AgDay Daily Recap - January 6, 2011

January 6, 2011 03:40 AM
 

TODAY ON AGDAY:
JANUARY 6, 2011

WHEAT STOCKS:
GOOD MORNING. COMMODITY MARKETS RALLIED TUESDAY TO FINISH MOSTLY HIGHER. HELPING LEAD THAT CHARGE...WHEAT MARKETS.  THE MARCH CHICAGO CONTRACT CLOSED ABOVE 8 DOLLARS A BUSHEL.  AND IT MAY NOT STOP THERE. ACCORDING TO THE UNITED NATIONS...GLOBAL GRAIN OUTPUT MUST RISE AT LEAST 2% THIS YEAR TO MEET DEMAND AND AVOID FURTHER REDUCTIONS OF STOCKS. ANALYSTS ARE PREDICTING A SHARP RISE IN GLOBAL WHEAT ACRES THIS YEAR. YESTERDAY WE REPORTED THE FARMING FUTURES SURVEY SHOWS U.S. GROWERS INTEND TO PLANT 5.5 MILLION MORE ACRES OF WHEAT THIS SEASON. GRAIN MARKETING ECONOMIST KIM ANDERSON AT OKLAHOMA STATE UNIVERSITY, SAYS DESPITE WORLD ENDING STOCKS POURING IN AT THEIR HIGHEST MARK IN FIVE OR TEN YEARS...6.5 BILLION BUSHELS MAY NOT BE ENOUGH TO MEET GROWING DEMAND. HE SAYS THE WORLD IS CONSUMING NEARLY 2 BILLION MORE BUSHELS OF WHEAT THAN IT WAS IN 2006. THAT INCREASING DEMAND JUSTIFY'S A HIGHER WORLD PRICE.

WHEAT STOCKS; KIM ANDERSON:
I'VE BEEN SAYING THAT IT’S HIGH YOU NEED TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF IT. WELL IT IMPLIES THAT THIS IS THE RIGHT PRICE FOR OUR SUPPLY AND DEMAND SITUATION. IT ALSO MAKES THE WEATHER BETWEEN NOW AND HARVEST...IT WAS IMPORTANT BUT IT EMPHASIZES THE IMPORTANCE OF AN AVERAGE OR BETTER CROP AS WE COME INTO 2011. ANALYSTS AROUND THE COUNTRY ARE EXPRESSING CONCERN OVER THE HEALTH OF WHEAT ALREADY IN THE GROUND. MANY AREAS WERE DRY AT PLANTING LEADING TO POOR STANDS AND COLD WEATHER IN SOME OF THE MAJOR PRODUCING REGIONS HAS AGRONOMISTS PREDICTING WINTER KILL IN PARTS OF THE CROP.

WORLD FOOD PRICES:
LAST YEAR'S RUN UP IN COMMODITY PRICES ARE FINDING THEIR WAY TO THE SUPERMARKET. THE UNITED NATION'S FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION SAYS WORLD FOOD PRICES HIT A RECORD IN DECEMBER.  THAT REPORT SAYS PRICES SURPASSED PREVIOUS HIGHS SET IN 2008. THAT YEAR WORLD FOOD COSTS ROSE MORE THAN 40% SPARKING DEADLY RIOTS AROUND THE GLOBE. THE CURRENT REPORT SAYS IN 2010 PRICES JUMPED AGAIN...THIS TIME UP 25%. THOSE INCREASES WERE DRIVEN BY HIGHER DEMAND FROM CHINA AND A HISTORIC DROUGHT IN RUSSIA. THE REPORT PREDICTS THE WORLD WILL HAVE 9.1 BILLION PEOPLE BY THE YEAR 2050...NEEDING 70% MORE FOOD.

ETHANOL WALL:
NOTED AGRICULTURE ECONOMIST WALLY TYNER SAYS THE UNITED STATES DOES NOT HAVE THE INFRASTRUCTURE TO MEET THE FEDERAL MANDATE FOR RENEWABLE FUEL USE WITH ETHANOL. THE PURDUE UNIVERSITY ECONOMIST PREDICTS THAT THE COUNTRY WILL NOT BE ABLE TO CONSUME MORE ETHANOL THAN IS BEING CURRENTLY PRODUCED. THE FEDERAL RENEWABLE FUEL STANDARD REQUIRES AN INCREASE OF RENEWABLE FUEL PRODUCTION TO 36 BILLION GALLONS PER YEAR BY 2022. RIGHT NOW, IT'S ABOUT 13 BILLION GALLONS. TYNER SAID THERE SIMPLY AREN'T ENOUGH FLEX-FUEL VEHICLES, WHICH USE AN 85% ETHANOL BLEND. THE ECONOMIST SAYS THERE ARE ABOUT SEVEN MILLION FLEX FUEL VEHICLES ON THE ROAD. HE ADDS THERE ARE ONLY 2,000 E-85 FUEL PUMPS IN THE U.S. TYNER SAYS EVEN IF YOU PRODUCE A WHOLE BUNCH OF E-85, THERE'S NO WAY TO DISTRIBUTE AND USE IT.

