USFR Weekly Recap - August 6-7, 2011

August 8, 2011 09:28 AM
 

THIS WEEK ON U.S. FARM REPORT
EPISODE #1982
AUGUST 06-07, 2011

JOHN’S OPEN: HELLO AND WELCOME TO U-S FARM REPORT, I'M JOHN PHIPPS. HIGH EXCITEMENT ON THE PHIPPS FARM THIS WEEK. A LOCAL NE-ER DO WELL, CAUSED SOME PROBLEMS WITH HIS GIRLFRIEND WHO CALLED THE COPS. HE FLED INTO OUR ADJACENT 200-ACRE CORNFIELD ON PERHAPS THE HOTTEST, MOST HUMID EVENING OF A BRUTAL SUMMER. PLANES AND DOGS WERE CALLED IN. CLAD IN BULLETPROOF VESTS, DEPUTIES WERE SENT INTO THE FIELD. MIRACULOUSLY, THEY ALL EMERGED AFTER TWO GRUELING HOURS. AS THEY RECOVERED FROM NEAR HEAT PROSTRATION, IT WAS ALL I COULD DO TO KEEP FROM ASKING: DID YOU NOTICE ANY EARWORMS OUT THERE? THEN I REMEMBERED THEY WERE ARMED. MAYBE WE SHOULD GET TO THE HEADLINES.....HERE'S AL PELL.

ALLENDALE FORECAST: THANK YOU JOHN. IN ADVANCE OF THE UPCOMING RELEASE OF USDA'S CROP PRODUCTION REPORT, TWO KEY ANALYTICAL FIRMS HAVE RELEASED THEIR FORECAST. STARTING WITH ALLENDALE INCORPORATED. IT LOWERED ITS CORN PRODUCTION FORECAST BY MORE THAN A HALF-BILLION BUSHELS, TAKING IT UNDER 13-BILLION. ALLENDALE ALSO LOWERED SOYBEAN PRODUCTION LEVELS BY 106 MILLION BUSHELS. AND THEIR ALL-WHEAT FORECAST IS ALSO LOWER. ALLENDALE PEGS PRODUCTION AT JUST OVER TWO BILLION BUSHELS, DOWN 80 MILLION.

INFORMA: MEANWHILE INFORMA ECONOMICS EXPECTS THE CORN CROP TO STAY ABOVE 13-BILLION, PUTTING THIS YEARS CROP AT 13.3 BILLION BUSHELS. IT PEGS SOYBEANS AT JUST OVER THREE BILLION BUSHELS AND WHEAT 2.1 BILLION BUSHELS.

RICE HARVEST: MEANWHILE, THE SOUTHERN DROUGHT IS IMPACTING RICE FARMERS. THEY'RE HAVING TO PUMP MORE WATER FROM WELLS, WHICH INCREASES THEIR PRODUCTION COSTS. THAT CROP WAS ALREADY SMALLER DUE TO FLOODING IN THE SOUTH. PLUS GROWERS HAD SHIFTED TO OTHER CROPS THIS SEASON. ANALYSTS SAY PROSPECTS OF A REDUCED HARVEST HAVE HELPED SUPPORT PRICES.

DAIRY EXPORTS: IT APPEARS THAT DAIRY EXPORT OPPORTUNITIES FOR U.S. PRODUCERS NOT ONLY REMAIN OPEN BUT MAY BE GROWING. THAT'S THE BOTTOM LINE OF A NEW REPORT FROM THE GLOBAL CONSULTING FIRM BAIN AND COMPANY. IN 2009 THE INNOVATION CENTER FOR U.S. DAIRY COMMISSIONED A STUDY ON HOW THE U-S CAN POSITION ITSELF IN THE WORLD DAIRY TRADE. IN A FOLLOW-UP REVIEW ISSUED THIS WEEK, ANALYSTS FROM BAIN SAID DAIRY DEMAND IN COUNTRIES LIKE CHINA AND INDIA IS UP FIVE TO SEVEN PERCENT. BAIN SAYS THE U.S. IS POSITIONED TO FILL A GLOBAL DEMAND GAP IF DAIRY POLICIES ARE REALIGNED TO FOCUS ON EXPORTS. BUT BAIN WARNS IF THE U.S. DOES NOT FILL THE VOID, COMPETITORS WILL.

