USFR Weekly Recap - September 10-11, 2011

September 12, 2011 06:11 AM
 

THIS WEEK ON U.S. FARM REPORT
EPISODE #1987
SEPTEMBR 10-11, 2011

 

JOHN’S OPEN: HELLO AND WELCOME TO U.S. FARM REPORT, I'M JOHN PHIPPS. AND WE'RE OFF. HARVEST 2011 IS CLEARLY UNDERWAY ACROSS MUCH OF FARM COUNTRY, EVEN IF WE'RE ONLY NIBBLING AROUND THE EDGES TO TRY TO GET AN ANSWER TO THE QUESTION: WHAT'S OUT THERE? AARON AND I NOW HAVE HARVESTED TWO COMMODITIES: CORN AND DATA. HIS PAINSTAKING EFFORTS TO CAREFULLY MAP YIELDS HAVE GIVEN US OUR FIRST HINT OF WHAT MIGHT BE LURKING IN OUR FIELDS. THIS DATA HAS VALUE - AT LEAST FOR A SHORT PERIOD - AND WE HAVE DECIDED MUCH OF THAT VALUE HAS SQUANDERED FOR NO GOOD REASON. SO WE'RE BEING A LITTLE MORE DISCRETE THAN USUAL. NOR DO WE EXPECT INFORMATION FROM OTHERS. IN FACT, INFORMATION MAY ACTUALLY BE OUR LONG-SOUGHT THIRD CROP. TIME NOW FOR THE HEADLINES.....HERE'S AL PELL.

FUTURES LIMIT: THANK YOU JOHN. PRODUCERS AND MARKET ANALYSTS WILL BE WATCHING MONDAY MORNING WHEN USDA RELEASES ITS LATEST CROP AND SUPPLY-DEMAND REPORTS. THIS WILL BE THE FIRST CROP REPORT SINCE THE CME GROUP EXPANDED DAILY LIMITS ON CORN FUTURES AND OPTIONS THREE WEEKS AGO, RISING FROM 30-TO-40 CENTS PER BUSHEL. PRIOR TO THE CHANGE, SOME ANALYSTS WERE CONCERNED THAT EXPANDED CORN LIMITS WOULD RESULT IN INCREASED VOLATILITY. BUT CME ARGUES THAT INCREASING THE LIMIT WOULD ACTUALLY DECREASE VOLATILITY. ACCORDING TO FARM JOURNAL, THE BIGGEST DAILY SETTLEMENT CHANGE HAS BEEN 22-CENTS SINCE IMPLEMENTATION. SINCE THE LAST USDA ESTIMATE, THERE HAVE BEEN SEVERAL PRIVATE FORECASTS SHOWING MUCH SMALLER YIELDS.
THE MARKET WILL SEE IF USDA LOWERS ITS AUGUST ESTIMATE OF 153-BUSHELS AN ACRE.

ALLENDALE FORECAST: ONE OF THOSE FORECASTS CAME FROM ALLENDALE INCORPORATED, WHICH RELEASED THE RESULTS OF ITS ANNUAL SURVEY THIS WEEK. THE ILLINOIS-BASED FIRM PUT CORN AT 12.46 BILLION BUSHELS WITH AN AVERAGE YIELD UNDER 148 BUSHELS AN ACRE. THIS ESTIMATE REFLECTS A 3% DECLINE FROM AUGUST. ON SOYBEANS, ALLENDALE IS SUGGESTING THE CROP WILL JUST MAKE THREE BILLION BUSHELS WITH AN AVERAGE YIELD OF 40.7 BUSHELS AN ACRE. THE ALL-WHEAT FORECAST IS PEGGED AT JUST OVER 2 BILLION BUSHELS WITH AN AVERAGE YIELD OF 43.7 BUSHELS AN ACRE

FARM INCOME: NEW NUMBERS FROM THE USDA PAINT A ROSY PICTURE FOR FARM INCOMES. THE USDA EXPECTS FARM INCOME TO HIT 103.6 BILLION DOLLARS--UP 31% FROM LAST YEAR AND NEARLY 20 BILLION HIGHER THAN THE PREVIOUS RECORD SET BACK IN 2004. HIGH WORLDWIDE GRAIN DEMAND AND LOWER CROP YIELDS ARE EXPECTED TO PUSH PRICES AND INCOMES TO RECORD LEVELS.

