USFR Weekly Recap - December 29-30, 2012

December 29, 2012 08:43 AM

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EPISODE # 2055

DECEMBER 29-30, 2012  



Hello and welcome to U.S. Farm Report, I’m John Phipps. A good friend of mine once shared his opinion on taxes that has stuck with me. Once you pay your taxes, he said, you can keep everything that's left. At the time, I thought that was cute but not helpful, but the longer I live, the more futility I see in raising my blood pressure over percentage points of income. I can point to production and financial blunders of my own making that have had far more impact. Farmers have been beneficiaries of both public support and good economic times. Although my tax calculations for 2012 took my breath away, after I pay it, I can keep everything that's left. I can live with that.

As we count down the days until we ring in the new year, big changes in tax laws are in store for 2013.
The outlook for cotton acres in 2013 doesn't look promising. National cotton council's chief economist Gary Adams says with a surplus of cotton in the world, the country really holding the destiny of cotton prices is China. EPA administrator Lisa Jackson announced she's resigning next month. Jackson was the first African American to lead the agency. The current Deputy Administrator will fill in until a successor is named. And that pre-Christmas snow storm that traveled from Colorado to the upper Midwest brought little drought relief. The drought monitor shows a nine-point improvement in Iowa, but no change in Nebraska. 96% of the state is in extreme or exceptional drought.


Crop watch this week.


Tommy Grisafi from Indiana Grain Company and Chip Nellinger from Blue Reef Agrimarketing are here to talk markets.


In 1811, French philosopher Joseph De Maistre wrote: "Every nation has the government it deserves." this cynical observation is not without a grain of truth, especially for democracies like ours. In many ways, the government which polls indicate we hold in very low esteem is largely the result of our own decisions. But I would suggest it may go farther than just blame. While we mutter our frustrations over inaction in Washington regarding the fiscal cliff or the farm bill, consider this: what if we simply assigned 535 randomly chosen American’s from the appropriate locations to tackle the same issues? I struggle to imagine any more commitment to national goals or ability to compromise among that group. In fact, I could see even less. Perhaps our government is more representative than we think. Clearly I could be way off base, but as I notice how carefully I avoid many discussion topics, especially with strangers, it would seem to indicate at some level, I believe we have less common ground than we used to. Technology now enables us to build our own closed communities of shared values. We are no longer confined by our zip code. In a way, that's a shame. When we were essentially trapped by geography, we were more or less forced to learn to get along. Now we can live side by side and agree on very little. Another Frenchman, Louis the Fourteenth perhaps described the problem best when he quipped, "l'etat, c'est mois - the state, it is.



Hello and welcome to U.S. Farm Report, I’m John Phipps. While we have been worried about falling over the fiscal cliff, a few of us have only recently noticed commodities have been on a gentle glide downward. This is especially true for corn, and doubtless will be discussed in our roundtable later. That may turn out to be the larger problem with the now tiresome fiscal cliff - the distraction it has proved to be for our entire economy. When we do refocus our attention on other mundane matters, there could some abrupt actions. The fiscal cliff has been a godsend for the media during what is normally a very slow news period. But it certainly makes many of us even more wistful about Christmas past.


Without a deal being struck in Congress for fiscal policy and a new farm bill, speculation surfaced among economists this week, including the possibility of milk prices doubling next year.
We talked to Dairy Today Editor Jim Dickrell and he says there's a slim possibility of that happening. Without a farm bill, we'll revert back to 1949 law that requires USDA to support dairy prices 75 to 90% of party. Dickrell says with current prices, that's four times the current support price level.
Meanwhile, demand growth for dairy may slow in 2013, but won't preclude a price recovery in the dairy industry next year. That's according to a new report by Rabobank. The company says dairy consumption worldwide remains weaker than anticipated and expects milk production growth in key export regions to continue to fall during the first half of 2013. Commerce along the Mississippi River could come to a halt earlier than expected south of St. Louis. That's according to the American Waterways Organization. The energy boom in the country could be impacting more than just job growth. According to the latest state population estimates from the U.S. census bureau, it could be benefitting population growth, as well.


Meteorologist Frank Waugh joins us now with the national forecast.


Gifts come in many forms. For some, it's a package under a tree wrapped in shiny paper and a bow. But for children with special needs - the gift comes in the form of caring volunteers who help those kids achieve milestones one step - or in this case - one trot - at a time.
Lyndall Stout from Oklahoma State's Sun-Up has more on this everlasting gift.


Tis the season to be merry and jolly and - in some cases - to overindulge. But meet a group who refuse to surrender to the holiday pounds. In this report provided by the University of Missouri, Kent Faddis has more on a program called Healthy 'U'.

Al, where are we off to this week for tractor tales?" John, we met a collector in central Montana with a classic Minneapolis Moline.


Today's country church salute goes to the Angelica United Methodist Church in Pulaski, Wisconsin which is celebrating its 125th year of ministry. While the church was officially formed in 1887, religious services date back to 1871. Back then pioneers and some members of the Menominee Indian tribe met in a log cabin schoolhouse. In 1891, church trustees received a deed for the land where the church and parsonage now stand. The present church was built in 1922. This country church is now comprised of 77 faithful members, many of whom are descendants of the founding members. Congratulations to Angelica United Methodist Church of Pulaski, Wisconsin.


Time now for our weekly look inside the Farm Report mailbag. Dave snider was irritated by a particular word:


As always, we want to hear from you, send comments to or leave us a voice mail at 800-792-4329.






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