AgDay Daily Recap - January 24, 2011

January 24, 2011 07:52 AM
 

TODAY ON AGDAY:
JANUARY 24, 2011

E15 APPROVAL:
THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY HAS APPROVED HIGHER LEVELS OF CORN-BASED ETHANOL TO FUEL ALL CARS MANUFACTURED IN THE LAST DECADE. THE AGENCY ANNOUNCED FRIDAY THAT 15% ETHANOL BLENDED WITH GASOLINE IS SAFE FOR CARS AND LIGHT-DUTY TRUCKS MANUFACTURED BETWEEN 2001 AND 2006. IN OCTOBER, THE EPA APPROVED THE SAME MIX FOR VEHICLES MANUFACTURED SINCE 2007. WHILE ETHANOL IS POPULAR FOR SOME CORN GROWERS, IT STILL FACES PLENTY OF OPPOSITION. IN NOVEMBER, TEN GROUPS REPRESENTING VARIOUS LIVESTOCK GROUPS, FOOD COMPANIES, THE PETROLEUM AND AUTO INDUSTRIES FILED SUIT AGAINST THE EPA. THE COALITION SAYS ETHANOL MAKES ANIMAL FEED MORE EXPENSIVE.

ETHANOL REAX:
NOW SOME BACKGROUND. IT WAS IN MARCH 2009 WHEN GROWTH ENERGY - A PRO-ETHANOL GROUP - FILED A PETITION WITH EPA TO PERMIT THE RAISING OF THAT REGULATORY CAP ON THE ETHANOL BLEND. TODAY, GROWTH ENERGY CEO TOM BUIS SAID "WE COMMEND THE EPA AND WE URGE THEM TO CONTINUE TESTING E-15 FOR ALL VEHICLES, SO THAT EVERY AMERICAN MOTORIST HAS THE OPPORTUNITY TO USE A BLEND OF FUEL THAT IS PROVEN TO BE BETTER FOR OUR ECONOMY, OUR SECURITY AND OUR ENVIRONMENT."

WESLEY CLARK:
DURING THE RECENT AG-CONNECT EXPO, CASE-IH HOSTED AN OPEN FORUM ON THE TOPIC OF ALTERNATIVE FUELS AND THE NATION'S SECURITY. RETIRED GENERAL WESLEY CLARK, WHO IS ALSO CO-CHAIRMAN OF GROWTH ENERGY, TOOK PART IN THE PANEL. HE TOLD AGRIBUSINESS DIRECTOR AL PELL THAT THOSE TWO ISSUES CAN'T BE SEPARATED.

USDA ETHANOL LOANS:
WHILE MUCH OF THE ETHANOL INDUSTRY IS BASED IN THE CORNBELT, WHERE THE FEEDSTOCK IS ABUNDANT, THE AG DEPARTMENT IS TRYING TO REACH-OUT TO OTHER REGIONS. AND THE DEPARTMENT IS OFFERING SOME BIG DOLLARS TO EXPAND TO FEEDSTOCKS OTHER THAN CORN. SECRETARY VILSACK ANNOUNCED LAST WEEK THREE COMPANIES IN THE SOUTHEAST HAVE RECEIVED LOAN GUARANTEES TO CONSTRUCT AND OPERATE CELLULOSIC ETHANOL PLANTS. THE PLANTS WOULD BE BUILT IN ALABAMA, MISSISSIPPI AND FLORIDA. THE LOAN GUARANTEES TOTAL MORE THAN 400-MILLION DOLLARS.

BIOTECH VILSACK:
WHEN IT COMES TO GMO CROPS, AG SECRETARY TOM VILSACK IS LOOKING FOR A "CO-EXISTENCE" POLICY THAT WOULD SATISFY BOTH SUPPORTERS AND OPPONENTS OF BIO-TECH CROPS. BUT SOME FARM COUNTRY LAWMAKERS FROM BOTH SIDES OF THE AISLE ARE PUSHING BACK AT THE IDEA THAT THERE CAN BE COMMON GROUND BETWEEN THE TWO SIDES. THE AGRICULTURE SECRETARY WENT BEFORE THE HOUSE AG COMMITTEE TO ANSWER QUESTIONS ABOUT A RECENT DECISION TO SEEK A POLICY OF "CO-EXISTENCE" WITH ORGANIC GROWERS ON REGULATING ROUNDUP READY ALFALFA. THE LAWMAKERS ARE EXPLORING THE G-M-O APPROVAL PROCESS. MANY ON THE PANEL SEEM SKEPTICAL. THE SECRETARY SAID THIS ISSUE IS NOT ABOUT TAKING SIDES, BUT FINDING OUT HOW ALL OF AGRICULTURE CAN PROSPER.

THE WEEK AHEAD:
ALSO IN WASHINGTON, THE PRESIDENT GETS SET TO ADDRESS A JOINT SESSION OF CONGRESS FOR THE ANNUAL STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS.  HERE'S PRO FARMER WASHINGTON EDITOR ROGER BERNARD WITH A LOOK AT THE WEEK AHEAD.

