USFR Weekly Recap - April 30-May 1, 2011

May 2, 2011 10:34 AM
 

THIS WEEK ON U.S. FARM REPORT
EPISODE #1968
APRIL 30 – MAY 1, 2011

TODAY ON U.S. FARM REPORT, ALL DRESSED UP AND NOWHERE TO GO. MIDWEST FARMERS FIDGET IN THE RAIN.

AT THE OTHER EXTREME DRY CONDITIONS IN THE SOUTH ARE SPEEDING RICE PLANTING AND MIKE HOFFMAN EXPLAINS WHERE THE KILLER STORMS CAME FROM.

U.S. FARM REPORT, BROUGHT TO YOU BY CHEVY AND THEIR AWARD WINNING CARS, TRUCKS AND CROSSOVERS. .

HELLO AND WELCOME TO U.S. FARM REPORT. THIS MORNING WE ARE HAPPY TO WELCOME A NUMBER MEMBER OF THE TEAM. LINDSEY HILL WILL BE THE AGRO BUSINESS DIRECTOR AND HANDLE MOST 6 THE NEWS REPORTER. HER BACKGROUND IN AGRICULTURE AND JOURNALISM WILL ADD A LOT TO THE COVERAGE AND HE IS A MEMBER OF AN ENTIRELY DIFFERENT GENERATION, SOMETHING I HAVE BEEN GETTING USED TO SINCE MY SON RETURNED TO THE FARM. I'M NOT THE ONLY BABY BOOMER STRUGGLING TO ADAPT TO THE NEW GENERATION. ADJUSTING HERE WILL MAKE IT A FULL TIME JOB. TIME FOR THE HEADLINES AND HERE IS LINDSEY HILL.

TAEJON. IT’S BEEN ANOTHER SOGGY WEEK AND THAT HAS LEFT PLANTERS SITTING IDLE. THIS WEEK'S CROP PROGRESS REPORT SHOWED ONLY 9% OF THE CORN CROP IS PLANTED. LAST YEAR AT THIS TIME NEARLY HALF WAS IN THE GROUND. SPRING WHEAT, COTTON, RICE AND SORGUM ARE ALSO LAGGING. IN THE NORTHERN PLAINS IT'S NEARLY NONEXIST ENT. 44% OF THE KANSAS CROP NOW RATED POOR OR VERY POOR. WITH RAIN BRINGING FIELD WORK TO A STAND STILL A PRODUCER IN NORTHERN INDIANA SAID HIS FIELDS ARE SOAKED ENOUGH THAT GETTING STARTED IS GOING TO REQUIRE A SIGNIFICANT PERIOD OF DRY DOWN.

WE HAVE A LOT OF DIFFERENT TYPES OF GROUND, IT COULD TAKE THE MONTH, MAY, IT'S COMPLETELY UNDER WATER. IF WE HAVE WARM SUNNY DAYS, MAYBE A LITTLE WIND, THREE OR FOUR DAYS WE COULD GET ON IT BUT IT JUST SEEMS LIKE ONCE WE ARE KIND OF IN THIS WET PATTERN AND AROUND HERE IT DOESN'T TAKE TO LONG TO DRY OUT BUT IT'S CERTAINLY FOUR DAYS AND WE WILL NEED HEAT AND SUN.

DRY CONDITIONS IN LOUISIANA LET FARMERS GET A JUMP START. 68% OF THE RICE CROP HAS BEEN PLANTED AHEAD OF THE FIVE-YEAR AVERAGE PACE OF 53%. A RICE SPECIALIST WITH THE LSU AGRICULTURE CENTER SAID THIS IS A CONTRAST FROM LAST YEAR WHEN A COLD, WET SPRING DELAYED PLANTING.

BECAUSE OF THE WARM FEBRUARY WE HAD THAT GOT EVERYBODY ITCHING TO PLANT AND THE DRY CONDITIONS WHICH ALLOWED PEOPLE TO GET INTO THE FIELDS WE HAD --WE HAD TO REACH A POINT WHERE FARMERS STOPPED PLANTING BECAUSE IT WOULD GET TO MANY ACRES PLANTED TO HARVEST.

IN SPITE OF GOOD PLANTING CONDITIONS, RICE AC ERA GE IS EXPECTED TO DROP 60 ACRES. JOHN I BET YOU WERE SITTING IDLE JUST LIKE SO MANY.

YEAH, I GOT NOTHING. WE COULD HAVE 200 ACRES IN THE GROUND, I WON'T SAY PLANTED BUT IT'S OUT THERE. YOUR FARM IS IN?

NORTH CENTRAL PART OF OHIO.

AND THEY ARE DONE?

YES, UNLIKE EVERYWHERE ELSE WE WERE ABLE TO GET IT IN --NO --THE PLANTERS ARE READY.

IT'S PRETTY UNIVERSAL. NORMALLY YOU HAVE SPOTS BEHIND, SPOTS AHEAD BUT WE ARE ALL BEHIND. THANK YOU LINDSEY.

CROP WATCH BEGINS ON MY FARM IN WEEK WITH VIDEO I TOOK WITH MY BRAND NEW I-PAD, IT'S SO MUCH FUN. I WAS PLAYING IN THE MUD DRAINING PONDSA WEEK. ANOTHER WET SPRING HAS MANY OF US REALIZING HOUR CENTURY OLD DRAIN SYSTEMS MAY NOT BE UP TO THE CHALLENGE ANYMORE. NOW IN MISSOURI A GROWER SAID HE IS 100% BEHIND. WE WERE DONE PLANTING CORN THIS TIME LAST YEAR, RIGHT NOW ZERO IS IN THE GROUND. IN OHIO A GROWER SAYS IT'S -- IT'S NICE TO SEE ALL THE RAIN WE MISSED LAST SUMMER WILL WANT THIS SUMMER. WHEN WE COME BACK LINDSEY TALKS WITH CHRIS AND DUSTIN. 9 DISCUSSION STARTS IN JUST TWO MINUTES. PLEASE STAY WITH US. .

U.S. FARM REPORT, BROUGHT TO YOU BY KAPRINO POST EMER GENCE HERBICIDE. .

