Capital Press | Capital Press Tue, 4 Aug 2015 04:31:55 -0400 en Capital Press | Army Corps memos disparage EPA over WOTUS Mon, 3 Aug 2015 16:56:47 -0400 Carol Ryan Dumas Internal memos from an Army Corps of Engineers top official to the Environmental Protection Agency contends the draft final rule defining waters of the United States is indefensible in court, reduces the government’s jurisdiction over certain waters now covered by the Clean Water Act, and will require the Corps to conduct an environmental impact statement before it can be implemented.

The memos, written before the rule’s release by Maj. Gen. John Peabody, deputy commanding general for civil and emergency operations, charge that the EPA disregarded the Corps’ concerns.

The memos were put on the record by Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz. of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Peabody’s April 27 memo to Jo-Ellen Darby, assistant secretary of the Army for civil works, states: “As we have discussed throughout the rulemaking process for WOTUS over the last several months, the Corps of Engineers has serious concerns about certain aspects of the draft final rule.”

The memo contends that a review of the draft final rule by the Corps’ legal and regulatory staff found the rule “continues to depart significantly from the version provided for public comment, and that the Corps’ recommendations related to our most serious concerns have gone unaddressed.

“The rule’s contradictions with legal principles generate multiple legal and technical consequences that, in the view of the Corps, would be fatal to the rule in its current form.”

The Corps’ legal analysis found that if “serious flaws” were not corrected, the rule would be “legally vulnerable, difficult to defend in court, difficult for the Corps to explain or justify, and challenging for the Corps to implement.”

It further found the final rule abandoned “sound principles of science” in the proposed draft and “introduced indefensible provisions into the rule.”

Among the allegations, the Corps contended:

• That the rule removes Clean Water Act protections from some bodies of water where it is now enforced. That’s because the rule limits coverage to lakes, ponds and other waterways that are within 4,000 feet of a navigable water or tributary. The Corps says there’s no scientific basis for the limit, and no legal authority for the agencies to abandon its current jurisdiction.

• That because the EPA acknowledged that abandoning jurisdiction could create “significant adverse effects on the human environment, the National Environmental Policy Act requires the Corps to perform an Environmental Impact Statement

• That while the rule envisions the agencies extending regulation to isolated bodies of water that have a “significant nexus” with navigable waters of the United States, the definitions of such bodies as having “no hydrological connection with navigable waters” makes it unlikely the agencies will be able to establish a nexus that will withstand a court challenge.

Peabody also stated the Corps’ concerns went unaddressed and EPA’s portrayal that the rulemaking process was a joint endeavor is false.

“The preamble to the proposed rule and the draft preamble to the final rule state that the rulemaking has been a joint endeavor of the EPA and the Corps and that both agencies have jointly made significant findings, reached important conclusions, and stand behind the final rule. Those statements are not accurate … as the process followed to develop it greatly limited Corps input — a practice that has continued thus far in the interagency review process. …

“The critical fact remains that the most important concerns regarding the defensibility and implementability of the draft final rule remain unaddressed … .”

In a May 15 memo to Darcy regarding EPA’s economic analysis of the final rule and technical support document, Peabody stated the Corps’ technical review “indicates both documents are flawed in multiple respects.”

“ … Corps data provided to EPA has been selectively applied out of context and mixes terminology and disparate data sets. … the documents contain numerous inappropriate assumptions with no connection to the data provided, misapplied data, analytical deficiencies, and logical inconsistencies. As a result, the Corps review could not find a justifiable basis in the analysis for many of the documents’ conclusions.”

Peabody further distanced the Corps from EPA’s documents.

“The Corps provided EPA with raw data … . However, the Corps had no role in selecting or analyzing the data that EPA used in drafting either document. As a result, the documents can only be characterized as having been developed by EPA, and should not identify the Corps as an author, co-author or substantive contributor.

“To the extent that the term ‘agencies’ includes the Corps of Engineers, any such reference should be removed. Finally, the Corps of Engineers’ logo should be removed from these two documents. To either imply or portray USACE as a co-author or contributor to these documents, other than as the provider of raw unanalyzed data, is simply untrue.”

When reached for comment, the EPA did not address specific concerns outlined in the memos.

“As with any multiagency rulemaking, the EPA and Army/Corps worked closely and carefully to make sure that all concerns surrounding the Clean Water Rule were addressed before finalization,” a spokesman said in an email. “The Peabody memos were internal, deliberative Army/Corps documents, so any questions regarding recommendations or issues that were raised within the Department of the Army prior to finalization of the Clean Water Rule should be directed to the Army.”

West Nile virus cases come early in Washington Mon, 3 Aug 2015 11:31:26 -0400 Don Jenkins Six horses in Washington have been infected by West Nile virus in the past 10 days, already surpassing the number of equine cases in all of 2014, according to the Washington State Department of Agriculture.

The virus is appearing in horses earlier than last year, when the first of five cases was confirmed Aug. 19, WSDA spokesman Mike Louisell said Friday. The first case in 2013 was confirmed in late September.

Horses contract the disease from mosquitoes that have fed on infected birds. “Look at the hot weather we’ve been having. That’s no doubt spurred mosquitoes,” Louisell said.

The virus is most common in south-central Washington, though it has infected horses and humans in other regions of the state.

So far this year, the state Department of Health reports five human cases, including four in Benton County, where two horses have been infected.

The fifth person sickened by the virus lives in King County in Western Washington, but was likely infected in Adams County in Eastern Washington, according to the health department.

WSDA previously reported that a gelding in Kennewick in Benton County was confirmed July 21 to have the virus. The horse survived, and it continues to improve, according to WSDA.

Since then, five more cases have been confirmed. The six cases are the most in Washington since 2009, when the virus infected 78 horses, by far the worst outbreak ever in the state. Equine cases have been relatively rare in the past several years, with two cases confirmed in 2013, one in 2012 and none in 2011 and 2012.

The cases so far this year include:

• A 2-year-old Andalusian stud colt in Harrah in Yakima County. The horse’s condition is improving.

• A 4-year-old Andalusian stud in Kennewick was euthanized.

• A 3-year-old Quarter horse gelding in Mesa in Franklin County died.

• A 9-year-old Appaloosa mare in Othello in Adams County. The horse appears to be recovering.

• A 3-year-old Azteca male in Mabton in Yakima County. The horse appears to be recovering.

Idaho confirmed July 23 that a horse in Washington County was infected this year, the state’s only case this year.

The California West Nile Virus website, jointly run by several government agencies, does not report equine cases. California’s surveillance system includes chickens set out to detect mosquito-borne illnesses. So far, 45 chickens have been sickened in nine counties, including the Northern California counties of Shasta, Butte, Glenn, Sutter, Yuba and Placer.

Oregon has not confirmed any equine cases this year, state Department of Agriculture spokesman Bruce Pokarney said Friday.

The West Nile virus appeared in the United States in 1999. The disease sickens people, horses, birds and other animals, but it does not spread from horses to people or other animals. Most horses that contract the virus show no ill symptoms. About one-third of the horses with symptoms die.

WSDA recommends horses be vaccinated against the virus and that owners take steps to protect their horses from mosquitoes.

Judge rules Idaho’s anti-spying ‘ag gag’ law unconstitutional Mon, 3 Aug 2015 15:51:13 -0400 KIMBERLEE KRUESI BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A federal judge ruled Monday that Idaho’s law banning secret filming of animal abuse at agricultural facilities is unconstitutional.

U.S. Judge Court Judge B. Lynn Winmill found that the law violates the First Amendment.

“Audio and visual evidence is a uniquely persuasive means of conveying a message, and it can vindicate an undercover investigator or whistleblower who is otherwise disbelieved or ignored,” Winmill wrote in his 29-page ruling. “Prohibiting undercover investigators or whistleblowers from recording an agricultural facility’s operations inevitably suppresses a key type of speech because it limits the information that might later be published or broadcast.”

A coalition of animal activists, civil rights groups and media organizations sued the state more than a year ago, opposing the so-called “ag gag” law. The coalition said the law curtailed freedom of speech and made gathering proof of animal abuse a crime with a harsher punishment than the penalty for animal cruelty.

Idaho lawmakers approved the law in 2014 after the state’s $2.5 billion dairy industry complained that videos of cows being abused at a southern Idaho dairy filmed in 2012 unfairly hurt their business.

