AgDay Daily Recap -December 18, 2012

December 18, 2012 04:57 AM

DECEMBER 18, 2012


Good morning I’m Clinton Griffiths. As we heard towards the holidays, some producers are just hoping for a "wet" Christmas, especially in the drought-stricken plains.


Barge traffic will remain on the middle Mississippi around St. Louis for a few more days. Rain this weekend helped maintain water levels from dropping further.


Mike Hoffman is off today. Cindi Clawson is covering for him. Good morning Cindi.


We're in the final days of 2012. This means finalizing year-end books and records. The drought of 2012 created unusual circumstances, leaving many farmers with questions regarding their taxes. AgDay spoke to AgWeb's Farm CPA Paul Neiffer to get advice on claiming crop insurance this year.


In news from the dairy industry - Chobani has opened what it calls the world's largest yogurt factory in Twin Falls, Idaho. The plant is one million square feet and employs 300 people. The company broke ground about a year ago. Chobani also has a large plant in central New York which is helped support the dairy industry out there.


Now that Russia has been granted "permanent normal trade relations" with the U.S., the American Dairy Industry expects that market will provide a big boon for U.S. dairy producers. The U.S. Dairy Export council says dairy suppliers have been shut out of the Russian market since September 2010. But the PNTR represents a step toward reopening business with Russia.

USDCA says with Russia now bound to WTO rules regarding trade , the U.S. now have tools that will bring Russia back to the negotiating table and eventually reopen a potentially large export market for U.S. Dairy products. Russia instituted plant inspection demands that triggered the ban.


In agribusiness today - the wealthiest man in America is upping his interest in equipment maker John Deere. Farm Equipment Magazine says Bill Gates has increased his overall stake in Deere to about 7%. That's about 27 million shares. Cascade Investment - which is owned by Gates - announced the acquisition last week.


Meanwhile some energy analysts are expecting lower oil prices in 2013. Those analysts say they expect an average per barrel price of 90 dollars over the next year or two. But, they say oil could drop down to 50 dollars a barrel depending on the world economy. If that happens the U.S. Government may have to approve exports of west Texas oil if it wants the oil boom to continue.


While there are still many unknowns going into 2013, volatility is at the forefront of conversations. Al Pell talks with Brian Basting about how to prepare for such a volatile year.


Having spent a few hours in a saddle, I can tell you first hand how important a good one can be. In California, saddle maker Bob Mattson is a link to California’s ranching past. He’s a craftsmen who works in leather to create finely detailed saddles. It’s a skill very few people have. In his own words, bob tells us about his dedication to the craft.


We all joke about how hard it is to lay off of the junk food. Well a new study published in the Journal of Obesity, says there might be an explanation. And just a few weeks after California’s prop 37 GMO labeling initiative failed at the ballot box, Washington State is working on its own version.



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