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Commodity Communicator Weekly

August 10, 2012

NRCS DROUGHT ASSISTANCE. . . . .NRCS drought assistance sign up deadline August 14. The USDA will utilize nearly $16 million in financial and technical assistance to immediately help crop and livestock producers in 19 states cope with the adverse impacts of the historic drought. http://www.ar.nrcs.usda.gov/drought.html


ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITIES FOR ROW CROP FARMERS!
. . . . .According to the July 31 U.S. Drought Monitor, 81 percent of Arkansas is in an extreme drought and 44 percent is in an exceptional drought.  In these areas up to 75 percent of the grass in pastures is considered severely impacted and may not recover.  Livestock watering ponds are dry or so stagnant they are dangerous for the health of the herd.   Eighty-three percent of pastures in the state are rated as poor or very poor by the National Agricultural Statistic Service. 

An opportunity exists for crop farmers to come to the aid of our cattlemen here in AR by agreeing to bale row crops into hay bales to be feed to cattle. Farmers should consider this economic opportunity if they are willing to maintain their milo stands after they have harvested the grain and allow the crop to reestablish itself.   There may also be dry land soybean fields that have been too severely affected by the drought that could be baled for hay.  And there also may be some opportunity for farmers to plant temporary forages such as Millet or Sorghum-Sudan grass and harvest and bale it for hay.  Depending on what types of pesticides were used, other crops such as peanut vines and field corn could be could be baled for hay.   Farmers must be mindful of any chemical restrictions before baling any crop as feed for livestock.

Farmers who do not own haying equipment should consider allowing commercial hay vendors or cattle farmers to come and bale the crops on their farms. Farmers who do not own equipment to load and transport hay bales should consider commercial hay vendors, cattle farmers, or commercial trucking operations as an alternative to transport hay off their farms.

Farmers can use the Arkansas Hay Producers Directory to connect with cattlemen who are looking for affordable sources of hay. The web-based directory from the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service was created to allow Arkansas producers to share information about their available hay.   For more information please contact Debbie Moreland at: (501) 425-2891 or by email her at: debbie.moreland@arkansas.gov


HAY SOURCES FOR CATTLE AND LIVESTOCK
! . . . . According to the July 31 U.S. Drought Monitor, 81 percent of Arkansas is in an extreme drought and 44 percent is in an exceptional drought.  In these areas up to 75 percent of the grass in pastures is considered severely impacted and may not recover.  Livestock watering ponds are dry or so stagnant they are dangerous for the health of the herd.   Eighty-three percent of pastures in the state are rated as poor or very poor by the National Agricultural Statistic Service.

An opportunity exists for crop farmers to come to the aid of our cattlemen here in AR by agreeing to bale row crops into hay bales to be feed to cattle. Some row crop farmers may be willing to maintain their milo crop after the grain has been harvested to allow it to start growing again.  This will allow the farmer to cut and bale the milo for hay that can be feed to livestock.   There may also be dry land soybean fields that have been too severely affected by the drought that could be baled for hay.  And there also may be some opportunity for farmers to plant temporary forages such as Millet or Sorghum-Sudan grass and harvest and bale it for hay.  Depending on what types of pesticides were used, other crops such as peanut vines and field corn could be could be baled for hay.   Farmers must be mindful of any chemical restrictions before baling any crop as feed for livestock.   It is also advisable to have hay bales tested for nitrate levels to prevent nitrate toxicity in cattle. 

Most row crop farmers will probably not own haying equipment, or have the capability to load heavy hay bales onto trailers for transportation.   Therefore, considerations must be given to cutting, baling, and transporting the hay to the cattle farms. There may be opportunities for either commercial hay vendors or cattlemen to cut and bale the hay themselves if they are able to transport haying equipment to the row crop farms.  Commercial trucking operations may be a good alternative to transport hay to the cattle farms.

Cattlemen can use the Arkansas Hay Producers Directory to connect with row crop farmers who are selling hay for livestock. The web-based directory from the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service was created to allow Arkansas producers to share information about their available hay.  For more information please contact Debbie Moreland at: (501) 425-2891, or by email at: debbie.moreland@arkansas.gov


CROP PRICE CREEP HIGHER AS HOT WEATHER CONTINUES
. . . A look at the latest USDA report and how this summer's drought has impacted crop prices and production, with CNBC's Jane Wells.  To watch the video, click on the following link: CNBC - USDA Crop Report


USDA SUPPLY/DEMAND REPORT CONFIRMS EXPECTATIONS
. . . .The August Supply Demand report held a few surprises, but was generally in line with expectations.

