USFR Weekly Recap - November 3-4, 2012

November 3, 2012 09:43 AM

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EPISODE # 2047

NOVEMBER 3-4, 2012  



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Hello and welcome to U.S. farm report, I’m John Phipps. There is something traditional about finishing harvest by Halloween in my area. It may date back to 2000, I think, when it began to rain Halloween night and the next thing we knew it was mid-December before the combines got rolling again. Now that's scary. It is also the time to get farm bookwork up to date. Strangely, much fewer bushels did not reduce that chore. It also often turns out the running estimates of our financial position we had been keeping in our heads during this anxiety-filled season were about as accurate as our yield estimates.


Because of a massive storm called Sandy, USDA was forced to close its doors earlier this week. That meant the NASS held off releasing the weekly crop progress report until Wednesday. The yield zapping nuisance known as palmer amaranth is making its way further north. Purdue University weed specialists have confirmed the weed in five northern Indiana counties.

Archer Daniels Midland reported first quarter profits for its AG business fell 30%. The company says that's largely due to the smaller harvest in the U.S. As a whole, the company reported profits fell 60%, mainly because of a planned sale of a Mexican food company. Meanwhile, Bayer says third quarter sales spiked 11% while net income dropped 17% on the year. The company attributes the strong quarterly numbers to both its cropscience and pharmaceuticals business. Bayer says legal claims and restructuring caused the lower net income numbers. The drought has impacted many sectors of AG this year, including a hike in borrowing. The Federal Reserve System’s agricultural finance databook says in the second quarter, farm operating loans rose at their fastest pace in five years. Operating loan demand from farmers shot up as input costs rose. At the same time, livestock operations were looking for help to cover a spike in feed costs.


Crop watch this week.


Al takes over to talk markets with Mike Florez and Brian Basting.


Tuesday brings to an end the record long and astonishingly expensive political campaign season. During which we've been told the fate of the nation depends on the outcome. Such overwrought rhetoric, often complete with apocalyptic prophesies of downwards spirals or national calamities, has been especially fulsome this time. And to be sure, there will be consequences from our choices. But stepping back, we could be losing the larger picture of where the stability of our nations originates. Any political system where the selection of one leader makes all the difference hardly seems like one that would have survived, not to mention thrived, for three hundred years. The United States have had some great Presidents. We know their stories and build schools named after them. But then there were James Buchanon, Franklin Pierce, and Warren Harding. We somehow survived their legendary incompetence. The durability of our republic is not dependent solely on our choice of leadership. In fact, often we move forward despite their best efforts, not because of them. The collective actions of our citizens, in my opinion, can overpower or undermine any political scheme. The fate of our nation does hang in the balance, as it does every day. But it is a fate of our own construction, not one imposed by a few.  Anxiety over election outcomes is not new. But history clearly predicts what Americans will be facing the morning after Election Day: Wednesday.



Hello and welcome to U.S. Farm Report, I’m John Phipps. While we have had enough to keep us occupied here, farmers around the world are equally busy. Our cousins in Europe are having about as much success reforming their AG policy as we are with ours. South American competitors are struggling with too much rain and too little - kind of like Ohio and Nebraska. And Chinese farmers are waiting to see who their new leaders will be, and what they might do.  Regardless, agriculture around the globe is advancing in both capability and potential. It is one reason for well-founded optimism.


From our update file - lawyers for ABC news are asking a judge to throw-out a billion dollar defamation lawsuit filed by South Dakota-based meat processor, BPI. As the demand for more nuts grows with people wanting healthier diets, it's impacting more than just growers. It’s also creating a greater need among commercial plant nurseries. Speaking of high demand, someone has stolen thousands of pounds of walnuts in California. Authorities say a 40 thousand pound truckload of walnuts was shipped out from north California to Florida, but the truck never arrived. This is the second large walnut theft in just a few weeks. In total, 80 thousand pounds of walnuts have disappeared. The price tag for the stolen goods is estimated around 300 thousand dollars. Hope for wetter cooler winter in the southern plains is fizzling. According to the Texas Agrilife Extension Service, new reports suggest El Niño’s strength in the pacific is fading. That means it's less likely to be a wet winter. State climatologists say the odds are beginning to point toward the redevelopment of La Nina again next year.


As urban sprawl encroaches on rural America, historic farmsteads become hidden treasures. Tyne Morgan shows us why each year during national FFA convention, changing out of their  official FFA apparel and putting on their work clothes has become quite the treat for FFA members across the country.


Even before the expiration of the farm bill, U.S. Dairy policy was at a crossroads. The National Milk Producers Federation created a reform package that is now part of the proposed farm bill. One element of the Dairy Security Act is a provision that would allow the government to impose limits in milk production. Producers who violate the levels could be penalized. There’s also an alternative measure. Michelle rook has details.


Al Pell joins us this weekend with tractor tales. John, we met a very dedicated tractor club in central Montana.


Today's country church salute goes to Grace United Church of Christ of Conesville, Iowa. The congregation is celebrating its 140th anniversary this year. In 1872 the first church building went-up. It was named the German reform church. About 20 years later, a local farmer named Shakespeare Mc-Kee donated 40 acres of wheat, which helped pay for a new church. That building still stands today. Over the years, church names have changed, but one thing has remained consistent - - service to the ministry! And a special hello to church member Isabelle Buser. At 101, she's the oldest member. She's attended for 96 years! Our thanks to Janet Vincent for sharing the story.


Time now for our weekly look inside the Farm Report mailbag. Nancy Whitaker was one of several viewers to respond to my comments about the contradiction of supporting Mr. Romney and farm subsidies at the same time.



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