TODAY ON AGDAY
NOVEMBER 4, 2011
Good morning. Grains traded higher on Thursday after a survey of Chinese corn growers shows a need for more imports. Even with record production, growers in that country say it’s not enough to keep up with demand. A survey says corn imports to that country are expected to hit a record high, 5 million tons in the 2011, 2012 marketing season. Last season imports were just one million tons. According to the USDA, China bought 900,000 tons of U.S. corn back in October--the second largest single-day sale in U.S. history. So far this year, corn purchases are up 50%. The National Corn Growers Association says China will continue to be a major market for U.S. grains.
Last year's short supply and continued strong demand is paying off this harvest season. The basis price at many local elevators has been unusually good. Basis is the price difference between Chicago board of trade and the price at the elevator. Todd Gleason has more on what it might mean to farmers in this report from the University of Illinois.
FALL CATTLE SALES:
While farmers are harvesting grains, ranchers are taking calves to the sale barn. Unlike in previous years, despite the rush prices are holding steady. Drought in the southern plains forced many cattle to auction earlier this year as feed and grass ran out. That means many cattle typically slated for fall sales have already sold. Add to it, a reduction in the breeding herd through heavy cow culling, and another banner year for exports...market prices are hanging tough. Derrell says the potential lifting of age restrictions on beef to japan... Will help export demand. That should allow prices to remain strong.
IN THE COUNTRY; OKLAHOMA STATE HORSE:
This weekend isn't the super bowl but it’s being hailed as a likely national championship caliber event between the top two teams in college football. The LSU Tigers and the Tide of Alabama. Quietly holstering their pistols at number three are the Oklahoma State Cowboys. And when those pokes score a touchdown, it's the real cowboys and a black horse named Bullet that own the field. Dave Deken with Oklahoma State's Sunup TV program is at the stadium with an up close look at this gridiron great. Thanks Dave. Next we'll wrap things up for the week with food and your family.
In food and your family food assistance continues to surge in this country. The USDA just released its latest numbers--almost 15% of the country is now getting food aid. In august 45.8 million people were enrolled in the SNAP or the supplemental nutritional assistance program--formerly known as food stamps. That another all-time high for the program. All told, enrollments are up more than 30% in the last two years. USDA spent more than six billion dollars on the benefits in august alone.
WORLD FOOD PRICES:
That food dollar should go further according the latest report from the UN's food and agriculture organization. Its food price index fell to an 11 month low in October--down 4% from the previous month. The drop is attributed to a sharp decline in the price of grains, oils, sugar and dairy products. Despite the drop, food prices are still higher than they were a year ago.
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