USFR Weekly Recap - June 16-17, 2012

June 16, 2012 09:43 AM



EPISODE # 2027
JUNE 16-17, 2012



Hello and welcome to US Farm Report, I’m John Phipps, there is an intuitive but misunderstood belief that previous events can alter the probability of future events. Not always. For example, since we have had three below-trend line corn production years, the idea of another was unprecedented, and virtually discounted. But just because we have never had four bad crops in a row doesn't seem to be improving conditions in the fields. Nor is this crop destined to come up short. We'll know more soon, and if 2012 does disappoint, I suppose we'll hear, "we've never had five bad crops in a row".Time now for the's Tyne Morgan.


Thanks John. In the corn belt and the Great Plains, farmers are getting anxious for rain. The US drought monitor shows The report indicates a lack of rain this spring and there's been a big decline in the condition of the corn crop. 66% is good and excellent. For the previous two weeks without 72% and was as high as 77%. State-by-state we saw a 10- point decline in ongoing in Indiana and an eight-point decline in Iowa. And despite those declining conditions, USDA did not make any forecast changes in its latest crop production report. In May, USDA forecasted the national average corn yield of 166 bushels to the acre and production at 14-point-seven billion bushels. The lack of rain late in the season has resulted in a smaller winter wheat crop USDA puts winter wheat production at just under 1.7 billion bushels, down 1% from the May 1st forecast. Based on crop conditions as of June 1st, the United States yield is forecast at 47.3 bushels per acre, down a third of a bushel from last month. Despite the decline, winter wheat production is still 13% higher than last year. As far as carryout...ending stocks for old-crop corn remained unchanged at 851 million bushels. USDA bumped corn use for ethanol by 50 million bushels, but then also offset corn exports with a 50 million bushel decline. As far as 2012-2013 US ending stocks, the "WASDE" report pegs stocks at 1.8 billion. As far as soybeans, the supply remains tight. USDA's latest forecast for old-crop carryout of 175 million bushels was 11% lower than the average trade estimate. And USDA's projected carryout for new-crop beans of 140 million bushels fell nearly 5% below the average trade estimate. Tuesday's reports were the first major reports to be published while the Chicago grain markets were being traded. Our reporting partners at ProFarmer newsletter say there were concerns about how the market might respond to the data. Brian says the next big test will be June 29th, when USDA releases its acreage and quarterly grain stocks reports. Those are the back to John for "crop watch".


Thanks Tyne. In western Illinois - near the quad cities - a farmer says he had the potential for his best crop in 35 years, but they are losing plants on lighter soils by the day. He's never seen farm ponds this low. We heard from a farmer in St. Mary's county Maryland. Tommy Bowles said they started cutting wheat about three weeks before normal. You'll start down a bit but all the looks good. In the Northeast, said he's seen a tenth of an inch of rain since April 30th. He said with these long days the corn should be shooting up but it's just barely growing and trying to survive. When we come back, Al is in to talk markets with Gregg Hunt and Brian all gets going in just two minutes - please stay with us.


It would be impossible for us to follow in detail the progress of the Farm Bill through Congress, but events this week may offer a hint as to the outcome. First, like all Farm Bills it won't be pretty or simple. At over a thousand pages and counting, it is starting to rival the ridiculed size of the health reform act. I think we can also begin to see how hard it is to nail down program cuts. My inbox is flooded with emails from farm organizations urging action to prevent funding losses. As usual, some remarkably innovative accounting helps to mask the true costs of new proposals. The shift to an insurance-like scheme will create an enormous budget exposure if prices plummet for grains. As it appears right now, the cost estimates will prove woefully inaccurate, just like every other farm bill before. The standard legislative practice of sweetening the pot to get votes is a tougher sell this time, as at least some semblance of fiscal rigor is needed to appease deficit hawks. If a farm bill is passed it may well serve as a benchmark of how plausible other spending reductions will be going forward. There is also the very real possibility of a collision between house and senate leading to a stalemate that is the trademark of the current congress.But one thing seems clear to me. The action in Washington will probably have less impact on my future than action in Berlin or Beijing, shifting climate patterns, and global money flows. Let us know what you think.... Send emails to mailbag or call and leave us a voice mail.


Hello and welcome to US Farm Report, I’m John Phipps, there are some curious behavioral changes for farmers in a drought. Conversations often avoid talking about the weather. If there is no rain forecast, it will only make you feel worse; if there is hope, you may jinx it. Many of us throw ourselves into projects that keep our minds and eyes off what's happening outside. I'm reorganizing all the tools and supplies in the shop, for example. Meanwhile, people around us are prudently keeping their distance. Drought can dry up socializing as well as soils. Let's get started with the headlines and Tyne Morgan...


Thank you John, several regions of the US are wondering when the rain is going to come. And farmers are wondering if the dry spell will hurt their crops. Several regions of the US are wondering when the rain will come and farmers are wondering if the dry spell will hurt their crops. The latest drop monitor shows much of the Southwest Central Plains and parts of the Midwest are hungry for moisture. University of Illinois says corn planted in drier areas later in the season has resulted in smaller plants. If the dry spell continues it could impact kernels, silks and leaves which could have a negative impact on yield. The story isn't much better in Missouri. “We are obviously in a drought due to the lack of water. Root systems in corn are not developing properly. The soybean emergence is uneven, that’s always a sign of water stress. So the impacts are already being seen.” Guinan says historically a dry May in Missouri leads to a hot and dry summer. He says in May many parts of the state received less than one inch of rain. Some ranchers and lawmakers have voiced opposition to new feedlot pollution oversight - and we mean that literally. Senator Mike Johanns of Nebraska has introduced an amendment to the Farm Bill banning the EPA from using aerial surveillance over cattle ranches and feed lots. The agency is monitoring for violations of the Clean Water Act from farm run-off. They have used a similar process over watersheds for 10 years, as a way to save money on inspections. Johanna says he filed the amendment after the agency failed to provide comprehensive answers about the programs use nationwide. The amendment does not affect the use of traditional on-site inspections. While agriculture is the largest cause of non-point source pollution in rivers and lakes, another often overlooked problem is road construction. In this report provided by the LSU Agcenter, Craig Gautreaux looks at a simple fix for this recurring problem.

