USFR Weekly Recap - July 16-17, 2011

July 18, 2011 06:02 AM
 

THIS WEEK ON U.S. FARM REPORT
EPISODE #1979
JULY 16-17, 2011

JOHN’S OPEN: HELLO AND WELCOME TO U.S. FARM REPORT, I'M JOHN PHIPPS. ALTHOUGH I TRIED NOT TO CHECK THE MARKETS WHEN I WAS GONE THE DRAMA WAS TOO GREAT TO IGNORE. IN A FLOOD OF VOLATILITY AND CONFUSION, GOVERNMENT REPORTS, FISCAL POLICY, INTERNATIONAL FINANCE AND EXTREME WEATHER ALL STIRRED THE FEARS AND HOPES OF BUYERS AND SELLERS. LESS THAN A DECADE AGO WE COULD GO AN ENTIRE YEAR WITH A THIRTY CENT RANGE IN CORN. WHILE YOU MAY BE NOSTALGIC FOR THAT KIND OF MARKET STABILITY, MY MEMORY WAS WE FRETTED OVER A NICKEL LOST JUST AS MUCH AS WE DO OVER A DOLLAR NOW. MAYBE THE WAY WE SHOULD JUST CELEBRATE HOW LARGE OUR WORRY CAPACITY HAS BECOME. TIME NOW FOR THE HEADLINES.....HERE'S AL PELL.

WASDE REPORT: THANK YOU JOHN. USDA'S LATEST SUPPLY-DEMAND REPORT SHOWS CONTINUING TIGHT SUPPLIES OF CORN IN THIS COUNTRY.
USDA PEGGED 2010-11 CORN ENDING STOCKS AT 880 MILLION BUSHELS, COMPARED TO 730 MILLION A MONTH AGO. THAT'S LOWER THAN TRADERS EXPECTED. LIKEWISE, NEW CROP CORN ALSO HAD A LOWER CARRYOUT - UNDER A BILLION BUSHELS. FOR THE ANIMAL SECTOR THE REAL STORY IS ABOUT USEAGE. FOR THE FIRST TIME, USDA SAYS LIVESTOCK AND POULTRY SECTOR IS NO LONGER THE BIGGEST CONSUMER OF U.S. CORN. USDA SAYS IT WAS SURPASSED BY ETHANOL.

WHEAT PRODUCTION: USDA ALSO RELEASED ITS WHEAT PRODUCTION FIGURES AND THEY SHOW HOW THE WET SPRING AND SUBSEQUENT FLOODING IMPACTED THE DURUM WHEAT CROP THIS YEAR. MUCH OF THAT CROP IS GROWN IN THE NORTHERN PLAINS. USDA PUTS DURUM WHEAT PRODUCTION DOWN 41% FROM LAST YEAR. AS FAR AS WINTER WHEAT PRODUCTION, THE AG DEPARTMENT IS FORECASTING 1.5 BILLION BUSHELS, UP 3% FROM LAST MONTH AND UP SLIGHTLY FROM LAST YEAR. THE WHEAT YIELD IS FORECAST AT JUST OVER 46 BUSHELS AN ACRE, UP ABOUT A BUSHEL FROM LAST MONTH.

DEAN FOODS: DEAN FOODS COMPANY ANNOUNCED AN AGREEMENT WITH A GROUP OF DAIRY PRODUCERS WHICH ACCUSED THE COMPANY OF PRICE FIXING. THE CLASS-ACTION LAWSUIT ACCUSED DEAN FOODS OF ANTI-COMPETITIVE PRACTICES TO LOWER FARM MILK PRICES. UNDER THE PROPOSED SETTLEMENT, DEAN AGREES TO PAY THE PRODUCERS 140 MILLION DOLLARS OVER A FIVE-YEAR PERIOD. ABOUT 7,200 PRODUCERS ARE COVERED IN THE AGREEMENT. ACCORDING TO OUR PARTNERS AT DAIRY TODAY, THIS AGREEMENT DOES NOT SETTLE THE RELATED SUIT AGAINST DAIRY FARMERS OF AMERICA CO-OP. 

