Capital Press | Nation/World http://www.capitalpress.com Capital Press Tue, 12 Jul 2016 19:57:37 -0400 en http://EOR-CPwebvarnish.newscyclecloud.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/staticimage/images/rss-logo.jpg Capital Press | Nation/World http://www.capitalpress.com Farm machinery inventories grow as demand falls http://www.capitalpress.com/Nation_World/Nation/20160712/farm-machinery-inventories-grow-as-demand-falls http://www.capitalpress.com/Nation_World/Nation/20160712/farm-machinery-inventories-grow-as-demand-falls#Comments Tue, 12 Jul 2016 15:25:28 -0400 Mateusz Perkowski http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2016160719964 The continuing downturn in farm machinery sales is leaving sellers with surplus inventories and forcing some to offer equipment at money-losing prices, experts say.

As farmers have “pulled in their horns” due to lower commodity prices, new large tractors and combines are moving off dealer lots at a slower pace, said Charlie O’Brien, senior vice president at the Association of Equipment Manufacturers.

“They’re being very selective in what they’re purchasing now,” O’Brien said.

Even when farmers want to buy new machinery, dealers can encounter obstructions to the sales process, he said.

Dealers already have large inventories of used, high-quality tractors and combines, so many are reluctant to accept more trade-ins of used machinery, O’Brien said.

Fleets purchased new several years are coming up for auction at a time when demand has dried up for late-model, high-tech tractors and combines, said Steve Sparks, sales manager of Nyssa Tractor and Implement in Nyssa, Ore.

“Some people are selling that stuff at a serious loss,” he said.

Meanwhile, farmers who need additional machinery are still looking for older, reliable machinery that’s less sophisticated, Sparks said. “It may not be as fast and it may not be as fancy, but at the end of the day, it still does the same job.”

Through the first half of 2016, unit sales have decreased 23 percent for new self-propelled combines, 31 percent for four-wheel drive tractors, and 24 percent for two-wheel drive tractors over 100 horsepower, according to AEM.

Equipment manufacturers have experienced double-digit annual declines in these categories since 2013, prompting lay-offs, shift reductions and factory closures, said O’Brien.

The upside is that manufacturers are now better prepared financially than they were a couple years ago, when sales were expected to stay strong, he said.

“A lot of these very difficult adjustments have now been made,” O’Brien said.

Farmers were spending an average of 22 to 23 percent of their crop revenue on farm machinery during the boom years leading up to 2013, after which sales began to drop, said Michael Swanson, chief agricultural economist for Wells Fargo Bank.

They’re now spending about 13 to 14 percent of crop revenues at a time when total U.S. crop revenues have fallen to roughly $180 billion from $220 billion in 2013, he said.

Machinery sales still aren’t as depressed as during the farm downturn of the 1980s, when growers devoted as little as 8 percent of crop revenues to equipment purchases, Swanson said.

The decline should have been predictable after several years of surging sales, Swanson said.

“It’s amazing how people hit all-time records and don’t expect retrenchment,” he said.

Among row crop farmers, there’s a “huge gap” between strong financial performers and weak ones, so some farmers are still in a position to take advantage of good deals for machinery, Swanson said.

Meanwhile, financially troubled growers may be compelled to sell off machinery purchased during the boom years to meet cash flow needs, said Michael Langemeier, an agricultural economist at Purdue University who has studied machinery.

However, commodity prices are expected to remain low for several years, likely suppressing large investments, he said. “Many farmers are very leery of using that working capital to buy machinery.”

Farmers in the Northwest who grow small grains, hay and potatoes haven’t escaped the financial downturn experienced by those in the Midwest, where incomes are often tied to corn prices, said Bob Boyle, regional vice president for Northwest Farm Credit Services.

Cattle and dairy producers are also under stress, he said. “We’re seeing compressed profits in ag across the board.”

Some sectors, like nursery and grass seed, are nonetheless performing adequately, Boyle said.