WE ARE HERE AT THE AGRO BUSINESS DESK AND ARE JOINED BY CHRIS HERT WITH PURDUE AND ALSO DUSTIN JOHNSON, ONCE AGAIN WEATHER PLAYING A HUGE STORY IN THE MARKETS THIS WEEK. LET'S START OFF TALKING ABOUT THIS CORN CROP, IF WE WOULD SEE SOME POTENTIAL DRY DOWN LIKE THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT IN THE WESTERN PART OF THE CORN BELT INTO NEXT WEEK. HOW FAST ARE THE MARKETS GOING TO REACT?

I THINK I SAID IT RIGHT, WE ARE IN A WEATHER MARKET AND ANY SMALL CHANGE, MORE PRECIPITATION, CAN BE IN BIG MONEY IN THE FUTURES. YOU KNOW WITH COMPUTER MODELS AND WITH HOW FAST INFORMATION TRAVELS THESE DAYS I THINK THAT COULD BE A VERY -- ESSENTIAL A MUCH BIGGER SWING IN THE UPSIDE. WE SAW MAJOR DROPS AS THE WEATHER IMPROVED SLIGHTLY. I THINK IT'S REALLY ANYONE'S GUESS AS TO WHAT WEATHER WILL DO AND WE WILL JUST CONTINUE TO WATCH IT.

ON EVERYBODY'S MIND IF WE START TO SEE A SHIFT TO SOYBEANS DEPENDING ON HOW THE WEATHER CONDITIONS DO SHAKE OUT WHAT WILL BE THE DECIDING FACTOR?

OBVIOUSLY THAT IS ALREADY BEING TALKED ABOUT. AS YOU LOOK AT THE WEATHER, CORN PLANTERS MAY ROLL IN THE WESTERN CORN BELT. WE ARE IN A SITUATION WHERE WE NEED EVERY ACRE TO DO FAIRLY WELL IF NOT AVERAGE BEFORE OR BETTER. PRODUCERS ARE ALREADY TALKING ABOUT SHIFTING TO SHORTER SEASON AND IF THEY SHOULD SHIFT TO SOYBEAN. I WOULD SAY NO, WE WILL HOLD WITH FULL SEASON VARIETIES FOR A WHILE, MAYBE TWO WEEKS BEFORE WE START TALKING ABOUT SHORTER SEASON VARIETY. WE DON'T WANT TO SHIFT TO SOYBEAN. I THINK THAT'S VERY LATE MAY, PROBABLY EARLY JUNE BEFORE THE ECONOMICS WOULD FAVOR SHIFTING OVER.

OF COURSE WE HAVE SEEN SO MUCH VOLATILITY IN THE MARKET. THE NEW STORY THAT THE CME IS LOOKING AT IN TERMS OF CORN POSSIBLY EXPANDING THOSE TRADING LIMITS TO 60-CENTS. IF THAT HAPPENS WHY ARE WE DOING IT AND WHAT IS THE RESULT OF THAT GOING TO BE?

WELL, CORN EXPANDING TO 50- CENTS. RIGHT NOW IT'S 30-CENT; ALLOWS FOR MORE OF A TRADE, OBVIOUSLY THE --THE THING TO REMEMBER IS THAT YOU CAN STILL TRADE CORN PAST 30-CENTS THROUGH THE SYNTHETICS. IF SOMEBODY REALLY NEEDS TO TRADE THEY CAN. AS FAR AS THE SWINGS WE HAVE SEEN, THE CME IS TRYING TO GET AHEAD OF THEM AND SAY WE ARE AT A NEW LEVEL FOR CORN, MAYBE WE NEED TO INCREASE THEM TO ACCURATELY ALLOW THE MARKET TO TRADE. I THINK WE TALKED ABOUT THIS BEFORE WE STARTED IS IT HELPS --SOMETIMES WHEN YOU SEE CORN LIMIT GETS THE BEST OF YOU CAN TRY TO BUY INTO. SOON AS THE EMOTIONS GET INVOLVED IT CAN MAKE FOR DECISIONS. WHEN YOU START --JUST LIKE A FLASH CRASH IN THE MARKET. YOU WANT TO STOP THAT KIND OF TRADING ACTIVITY SO THE MARKET CAN REGROUP AND FIND WHY WE ARE DOING THIS, IS THIS WARRANTED, DOES THIS NEED TO CONTINUE AND THEY CAN ALWAYS EXPAND THE LIMITS THE NEXT DAY AS YOU SAW TODAY WE WERE AT --33-CENTS FOR CORN AT ONE POINT, THAT'S PAST THE 30-CENT TRADING LIMIT AND THAT'S BECAUSE OF THE 45- CENT LIMIT WHEN WE HAVE EXPANDED LIMITS.

AND I JUST ADD TO THAT, WE WANT MARKETS TO WORK AND WHEN YOU CONSTRAIN MARKETS THEY AREN'T ALLOWED TO WORK. CORN IS THE ONE GRAIN THAT'S REALLY DESPERATELY TIGHT, NOT ONLY IN THE U.S. BUT THE WORLD AND SO THE MARKETS WILL BE ALLOWED TO WORK, LET'S LET THEM WORK. .

FROM A PRODUCER RISK PERSPECTIVE WHAT ARE YOU SEEING THERE?

WELL, AGAIN, PRODUCERS DON'T LIKE WIDE SHIFTS, THEY DON'T LIKE VOLATILITY AND I THINK THEY ALSO ARE SUSPICIOUS OF WHO IS CAUSING THAT KIND OF VOLATILITY TO HAPPEN. PROBABLY FROM THAT STANDPOINT THEY SAY WE DON'T LIKE EXPANDING LIMITS BUT ON THE OTHER HAND FROM THE MARKETING STANDPOINT THEY LIKE THEM IF IT'S LIMIT UP AND CAN GO 50- CENTS INSTEAD OF 30.

WE ALWAYS LIKE THINGS WHEN THEY ARE HEADED TO THE UPSIDE AND GET CONCERNED THE OTHER WAY. WE WILL HAVE MORE COMING UP IN JUST A MOMENT. .