CLEAN WATER: THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES HAS PASSED A BILL LIMITING THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT'S ROLE IN PROTECTING WATERS FROM POLLUTION. THE BILL BARS EPA FROM OVERRULING STATES ON WATER QUALITY DECISIONS. LAST YEAR, EPA SET NUTRIENT RUNOFF LEVELS FOR THE STATE OF FLORIDA. THAT WAS THE FIRST TIME THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SET LEVELS FOR INDIVIDUAL STATES. THE AMERICAN FARM BUREAU SAYS EPA IS OVERSTEPPING ITS BOUNDS BY DOING SO. THE BILL PASSED THE HOUSE BY A 239-184 VOTE, BUT OUR PARTNERS AT PROFARMER SAY IT'S UNLIKELY THE DEMOCRAT-CONTROLLED SENATE WOULD APPROVE SIMILAR LEGISATION.

CROP WATCH: CROP WATCH THIS WEEK TAKES US TO TWO OF THE I-STATES. POWERFUL STORMS ON MONDAY TOOK A TOLL ON SEVERAL COUNTIES IN IOWA AND GRAPHIC PICTURES HERE I'M AFRAID. MARSHALL COUNTY IOWA. THE FARMER SAID THOUSANDS OF ACRES OF CORN LOOKED LIKE THIS. VIOLENT WINDS BLEW THROUGH EARLY MONDAY MORNING. CROPS THAT LOOKED PERFECT HOURS BEFORE HAVE BEEN DESTROYED. THIS GROWER IS SEEN BRINGING IN THE FIRST EARS OF HIS CROP. FARM JOURNAL'S PAM SMITH SENT US THIS PHOTO. SHE SAYS THIS GROWER SELLS TO LOCAL VENDORS AND NATIONAL CHAINS. WHEN WE COME BACK. IT'S TIME TO TALK MARKETS.

