIS LAND!" I RECORDED MY COMMENTARY LAST WEEK JUST AS MR BUNDY WAS MAKING HIS MOST CONTROVERSIAL REMARKS. AT THAT TIME I WAS TRYING TO SHOW HOW YEARS OF RENTING CAN TRICK US INTO FALSE FEELINGS OF OWNERSHIP. ECONOMISTS CALL THIS THE ENDOWMENT EFFECT. MR BUNDY IS BY HIS OWN ADMISSION A DEADBEAT, OWING OVER A MILLION DOLLARS FOR GRAZING LANDS INDISPUTEDLY OWNED BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WHICH REALLY DOES EXIST. OTHER RANCHERS PAY FOR FEDERAL GRAZING RIGHTS, WHICH ARE A BARGAIN COMPARED TO PRIVATE LANDS. MR BUNDY FELT ENTITLED TO DISREGARD THE SAME RULES OTHERS REPECT. THE GOVERNMENT HAS A RIGHT TO EVICT NON-PAYING TENANTS, IF ONLY TO BE FAIR TO RANCHERS WHO DO PAY. TO THEIR CREDIT, THE BLM REFUSED TO ESCALATE THE CONFRONTATION TO ARMED CONFLICT. THIS FIASCO WAS NOT ABOUT PATRIOTISM OR CITIZEN RIGHTS. IT IS STRAIGHTFORWARD MATTER OF RUNNING UP A TAB AND REFUSING TO PAY. THOSE WHO THINK THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SHOULD NOT OWN SO MUCH LAND MAY GET THEIR DAY IN THE SUN, AS PROPOSALS TO BALANCE THE BUDGET OFTEN INCLUDE SELLING SUCH ASSETS. IT WOULD BE INTERESTING TO SEE HOW MR BUNDY WOULD FARE WITH A PRIVATE OWNER LIKE TED TURNER.

 

 


 

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