USFR Weekly Recap - March 5-6, 2011

March 8, 2011 03:39 AM
 

THIS WEEK ON U.S. FARM REPORT
EPISODE #1960
MARCH 5-6, 2011

AL’S OPEN: HELLO AND WELCOME TO U.S. FARM REPORT, I'M AL PELL. JOHN IS ON ASSIGNMENT AT THE COMMODITY CLASSIC. WE'VE GOT LOTS TO COVER OVER THE NEXT 60 MINUTES - INCLUDING STOPS IN MISSOURI, GEORGIA AND CALIFORNIA. AND IN JUST A FEW MINUTES, OUR ROUND-TABLE OF ANALYSTS WILL EXAMINE THE ONGOING BULL MARKET FOR GRAINS...GREAT NEWS FOR MANY IN AGRICULTURE, BUT NOT ALL. BUT FIRST, LET'S GET STARTED WITH THE HEADLINES...HERE'S TRICIA SLOMA.

UN FOOD PRICES: THANKS AL AND HELLO EVERYYONE. GLOBAL FOOD PRICES INCREASED FOR THE EIGHTH CONSECUTIVE MONTH IN FEBRUARY, SETTING A NEW ALL-TIME HIGH. THE UNITED NATION'S FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION SAYS FOOD PRICES CLIMBED MORE THAN 2% FROM THE JANUARY LEVELS. THE FAO SAYS THE INCREASE IS LED BY THE DAIRY SECTOR WHERE PRICES ROSE BY 4%. CEREAL GRAINS WERE UP 3.5%. AND MEATS ARE UP 2%. THE ORGANIZATION SAYS THE OIL MARKET RALLY PROMPTED BY MIDDLE EAST UNREST HAS WORSENED FURTHER PROSPECTS FOR WORLD FOOD SECURITY. CRUDE OIL REMAINS ABOVE 100-DOLLARS A BARREL FOR THE WEEK. THE FAO SAYS FURTHER "SPIKES" IN OIL PRICES "COULD FURTHER EXACERBATE AN ALREADY PRECARIOUS SITUATION IN FOOD MARKETS".

PORK PRICES: NOW TO THE PORK SECTOR, WHERE PRODUCERS ARE IN A BALANCING ACT. THEY'RE GETTING RECORD-HIGH PRICES FOR THEIR HOGS. BUT THEY'RE ALSO PAYING RECORD HIGH PRICES FOR FEED. PURDUE AG ECONOMIST CHRIS HURT SAYS THE INDUSTRY IS WALKING A TIGHT-ROPE RIGHT NOW. HE SAYS PRODUCER PRICES SHOULD BE HIGH ENOUGH TO COVER FEED COSTS. BUT HE WARNS THAT PRODUCERS NEED TO BE WORRIED ABOUT THAT DELICATE BALANCE. HURT SAYS THERE IS CONCERN CONSUMERS MAY NOT BE WILLING TO PAY HIGHER PORK PRICES. THE OTHER CONCERN IS WEATHER THREATENING THIS YEARS CROPS. AS WE'VE BEEN REPORTING, THE AMOUNT OF CORN IN STORAGE IS AT ITS LOWEST LEVEL IN 15 YEARS. IF WEATHER HAMPERS THIS YEARS CROP, THAT WILL PUT ADDITIONAL PRESSURE ON FEED PRICES.

US DAIRY EXPORTS: MEANWHILE, THE U.S. DAIRY EXPORT COUNCIL SAYS SALES OF U.S. DAIRY GOODS LAST YEAR SHOWED BIG GAINS FROM 2009. USDEC SAYS SALES GREW 39% OVER 2009 LEVELS. AND IT'LL PROBABLY COME AS NO SURPRISE, BUT CHINA IS A BRIGHT SPOT FOR WORLD DAIRY TRADE. THE EXPORT COUNCIL SAYS CHINA PURCHASED 320,000 METRIC TONS OF MILK POWDER LAST YEAR. THAT'S SEVEN TIMES HIGHER THAN THE AMOUNT PURCHASED IN 2008.

