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Commodity Communicator Weekly

February 1, 2013

COMMODITY DIVISIONS MEET. . . . .This week over 250 county leaders assembled at the North Little Rock Wyndham Hotel for the winter meetings of Arkansas Farm Bureau’s Commodity Divisions.   The organization’s 12 commodity divisions (consisting of county chairmen for each respective commodity) met in individual sessions to consider issues, review policy positions and recommend actions to the board of directors.  Farm Bureau’s commodity division structure consists of county chairmen (appointed by county Farm Bureau presidents) for commodities important to their county’s agriculture.  The structure includes divisions for:  aquaculture, beef cattle, cotton, dairy, equine, forestry, poultry, rice, soybeans, swine, wheat and feed grains, and a newly named “specialty crops” division (formerly horticulture).

CATTLE INVENTORY REPORT RELEASED. . . . . All cattle and calves in the United States as of Jan. 1, 2013 totaled 89.3 million head, 2 percent below the 90.8 million on Jan. 1, 2012. This is the lowest January 1 inventory of all cattle and calves since the 88.1 million on hand in 1952.   All cows and heifers that have calved, at 38.5 million, were down 2 percent from a year ago and are at their lowest level since 1941.

In Arkansas, the total cattle inventory was 1.6 million head down from 1.67 million, a 4% drop overall.  By category, the number of beef cows fell 6% and the dairy cow count was 18% below a year ago.  Arkansas’ calf crop showed a 5% drop in 2012.

CME GROUP SEEKS TO REDUCE TRADING HOURS. . . . .About a year ago, the CME Group expanded the trading day to 21 hours, but is now seeking permission from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to lower total number of trading hours. Responses to a formal survey and customer complaints concerning the longer trading day led to the decision. The group also is considering a pause in trading during each day’s session, so traders can consider Agriculture Department reports released at noon Eastern.
. . . . .The USDA will be targeting the kind of snacks sold to students in schools.  School kids often spurn the regular lunch offered in schools and go to nearby vending machines to buy potato chips, candy bars and sugary soft drinks.  Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack recently told the press that the rules on what snacks may be offered in vending machines in schools will be issued in the near future.  Although this by itself will not conquer the obesity problem we see in young kids, it will at least keep junk food out of their hands while they are in school.  

FEBRUARY SUPPLY/DEMAND REPORT WEBINAR. . . . .Friday, February 8 at 12:30 p.m. . . . .The USDA will release its new U.S. and Global Agriculture Situation and Outlook tomorrow.  Join Gene Martin, Farm Bureau Senior Market Analyst and Scott Stiles, UAEX Economist will break down the report and give insight into how the report will affect the markets.  

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COMMODITY CLASSIC. . . .This three day convention and trade show is open to all friends of corn, soybeans, wheat and sorghum- from growers to member associations to agribusiness to farm media.  Commodity Classic is February 28 – March 2 in Kissimmee, Florida.  For more information or registration, please visit

. . . . .On Wednesday, February 13th, Arkansas State University will host its annual agribusiness conference at the Convocation Center on the campus in Jonesboro. The event will feature speakers including Joe Outlaw, agriculture economist with Texas A&M, and Bart Chilton, Commodity Futures Trading Commissioner. Their focus will be on the farm bill and commodity markets. Anyone is welcome to attend the meeting

GRAIN BIN SAFETY TRAINING PROGRAM. . . . .A grain bin safety training program is scheduled for Thursday, March 14 at the Brinkley Convention Center, 1501 Weatherby Drive in Brinkley. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m.; the program will begin at 10 a.m. Lunch and refreshments will be served.

Please see the attached letter and information below. We are asking for your assistance in spreading the word in your community, about the grain bin safety training program. We appreciate your effort in making this training program a success.  

Grain Bin Safety Training Letter.pdf
Group Registration Form.pdf
Individual Registration Form.pdf
Tentative Agenda.pdf

. . . . . Farm Bureau Bank offers credit cards, deposit accounts, vehicle loans, mortgage loans, business services, and student loans.  Visit the website at or call 1-800-492-3276 for more information.

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