EXPORT FORECAST: A WEAK AMERICAN DOLLAR IS HELPING TO PUSH AG EXPORTS HIGHER. USDA EXPECTS 2012 EXPORTS OF FARM PRODUCTS TO REACH 137-BILLION DOLLARS. IMPORTS ARE PEGGED HIGHER THAN LAST YEAR, COMING IN AT 105-BILLION DOLLARS. THAT PUTS THE TRADE BALANCE AS A 32-BILLION DOLLAR SURPLUS.

COTTON EXPORTS: DUE TO A SMALLER DOMESTIC COTTON CROP AND LARGER FOREIGN SUPPLIES, USDA IS FORECASTING 2012 COTTON EXPORTS AT 6.6 BILLION DOLLARS, A DROP OF 2.5 BILLION DOLLARS. THE SMALLER CROP IS DUE TO DROUGHT IN TEXAS. IN TENNESSEE, IT WAS THE FLOOD.

TENNESEE COTTON: USDA EXPECTS AMERICAN FARMERS WILL HARVEST 13-MILLION ACRES OF COTTON THIS FALL.

CROP WATCH: IN THE CROP PROGRESS REPORT THIS WEEK, USDA SAYS THE CROP WENT FROM 90% GOOD TO EXCELLENT BEFORE THE STORM TO 40% AFTER. IN SOUTHERN MINNESOTA OUTSIDE ALBERTA LEE, THEY SAY THE CROP LOOKED DECENT. HE EXPECTS 160 BUSHELS AN ACRE IN CORN AND HIS THIRD CUTTING OF HAY COMING UP IS SHORT. THE PEANUT HARVEST IS JUST UNDERWAY 3% AS HARVESTED RICHES EXHIBIT BEHIND BECAUSE OF LATE PLANTING. FOR THAT HALF OF THE CROP IS CALLED GOOD.