WE ARE BACK AT THE AGRO BUSINESS DESK AND WITH CHRIS, AND ALSO DUSTIN JOHNSON. WE ARE TALKED A LITTLE BIT ABOUT CROPS, LET'S TURN TO LIVESTOCK. I WANT TO START OFF WITH YOU CHRIS BECAUSE WE HEARD A LOT FROM YOU AS WE TALKED ABOUT THESE CATTLE MARKETS. WE HAVE A MIX OF THINGS, HIGHER CATTLE PRICES, HIGHER FUEL PRICES, WHEN WE SEE THAT WHERE DOES IT LEAD US?

WE HAVE HAD SOME EXTRAORDINARILY RECORD HIGH BY FAR FINISH CATTLE PRICES AND I THINK WE HAVE --WE CAN'T SUSTAIN THOSE REALLY HIGH CATTLE PRICES. WHAT WE THINK IS GOING TO BE THE LIMITING FACTOR, REALLY IS [INAUDIBLE] AND GIVEN THE GASOLINE AND THE POSSIBILITY --WE COULD SEE RETAIL PRICES OF BEEF PUSH UP NEAR FIVE DOLLARS A POUND ON AVERAGE. THAT IS JUST A COMBINATION THAT IS NOT GOING TO WORK TOGETHER AND WE WILL SEE THE PUSH BACK FROM THE CONSUMER AND THAT'S -- WE THE HIGHS THROUGH THE SUMMER AND WE THINK WE WILL PROBABLY HEAD DOWN MAYBE AS LOW AS $1.10 INTO THE SUMMER MONTHS BUT WE STILL OVERALL HAVE THE SMALLEST BEEF PRICES WE WILL HAVE. WE WILL BE RECORD HIGH PRICES. WE THINK PROBABLY UP NEAR $4.90 A POUND ON AVERAGE FOR THE YEAR.

YOUR THOUGHTS DUSTIN?

I AGREE ON CERTAINLY SEEING ENERGY PRICES A BIG FACTOR, EVERYBODY KNOWS THE GROCERY STORE PRICES, VERY HIGHLEY AFFECTED BY THE PRICE OF ENERGY WITH CRUDE OIL TRADING WHERE IT IS AND THAT EVENTUALLY WE WILL HAVE TO SEE SOMETHING GIVE HERE BEFORE DEMAND STARTS GETTING SWITCHED --SWITCHING FOOD GROUPS OR FROM A PROTEIN, HIGH PROTEIN BASED DIET --

CERTAINLY NOT JUST THE CATTLE MARKETS BUT IN TERMS OF CROP PRODUCTION AS WE LOOK AT THESE LEVELS IN THE CORN PRICE, WE TALK ABOUT BREAK EVEN FOR HOG PRODUCER. WHERE DO WE NEED TO BE AT A PRICE IN HOGS TO BE ABLE TO BREAK EVEN?

OBVIOUSLY RECORD HIGHS ALSO THERE ON THE HOG PRICES. WE NEED TO SEE LIVE WEIGHT PRICES UP IN THE LOW TO MID- 70S, TO BE ABLE TO PAY THE $7.50 FOR CORN AND THAT'S THE OUTLOOK THIS SPRING AND SUMMER. WE WILL START TO SEE THE PRICES. WE DON'T SEE THE LIVESTOCK INDUSTRY CUTTING USAGE. THE LIVESTOCK INDUSTRY IS IN PRETTY STRONG FINANCIAL SHAPE WITH THE VERY STRONG PRICES TO PAY THE PRICE FOR CORN. INTERESTING MIX HERE, NOT JUST RECORD CORN PRICES BUT RECORD LIVESTOCK AS WELL.

ONE THING THAT HAS BEEN UNDER PINNING AND IMPACTING ALL OF THE MARKETS, THE VALUE OF THE DOLLAR. TALK ABOUT THAT AND WHAT IT'S DOING IT US.

VERY GOOD POINT. THE DOLLAR IS ESSENTIALLY COMING BACK DOWN TOWARD THE LOWS, TOWARD THE SEVEN YEAR LOWS WITH IN RANGE REALLY AND A LOT OF THAT IS TO DO WITH THE FED POLICY, EVERYBODY KNOWS WITH THE QE1 AND QE2 FINISHING UP SOON, CERTAINLY HAS AFFECTED THE PRICE OF THE DOLLAR AND IN TURN YOU SEE COMMODITY PRICES RALLY. WE ARE ABOVE HUNDRED DOLLAR CRUDE OIL. VERY BIG FUNDAMENTAL FOR COMMODITIES AND I THINK THAT WITH THE --THE DECISION TO KEEP RATES LOW FOR A LONG PERIOD OF TIME IT'LL CONTINUE TO AFFECT THE DOLLAR ADVERSELY WHICH IN THE LONG RUN MAY AFFECT COMMODITIES.

CHRIS I SEE YOUR WHEELS SPINNING. WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?

I GUESS I SAW REALLY THE FIRST TIME FOR QUITE SOME TIME AS THE DOLLAR WEAKENED AGAIN, HERE RECENTLY THIS WEEK AND GOLD SET NEW HIGHS THAT WE -- SHOULD HAVE BEEN BULLISH TO ALL COMMODITIES. WE SAW THE AGRICULTURE COMMODITIES WEAKEN. I THINK THERE IS CONCERN THAT INSTEAD OF FOLLOWING THE DOLLAR LOWER AND PUSHING UP THE AG COMMODITIES WE SAW SEPARATION. THAT COULD BE --THE EARLY INDICATION THAT SOME TRADERS THINK THAT WE ARE GOING TO SEPARATE, THAT AG HAS REACHED THE PEAK PRICES. WE WILL HAVE TO CONTINUE TO WATCH BECAUSE THE DOLLAR IS WEAK AND PROBABLY WILL RETEST THE 2008.

I AGREE WITH YOU COMPLETELY ON THAT. THERE IS DIVERGNCE ON THE DOLLAR. IF YOU LOOK AT THE FUND POSITION THEY ARE WILDLY BULLISH ON MOST COMMODITIES BUT YOU SEE NATURAL GAS RALLY, THERE MAY BE REPOSITIONING OF COMMODITIES TO MAYBE CHEAPER ONES AND THAT MIGHT BE ALSO WHY WE SEE THAT.