ROUNDTABLE: OUR ROUND TABLE GATHERS ON A FARM IN CENTRAL ILLINOIS. THE DISCUSSION BEGINS IN TWO MINUTES. PLEASE STAY WITH US. OUR MARKETING ROUND TABLE THIS WEEK TAKES US TO DIXON, ILLINOIS. OUR GUESTS INCLUDE JIM BAUER OF BAUER TRADING AND MARK GOLD OF TOP THIRD AG MARKETING. I ASKED MARK ABOUT CURRENT LEVELS AND WHAT THEY'RE SIGNALING. WELL, IT'S TELLING YOU THE AMERICAN FARMER SOLD OUT OF ITS CORN. THE MAJOR COMPANIES WOULD BE PAYING 70 OVER. THEY'RE USED TO PAYING 30 UNDER. THAT TELLS US THE AMERICAN FARMER HAS SOLD OUT ON THEIR 2010 CORN. THAT TELLS ME THE PRICES COULD GO EVEN HIGHER YET. THE NEW CROP BASIS IS 30, 50 UNDER DEPENDING ON WHERE YOU ARE IN THE MIDWEST. STRONG BASIS. WE'RE GONG TO SEE FLUCTUATIONS NOT ONLY AT THESE BASE LEVELS WHEN IT BREAKS IN ONE DAY, YOU'RE GOING TO SEE THE LEVELS COME DOWN DRAMATICALLY. WE'RE GOING TO SEE FLUCTUATIONS BUT THE FLAT PRICES AS WELL. IS THERE A DANGER OF THE SAME THING HAPPENING? THE WHEAT MARKET IS BROKEN. THERE'S NO CONVERSIONS. WHEN WE'RE TALKING ABOUT THIS KIND OF BASIS, ARE WE RUNNING A RISK OF HAVING A PROBLEM WITH THE CORN MARKET TOO WHEN YOU COME TO TRYING TO CLOSE THESE MARKETS OUT? I THINK WE'RE GOING TO SEE SOME UNPRECEDENTED VOLATILITY, THIS YEAR IN PARTICULAR. WE'VE ALREADY HAD SOME. EVEN MORE?
OH, MY GOODNESS, ONE OF THE THINGS WE'RE LOOKING AT NOW IS THE TRANSITION FROM OLD CROP TO NEW CROP COULD BE THE MOST VOLATILE. FIRST, WE'VE GOT GOOD DEMAND FINISHING UP THE YEAR FROM THE ETHANOL SIDE. THE MARGINS HAVE IMPROVED. WE'RE GOING TO HAVE CORN DEMAND IN THE SIMPLE TIME HERE. WE'RE GOING TO HAVE A HARVEST THAT LOOKS LIKE IT'S GOING TO START LATER. VERY LITTLE SEPTEMBER HARVEST IS GOING TO BE SEEN WHERE LAST YEAR AGGRESSIVE HARVEST WAS SEEN. WE'RE ALSO SEEING MORE DEMAND FOR NEW CROP EXPORTS. NEW CROP EXPORT DEMAND HAS BEEN STRONG THE LAST MONTH IN THE BREAK IN PRICES. THE DEMAND IN CORN IS THERE. SUPPLY IS GOING TO BE DELAYED AND WE HAVE A TIGHT CARRYOUT. THERE'S A DISLOCATION SUPPLY. WHERE THE MARKET NEEDS THE CORN, THE EAST. THE CORN IS IN THE WEST. THAT TRANSLATES ON TREMENDOUS OPPORTUNITIES, I THINK, FOR PRODUCERS IN THE NEXT 30 TO 60 DAYS. IF THERE'S OLD CROP LEFT --I AGREE WITH MARK, THERE'S NOT MUCH LEFT, BUT THE TRANSITION IS GOING TO BE SOME OF THE MOST VOLATILE THAT WE'VE SEEN. DEMAND WAS ACTUALLY HIGHER THAN WHAT THEY ANTICIPATED? I WAS WORRIED ABOUT DEMAND NUMBERS COPPING IN MORE NEGATIVE. YOU'RE RIGHT. THE DEMAND NUMBERS BY THEMSELVES PRETTY MUCH ACROSS THE BOARD LOOK TO BE BETTER, ESPECIALLY THE INCREASE, 100 MILLION IN EXPORTS. ETHANOL USAGE WAS UP. THAT SURPRISED ME. THAT EXTRA 250 MILLION MAKES YOU WONDER HOW WE'RE GOING TO ENTER INTO THIS REAL CRITICAL TIME FRAME IN JULY AND AUGUST. DRIVING OVER FROM LAFAYETTE TO HERE, I CAN SEE THE CORN IS IN DISTRESS. IT CAN'T LAST TOO MUCH LONGER WITHOUT A DRINK. I THINK THE NEXT TEN TO 14 DAYS ARE GOING TO BE IMPORTANT. I TALKED TO MY WEATHER MAN THIS MORNING IN DETAIL. THAT MIDWAY FORECAST LOOKS THREATENING TO ME. THE NEXT SEVERAL DAYS THE MARKET IS REALLY GOING TO BE HONED IN ON THIS WEATHER FORECAST. WHAT KIND OF WEATHER DO YOU USE FOR PIPELINE, THAT WE REALLY CAN'T GET BELOW IT. IT USED TO BE 500, BUT I'M KIND OF WONDERING IF THAT'S A GOOD WORKING FIGURE? I STILL DON'T THINK THAT'S BAD NUMBER, BETWEEN FIVE TO 600 MILLION. I THINK THAT'S ACCEPTABLE. WE STILL HAVE CARRYOUTS THAT ARE 800, 900 MILLION DEPENDING ON HOW THEY'RE GOING TO FUDGE THE NUMBERS AGAIN. ALL RIGHT. I HEARD THAT. WE'VE SEEN THE USA PUT IN 300 MILLION AND GOT 500. WE'RE GETTING TO THESE PRICE LEVELS AND YOU GUYS HAVE TREMENDOUS OPPORTUNITIES OUT HERE. YOU HAVE TREMENDOUS PROFITABILITY PER ACRE. THAT'S A LOOK AT SOME OF THESE OPPORTUNITIES AND TRY TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF IT IN MY OPINION IS A MARKETING OPPORTUNITY THAT MAY BE LOST. NONE OF US KNOW WHERE THIS IS GOING TO GO. WE KNOW WHERE WE'RE GOING TODAY. YOU'VE COME A LONG WAY SINCE THE JUNE 30th REPORT. HOW MANY WOULD HAVE THOUGHT TWO WEEKS AGO THAT YOU COULD HAVE HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO SELL THESE KIND OF PRICES AGAIN. WELL, THE LORD DOESN'T