CROP WATCH: OKAY IN CROP WATCH A WHEAT GROWER FROM PHILLIPS COUNTY, MONTANA, SAYS WINTER WHEAT HARVEST WILL START THIS WEEK. THAT AREA HAS SEEN AN EXTREME AMOUNT OF RAIN FOR THEM OVER 14 INCHES SINCE MAY 1. YIELDS WILL BE ABOVE AVERAGE BUT DISEASE HAS TAKEN ITS TOLL. AND IN WEST TEXAS, THE DROUGHT IS EVEN IMPACTING RATTLESNAKES! THIS EYE OPENING PHOTO COMES FROM PAL LOW DURR ROW JOHN IN AMARILLO. SNAKES AREN'T TRAVELING FAR FROM THEIR DEN. WE HEAD TO A POPULAR FARM SHOW IN MINNESOTA. THE DISCUSSION BEGINS IN JUST TWO MINUTES. >>> OUR ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION OF THE 2011 FARM FEST IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY SFP, PUTTING REVOLUTION ANY TECHNOLOGY TO WORK IN THE FIELD AND HELPING PRODUCERS GET MORE FROM THEIR CROPS AND THEIR FERTILIZER DOLLARS.

ROUNDTABLE: OUR MARKETING ROUNDTABLE THIS WEEK TAKES US TO REDWOOD FALLS, MINNESOTA, SITE OF FARM FEST. OUR PANELIST INCLUDE SUE MARTIN, BRIAN DOHERTY, MARK SCHULTZ AND CHIP MILLINGER FROM BLUE WREATH AGRIMARKETING. REGIONAL REPORTER MICHELLE ROOK PICKS UP THE DISCUSSION. U.S. FARM REPORT MARKET ROUNDTABLE COME TO YOU FROM FARM FEST HERE IN REDWOOD COUNTY, MINNESOTA AND, OF COURSE, THE BIG QUESTION THAT WE HAVE HAD THE BIG DEBATE MOST OF THE SEASON HAS BEEN HOW BIG IS THIS CORN CROP? ARE WE BELOW THE 158.7-BUSHEL PER ACRE YIELD AVERAGE THAT USDA HAS PEGGED US AT ESPECIALLY WITHOUT TH HEAT IN JULY? WE ARE PROBABLY LEANING THAT WAY. WE PULLED OURS DOWN TO 155.8. I MAY GO LOWER AND THAT DEPENDS ON THE RAINFALL OH, THE NEXT 12 DAYS IN NEBRASKA AND IOWA. CHIP, WHAT DO YOU THINK? YOU'RE IN THE EASTERN CORN BELT. CONDITIONS OVER THERE MAYBE DON'T LOOK AS GOOD AS IN THE WEST. HIGH VARIABILITY, I AGREE. I THINK THAT CROP SIDE THE SHRINKING WITH THE HEAT THAT WE HAVE HAD HERE, I THINK THAT THE KEY IN THE MARKETS' MIND IS GOING TO BE EVEN THESE AREAS THAT HAVE HAD MOISTURE AND THE CROP LOOKS GOOD, HOW ARE WE FILLING? SO THINK IT'S IMPORTANT AS PRODUCERS TO WALK YOUR FIELDS BECAUSE IT COULD BE SURPRISING HOW WE FILL THIS CROP. WHERE DO YOU GUYS HAVE YOUR YIELD AT? WE POINTING DOWN TOWARD THE 155 AND LOWER. GOOD CORN IS GOOD. THE LOUSY CORN IS LOUSY. SO IT'S THE IN BETWEEN GROUND AND I THINK THE MARKET IS SOMEWHAT VOTED THIS WEEK EXPECTATIONS ARE THAT YIELD IS DECLINING IN AREAS THAT LOOK GOOD TWO OR THREE WEEKS AGO. HOT TEMPERATURES AND LACK OF MOISTURE.