FUN TIME TO WATCH THE MARKETS. WE WILL BE BACK WITH MORE NEXT.

IT'S TIME TO THINK ABOUT THE FUTURE OF FARMING. THIS PROGRAM BROUGHT TO YOU BY DOWAGRO SCIENCES. NO WEATHER ON U.S. FARM REPORT IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY NATIONWIDE AGRO BUSINESS, NATIONWIDE AGRO BUSINESS IS THE NUMBER ONE FARM INSURER IN THE U.S..

MIKE HOFFMAN JOINS US NOW. WHAT IN THE WORLD HAPPENED ON WEDNESDAY NIGHT THAT MADE THOSE STORMS SO POWERFUL? WERE THEY TARGETED AT THE WRONG PLACE?

270 SOME ROAD PEOPLE.

THAT'S INCREDIBLE. I NEVER THOUGHT I WOULD SEE THAT MANY DEATHS. AS A POWERFUL STORM, WE HAD ALL THE COLD BLASTS COMING SOUTHWARD, RUNNING INTO THE HOT WEATHER. THE LACK OF BASEMENTS. WHEN YOU HAVE THE EF4 AND 5 IT WIPES EVERYTHING OUT. I THINK THAT WAS THE MAIN REASON.

ALL RIGHT. LET'S GO TO THE DROUGHT MONITOR, SPEAKING OF FARM COUNTRY, YOU CAN SEE A LOT OF DRY AREAS STILL IN THE LONG TERM DROUGHT, OKLAHOMA, TEXAS GETTING WORSE, SOUTHERN NEW MEXICO, CENTRAL NEW MEXICO GETTING WORSE, THE SOUTHEAST GETTING BETTER WITH ALL THE RAIN WE HAVE HAD, SOUTHEAST FLORIDA STILL ON THE DRY SIDE AND OBVIOUSLY THE WET CONDITIONS ACROSS MUCH OF THE CORN BELT AND CAN WE GET ANY DRY AIR IN HERE? THAT'S THE BIG DEAL. HERE IS THE JET STREAM AS WE START THE WEEK AND YOU CAN SEE WE HAVE A GOOD TROUGH OVER THE GREAT LAKES AND THE NORTHEAST. THAT WILL BRING A SYSTEM THROUGH BUT NOT AS WET I DON'T THINK AS THE LAST ONES THAT WE SAW LAST WEEK, YOU CAN SEE A ZONAL FLOW THROUGH THE SOUTHERN PART OF THE COUNTRY. THROUGH TIME THE MODEL IS NOW SUGGESTING A STRONG TROUGH DEVELOPING IN THE EASTERN PART OF THE COUNTRY AS WE HEAD INTO LATE THIS WEEK AND THE WEEKEND. THAT WILL BRING ANOTHER SHOT OF CHILLY AIR, PROBABLY ANOTHER RAIN SYSTEM ACROSS THE COUNTRY. THAT WILL BE MOVING NORTHEAST INTO SATURDAY, ANOTHER TROUGH IN THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST. DAY BY DAY WE WILL SEE A SYSTEM MOVING THROUGH THE EASTERN PART OF THE COUNTRY. UNLIKE LAST WEEK WE WON'T SEE MULTIPLE SYSTEMS, THIS WILL COME THROUGH, IT'LL BE A DAY RAIN FOR THE AREA AND THEN YOU CAN SEE HIGH PRESSURE BUILDING IN BEHIND THAT TO THE MIDDLE OF THE COUNTRY. THAT SYSTEM WILL MOVE OFF SHORE. THE NORTHEAST MAY SEE LINGERING RAIN. YOU MAY SEE THAT ONE SET UP OVER THE NORTHEAST FOR A COUPLE OF MAYBE THREE DAYS. HIGH PRESSURE MIDDLE OF THE WEEK FOR THE GREAT LAKES DOWN IN TO THE SOUTHEAST, NEXT SYSTEM WITH RAIN AND MOUNTAIN SNOWS AS YOU CAN SEE IN THE NORTHERN PLAINS, NORTHERN ROCKIES. BY FRIDAY THAT'S A BIT OF A SLOWER SYSTEM, LITTLE MORE POWERFUL. IN TO THE MISSISSIPPI VALLEY, GOOD RAINS TO THE GREAT LAKES, MAYBE SNOW IN THE NORTHWEST FRINGE AND YET ANOTHER SYSTEM IN TO THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST. BACK WITH THE NEXT HALF HOUR WITH THE LONGER RANGE FORECAST. .

DESPITE THE AGRICULTURE TOPICS I COULD ADDRESS I WILL WANDER OFF TO COMMENT ON THE WEDDING OF THE CENTURY. I CAREFULLY WATCHED ABOUT TEN MINUTES WHILE I ATE BREAKFAST. WEDDINGS HAVE BECOME A FORMIDABLE INDUSTRY AND WHILE I WONDER ABOUT IT THIS IS NOT A COMMENT ABOUT OVERBLOWN WEDDINGS. SOMEHOW WE HAVE FAILED TO BOTH EXPLAIN AND DEMONSTRATE THE POWER OF THIS ABSOLUTE COMMITMENT TO ANOTHER PERSON TO PROFOUNDLY CHANGE OUR LIVES FOR THE BETTER. WE HAVE POKED FUN AT OLD MARRIED PEOPLE, AMONG WHICH I CERTAINLY FIT AFTER NEARLY 40 YEARS IN THE RANKS. WE MAKE JOKES ABOUT THE LIMITATIONS OF MARRIAGES EVEN AFTER WE HAVE LEARNED THAT HUMANS ARE HAPPIER WITH FEWER CHOICES. I'M AFRAID AS WELL THESE TIRED JOKES HAVE TARNISHED THE MORE ACCURATE PICTURE OF MARRIED LIFE. PERHAPS WE ARE EMBARRASSED TO ADMIT HOW MUCH MORE WE BECAME AFTER WE BECAME A PARTNER. AS THIS MARRIAGE SEASON STARTS I WANT TO WISH ALL THE PARTICIPANTS WELL AS THEY BEGIN WHAT IS THE ADVENTURE OF A LIFETIME. ABOVE ALL AS I WATCH THE SERVICE FROM WESTMINISTER I WAS REMINDED THIS DEGREE OF CEREMONY DIDN'T BECOME A WORLD CUSTOM BECAUSE IT WAS GOOD ECONOMIES. WE MAKE WEDDINGS SPECIAL BECAUSE WITH EFFORT AND DEVOTION THEY CAN LIFT OUR LIVES HIGHER. PLEASE LET US KNOW WHAT YOU THINK. E-MAIL OR CALL AND LEAVE US A VOICEMAIL. COMING UP IN THE NEXT HALF HOUR 4H LAUNCHES THE REVOLUTION OF RESPONSIBILITY. STAY WITH US. THE SECOND HALF IS COMING RIGHT UP. .