ROUNDTABLE: WE HAVE MIKE HOGAN AND I HAVE SOMETHING I WANT TO TALK TO YOU ABOUT TODAY THAT ARE ALL IMPORTANT TO AGRICULTURE. ONE THING THEY JUST ANNOUNCED IS THAT THEY ARE NOT TALKING ABOUT ACREAGE IN THAT REPORT WHICH IS SOMETHING WE PROBABLY NEED TO DISCUSS TODAY. ANOTHER THING IS THE SITUATION WHICH JUST HAPPENED FRIDAY AFTERNOON AND PROBABLY COULD AFFECT OUR AGRICULTURE MARKETS IMMENSELY ON MONDAY. AND IT'S SOMETHING THAT HAPPENED ON ACTUALLY THURSDAY NIGHT, AND I'M NOT TALKING ABOUT THE FOOTBALL GAME THAT BOTH OF YOU GUYS WATCHED, I'M TALKING ABOUT PRESIDENT OBAMA SPEECH ABOUT PUTTING PEOPLE TO WORK. I DON'T KNOW WHICH ONE OF THOSE WHO WANT TO TALK ABOUT FIRST BUT I THINK I WILL GO TO BRIAN AND TALK OF THE BIT ABOUT THE EUROPEAN SITUATION AND WHERE WE NEED TO GO BECAUSE I THINK THAT COULD AFFECT THE UNITED STATES AGRICULTURE. IT CERTAINLY COULD. I THINK IF YOU GO THROUGH THESE PRESENT TIMES, IT GOES THROUGH YOUR MIND IF YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT PRICES OR VOLATILITY OR RECORD HIGH GOLD PRICES AND RECORD VOLATILITY OR WHAT'S GOING ON IN EUROPE. IT'S SOMETHING THAT CAN'T BE QUANTIFIED. THE LESSON WE ARE SHARED WITH OUR PRODUCERS BASE, THERE ARE THINGS GOING OUTSIDE THE SUPPLY FUNDAMENTALS THAT WILL IMPACT YOUR PRICES. AND IF YOU DID SOMETHING EARLY NEXT WEEK FOR EXAMPLE THAT WOULD CAUSE CONCERN IN OUR STOCK MARKET THAT COULD OVERRIDE WHATEVER IT SAYS IN THE SUPPLY DEMAND REPORT. WHAT ARE SOME OF THE THINGS THAT HAPPENED OVER THERE AND HOW MUCH SHOULD WE BE CONCERNED. I THINK EUROPE IS FRANKLY JUST IN THE SITE DOWN. THEN YOU LOOK AT IT, GREECE TRIED TO PUT SOME THOUGHTS ON THE MARKET TODAY AND IT ONLY GOT ABOUT HALF OF THEM OUT THERE. NOBODY WANTTS TO TAKE ON THEIR DEBT AT THIS POINT IN TIME AND THAT'S NOT GOOD. THE SECOND PART, THE GERMAN COUNSEL TO THE ECT ESSENTIALLY QUIT. AND THAT IS WHEN --WITH THE BLANKET TERM BAILOUT, THEY HELPED THE PARTICIPATORY URBAN BAILOUT WITH WHATEVER THE EUROPEANS PUT TOGETHER. THAT DOESN'T LOOK VERY GOOD AT THIS POINT. SO I HAVE TO AGREE WITH BRIAN THAT THERE ARE A LOT OF DIFFERENT THINGS THAT COULD MAKE THIS AGRICULTURAL MARKET AT THIS POINT IN TIME. HOW DOES THAT DIRECTLY AFFECT AGRICULTURE BOOKS I HAVE A LOT OF PRODUCERS OUT THERE THAT SAY, IT'S ALL MONEY AND IT DOESN'T AFFECT AGRICULTURE. WHILE WANTING TO FOCUS NOW AS HARVEST GETS UNDERWAY IS THE YIELD AND SUPPLY BUT MORE IMPORTANT IS, WHO WILL BUY OUR PRODUCT? THE ECONOMIC SITUATION CONTINUES TO DETERIORATE AND WE EXPORT CORN, AND SOYBEANS AND WHEAT. THEY ALSO EXPORT DAIRY PRODUCTS AND PORK. AND ALTHOUGH THINGS WOULD COME BACK TO IMPACT DIRECTLY CORN AND SILAGE AND WHEAT. THAT'S WHY I CHIMED IN WITH THE DOLLARS. THAT'S WHY YOU CAN WATCH THE PRICES ON FRIDAY, THE DOLLAR BROKE THROUGH ITS JULY HIGH, IT LOOKS LIKE IT COULD BE OFF AND RUNNING RIGHT NOW. WHY IS IT DOING THAT? THE REST OF THE WORLD IS AMISS IF THE U.S. IS THE SAFE HAVEN. BUT THOSE GRAIN PRICES ARE LIKELY TO COME DOWN EVEN THOUGH WE HAVE ALL HEARD ANECDOTALLY THAT THE CROP MAY NOT BE THERE FROM THE CORN AND SOYBEAN STANDPOINT THIS YEAR. THAT MAY NOT HAVE AN EFFECT. SO YOU REALLY CAN'T SEPARATE AGRICULTURE WITH WHAT HAPPENS TOO MANY AROUND THE WORLD IN OTHER PLACES. WE ARE IN THE WORLD OF AGRICULTURE THAT WE ARE IN THE WORLD BUSINESS, WRITES? MORE SO NOW THAN EVER WHEN YOU LOOK AT WHAT IS AT STAKE BOTH THE EQUITY MARKET AND ALSO THE CORN AND SOYBEAN PRICES AND LUMP IN THE LIVESTOCK AND WHAT IS HAPPENING IN THE SECTOR. TREMENDOUS VOLATILITY THERE, RECORD HIGH PRICES AS WELL AS RECORD HIGH CATTLE PRICES. BEFORE WE LEAVE, YOU HAVE THE QUICK COMMENT ABOUT WHAT THE PRESIDENT HAD TO SAY, GOOD BAD OR INDIFFERENT? HE RECOGNIZES THERE IS THE PROBLEM. IT WILL BE IMPORTANT TO HAVE COOPERATION AMONG ALL PARTIES TO GET THINGS DONE. WE WILL TALK MORE ABOUT THIS WHEN WE COME BACK WITH MORE U.S. FARM REPORT IN JUST A MOMENT. PRESIDENT OBAMA MADE A VERY IMPORTANT SPEECH LAST THURSDAY NIGHT BEFORE CONGRESS THAT I THINK EVERYBODY IN THE WORLD I THINK IT'S LIKE WAS LISTENING TO IT. BUT YOUR COMMENTS ABOUT WHAT HE SAID BRYAN, AND HOW THAT AFFECTS AGRICULTURE?