OKAY. SUE, WHAT ABOUT YOU? WE HAVE SEEN SOME AS LOW AS 150. IS THAT TOO LOW? WELL, I THINK FOR THE MOMENT IT MAY BE A LITTLE BIT TOO LOW. WE'RE SITTING RIGHT AROUND 153 OURSELVES. I THINK THAT THE KEY THAT WE NEED TO WATCH FOR IS THAT THE CROP CAN LOOK SO LUSH AND GREEN DRIVING BY, AND THEN YOU GET OUT IN IT AND YOU'RE IN SHOCK WHEN YOU SEE HOW THE HEAT HAS BASICALLY IN THE BLISTER STAGE TIPPED BACK THE EARS. AND SOME OF IT COULD BE A THIRD TO ALMOST A GOOD FOURTH IF NOT EVEN A HALF OF THAT EAR. NOW, THERE'S SOME GOOD EARS OUT THERE. BUT THE THING THAT WE NEED TO KEEP AN EYE ON, TOO, BESIDES THE KERNEL FILL IS GOING TO BE THE PROBLEM WITH THE GOVERNMENT REPORT COMING OUT. THEY ARE PROBABLY GOING TO USE STALK COUNT AND EAR COUNTS AND THEY MAY BE OFF. DOES THAT MEAN THAT THE LOWER YIELD THAT WE THINK WE ARE GOING TO HAVE IS NOT GOING TO SHOW UP IN THIS REPORT? WHAT DO YOU THINK, BRIAN? HERE'S WHAT I THINK. I THINK THE REPORT WILL COME OUT AND I THINK THE FOLKS WILL BE ON THE ACREAGE, CHANGES IN SOUTH DAKOTA, NORTH DAKOTA AND MINNESOTA. AND THEN MAYBE SOME ADJUSTMENTS TO STOCKS. I DON'T THINK THE MARKETS PAY A LOT OF ATTENTION TO THE YIELD. I THINK WILL PAY MORE ATTENTION TO THE CROP SURVEYS THAT TAKE PLACE JUST AFTER THE REPORT. OKAY. WHAT ABOUT THE FOURTH PLACE WE SURVEYED? DOES THAT SHOW UP IN THERE? I THINK IT COULD I DON'T EXPECT THAT TO BE MUCH MORE THAN THREE TO FOUR HUNDRED THOUSAND ACRES. I THINK THE BIGGEST ISSUE IS THE HARVESTED ACREAGE DOWN THE ROAD AND THAT COULD BE THE WILD PARDON. I SEE YOU SHAKING YOUR HEAD. HOW MUCH LOWER WILL THAT BE? HARVEST ACREAGE WILL BE KEY. WHEN YOU GET INTO THIS AUGUST REPORT IF THEY DO THE STALK COUNT AVERAGE EAR LIKE THEY TYPICALLY DO YOU WILL HAVE HIGHER YIELD. WATCH YOUR HARVESTED ACREAGE AND WATCH IT START TO DECREASE. TEXAS, OKLAHOMA, KANSAS WILL ALL TAKE A HIT ON THIS ONE MAYBE NOT ON THE FIRST REPORT BUT WATCH THAT JUST CONTINUE TO GET RATCHETED DOWN AS THEY GO WITH LESS ACRES GETTING HARVESTED. AND I'M WITH YOU, CHIP. I'M NOT SO CERTAIN THAT IT'S GOING TO BE A BIG SHOCKING CHANGE IN THE PLANTED ACREAGE IN THE UPPER FOUR STATES SURVEYED. IF THERE IS A SHOCK, WATCH WHEAT. IF WE ABANDONED ACRES, LOWER YIELD, EVEN 155, WHAT DOES THAT PUT OUR ENDING STOCKS NUMBERS AT? IF IT'S AT 155 YOUR ENDING STALKS FALL SOMEWHERE AROUND 373 MILLION BUSHELS, PROBABLY A 2.8, 3.1 USAGE NUMBER. THAT'S RECORD LOW. I THINK THE OTHER THING THAT I WOULD BE REAL CONCERNED ABOUT IS THAT IF USDA DOES COME OUT WITH A SURPRISE, THE MARKET WILL BE SURPRISED WITH THAT IN ITSELF. THEY DON'T BELIEVE ANYTHING THE USDA IS SAYING THESE DAYS SO THEY WILL BE IN SURPRISE AND SHOCK AND THE MARKETS WILL EXPLODE. AND MAYBE THEN WE'LL GET THIS MARKET UP AND GOING BECAUSE IT CERTAINLY GETS THESE ONE DAY MOVES AND THEN FAULTERS. SO LET'S TALK ABOUT WHERE WE GO FOR PRICE PROJECTIONS. DO WE GET ABOVE THE 7.22 AND THREE-QUARTERS HIGH ON NEW CROPS? WE DO. I'M A CHART READER SO IF YOU LOOK AT THE CHARTS WE HAVE GONE SIDEWAYS FOR TWO WEEKS AND I MENTIONED ON MY REPORTS, THREE WEEKS AGO, THAT THE WEATHER IN THE END OF JULY AND THE FIRST TWO WEEKS OF AUGUST WILL BE THE MOST CRITICAL IN THE LAST TWO DECADES AND THE IT HASN'T GONE TO THE BETTER. SO YOU HAVE AN INVERTED HEAD AND SHOULDERS FORMATION, BREAKOUT YESTERDAY POINTS OUT 8.15 ON THAT FORMATION. WE'LL TALK ABOUT SOYBEAN CROP SIZE WHEN WE COME BACK IN THE U.S. FARM REPORT IN A MOMENT. WE'RE BACK HERE AT REDWOOD COUNTY, MINNESOTA. AND IT'S FARM FEST. AND SECOND HALF OF OUR ROUNDTABLE WE ARE GOING TO LOOK NOW AT THE SIZE OF THE SOYBEAN CROP. LET'S TAKE A LOOK AT MARK. LET'S TALK ABOUT 43.4-BUSHEL BREAKER YIELD AVERAGES WHAT USDA HAS US PEGGED AT. HOW MUCH LOWER DO WE GO ESPECIALLY WITH ALL THE PREVENT PLANT ACRES THAT WE HAVE HAD?