TODAY ON U.S. FARM REPORT, MANY RURAL BANKS PROSPER AS THE RESCISSION SKIPS OVER MUCH OF THE AG SECTOR.

AND TURKEY FARM SHOULD BE AN ENERGY SOURCE FOR MORE THAN CONSUMERS.

U.S. FARM REPORT, BROUGHT TO YOU BY CHEVY AND THEIR AWARD WINNING CARS, TRUCKS AND CROSSOVERS. .

HELLO AND WELCOME TO U.S. FARM REPORT. FOR MANY OF US IN THE MIDWEST THIS IS THE TIME OF THE YEAR WHEN WE LIVE IN THE FUTURE. WE ARE OBSESSED WITH WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN A WEEK OR TEN DAYS FROM NOW. WE SPEND HOURS REVISING PLANS AND CHANGING STRATEGIES BASED ON PREDICTIONS WE KNOW AREN'T ACCURATE MORE THAN THREE DAYS OUT. WE AREN'T ALONE. AS GREEN USERS ARE DOING THE SAME THING ON THEIR SIDE OF THE MARKET. THIS MAKES FOR VOLATILE MARKETS AND ANXIOUS PARTICIPANTS. THIS IS OUR JOB AND I THINK WE ARE APPROACHING IT WITH A NEW LEVEL OF DEVOTION. WHATEVER COMES WILL BE MET WITH OUR BEST EFFORTS. LET'S GET STARTED WITH THE HEADLINES.

IT APPEARS AS THOUGH AG LENDING INSTITUTIONS HAVE DONE WELL DURING THE TOUGH FINANCIAL CLIMATE. THE RURAL INDEX IS UP. THE INDEX IS BASED ON A SECTION OF BANKERS. UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS ALSO ISSUED A REPORT THIS WEEK SHOWING THAT AG LENDING INCREASED BY $13 BILLION FROM 2007 THROUGH 2010. LOOKING AHEAD EXPERTS SAY AG BANKS COULD FACE SIGNIFICANT CHALLENGES AS NEW REGULATIONS WILL ADD COMPLIANCE COSTS THAT COULD BE BURDENS.

STEPS ARE NOW UNDERWAY ON A NATIONAL SCALE TO ENSURE LEAFY GREENS ARE SAFE TO EAT. U.S.D.A. REVEALED THE PROPOSED MARKETING AGREEMENT THIS WEEK. THE VOLUNTEER AGREEMENT WOULD SET STANDARDS FOR GOOD AGRICULTURAL PRACTICES FOR LEAFY GREENS ON A NATIONAL SCALE WITH INTENT TO REDUCE THE POTENTIAL FOR CONTAMINATION.

SPEAKING OF HEALTHY FOODS IT WOULD ATHAT MORE AMERICANS ARE TRYING TO EAT HEALTHIER AND SHOWING THEY LIKE ORGANIC FOODS. THE TRADE ASSOCIATION REPORTS U.S. SALES OF ORGANIC FOOD SURGED 8% LAST YEAR WHILE THE MAIN STREAM MARKET HAD A 1% GROWTH. ORGANIC FOOD SALES ACCOUNTER 4% OF ALL FOODISM SALES. DAIRY HAD A 9% GROWTH.

THAT'S IT FOR THE NEWS.

YOU KNOW I WAS TALKING TO MY SMALL BANKER, BANKER IN A SMALL BANK AND SHE WAS TALKING ABOUT THEY ARE DOING WELL BECAUSE THEY HAVE A LOT OF GRAIN LOANS AND THERE ARE BANKS ALSO THAT HAVE LIVESTOCK LOAN THAT ARE STRUGGLING. IT'S UNEVEN OVER SEVERAL DIFFERENT KINDS OF BANKS. STILL I THINK IT'S GOOD, IT SHOWS THAT THE AGRICULTURE SECTOR HAS BEEN ABLE TO AT LEAST KEEP RURAL AMERICA HAVE A SOLID BASE.

I THINK THE OTHER THING IS IF YOU ARE NOT BORROWING MONEY BECAUSE YOU ARE MAKING MONEY THAT AFFECTS THE BANKS TOO AND GRAIN FARMERS AT LEAST ARE MAKING MONEY. >> THAT'S TRUE. THANK YOU.

WEATHER ON U.S. FARM REPORT IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY NATIONWIDE AGRO BUSINESS, THE NUMBER ONE FARM INSURER IN THE U.S..