I THINK IT'S TALL ORDER FOR ANYBODY IN THAT POSITION AND IN OUR GROUP WAS THE TALL ORDER FOR THEM AT THIS TIME. IT ISN'T SOMETHING THAT WILL TURN AROUND QUICKLY THAT IT IS SOMETHING WE NEED COOPERATION AMONG THE PARTIES INVOLVED IN WASHINGTON TO GET THINGS DONE AND OBVIOUSLY JOBS ARE EXTREMELY IMPORTANT. WHEN YOU TALK ABOUT HOW THAT MIGHT AFFECT AGRICULTURE, THE MORE PEOPLE WORKING FOR EARNING THE PAYCHECK, OR CONSUMING AGRICULTURAL GOODS, THAT'S FRIENDLY AND SUPPORTING THE MARKET. IS THE BIT STRONGER ECONOMY AND MORE PEOPLE CONSUMED. AND, IMAGINE THAT SPECIFICALLY, BUT YOUR COMMENTS ABOUT WHAT THE PRESIDENT HAD TO SAY? THERE WERE TWO THINGS THAT IS THE NET POSITIVE. HE HAS TO DELIVER THAT NEXT WEEK AS TO HOW HE WILL OFFSET SOME OF THOSE SPENDING CHARGES AGAINST IT. AND THE OTHER KEY PART OF IT ALL SO WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE JOB CREATION BILL PROPOSAL THAT HE'S LOOKING AT THIS TIME IS SIMPLY, HOW IS HE GOING TO GET BUSINESSES TO GO ALONG WITH THE HIRING PLANS? THUS FAR, BUSINESSES FEEL CONFUSED AND I THINK THAT'S PART OF WHAT NEEDS TO BE MORE CLEARLY OUTLINED AND THAT'S PROBABLY THE THING PEOPLE ARE WATCHING. FARMING IS THE BUSINESS, PEOPLE LIKE LIVING THERE BECAUSE THEY LIKE IT AND ARE GOING TO RAISE THEIR KIDS. AND, DO THEY FEEL THAT THIS IS THE SAMENESS OF THEIR SMALL BUSINESSES? WHAT OUR REGULATIONS THERE AS WELL, BUT THEY HAVE MADE STRIDES NOT FEELING OVER REGULATED AND NOT FEELING LIKE THEY CAN DO WHAT THEY WANT. SO WITH FREEDOM INVOLVED IN AGRICULTURE, IT'S GOOD, BUT I WOULD SAY THEY COULD GO OUT, FOR EXAMPLE, LIVESTOCK PRODUCTION. COULDN'T PUT OUT THE 10,000 HEAD OPERATION IN METROPOLIS. I'M SURE THERE ARE PRODUCERS OUT THERE THAT DON'T WANT TO BE REGULATED AS MUCH AS THEY ARE NOW BUT I'M SURE IT'S GOOD BALANCE. I THINK RIGHT NOW THE TRANSPARENCY REGULATIONS IS PROBABLY ONE OF THE BETTER THINGS TO THE FARM INDUSTRY HAS GOING FOR IT VERSUS OTHER INDUSTRIES AROUND SO I THINK THAT'S PROBABLY THE AREA WHERE THEY KILLED THE MOST. BIT OF USD REPORT COMING IN THE DAY. WITHOUT THE GOOD, BAD OR INDIFFERENT?  I THINK FIRST OF ALL THE TALK ABOUT THE OUTSIDE MARKETS. THE EUROPEAN SITUATION COMES TO THE TOP OF MIND. I THINK IT GOES BACK TO, WHAT DOES THE FARM PRODUCE YOU NEED TO DO TO HELP THE OPERATION AND? SO LET’S PICK ON CORN. CORN IS UP AT $10. YOU SAID IF IT WAS? GUESS, THAT SAY CORN GOES TO $10 AFTER THE REPORT. WHAT IS THE PRODUCER GOING TO DO IF IT GOES TO THOSE LOCALS PAY SOMEONE THERE ARE AT PREVIOUSLY AND WHAT THE MARKET COULD GO? FLIPSIDE, WHAT WE HAVE SORT OF GONE OVERBOARD ON THE SUPPLY ISSUES THAT MAY BE OUT THERE THAT'S WHAT WE HAVE BOTTOM ON THAT? THERE ARE WAYS WE CAN REDUCE, OR IS THE FUTURE AND FIGURE OUT WHERE THEY WILL BE. THAT'S PREDOMINANTLY IMPORTANT FOR THEM IN TIMES LIKE THIS. MIKE MAKES SEVERAL GOOD POINTS. HAVING THE STRATEGY, HOW WE CAN ESCAPE THAT STRATEGY WHETHER IT GOES HIGHER OR LOWER. IT'S CRITICAL THAT THE STRATEGY BE IN PLACE PRIOR TO THE REPORT. >> GERMANY'S ALREADY ANNOUNCED, BUT CROP CONDITIONS AND ARGUMENTS OF WHETHER THE YIELD WAS THERE OR IF IT WASN'T THERE, WHAT DO YOU THINK? WE HAVE TALKED TO THE GUYS IN THE HAND YIELD CHECKS, AND A FEW OF THOSE ONE THAT COMBINES AND SOME ARE BETTER THAN WHAT THEY HAVE ANTICIPATED. AND THAT'S THE VERY SMALL SAMPLING BUT MY GUESS IS THERE IS MORE TO COME DOWN THE ROAD. OCCURRED THE SAME THING, BETTER THAN EXPECTED, AND POLLINATION BEFORE THE HEAT AND DRYNESS. BUT BETWEEN SEPTEMBER 12 AND THAT WILL BE BETWEEN WHEN THEY TELL THE TRUTH. BE SOME CROPS WILL NOT GET HARVESTED AS QUICKLY AS THEY DID LAST YEAR? WE ONLY HAVE ABOUT 10 OR 20 SECONDS. WE COULD GET MORE AFTER THE HALFWAY POINT IN SEPTEMBER WHICH COULD SLOW THINGS OUT OF IT. AND THE TEST SUITE WHICH IS NOT THAT GOOD OF THE DEAL. THANK YOU VERY MUCH. WE WILL BE BACK WITH MORE US FARM REPORT IN JUST MOMENT.

