The Buzz

Bearish reports, a ‘Blueprint’ from USDA and the need to thwart domestic terrorists.

That crashing noise you heard in the Farm Belt yesterday was the sound of wheat, corn and soybean prices plummeting, following the January World Agricultural Supply and Demand Report. The monthly WASDE was one of several reports released by USDA Thursday; another was the agency’s Winter Wheat Seedings Estimate, which set Kansas planted acreage at 9.5 million, up 800,000 acres from last year. Nationwide, winter wheat seedings are estimated to total 41.9 million acres, up 3% from last year and 12% above 2010.

  • Jay O’Neil, commodities analyst for the International Grains Program at Kansas State University, says the report isn’t as “bearish” as Thursday’s market openings would lead you to believe. “It’s not bullish, but it also is really not far off from market expectations. We seem to have ample supplies of Corn and Wheat in 2012 but Soybeans remain tight. The impact of this report should be short- lived and then South American weather will again become the focal point.”On Twitter, analyst Arlan Suderman, with Farm Futures magazine, says farmers shouldn’t overreact to Thursday’s market action; emotions will ease a bit …
  • Speaking at the American Farm Bureau Federation annual meeting in Hawaii earlier this week, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the “Blueprint for Stronger Service” initiative for his agency, an effort to reduce costs while maintaining efficiency in the USDA.  In a nutshell, the Blueprint calls for consolidating more than 255 USDA offices across the country and seven overseas, consolidating a bunch of cell phone contracts and using technology and broadband services to save more than $150 million each year…
  • USDA will consolidate 131 Farm Service Agency offices in 32 states, close two Foreign Ag Service offices; 15 Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service offices in 11 states and five APHIS offices in foreign countries; 43 Rural Development area and sub offices in 17 states; 24 NRCS soil survey offices in 21 states; close 5 Food Safety and Inspection Service district offices in five states; 12 Agricultural Research Service programs at 10 locations and 31 Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services field offices in 28 states…
  • Three locations in Kansas are affected. Among the closures: the Saline County (NRCS) office in Salina; the Douglas County (FSIS) office in Lawrence and the Sedgwick County office in Wichita…
  • Speaking of the AFBF Annual Meeting, a big ol “Buzz Salute” to Chelsea Good, Topeka, who earned runner-up status at the YF&R Discussion Meet, in Hawaii this week. Good is the public information officer at the Kansas Department of Agriculture and a great friend of agriculture…
  • We know of several farmers and ranchers who have lost money in the MF Global bankruptcy. Montana farmers are “fighting back” through the U.S. court system, in lawsuits with Jon Corzine, the CEO of MF Global when it filed for bankruptcy in October. The Montana lawsuit is filed on behalf of 38,000 MF Global accountholders, according to CNN…
  • Finally, it is sickening that an “animal rights group” is taking credit and receiving kudos from like-minded groups, in its role for setting fire and damaging 14 tractor-trailers at a California feedlot. The North American Animal Liberation Press Office said in a statement that the trucks were set on fire to protest “the horrors and injustices of factory farming,” according to an article in the Chicago Tribune…
  • The California Farm Bureau is pushing for prosecution of the perpetrators. This takes me back to the mid-90s, when environmental groups would destroy fields of crops that were being used to research new technology, including genetic modification. Many of these groups were not held accountable for their actions, due to the fear of bad press that could result for the companies that were harmed…
  • It is time that U.S. agriculture put a stop to domestic terrorism and deal harshly with these radical groups.
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