January 24, 2020

WSJ Video: Chicken, Please: Drought Pushes Beef Prices Higher (9.4)

From The Wall Street Journal: Hankering for a robust steak dinner? WSJ’s David Kesmodel checks in on Mean Street and discusses how this year’s dry weather has pushed cattle supplies to a 60-year low, driving up beef costs.


Soybeans Hit Record

Emiko Terazono reported yesterday at The Financial Times Online that, “Soyabeans hit a record high after a sharp fall in monthly Brazilian exports raised further fears about falling global supplies.

“The worst drought in the US in half a century has pushed corn and soyabean prices above record levels seen during the 2007-08 global food crisis, heightening concerns of a reprise of big food price increases and riots.

“CBOT September soyabeans rose as high as $17.94¾ a bushel, beating the previous record reached on August 30, before trading up 1 per cent at $17.81 a bushel.”

The FT article added that, “The rise in soyabean prices to a fresh high came as several UN agencies warned of a ‘repeat of the 2007-08 world food crisis.'”

Also yesterday, Ian Berry reported at The Wall Street Journal Online that, “Soy futures continue to ride higher on dwindling crop expectations and continued demand from China. As long as China continues to need soybeans, the U.S. will see more export sales, analysts said.”


AgriTalk- Mike Adams Interview with Mary Kay Thatcher: Farm Bill

Categories: Farm Bill

Mary Kay Thatcher, the Senior Director of Congressional Relations at the American Farm Bureau Federation, was a guest on yesterday’s AgriTalk radio program with Mike Adams where the conversation focused on the Farm Bill.

An audio replay of that discussion is available here:

Also, an unofficial transcript of yesterday’s AgriTalk conversation is available here (pdf).

In part, Ms. Thatcher pointed out that, “And keep in mind, again, you know, we’ve got about 78% of the farm bill that is made up of food stamps. Well, the food stamp program doesn’t expire September 30th. They have no reason, in the nutrition community – the WIC program doesn’t expire. There’s a couple of smaller programs that do. But in essence, the nutrition community is not near as anxious to have to get this bill done as we are because if an extension simply comes along, well, then they’re not going to have to take either a four or a $16 billion cut.

“The same is true, largely, in the conservation community. Now, if you have a contract in the CRP now, it would continue to be paid, but no new contracts would be allowed in. On the other hand, most of the rest of the conservation programs are funded through 2014, so we don’t have the conservation community that’s sweating like we are, either. We have a very small portion of the people interested in the farm bill who are really concerned about the September 30th deadline, and farmers make up the vast majority of that.”

Ms. Thatcher also pointed out that, “But I think the biggest concern out there will, indeed, be the dairy program, because dairy will expire December 31st.”


Farm Bill; Ag Economy; and, Trade

Farm Bill Issues

Chris Clayton reported yesterday at the DTN Ag Policy Blog that, “As much as Sen. Charles Grassley would like a new farm bill, the member of the Senate Agriculture Committee acknowledged Tuesday that it’s far more likely a new bill isn’t forthcoming.

“‘I would imagine at this late stage and with farm legislation sunsetting Sept. 30 that is it most likely we will have a one-year extension of the farm bill,’ Grassley, an Iowa Republican, told reporters in a weekly call.

“Simply put, not much is going to get done in Congress before the election, other than likely extending current policies and delaying final passage of major bills such as the farm bill. Grassley predicted a one-year extension because House members will likely meet only eight days in September while senators are scheduled for 12 days.”