“Idaho’s lawmakers should be ashamed of wasting precious time and valuable resources enacting unconstitutional laws that threaten animal welfare, food safety, workers’ rights, and the environment,” Nathan Runkle, president of Mercy For Animals, the animal rights group that released the 2012 footage, said in a statement.

Many lawmakers argued the law was needed to protect private property owners’ rights. However, Winmill countered that there are already state and federal laws on the books that protect private property.

Attorney General Lawrence Wasden’s office declined to comment. Spokesman Todd Dvorak said the office was reviewing the ruling.

Sweet corn big business in Columbia Basin Mon, 3 Aug 2015 14:56:16 -0400 Dan Wheat GEORGE, Wash. — The air conditioning in the cab of Kyle Bushman’s corn combine got its workout that day. Temperatures exceeded 100 degrees all afternoon on July 31.

It was just another long, hot day near the front end of Washington’s 2 1/2-month harvest of sweet corn.

Bushman, 36, of Quincy, Wash., is in his eighth year on a harvest crew for Quincy Foods LLC, a subsidiary of Norpac Foods of Stayton, Ore.

It took him only 10 minutes or so to cut and collect another eight tons of corn in the hopper of the Oxbo Legacy combine and head to the truck to dump it.

He saddled the big machine ever so close up to the side of the truck so no ears of corn would spill to the ground.

“I try to get within 3 inches. Usually, once a season a truck tire gets punctured (from a cone of the combine cutter),” Bushman said.

Sweet corn is big business in Washington — perhaps bigger than most people realize. The state usually ranks second in processed sweet corn to Minnesota. Processed corn is canned or frozen.

In 2014, Washington harvested 692,000 tons of processed sweet corn from 69,400 acres, valued at $74.7 million, according to USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service.

Minnesota harvested 749,440 tons from 109,400 acres, valued at $84.8 million. Wisconsin was third at 542,160 tons on 65,800 acres and valued at $52.2 million.

Oregon rounded out the top states at 220,480 tons from 23,200 acres, valued at $27.8 million. A lot is grown in the Oregon’s Willamette Valley.

U.S. totals were 2.6 million tons, 312,280 acres and $289.6 million in value.

Washington’s sweet corn is mostly grown in the upper and lower Columbia Basin, plus some in the Yakima Valley and on the west side of the state near Chehalis.

Upper Columbia basin processors are National Frozen Foods in Moses Lake and Quincy Foods in Quincy. Harvest usually begins Aug. 1. But as with so many crops this year, a mild winter and warm spring moved things along early.

“We started July 15. That’s our earliest ever,” said Brian O’Shea, field department manager of Quincy Foods.

“Normally, we go to the middle of October. This year, we could be done a little sooner,” he said.

The company is contracted to harvest sweet corn on 6,000 acres. Yield will average 11 tons to the acre. Quincy Foods pays growers an average of $95 per ton. Harvest area runs from Moses Lake to Quincy and south to Royal Slope.

“National probably does twice as many acres and at least double the volume in the same geographic area,” O’Shea said.

Quincy Foods harvests around the clock, seven days a week. Crews work 12-hour shifts. Each crew has three combine operators, a mechanic, an assistant mechanic and a foreman. Trucking is contracted out. The corn is hauled, 28 tons per truck, to the plant in Quincy, where it is cut off the cob and frozen or frozen on natural-length cobs, 5.5-inch cobs or 3-inch cobbets. It is packed and shipped throughout the year, domestic and export.

“This year, we’re maturing corn faster than we ever have,” O’Shea said. “It’s the warm nights.”

The nearby Washington State University AgWeatherNet station at Frenchman Hills measured 1,781 heat units season-to-date on July 28. That compares with 1,376 a year earlier and about 1,250 on a 20-year average, he said.

“The Midwest has more acres and volume, but our yield per acre is some of the best in the nation,” O’Shea said. “Last year, we were 11 tons per acre or close to it. The Midwest averages about 7.”

As to why that is, O’Shea isn’t sure.

“A lot of the Midwest is dryland. I assume it’s because of our perfect conditions for sweet corn and its all irrigated,” he said. “Quincy corn has a good reputation around the state for being really good sweet corn. It’s what people are looking for. That reputation has been built over the years on good quality, good eating corn.”

World-class calf roping event to benefit Beef Counts Mon, 3 Aug 2015 14:58:19 -0400 Carol Ryan Dumas JEROME, Idaho — The 4th Annual Caring Cowboys Beef Counts Open Calf Roping will take place Aug. 16 at the Jerome County Fairgrounds.

Sunday’s action begins at 9 a.m. with a junior calf roping with the Pacific Northwest’s most talented young tie-down ropers. The Caring Cowboys Beef Counts Open Calf Roping will follow.

In its fourth year, this event aims to bring over 40 top professional calf ropers, including Jake Hannum, Shane Hanchey, Ryan Jarrett, and Tyson Durfey, in one arena for an afternoon of world class calf roping to benefit Beef Counts, Idaho’s Beef Industry United Against Hunger.

Live and silent auctions, including a cowboy auction, will begin at 3 p.m. followed by the open roping at 4 p.m. Concessions will be available on-site.

Canal expansion progresses in Odessa Subarea Mon, 3 Aug 2015 14:21:20 -0400 Costs coming in lower than projected

By Matthew Weaver

Capital Press

Water deliveries from the Columbia River are already being made to some farmers in the Odessa Subarea.

The East Columbia Basin Irrigation District has begun writing water service contracts with farmers in that area for irrigation water, said development coordinator Levi Johnson.

Deep-well irrigation on 2,000 acres in the subarea is being replaced using surface water, Johnson said.

The deliveries are the latest in a series of efforts to bring water from the Columbia River to farmers affected by rapidly declining aquifers. Farmers have been forced them to drill deeper irrigation wells or watch them run dry.

Overall, 87,000 acres of irrigated farm land are eligible to receive water from the federal Columbia Basin Project.

The irrigation district is designing a 47.5-mile delivery system on the East Low Canal. It would deliver river water to 10,000 acres of farmland. Environmental reviews are underway, Johnson said.

Six pipeline systems to deliver water from the canal to individual farms are also in the works.

“The critical point is to secure tax-exempt revenue bonds to get the capital necessary to build that system,” Johnson said. The district hopes to begin construction on it in the winter.

The project also includes an expansion of the canal, said Mike Schwisow, director of government relations for the Columbia Basin Development League.

A $26 million state grant to the irrigation district covers more than 50 percent of the cost of the canal expansion, including new county road bridges, Schwisow said. How much gets done depends on the contractor bids for the various aspects of the project, Schwisow said.

Once the state grant is used, the league hopes to get federal funding for the canal expansion portion, Schwisow said.

Bids for the first two siphons came in below engineering estimates, less than $15 million compared to more than $20 million that was projected, Schwisow said.

The irrigation district did the excavation work in-house, Schwisow said.

“We feel like we can perform that work more efficiently and at a lower cost than a traditional, federally run construction project,” Johnson said.

Landowners will pay for the distribution portion of the project, Schwisow said.

The original estimated cost of the project was more than $700 million for the distribution system and $75 million for the canal expansion.

“The district’s experience and all the work they have done now, taking a hypothetical from several years ago to reality, is much, much lower,” Schwisow said.

National wool and sheep review Mon, 3 Aug 2015 13:51:33 -0400 Wool prices in cents per pound and foreign currency per kilogram, sheep prices in dollars per hundredweight (cwt.) except some replacement animals on per head basis as indicated.


(USDA Market News)

Greeley, Colo.

July 31

Domestic wool trading on a clean basis was at a standstill this week. There were no confirmed trades. Most are at a point where they are just collecting pools that were sheared late to store until the fall as warehouses restock and deliver previously sold contract wool from earlier in the year. The economic landscape in China is a current topic at hand as they import a lot of domestic wool. Most remain optimistic that the situation there will change as well as the possibility of European markets having a greater demand later this fall. Domestic wool trading on a greasy basis was at a standstill. There were no confirmed trades this week. All trades reported on a weighted average.

Domestic wool tags

No. 1 $.60-.70

No. 2 $.50-.60

No. 3 $.40-.50


(USDA Market News)

San Angelo, Texas

July 31

Compared to last week: Slaughter lambs were very uneven, steady to $20 higher at San Angelo, Texas; Ft. Collins, Colo., and Kalona, Iowa, and steady to $20 lower at New Holland, Pa., and Sioux Falls, S.D. Slaughter ewes were steady to $10 higher, except at New Holland steady to $10 lower. Feeder lambs were steady to $15 lower, except at Ft. Collins steady to $10 higher.

