Daily Farm Update by Don Molino
La. Farm Bureau/Ag Radio Network newsletter (8-26-13)
Monday, August 26, 2013
Ducks And Rice Farmers
A new conservation tool that tests the efficiency of on farm irrigation pumps is being offered by the LSU AgCenter in partnership with Ducks Unlimited and the Natural Resources Conservation Service. Dr. Ernie Girouard with the AgCenter says the program will provide farmers with valuable and accurate information about the amount of water being pumped and how efficiently the pump's engine is operating. Duck's Unlimited Rice-Stewardship Coordinator Alicia Wiseman says this will make rice more profitable and sustainable and "As working wetlands, rice provides more than one third of the foraging habitat needed by wintering waterfowl in southwest Louisiana, so indeed, what's good for rice, is good for ducks."
Bring On The Heat
American Farm Bureau President Bob Stallman says his organization is working had to "Bring the Heat" during the August congressional recess so members of congress know they need to get things done when they return to Washington. And the farm bill is at the "...very top of the list." According to Stallman, the number one reason a new farm bill is critical is because another extension doesn't give farmers and ranchers the certainty they need to plan the crops the intend to grow and obtain financing ahead of time. The AFBF President also believes there is plenty of time in this congress to pass a five year farm bill, if lawmakers will just stay focused on getting it done.
Lots Of Corn This Year
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is projecting a record harvest. A new report predicts a slightly smaller crop than previously projected, at 13.8 billion bushels. But that's still a record, and nearly 30 percent larger than last year.
Bruce Babcock, an economist at Iowa State University, says it's a matter of supply and demand. "Farmers responded to higher prices, and they planted a record number of acres," he says.
Nathan Fields is director of economic analysis at the National Corn Growers Association. He says this year's weather was very different from last year's drought, which ruined much of the crop.
"We've seen a much cooler, wetter year, and that's resulting in some pretty robust supplies," Fields says.
With supplies up, prices are down about 40 percent. Corn is trading below $5 per a bushel, down from around $7 last year.
But that's not likely to mean lower food prices, says Bob Goldin, executive vice president of the food industry consulting firm Technomic. He says the industry is in no hurry to cut prices. But he expects food prices to go up more slowly because of the reduced cost of corn.
"It's a big budget item, so the fact that food prices are not rising asrapidly as they anticipated is good news for the industry," Goldin says.
That's also good news for livestock producers, who rely on corn for feed.
Another reason food prices aren't likely to decline is that corn is a tiny fraction of the cost of many foods. Take a box of Corn Flakes, priced at three or four dollars.
"It's got about 10 cents of corn in there," Fields says.
The rest is labor, transportation, and marketing -- which don't rise and fall with the price of corn.
Thursday's Closing Prices
November Soybeans 1286.6 down 17.2
December Cotton 8414 down 6
Spot Market Price for North and South Delta Cotton 8120 up 4
September Corn 487.4 down 10.2
September Rice 1560.5 up .5
September Wheat 630.4 down 8.2
September Sugar 1988 down 32
October Live Cattle 127-20 down 77.5
Pretty Much Says It All No Matter What Day It is.