I WOULD SAY THIS. WE'LL PROBABLY --I THINK WE ARE GOING TO RATCHET DOWN A LITTLE BIT UNDER 42.5. I THINK AUGUST IS A KEY MONTH TO WATCH ON THESE. EVEN DRIVING OUT HERE, I DID A SEMINAR 12 DAYS AGO OUT THIS WAY. I COULD NOT BELIEVE THE DIFFERENCE OF THE SOYBEANS 12 DAYS AGO TO WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE NOW. IT'S INCREDIBLE HOW MUCH THEY HAVE IMPROVED AND HOW MUCH GROWTH THEY HAVE HAD. BUT AUGUST IS IMPORTANT. I THINK HERE, TOO, KEY THING IS RIGHT NOW IS IF WE SAY ANYTHING ON THE DRIER SIDE IN THE MONTH OF AUGUST WE'LL SEE THE BEAN GO DOWN TO 42.5. I'M RATCHETING DOWN USAGE AS WELL JUST FOR THE SHORT TERM HERE SIMPLY BECAUSE WE DID THE CANCELLATION OF CHINESE BEANS 20 MILLION ROLLED INTO THE NEW CROP. THAT WILL HURT A LITTLE BIT WHEN YOU DO THE S AND D NUMBERS. CHIP? I AGREE. I THINK THAT 43.5 STILL DOABLE BUT I THINK THE NEXT FOUR WEEKS ARE GOING TO BE KEY. SAME THING. WE PROBABLY PICKED UP YIELD IN THE NORTH, LOST IT IN THE SOUTH. WHAT ABOUT YOU, SUE? I THINK THE YIELD IS DROPPING. BUT AUGUST IS BEAN MONTH AND MY CONCERN IS THAT 10 OUT OF THE LAST MAJOR --WELL, 10 OF THE LAST MAJOR HOT JULYS THAT WE HAVE HAD NINE OF THOSE TURNED OUT TO BE A HOT AUGUST, AS WELL. AND I'M A LITTLE CONCERNED WITH THE HEAT THAT WE CONTINUE TO SEE. AND NOT TO MENTION THAT IF YOU GET A DROP IN THE CORN CARRYOUT LIKE WE ARE SEEING IN A TIGHTENING THERE, THAT'S GOING TO PUT MORE EMPHASIS ON DEMAND FOR SOYBEANS UNDER SOYBEAN MEAL. WE HAD HUGE PREVENT PLANT ACRES IN NORTH DAKOTA, 1.6 MILLION IN SOUTH DAKOTA. DOES THAT SHOW UP IN THE RESURVEYING IN THIS NEXT REPORT, BRIAN, WHAT DO YOU THINK? I THINK IT HAS TO. WHAT'S THE POINT OF RESURVEYING IF THERE ISN'T AT LEAST SOME BELIEF THAT THERE'S A CAUSE FOR IT? AND THIS FLOODING WAS SIGNIFICANT AND THE MAGNITUDE WAS LARGE. ANYBODY ELSE? WHAT DO YOU THINK? WILL IT SHOW UP IN THE REPORT AND IF IT DOES, WHAT IMPACT DOES IT HAVE ON PRODUCTION AND THE OVERALL ENDING STALKS NUMBER THAT WE COME UP WITH? I THINK YOU JUST WATCH TO SEE IF THE SURPRISE COMES, THE SURPRISE HAS TO BE IN THE WHEAT MARKET I THINK TO HAVE A BIG IMPACT. OTHERWISE I DON'T THINK YOU HAVE MUCH DRIVE WITH THESE -- BECAUSE KEEP THIS IN MIND. OTHER THAN NORTH DAKOTA, SOUTH DAKOTA, MINNESOTA, WISCONSIN, HAVE ALL BENEFITTED GREATLY AT LEAST THE CROP COSMETICALLY LOOKS MUCH, MUCH BETTER THAN IT DID EVEN TWO WEEKS AGO. AND EVEN WHEN YOU GO BACK TO JUNE1, YOU GO, MY GOODNESS, WHAT A CHANGE THIS HAS MADE. IF I'M GOING TO GET A SHOCK IT WILL BE THE WHEAT CROP. THAT HAS TO BE ACRES. YOU HAVE BULLISH ON WHEAT, THEN MORE BULLISH ON CORN AND BEANS. IF YOU DO THAT, WE START TAKING OUT THE 14.11 HIGH AND GET OUT OF THIS TRADING RANGE WE HAVE BEEN IN SINCE JANUARY, YOU GUYS? IT HAS BEEN ALL YEAR, NOVEMBER BEANS HAVE TRADED IN $1.40 TRADING RANGE. YOU HAVE TO GO BACK TO THE EARLY 2000, 2001, 2002, TO HAVE A RANGE THAT LONG OF A TRADING RANGE THAT QUIET FOR $1.40 FOR THE CALENDAR YEAR. THAT'S A LONG BASE PATTERN. THAT BREAKS OUT THE UPSIDE IS VERY BULLISH. WE BREAK OUT THE TOP SIDE, HOW HIGH DO WE GO? MY TARGETED IS $16.50 INITIALLY. IT COULD BE $16.40. I KNOW YOU WANT TO COMMENT. ONE THING I WANT TO SAY IS, YOU KNOW, WE LOOK AT MAYBE THE CROP GETTING BETTER HERE IN MINNESOTA. THAT SHOWED UP IN THE CROP CONDITION RATINGS THIS PAST WEEK. BUT THE KICKER IS, I WOULD DETERIORATE IT EVEN THOUGH IT'S BETTER THAN A YEAR AGO BECAUSE WE WERE ON THE FLIPSIDE WE WERE SO WEALTHY AND THIS YEAR WE'RE NOT. YOU LOOK AT ILLINOIS, OHIO, ARKANSAS, MISSOURI, KANSAS, OKLAHOMA, YOU HAVE A BOATLOAD OF BEANS IN ARKANSAS AND MISSOURI AND THEY ARE HAVING THESE TEMPERATURES OF OVER 100 DEGREES. IN FACT, YESTERDAY, KANSAS WAS VERY NOTED IN I THINK 37 LOCATION OF 110 DEGREES. ARKANSAS, LITTLE ROCK, SUPPOSED TO BE 110 TODAY. I THINK YOU'RE GOING TO SEE IF THIS CONTINUES YOU'RE GOING TO BE SEEING BLOOMS ABORTED AND PODS ABORTED AND I THINK WE ARE DEALING WITH A DROP AND IF YOU DROP THAT BUSHEL ONE BUSHEL LIKE THEY CALLED FOR DOWN TO 43.4 TO 42.4 YOU'RE TALKING A CARRY OUT OF 100 MILLION ASSUME WE DON'T CHANGE THE DEMAND TO SOME DEGREE. SO PIPELINE SUPPLIES, THAT'S WHAT WE GET DOWN TO. WHERE DO YOU PROJECT THIS HERE AND WE'LL GIVE YOU THE LAST WORD, BRIAN. IF WE LOOK AT THE CHARTS, IF WE CAN BRIAN $14 IF I USE A SWING AND BAND OBJECTIVE IT PUTS US IN A RANGE $16 TO $16.50. THAT WRAPS UP OUR ROUNDTABLE HERE FROM FARM FEST. MORE U.S. FARM REPORT IN A MOMENT.

