AgDay Daily Recap - February 28, 2011

February 28, 2011 02:28 AM
 

TODAY ON AGDAY:
FEBRUARY 28, 2011

STABENOW FARM BILL:
THE NEW CHAIR OF THE SENATE AG COMMITTEE IS LAYING THE GROUND WORK FOR THE 2012 FARM BILL. DEBBIE STABENOW TOLD THE USDA'S OUTLOOK FORUM SHE BELIEVES THE NEXT FARM BILL SHOULD BE CONSIDERED A JOBS BILL. RECOGNIZING CURRENT FEDERAL BUDGET WOES, STABENOW SAYS AGRICULTURE'S LIMITED DOLLARS MUST ACTUALLY WORK. METHODS THAT AREN'T EFFIECENT OR EFFECTIVE MUST GO. SHE'S STRESSING LAWMAKERS FOCUS ON PRINCIPLES NOT PROGRAMS. SHE SAYS THAT INCLUDES AN EFFICIENT SAFETY NET FOR PRODUCERS. THERE IS ALREADY TALK OF SCRAPPING THE GOVERNMENT'S SYSTEM OF ANNUAL FIXED PAYMENTS, INSTEAD SHIFTING THAT MONEY INTO SUBSIDIES TRIGGERED BY FALLING REVENUE OR COMMODITY PRICES COMMODITY GROUPS ARE WATCHING CLOSELY.

NAWG SAFETY NET:
STABENOW WANTS CONTINUED FOCUS ON EXPORTS, OPENING NEW MARKETS, AND SUSTAINING INNOVATION. SHE ALSO DISCUSSED THE CURRENT CONCERNS OVER EPA REGULATIONS ON AGRICULTURE. STABENOW WANTS THE USDA AND EPA TO BEGIN DISCUSSIONS.  SHE BELIEVES AMERICAN AGRICULTURE IS A PARTNER IN THE EFFORT FOR ENERGY INDEPENDENCE AND SEES OPPORTUNITY FOR CONTINUED GROW IN BIOFUELS.

RICE:
LAST WEEK, WE SHOWCASED HOW THE MAJOR GRAINS WILL ALL SEE INCREASED ACRES THIS YEAR. BUT ONE CROP WHICH WE'LL SEE A DECLINE IS RICE. DURING THE USDA OUTLOOK FORUM, USDA'S CHIEF ECONOMIST JOE GLAUBER SAID HE EXPECTS A BIG DROP IN RICE PLANTINGS. RICE PLANTINGS WILL FALL TO ABOUT TWO-POINT-NINE MILLION ACRE, DOWN FROM THREE-POINT-SIX MILLION ACRES LAST YEAR. GLAUBER SAID ALMOST ALL OF THE REDUCTION IN RICE ACREAGE WILL COME FROM LONG-GRAIN PLANTINGS. GLAUBER SAID USDA EXPECTS RICE YIELDS TO RETURN TO TREND-LINE WITH THE YIELD FOR RICE FORECAST AT ABOUT 72-HUNDRED POUNDS AN ACRE. DOMESTIC USE IS EXPECTED TO STAY FLAT. USDA EXPORTS TO DECLINE.

DAIRY CULL:
USDA SAYS THERE'S BEEN A HUGE INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF DAIRY COWS GOING TO SLAUGHTER. THE DEPARTMENT ON FRIDAY SAID 264,000 DAIRY COWS WENT THROUGH FEDERALLY INSPECTED PLANTS IN JANUARY. THAT'S A GAIN OF NEARLY 14% THAN A YEAR AGO. WHY THE BIG JUMP? OUR ANALYSTS AT DAIRY TODAY MAGAZINE SAY THERE ARE A COUPLE OF REASONS. FIRST, CULL COW PRICES ARE VERY GOOD. FARMERS ARE SELLING THEIR ANIMALS IN THE RANGE OF 57-TO-65 DOLLARS PER HUNDREDWEIGHT. THERE'S ALSO A LOT OF REPLACEMENT HEIFERS ON HAND. AND, ONE PRODUCER TOLD US THAT FEED PRICES MAY HAVE SOMETHING TO DO WITH THE CULL RATE. THERE ARE REPORTS THAT SOME PRODUCERS ARE SELLING COWS JUST TO PAY FEED BILLS.

MN LAND VALUES:
ANOTHER FEDERAL RESERVE BANK DISTRICT HAS RELEASED ITS LAND VALUES SURVEY. AND IT'S RIGHT IN-STEP WITH OTHER DISTRICTS IN THE HEAVY AG STATES. THE FED OFFICE IN MINNEAPOLIS STRETCHES FROM NORTHWEST WISCONSIN TO MONTANA. THAT'S A BIG STRETCH OF THE NORTHERN WHEAT BELT. THEIR SURVEY SHOW THE VALUE OF IRRIGATED FARM LAND CLIMBED JUST ABOUT 15%. NON-IRRIGATED IS UP MORE THAN 16%. RANCHLAND VALUES ROSE MORE THAN 7%. OVER THE PAST TWO WEEKS, THE KANSAS CITY AND CHICAGO FED DISTRICTS - WHICH REPRESENT THE CORN BELT THROUGH THE CENTRAL PLAINS - REPORTED DOUBLE DIGIT GAINS IN GOOD QUALITY FARMLAND.

