Mexican Peppers Fingered in Salmonella Case

July 30, 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 rose 0.1 percent, or 9.02 points, to close at 13,376.81. 

  • The dollar traded at 107.98 in Tokyo, down from ¥108.09 in New York late Wednesday.  

Wednesday's U.S. Markets...

  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 186.13 points, or 1.6 percent, to 11,583.69. The Nasdaq Composite Index added 10.10 points, or 0.4 percent, to 2,329.72.
  • The 2-year Treasury note was unchanged, yielding 2.637 percent. The benchmark 10-year note was off 1/32 to yield 4.048%. 

  • The dollar traded at 108.11 yen compared to 108.13 yen late Tuesday, while the euro fell to $1.5567, compared to $1.5587.

Ag futures Yesterday's action and
overnight indicators

What happened yesterday...

  • Corn: Futures ended mostly 7 to 8 cents higher in September through July 2009 contracts.
  • Soybeans: Futures opened weaker and favored a negative tone through the morning, but closed mostly 9 1/4 to 17 cents higher as the crude oil market strengthened.

  • Wheat: Futures remained under pressure. Chicago closed mostly 4 cents lower, with Kansas City mostly 5 cents lower. Minneapolis closed 3 to 13 cents lower in all but the March contract, which closed 6 cents higher.
  • Cotton: Futures closed slightly lower despite strength in key outside markets, such as crude oil, corn and soybeans.
  • Lean Hogs: Lean hog futures saw a choppy day of trade, but closed 10 to 85 cents higher, with nearby contracts leading gains.
  • Live Cattle: Live cattle futures ended slightly higher in all but the extreme far-deferred contracts.

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)






July 28

Grain Inspections (A)
Crop Progress (N)


Poultry Slaughter (N)
Weather - Crop Summary (N)


Broiler Hatchery (N)
Peanut Stocks and Processing (N)
Fruit and Tree Nuts Outlook (E)


U.S. Export Sales (F)
Agricultural Prices (N)
Agricultural Prices - Ann. (N)
Egg Products (N)

Aug. 1

Dairy Products Prices (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)

  • GOP Blocks Energy Agenda Of Democrats Political standoffs are raising odds lawmakers will depart on the August congressional recess without passing any major energy-related legislation, in part due to a continued GOP push for more domestic oil production.
  • Fed Extends Lending Programs as Threats Persist Move Reflects Worry Over 'Fragile' State Of Financial Market The Fed announced it would continue its temporary lending to investment banks through January, citing "continued fragile circumstances in financial markets."
  • Trade Talks' Failure Weighs on Other Issues Global Cooperation Falters, Clouding Hopes on Emissions. Some predict that the recent collapse of the Doha Round WTO negotiations could be replicated in other areas like on emissions and ending the restrictions on food exports.
    Related item:
    U.S. Steps Up Complaints at the WTO
    China Casts Its Lot With Developing Nations
    The End of Free Trade?
  • FDA Urges Public to Avoid Eating Serrano Peppers After discovering salmonella on a serrano pepper in Mexico and in the irrigation water feeding the field, the FDA is warning consumers to avoid them.
  • House Backs FDA Control of Tobacco. The bill was approve despite warnings from the White House that it would be vetoed in its current form. Plus, it faces an uncertain future in the Senate. HHS Secretary Michael Levitt said his concern about the bill was it will divert FDA resources into an area it knows little about.

New York Times (registration to site required)

  • China's Shift on Food Was Key to Trade Impasse China's shift to side with India on the issue of safeguards for imports for things like soybeans helped to bring the Doha Round talks to a close without a conclusion.
  • Amid Salmonella Case, Food Industry Seems Set to Back Greater Regulation Food industry leaders today are expected to tell lawmakers at a House hearing they want government agencies to divulge details of initial studies that linked the salmonella outbreak to raw tomatoes. And they want more regulation of their industry.
  • Strong Economy Propels Brazil to World Stage Some of the credit for Brazil's performance comes from its president who has not followed the lead of others like Venezuela's Chavez when it comes to economic and social policies.
  • A Farm Boy Reflects. Op-ed item by Nicolas Kristof. The writer recalls his youth growing up on a farm and discusses the issues of cruelty to animals, but says he still enjoys meat. 

Washington Post

  • A 'Dead Zone' in The Gulf of Mexico Scientists Say Area That Cannot Support Some Marine Life Is Near Record Size Researchers say the area of hypoxia in the Gulf of Mexico is nearly 8,000 square miles, having roughly doubled in since since 1985.
  • Fed Leaves Door Open to Future Rate Increases Leaders Ponder How and When to Act While no interest rate increases are expected by the Fed in the near future, when it does adjust rates, it is expected to raise them.
  • Mexican Farm Tied to Salmonella Outbreak Bacteria Found in Water, Pepper Samples The FDA found the salmonella present on peppers and the water used to irrigate them in Mexico. "We have a smoking gun, it appears," Lonnie King, a director at the Centers for Disease Control, said yesterday.
Ag media Monitoring the countryside

Omaha World-Herald (Nebraska)

Des Moines Register (Iowa)

Laughing with, not at From political humorists

Jay Leno: "Barack Obama was in Israel today.” Did "you see Barack wearing the traditional Jewish yarmulke? He looked very Jewish. Yeah. In fact, Jesse Jackson said, ‘I'd like to circumcise him.'”

Jay Leno: "And this week, NBC news defended their coverage of Barack Obama. They've been accused of giving him more favorable treatment than John McCain, and today, NBC news denied it. They said, ‘That's ridiculous. We've never even heard of John McCain.'”

Jay Leno: "Now, you know, I don't want to…say McCain is running a lackluster campaign, but his Secret Service codename is ‘Bob Dole.'”

Jay Leno: "Well, I tell you, everybody is keeping an eye on this Hurricane Dolly today. For most of the morning, Dolly was moving about seven miles per hour,” which is "about the same speed FEMA moves at during a hurricane.”

Jay Leno: "President Bush commented on the storm, saying, ‘My thoughts and prayers go out to all the oil rigs -- I mean people -- in the area.'”

Jay Leno: "And Olympic track star Marion Jones has asked President Bush to commute her six month jail sentence for lying about performance-enhancing drugs. Yeah. However, Bush has indicated he will not commute the sentence to someone convicted of lying, unless, of course,” that person's "name is Scooter.”

Jay Leno: "And according to ‘The Wall Street Journal,' the new trend in vacations now is to have your kids cook for you. … A lot of hotels offered something called ‘Little Chefs' programs,” which involve kids cooking "for their parents. They have something similar in China,” where they "gather up large groups of children, put them in a warehouse and they make sneakers.”

Jay Leno: "Well, Kevin Costner on the show tonight. He has…a new movie out called ‘Swing Vote,' where he plays a man whose one vote will determine the presidential election. Now, I know that seems a little far-fetched, one person determining who becomes president, but remember, Bush did it with just nine people.” So the film's premise is "not that farfetched.”

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