WHEAT CROP: IN KANSAS, 40% IS POOR TO VERY POOR. 35% IS FAIR. IN TEXAS, 56% IS CALLED POOR TO VERY POOR WITH 26% FAIR. AND IN OKLAHOMA, 42% POOR TO VERY POOR. 39% IS FAIR. MANY OF THE REGIONS SUFFERED THRU ARCTIC COLD TEMPERATURES WITH LITTLE SNOW COVER TO PROTECT THE CROP. AS SPRING DRAWS NEAR, THE LACK OF MOISTURE AND SNOW COVER THIS WINTER HAS MANY FARMERS IN THE CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN PLAINS CONCERNED FOR THEIR WINTER WHEAT CROPS. USDA RELEASED PROGRESS REPORTS ON THE WHEAT CROPS IN KANSAS, OKLAHOMA AND TEXAS.

ROUNDTABLE: ANDY SHISSLER AND SUE MARTIN

JOHN’S WORLD: JOHN IS ON THE ROAD THIS WEEK IN FLORIDA...BUT BEFORE TAKING OFF, HE OFFERED COMMENTS ON WHAT HE BELIEVES IS THE ROOT CAUSE OF THE TURMOIL OVERSEAS. LET US KNOW WHAT YOU THINK.... SEND EMAILS TO MAILBAG@USFARMREPORT.COM OR CALL AND LEAVE US A VOICE MAIL.

2ND HALF:
AL’S OPEN:
HELLO AND WELCOME TO U.S. FARM REPORT, I'M AL PELL. THE CALENDAR HAS TURNED TO MARCH AND SPRING FEVER IS STARTING TO TAKE HOLD IN PARTS OF FARM COUNTRY. IN FACT, PLANTING HAS ALREADY BEGUN IN PARTS OF THE SOUTHERN CORN BELT. BUT FOR MOST, FIELD-WORK IS STILL WEEKS AWAY...AND THAT'S WHY MANY GROWERS - JOHN INCLUDED - TRAVELED TO TAMPA THIS WEEK FOR THE 2011 COMMODITY CLASSIC. FOR MORE ON THAT EVENT PLUS THE REST OF THE WEEK'S HEADLINES, HERE'S TRICIA SLOMA.

COMMODITY CLASSIC: THANKS AL. AND HELLO EVERYONE. MANY OF THE TOP GRAIN PRODUCERS IN THE COUNTRY GATHERED THIS WEEK FOR THE ANNUAL COMMODITY CLASSIC TRADE SHOW. THIS YEARS CONVENTION IS BEING HELD IN TAMPA, FLORIDA. COMMODITY CLASSIC IS A LARGE CONVENTION AND TRADE SHOW FOR GROWERS OF WHEAT, CORN, SOYBEANS AND SORGHUM. IT'S ALSO WHERE THE GROWER-GROUPS HOLD THEIR ANNUAL MEETINGS TO SET POLICY INITIATIVES. STATE LEADERS FOR EACH COMMODITY COME TOGETHER TO BRING THEIR ISSUES TO THE TABLE. SOME OF THE KEY ISSUES FACING ALL PRODUCERS WILL BE ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATIONS AND LOOMING FEDERAL BUDGET CUTS.

BEEF PRODUCTION: WHILE GRAIN PRODUCERS ARE TALKING ABOUT THE STRONG PRICES FOR THEIR CROPS, THOSE INCREASES TRANSLATE INTO HIGHER COSTS TO FEED CATTLE. TOBIE BLANCHARD WITH THE LSU AGCENTER IS HERE WITH HOW RISING FEED AND FERTILIZER COSTS ARE AFFECTING THE INDUSTRY.