LAST WEEK WHEN WE HAD THE RAIN AND THE SEVERE WEATHER OBVIOUSLY IN MANY PARTS OF THE COUNTRY WE SAW A TROUGH, THIS TIME THINGS ARE MOVING ALONG. WE STILL HAVE A GOOD TROUGH. THAT WILL BRING RAIN TO THE APPALACHIAN'S IN THE SOUTHEAST WITH SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS, ANOTHER SHOT OF CHILLY AIR IN TO THE NORTHERN PLAIN STATES, A BRIEF RIDGE INTO THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS WITH ANOTHER TROUGH OFF SHORE. BY WEDNESDAY AS WE GO DAY BY DAY THAT FIRST IS TO THE EASTERN SEABOARD PUSHING MOST OF THE RAIN OFF THE COAST THERE, THOUGH I THINK NEW ENGLAND WILL CONTINUE TO SEE RAIN AND THE NEXT SYSTEM WILL START TO SPREAD RAIN THROUGH THE NORTHERN PORTIONS OF THE PLAIN STATE WAS A LITTLE BIT OF SNOW INTO THE ROCKIES WITH COLDER AIR INTO THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST AS WELL. BY FRIDAY WE WILL SEE THAT TROUGH IN TO THE CENTER OF THE COUNTRY AND THIS COULD BE A GOOD ONE THE WAY THE LATEST MODELS LOOK WITH SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS ALONG THAT. AGAIN IT'S MOVING ALONG. WE SHOULDN'T SEE A REPEAT OF LAST WEEK THOUGH YOU MAY SEE RAIN A COUPLE TIMES IT SHOULDN'T BE THE FOUR OR FIVE- DAY EVENT THAT MANY AREAS SAW LAST WEEK. BIT OF SNOW IN THE NORTHWEST BUT RAIN IN THE GREAT LAKES AND ANOTHER SYSTEM COMING INTO THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST. LET'S GO FARTHER OUT. THIS PUTS US IN TO THE SECOND WEEK OF MAY. BELOW NORMAL TEMPERATURES FOR THE NORTHERN PLAINS RIGHT DOWN THROUGH THE TENNESSEE VALLEY. EVERYWHERE NORTHEAST OF THERE. THE CHILLY AIR CONTINUES TO COME SOUTHWARD. TEXAS THROUGH THE DESERT SOUTHWEST, PROBABLY WARMER THAN NORMAL TEMPERATURES, PRECIPITATION THE SAME AREAS THAT DON'T NEEDT. I KNOW IT'S NOT GREAT NEWS BUT WE HAVE TO GO WITH WHAT'S ON THE WEATHER MAP. THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER VALLEY. ABOVE NORMAL RAINFALL FOR ANOTHER WEEK. BELOW NORMAL FROM THE FOUR CORNER AREA ACROSS CALIFORNIA AND NORTHERN MONTANA AND WASHINGTON. 90 DAY OUTLOOK WE WILL GO BELOW NORMAL FOR THE NORTHERN TIER, THE NORTHERN PLAINS, ABOVE NORMAL FROM LOUISIANA, TEXAS BACK THROUGH THE FOUR CORNER AREA AND THE 90 DAY OUTLOOK THE GREAT LAKES BACK ACROSS ILLINOIS, MISSOURI, IOWA AND INTO THE NORTHEAST WETTER THAN NORMAL, WE LOW NORMAL AND THE SAME THING IN THE DESERT SOUTHWEST. REALLY OVERALL THAT IS NOT GOOD.

NO. AND THE NEXT DATE IS MOTHER'S DAY. A LOT OF GUYS TALK I PLANTED CORN ON MOTHER'S DAY. YOU GET PAST THAT AND WE KNOW WE ARE LOSING GROUND.

YEAH.

THANK YOU. SPIRIT OF THE HEART LAND IS NEXT. .

REVOLUTION OF A DIFFERENT SORT IN TENNESSEE. ONE THAT FOCUSES ON A YOUNGER GENERATION LOOKING TO CREATE A BRIGHTER FUTURE. IN THIS REPORT CHUCK SHOWS US HOW IT'S PART OF A NEW NATIONAL IMAGE CAMPAIGN FOR 4H.

AS REVOLUTIONIES GO CHRISTINA WOULD SEEM PRETTY LOW KEY. THIS 4HER MAKES A LOT OF NOISE WHEN IT COMES TO IMPACTING HER HOMETOWN.

IT'S CHANGED MY LIFE. IT'S CHANGED MY PERSONALITY.

Reporter: SHE VOLUNTEERS HER TIME AT THE SMOKY MOUNTAIN AREA RESCUE MINISTRY WHERE SHE SORTS CLOTHES FOR THE NEEDY AND HELP WAS STRAIGHTIVE DUTIES. SHE IS ALSO HELD GARAGE SALES AND RAISED MORE THAN $4,000 FOR THIS ORGANIZATION.

I THINK IT'S A HUMBLING EXPERIENCE. IT SHOWS US THAT LIFE ISN'T JUST ABOUT US. MY PERSONAL MOTTO IS A QUOTE FROM ALBERT EINSTEIN AND IT'S ONLY A LIFE LIVED FOR OTHERS IS WORTH LIVING.

Reporter: THEY WILL PREFORM THOUSANDS OF HOURS OF COMMUNITY SERVICE THIS YEAR. THAT INCLUDES THIS EFFORT AT THE 4H CONGRESS IN NASHVILLE WHERE THEY COLLECTED ITEMS FOR SECOND HARVEST FOOD BANK.

SECOND HARVEST IS IN REAL NEED OF FOOD ITEMS FOR THE BACKPACK PROGRAM. IT'S AN OPPORTUNITY FOR SCHOOL CHILDREN TO TAKE HOME A BACKPACK EVERY WEEKEND FULL OF HEALTHY FOOD OPTIONS SO THAT THE YOUNG PEOPLE AREN'T HUNGRY OVER THE WEEKEND.

SOME OF THEM IT'S THE ONLY MEAL OF THE DAY IS THEIR LUNCH MEAL. THIS GIVES THEM THE OPPORTUNITY TO EAT AFTER SCHOOL AND ON WEEKENDS.

LEADERS LIKE TO REFER TO ALL VOLUNTEER WORK AS SERVICE LEARNING PROJECTS. THAT IS AN IMPORTANT NOTE, DOING GOOD THINGS FOR OTHERS TEACHES A LIFE LESSON ABOUT GIVING TIME AND MAKING THAT A LIFELONG HABIT. NATIONAL 4H COUNCIL IS LAUNCHING A NEW IMAGE CAMPAIGN TITLED THE REVOLUTION OF RESPONSIBILITY WHERE THERE IS A FOCUS ON 4HERS VOLUNTEERING IN COMMUNITIES AND WORKING FOR POSITIVE CHANGE. THIS REVOLUTION IS ABOUT YOUTH PARTICIPATION IN SETTING THE FUTURE.