Corn was hit with major adjustments for the second month in a row.  Yield was cut 22.6 bushels per acre to 123.4 bushels/acre.  Production at 10.779 billion bushels was in line with pre-report expectations.  Use adjustments included a 400 million bushel cut in ethanol, a 725 million bushel cut in feed and 300 million bushel cut in exports.  The end results were projected ending stocks of 650 million bushels.  Initial market reaction was negative as overnight gains evaporated quickly.  Looks like the old saw “buy the rumor, sell the fact” is in play.  USDA raised the top end of the average farm price projection to $8.90.  So there may still be room on the top.

Soybeans were cut a little more than expected with a yield of just 36.1 bushels per acre and production of 2.69 billion bushels.  Domestic crush was reduced 95 million bushels to 1.52 billion bushels.  Exports were trimmed by 260 million bushels and projected ending stocks are a mere 115 million bushels.  The market firmed overnight ahead of the report and maintained good gains at noon.

Wheat had an upward adjustment in production of 44 million bushels, with domestic use increasing 20 million bushels.  The net result was projected ending stocks of 698 million bushels, an increase of 34 million bushels over the July number.  Wheat was pressured by the report and was sharply lower at noon.

Rice adjustments were small with beginning stocks and production reduced by 1 million cwt.  That was the result of a slightly smaller yield estimate.  Domestic use was cut a corresponding 2 million cwt. with long grain ending stocks projected at 16.1 million cwt. and all rice at 28.4 million cwt.  Rice futures were steady to slightly higher.

Cotton numbers were a surprise with most expecting production to be reduced by a half million bales or so. However, USDA raised the harvested number by 410,000 acres which raised production to 17.65 million bales.  That is an increase of 650,000 bales over July and rising to 5.5 million bales.  Projected world ending stocks were revised upwardly by 2.28 million bales to 74.7 million bales. The market traded lower throughout the morning following the report.


UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS AND PANAMA SIGN AGREEMENT
. . . . .Thanks to an agreement between the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture and Panama's Ministry of Agriculture, the Division's Extension personnel and researchers, along with students from the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences, will have access to cultural and educational exchanges between the two nations. The agreement provides for collaboration in the areas of agricultural Extension, agricultural education and the support of curriculum development.

Mark Cochran, UA System Vice President for Agriculture, and Michael Vayda, Dean of the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences, traveled to Panama on August 3 to sign the memorandum of understanding with the Panamanian government. Oscar Osorio, Panama's Minister of Agriculture, signed on behalf of his government.

"With this agreement, we will exchange faculty and extension professionals for lectures, study tours and professional discussions," Cochran said. "We are looking for collaborative ways to strengthen their agricultural extension service and we will also exchange students for internships and summer work experiences." Cochran also noted that plans are to support the development of curriculum for a vocational-agriculture high school in Panama.  This agreement is an opportunity to renew and re-energize relations between the university and the Republic of Panama that span 60 years. Dr. Paul Noland, emeritus faculty of Animal Science, was instrumental in the early efforts that established the relationship.

Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli, who earned a bachelor's degree in business administration at the UA in 1973, praised the pact. "The idea is that they (Ministry of Agriculture professionals) receive better training, and that these specialists can, in turn, reproduce this knowledge among Panamanian producers," Martinelli commented. He added that the agreement will strengthen Panama's Extension and instructional institutions, particularly for staff and technicians who need support for agricultural programs.

The agreement will also result in participation in seminars and Extension meetings between university personnel in Arkansas and Panama, an exchange of academic and extension materials and special short-term Extension and academic programs.

Sens. Mark Pryor and John Boozman and Rep. Rick Crawford of the Arkansas Congressional delegation all participated in the signing ceremony at the Presidential Palace. After the ceremony, President Martinelli hosted the Arkansas delegation for a formal lunch where issues of mutual benefit related to the exchange pact, the U.S.- Panama Trade Promotion Agreement and opportunities associated with the opening of the expanded Panama Canal were discussed. Also present at the signing ceremony and the Presidential lunch were Dan Hendrix and Herbert Morales of the Arkansas World Trade Center, who helped facilitate the trip.


EDAMAME FIELD DAY SET FOR AUGUST 21
. . . . .The University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture will host an edamame field day on August 21, 2012.  Registration will begin at 9:30 a.m. and the program will begin at 10:00 a.m.  To register for the field day, contact Paula Crabtree at paulac@uark.edu.


FARM BUREAU VEHICLE PURCHASE PROGRAM. . . . . Members now have a better way to buy a new or used vehicle through this easy to use program.  Benefits include in-depth price reports, target prices, estimated values and certified dealers.  The $500 GM incentive for members is already built into the system for qualifying vehicles.  Complete details at www.FBVerify.com/Drive

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