First Thing Today (VIP) -- February 5, 2014

February 5, 2014 12:14 AM

Good morning!

Price pullback overnight... Coming off yesterday's gains, grain and soy futures faced profit-taking overnight. As of 6:30 a.m. CT, corn futures are trading around 2 cents lower, soybeans are fractionally to 2 cents lower and wheat futures are mostly 1 to 4 cents lower with SRW contract leading the decline. The U.S. dollar index is holding near unchanged this morning.

President Obama to sign farm bill Friday... President Obama on Friday will fly to (East Lansing) Michigan, home state of Senate Agriculture Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow, to sign the farm bill into law. Before signing the legislation, the president will talk about the bill during an appearance at Michigan State University. Obama in a Tuesday statement said, "This bill provides certainty to America’s farmers and ranchers, and contains a variety of commonsense reforms that my administration has consistently called for, including reforming and eliminating direct farm subsidies and providing assistance for farmers when they need it most."

Vilsack today to unveil White House climate change initiative to focus on farmers, forestry... USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack today will announce the creation of seven regional climate change hubs aimed at the farm community as part of the Obama administration’s push on climate change initiatives. Vilsack will speak at a White House press briefing and explain the role agriculture and forestry can play in mitigating climate change, according to White House officials. Problems like longer wildfire seasons, extended drought and insect infestations will be noted, along with information to aid in dealing with those risks. Vilsack mentioned his intention to first create the hubs last summer. Vilsack in a statement Tuesday evening said the climate hubs "are part of our broad commitment to developing the next generation of climate solutions, so that our agricultural leaders have the modern technologies and tools they need to adapt and succeed in the face of a changing climate." President Obama last year ordered federal agencies to develop plans to combat climate change.

Choice boxed beef stabilizes... Choice boxed beef prices were 40 cents firmer Tuesday, while Select boxes dipped another 21 cents. While wholesale beef prices are showing signs of stabilizing after the sharp plunge from record highs last month, movement does not indicate retailers are in a hurry to load up on beef at current price levels. Unless movement picks up, the product market is at risk of more near-term price pressure.

Weather to slow hog movement... Hog movement across much of the Midwest will be slowed by the snowstorm that moved through the region yesterday and is continuing today. While packers are working with strong margins, the wintry weather may cause some plants to reduce kill hours or even temporarily close.

Overnight demand news... Japan received no bids in a tender to buy 120,000 MT of feed wheat and 200,000 MT of feed barley.


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