JOHN’S WORLD: THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF A MASSIVE INCREASE IN FARM INCOME IS ALMOST UNIQUE AMONG ECONOMIC REPORTS THESE DAYS. BUT EVEN THE APPARENT GOOD NEWS OF A NEARLY ONE-THIRD INCREASE IN INCOME IS REALLY AN UNDERSTATEMENT. SINCE FARMS ARE MUCH MORE SPECIALIZED THAN BEFORE, OVERALL NUMBERS DON'T SAY MUCH ABOUT INDIVIDUAL FARM OUTCOMES. WITHIN THE UMBRELLA OF AGRICULTURE ARE SEVERAL SUB-SECTORS - GRAIN, DAIRY, VEGETABLES, COTTON, ET CETERA THAT HAVE THEIR OWN SCORES. THE RESULT IS A WHOPPING SHARE OF THIS STUNNING INCREASE WAS GARNERED BY A FEW CATEGORIES OF FARMERS. I AM A MEMBER OF ONE OF THOSE SECTORS - GRAIN FARMING. MY OWN ROUGH CALCULATIONS SHOW INCOME GAINS OF 2-3 TIMES, NOT ONE-THIRD. FOR THIS TO BE TRUE, IT NECESSARILY MEANS OTHER FARMS HAVE STRUGGLED, TO PUT IT MILDLY. LIVESTOCK AND DAIRY ARE EXAMPLES OF SPECIALTIES THAT FIND PROFIT A FADING MEMORY. CROP FARMERS LIKE TO BELIEVE THESE ARE SIMPLY CYCLES THAT WILL EVENTUALLY SHOWER SIMILAR BLESSINGS ON OUR CURRENTLY UNFORTUNATE COLLEAGUES. BUT THE SELF-RIGHTING MARKET MECHANISMS OF OUR SYSTEM HAVE BEEN UNDERMINED BY ONE-SIDED GOVERNMENT INTERVENTIONS LIKE THE ETHANOL MANDATE AND SUBSIDIES DOLED OUT MOSTLY TO A TINY FEW. BY PREVENTING MARKET FORCES FROM GUIDING PRODUCTION WITH REAL SIGNALS WE HAVE DEVELOPED A SYSTEM WITH GREATER INHERENT RISK FOR RUDE DISLOCATIONS IN THE FORM OF DRASTIC PRICE ACTION. AND WE MAKE OVERALL AG STATISTICS LIKE THIS ONE VIRTUALLY MEANINGLESS. 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. WE'RE TAKING SOME TIME THIS WEEK FOR A SPECIAL TRIBUTE TO THE EVENTS AND MEMORIES OF SEPTEMBER 11, 2001. WHILE MANY OF THE VICTIMS HAD SOME TYPE OF FARM LINK, WE HAVE A SPECIAL STORY THAT SHOWS HOW EVEN THOSE OF US FAR FROM NEW YORK CITY HAVE BEEN TOUCHED BY THAT MISFORTUNE. TO BEGIN, WE REMEMBER CAPTAIN JOHN OGONOWSKI. A FARMER FROM DRACUT MASSACHUSETTS AND THE PILOT OF AMERICAN AIRLINES FLIGHT 11. HE, LIKE THOUSANDS OF OTHERS LOST HIS LIFE THAT DAY IN A TRAGEDY THAT HAS RESHAPED OUR WORLD. TEN YEARS LATER, THE VOID LEFT BY THIS LARGER-THAN-LIFE AMERICAN IS STILL FELT BY THOSE WHO KNEW HIM BEST. CLINTON GRIFFITHS HAS OUR STORY.