YOUNG FARMERS:
THANKS MIKE. WE KNOW FARMERS AND RANCHERS KEEP A CLOSE EYE ON THE WEATHER...AND THE USDA IS HOPING TO GET MORE OF THOSE VIEWERS IN BUSINESS. IT JUST FINISHED A MEETING THAT'S LOOKING TO INCREASE THE NUMBER OF BEGINNING FARMERS AND RANCHERS. THE MEETING WAS FOR THE USDA'S ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON BEGINNING FARMERS AND RANCHERS. THE GROUP IS HOPING TO MEET AG SECRETARY TOM VILSACK'S GOAL OF HELPING 100,000 NEW PRODUCERS TO GET STARTED. USDA OFFICIALS SAY GETTING THERE IS ABOUT MORE THAN LAND AND TRACTORS. UNDER SECRETARY MERRIGAN SAYS THERE ARE CURRENTLY SEVERAL PROGRAMS AVAILABLE FOR YOUNG PRODUCERS. INCLUDING THE TRANSITION INCENTIVES PROGRAM-- ALLOWING CRP LAND TO BE GIVEN TO YOUNG FARMERS. PLUS A BEGINNING FARMER TRAINING PROGRAM PUT ON BY THE NATIONAL INSTITUE FOR FOOD AND AGRICULTURE. AND THE USDA HAS MONEY FOR DIRECT LOANS...TOTALING 1.5 BILLION DOLLARS IN PREVIOUS YEARS.

GE LETTER:
AG SECRETARY TOM VILSACK IS ALSO LOOKING FOR NEW BEGINNINGS ELSEWHERE. HE WANTS COMPROMISE BETWEEN SUPPORTERS AND OPPONENTS OF GENETICALLY MODIFIED CROPS. HIS OFFICE RELEASED A LETTER WHERE VILSACK WRITES THAT PEOPLE ARE OFTEN MORE WILLING TO SETTLE PROBLEMS IN COURT THAN WITH COMPROMISE. THE LETTER STEMS FROM TWO SEPARATE LEGAL BATTLES. ONE IS OVER GENETICALLY MODIFIED ALFALFA.THE OTHER GM SUGAR BEETS. BUT IT COULD INVOLVE JUST ABOUT ANY CROP. THE CASES HAVE GONE BEFORE VARIOUS LEVELS OF THE JUDICIAL SYSTEM. QUESTIONS HAVE BEEN RAISED ABOUT USDA'S ENVIROMENTAL IMPACT STUDIES ON THOSE CROPS. VILSACK SAYS THAT HE IS CONFIDENT IN THE USDA'S REGULATORY SYSTEM FOR APPROVING CROP SAFETY. THE SECRETARY SAYS "SCIENCE STRONGLY SUPPORTS THE SAFETY OF GE ALFALFA" - ALTHOUGH HE ADMITS THAT FARMERS OF NON-GM ALFALFA HAVE LEGITIMATE CONCERNS ABOUT CROSS-POLLINATION. IN HIS LETTER, VILSACK WRITES - QUOTING HERE - "...THE CRITICISM WE HAVE RECEIVED ON OUR G-E ALFALFA APPROACH SUGGESTS IS HOW COMFORTABLE WE HAVE BECOME WITH LITIGATION - WITH ONE SIDE WINNING AND ONE SIDE LOSING.... AND HOW DIFFICULT IT IS TO PURSUE COMPROMISE."

AGDAY INBOX:
VILSACK ADDS "SURELY, THERE IS A BETTER WAY, A SOLUTION THAT ACKNOWLEDGES AGRICULTURE'S COMPLEXITY, WHILE CELEBRATING AND PROMOTING ITS DIVERSITY." WE'D LIKE TO HEAR FROM YOU? DOES SECRETARY VILSACK HAVE A VALID POINT? AS A NATION, ARE WE TOO QUICK TO SETTLE IN COURT? SEND US YOUR COMMENTS TO THE AGDAY INBOX. THAT ADDRESS IS INFO@AGDAY.COM . YOU CAN ALSO POST YOUR COMMENTS ON OUR FACEBOOK PAGE.