At San Angelo, Texas, 4,096 head sold in a one-day sale. No sales in Equity Electronic Auction. In direct trading slaughter ewes were not tested; feeder lambs were $8 lower. 3,500 head of negotiated sales of slaughter lambs were steady to $2 higher. 7,600 head of formula sales under 65 lbs. were not well tested; 65-75 lbs. were $6-7 lower; 75-85 lbs. were $8-10 higher; 85-95 lbs. were $1-2 higher and over 95 lbs. were $6-7 lower. 5,243 carcasses sold with 45 lbs. and down $4.03 higher; 45-65 lbs. $2.24-3.19 lower; 65-75 lbs. $5.69 higher; 75-85 lbs. $10.32 higher and 85 lbs. and up $6.56 higher.

SLAUGHTER LAMBS Choice and Prime 2-3:

San Angelo: shorn and wooled 100-140 lbs. $120-140.

SLAUGHTER LAMBS Choice and Prime 1:

San Angelo: 40-60 lbs. $210-230; 60-70 lbs. $190-210; 70-80 lbs. $168-175, few 186-192; 80-90 lbs. $160- 172; 90-110 lbs. $150-168.


San Angelo: Good 2-3 (fleshy) $62-68; Utility and Good 1-3 (medium flesh) $76-84; Utility 1-2 (thin) $58- 66.50; Cull and Utility 1-2 (very thin) $50-60; Cull 1 (extremely thin) $42-50.

FEEDER LAMBS Medium and Large 1-2:

San Angelo: 53 lbs. $187; 60-80 lbs. $180-184, set of reputation $192; 80-95 lbs. $175-180.

REPLACEMENT EWES Medium and Large 1-2:

San Angelo: hair ewe lambs 60-80 lbs. $240-282 cwt; 93 lbs. $185 cwt.


Weight Wtd. avg.

45 lbs. Down $488.29

45-55 lbs. $397

55-65 lbs. $340.74

65-75 lbs. $328.07

75-85 lbs. $315.57

85 lbs. and up $292.96

Sheep and lamb slaughter under federal inspection for the week to date totaled 36,000 compared with 36,000 last week and 41,000 last year.

Selected Western hay prices Mon, 3 Aug 2015 13:45:10 -0400 Hay prices are dollars per ton or dollars per bale when sold to retail outlets. Basis is current delivery FOB barn or stack, or delivered customer as indicated.

Grade guidelines used in this report have the following relationship to Relative Feed Value (RFV), Acid Detergent Fiber (ADF), TDN (Total Digestible Nutrients), or Crude Protein (CP) test numbers:


Supreme 185+ <27 55.9+ 22+

Premium 170-185 27-29 54.5-55.9 20-22

Good 150-170 29-32 52.5-54.5 18-20

Fair 130-150 32-35 50.5-52.5 16-18

Utility <130 36+ <50.5 <16


(Columbia Basin)

(USDA Market News)

Moses Lake, Wash.

July 31

This week FOB Last week Last year

10,220 8,585 19,525

Compared to July 24: Good export alfalfa steady in a light test. Trade slow this week for both domestic and export markets as both have adequate supplies and end users are trying to lower their prices. Timothy not tested this week. Demand light to moderate. Retail/Feedstore steady. Demand remains good.

Tons Price

Alfalfa Large Square Good 2600 $160-180

2000 $165-175

300 $140 Weedy

Utility/Fair 2500 $155

Alfalfa Small Square Premium 70 $260-265

Oat Large Square Good 450 $ 120

Wheat Straw Large Square Good 2300 $60-65


(USDA Market News)

Portland, Ore.

July 31

This week FOB Last week Last year

10,059 8,331 4,311

Compared to July 24: Prices trended generally steady compared to the same quality last week. Trade activity increased slightly this week; however, many producers are still busy in the field with the second cutting. Many producers have decided to hold on to their hay for now.

Tons Price


Alfalfa Small Square Supreme 66 $240-255

Premium 30 $220

Orchard Grass Small Square Premium 66 $ 250

Good 8 $190

Grass Mix-Five Way Small Square Premium 50 $290


Alfalfa Large Square Supreme 250 $210

Good 300 $185

Fair/Good 240 $150

Timothy Grass Large Square Premium 250 $210


Alfalfa Large Square Premium 200 $ 200

Fair 250 $120

Small Square Good 400 $180

Orchard Grass Small Square Premium 250 $240

75 $ 230

Oat Small Square Good 150 $100


Alfalfa Large Square Premium 7000 $250


Alfalfa Large Square Premium 34 $220

Good 66 $210

150 $190

Small Square Supreme 30 $250

45 $ 260

Premium 30 $220

Good 9 $ 200

30 $ 200

Alfalfa/Bluegrass Mix Small Square Good/Prem. 50 $225

Rye Grass Small Square Good 25 $145

Triticale Small Square Premium 5 $175


(USDA Market News)

Moses Lake, Wash.

July 31

This week FOB Last week Last year

36,250 2,800 13,495

Compared to July 24: Premium Alfalfa steady. Trade active this week. Demand good for organic hay light on commodity supplies. Retail/feed store/horse not tested this week.

Tons Price

Alfalfa Large Square Prem./Sup. 12,500 $260

Good/Prem. 1500 $150

Fair/Good 12,500 $180

1500 $150

Wheat Straw Large Square Fair/Good 8250 $50


(USDA Market News)

Moses Lake, Wash.

July 31

This week FOB Last week Last year

11,703 6,297 24,170

Compared to July 24: All classes traded slow on moderate demand. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, Frontal rains and leftover moisture from Hurricane Dolores brought above-normal precipitation to parts of California, Nevada, Montana, and the Pacific Northwest this week. The Intermountain region has second cutting on the ground with chances of rain. Prices on dry cow hay continue to drop week to week while test hay is getting harder to find.

REGION 1: North Intermountain Includes the counties of Siskiyou, Modoc, Shasta, Lassen, and Plumas.

Tons Price

Alfalfa Good/Prem. 125 $120

50 $ 170

Good 400 $ 245

75 $160

Alfalfa/Orchard Mix Premium 15 $200

Orchard Grass Premium 90 $290-300

Good/Prem. 25 $260

Timothy Grass Premium 575 $320

REGION 2: Sacramento Valley

Includes the counties of Tehama, Glenn, Butte, Colusa, Sutter, Yuba, Sierra, Nevada, Placer, Yolo, El Dorado, Solano, Sacramento.

Tons Price

Alfalfa Supreme 120 $220

Prem./Sup. 430 $230

Good/Prem. 25 $ 190

Alfalfa/Orchard Mix Premium 75 $260

REGION 3: Northern San Joaquin Valley

Includes the counties of San Joaquin, Calaveras, Stanislaus, Tuolumne, Mono, Merced and Mariposa.

Tons Price

Alfalfa Supreme 50 $ 280

Good 1000 $ 155

Fair/Good 1500 $140

200 180

Wheat Good 1500 $ 75

Forage Mix-Two Way Fair 300 $ 80

Wheat Straw Good 225 $80

REGION 4: Central San Joaquin Valley

Includes the counties of Madera, Fresno, Kings, Tulare, and Inyo.

Tons Price

Alfalfa Good/Prem. 50 $170

Good 100 $160

Corn Good 0 $60

REGION 5: Southern California

Includes the counties of Kern, Northeast Los Angeles, and Western San Bernardino.

Tons Price

Alfalfa Good/Prem. 250 $ 270

Orchard Grass Premium 225 $ 320

Forage Mix-Three Way Good 63 $260

REGION 6: Southeast California

Tons Price

Alfalfa Good/Prem. 2600 $165

Good 550 $150-160

750 $190

Sudan Premium 125 $165

Good/Prem. 210 $130

Selected West Coast grain prices Mon, 3 Aug 2015 13:25:43 -0400 Grains are stated in dollars per bushel or hundredweight (cwt.) except feed grains traded in dollars per ton. National grain report bids are for rail delivery unless truck indicated.


(USDA Market News)


July 29


Cash wheat bids for July delivery ended the reporting week on Thursday, July 30, moderately lower compared to July 23 noon bids for July delivery.

