Senator Patrick Leahy (D., Vt.), a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, discussed the Farm Bill on the Senate floor today, and particularly focused on the Bill being stymied in the House of Representatives, as well as the SNAP program. (Complete remarks from Senator Leahy can be read here (from the Congressional Record)).
Today on the Senate Floor, Senate Budget Committee Ranking Member Jeff Sessions (R., Ala.) discussed a variety of issues associated with the SNAP program (food stamps), as well as issues regarding USDA as it relates to the Department’s administration of this nutrition program. (Complete remarks from Senator Sessions can be read here (from the Congressional Record)).
Today the World Agricultural Outlook Board (WAOB) released its monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates(WASDE), which stated in part that, “U.S. feed grain supply and use projections for 2012/13 are unchanged this month, but price outlooks for corn and sorghum are lowered based on prices reported to date. The season-average farm price for corn is lowered 20 cents at the midpoint and the projected range is narrowed to $6.80 to $8.00 per bushel.”
The WAOB also noted that, “Soybean oil production is raised 460 million pounds on the increased crush and on a higher soybean oil extraction rate. Soybean oil exports are projected at 1.8 billion pounds, up sharply from 1.2 billion last month on exceptionally strong November sales of just over 700 million pounds to several markets including China, Mexico, and undeclared destinations. Soybean meal exports are raised 0.3 million short tons to 8.2 million on strong sales to EU-27, Egypt, and several Asian markets including the Philippines and South Korea. Soybean meal domestic use is reduced 0.1 million short tons to 29.4 million in line with current meat production forecasts. With soybean exports unchanged at 1.345 billion bushels, soybean ending stocks for 2012/13 are projected at 130 million bushels, down 10 million from last month.
“Prices for soybeans and products are all projected lower this month. The U.S. season- average soybean price range for 2012/13 is projected at $13.55 to $15.55 per bushel, down 35 cents on both ends of the range.”
With respect to wheat, today’s WASDE report indicated that, “Projected U.S. wheat ending stocks for 2012/13 are raised 50 million bushels reflecting lower prospects for exports again this month. Projected exports are lowered 50 million bushels reflecting the slow pace of sales and shipments to date and higher expected competition from foreign supplies. U.S. exports are projected 45 million bushels lower for Hard Red Winter wheat, 10 million bushels lower for Soft Red Winter wheat, and 5 million bushels lower for Hard Red Spring wheat. White wheat exports are raised 10 million bushels. The projected 2012/13 season-average farm price for all wheat is lowered 10 cents at the midpoint and the range is narrowed to $7.70 to $8.30 per bushel.”
Charts containing the complete supply and demand variables for U.S. corn and soybeans are reproduced from today’s WASDE report (click on tables for full view).
Ramsey Cox reported yesterday at The Hill’s Floor Action Blog that, “Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) called on President Obama to ‘end the death tax’ on Monday.
“At the end of the year, the current rate of the estate tax — also called the ‘death tax’ — will go from 35 percent on assets valued at more than $5 million to 55 percent on assets of more than $1 million. Hatch called that a ‘burden’ that ‘can be a death sentence for the American workers and family farms.’
“‘We ought to repeal the death tax,’ Hatch said on the floor Monday. ‘It might make sense in a college social justice seminar but it doesn’t make sense in a thriving economy.’”