JOHN OGONOWSKI: JOHN OGONOWSKI, THE OLDEST BOY IN A FAMILY OF FIVE SIBLINGS. HE WAS A HAY FARMER LIKE HIS DAD, AND A PILOT FOR AMERICAN AIRLINES. CAROL OGONOWSKI, “JOHN WAS MY OLDER BROTHER AND THERE WAS YEAR BETWEEN THE TWO OF US AND HE WAS SOMEONE I ALWAYS LOOKED UP TO. THE MINUTE JOHN WAS ABLE TO TOUCH THE PEDALS ON THE TRACTORS HE WAS OFF AND RUNNING AND I ALWAYS KNEW MY BROTHER TO OPERATE THE EQUIPMENT. I'D FOLLOW BEHIND BUT I'D NEVER OPERATE THE EQUIPMENT AND JOHN WAS DEFINITELY THE LEADER AND HE WAS IN CHARGE. JIM OGONOWSKI, “AFTER COLLEGE JOHN WENT THROUGH AIRFORCE ROTC AND WENT INTO THE AIRFORCE. HE WAS PILOT IN THE AIRFORCE AND FLEW C-141S. CARGO AIRPLAINS. TRAVELED THE WORLD AND HE DID THAT FOR ALMOST 10 YEARS AND HE LEFT FOR THE AIRLINES. HIS DREAM SINCE HE WAS A LITTLE BOY WAS PILOT FOR THE AIRLINES. AND HE GOT TO DO THAT.”
“THE AIRLINE JOB ALLOWED JOHN TO BE A FARMER AND GO SEE THE WORLD. WE USED TO JOKE--DID YOU SEE THE FARMER DRESSED UP LIKE AN AIRLINE PILOT OR WERE YOU LOOKING AT AN AIRLINE PILOT THAT WAS DRESSED UP LIKE A FARMER. WHO WAS HE...WHO ARE YOU REALLY LOOKING AT. TWO SPLIT PERSONALITIES.” JOHN WAS AT THE CONTROLS OF THE BOEING 767, THE MORNING OF SEPTEMBER 11TH 2001. THIS FARMER AND FATHER WAS FLYING AMERICAN AIRLINES FLIGHT 11--THE FIRST AIRPLANE TO HIT THE WORLD TRADE CENTER. JIM, “IT'S ACTUALLY PRETTY AMAZING HOW QUICKLY WE FOUND OUT THAT DAY. I WAS IN THE AIR FORCE AT THAT TIME AND I WAS SCHEDULED TO GO FLY OUT TO ST. LOUIS MO TO OUR AIR FORCE HEADQUARTERS OUT THERE AND I WAS SITTING AT HOME WAITING FOR MY RIDE TO TAKE ME TO LOGAN AIRPORT. UNBEKNOWNST TO ME MY BROTHER WAS ALREADY AT LOGAN AIRPORT JUST GETTING READY TO DEPART. I WAS SITTING IN MY LIVING ROOM WATCHING THE NEWS WAITING FOR MY RIDE AND THERE WAS BREAKING NEWS ON THE TV THAT AN AIRPLANE HIT THE WTC IN NYC...AND AS SOON AS I HEARD THAT I CALLED MY SISTER-IN-LAW PEG BECAUSE SHE GREW UP IN NYC AND WHEN SHE WAS A YOUNG GIRL IN A PLAYGROUND IN SCHOOL SHE WAS WATCHING THEM BUILD THE WTC FROM HER SCHOOL GROUNDS. SO I CALLED HER, HER PARENTS HAD BEEN UP VISITING THAT WEEKEND, THEY WERE JUST GETTING READY TO LEAVE YOU MIGHT WANT TO SEE IT..SO SHE RAN IN, I'M SITTING THERE IN THE LIVING ROOM AND MY RIDE CAME. I WAS NO MORE THAN HALF WAY TO LOGAN WHEN I CALLED HER BACK TO SAY DID YOU SEE IT...AND SHE ANSWERS THE PHONE AND SAYS JIM...IT'S JOHN....LIKE THAT. WE KNEW PROBABLY WITHIN 20 MINUTES.” 