September wheat futures ended the reporting week on Thursday, July 30, lower as follows compared to July 23 closes: Chicago wheat futures were 25 cents lower at $4.9650, Kansas City wheat futures were 26 cents lower at $4.91 and Minneapolis wheat futures trended 26 cents lower at $5.2675. Chicago September corn futures trended 30 cents lower at $3.7325 while August soybean futures closed 19.75 cents lower at $9.9025.

Bids for U.S. 1 Soft White Wheat delivered to Portland in unit trains or barges during July for ordinary protein were not available today or last week as most exporters were not issuing bids for nearby delivery.

There were no white club wheat premiums for the current or previous week.

One year ago bids for U.S. 1 Soft White Wheat any protein for July delivery by unit trains and barges to Portland were $6.2725-6.9525, mostly $6.7625 and bids for White Club Wheat were $6.7725-7.8725, mostly $7.4425.

Nearby bids for U.S. 1 Soft White wheat ordinary protein were not available this week, as most exporters were not issuing bids for July delivery.

Forward month bids for soft white wheat ordinary protein were as follows: August and September $5.3650-5.5150 and October and November $5.4425-5.5425. One year ago, forward month bids for soft white wheat for any protein were as follows: August New Crop $6.7725-6.95, September $6.7725-6.98, October $6.7950-7.01 and November $6.8450-7.04.

Bids for U.S. 1 Soft White Wheat guaranteed maximum 10.5 percent protein during July were $6.2150-6.33, mostly $6.2150, 23.50 to 25 cents per bushel lower compared to $6.4650-6.5650, mostly $6.5150 the previous week.

There were no white club wheat premiums for guaranteed 10.5 percent protein the current or previous week.

Nearby bids for U.S. 1 Soft White wheat guaranteed maximum 10.5 percent protein began the reporting week on July 24 at mostly $6.4475, and then dropped to mostly $6.3450 on July 27, moving slightly higher to mostly $6.3575 on July 28, before dropping even lower to mostly $6.2125 on July 29.

July 30, bids ended the reporting week fractionally higher at mostly $6.2150. Bids were influenced by the fluctuation Chicago September wheat futures during the week. Forward month bids for soft white wheat guaranteed 10.5 percent proteins were as follows: August New Crop and September $6.2650-6.38, October $6.2925-6.4425, and November $6.2925-6.4625.

Bids for 11.5 percent protein U.S. 1 Hard Red Winter Wheat for July delivery were 16 to 26 cents per bushel lower compared to July 23 noon bids. The lower Kansas City July wheat futures weighed on bids during the week. On July 30, bids were as follows: July 5.46-5.66, mostly 5.54; August New Crop 5.51-5.76; September 5.56-5.81; October 5.8075-5.8575 and November 8.8075-5.8875.

Bids for non-guaranteed 14.0 percent protein U.S. 1 Dark Northern Spring Wheat for Portland delivery during July had 27 to 36 cents lower than July 23 noon bids. Some exporters were not issuing bids for nearby delivery. On July 30, bids for non-guaranteed 14 percent protein were as follows: July $6.0675-6.1675, mostly $6.1175; August New Crop $6.0675-6.2675; September $6.1175-6.2675; October; $6.3375-6.5375; and November $6.4375-6.5875.


Bids for U.S. 2 Yellow Corn delivered full coast Pacific Northwest - BN shuttle trains for July delivery were 24 to 28 cents lower from $4.5125-4.5325 per bushel. Forward month corn bids were as follows: August $4.5425-4.5825, September $4.5725-4.6025, October $4.5875-4.6475, November $4.6375-4.6475 and December $4.6475-4.6875. Bids for U.S. 1 Yellow Soybeans delivered full coast Pacific Northwest - BN shuttle trains for July delivery were not available. Forward month soybean bids were as follows: September $10.32-10.33, October $10.35-10.37, November $10.40-10.43, December $10.4525-10.4625 and January $10.4625-10.4725. Bids for U.S. 2 Heavy Wheat Oats for July delivery held steady at $3.8475 per bushel.


Outstanding U.S. white wheat export sales as of July 23, 2015, for the marketing year beginning June 1, 2015, and ending May 31, 2016, in 1000 MT, totaled 957.3 thousand MT compared to 974.2 thousand MT one week ago, and 1,022.1 thousand MT one year ago.

Outstanding white wheat export sales for the 2015-2016 marketing year were to the following countries in 1000 MT: Japan 141.0, Philippines 131.0, South Korea 119.5, Nigeria 60.5, Sri Lanka 60.0, Thailand 46.2, Guatemala 41.5, Taiwan 34.9, Indonesia 30.0, El Salvador 10.9, Canada 1.9, Vietnam 1.3, Hong Kong 1.1, Malaysia 1.0, and total unknown 276.5. Accumulated white wheat export shipments as of July 23, 2015, in 1000 MT for the 2015-16 marketing year, totaled 322.9 compared to 546.2 one year ago.

Outstanding U.S. barley export sales as of July 23, 2015, for the marketing year beginning June 1, 2015 and ending May 31, 2016, in 1000 MT, totaled 5.9 compared to 5.8 last week and 8.8 one year ago. Outstanding barley export sales for the 2015-16 marketing year in 1000 MT were to the following countries in 1000 MT: Japan 3.5, South Korea 1.6 and Taiwan 0.8. Accumulated barley export shipments as of July 23, 2015 were 3.0 thousand MT compared to 16.1 one year ago.


Pacific Northwest Export News: There were five grain vessels in Columbia River ports on Thursday, July 23, with four docked compared to 7 last Thursday with four docked. There were no confirmed export sales this week from the Commodity Credit Corporation of the USDA.


(USDA Market News)


July 30

Prices in dollars per cwt., bulk Inc.= including; Nom.= nominal; Ltd.= limited; Ind.= indicated; NYE=Not fully estimated.


Mode Destination Price per cwt.

BARLEY – U.S. No. 2 (46-lbs. per bushel)

Rail Stockton-Modesto-Oakdale-Turlock NA

Tulane County NA

Truck Petaluma-Santa Rosa NA

Stockton-Modesto-Oakdale-Turlock NA

Kings-Tulare-Fresno Counties NA

Madera County NA

Kern County NA

Glenn County NA

Colusa County NA

Solano County NA

CORN-U.S. No. 2 Yellow

FOB Turlock/Tulane $8.63

FOB Stockton-Modesto-Oakdale-Turlock NA

Rail Single Car Units via BNSF

Chino Valley-Los Angeles $9.18

Truck Petaluma-Santa Rosa NA

Stockton-Modesto-Oakdale-Turlock $8.93

Los Angeles-Chino Valley NA

Kings-Tulare-Fresno Counties $9.47

SORGHUM-U.S. No. 2 Yellow

Rail Los Angeles-Chino Valley

via BNSF Single $11.18

Truck Modesto-Oakdale-Turlock NA

OATS-U.S. No. 1 White

Truck Los Angeles-Chino Valley NA

OATS-U.S. No. 2 White

Truck Petaluma NA

Rail Petaluma NA

WHEAT-U.S. No. 2 or better-Hard Red Winter

(Domestic Values for Flour Milling)

Los Angeles 12 percent Protein $11.82

Los Angeles 13 percent Protein $12.02

Los Angeles 14 percent Protein $12.22

Truck/Rail Los Angeles 11-12 percent Protein

Los Angeles 12 percent Protein NA

Los Angeles 13 percent Protein $10.85

Los Angeles 14 percent Protein NA

WHEAT-U.S. Durum Wheat

Truck Imperial County NA

Kings-Tulare-Fresno Counties NA

WHEAT-Any Class for Feed

FOB Tulane NA

Truck/Rail Los Angeles-Chino Valley $10.68

Truck Petaluma-Santa Rosa $10.75

Stockton-Modesto-Oakdale-Turlock NA

King-Tulare-Fresno Counties NA

Merced County NA

Colusa County NA

Kern County NA

Prices paid to California farmers, seven-day reporting period ending July 30:

BARLEY, U.S. No 2, 48 lbs per bushel

Solano $9.35 Spot FOB Ranch

YELLOW CORN, U.S. No 2 or better

Glenn $8.50 Spot Del Locally

California shell egg prices Mon, 3 Aug 2015 13:19:38 -0400 Shell egg marketer’s benchmark price for negotiated egg sales of USDA Grade AA and Grade AA in cartons, cents per dozen. This price does not reflect discounts or other contract terms.