AS I TAKE IT THAT'S A CAMPAIGN TO LET THE PUBLIC KNOW THAT 4H IS ABOUT BEING RESPONSIBLE, RESPONSIBLE FOR YOURSELF AND --IT'S REALLY HIGHLIGHTING THINGS THAT 4H MEMBERS HAVE DONE TO HELP THE COMMUNITY BE A BETTER PLACE.

4H LEADERS REALIZE THEIR PAST IMAGE HAS BEEN MORE ABOUT FARM LIFE AND PUBLIC SPEAKING. THOSE THINGS ARE STILL IMPORTANT BUT NOW ACTIVE COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT WILL BE ENCOURAGED AND EXPECTED. AROUND TENNESSEE, AROUND THE COUNTRY, LET THE REVOLUTION BEGIN.

MORE THAN 6 MILLION KIDS ARE INVOLVED IN 4H AROUND THE COUNTRY INCLUDING MORE THAN 300,000 IN TENNESSEE. NEXT WEEK AN OLD PLANTER GETS AN EXTREME MAKEOVER IN A DESERVING FAMILY FROM WISCONSIN REAPS THE BENEFITS. THAT STORY NEXT WEEK ON SPIRIT OF THE HARTLAND.

NEXT TURKEY HAS SCIENCISTS WORK TO MAKE ANOTHER ALTERNATIVE ENERGY.

IT'S TIME TO THINK ABOUT THE FUTURE OF FARMING. THIS PROGRAM BROUGHT TO YOU BY DOWAGRO SCIENCES. .

CLAIMING THE RENEWABLE FUEL STANDARD WILL LEAD TO DECEMBER CONSTRUCTIVE AND UNNECESSARY AGRICULTURE DEVELOPMENT THE NATIONAL WILDLIFE FEDERATION IS TAKING THE EPA TO COURT. THEY HAVE DENIED A PETITION TO RECONSIDER ITS PETITION. THE GOAL IS TO INCREASE RENEWABLE FUEL PRODUCTION TO 36 BILLION GALLONS BY 2022. SPEAKING FOR THE ORGANIZATION JULIE SAYS PLOWING UP THE LAST REMNANTS OF NATIVE GRASS LANDS LIKE BURNING THE MONA LISA FOR FIRE WOOD. AGRICULTURE IS PLAYING A MAJOR ROLE IN THE NEXT GENERATION OF POWER AND NOW YOU CAN ADD TURKEY LITTER TO THE LIST.

TURKEY FARMER MATT CURTIS IS BLAZING A PATH, A PATH HE ADMITS HASN'T BEEN EASY BUT ONE HE HOPES OTHER FARMERS WILL SOON TRAVEL. A NUMBER OF FACTORS MADE HIM STOP AND LOOK AT HIS TURKEY OPERATION WHICH IS LOCATED IN CHESAPEAKE BAY WATER SHED. HE KNEW HE NEEDED TO GET THEM IN LINE WITH FEDERAL MANDATES AND HE WANTED THE FLOCK TO BE AS COMFORTABLE AS POSSIBLE. IMMATERIAL ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT FACTORS IN BEING SUCCESS SELF-IN PRODUCTION LIVESTOCK IS TO REACH A HIGH LEVEL OF ANIMAL COMFORT.

WITH HIS GUESTS GENERATING ABOUT 400-TONS OF LITTER A YEAR AND HAVING TO SPEND MORE THAN $30,000 FOR PROPANE HE FOUND THE LITTER HOT WATER BOILER.

HOW MUCH DOES IT TAKE TO KEEP THE HOUSES WARM?

ABOUT 300-TONS.

WHILE THE SYSTEM SEEMED LIKE IT WOULD HELP HIM REACH HIS GOALS HE KNEW FINANCIAL HELP WAS THE ONLY WAY TO MAKE IT HAPPEN AND HE TURNED TO THE PENN STATE SMALL BUSINESS CENTER.

HE WASSA RECORD $160,000. THE PROJECT COST HIM ABOUT $218,000 FOR THE COSTS OF THE BURNER. HE HAS LESS THAN A TWO YEAR RETURN ON IT AND HE IS UP AND HEATING BOTH OF HIS BARNS AND IT'S A WONDERFUL PROJECT.

OF COURSE ALONG WITH GRANT COMES THE NEED FOR RESULTS AND THAT'S WHAT PAUL PATTERSON'S TEAM OF COLLEAGUES ARE GATHERING.

WHEN I'M HERE I WILL COLLECT THE NEWER SAMPLES, AIR SAMPLES SO I COLLECT CO2, AND AMNONIA LEVELS TO SEE WHAT THEY COMPARE AGAINST PROPANE HOUSES AND THEN COLLECT THE ASH SAMPLES AND WE ARE LOOKING AT WHAT THE ASH DOES.

BURNING LITTER, BROADING BIRDS, REDUCING PROPANE USE AND GROWING GOOD QUALITY BIRDS, NOW THAT WE HAVE THE ASH IN OUR HAND IT LOOKS VERY PROMISING FOR RECYCLING THAT AS A FERTILIZER. IT'S EXCITING.

AND EXCITING FOR HIS STUDENTS.

ITS OPENING MY EYES TO SEE THE DIFFERENT SIDES OF ANIMAL SCIENCE THAT I CAN WORK WITH.

WHILE DATA CONTINUES TO BE COLLECTED AND PROMISING RESULTS CONTINUE TO COME OUT, A NEW GOAL FOR THIS GROUP IS TO SPREAD THE WORD.

I THINK THERE IS REAL POTENTIAL FOR OTHER GROWERS TO SAVE MONEY AND TO RECYCLE THESE AND HELP THE WATER SHED AND DO IT IN A COLLECTIVE WAY AND HAVE A REAL MARKET OUTLET.

VERY OPTIMISTIC AS FAR AS THE END RESULT EVERYTHING LOOKS REALLY GOOD. I'M REAL HAPPY.

TO LEARN MORE WE WILL POST A LINK ON OUR WEBSITE, U.S. FARM REPORT.COM.