20 MINUTES AND A MOMENT THAT WOULD CHANGE THEIR LIVES, AND THE LIVES OF MOST AMERICAN'S FOREVER. JIM STATED, “TERRIBLE DAY...GOING TO SCHOOL TO PICK UP HIS CHILDREN....WHEEW...TOUGH..YEAH. YOU KNOW YOU DON'T PLAN FOR A TRAGEDY LIKE THAT OF COURSE IT'S A TRAGEDY FOR THE FAMILY WE'RE IN SHOCK. THE WHOLE COUNTRY IS IN SHOCK REALLY. WE WERE DEVASTATED BY WHAT HAPPENED AND HOW THE COUNTRY COULD RESPOND TO IT. THE COMMUNITY WAS WONDERFUL..PEOPLE PULLED TOGETHER.THINGS EVOLVED AFTERWARDS. CAN'T SAY WE SAT DOWN WITH A BIG PLAN...THINGS EVOLVED.” AFTER THE FUNERAL, JIM TOOK OVER THE FARM WORK WHILE JOHN'S WIFE RAISED THEIR DAUGHTERS.  NOW 10 YEARS AFTER 9/11, AMERICA AND THE OGONOWSKI FAMILY AND FRIENDS ARE STILL LIVING WITH THE EVENTS OF THAT DAY. A. RICHARD BONANNO\PHD PRES. OF MASS FARM BUREAU, “WE ALL THOUGHT ABOUT JOHN IN THAT COCKPIT THAT DAY AND JUST THINKING THIS BIG GUY JUST BEING OVERPOWERED AND JUST HOW TRAUMATIC IT MUST HAVE BEEN WHAT EVER HAPPENED IN THE COCKPIT AND JUST KNOWING JOHN AND WHAT KIND OF PERSON HE WAS. IT IS A TOUGH TOUGH SITUATION.” JOHN'S SISTER CAROL, WILL TELL YOU, TIME MAY HEAL WOUNDS BUT LOSING A BROTHER NEVER GETS ANY EASIER. CAROL OGONOWSKI, “JOHN DID A LOT OF GREAT THINGS HERE IN DRACUT..THE FIRST THING HE DID WAS HE PRESERVED HIS 100 ACRE FARM...SORRY, YOU GET EMOTIONAL..WHEN YOU'RE...LIFE IS VERY EASY WHEN YOU DON'T PUT 9/11 IN YOUR PRESENT...YOU LEAVE IT IN YOUR MIND IN THE BACK. BRING IT FORWARD IT BRINGS SOME EMOTION.” IN TEN YEAR'S SHE'S LEARNED TO HOLD BACK THE TEARS AND INSTEAD APPRECIATE THE LIFE JOHN LEFT BEHIND. “EVERY MILESTONE EVERY SUCCESS YOU LOOK UP AND YOU'RE JUST GRATEFUL FOR IT. YOU'RE GRATEFUL FOR JOHN'S BEAUTIFUL DAUGHTERS AND HOW PROUD HE WOULD BE OF HIS DAUGHTERS AND HOW NICELY HIS WIFE RAISED THEM.” JOHN'S BROTHER JIM, WHO RECENTLY RETIRED FROM FLYING FOR THE AIR NATIONAL GUARD HIMSELF, STILL SHARES THAT FARMING BOND WITH JOHN. HE'S CONTINUED JOHN'S DREAM, RUNNING THE FARM, THAT OVER TIME, WILL ADD LORE TO HIS LEGACY. JIM O, “THE GROUND WE STAND ON IS PRESERVED FARMLAND FOREVER. JOHN PURCHASED THIS IN THE 90'S WITH THE ASSISTANCE OF THE STATE OF MASS AND THE TOWN OF DRACUT..THIS LAND IS PRESERVED AS OPEN SPACE FARMLAND FOR ETERNITY. I THINK THAT'S A GREAT TRIBUTE TO HIM THAT HE PRESERVED THAT. IT'S A GREAT LEGACY.” AND ASK ALL THE KNEW HIM, WHERE TO FIND JOHN TODAY...THEY WON'T TELL YOU NEW YORK CITY'S GROUND ZERO, NOT BENIETH A HEADSTONE, BUT FLYING IN AND AROUND THEM AT HIS HEAVEN. HIS HOME FARM IN MASSACHUSETTS. JIM OGONOWSKI, “YEAH HE FLEW OVER THE FARM ALL OF THE TIME. IF HE ASKED ME DO SOMETHING LIKE MOW SOME HAY SO THAT WHEN HE CAME BACK THERE'D BE SOME HAY MOWED HE COULD CHECK ON ME FROM UP ABOVE AND WATCH DOWN...HE'S STILL DOING THAT.” LATER IN THIS PROGRAM, A SPECIAL COUNTRY CHURCH SALUTE WITH THE OGNOWSKI FAMILY. NOW LET'S CHECK IN WITH METEOROLOGIST MIKE HOFFMAN.

