Farms Start to Feel Credit Pinch

May 18, 2009 07:00 PM

Snapshot of news and events for today

Quick links

* Financial markets

* Ag futures

* USDA reports this week

* NWS forecast

* Major media

* Political humorists

Financial markets Major world indicators

Japanese trading...

  • The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average climbed 251.60, or 2.8 percent, to close at 9,290.29 in Tokyo. The Nikkei has increased 5.2 percent so far in May, set for a third-straight monthly gain.

  • The dollar depreciated to $1.3623 per euro from $1.3562, after reaching $1.3660 earlier. The dollar was little changed against the yen at 96.40, from 96.28 yesterday.

Monday's U.S. Markets...

  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 235.44 points, or 2.9 percent, to 8,504.08.
  • The 10-year Treasury note yield was down 24/32 point, or $7.500 per $1,000 face value, at 99 9/32. Its yield rose to 3.211% from 3.125% late Friday, as yields move inversely to prices. The 30-year bond was down 1 19/32 points to yield 4.175%.

  • Currencies: Late Monday in New York, the euro was at $1.3553, up from $1.3491 late Friday. The dollar was at 96.38 yen from 95.13 yen. The euro was at 130.62 yen from 128.34 yen. The U.K. pound was at $1.5342 from $1.5168. The dollar was at 1.1142 Swiss francs from 1.1222 francs late Friday.

Ag futures Monday's action and
overnight indicators

What happened the prior trading day...

  • Corn: Futures opened weaker, but ended 2 to 4 cents higher, as traders viewed a weaker open as a buying opportunity.
  • Soybeans: Futures finished 11 to 16 cents higher, which was near session highs. Meal also posted strong gains, while the price advance in soyoil wasn't as pronounced.

  • Wheat: Futures posted double-digit gains in most contracts at all three exchanges.
  • Cotton: Futures opened weaker, but quickly firmed on help from outside markets.
  • Lean Hogs: Lean hog futures closed higher in all but the July contract, which finished just below unchanged.
  • Live Cattle: Live cattle futures were firmer through the day and closed 15 to 60 cents higher. Feeder futures favored a firmer tone, but closed mixed.

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)






May 18

Grain Inspections (A)
Milk Production(N)
Catfish Processing(N)
Crop Progress (N)


Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Outlook (E)
Weather - Crop Summary (N)


Broiler Hatchery (N)


U.S. Export Sales (F)
Sugar: World Production, Supply, and Distribution (F)
Catfish Feed Deliveries (N)
Wheat Data (E)
Feed Grains Database (E)


Dairy Products Prices (N)
Livestock Slaughter (N)
Cattle on Feed(N)
Chickens and Eggs (N)
Cold Storage (N)
Farm Labor (N)
Peanut Prices

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)

  • Local Banks Face Big Losses Commercial real-estate loans could generate losses of $100 billion by the end of next year at over 900 small and midsize U.S. banks if economic woes deepen, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis.
  • U.S. Orders Stricter Fuel Goals for Autos The Obama administration is pushing a plan to raise fuel-economy standards to 35 miles per gallon by 2016, four years faster than current federal law requires.
  • Farms Start to Feel Credit Pinch Cash Shortage Hits Once-Thriving Sector as Downturn Saps Rural Lenders The credit crunch is trickling down to the farm as agricultural lenders tighten credit standards, leaving some farmers short of money to feed their animals or put in crops as the planting season nears its end.
  • New Taxes Loom to Pay for Health-Care Overhaul To pay for an overhaul of the nation's health system, Senate leaders have formally laid out proposals for new taxes on everything from employer-sponsored health-care benefits and nonprofit hospitals to alcohol and sugary drinks.
  • Congress Is Left to Flesh Out Details President Barack Obama is taking an unusual approach to dealing with Congress on his top priorities of health care and energy: He's laying out the big picture, and letting lawmakers fill in critical details.
  • Obama Pursues Trade Pacts Set Up by Bush U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk said he is seeking to wrap up some lingering trade initiatives launched by the Bush administration, but signaled a new priority for the Obama administration would be deepening U.S. trade ties with Asia. U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk urged action on trade deals at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington Monday. Kirk, in a speech at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Monday, said the administration is "working furiously" to finalize a free-trade pact with Panama, and to push forward on a deal with Colombia. Both agreements had been initiated under the Bush administration but got bogged down after Democrats took control of Congress in 2007.
  • Russia Sees Gloom Despite Rise in Oil Gloomy news about Russia's economy -- figures on Monday showed April industrial production plunged 17% year-on-year -- has been mixed with some rare positives in recent weeks. Oil prices are surging, the ruble is up and Russian stocks have taken off.
  • FDIC Weighs Fee That Would Hit Big Banks Harder The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. is considering levying a one-time fee to replenish the agency's deposit-insurance fund that would hit big banks harder than it would hit small ones, according to people familiar with the matter.