(USDA Market News)

Des Moines, Iowa

July 31

Benchmark prices are steady. Asking prices for next week are unchanged on all sizes. The undertone is steady. Retail demand is in a full range of light to fairly good, mostly light to moderate. Food service movement is fairly good to good. Offerings are light. Supplies are light to moderate. Market activity is moderate to active. Small benchmark price $2.97.

Size Range Size Range

Jumbo 364 Extra large 377

Large 361 Medium 317


Prices to retailers, sales to volume buyers, USDA Grade AA and Grade AA, white eggs in cartons, delivered store door.

Size Range Size Range

Jumbo 316-328 Extra large 303-315

Large 293-302 Medium 255-264

National slaughter, feeder and stocker cattle report Mon, 3 Aug 2015 12:31:55 -0400 Cattle prices in dollars per hundredweight (cwt.) except some replacement animals per pair or head as indicated.


(Federal-State Market News)

Oklahoma City-Des Moines

July 31

Compared to last week: Trading and demand are light to moderate in Kansas; live sales are $2 higher. No Dressed sales listed at time of report. Boxed beef prices July 31 averaged $231.48, which is $1.47 higher than July 24. The Choice/Select spread is $3.96. Slaughter cattle on a national basis for negotiated cash trades through July 31 totaled about 3,000 head. The previous week’s total head count was 65,613 head.

South Plains Direct Markets: Live Basis: Steers and Heifers 35-65 percent Choice, 1100-1400 lbs. $147.

Slaughter Cows and Bulls (Average Yielding Prices): Slaughter cows mostly $1-3 lower. Slaughter bulls mostly steady. USDA’s Cutter cow carcass cut-out value July 31 was $221.66 down $6.27 from July 24.


(Federal-State Market News)

St. Joseph, Mo.

July 31

This week Last week Last year

144,500 162,600 281,700

Compared to last week: Lower prices continued in the feeder cattle markets as feeder cattle and calves traded mostly $5-10 lower. Auction receipts were mostly light this week due to the hot weather and high humidity causing high heat index levels of near and over 110 degrees in areas across the Midwest and Southern Plains.

Receipts for the most part continue to be dominated by yearling cattle over 700 lbs., which is where the best demand exists at this time. Demand remains moderate to good with best demand in the Northern Plains for yearlings as on Tuesday in Philip, S.D., at the Philip Livestock Auction sold near 3200 head of mostly yearling cattle with near 300 head of steers weighing between 850-900 lbs. averaging 884 lbs. sold with a weighted average price of $212.74.

Demand was very good in Kearney, Neb., at the Huss Platte Valley Livestock Auction on July 29, where 228 head of yearling steers averaging 925 lbs. sold with a weighted average price of $215.48. A number of good strings of calves and yearlings this week were on offer at the Superior Video Royale sale broadcast on July 27 from Ft. Worth, Texas, then moving to Winnemucca, Nev., on July 29 selling 137,000 head of cattle.

The previous week and into the current week Live Cattle and Feeder Cattle contracts took a pounding as long term bulls were nowhere to be found.

The cattle complex did finally pull off a positive day of trading on July 27 with triple-digit gains that extended with modest gains into July 28. But the sometimes upside potential has no sense of urgency to rally much higher anytime soon.

USDA issued on July 24 its Cattle on Feed Report and the July 1 Cattle Inventory Report all had lots of information and data but little effect on market impact. There were few surprises and no really bullish news to report. Pretty much everybody in the industry knows expansion is well underway, but it will be over a year before many of the heifers retained will calve.

Lower corn market this week is having little effect on Feeder Cattle contracts so far as the fed cattle market has plenty of red ink flowing as the fed cattle market tries to carve out its summer low.

Boxed-beef prices are at their lowest levels since last June and have this week gained some footing hopefully finding their summer low. Choice boxed-beef closed $.09 lower on July 31 at $233.25.

Retailers still seem to be a bit lax in buying product and slow to stimulate consumer buying.

A strong U.S. dollar and weaker export demand from the Pacific Rim countries especially Hong Kong and Japan have beef exports struggling; also beef exports to Mexico have been laboring as well. Competing meat prices are strikingly lower than year-ago levels as pork prices hit their all-time highs last summer during the PEDv outbreak and chicken prices were also stronger last year.

The attitudes of many in the commodity markets who are trading is getting to be a little bitter and even irritable from grains, precious metals, energy markets and the stock market all rocking back on their heels and struggling with selling interest in the market place at this time.

Corn crop is now rated 70 percent good to excellent up 1 percent from last week, with 78 percent in the silking stage. Corn prices have moved lower. Auction volume included 50 percent weighing over 600 lbs. and 37 percent heifers.


This week Last week Last year

106,100 93,700 134,900

Washington 1,800. 87 pct over 600 lbs. 36 pct heifers. Steers: Medium and Large 1-2 650-700 lbs. $211.32; 700-750 lbs. $210.76; 750-800 lbs. $205.63; 800-850 lbs. $191.22; Lot 865 lbs. $189.75. Heifers: Medium and Large 1-2 650-700 lbs. $200.91; 750-800 lbs. $187.34; Lot 810 lbs. $181.


This week Last week Last year

36,900 29,000 38,000

SOUTHWEST (Arizona-California-Nevada) There were no direct sales reported.

Northwest (Washington-Oregon-Idaho) 7500. 81 pct over 600 lbs. 27 pct heifers. Steers: Medium and Large 1-2 Current FOB Price 850-900 lbs. $195-196 Washington. Current Delivered Price: 800-900 lbs. $209-211 Idaho. Future Delivery FOB Price 500-550 lbs. $258 value added for October-November Oregon; 550-600 lbs. $232-246 for October-November Washington-Oregon-Idaho; 600-650 lbs. $227-240 calves for October-November Washington-Oregon-Idaho; 700-750 lbs. $216-221 calves for November-December Washington-Idaho. Future Delivery Delivered Price 850-900 lbs. $208-211 for September-November Idaho. Large 1-2 Future Delivery Delivered Price 900-1000 lbs. $205.75-210 August-September Idaho. Heifers: Medium and Large 1-2 Current FOB Price 800-850 lbs. $186-187 Washington. Current Delivered Price 800-850 lbs. $204-205 Idaho. Large 1-2: 900 lbs. $198 Idaho. Future Delivery FOB Price 500-600 lbs. $219-230 for October-November Washington-Idaho-Oregon; 510 lbs. $240 thin fleshed for October-November Oregon; 650-700 lbs. $212 calves for November-December Oregon. Future Delivery Delivered Price 850 lbs. $207 for October-November Idaho. Large 1-2 Future Delivery Delivered Price 950 lbs. $200 Idaho.


(USDA Market News)

Moses Lake, Wash.

July 24

This week Last week Last year

7,500 4,500 2,300

Compared to July 24, feeder cattle $10-15 lower, due in part to lower slaughter cattle and CME prices. Trade moderate to active with moderate to good demand at the lower prices. The feeder supply included 73 percent steers and 27 percent heifers. Near 81 percent of the supply weighed over 600 lbs. Prices are FOB weighing point with a 1-4 percent shrink or equivalent and with a 5-10 cent slide on calves and a 3-8 cent slide on yearlings. Delivered prices include freight, commissions and other expenses. Current sales are up to 14 days delivery.

Steers: Medium and Large 1-2: Current FOB Price: 850-900 lbs. $195-196 Washington. Current Delivered Price: 800-900 lbs. $209-211 Idaho. Future Delivery FOB Price: 500-550 lbs. $258 value added for October-November Oregon; 550-600 lbs. $232-246 for October-November Washington-Oregon-Idaho; 600-650 lbs. $227-240 calves for October-November Washington-Oregon-Idaho; 700-750 lbs. $216-221 calves for November-December Washington-Idaho. Future Delivery Delivered Price: 850-900 lbs. $208-211 for September-November Idaho. Large 1-2: Future Delivery Delivered Price: 900-1000 lbs. $205.75-210 August-September Idaho.

