Does owning a horse make the owner healthier? An equine expert says it does, on several levels. Dr. Sheryl King is director of the Equine Science Program at Southern Illinois University and president of the Horsemen’s Council of Illinois tells Brownfield the answer is “Yes.”
The European Union has put forth a proposal aimed at salvaging the Doha Round of world trade talks. The E.U. says under the proposal, industrialized and developing countries would make commitments on tariffs in chemicals, machinery and electronics. The plan would create “significant additional market access on top of the tariff-cutting formula” while ensuring that efforts are “balanced and proportionate”.
Reuters reports the EU proposal would add a negotiated “X” factor to developing country tariffs cuts in some product areas in a bid to shift the balance some way towards the U.S. position, while keeping a certain level of protection for developing countries. In others, electronics and electrical machinery for example, where developing countries dominate the export market, some developing countries would be expected to eliminate tariffs completely.
U.S. WTO Ambassador Michael Punke tells Bloomberg while the U.S. is studying the proposal, resolving differences on manufactured goods is not going to unblock other areas of the negotiations. Punke notes “fundamental differences also exist with respect to agriculture and services.”
Many see this meeting as a “make-or-break” point for the Doha Round.
American sugar producers and processors have filed suit in an effort to prevent the corn sweetener industry from using “corn sugar” to describe high fructose corn syrup.
The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles by Western Sugar Cooperative, Michigan Sugar Company and C & H Sugar Company, charges that the “corn sugar” branding campaign financed by the corn refining industry constitutes false advertising under federal and state law.
The Corn Refiners Association petitioned the U.S. Food and Drug Administration last September to allow the use of “corn sugar” instead of” high fructose corn syrup” in ingredient lists.
The sugar producers charge HFCS is not a natural sugar and seek an injunction to end the advertising campaign and seek damages, including compensation for corrective advertising.
CRA president, Audrae Erickson says the sugar suit is without merit. “High fructose corn syrup and sugar are nutritionally and metabolically equivalent; experts have supported this claim, including the American Dietetic Association and the Center for Science in the Public Interest.”
Case IH and four Wisconsin Case IH dealers are providing approximately 150 pieces of agricultural equipment to U.W. Ag Research stations for a nominal fee. Dealers are delivering tractors, sprayers, planters, tillage and harvesting equipment as well as skid-steer loaders.
U.W. Research Station Director Dwight Mueller says the program will save the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences “tens of thousands of dollars in machinery lease, purchase and service costs in 2011 alone.” It also exposes operators to some of the latest equipment including guidance steering and yield and moisture monitoring systems.
The four Case IH dealerships involved in the program are Service Motor Company with stores in Dale, Wausau, Stevens Point, New Franklin and Seymour, Ritchie Implement of Cobb, Farmers Implement in Columbus and Value Implement of Menomonie, Osseo and Arcadia.
The U.W. Ag Research stations cover more than 7,000 acres in Spooner, Kemp, Sturgeon Bay, Hancock, Rhinelander, Marshfield, Madison, Verona, Arlington, Lancaster and the USDA Dairy Forage Research Center at Prairie du Sac.
The Preliminary Index of Prices Received by Farmers in April was up 1.2 percent from March. The Crop Index gained 0.5 percent as corn jumped 87 cents to average $6.40 per bushel in April. Soybeans increased a dime to $12.80, sorghum grain increased $1.20 to $11.80 per hundredweight. The all-wheat price increase 64 cents from March to average $8.18 per bushel while all-hay jumped $17 per ton to average $141. The only item in the crop index lower than the previous month was vegetables which dropped 21 percent.
The Livestock Index increased 2.6 percent from March, hogs averaged $67.10 per hundredweight in April, up $4.00. Beef cattle jumped $5.00 to $120 per hundredweight. The poultry and egg index increased 8.3 percent in March while dairy slipped 3.2 percent with the all-milk price down 70 cents to average $19.70 per hundredweight.
The April Index of Prices Paid by Farmers increased 1.5 percent in April. Farmers paid 3.8 percent more for feed, 1.3 percent more for livestock and poultry, 3.8 percent more for fertilizer, 3.9 percent more for fuel and slightly more for chemicals and machinery.