CME PORK BELLIES:
IN AGRIBUSINESS THE TRADING OF PORK BELLY FUTURES ON THE CHICAGO MERCANTILE EXCHANGE IS IN DANGER OF GOING BELLY-UP. THE PORK BELLY FUTURES CONTRACT HAS BEEN OFFERED SINCE 1961. BUT IT HAS SEEN THE NUMBER OF CONTRACTS TRADE, OR VOLUME, DROP IN RECENT YEARS. ACCORDING TO THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, JUST SIX CONTRACTS CHANGED HANDS IN THE MONTH OF NOVEMBER. THE JOURNAL REPORTS THAT CME IS LOOKING AT MODIFYING SOME OF THE CONTRACT'S SPECIFICATIONS, SUCH AS ALLOWING TRADERS TO SETTLE IN CASH INSTEAD OF ACTUAL SLABS OF MEAT. CURRENTLY SELLERS, IF HOLDING A CONTRACT THROUGH EXPIRATION, MUST DELIVER 40,000 POUNDS OF INSPECTED FROZEN PORK BELLIES WITH A PRODUCER CERTIFICATE WITHIN 15 DAYS, AND A BUYER MUST TAKE POSSESSION. ANOTHER EXCHANGE IDEA IS TO TRADE FRESH PORK BELLIES INSTEAD OF FROZEN ONES.

ANALYSIS:
JIM BOWER

IN THE COUNTRY; BIRD SEED:
WHEN IT COMES TO BIRD-SEED, SALES ARE SOARING. ACCORDING TO SOME INDUSTRY EXPERTS, BIRD-WATCHING IS SECOND ONLY TO GARDENING WHEN IT COMES TO OUTDOOR HOBBIES. AND AT THIS TIME OF YEAR, WHEN NATURE'S BUFFET IS COVERED BY SNOW, SEED SALES ARE BRISK. STEVE GRANT FROM AFFILIATE KYTV IN SPRINGFIELD, MISSOURI HAS MORE ABOUT A COMPANY THAT SUPPLIES THE INGREDIENTS THAT KEEPS BIRDS. . . AND BIRD-WATCHERS. . .HAPPY.  THE PENNINGTON SEED COMPANY PRODUCES MORE THAN BIRD SEED. IT ALSO SELLS FORAGE AND GRASS SEEDS. FOOD AND YOUR FAMILY IS NEXT.

CARROTS:
WE ALL KNOW THE BENEFITS OF CARROTS. NOW IT SEEMS THEY CAN GET EVEN BETTER WITH LIGHT! DETAILS IN FOOD AND YOUR FAMILY CARROTS ARE FULL OF NUTRIENTS AND ANTI-OXIDANTS. ANTIOXIDANTS ARE NATURAL COMPOUNDS THAT MAY REDUCE RISK OF CANCER AND CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE. AND NOW, THE RESEARCHERS AT USDA SAY CARROTS CAN BE MADE EVEN HEALTHIER. THEY SAID EXPOSING SLICED CARROTS TO UVB, WHICH IS AN ULTRAVIOLET RAY FROM THE SUN, CAN BOOST THE ANTIOXIDANT ACTIVITY OF THE COLORFUL VEGGIE. USDA SCIENTISTS SAY GIVING CARROTS A 14-SECOND DOSE OF UVB CAN BOOST FRESH, SLICED CARROTS' ANTIOXIDANT CAPACITY BY ABOUT 3-FOLD. THEY SAY THE DOSE IS ENERGY-EFFICIENT AND DOES NOT SIGNIFICANTLY HEAT OR DRY THE CARROTS. DESPITE THIS, THE SCIENTISTS ARE NOT YET READY TO SUGGEST THAT THE FRESH PRODUCE GET A DOSE OF ULTRA-VIOLET RAYS.

CONTACT PAGE:
REMEMBER OUR QUESTION FROM EARLIER...WEIGH IN EITHER BY PHONE AT 800-792-4329. OR BY EMAIL TO INFO@AGDAY.COM . OR BECOME A FAN AND POST A COMMENT AT WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/AGDAY .
 

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