Latest posts

Farmland Prices Going Higher?

Media_httpwwwswinecas_ndaag
Audio via PoultryCast

Terry Feldheim of the Farm Credit Service of America highlights the support underpinning land prices at these levels.

What is sustainable ag lending? That really comes down to a concept what is sustainable at given prices. We look at farmers and ranchers, asking if they can cash flow $4.50 corn? If he can cash flow that, he has a much higher probably of sustaining the volatility that comes at us.

The operations that will get loans must have strong working capital positions and actions in play to reduce any debts as quickly as possible.

Full Tilt Feed? There Is Hope In Animal Feed Prices!

Media_httpwwwswinecas_haerg
Audio link via SwineCast.com

Speaking at the recent Kansas State Swine Day, Analyst Joe Kerns with the International Agribusiness Group had some soothing words for producers dealing with volatile feed costs.

When you take a look at the economics right now, the USDA has the US plugged in for 5 billion bushels in order to go to ethanol for the calendar year 2012. With or without the subsidy, there is still enough motivation, enough profit within the ethanol industry that I don't see any way we are going to let our foot off the gas. Every ethanol plant is running full tilt.

Farms Will Need To Take Action on EPA Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure Rule

Media_httpwwwswinecas_cddls

The US EPA Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure rule was developed because of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010. This new ruling applies facilities that have a total capacity to contain over 1320 gallons of oil, including gasoline, crop oil, vegetable oil, or animal fat. Fat can be an element for many feed mills, even fat in 55 gallon drums. Facilities must have a plan in place to prevent the spill entering waterways. The plan does not have to be submitted to the EPA, but must be in place upon inspection.

WTO cool on Country of Origin Labeling

Media_httpwwwswinecas_yucdp

The World Trade Organization has ruled that the USA Country of origin labeling (aka COOL, USDA info) is violating global trade rules and may impact global agricultural commerce.

“We remain committed to providing consumers with accurate and relevant information with respect to the origin of meat products that they buy at the retail level,” [Andrea Mead, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Trade Representative] said in a statement. “In that regard we are considering all options, including appealing the panel’s decision.”

COOL is considered by the US Swine industry to be a burden because the costs to implement and use out weight the benefits. For beef, many countries avoid exporting the the USA, also because of the USA COOL regulations.

How Complex is the USDA?

Media_httpwwwswinecas_ofolh

The USDA's 2012 budget summary offers some insight into a complex organization.

USDA’s total outlays for 2012 are estimated at $145 billion. Roughly 81 percent of outlays, about $117 billion in 2012, are associated with mandatory programs that provide services as required by law. These include the majority of the nutrition assistance programs, farm commodity programs, crop insurance, export promotion programs and a number of conservation programs. The decrease in mandatory outlays in 2012 is primarily due to crop insurance