GIVE YOU TOO MANY OPPORTUNITIES LIKE THIS. I WOULD TAKE ADVANTAGE OF IT. WAS THAT THE FEED BUYERS' WINDOW? WELL, IT WAS CERTAINLY CHINA'S OPPORTUNITY TO BUY IT ON THE BREAKS. THEY DIDN'T WASTE ANY TIME GETTING INTO THE MARKET, DID THEY? NOT AT ALL. WE'LL TALK ABOUT THE PEOPLE USING THE PRODUCTS. BACK IN A MOMENT WITH U.S. FARM REPORT. WELCOME BACK TO U.S. FARM REPORT. OUR MARKETING ROUND TABLE CONTINUES WITH A DISCUSSION ABOUT HOW CHINA IS GETTING INTO THE PORK MARKET AND WHAT THAT COULD MEAN FOR U.S. PRODUCERS. CERTAINLY WITH CHINA COMING INTO THE PIG MARKET, THEY MADE A STATEMENT TWO DAYS AGO THEY WANT TO ADD MORE PORK TO THEIR PROTEIN. CERTAINLY THEY'RE GOING TO BE ABLE TO AFFORD TO SEND A LITTLE MORE MONEY ON THE FEED. THE CATTLE INDUSTRY, THE NUMBERS SEEM LOW TO ME AND I DON'T KNOW HOW THEY'RE COMING UP WITH THESE NUMBERS. I DO A LOT OF FEEDER CATTLE OUT WEST. JUST TO TELL YOU ABOUT SECOND CHANCE. WE WENT FROM 142 TO 120 BACK TO 145 IN FEEDER IN JUST A LITTLE OVER A MONTH. SO WHEN IT WAS DOWN THERE AT 120, YOU FELT PRETTY BAD, BUT WHAT I'M TRYING TO SAY AND WHAT I'M ELUDING TO, THESE NEXT TWO TO THREE WEEKS ARE GOING TO MAYBE GIVE YOU YOUR CHANCE, IF YOU DIDN'T CATCH IT THE FIRST TIME, TO CATCH IT THE SECOND TIME. THESE MARKETS, AS MARK AND BRIAN SAID, THEY'RE HIGHLY VOLATILE. YOU HAVE TO BE REALLY READY TO GO. YOU HAVE TO HAVE YOUR DUCKS IN A ROW. THAT'S THE PRIME EXAM -- EXAMPLE OF HOW TO GO BACK. COTTON TOO. I DON'T KNOW IF YOU PAY ANY ATTENTION TO THAT, BUT ENORMOUS PRICE SWING FOR REALLY NO GOOD REASON. I THINK IT'S A WARNING SIGNAL, A YELLOW FLAG AT WHAT COULD HAPPEN WHEN WE LOOK AT SOYBEANS. THESE MARKETS HAVE SPECULATIVE PARTICIPATION. THAT'S TERRIFIC FOR YOU FOLKS WHEN THEY'RE ON THE MARKET. IT'S NOT SO TERRIFIC AFTER JUNE 30TH REPORTS, HOW QUICKLY EQUITY CAN EVAPORATE. WHEN YOU'RE LOOKING AT A BALANCE SHEET THAT'S STRONG RIGHT NOW AND DEFENDING IT AGAINST THE UNKNOWN. THE UNKNOWN COULD BE ANYTHING, BUT RIGHT NOW IT'S IF WE WERE TO GET FAVORABLE WEATHER THE NEXT TWO TO THREE WEEKS AND SEE THE MARKET BREAK AND THE -- SECTOR RUN FOR THE DOOR AT THE SAME TIME, I THINK THERE COULD BE A QUICK BREAK IN THE MARKETS. WE LIKE DEFENDING THE MARKETS ESPECIALLY WITH FOOT OPTIONS AND LEAVE THE UPSIDE OPEN. I WAS GOING FOR TWO WEEKS ON THE CRUISE, CAME BACK, DID I MISS ANYTHING? GOOD GRIEF, IT WAS AN ENTIRE YEAR OF MARKETING IN ONE PERIOD. WE'RE JUST NOW ENTERING THE POLLINATION PERIOD. WE'RE LATER THAN LAST YEAR. THE WEATHER IS GOING TO BE REALLY PUSHING THE VOLATILITY. ONE OF THE THINGS YOU HAVE TO REALIZE IN TERMS OF JUST HOW VOLATILE IS IT, LAST NIGHT WE HAD CORN DOWN 20 CENTS AND THEN UP 30 JUST FIVE HOURS LATER. YOU'RE GOING TO SEE THESE 50- CENT SWINGS IN CORN. YOU'RE GOING TO SEE A DOLLAR SWING IN THE BEAN MARKET IN THE NEXT THREE TO FOUR WEEKS. IF WE'RE AT 7 AND THEN THE NEXT MORNING YOU WALK IN AT 6.60, THAT DOESN'T MEAN THAT'S A BAD SALE. YOU HAVE TO LOOK AT THE BIG PICTURE AND PROTECT THESE PRICES IS A MARKETING OPPORTUNITY YOU JUST CAN'T MISS. IF YOU WANT TO LOOK AT A MARKET THAT'S FUNDAMENTALLY BULLISH, YOU JUST HAVE TO LOOK AT THE CORN MARKET: SAY YOU HAD $2 COTTON FOR THE FIRST TIME IN HISTORY. IN THE OLD CROP, SIMILAR KIND OF BALANCE SHEET TO WHAT THE CORN IS GOING THROUGH. DECEMBER CORN BECAUSE OF IT WENT TO 1.42 BACK TO 1.04 TODAY. HOW DO YOU JUSTIFY THAT? HARD TO EXPLAIN. CAN IT HAPPEN IN THE CORN MARKET? YES, IT CAN. THAT'S WHY YOU HAVE TO PROTECT IT TODAY. IT'S INTERESTING. I SAID, MY GOSH, CORN DROPPED OVER A DOLLAR AND HE SAID, YEAH, BUT WE'RE STILL ABOVE THE BUDGET. WHEN YOU LOOK AT IT THAT WAY, IT'S EASIER TO PULL THE TRIGGER. HERE'S WHAT I FIND WRONG WITH THE CONVERSATION. NOTICE HOW IT'S ALL CORN. IT'S ALL CORN. NOW, I JUST DROVE BY MILLIONS OF ACRES OF SOYBEANS. MY PREDICTION IS OPTIMAL WEATHER FOR SOYBEANS IS OVER. I THINK WE'RE GOING TO HAVE A PROBLEM WITH THE SOYBEAN CROP AS WE GET INTO LATE JULY AND FIRST FEW WEEKS IN AUGUST. WEATHER MARKETS ARE ME CURE Y'ALL IN NATURE. CORN AND SOYBEANS, PLENTY OF FIREWORKS LEFT EVEN THOUGH THE FOURTH OF JULY IS OVER. WE'LL BE BACK WITH U.S. FARM REPORT IN JUST A MOMENT.

