Democratic National Convention Underway

August 25, 2008 07:00 PM
Snapshot of news and events for today


Quick links

* Financial markets

* Ag futures

* USDA reports this week

* NWS forecast

* Major media

* Ag media

* Political humorists

Financial markets Major world indicators

Japanese trading...

  • The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average closed down 0.8 percent, or 99.95 points, to finish at 12,778.71.

  • The dollar reached 109.78 yen compared with 109.35 Monday.

Monday's U.S. Markets...

  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 241.81, or 2.08 percent, to 11,386.25. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 49.12, or 2.03 percent, to 2,365.59.
  • The 2-year Treasury note was up 5/32 to yield 2.333 percent. The benchmark 10-year note was up 22/32 to yield 3.789 percent. The 30-year bond was up 1-2/32 to yield 4.403 percent. 

  • The dollar fell to 109.32 yen, down from 110.06 yen. while the euro was at $1.4751 from $1.4774 late Friday.

Ag futures Yesterday's action and
overnight indicators

What happened yesterday...

  • Corn: Futures opened higher -- as expected -- but fell to profit-taking pressure and closed mostly 4 to 6 1/2 cents lower.
  • Soybeans: Futures finished 16 to 20 cents higher in the most actively traded contracts.

  • Wheat: Futures opened higher -- as expected -- but fell to profit-taking pressure and closed mostly 4 to 6 1/2 cents lower.
  • Cotton: Futures closed slightly lower after a highly choppy day of trade.
  • Lean Hogs: Lean hog futures settled mixed. October and December hogs closed slightly higher; far-deferred contracts were slightly lower.
  • Live Cattle: Live cattle futures saw a mixed day of trade, but favored gains most of the time.

Scheduled USDA Reports & Summaries This Week

Agricultural Marketing Service = (A)
Census Bureau = (CB)
Economic Research Service = (E)

Farm Service Agency (FSA)

Foreign Ag Service = (F)

National Agricultural Statistics Service = (N)

World Agricultural Outlook Board = (W)






Aug. 25

Grain Inspections (A)
Turkeys Raised (N)
Monthly Milk Cost of Production (E)
Crop Progress (N)


Weather - Crop Summary (N)


Broiler Hatchery (N)
Vegetables and Melons Outlook (E)


U.S. Export Sales (F)
Poultry Slaughter (N)
Farm Income and Costs (E)
Peanut Stocks and Processing (N)
Outlook for U.S. Agricultural Trade (E)


Dairy Products Prices (N)
Rice Stocks (N)
Agricultural Prices (N)
Egg Products(N)
Peanut Prices (N)

Overview Other reports affecting agriculture
Major media Links to top news reports
with potential U.S. ag impact

Wall Street Journal (subscription to site required for access)

  • Shaky Economy Challenges Ambitious Obama Agenda Stocks and Housing Falter as Democrats' Convention Opens The item explores what could be expected from an Obama administration, noting three key pushes that are expected: carbon credits/trading, health care reform and tax increases. They also note while the budget deficit is large, it shouldn't shackle Obama as it makes up a small percentage of U.S. GDP.
    Note: There are numerous Democratic convention-related items in today's paper.
  • Russia Raises Ante on Separatist Georgia Regions Parliament Votes For Recognition; Trade Pacts at Risk. Russia's parliament voted to recognize South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent countries, but it's not yet clear if the Russian government will follow through on this non-binding action. Also, the article notes that Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has called for the country to back out of trade deals it made with a goal of joining the WTO, but since that accession remains elusive, he's calling for an end to the trade deals.
    Related item:
    Bush Asks Russia to Avoid Recognition
    Russia Is Dangerous But Weak
    Russia's Aggression Is a Challenge to World Order Editorial
  • Liquid Assets: Wealthy Mauritanians Milk Herds for All They're Worth In Turbulent Times, Livestock Is Seen as Safest Investment, but Little Goes to Feeding People People in the small country are investing in livestock but sometimes they are being utilized as more of a status symbol as opposed to a source of food.
  • States Sue EPA Over Refinery Emissions New York and 11 other states have filed suit against EPA for failing to regulate global-warming gas emissions from refineries.
  • Regulators Step Up Bank Actions 'Memorandums of Understanding' Surge As U.S. Races to Head Off More Failures. The FDIC is to update its list of "problem" banks today. That list had 90 on that list at the end of March. Since July, 5 banks have failed and others are at risk. The number of banks that are effectively on "probation" has also risen this year.
  • Hops Farmers Find Growth Business. Some farmers are exploring this crop that has seen its prices rise sixfold in recent years and provide more supply to the craft brewing industry.
  • Japan's Kirin to Purchase Dairy Farmers of Australia. While still needing regulatory approval, Kirin Holdings Co.'s National Foods agreed Monday to buy Dairy Farmers, one of Australia's biggest milk processors.
  • Canada Connects At Least 6 Deaths To Tainted Food. Maple Leaf Foods has expanded a recall due to Listeria which officials say may have caused the deaths of up to 12 people. Wheat Exports Australia has been meeting in Canberra this week and announced Cargill Australia, Elders Toepfer Grain, Goodman Fielder Consumer Foods, Grain Pool and OzEpulse as the first five companies to be accredited to export wheat under the new licensing arrangements.

New York Times (registration to site required)

Washington Post

  • Obama's Family Night Out After Kennedy Electrifies Crowd, the Would-Be First Lady Calls on Democrats to 'Stop Doubting' and 'Start Dreaming' After an emotional appearance by Sen. Kennedy, Michelle Obama offered a family heavy speech as the Democratic national convention opened in Denver, Colorado.
    Note: There are numerous convention-related items in today's editions of the paper.
  • Russian Parliament Backs Regions in Georgia Resolution Urges Recognition of Independence It remains uncertain whether the Russian government will follow the parliament's decision to recognize the two regions, but they did signal their government was ready to suffer a breakdown in relations with NATO and setbacks in its efforts to join the World Trade Organization.
    Related item:
    Georgia's Russians Express Shame, Anger Over Moscow's Actions

Ag media Monitoring the countryside

Denver Post (Colorado)

  • Eco-energy advocates crank up efforts The fast-growing renewable energy industry seeks both publicity and political help. The Democratic national convention is a setting which advocates of wind, wood and other renewable sources of energy are using to broaden support for their efforts.
Laughing with, not at From political humorists

Jay Leno: "And Barack Obama now says he's open to offshore oil drilling. So, apparently, when he promised change, he was talking about his mind.”

Jay Leno: "Well, John McCain's daughter is now writing a children's book based on her father's life. See, the research has been difficult because, as you know, much of McCain's early life story is only available through folklore.”

Jay Leno: "And there's a new movie opening this week called ‘What We Do Is A Secret,' which I think was John Edwards' campaign slogan once.” Jay Leno: "Well, according to ‘The National Enquirer,' John Edwards' mistress is getting $15,000 a month in hush money. No word on how much the mainstream media is getting.”

Jay Leno: "Well,” the "price of oil is coming down. It's dropped from $147 a barrel all the way down to $118 a barrel today.” The oil companies "said they will pass those savings on to you ‘as soon as hell freezes over.'”

Jay Leno: "Analysts say a weak economy is causing less energy use, resulting in falling oil prices. So basically, the worse the economy is, the lower the oil prices, to which Bush said, ‘That's been my energy plan all along!' This guy is a genius!”

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