New York Times (registration to site required)

Washington Post

  • Vehicle Emission Rules to Tighten U.S. Would Also Raise Fuel Mileage Standards by 2016 The Obama administration today plans to propose tough standards for tailpipe emissions from new automobiles, establishing the first nationwide regulation for greenhouse gases.
  • U.S. to Check Immigration Status of People in Local Jails Obama Administration's Enforcement Push Could Lead to Sharp Increase in Deportation Cases The Obama administration is expanding a program initiated by President George W. Bush aimed at checking the immigration status of virtually every person booked into local jails. In four years, the measure could result in a tenfold increase in illegal immigrants who have been convicted of crimes and identified for deportation, current and former U.S. officials said.
  • Swine Flu Is Spreading Quickly in New York City, Mayor Bloomberg Says With a dozen schools in New York City closed because of the swine flu outbreak, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg (I) said Monday that the flu is spreading rapidly in the city and that officials will focus on minimizing its seriousness.
  • Skeptics of Global Warming Have Their Say on Capitol Hill More GOP Doubts Expressed as House Prepares to Take Up Emissions-Cap Bill After the decade they've had, Capitol Hill's climate-change skeptics might well feel like polar bears on a shrinking ice floe.
  • Senators Confirm Obama's Pick to Head FDA The Senate yesterday confirmed President Obama's pick to oversee food and drug safety, areas that are vital to consumers and are widely seen as critically needing improvement.
  • New Voices of Power: Interior Secretary Salazar Talks of ?Mess That Was Left Here' Ken Salazar and Barack Obama both arrived at the U.S. Senate in 2004, and if anyone is wondering just how close they are, consider this little-known fact: They looked for housing together and ended up renting in the same building on the same floor.
  • Supreme Court to Hear Challenge to Constitutionality of Sarbanes-Oxley Provision Accounting Oversight Board Wields Too Much Power, Plaintiffs Say
    The Supreme Court yesterday agreed to consider a challenge to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, the centerpiece of the government's response to the watershed accounting scandals at Enron and Worldcom.
Laughing with, not at From political humorists

Jay Leno: "General Motors announced they're closing over a thousand dealerships. A lot of people are blaming GM's new CEO, some guy named Barack Obama."

Jay Leno: "Well, another gaffe by Vice President Joe Biden. God bless Joe Biden. ... He's been our savior here. 'Newsweek' is reporting that at the Gridiron Dinner, Joe Biden started talking and accidentally revealed Dick Cheney's secret hiding place. See, there's more proof you don't need waterboarding to get secret information. Just give Joe Biden a couple of drinks."

David Letterman: "Here's something that I am very excited about. Joe Biden, the current vice president, was yakking away over the weekend. And he -- remember when Dick Cheney...was in an undisclosed location and everybody thought – where? ... So supposedly top secret information, classified information. And Joe Biden just says, 'No, I know where he was. He was hiding under his house. ... Joe Biden is living proof that people can give up sensitive information without being tortured."

Jimmy Fallon: "In the new issue of 'Newsweek,' they're calling Barack Obama 'Spock with global sex appeal,' which is a bit of coincidence because 'Time' magazine is calling Joe Biden 'Chewbacca with fur plugs.'"

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