JOHN’S WORLD: IT IS INTERESTING THAT LEGISLATORS AND LOBBYISTS ARE HAVING A HARDER TIME GETTING ATTENTION FOR NEW FARM BILL DISCUSSIONS. WHILE THE DAIRY IS WORKING FOR A MAJOR REVAMP, NOT MUCH TOO INTEREST IS BREWING ELSEWHERE. SOME OF THIS IS FATALISM. WE HAVE BEEN TOLD MORE THAN ONCE, FOR EXAMPLE, THAT THE ETHANOL BLENDER CREDIT AND TARIFF ARE DOOMED, AND EVEN DIRECT PAYMENTS. AFTER SO MANY TIMES, I THINK WE HAVE STARTED TO BUY INTO THEIR DEMISE. AND TO BE FAIR, MORE FARMERS THAN USUAL ARE GRUDGINGLY ADMITTING THAT CUTTING THE DEFICIT WILL AFFECT US. BUT THE MAIN REASON I THINK IS MORE PROSAIC - IT JUST DOESN'T MATTER AS MUCH AS IT USED TO. MY DIRECT PAYMENT - WHICH AMOUNTS TO ABOUT 23 DOLLARS PER ACRE THIS YEAR EQUATES TO ABOUT 3 BUSHELS OF CORN AT CURRENT PRICES. THE SAME COMPARISON FOR SOY, COTTON AND WHEAT APPLIES. FARMERS HAVE ALWAYS CLAIMED WE WOULD RATHER GET OUR MONEY FROM THE MARKET THAN THE GOVERNMENT. IF THIS IS NOT EXACTLY THE CASE, I DON'T KNOW WHAT WOULD QUALIFY. WHY NOT DECLARE VICTORY AND SET AN EXAMPLE THAT WILL SHOCK AND AWE WASHINGTON AND PERHAPS EVEN OURSELVES? OUR INDUSTRY COULD REDEEM A TARNISHED IMAGE AND REINFORCE OUR SELF-RESPECT BY SIMPLY ECHOING COMEDIAN HENNY YOUNGMAN: TAKE MY SUBSIDY. PLEASE. LET US KNOW WHAT YOU THINK.... SEND EMAILS TO MAILBAG@USFARMREPORT.COM OR CALL AND LEAVE US A VOICE MAIL.