Compared to a year ago, the Index of Prices Received by Farmers is up 26 percent while Prices Paid Index is 13 percent higher.
Read the full NASS report here:
A federal judge has cleared the Army Corps of Engineers to blow a hole in the levee if needed to ease pressure on the swollen Mississippi River. University of Missouri Business Specialist David Reinbott in Southeast Missouri’s Scott County says no one really knows how much ground would go under water if the Corps follows through with its plan. Brownfield spoke with Reinbott this morning before the news about the judge’s decision.
“So, yes, there’s a lot of decisions that have to be made. We’re just hoping and praying that it won’t have to come to that. (We’re) hoping the levees will hold and maybe the crest will be a bit less than expected.”
The Mississippi County sheriff has ordered an immediate evacuation of the Birds Point levee spillway, about 100 homes, dozens of farms…a total of appoximately 133-Thousand acres.
Hundreds of thousands of acres of farmland have already been flooded in southeast Missouri and Reinbott urges growers to contact their crop insurance agents.
“There’s so much uncertainty right now about the flooding. We’re still not sure about all that’s gonna happen… We’re going to get more rainfall.”
The base milk prices for April came in a little higher for Classes II and IV, lower for III. The April base for Class II is $19.66 per cwt, up 83 cents from March and $5.88 above a year ago. The Class IV base is $19.78, up 37 cents from March and $6.05 above a year ago. The Class III base dropped $2.53 from last month to $16.87; still it is $3.95 above a year ago. Component prices per pound: butter fat $2.2113; protein $2.4984; nonfat solids $1.3862; other solids $0.2902.
Increasing feed costs cut into dairy farmer profitability in April. National Ag Statistics Service says corn averaged $6.40 a bushel, up 87 cents from March and an all-time high. Soybeans were a dime higher at $12.80 a bushel and alfalfa hay increased $19 to $155 a ton. That put the cost of feed for a hundred pounds of milk at a record $10.71 while the all-milk price for April was down 70 cents from March at $19.70. So, income over feed cost was $8.99 in April, down $1.88 from March and the lowest milk-to-feed ratio since August of 2009.
Soybeans were sharply higher on technical buying, along with spillover from corn and the outside markets. The dollar was down during much of the session while the Dow, gold and crude oil were higher. Past that – the near term supply is tight, demand projections remain bullish and according to Dow Jones Newswires, China canceled on “one or two cargoes” of Brazilian soybean oil this past week. Soybean meal and oil were higher on oversold conditions, the rebound in soybeans and generally higher trade in grains and oilseeds.
Corn was sharply higher on technical and commercial buying. Contracts gained back more than just Thursday’s drop thanks to expanded trade limits and even with some recent improvement in weather, planting should be far behind average Monday afternoon, there’s more rain the forecast for this weekend and in general, soil temperatures remain far too cool for optimal planting and development. In any event, the near and long term fundamentals are supportive. Ethanol futures were higher. Taiwan’s Maize Industry Procurement Association passed on its recent tender for 29,800 tons of corn due to high prices.
The wheat complex was sharply on technical buying and spillover from corn and the dollar. Wheat was also oversold and while fundamentals are bearish, there are a lot of weather concerns. The Southern Plains may see a freeze over the weekend and spring planting in the Northern Plains remains much slower than average. Internationally, planting’s extremely slow in the Canadian Prairie Provinces and the trade’s watching conditions in the North China Plains and portions of Europe. South Korea’s Nonghyup Feed Inc. bought 55,000 tons of optional origin feed wheat, while USDA’s Commodity Credit Corporation picked up hard red winter wheat for distribution in Malawi (16,000 tons), Burundi (6,800 tons) and Uganda (4,200 tons). National Bank Australia projects the 2011/12 Australian wheat crop at 24.8 million tons.