JOHN’S WORLD: NOBODY LIKES TO HEAR ABOUT OTHER PEOPLE'S VACATIONS, BUT AT LEAST I'M NOT GOING TO SHOW MY 600 PICTURES. BUT FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO HEADING OUT SOMEWHERE SOON, I OFFER THIS OBSERVATION. WE MAY RUN SHORT OF HISTORICAL SITES PRETTY SOON. THE CROWDS AT THE PARTHENON IN GREECE, FOR EXAMPLE WERE STAGGERING, AND WHILE I DID SEE THAT MAGNIFICENT STRUCTURE WE ALL SIGHED IN RELIEF WHEN WE GOT BACK ON THE BUS. I REALIZE IT'S PEAK VACATION SEASON, BUT THE UNDERLYING PROBLEM IS THERE ARE ONLY SO MANY MUST-SEE SITES, SUCH AS THE PYRAMIDS, MONA LISA, OR WASHINGTON MONUMENT. AS THE WORLD GETS MORE PEOPLE WITH MORE MONEY, I HAVE TO THINK THESE TOURIST ATTRACTIONS WILL BE SWAMPED. IT'S HARD NOT TO SEE A HARD-PRESSED NATION LIKE GREECE USE THAT DEMAND TO SAY BOOST THE TICKET PRICES FOR ANCIENT SITES SIGNIFICANTLY, BOTH FOR ECONOMIC AND LOGISTICAL REASONS. PERHAPS THERE WILL EVEN BE RESERVATIONS SUCH AS POPULAR PARKS LIKE YOSEMITE. IT COULD EVEN BE GOVERNMENTS WILL SELL THE TOURIST CONCESSION RIGHTS TO PRIVATE OPERATIONS JUST LIKE WE HAVE SOLD TOLLWAYS AND PARKING METERS. I'M NOT SAYING THESE ARE BAD IDEAS, BUT IT LOOKS TO ME LIKE THE TREND IS GOING TO ALTER OUR IDEA OF PUBLIC ACCESS TO HISTORY. I GUESS MY CONCLUSION IS SIMPLY I'M GLAD WE WENT, AND IF YOU ARE THINKING ABOUT SEEING THE MOST FAMOUS PLACES IN THE WORLD, I'D SUGGEST YOU GO NOW. OR BETTER YET, IN THE OFF SEASON. 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. A FEW MONTHS AGO, OUR SMALL LOCAL GROCERY STORE CLOSED. THE IMPACT WAS LESS FOR US, AS JAN TRAVELS FREQUENTLY TO THE COUNTY SEAT TWENTY MILES AWAY. THE IMPACT FOR THE MANY OLDER PEOPLE WAS MUCH MORE SERIOUS. MANY DISLIKE, OR FRANKLY SHOULD NOT BE DRIVING, SO THE LOSS WAS A BLOW TO THEIR INDEPENDENT LIVING. THE GROCERY WAS ALSO A FIXTURE IN THE SOCIAL SCENE OF THE TOWN WHERE CHANCE ENCOUNTERS HELPED KEEP PERSONAL CONNECTIONS ALIVE. THE CENSUS FIGURES SHOWING CONTINUED RURAL AND SMALL TOWN DEPOPULATION REFLECT THIS TREND. IT IS IRONIC THAT ACCESS TO FOOD IMPAIRS LIVING IN THE MIDDLE OF AMAZING AGRICULTURE ABUNDANCE. LET'S GET STARTED WITH THE HEADLINES AND AL PELL...

