La. Farm Bureau/Radio Network
September 30, 2013
It's Happened Again
The House and Senate stood eyeball-to-eyeball last night..and neither side blinked. So at midnight, the doors to the federal government slammed shut and with it, all hope of getting an extension of the current farm bill approved much less a new bill entirely. It will take a couple of days for the dust to settle. Louisiana Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry Dr. Mike Strain had his staff busily collecting paperwork from the federal offices they share and moving everything to Baton Rouge so the state agriculture department could continue working today. The impasse in Congress had to do with whether or not to fund the new health care system. The House said "No!" while the Senate said "Yes!" The last time the federal government shut down was during the Clinton White House years or whether or not to give Congress a pay raise. My better half, Laura, bet me a quarter last night the government wouldn't shut down. I'm 25-cents richer this morning. That's one bet I wish I had lost.
Crop Week Ending September 29
Last week was a lot drier than the previous week. Overall, the state averaged only .91 inch of rain compared to nearly 4 inches the previous week. Cotton and soybean harvesting was active. Soybean yields were mixed due to some fields remaining dry for most of the growing season. Asian rust in a late planted soybean field was reported in South Central Louisiana. Sugarcane planting was nearly completed. Harvesting of the sugarcane crop was just getting underway. Some more hay was put up during last week's good weather.
95% of the cotton crop has open bolls with 30% now harvested. Cotton was rated 28% fair, 54% good and 18% excellent.
99% of this years rice crop has been harvested, 3% more than this same time last week.
97% of the soybean crop is now turning color with 88% dropping leaves and 68% harvested. The bean crop is rated 6% poor, 19% fair, 57% good and 18% excellent.
96% of the sugarcane crop is now in the ground and one percent of the winter wheat crop is also in the ground.
Pasture conditions are now rated 3% very poor, 16% poor, 44% fair, 33% good and 4% excellent.
Subsidy Race Heating Up
According to a recent report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (an international body comprised of 34 countries to stimulate the global economy) government support for agriculture in the world's top farming nations increased in 2012. From China to Brazil, Vietnam to Russia, the OECD said backing for producers hit $258.6 billion. Japan increased their agriculture support 7% to $64.7 billion. But at the other end of the spectrum, the US was one of the few to actually decrease its support to producers falling an additional 8%. And yet anti-farm groups here in the US are trying to unilaterally disarm the American farming sector by dismantling the already shrinking level of support for farmers across the country. The exact opposite is happening overseas.