Slaughter cattle this past week were 2.00 to 3.00 lower in Texas and Kansas from 115.00 to 117.50, mostly 116.00. In the North the market was 4.00 lower on the dressed at 186.00 to 189.00, mostly 187.00. Slaughter cattle sold very early in the week as the basis was in favor of hedged cattle. Slaughter cattle on a National basis for negotiated cash trades through Friday morning totaled about 125,239 head, about 4,000 less than last week. Friday’s slaughter was larger than expected and packers could start out fairly close to the knife next week. The weekly slaughter was estimated at 615,000 head, 34,000 less than last week, and down 42,000 from last year.
Boxed beef cutout values were lower on light to moderate demand and moderate to heavy offerings. Choice boxed beef was down 2.11 at 182.03, and select was 1.84 lower at 176.06.
Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle contracts settled 17 higher to 10 lower. Wholesale beef prices were lower at noon and concern continues to mount over domestic demand. Predictions of lower cash prices next week due to packer needs being filled also weighed on futures. April settled 10 lower at 117.05, and June was down .17 at 113.35.
Feeder cattle contracts ended the session 52 higher to 17 lower following a market of ups and downs. The sharp rally in the grain market created some longer term concerns, but it appeared most traders were more interested in covering positions at the end of the month rather than focus on longer term direction. May settled .52 higher at 131.90, and August was down .17 at 135.95.
Missouri Weekly Weighted Average Feeder Cattle Report Receipts: 15,029 head. Compared to last week, feeders under 500 lbs and over 700 lbs sold steady to 5.00 lower with some under 500 lbs having instances of 5.00 to 10.00 lower. The mid-weight feeders from 500-700 lbs were uneven from 3.00 lower to 3.00 higher. Feeder Steers: Medium and Large 1 & 1-2; 500-600 lbs 126.00-166.00 and 700-800 lbs 108.00-138.50.Feeder Heifers: Medium and Large 1 & 1-2; 500-600 lbs 118.00-145.25 and 700-800 lbs 110.00-133.75.
Lean hogs ended the session 07 to 152 points in the red. Like the cattle complex the hogs are continuing to be affected by concerns over slowed demand, and softer wholesale pork prices. A slow start to the grilling season due to cold wet weather may also be contributing to the slow demand for some cuts of pork. May settled 1.52 lower at 95.27, and June was down 1.27 at 95.22.
Iowa/Minnesota direct trade hogs closed 2.01 higher at 92.23 on a carcass basis, the west was up 2.17 at 91.90, and the east was 1.26 lower and closed at 89.72. Missouri direct base carcass meat price was steady at 85.00 to 86.00.
Pork trading was slow to moderate, with light to moderate demand and mostly moderate offerings. Pork carcass cutout was up 1.55 at 93.31.
The weekly hog slaughter was estimated at 1,950,000 head, 106,000 less than last week, and down 72,000 from a year ago.The pork carcass continued the week’s significant erosion on Thursday with the belly primal imploding by $4.88. From Thursday to Thursday, the cut-out has retreated by as much as $3.30.
No sign of a slowdown in skyrocketing farmland prices—at least not in northeast Iowa.
An 80 acre tract of crop ground about 12 miles north of Cedar Rapids sold this week for 9,025 dollars per acre. Three weeks ago, 80 acres in southern Mitchell County, Iowa brought 10,000 an acre.
Hertz Real Estate broker Troy Louwagie says both tracts were purchased by investors and were paid for with cash—and he says most of the people buying land are in a very good financial position.
“Guys that are buying it, they’re either buying with cash or buying with substantial land down—or good equity. Most of these buyers are holding it for the long term,” Louwagie says. “So even if we had a small correction, I don’t see anyone getting in trouble or being forced to sell.”
Louwagie thinks as long as commodity prices remain strong and interest rates remain low, land values will hold up well. But he says tighter crop margins going forward could slow the pace.
“That is one concern as we head through 2011. I think all the input costs—seed, fertilizer, herbicide costs—are all inching up,” he says. “So it will tighten up the margins a little bit—and that could slow things down a little bit.
Louwagie says a slight correction in the land market is possible, but he is not concerned that prices will crash.
Louwagie works out of Hertz’ Mt. Vernon office.