SUPERMARKET ACCESS: THANK YOU JOHN. POLICYMAKERS HAVE BEEN SEEKING HELP FOR FOOD DESERTS - - THOSE ARE AREAS OR NEIGHBORHOODS WITH FEW HEALTHY FOOD OPTIONS OR GROCERY STORES. NOW, A NEW STUDY SAYS ACCESS TO THOSE HEALTHY FOODS DOES NOT MEAN A HEALTHY DIET. RESEARCHERS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA FOUND THAT LIVING NEAR SUPERMARKETS OR GROCERY STORES DIDN'T MEAN URBAN DWELLERS ATE HEALTHIER. THE BIGGER IMPACT WAS PROXIMITY TO FAST-FOOD RESTAURANTS. THE STUDY FOUND LOW-INCOME MEN ATE AT THE CHAIN RESTARURANTS MORE OFTEN IF THEY WERE NEAR BY. THERE WAS LITTLE EVIDENCE OF A LINK FOR MIDDLE INCOME OR WEALTHY PEOPLE. RESEARCHERS SAY IT'S SIMPLY NOT ENOUGH TO INTRODUCE A GROCERY STORE INTO A NEIGHBORHOOD AS A MEANS TO IMPROVING THE DIETS AND HEALTH OF RESIDENTS THERE.