SANDERSON:
IN AGRIBUSINESS, ONE OF THE LARGEST POULTRY PRODUCERS IN THE SOUTHEAST UNITED STATES SAYS 2011 WILL BE A TOUGH YEAR TO DO BUSINESS BECAUSE TO HIGH CORN PRICES. SANDERSON FARMS REPORTED A NET LOSS OF 33 MILLION DOLLARS DURING THE FINANCIAL QUARTER. IN ADDITION TO HIGHER FEED COSTS, SANDERSON ALSO SAYS THERE'S "OVERSUPPLY" OF CHICKEN IN THE MARKET. THE COMPANY SAYS RETAIL DEMAND FOR CHICKEN HAS REMAINED STEADY, BUT THERE'S WEAK DEMAND IN THE FOOD SERVICE SECTOR. THEY SAID CONSUMERS ARE SIMPLY NOT DINING OUT AS FREQUENTLY. THE MISSISSIPPI-BASED COMPANY SAYS IT WILL HOLD OFF BUILDING A NEW POULTRY PROCESSING PLANT IN NORTH CAROLINA DUE TO THE UN-CERTAINTY.

ANALYSIS:
BILL BIEDERMANN

IN THE COUNTRY; WILDLIFE CHECKOFF:
AS THE APRIL TAX DEADLINE DRAWS NEAR, IT MAY BE AN OPPORTUNE TIME TO HELP THE WILDLIFE. IOWA, FOR INSTANCE, ALLOWS TAX PAYERS TO "CHECK THE BOX" TO MAKE A DONATION TO A WILDLIFE FUND. THE MONEY HELPS HUNDREDS OF WILD SPECIES THAT DON'T GET IN THE SPOT-LIGHT VERY OFTEN. IN THIS REPORT FROM THE IOWA DNR, JOE WILKINSON TELLS US WHAT KIND OF WORK GETS DONE WHEN TAXPAYERS EARMARK THE MONEY. JOE SAYS THE BIGGER THE REFUND SOMEONE GETS, THE MORE LIKELY THEY ARE TO MAKE A DONATION. PLENTY MORE TO COME, INCLUDING THE LATEST ESTIMATE ON HOW MUCH MORE IT'LL COST TO FEED YOUR FAMILY. PLUS, WE'LL TELL YOU ABOUT A NEW PACEMAKER. AND SURPRISINGLY, IT'S NOT FOR YOUR HEART. INSTEAD IT MAY HELP YOU SLEEP BETTER. AG FOR YOUR HEALTH IS NEXT.

FOOD PRICES:
THE USDA IS RAISING ITS ESTIMATE ON FOOD COSTS FOR 2011. HOW MUCH MORE-IN TODAY'S FOOD AND YOUR FAMILY. LAST MONTH THE USDA HAD A MORE MODERATE PREDICTION OF 2-3%. NOW, THE DEPARTMENT SAYS IT EXPECTS FOOD PRICES WILL GO UP AS MUCH AS 4% THIS YEAR. THE USDA IS RAISING ITS ESTIMATE ON FOOD COSTS FOR 2011. HOW MUCH MORE-IN TODAY'S FOOD AND YOUR FAMILY. LAST MONTH THE USDA HAD A MORE MODERATE PREDICTION OF TWO-TO-THREE PERCENT. NOW, THE DEPARTMENT SAYS IT EXPECTS FOOD PRICES WILL GO UP AS MUCH AS 4% THIS YEAR.

HEINZ BOTTLES:
THE NEXT TIME YOU BUY SOME KETCHUP OR COKE, IT COULD COME IN A NEW BOTTLE MADE FROM PLANTS. THE HEINZ COMPANY ANNOUNCED A PARTNERSHIP WITH COCA-COLA THAT WILL ALLOW THE KETCHUP MAKER TO START PUTTING ITS PRODUCT INTO A NEW PLASTIC BOTTLE MADE PARTIALLY FROM PLANTS. HEINZ SAYS IT WILL START USING THE NEW BOTTLES THIS YEAR WITH ITS 20 OUNCE PACKAGES. COKE CAME-UP WITH THE "PLANT-BOTTLE" TECHNOLOGY IN 2009. 30% OF THE BOTTLE IS MADE FROM SUGARCANE ETHANOL FROM BRAZIL. HEINZ SAYS PLANT-BOTTLE PACKAGING LOOKS, FEELS AND FUNCTIONS JUST LIKE TRADITIONAL PLASTIC, AND REMAINS FULLY RECYCLABLE. THE COMPANIES CONSIDER IT THE FIRST STEP IN STEERING FOOD PACKAGING AWAY FROM MATERIALS MADE WITH FOSSIL FUELS.

SLEEP APNEA:
IF YOU WEAR A MASK AT NIGHT FOR SLEEP APNEA, THEN YOU KNOW IT'S AN ESSENTIAL MEDICAL DEVICE. BUT DEALING WITH THE HOSE AND HEAD-GEAR CAN BE A REAL HASSLE. WELL, HERE'S SOME GOOD NEWS. FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER IN THE U.S., A TYPE OF PACE-MAKER HAS BEEN IMPLANTED IN A PATIENT TO HELP EASE THE AFFECTS OF SLEEP APNEA. IN THIS REPORT FROM OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER, CLARK POWELL SHOWS US HOW THE IMPLANT WORKS. IN THE FIRST ROUND OF TESTS, TWO DOZEN PATIENTS WILL GET THE IMPLANT TO MAKE SURE IT'S SAFE AND WORKS PROPERLY. DOCTORS SAY BATTERIES IN THE IMPLANT COULD LAST THREE-T0-SEVEN YEARS.

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