2ND HALF:
JOHN’S OPEN:
HELLO AND WELCOME TO U.S. FARM REPORT, I'M JOHN PHIPPS. AUGUST IS NOT A PARTICULARLY AGREEABLE MONTH. THIS AUGUST MAY BE WORSE THAN USUAL. NOT ONLY IS MOST OF OUR COUNTRY STRUGGLING WITH PERSISTENT WEATHER EXTREMES, BUT OUR PUBLIC DEBATES ARE MORE NUMEROUS AND CONTENTIOUS AS WELL. IT MAKES YOU WONDER HOW THE DEFICIT DEBATE WOULD HAVE UNFOLDED HAD IT OCCURRED IN OCTOBER, FOR EXAMPLE. AND I MARVEL THAT TEXAS AND OTHER DEEP SOUTH STATES STILL FUNCTION AT ALL. I KNOW WE'LL BE COMPLAINING ABOUT COLD WEATHER ALL TOO SOON, BUT MY GUESS IS IT MAY NOT BEGIN UNTIL WELL INTO WINTER THIS YEAR. AND I HOPE A FEW CRISP, COOL DAYS WILL CHILL OUR RHETORIC AS WELL. LET'S GET STARTED WITH THE HEADLINES AND AL PELL...

SALMONELLA OUTBREAK: THANK YOU JOHN. CARGILL IS RECALLING 36-MILLION POUNDS OF GROUND TURKEY. AND SOME OF IT MAY BE SITTING IN YOUR FREEZER. FEDERAL HEALTH OFFICIALS ARE INVESTIGATING A MULTI-STATE OUTBREAK OF SALMONELLA 'HEIDELBERG' INFECTIONS. THE CDC SAYS ONE CALIFORNIA MAN DIED AND 79 PEOPLE IN 26 STATES GOT SICK FROM THE CONTAMINATION. THOUGH PRODUCED BY CARGILL, THE TURKEY IS SOLD UNDER VARIOUS NAMES. THE LONG LIST CAN FOUND AT WWW.CARGILL.COM. THE CDC SAYS THIS PARTICULAR STRAIN IS RESISTANT TO MANY OF THE ANTIBIOTICS USED TO FIGHT IT.

PILGRIMS PRIDE: ONE OF THE LARGEST POULTRY PROCESSORS IN THE COUNTRY SAYS RISING FEED COSTS CONTINUE TO BITE AT THEIR BOTTOM LINE. PILGRIMS PRIDE IS THE SECOND LARGEST CHICKEN COMPANY IN THE U.S. IT SAYS FEED COSTS FOR THE FIRST HALF OF THIS YEAR ARE 400-MILLION DOLLARS HIGHER THAN THE FIRST HALF OF LAST YEAR. PILGRIMS PRIDE EMERGED FROM BANKRUPTCY LAST YEAR.