An Israeli scientist who pioneered an innovative way of bringing water to crops in arid and dry-land regions was named the winner of the 2012 world food prize. Doctor Daniel Hillel pioneered the use of micro-irrigation in the Middle East. Hillel is also recognized for working with people across borders. The World Food Prize organization says Hillel’s work helps to promote peace and understanding by addressing a problem that so many countries share, water scarcity. Doctor Hillel will be formally presented with his award in October.


The art of curing country ham takes years of practice to achieve perfection. In this report from the University Tennessee, Chuck tells us about a man whose expertise is helping to grow a savory passion for generations to come. Curing the country ham is done year-round. This is the country ham project in Rutherford County. What it takes to have learned in the past few years including Savanna and Sam one who thought this would be cool to try. I thought, it looks fun and you get to eat it, so let's go in and take it and do it all. This process was handed down through generations. You can take a handful of salt and cure of 25-pound ham which is a miraculous process. The water will be expelled through osmosis, and the ham has a natural shelf life for it no longer requires refrigeration. It takes 10 months for the ham to go from raw two seasons, and becoming more dry. But for a tourist monitor their hate and eventually turn them and show them at the state fair as well as learning about other vacuum sealing and current practices. There are other important things taught here. Or age is not trying to teach them how to cure a ham; they are trying to teach life skills. Achieving goals and self- esteem. And don't forget patients. A key ingredient of life lesson when it comes to curing hams and young people. You can learn more about this and order their products at their website.


Baxter Black was on the road when he stopped by the "garlic capitol of the world" - Gilroy, California. There, you can find just about any form of the pungent bulb - pickled, minced, powdered and of course, raw. As we have pulled off of highway 101, I was assalted by the pungent odor of garlic. A blind man driving down the road would notneed a sign to tell him that he had arrived at the annual garlic festival. There were any secular or religious worshipers of garlic. Gilroy would serve as its mecca, yet it's not alone. Certain smells can bring back vivid memories. I spent a lot of my working life in the feedlots and when I drive through towns, my nostril fill my mind with images of front-end loaders when depends and Tara Myosin. We tasted a concoction like sausage, pumpkin, artichoke, rattlesnake house pet. Cocking, fly spray, and garlic brake fluid. There are Spanish-speaking friends. Garlic has qualities that are told that particularly as being good for the heart. And although that is to fusion, its excuse should the patient be shunned by friends and family for having halitosis strong enough to drive a hyena off of a bucket about the murders. I'm sorry darling. That's all right, I’m wearing protection.

The next week we were leaving Gilroy when we could no longer a smell that deep penetrating garlic over. An oncoming vehicle swerved wildly and I saw the driver grabbing at his nose. Maybe I thought we had become used to it. One man's hog farm is another man's perfume.


We've got an Oliver 77 this week from west central Indiana. This is an Oliver 77 and this is the tractor that my uncle had started a restoration on, and it's the same year as a model of my dad and his father had used on our farm back in the 50's and 60's. We had more gear selection and we could always find a gear that really fit well for what we were trying to accomplish. Every once in a while a user to check irrigation equipment, but now it's kind of semi- retirement. When this tractor was founded was in really good condition. We change tires and freshen up into a little bit, but it came from a good home. I have a 15 -year-old son who like agriculture and he understands history and all these older are darker areas and what they represent so I hope you will want to continue on keeping our antique tractors and good condition and proud of what all I accomplished what I’ve added to the history.


Today's country church salute goes to St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church. The parish was founded in 1845 in Sunfish, Kentucky. In 1817 the Durbin family settled in the area. There was no catholic church at the time. One of the Durbin children - Elisha  would eventually become the first priest to serve this new church. A log structure was built in 1845 and served until 1893 when a larger frame church was constructed. Our thanks to church member Richard Dycke for sharing the news of St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church.


Time now for our weekly look inside the farm report mailbag....Elaine Swiler suggested I check out news about golden rice: Time now to check out the mailbag. Elaine suggested I check out the news about golden rice. Read the "Wall Street Journal" article entitled “Red Tape Hobbles the Harvest of Life Saving Rice”. Thanks for the heads-up, Elaine. I was familiar with the Golden Rice project but things have changed since I last examined the situation. Golden rice is genetically modified rice that helps overcome vitamin A deficiency, a serious problem for the world’s poor. Its name deserves its color. When introduced back in 2000, it was immediately touted as the long-awaited GMO with benefits for consumers and not just producers. But it too had problems. First, the vitamin content was so low it required unfeasible amounts of consumption. Second there was the headache of licensing, tech fees and saving seed. Economics matter too. The alternative of just two vitamin pills per year to alleviate most of the suffering for a cost of about $1 per child. Some issues have been overcome with Golden Rice also which have higher levels of beneficial components. And regulatory issues may not be the major problem. 80% of the world depends on rice, many almost entirely, and it's always been white.

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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