AgDay Daily Recap - July 20, 2011

July 20, 2011 03:36 AM
 

TODAY ON AGDAY:
JULY 20, 2011

FARM SPENDING:
GOOD MORNING EVERYBODY. CLINTON IS ON ASSIGNMENT AT FARM JOURNAL'S CORN COLLEGE IN ILLINOIS. HE'LL BE BACK IN THIS CHAIR LATER THIS WEEK. TOPPING OUR NEWS...IT WON'T COME AS A SURPRISE TO MANY OF YOU THAT INPUT COSTS ARE HIGHER. AS A RESULT, FARMERS AND LIVESTOCK PRODUCERS ARE BORROWING MORE FROM THE BANK. THE KANSAS CITY FEDERAL RESERVE BANK CONDUCTED AN ANALYSIS OF FARM LENDING. IT FOUND THAT NON-REAL ESTATE AG LENDING VOLUMES JUMPED 14% IN THE SECOND QUARTER DUE TO HIGHER COSTS FOR FUEL, FERTILIZER AND FEED. THE FED SAYS THE AVERAGE SIZE OF SHORT-TERM OPERATING LOANS JUMPED 36% FROM YEAR-AGO LEVELS. THE COST OF BORROWING, HOWEVER, FELL FROM 5.3% TO 4.7%. THE FED SAYS THE NUMBER OF FEEDER LIVESTOCK LOANS DIPPED A BIT FROM LAST YEAR, BUT THE AVERAGE LOAN AMOUNT DOUBLED. IN CONTRAST, CAPITAL SPENDING HAS BEEN CURTAILED. THE KANSAS CITY FED SAID LOAN VOLUME FOR FARM MACHINERY DROPPED 36% FROM A YEAR AGO.

MACHINERY MINUTE; TRACTOR LICENSE:
IN THIS MORNING'S MACHINERY MINUTE, SHOULD PEOPLE WHO DRIVE TRACTORS OVER PUBLIC ROADWAYS BE REQUIRED TO HAVE AN OPERATORS LICENSE? THE FEDERAL MOTOR CARRIER SAFETY ADMINISTRATION IS CONSIDERING CHANGING CURRENT REGULATIONS AS THEY RELATE TO AGRICULTURAL EQUIPMENT. THE FEDERAL AGENCY HAS RECENTLY EXTENDED THE PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD UNTIL AUGUST FIRST TO GAIN FURTHER INPUT. THE FMCSA WILL DECIDE IF FARMERS AND THEIR HIRED HANDS WHO HAUL GRAIN, FARM SUPPLIES AND EQUIPMENT SHOULD BE REQUIRED TO HAVE A COMMERCIAL DRIVER'S LICENSE. LIKEWISE, THEY'RE CONSIDERING WHETHER FARM EQUIPMENT SHOULD BE TAGGED AND LICENSED LIKE A COMMERCIAL VEHICLE. THE ASSOCIATION OF EQUIPMENT MANUFACTURERS SAYS IT SUBMITTED COMMENTS TO THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT ON WHY POWERED FARM EQUIPMENT SHOULD BE EXEMPT.

MACHINERY MINUTE; LIGHTSQUARED:
A COMPANY THAT WANTS TO MAKE HIGH SPEED INTERNET MORE ACCESSIBLE TO RURAL AMERICA HAS TAKEN STEPS TO INSURE THEIR SYSTEM DOES NOT INTERRUPT GPS TECHNOLOGY. LIGHT-SQUARED OWNS A BROAD-BAND AND SATELLITE NETWORK. IN RECENT WEEKS, EQUIPMENT MAKERS LIKE JOHN DEERE HAVE EXPRESSED CONCERN THAT THE TECHNOLOGY USED BY LIGHTSQUARED WILL INTERRUPT GPS TECHNOLOGY USED BY A GROWING NUMBER OF FARMERS. IN RESPONSE, LIGHT-SQUARED ESTABLISHED AN ADVISORY BOARD WHICH INCLUDES THREE FORMER LAWMAKERS, WHO HAVE REPRESENTED AGRICULTURE REGIONS. THE LIST INCLUDES FORMER SENATOR BYRON DORGAN OF NORTH DAKOTA AND FORMER REPRESENTATIVES GEORGE NETHERCUTT OF WASHINGTON AND CHARLIE STENHOLM OF TEXAS. THE BOARD IS SUPPOSED TO WORK WITH GPS MAKERS TO RESOLVE ISSUES WITH PRECISION AGRICULTURE EQUIPMENT.

MACHINERY MINUTE; GPS KIDS:
MEANWHILE, 4-H'ERS IN TENNESSEE ARE USING GPS TECHNOLOGY SO THAT OTHERS MAY ENJOY THE GREAT OUTDOORS. THEY'RE USING THE HAND-HELD DEVICE TO MAP PORTIONS OF THE APPALACHIAN TRAIL. IN THIS REPORT FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE, CHUCK DENNEY TELLS US ABOUT THE HELPFUL BLEND OF MACHINES AND NATURE. THE UNICOI COUNTY GPS TEAM IS A NATIONAL WINNER. SOME OF THE KIDS YOU SAW THERE ATTENDED A NATIONAL CONFERENCE WHERE THEY WERE RECOGNIZED FOR THEIR EFFORTS.