MILK QUALITY FARM SIZE: DO SMALLER DAIRIES PRODUCE A HIGHER QUALITY PRODUCT THAN COMMERCIAL DAIRY FARMS? NOT NECESSARILY ACCORDING TO RESEARCH CONDUCTED IN WISCONSIN. THE FOOD SCIENCE DEPARTMENT AT THE UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN STUDIED MORE THAN 14,000 WISCONSIN DAIRY FARMS. THEIR RESEARCHERS FOUND THAT THE LARGER THE FARM, THE HIGHER THE QUALITY OF MILK. THOSE RESULTS ARE BASED ON 'SOMATIC CELL COUNTS', OR SCC. GENERALLY SPEAKING, A LOWER SCC INDICATES BETTER ANIMAL HEALTH. THE AVERAGE SCC ON SMALLER FARMS WAS 369,000. THE LARGER DAIRIES HAD AN AVERAGE S-C-C OF 273,000. THE LEAD RESEARCHER SAID LARGER FARMS TEND TO HAVE MORE MONEY TO BUY BETTER EQUIPMENT.

GLUTEN LABELING: THE FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION IS TAKING A NEW LOOK AT HOW TO LABEL FOODS "GLUTEN FREE." THE AGENCY PROPOSED STANDARDS IN 2007 FOR LABELING FOODS THAT DON'T HAVE THE CEREAL PROTEIN BUT THEY WERE NEVER FINALIZED. GLUTEN IS FOUND IN WHEAT, RYE AND BARLEY. IT CAN INFLAME THE SMALL INTESTINE IN PEOPLE WHO HAVE CELIAC DISEASE. THE FDA SAID TUESDAY THAT IT WILL SEEK NEW COMMENTS ON THOSE STANDARDS, WHICH SET A MINIMUM AMOUNT OF GLUTEN THAT A PRODUCT CAN CONTAIN TO BE LABELED "GLUTEN FREE." RIGHT NOW, THE AMOUNTS CAN VARY WIDELY.

HEARTLAND; CLINTON’S CHURCH: AS YOU MAY KNOW BY NOW, TEXAS, NEW MEXICO AND PRETTY MUCH THE ENTIRE SOUTH IS IN A DROUGHT. CROPS HAVE WITHERED AND GRAZING LAND IS NEARLY NON-EXISTENT, ESPECIALLY IN THE SOUTHWEST. TO SAY SOME FARM AND RANCHING FAMILIES ARE PRAYING FOR RAIN WOULD UNDERSELL THE SITUATION. PRAYING AND CHURCH IS AN IMPORTANT PART OF LIFE FOR MANY PEOPLE IN THAT REGION. AS CLINTON GRIFFITHS TELLS US - COME RAIN, DROUGHT OR IN SOME CASES, A DISAPPEARING CONGREGATION - ONE SMALL COUNTRY CHURCH IS KEEPING A COMMUNITY ALIVE. THANKS CLINTON. HE SAYS AT ONE POINT THE CHURCH GOT DOWN TO JUST 3 OR FOUR PEOPLE. LUCKILY A PASTOR FROM A NEIGHBORING TOWN AGREED TO COME BY ON SUNDAYS AND PEWS HAVE BEEN FULL ENOUGH EVER SINCE. NEXT WEEK SPIRIT OF THE HEARTLAND HEADS TO OKLAHOMA WHERE A PINT-SIZED RODEO IS SERIOUS BUSINESS, EVEN IF THE BRONC' BUSTIN' IS REPLACED BY SMALLER CRITTERS.

MISSOURI ROBO CAMP: FOR MANY CHILDREN IN THIS COUNTRY, SUMMERTIME MEANS SUMMER-CAMP-TIME. ONE CAMP IN MISSOURI IS REPLACING S'MORES AND SWIMMING POOLS WITH MATH AND SCIENCE. AND THESE CAMPERS LOVE IT. KENT FADDIS WITH THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI EXTENSION HAS MORE. THANKS KENT. I WISH I HAD THAT SORT OF CAMP GROWING-UP! UP NEXT, TRACTOR TALES AND OUR COUNTRY CHURCH SALUTE. PLEASE STAY WITH US.