CITRUS CHOICES: WHEN YOU GO SHOPPING AT THE GROCERY STORE FOR FRUIT AND VEGETABLES, HOW DO YOU DETERMINE WHICH PIECE YOU WILL SELECT? ACCORDING TO A NEW UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA STUDY, CONSUMERS RANK THE FLAVOR OF CITRUS AS MORE IMPORTANT THAN ITS APPEARANCE. BUT SHOPPERS DON'T GET TO TASTE FRUIT BEFORE THEY BUY IT, SO THEY CAN ONLY PICK A FRUIT BASED ON LOOKS. THAT CREATES A CHALLENGE FOR GROWERS AND GROCERS TO SATISFY CUSTOMERS. THE FLORIDA RESEARCHER SAYS FARMERS ARE INVESTING MORE INTO THEIR CROPS TO MAINTAIN GOOD LOOKING AND TASTY FRUITS. AND WITH THE DEMAND FOR FRUITS RISING AT LEAST TEN PERCENT IN THE NEXT TEN YEARS, ECONOMIST ALSO EXPECT THOSE PRICES TO RISE.

FOOD HUB: IN OTHER NEWS, DOES THE SIZE OF A FARM LIMIT A PRODUCER'S ABILITY TO BRING LOCAL FOODS TO LOCAL PEOPLE. USDA SAYS IT SHOULD NOT. SO, THE DEPARTMENT'S AG MARKETING SERVICE CREATED A NEW ONLINE TOOL TO HELP SMALLER PRODUCERS AND GROWERS FIND MARKETS FOR THEIR PRODUCTS. USDA SAYS SMALLER PRODUCERS OFTEN FACE BIG CHALLENGES GETTING THEIR PRODUCTS EFFICIENTLY OFF THE FARM AND INTO THE MARKETPLACE. THIS GOES BEYOND SELLING YOUR GOODS AT THE LOCAL FARMERS MARKET. THE AG MARKETING SERVICE CREATED THE "FOOD HUB WEB PAGE" TO CONNECT GROWERS WITH BUYERS WHO SERVE LOCAL AND REGIONAL FOOD SYSTEMS. IN THE NEW FOOD HUB, PRODUCERS, BUYERS, AND OTHERS CAN NOW ACCESS A CENTRAL CLEARINGHOUSE FOR RESOURCES, NEWS AND INFORMATION. YOU CAN ACCESS THE FOOD HUB THRU THE WEBSITE - - WWW.AMS.USDA.GOV.

HEARTLAND SAFE DENIM: IT'S FAIRLY EASY FOR A BEEF PRODUCER TO EAT THE BEEF THAT HE RAISED...A PRODUCE GROWER CAN EAT THE TOMATO THAT SHE GREW. BUT IT'S ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE FOR A COTTON PRODUCER TO KNOW THEY'RE WEARING THE FIBER FROM THEIR OWN FIELDS...UNTIL NOW. PLAINS COTTON COOPERATIVE IN LUBBOCK TEXAS STARTED A NEW LINE OF JEANS CALLED SAFE DENIM. IT'S ONE WAY PRODUCERS CAN KNOW THEY ARE WEARING SOUTHWEST GROWN COTTON, IT'S ALSO A WAY TO CREATE NEW MARKETS, AS ERICA GOSS EXPLAINS. TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE SAFE DENIM PRODUCT, GO ONLINE TO THEIR WEBSITE – WWW.SAFEDENIM.COM

BAXTER BLACK: IT'S STORY TIME NOW FROM BAXTER BLACK...THIS WEEK, PERSPECTIVE ONLY A BIG ANIMAL VET COULD OFFER.
WHEN WE COME BACK, TRACTOR TALES AND OUR COUNTRY CHURCH SALUTE...PLEASE STAY WITH US.

TRACTOR TALES: AL, I UNDERSTAND WE'RE HEADED TO THE WOLVERINE STATE FOR THIS WEEKS TRACTOR TALES. JOHN, BRIGHT ORANGE AND YELLOW MARK THE LANDSCAPE ON THIS COLLECTOR'S PROPERTY. AND THIS WEEK HE SHOWS OFF AN ANTIQUE CASE WITH SOME POWER TO BOOST. NEXT WEEK WE GO BACK IN TIME TO AN ERA WHEN TRACTORS WERE ORDERED THROUGH A CATALOGUE. SEARS, ROEBUCK AND COMPANY SOLD THESE ECONOMY TRACTORS FOR ABOUT 500 DOLLARS. THEY CAME WITH A THREE SPEED TRANSMISSION AND WERE MODELED AFTER THE FARMALL F-12.