Heifers: Medium and Large 1-2: Current FOB Price: 800-850 lbs. $186-187 Washington. Current Delivered Price: 800-850 lbs. $204-205 Idaho. Large 1-2: 900 lbs. $198 Idaho. Future Delivery FOB Price: 500-600 lbs. $219-230 for October-November Washington-Idaho-Oregon; 510 lbs. $240 thin fleshed for October-November Oregon; 650-700 lbs. $212 calves for November-December Oregon. Future Delivery Delivered Price: 850 lbs. $207 for October-November Idaho. Large 1-2: Future Delivery Delivered Price: 950 lbs. $200 Idaho.

Selected Western livestock auctions Mon, 3 Aug 2015 12:20:56 -0400 Cattle prices in dollars per hundredweight (cwt.) except some replacement animals per pair or head as indicated.



(Shasta Livestock Auction)

Cottonwood, Calif.

July 24

Current week Last week

408 767

Compared to July 17: Slaughter cows $2-4 lower. Most feeders offered over 700 lbs. Market mostly steady with top yearlings slightly higher. Off lots and singles $40-80 below top offerings.

Slaughter cows: Breakers $100-104, $105-110 high dress; Boning $80-94.

Bulls 1 and 2: $110-137; $138-148 high dress.

Feeder steers: 550-600 lbs. $210-237.50; 600-650 lbs. $215-233; 650-700 lbs. $200-216; 700-750 lbs. $200-215; 750-800 lbs. $200-209; 800-900 lbs. $180-197.

Feeder heifers: 550-600 lbs. $200-218; 600-650 lbs. $192-210; 700-750 lbs. $185-209; 750-800 lbs. $182-186; 800-900 lbs. $163-165.50.

Pairs: Too few for market test.

Calvy cows: No market test.


(Toppenish Livestock Auction)

(USDA Market News)

Moses Lake, Wash.

July 31

This week Last week Last year

1,520 1,600 1,530

Compared to July 24 at the same market: Stocker steers less than 800 lbs. steady to $6 higher. Stocker heifers and feeder cattle more than 800 lbs. weak to $6 lower. Trade active with good demand. Slaughter cows steady to $3 higher. Slaughter bulls $2-3 lower. Trade active with good demand. Slaughter cows 51 percent, Slaughter bulls 10 percent, and feeders 39 percent of the supply. The feeder supply included 62 percent steers and 38 percent heifers. Near 87 percent of the run weighed over 600 lbs. Replacement Cows: Pre-tested for pregnancy, and age.

Feeder Steers: Medium and Large 1-2: 400-500 lbs. $240; 500-600 lbs. $225-235; 600-700 lbs. $208-212.50; 700-800 lbs. $203-210; 700-800 lbs. $95-199, Full; 800-900 lbs. $189.75-192. Medium and Large 2-3: 700-800 lbs. $181-183.50. Large 1-2: 900-1000 lbs. $175-181. Small and Medium 2-3: 500-600 lbs. $127.50, Brahman X.

Feeder Heifers: Medium and Large 1-2: 400-500 lbs. $237.50; 500-600 lbs. $215-225; 600-700 lbs. $195-205.50; 700-800 lbs. $187-189.50; 800-900 lbs. $181. Medium and Large 2-3: 600-700 lbs. $173-183; 700-800 lbs. $176. Large 1-2: 900-1000 lbs. $160. Large 2-3: 900-1000 lbs. $145.

Slaughter Cows: Boning 80-85 percent lean 1300-2000 lbs. $94-99; Lean 85-90 percent lean 1100-1800 lbs. $95-100; Lean Light 90 percent lean 900-1300 lbs. $83-89.

Slaughter Bulls: Yield Grade 1-2 950-2300 lbs. $132-140.

Bred Heifers (Per Head): Medium and Large 1-2: 1016 lbs. $1885 1-3 mos. bred.

Bred Cows (Per Head): Medium and Large 1-2: Young (3-4 yrs. old) 1100-1500 lbs. $1950-2200.



(Central Oregon Livestock Auction)

July 27

Baby calves: NA.

Steers: 300-400 lbs. $250-270; 400-500 lbs. $240-260; 500-600 lbs. $230-250; 600-700 lbs. $210-230; 700-800 lbs. $185-210; 800-900 lbs. $175-185.

Bulls: High yield. $132-137; mostly $130; thinner $125-130.

Heifers: 300-400 lbs. $240-250; 400-500 lbs. $225-240; 500-600 lbs. $210-225; 600-700 lbs. $185-210; 700-800 lbs. $175-185.

Heiferettes: 850-1000 lbs. $160-175.

Cows: Heiferettes $140; Feeder cows $105; high-yield $110; medium-yield $100; low-yield $90.

Berry producers keep pace despite drought, summer heat Mon, 3 Aug 2015 11:25:13 -0400 Tim Hearden SACRAMENTO — Grappling with drought and heat, growers of blueberries, raspberries and blackberries in California and the West have been fighting to keep pace with last year’s production.

With the Golden State’s blueberry season having wrapped up, producers had shipped about 8.2 million flats as of July 29, down from 8.7 million at the same point last year, according to the industry-compiled National Berry Report.

California produces more than 40 million pounds of blueberries per year, according to the California Blueberry Commission.

Oregon production is ahead of last year’s pace, with 2.6 million flats so far this year compared to a little more than 2 million at the end of July 2014, the report states. Production is up worldwide with nearly 70 million flats produced compared to 62.5 million a year ago.

Nearly 19.23 million flats of raspberries have been produced in California, down slightly from 19.27 million at the end of July 2014. Global production is up significantly, with nearly 42.3 million flats produced this year compared to 36 million for the same period in 2014.

Raspberries in California are typically picked through the summer months, according to the crop information website

Blackberry production is finishing ahead of last year in California, with nearly 2.2 million flats compared to 1.9 million at the same point last year. Globally, growers have produced 28.8 million flats compared to 26.2 million at the same point last summer.

Blackberry season typically begins in mid-May and runs through the end of July.

Hermiston delivers watermelons, goodwill to Portland Mon, 3 Aug 2015 09:59:41 -0400 Eric Mortenson PORTLAND — Jokes and seed spitting contest aside, there was a polite edge to Hermiston’s renewed tradition of handing out free watermelons and potatoes in downtown Portland.

This time, Hermiston’s growers and civic leaders stood in Portland’s Pioneer Square as representatives of Eastern Oregon’s biggest and fastest growing city and one of the state’s agricultural powerhouses.

As a line formed for the giveaway Friday, Hermiston Mayor David Drotzmann acknowledged the two cities vary greatly in scale — Portland has about 570,000 more people — but said they share issues such as public safety, livability, transportation and water.

“Those are all common things, regardless of size,” he said.

Drotzmann said he hoped the event reminded Portland residents of Hermiston’s agricultural prowess. Umatilla County ranks second in the state, behind Marion County, with about $500 million in annual gross farm and ranch sales. The region is best known for Hermiston watermelons, but grows a wide variety of irrigated vegetables as well.

“We provide the fruit and vegetables you pick up in the grocery store every day,” Drotzmann said.

In his remarks to the crowd at Pioneer Square, Drotzmann said the eastern side of the state gladly extends its hand to Portland.

“We know when Portland is successful, all of Oregon is successful,” he said.

The watermelon delivery and accompanying melon seed spitting contest began in 1991 with a friendship between longtime Hermiston mayor and councilor Frank Harkenrider and colorful Portland Mayor Bud Clark.

The event ran for 17 years then faded, but was renewed this year by civic leaders and the Hermiston Chamber of Commerce. Harkenrider and Clark attended Friday’s renewal, and Harkenrider admitted the city slicker bested him at seed spitting. “He got me all the time,” he said with a laugh.

Portland Mayor Charlie Hales said the exchange “was a good idea then and is a good idea now.”

“This is what good neighbors do for each other,” Hales said, “they share their bounty.”

Hales presented Drotzmann with a tie embossed with a depiction of Portland’s new Tilikum Crossing bridge, which opens in September and will carry light-rail trains and bikes over the Willamette River, but not cars and trucks.

The melons and potatoes, donated by Walchli Farms, Bellinger Farms and Bud-Rich Potato Inc., disappeared in about 20 minutes as a long line of pleased Portlanders took advantage.

For the record, Hermiston swept the seed spitting contest. City Councilor Doug Primmer took first, and Drotzmann was second. Both sent seeds flying more than 300 inches. Hales showed he was no slouch with a 296-inch launch, and Portland City Commissioner Dan Saltzman managed to spit one 126 inches.

Primmer indicated the city boys didn’t have a chance against people who grew up in watermelon country.