CHINA SOY BUY:
IN AGRIBUSINESS, CHINA APPEARS TO BE IN THE MARKET FOR U-S SOYBEANS. OUR PARTNERS AT AGWEB REPORT CHINA IS EXPECTED TO BUY TWO MILLION TONS OF SOYBEANS FOR THE 2011-2012 MARKETING YEAR. ACCORDING TO GRAIN ANALYSTS AT "U-S COMMODITIES", THE PURCHASE IS NOT PART OF THE RECENT VISIT BY CHINESE PRESIDENT HU JIN-TAO.

CHINA US BEEF:
IT ALSO APPEARS THE STATE VISIT DID NOT RESULT IN ANY CHANGES TO BEEF TRADE BETWEEN THE TWO COUNTRIES. WWW.FEEDSTUFFS.COM SAYS THERE WAS NO MENTION OF CHINA RELAXING ITS RESTRICTIONS ON U.S. BEEF IMPORTS. CHINA IMPOSED THE TOUGHER RESTRICTIONS AFTER BSE WAS DISCOVERED IN 2003 IN THIS COUNTRY. EARLIER THIS SUMMER, CHINA SAID CANADA COULD RESUME BEEF SALES TO ITS COUNTRY. THE U-S BEEF INDUSTRY IS NOW CONCERNED CANADA PRODUCERS WILL GET A FOOTHOLD ON THAT MARKET.

ANALYSIS INTRO:
LAST WEEK WAS A BUSY ONE FOR COTTON TRADERS. THE FIBER NEARED 157 DOLLARS PER HUNDRED...SPARKED BY A RALLY FOLLOWING A CHINESE PURCHASE AGREEMENT. IN THIS MORNING'S ANALYSIS AL PELL DISCUSSES THE IMPORTANCE OF COTTON QUALITY ON RISING PRICES.

ANALYSIS:
O.A. CLEVELAND

IN THE COUNTRY; LEGO CREATION:
LEGO'S HAVE BEEN A POPULAR CHILDRENS TOY FOR DECADES NOW.
THEY NEVER SEEM TO GO OUT OF STYLE AND WHAT YOU CAN MAKE THEM...WELL THE POSSIBILITIES ARE ENDLESS. TODAY WE TRAVEL TO VANCOVER WASHINGTON WHERE WE FIND WARREN SEELY. HE USES LEGOS TO RECREATE THE IMPLEMENTS FOUND ON HIS FAMILIES MINT FARM. WASHINGTON STATE UNIVERSITY TAKE US ON A TOUR. THANKS TO WASHINGTON STATE UNIVERSITY FOR THAT STORY. AS FOR WARREN SEELY'S FUTURE, HE'S HEADING TO COLLEGE THIS FALL. STILL TO COME, ALMOND HARVEST IN CALIFORNIA AND A BIG BOX GIANT PLEDGES HEALTHIER FOOD.

ALMOND HARVEST:
IN FOOD AND YOUR FAMILY THIS MORNING, WE START IN CALIFORNIA WHERE ALMOND GROWERS ARE EXPECTING A BIG CROP. THE USDA IS PREDICTING HARVEST WILL SET A RECORD WITH MORE THAN ONE POINT 6 BILLION POUNDS. GOOD NEWS FOR AN INDUSTRY THAT HAS STRONG PRICES AND GOOD DEMAND. EXPORTS TO CHINA ARE 8 TIMES WHAT THEY WERE JUST FIVE AGO...INDIA AND PAKISTAN HAVE ALSO DOUBLED CONSUMPTION IN THE LAST HALF DECADE. CALIFORNIA IS HAILED AS THE WORLD'S NUMBER ONE ALMOND PRODUCER..WITH 810,000 ACRES AND 80% OF THE WORLD'S SUPPLY. ALMONDS ARE NOW CALIFORNIA'S LARGEST EXPORT CROP...BEATING MILK, CHEESE EVEN WINE.

WALMART FOOD:
YOU MIGHT WANT TO PICK UP A BAG AT YOUR LOCAL RETAILER.
RETAIL GIANT WALMART IS MAKING BIG PROMISES IN ITS FOODS BUSINESS. IT ANNOUNCED PLANS TO BUY AND SELL HEATHIER FOOD.  WALMART THE NATION'S LARGEST GROCER SAYS IT PLANS TO THROW ITS WEIGHT AROUND IN THE FOOD INDUSTRY. THE GIANT PLANS TO REFORMULATE THOUSANDS OF STORE BRAND PRODUCTS TO MAKE THEM HEALTHIER. IT PLANS REDUCE SODIUM AND ADDED SUGARS IN MANY ITEMS...BY 2015. WALMART IS ALSO PLANING TO REDUCE PRICES ON FRUITS AND VEGETABLES BY ONE-BILLION DOLLARS A YEAR. TO DO THAT, IT HOPES TRIM COSTS BY CUTTING UNNECESSARY EXPENSES IN THE SUPPLY CHAIN.

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