POTATO ACREAGE:
IN AGRIBUSINESS, U.S. POTATO GROWERS INCREASED PLANTINGS BY 6% THIS YEAR. USDA SAYS ABOUT 949,000 ACRES OF POTATOES WERE PLANTED BY U.S. GROWERS, UP 55,000 FROM THE LAST YEAR A THIRD OF THOSE ACRES WERE PLANTED IN IDAHO, WHICH INCREASED PLANTINGS BY 8%. WASHINGTON IS EXPECTED TO INCREASE POTATO SEEDINGS BY 15%.

ANALYSIS:
GARY WILHELMI

IN THE COUNTRY; SEAFOOD BLOGGER:
THE LOUISIANA SEAFOOD INDUSTRY WANTS TO USE THE "BLOG-OSHPHERE" TO SPREAD THE WORD ABOUT THEIR PRODUCTS. AS SLUDGE FROM THE BP OIL DISASTER WASHED ASHORE, SEAFOOD SALES DRIED-UP FROM FEAR OF OIL CONTAMINATION. IN THIS REPORT FROM THE LOUISIANA FARM BUREAU, AVERY DAVIDSON TELLS US THE GOAL IS TO SHOW HOW SEAFOOD FROM THE GULF ENDS UP ON YOUR DINNER TABLE. AVERY SAYS THE LOUISIANA SEAFOOD MARKETING AND PROMOTION BOARD RECEIVED 30 MILLION DOLLARS FROM BRITISH PETROLEUM. THE BOARD SAYS IT'LL USE THE MONEY TO PROMOTE LOUISIANA SEAFOOD ACROSS THE COUNTRY. FOOD AND YOUR FAMILY IS NEXT.

VEGGIE PRICES:
GOOD NEWS FOR CONSUMERS AS SUPERMARKET PRICES FOR MANY POPULAR FRUITS AND VEGETABLES CONTINUE TO DROP. DETAILS IN FOOD AND YOUR FAMILY. ACCORDING TO THE WWW.PACKER.COM WEBSITE, AVERAGE NATIONWIDE RETAIL FRUIT AND VEGETABLE PRICES FELL FOUR-TENTHS OF A PERCENT FROM MAY TO JUNE. FRUIT AND VEGETABLE PRICES HAVE DECLINED AS PRODUCTION RETURNED TO NORMAL LEVELS AFTER FREEZING WEATHER EARLIER THIS YEAR KILLED CROPS IN ARIZONA, FLORIDA AND MEXICO. WHILE CUSTOMERS ENJOY THOSE MONTHLY DROPS, THE PRICE FOR THE FRESH PRODUCE IS STILL ABOVE LAST YEAR'S LEVELS. THE CONSUMER PRICE INDEX PEGS FRESH PRODUCE AT NEARLY 6% HIGHER THAN A YEAR AGO. "THE PACKER" SAYS THOSE HIGHER PRICES REFLECT THE HIGHER PRICE OF CRUDE OIL, WHICH IS PASSED ALONG TO CUSTOMERS

CANADA BUY LOCAL:
AND FINALLY THIS MORNING, WE HEAR A LOT ABOUT "BUYING LOCAL". BUT A NEW SURVEY SPONSORED BY FARM CREDIT CANADA SHOWS MANY CONSUMERS DON'T PUT THEIR MONEY WHERE THEIR MOUTH IS. ACCORDING TO THE SURVEY CONDUCTED THIS SPRING, 95% OF RESPONDENTS AGREE THAT PURCHASING LOCALLY GROWN FOOD IS A PRIORITY OR A PREFERENCE. HOWEVER, ONLY 43% ARE WILLING TO PAY MORE FOR FOOD GROWN LOCALLY. THE SURVEY SHOWS IF RESPONDENTS HAVE A PERSONAL CONNECTION TO AGRICULTURE OR HAVE VISITED A FARM, PURCHASING LOCALLY GROWN OR CANADIAN PRODUCTS IS MORE LIKELY TO BE A PRIORITY, AND THEY ARE ALSO WILLING TO PAY MORE FOR THEM.

CONTACT PAGE:
WE'D LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU! TELL US WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT THE IDEA OF FARMERS NEEDING AN OPERATOR LICENSE FOR TRACTORS AND OTHER FARM EQUIPMENT. YOU CAN CALL OR EMAIL US...THE INFO IS THERE ON YOUR SCREEN. YOU CAN ALSO CHECK US OUT ON FACEBOOK, CLINTON IS ALWAYS UPDATING THE PAGE.
 

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