“You live in Hermiston, you get into competition when you’ve got brothers,” he said.

Tyson hit hard in 3Q by increasing beef costs, export issues Mon, 3 Aug 2015 09:46:58 -0400 NEW YORK (AP) — Tyson Foods’ third-quarter-profit leaped 32 percent, but that was still short of expectations and the company cut its outlook with high cattle costs expected to continue to weigh on revenue growth.

“Unless beef market conditions improve rapidly, we will not achieve our previous guidance,” CEO Donnie Smith said Monday.

Tyson is also being hammered on exports with bans in some countries following a U.S. outbreak avian influenza, as well as a strong dollar.

Company shares slid 9 percent in early trading.

Net income for the quarter reached $343 million, or 83 cents per share. Earnings, adjusted for non-recurring gains, came to 80 cents per share.

That was 15 cents shy of what industry analysts had expected, according to a poll by Zacks Investment Research.

Revenue rose 4 percent to $10.07 billion and sales volume for the prepared foods unit climbed, thanks in part to the acquisition of Hillshire Brands last August.

But, the beef business overshadowed those numbers.

Smith said beef “under-delivered our expectations by $84 million,” in a conference call Monday. There was also an excess of beef on the market, forcing sales at lower prices, and a labor dispute at West Coast ports also disrupted business, Smith said.

The Springdale, Ark., company warned that the conditions would make it difficult to meet prior full-year guidance of $3.30 to $3.40 per share. The company cut its outlook to between $3.10 and $3.20 per share.

Shares of Tyson Foods Inc., which have risen 11 percent since the beginning of the year, fell $3.60 to $40.75.

SE Washington farmers pitch in to harvest sick neighbor&#x2019;s fields Mon, 3 Aug 2015 09:34:43 -0400 LAMONT, Wash. (AP) — Members of the small southeastern Washington community of Lamont have banded together to help a neighbor manage his fields.

The Spokesman-Review reports that Steve Swannack landed in the hospital with pancreatitis two months ago. On Saturday his neighbors and friends harvested all 1,000 acres of his fields.

More than a dozen combines worked the fields near the Swannack home, dropping loads of wheat, oats and mustard at the Lamont Grain Growers elevators.

Swannack’s daughter, Stephanie Swannack, says she is touched and grateful for all the support from the community.

Lamont is a small town in Whitman County. The population was 70 at the 2010 census.

Harvest is weeks early this year because of the dry, hot weather.

Portland daily grain report Mon, 3 Aug 2015 09:23:12 -0400 Portland, Ore., Monday Aug. 3, 2015

USDA Market News

All bids in dollars per bushel. Bids are limited and not fully established in early trading.

Bids for grains delivered to Portland, Oregon in dollars per bushel.

In early trading September wheat futures trended four to 6.25 cents per bushel lower compared to Friday’s closes.

Bids for US 1 Soft White Wheat delivered to Portland in unit trains and barges for August delivery were not available for ordinary protein.

Bids for guaranteed maximum 10.5 protein were not well tested in early trading but were indicated as steady to lower compared to Friday’s noon bids for the same delivery period. Some exporters were not issuing bids for nearby delivery.

Bids for 11.5 percent protein US 1 Hard Red Winter Wheat for August delivery were not well tested in early trading, but were indicated as lower compared to Friday’s noon bids for the same delivery period.

Bids for 14 percent protein US 1 Dark Northern Spring Wheat for August delivery were not well tested in early trading, but were indicated as lower compared to Friday’s noon bids for the same delivery period. Some exporters are not issuing bids for nearby delivery.

Bids for US 2 Yellow Corn delivered full coast in 110 car shuttle trains during August trended lower compared to Friday’s noon bids.

Bids for US 1 Yellow Soybeans delivered full coast in 110 car shuttle trains during September trended lower compared to Friday’s noon bids for the same delivery period.

All wheat bids in dollars per bushel

US 1 Soft White Wheat - delivered by Unit Trains and Barges

Ordinary protein


Sep NA

Oct NA

Nov NA

Dec NA

Guaranteed maximum 10.5 pct protein

Aug NC mostly 6.2825, ranging 6.2325-6.3800

Sep 6.2525-6.3800

Oct 6.2600-6.4300

Nov 6.2600-6.4300

Dec 6.2600-6.4300

US 1 White Club Wheat - delivered by Unit Trains and Barges

Ordinary protein


Guaranteed maximum 10.5 pct protein

Aug NC mostly 7.0825, ranging 7.0025-7.2325

US 1 Hard Red Winter Wheat - (Exporter bids-falling numbers of 300 or


Ordinary protein 5.2925-5.5925

11 pct protein 5.3725-5.6725

11.5 pct protein

Aug NC 5.4125-5.7125

Sep 5.4125-5.7625

Oct 5.7625-5.8125

Nov 5.7625-5.8625

Dec 5.8125-5.9125

12 pct protein 5.4125-5.7125

13 pct protein 5.4125-5.7125

US 1 Dark Northern Spring Wheat (with a minimum of 300 falling numbers, a maximum

of 0.5 part per million vomitoxin, and a maximum of one percent total damage)

13 pct protein 5.5725-5.7725

14 pct protein

Aug NC 5.9725-6.1725

Sep 5.9725-6.1725

Oct 6.1975-6.3975

Nov 6.2475-6.4475

Dec 6.3475-6.4975

15 pct protein 6.1725-6.3725

16 pct protein 6.3725-6.5725

US 2 Yellow Corn

Shuttle trains-Delivered full coast Pacific Northwest-BN

Aug 4.4400-4.5000

Sep 4.4600-4.5200

Oct 4.5275-4.6175

Nov 4.5675-4.6175

Dec 4.5675-4.6275

Jan 4.6375-4.7075

US 1 Yellow Soybeans

Shuttle trains-Delivered full coast Pacific Northwest-BN

Sep 10.0725-10.1925

Oct 10.0725-10.2425

Nov 10.1925-10.2925

Dec 10.2250-10.3250

Jan 10.2350-10.3450

Feb NA

US 2 Heavy White Oats 3.8475

Not well tested.

Exporter Bids Portland Rail/Barge Jun 2015

Averages in Dollars per bushel

US 1 Soft White by Unit Trains and Barges NA

US 1 Hard Red Winter (Ordinary protein) 6.1300

US 1 Hard Red Winter (11.5% protein) 6.2500

US 1 Dark Northern Spring (14% protein) 7.4800

Source: USDA Market News Service, Portland, OR

Two injured when salt block falls off pickup Mon, 3 Aug 2015 09:18:52 -0400 EMMETT, Idaho (AP) — Two people were injured when a salt block fell off a pickup truck on Idaho 52 and went through the windshield of another pickup.

The Idaho State Police say a 26-year-old Nampa man and a 5-year-old child were sent to local hospitals after the salt block hit their truck about 13 miles north of Emmett on Saturday afternoon.

The Idaho Statesman reports the highway was closed for about 2½ hours after the accident.

The truck that lost the salt block was carrying two pallets of salt blocks when the shrink wrap on one pallet came loose. It hit the passenger-side windshield of the other vehicle. It hit the front-seat passenger in the left shoulder and then bounced into the back seat and struck the 5-year-old in the head and went through the back window.

The State Police say the crash is under investigation.

Lower temperatures aid firefighters in SW Oregon Mon, 3 Aug 2015 09:14:33 -0400 CANYONVILLE, Ore. (AP) — Clouds and the end of triple-digit heat helped firefighters battling the Stouts wildfire in southwest Oregon.

Fire spokesman Dave Wells says the blaze is only 3 percent contained, but crews made good progress on the fire lines and some evacuated residents were able to return.

The fire burning in forestland east of Canyonville has scorched 23 square miles, and kept about 35 families from their homes.

Another 100 families along the Tiller Trail Highway have been told to prepare to leave.

The flames have yet to burn any homes. No injuries have been reported.

More than 1,000 people have been assigned to fight the wildfire that started Thursday. The cause has not been determined.

High temperatures this week are forecast to be in the 80s and 90s.

Oregon State Fair recruiting 400 workers Mon, 3 Aug 2015 09:12:37 -0400 SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon State Fair is looking to hire 400 workers.

The Salem Statesman Journal reports that there will be a recruitment day Tuesday at the fairgrounds looking for people to work as ticket sellers, parking attendants, ticket takers, cashiers, food handlers, bartenders and grounds crew members.