CHURCH SALUTE:  TODAY'S COUNTRY CHURCH SALUTE GOES TO ZION LUTHERAN CHURCH IN THE NORTHWEST IOWA TOWN OF RUTHVEN. THE CHURCH HAS BEEN AROUND FOR 125 YEARS. IT WAS STARTED BY A GROUP OF SCANDINAVIAN SETTTLERS. AS SUCH, IT WAS FIRST CALLED THE NORWEGIAN, DANISH, SWEDISH ZION EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CONGREGATION." IT WAS SHORTENED TO ITS CURRENT NAME IN 1937. IN 1891, CONSTRUCTION BEGAN ON THE FIRST CHURCH BUILDING. IN THE 1950'S, WHEN THE CONGREGATION DECIDED TO BUILD A NEW, LARGER FACILITY, THERE WAS NO MONEY IN THE COFFERS. USING THEIR SKILLS AS FARMERS, THE CHURCH GROUP DECIDED TO RENT OR BUY PIECES OF LAND, CALLING THEM "GOD'S ACRES". THEY PURCHASED 80-ACRES AT 275-DOLLARS AN ACRE. THEY RECEIVED DONATIONS OF SEED, LABOR AND EQUIPMENT WAS FURNISHED BY THE CHURCH MEMBERS. THEREFORE THERE WAS LITTLE EXPENSE. BY 1960, THEY HAD MADE ENOUGH ON SELLING THEIR CROPS TO START CONSTRUCTION ON THEIR NEW CHURCH. OUR THANKS TO MARCIA LANANGER FOR SHARING THE GOOD NEWS ABOUT ZION LUTHERAN CHURCH. 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....WE RECEIVED A TECHNOLOGY QUESTION THAT I SHOULD HAVE SEEN COMING. LEONARD DEAL HAS A REQUEST: "I AM WONDERING IF THE US FARM REPORT BROADCAST IS AVAILABLE ON PODCAST, EITHER WITH OR WITHOUT COMMERCIALS. FOR ME I HAVE TO RECORD IT BECAUSE IT COMES ON AT 5:00 AM ON SUNDAY." LEONARD, IT IS HARD FOR THIS HIP, HAPPENING ENGINEER/FARMER TO ADMIT, BUT I AM FALLING SLIGHTLY BEHIND THE CURVE ON THINGS LIKE NEW COMMUNICATIONS CHANNELS AND SOCIAL MEDIA. EVEN WORSE, I CAN'T SEEM TO CARE VERY MUCH. BUT MY SON IS A BIG FAN OF PODCASTS AND IS PLUGGED IN WHENEVER HE IS DRIVING MACHINERY. FOR HIM IT IS A SUPPLEMENT TO RADIO AND A CONSIDERABLE AMOUNT OF TEXTING. UNKNOWN TO ME OUR TECHNOLOGY PEOPLE ARE ALREADY WORKING ON BUILDING A DOWNLOADABLE VERSION OF U.S. FARM REPORT. NOT LONG AGO I WOULD HAVE BEEN EMBARRASSED BY NOT ALREADY BEING DEEPLY INVOLVED IN THE LATEST FORM OF NETWORKING OR COMMUNICATING, BUT I THINK I'M CARRYING TOO MUCH BAGGAGE TO KEEP UP. I HAVE BEEN BLOGGING FOR OVER 5 YEARS, E-MAILING FOR ANOTHER DECADE, AND ADDING ONE MORE CHANNEL DOESN'T APPEAL GREATLY. FOR YOUNGER VIEWERS - WHICH IS MOST OF YOU - FACEBOOK AND PODCASTS COULD BE YOUR TRUSTED TOOLS INSTEAD. AND WHO KNOWS WHAT WE'LL BE TALKING ABOUT IN TEN YEARS. SO THANKS FOR THE SUGGESTION, LEONARD. WE'LL BE ADDING THAT FEATURE AS FAST AS WE CAN. AND IF ALL GOES AS USUAL AFTER ABOUT SIX MONTHS IT WILL BE WORKING PERFECTLY. AS ALWAYS, WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU, SEND COMMENTS TO MAILBAG@USFARM-REPORT.COM OR LEAVE US A VOICE MAIL AT 800-792-4329.
 

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