TRACTOR TALES: AL, WHAT ARE WE FEATURING THIS WEEK IN TRACTOR TALES? JOHN, WE'VE GOT A CLASSIC JOHN DEERE FROM THE EAST COAST.
THIS MODEL "A" DOES VERY LITTLE WORK THESE DAYS ON THE SMALL FARM IN MASSACHUSETTS, BUT IT DOES GET SOME FACE-TIME AT LOCAL EVENTS. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO WATCH MORE TRACTOR TALES, GO ONLINE TO WWW.USFARMREPORT.COM. AND NOW, YOU CAN DOWNLOAD THESE SEGMENTS AS PODCASTS FROM iTUNES. JUST GO TO iTUNES AND SEARCH TRACTOR TALES.

CHURCH SALUTE:  TODAY'S COUNTRY CHURCH SALUTE GOES TO ST. JOHN'S LUTHERAN CHURCH OF TROSKY, MINNESOTA WHICH IS CELEBRATING ITS CENTENNIAL THIS YEAR. IT WAS FIRST NAMED THE EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH OF TROSKY BACK IN APRIL 1911. THOUGH THE NAME HAS CHANGED, THE SPIRITUAL MESSAGE REMAINS THE SAME IN THIS SMALL FARMING COMMUNITY. SHARON JOHNSON WROTE TO US. SHE SAYS "OUR LITTLE CHURCH IS A FAMILY WHO SHARES IN EVERYBODY'S JOY, BUT YOU CAN COUNT ON THEM WHEN THERE ARE TRIALS ALSO." 32 FAMILIES CURRENTLY MAKE-UP THE CONGREGATION AND NINE OF THOSE FAMILIES ARE DESCENDANTS OF CHARTER MEMBERS. PASTOR THOMAS MICKELSON LEADS THE CONGREGATION. OUR THANKS TO SHARON FOR SHARING THE STORY. 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 - THE MAILBAG IS NEXT.

MAILBAG: TIME NOW FOR OUR WEEKLY LOOK INSIDE THE FARM REPORT MAILBAG....DICK BONNET FROM WEST VIRGINIA OBJECTED TO MY COMMENTS ABOUT HOW TO DEAL WITH THE FRACKING CONTROVERSY.  "NOT ONLY DID YOU NOT INCLUDE WEST VIRGINIA IN THE LIST OF STATES BUT YOU DREDGED UP THE TIRED "FRACKING WILL RUIN OUR WATER" ARGUMENT. THE EPA HAS NEVER CONFIRMED A CASE WHERE FRACKING FLUIDS OR FRACKING ITSELF HAS CONTAMINATED A WATER WELL." ACTUALLY DICK, THERE IS ONE DOCUMENTED CASE OF CONTAMINATION, AND I'LL POST THE LINK. I DON'T BELIEVE THAT FRACKING PRESENTS A SERIOUS OBSTACLE TO EXPLOITING THIS ENERGY BONANZA, BUT OUR CURRENT POLITICAL PROCESS DOES. IF YOU HAVEN'T NOTICED, WE NO LONGER ARE GUIDED BY SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE, THE CONSENSUS OF EXPERTS, OR TRUST IN INSTITUTIONS. WE DECIDE ISSUES LIKE FRACKING BASED ON SELF-INTEREST, AND THE INTERNET PROVIDES US WITH EITHER CHERRY-PICKED EVIDENCE OR OUTRIGHT FALSEHOODS TO SUPPORT OUR CASE. FROM VACCINES TO CLIMATE CHANGE, FEW CHANGE THEIR MINDS BECAUSE OF OPEN DEBATE. ONE WORKAROUND IS TO NULLIFY THE FRACKING ISSUE BEFORE IT BEGINS WITH RURAL WATER SYSTEMS. GAS COMPANIES DRILL HOLES AND LAY PIPE, AND ARE SOURCING SIGNIFICANT WATER SUPPLIES FOR THEIR PROCESSING, HOW HARD WOULD ADDING A FEW THOUSAND FAUCETS BE? MY BET IS YOU COULD PAY FOR IT FROM LAWYER FEES AND DELAY COSTS. AT THE SAME TIME THE GOVERNMENT HAS A HIGH PRIORITY FOR RURAL WATER SYSTEMS. DO WE HAVE TO DO EVERYTHING THE HARD WAY? AS ALWAYS, WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU, SEND COMMENTS TO MAILBAG@USFARMREPORT.COM OR LEAVE US A VOICE MAIL AT 800-792-4329.

 

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