Most of the jobs last from Aug. 28 to Sept. 7, the duration of the fair.

Fair spokeswoman Mary Agnew says all jobs pay minimum wage but bartenders also make tips.

Fire destroys winery at historic Massachusetts farm Mon, 3 Aug 2015 08:52:07 -0400 CHARLTON, Mass. (AP) — Fire officials say a historic winery in central Massachusetts was destroyed in a fire, causing the loss of about 4,000 gallons of wine.

The blaze started at around 10:45 p.m. Sunday at Charlton Orchards Farm & Winery.

No injuries were reported.

Officials say the fire destroyed all of the winemaking equipment. The fate of about 100 chickens on the property was not immediately known.

Firefighters from Charlton and other local communities battled the flames.

Owners Nathan and Patricia Benjamin told Telegram & Gazette they were frustrated that the firefighters did not use the pond on their property to draw water to fight the fire.

Charlton Fire Chief Charles Cloutier says that would have required driving the fire trucks into the orchard.

The farm dates to 1733, according to its website.

Upstate N.Y. melon farm protected from development Mon, 3 Aug 2015 08:50:07 -0400 EASTON, N.Y. (AP) — An upstate New York melon farm that has been in business for more than a century is now forever protected from development thanks to funding from public and private donors.

The Saratogian reports the Agricultural Stewardship Association purchased a conservation easement that pays a fee to the owner of Hand Melon Farm for the land’s value. A permanent deed restriction prevents any type of commercial or residential construction from occurring.

Owner John Hand says the thought of housing or commercial development covering the farmland in Washington County where his family has lived for over 100 years is unfathomable.

The conservation easement was purchased with a state grant from the Environmental Protection Fund and was matched by the Open Space Institute.

The 419-acre farm, founded in 1908, is famous for its cantaloupes sold across the state.

Fire kills 2,500 chickens on South Dakota farm Mon, 3 Aug 2015 08:47:14 -0400 HUMBOLDT, S.D. (AP) — Nearly 2,500 chickens died in a weekend fire at a Minnehaha County farm while the farmer and his wife were in Sioux Falls, having a baby.

The cause of Sunday’s early-morning blaze in a building at the Hanisch Farm near Humboldt wasn’t immediately determined. Owner Jared Hanisch told KELO-TV that he suspects either an electrical problem with a refrigerator or a malfunctioning battery in a pay loader.

Family friend Dylan Hagerty was at the farm with the Hanisches’ three children when the fire started.

“There was nothing we could do besides watch it burn,” he said.

Hanisch estimated damages at about $100,000 but said he is staying optimistic. No one was hurt, and his farm also hasn’t been touched by the bird flu that has devastated many other poultry operations in the region.

“I am feeling disappointed, but we can rebuild,” Hanisch said. “We carry the insurance for that aspect of it, and the hard times, we’ll get through those too.”

Hanisch has another reason to remain upbeat — his new baby girl.

Poll: Americans favor farmers and food during drought Mon, 3 Aug 2015 08:17:03 -0400 MICHAEL R. BLOODand EMILY SWANSON LOS ANGELES (AP) — When water gets scarce and the government slaps restrictions on its use, who should be first in line at the spigot? Farmers, according to an Associated Press-GfK poll.

The national survey provides a glimpse into how Americans think water should be managed at a time when abnormally dry weather has afflicted swaths of the country, and water shortages in some states have led to conflict over who should get water and how much.

Two-thirds of Americans believe water is a limited resource that can be depleted if people use too much, the poll found, and 70 percent believe that government should restrict how much residents and businesses use when drought takes hold.

When asked to rate the importance of competing needs when water is scarce, 74 percent said agriculture should be a top or high priority, followed by residential needs (66 percent), wildlife and ecosystems (54 percent) and business and industry (42 percent).

To Cheryl Hendricks in parched California, it’s simple: To put food on the table “we rely on agriculture.”

“It’s getting kind of serious when you are not giving water to people who are producing food,” said Hendricks, 63, of Rancho Cucamonga, about 40 miles east of downtown Los Angeles.

She and her husband are taking shorter showers and removing lawn in response to California’s four-year drought, but for growers and ranchers “it’s more important for them to have it.”

The poll’s findings appear to run against criticism of farming practices that demand vast amounts of water. In California, for example, agriculture accounts for 80 percent of all water drawn from rivers, streams and the ground. About half the water remains in the rivers and streams for environmental purposes. Producing California’s almond crop consumes more water than all the showering, dish-washing and other indoor household water use of the state’s 39 million people.

The drought has been acute in California, where rainfall has dipped to record lows, reservoirs are depleted and state regulators have ordered conservation from cities, businesses and agriculture. Some communities have been given nine months to cut their use by 36 percent compared to 2013 levels.

Nevada’s Lake Mead, the largest reservoir in the country, is hovering near its historic low water mark and residents in the Las Vegas area have limits on lawn watering. In Oakridge in Western Oregon, a community well is 23 feet below normal and restrictions prevent residents from washing cars and filling swimming pools.

“We need to take care of people first — and food,” said William Clarke-Jessimy, 33, from Queens, New York, who thinks homes and agriculture should be favored for water rights.

He’s watched prices spike for California fresh fruits and vegetables in his local markets, and he worries about friends and family in the San Francisco area who are living with the scarcity of water, with no relief in sight.

“It’s really scary,” he said. “They need to find ways to deal with the drought on a long-term basis. I don’t think a lot of people realize how bad it really is.”

Earlier this month, the House passed Republican-backed legislation designed to bring more water to California’s farm belt. Republicans have blamed some cutbacks on environmental regulations designed to protect salmon and the threatened Delta smelt, a three-inch-long fish that is disappearing. California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein has proposed spending $1.3 billion over a decade for reservoirs, desalination projects and water recycling.

According to the survey, Republicans are slightly more likely than Democrats to call water for agriculture a top priority, 81 percent to 74 percent, respectively. Democrats were more likely than Republicans to see water for wildlife and ecosystems as a top need, 61 percent to 49 percent.

There was little variation in regions around the nation in picking top priorities.

The poll also found most Americans — nearly 80 percent — think government should limit developers to building only in places with an adequate, long-term water supply.

The advocacy group Food & Water Watch has urged Gov. Jerry Brown to place a moratorium on groundwater use for irrigating crops in some parts of the heavily farmed San Joaquin Valley. California director Adam Scow said the poll’s findings reflect that people value food production but the group believes “we simply don’t have the water” to support crops in some drought stricken regions.

David Abbott has witnessed the toll in his hometown.

The resident of Winton, California, in the heart of the state’s Central Valley farm belt, has seen fields turn to dusty patches and farm workers end up jobless. Friends’ wells have gone dry.

In California, farmers have seen allocations of water from rivers and reservoirs slashed by government agencies in amounts greater than at any other time in California history, forcing many to tap depleted groundwater sources or buy it at high prices.

Abbott, 27, a part-time college business professor, places home use and the needs of agriculture on about equal footing. For his part, he’s watering less outdoors at home, has changed shower heads to conserve and waits to get a full load of dirty laundry before turning on the washing machine.

“I know it’s hard when we don’t have water,” said Abbott, who lives amid farms and almond orchards. “They say we are going to have a real wet winter, but I don’t think that’s going to be enough.”


The AP-GfK Poll of 1,004 adults was conducted online July 9-13, using a sample drawn from GfK’s probability-based KnowledgePanel, which is designed to be representative of the U.S. population. The margin of sampling error for all respondents is plus or minus 3.4 percentage points.



AP-GfK Poll:

Now there&#x2019;s an app for endangered species Mon, 3 Aug 2015 08:22:51 -0400 RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — U.S. wildlife officials want smartphone-owning outdoor lovers to use a downloaded app to report any endangered species they see in the wilderness.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Monday it’s teaming up with Sweden-based FishBrain, a social network and free-to-use mobile app for anglers. The mobile product was developed so sport-fishing enthusiasts could share information on their catches.

The new effort helps anglers log any sightings of up to 50 at-risk species spotted as they trek to waterways. The federally protected animals across the country include shortnose sturgeons, whooping cranes, Kemp’s ridley sea turtles and Columbia white-tailed deer.

The federal conservation agency hopes the input will help researchers discover where the dwindling critters are centralized, the habitat they need and maybe how the public can help protect native wildlife.