UP NEXT AL WITH TRACTOR TALES AND THE COUNTRY CHURCH SALUTE. .

TRACTOR TALES, WHERE ARE WE GOING?

WE ARE HEADING TO THE EAST COAST TO MEET A RETIRED COLLECTOR WHO HAS DONE A GREAT JOB RESTORING AN OLD TURBO. .

THAT WAS THE FIRST SHOT AT AN OVER 100 HORSE POWER TRACTOR AND I HAVE HAD ONE IN THE BACK OF MY MIND FOR QUITE A WHILE. I HAVE BEEN COLLECTING FOR A LONG TIME AND I --IT KIND OF INTERESTED ME TO KIND OF GET ONE OF THEIR FIRST OVER 100 HORSES. I HAVE HAD THIS ONE ONLY ABOUT FOUR YEARS NOW. IT CAME OUT OF INDIANA AND IT DIDN'T LOOK LIKE THAT, IT WAS KIND OF LIKE IN THREE TRAILERS. IT TURNED OUT TO BE PRETTY GOOD. WASN'T TO HARD TO TAKE APART. IT WAS MOSTLY TAKING APART. THE HARD PART WAS FIGURING OUT HOW TO PUT IT BACK TOGETHER. LITTLE BY LITTLE AND TRIAL AND ERROR WE GOT IT TO LOOK LIKE A TRACTOR. ALL THE BEARINGS, THE SEAL, THE ENGINE. I PLOW WITH IT WHEN IT'S CALLED FOR, I MOSTLY NOW I USE IT ON THE PERFECTOR, LEVELING GARDEN SPACE, GETTING READY TO MAKE SEED BEDS. OTHER THAN IT CAME FROM A VERY LARGE FARM IN INDIANA THEY GREW I BELIEVE WHEAT AND THEY USED IT TO PULL A BIG HARROW. I FOUND IF I KEEP BUSY LIFE IS BETTER. IN THE WINTER NOTHING GROWS SO I GROW A TRACTOR NOW AND AGAIN.

INTERNATIONAL HARVESTER STARTED PRODUCTION ON THE FARM IN 1923 BECAUSE THE COMPANY WAS UNSURE OF IT'S FUTURE THE RELEASE WAS LIMITED TO TEXAS. BY 1926 FULL SCALE PRODUCTION STARTED IN ROCK ISLAND ILLINOIS.

OUR COUNTRY CHURCH SALUTE IS A BIT DIFFERENT THIS WEEK AS WE RECOGNIZE A LIVING PIECE OF HISTORY. THE SAXON LUTHERAN MEMORIAL IN MISSOURI CELEBRATES THE FOUNDING OF A NUMBER OF VILLAGES IN THE SOUTHEAST PART OF THE STATE. THIS STORY STARTS BACK IN 1839 WHEN SEVERAL HUNDRED LUTHERANS LEFT SAXONY IN SEARCH OF RELIGIOUS FREEDOM. A DECADE LATER THEY ESTABLISHED A CHURCH THAT HAS GROWN TO BECOME AN INTERNATIONAL CHURCH BODY OF 3 MILLION MEMBERS. THE MAIN FEATURE IS THE LAST REMAINING HOMESTEAD WHICH INCLUDES A BARN. OUR THANK YOU TO GENE FOR SHARING THIS STORY OF THE MEMORIAL.

AS ALWAYS WE WANT TO LEARN ABOUT YOUR HOME CHURCH AS WELL. SALUTES CAN BE SENT TO THE ADDRESS ON THE SCREEN. STAY WITH US. JOHN WILL BE BACK WITH THE MAILBAG.

COUNTRY CHURCH SALUTE IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY FARMER'S FEEDING THE WORLD. AGRICULTURE LEADING THE WAY AND FEEDING A HUNGRY PLANET. LEARN MORE, GIVE, DREAM HUGE WITH US. .

TIME FOR A LOOK IN TO THE THE MAILBAG. I SHOULD HAVE SEEN THIS COMING WHEN I TOUCHED ON THE SACRED SEVEN CROP, THOSE THAT ENJOY GOVERNMENT PROGRAMS. JOHN WHO APPARENTLY WORKS FOR CRYSTAL SUGAR AND I HOPE I GOT YOUR NAME CLOSE FIRED ALL THIS OBJECTION. SUGAR IS NOT A SUBSIDIZED COMMODITY, IT HAS A LOAN PROGRAM THAT'S RARELY USED. I HAVE TIRED OF THAT NARROW DEFINITION BUT IN THE MOST USUAL SENSE ARE YOU CORRECT. LET'S STOP KIDDING OURSELVES THOUGH. GETTING A CHECK FROM THE TREASUREY AND THE TAXPAYERS ON ONE HAND AND HAVING THE GOVERNMENT FORCE CONSUMERS TO SEND A CHECK IN THE FORM OF LIER PRICES ON THE OTHERS IN MY VIEW MARELY SHIFTING WHICH PORTION OF THE POPULATION IS BEING SHAKEN DOWN. U.S. SUGAR PROGRAM HAS FORCED AMERICANS TO PAY TWICE THE WORLD PRICE FOR SUGAR FOR DECADES. WE ARE TALKING ABOUT TWO BILLION DOLLARS IN HIGHER COSTS EVERY YEAR. IT IS ONE OF THE MOST FOCUSED OF ALL COMMODITY PROGRAM WAS HALF THE ECONOMIC BENEFITS GOING TO LESS THAN 20 GROWERS. THROUGH SUPPLY CONTROLS AND TRADE CLOSES THAT PREVENT DEVELOPING NATIONS USING THEIR NATURAL COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE WE HAVE A GLARING HYPOCRISCY. IT IS STRICTLY SPEAKING NOT A SUBSIDY THOUGH, I THINK ITS SOMETHING WORSE.

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU. SEND COMMENTS TO MAILBAG AT U.S. FARM REPORT.COM OR LEAVE A VOICEMAIL. FOR ALL OF US, THANK YOU FOR WATCHING U.S. FARM REPORT. BE SURE TO JOIN US AGAIN NEXT WEEK. WE WILL WORK TO DO EVEN BETTER.
 

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