HEARTLAND BUFFALO: MANY PEOPLE KNOW THEM ONLY FROM HISTORY BOOKS. BISON WERE ALL BUT ELIMINATED FROM THE PLAINS OF THE UNITED STATES. BUT WE NOW KNOW WHERE THE BUFFALO ROAM - ON SMALL RANCHES ACROSS TEXAS. IN THIS REPORT FROM TEXAS FARM BUREAU, NATHAN SMITH SAYS THE ICONIC ANIMAL IS MAKING A SLOW, BUT STEADY COMEBACK.

BAXTER BLACK: TIME NOW TO TURN THINGS OVER TO OUR OLD FRIEND BAXTER BLACK. THIS WEEKEND, HE REMINDS US OF THE SIGNIFICANCE OF OUR STARS AND STRIPES. WHEN WE COME BACK, A COUNTRY CHURCH SALUTE YOU WON'T SOON FORGET. WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK...

OGONOWSKI CHURCH: EARLIER IN THE PROGRAM WE TOLD YOU THE STORY OF JOHN OGONOWSKI, A FARMER AND PILOT WHO DIED ON 9/11. HIS FARM IS JUST DOWN THE ROAD FROM LOWELL MASSACHUSETTS ALSO KNOWN AS THE BIRTH PLACE OF THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION. BECAUSE OF THE PROMISE OF WORK, IT DREW IMMIGRANTS FROM AROUND THE WORLD, INCLUDING THE OGONOWSKI FAMILY. CLINTON GRIFFIS HAS OUR STORY OF FAMILY AND FAITH. THANKS CLINTON...THAT'S QUITE A STORY. OUR REGULAR CHURCH SALUTE WILL RETURN NEXT WEEK. UNTIL THEN, SALUTES CAN BE SENT TO THE ADDRESS ON THE SCREEN. STAY WITH US - THE MAILBAG IS NEXT.

JOHN’S WORLD 2: AS WE REMEMBER THE EVENTS OF SEPTEMBER 11, 2001 OUR RECOLLECTIONS ARE PERFECT EXAMPLES OF HOW WE STORE INFORMATION. MEMORIES ARE SNAPSHOTS IN TIME THAT WE STRING TOGETHER AND COLORIZE, SO TO SPEAK, WITH EMOTIONS WHEN RECALLED. ONE OF THOSE EMOTIONS MOST ASSOCIATED WITH 9/11 IS FRAGILITY. IF THIS TRAGEDY COULD HAPPEN, WE WERE FORCED TO CONSIDER, WHAT ELSE IN OUR NATION AND LIVES IS AT RISK FROM PREVIOUSLY UNIMAGINED THREATS. SUDDENLY MUCH OF WHAT WE HELD DEAR SEEMED TERRIBLY DEFENSELESS. DESPITE THE PAIN AND ANGER, HOWEVER, TEN YEARS HAS SHOWN US OUR SYSTEM AND NATION ARE MORE ROBUST THAN WE FEARED. WHILE THERE HAVE BEEN EXCESSIVE REACTIONS INFRINGING ON INDIVIDUAL FREEDOM AND SOME FALSE ASSUMPTIONS OF WHAT SAFER CHOICES SHOULD BE MADE, FOR THE OVERWHELMING PART, AMERICA HAS GRIEVED EVEN WHILE MOVING FORWARD. IT IS COMBATING THIS SENSE FRAGILITY AND FEAR THAT WE IN AGRICULTURE CAN PROVIDE GREAT COMFORT TO OUR NEIGHBORS. DESPITE CHALLENGING CLIMATE AND ECONOMIC FACTORS THE FARMS OF AMERICA DID NOT FALTER. THIS IS NOT A SELF-SERVING BOAST, BUT A REMINDER THAT ALL ACROSS AMERICA INDUSTRIES HAVE COPED WITH THE THREAT OF TERRORISM PRETTY WELL. BUT ON THIS ANNIVERSARY IT IS APPROPRIATE AND TIMELY TO REMIND OURSELVES OF THAT FACT. AND TO SAY TO A STILL ANXIOUS NATION THAT THE ANCHOR THAT TIES OUR PEOPLE TO THE VERY LAND WE INHABIT HOLDS FAST. THERE ARE STILL MANY THINGS YOU CAN DEPEND ON IN OUR COUNTRY, AND ONE OF THEM SURELY AGRICULTURE. AS ALWAYS, WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU, SEND COMMENTS TO MAILBAG@USFARMREPORT.COM OR LEAVE US A VOICE MAIL AT 800-792-4329.

 

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