SUGARBEET CASE: ANOTHER COURT VICTORY THIS WEEK FOR SUPPORTERS OF GENETICALLY MODIFIED CROPS. A FEDERAL COURT IN CALIFORNIA OVERTURNED A PREVIOUS RULING TO DESTROY ABOUT 250 ACRES OF GM SUGAR BEETS. IN NOVEMBER, THE COURTS ORDERED THE DESTRUCTION OF THE SEEDLINGS. BUT THAT ORDERED WAS DELAYED. NOW, THE 9TH CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS SAYS THE SEEDLINGS THAT WERE PLANTED IN SEPTEMBER DO NOT POSE AN IMMINENT RISK FOR CROSS-CONTAMINATION OF NON-BIOTECH CROPS. GENETICALLY MODIFIED SUGAR BEETS ACCOUNT FOR 95 PERCENT OF THOSE BEING GROWN IN THE US. THE AG DEPARTMENT SAYS BEET SUGAR PROVIDES ABOUT HALF OF THE TOTAL US SUGAR SUPPLY. GROWERS HAVE SAID THAT THERE'S AN INADEQUATE SUPPLY OF CONVENTIONAL SEED TO ENSURE A RELIABLE US SUGAR SUPPLY IN 2011.

WOMEN FARMERS: THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE IS TRYING TO RESOLVE ALLEGATIONS OF DISCRIMINATION IN ITS LENDING PRACTICES.  USDA ANNOUNCED A PROPOSAL TO SETTLE LAWSUITS BROUGHT BY HISPANIC AND WOMEN FARMERS. USDA SAYS THIS IS SIMILAR TO THE SETTLEMENT BROUGHT BY BLACK AND NATIVE-AMERICAN FARMERS. THIS PROGRAM PROVIDES UP TO 50-THOUSAND DOLLARS FOR EACH HISPANIC OR WOMAN FARMER WHO CAN SHOW USDA DENIED THEM A FARM LOAN FOR DISCRIMINATORY REASONS.

HEARTLAND: FOR GROWERS ACROSS MUCH OF FARM COUNTRY, THE DARK DAYS OF WINTER ARE STILL LINGERING. BUT THANKS TO INNOVATION, SOME FARMERS IN THE SHOW-ME STATE HAVE FIGURED OUT A WAY TO EXTEND THE GROWING SEASON. IN THIS REPORT FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI, KENT FADDIS SHOWS US WHAT IT TAKES TO RAISE FRESH VEGETABLES IN THE DEAD OF WINTER. TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THIS PROJECT, HEAD ONLINE TO WWW.EXTENSION.MISSOURI.EDU ...WE'LL POST A LINK ON OUR HOME PAGE FOR INSTANT ACCESS.NEXT WEEK WE'RE OFF TO THE CENTRAL VALLEY OF CALIFORNIA TO VISIT A FARM WHERE CELERY IS KING. THAT STORY NEXT WEEK ON "SPIRIT OF THE HEARTLAND".

BIOTECH PLANTINGS: IT APPEARS THE ADOPTION OF BIOTECH CROPS IS ON THE RISE AROUND THE GLOBE. ACCORDING TO NEW FIGURES FROM AN INTERNATIONAL BIOTECH RESEARCH FIRM, THE AMOUNT OF LAND PLANTED TO GENETICALLY MODIFIED CROPS JUMPED BY 10% LAST YEAR.
IN ALL, THE REPORT SHOWS 81% OF ALL SOYBEANS, 64% OF ALL COTTON, 29% OF ALL CORN AND 23% OF ALL CANOLA RAISED GLOBALLY WERE FROM BIOTECH VARIETIES IN 2010. EVEN SO, ONLY 10% OF THE WORLD'S TOTAL FARMLAND IS DEVOTED TO BIOTECH PRODUCTION. THE U.S., BRAZIL AND ARGENTINA LEAD THE WAY IN BIOTECH ADOPTION. GMO SEEDS WERE FIRST PLANTED JUST 15 YEARS AGO.
 

 

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