Machinery manufacturers also have a bright spot in their business: Sales of small tractors under 40 horsepower are up nearly 13 percent in 2016 and demand has grown steadily after plummeting during the recession, according to AEM.

These smaller machines are often bought by specialty crop producers, and while they don’t generate as much revenue per unit, their impact shouldn’t be discounted, said O’Brien. “It’s still an important sector overall.”

]]>
Sakuma berry farm proposes vote on union http://www.capitalpress.com/Business/20160712/sakuma-berry-farm-proposes-vote-on-union http://www.capitalpress.com/Business/20160712/sakuma-berry-farm-proposes-vote-on-union#Comments Tue, 12 Jul 2016 09:51:39 -0400 Don Jenkins http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2016160719968 Sakuma Brothers Farms proposed Friday that workers cast secret ballots to determine whether they want union representation, the same day a federal judge dealt the Washington berry grower one final loss in a class-action lawsuit by ordering the company to pay out almost $250,000 in legal fees.

The Skagit County-based business plans to meet Thursday with representatives of Families United for Justice to work out the details of holding an election overseen by a neutral party and involving about 300 to 330 workers, Sakuma spokesman Roger van Oosten said.

If a majority votes to be represented by the group, “we’ll sit down and work out a contract with the workers,” he said.

Families United for Justice said in a statement that it was encouraged by Sakuma’s offer, though it complained the company announced its proposal before Thursday’s meeting.

The group has sought to represent Sakuma’s workers for four years and has organized protests at the farm and events along the West Coast to promote a boycott of products that contain Sakuma berries.

Sakuma grows and processes strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries. The 85-year-old family-owned business was started by brothers from Japan. It also operates Norcal Nursery in Red Bluff, Calif.

Sakuma CEO Danny Weeden decided it was in the best interest of the employees and the company’s future to hold a vote, van Oosten said.

“I wouldn’t say (the boycott) is threatening the survival of the farm. I would say it’s an annoyance. This is an opportunity to bring some clarity to it,” he said.

Families United for Justice advocates a $15-an-hour minimum wage, plus overtime. Washington’s current minimum wage is $9.47 an hour. Van Oosten said the average pay for piece-rate pickers for the recently completed strawberry harvest was about $17 an hour.

In a separate matter, U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman in Seattle on Friday awarded $251,699 to Columbia Legal Services and Terrell Marshall Law Group, the full amount the firms sought for representing Sakuma workers before the state Supreme Court.

Pechman’s decision was the last piece of business in a 2013 class-action lawsuit brought by two Sakuma workers alleging pay violations.

Sakuma settled most issues out of court by paying 408 workers a total of $500,000 and their lawyers $350,000.

In addition, the company this year retroactively paid $87,160 to pickers who worked in 2014 after the Supreme Court ruled piece-rate workers must be paid separately for 10-minute rest breaks. The average payout per worker was $231.

Sakuma’s attorney had argued the two law firms should receive no more than $87,785.

“We’re very pleased,” Columbia Legal Services attorney Daniel Ford said. “I think the judge recognized the work involved in representing a large class of farmworkers in a complex case.”

The Supreme Court decision, handed down a year ago, changed pay practices on farms throughout Washington.

]]>
Portland daily grain report http://www.capitalpress.com/Markets/20160712/portland-daily-grain-report http://www.capitalpress.com/Markets/20160712/portland-daily-grain-report#Comments Tue, 12 Jul 2016 09:23:20 -0400 http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2016160719970 Portland, Ore., Tuesday, July 12, 2016

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 futures trended 1.75 to 2.75 cents per bushel lower compared to Monday’s closes.

Bids for US 1 Soft White Wheat delivered to Portland in unit trains and barges for July delivery for ordinary protein were not well tested early trading, but bids were indicated as steady to lower compared to Monday’s noon bids for the same delivery period. Some exporters were not issuing bids for nearby delivery. Bids for guaranteed maximum 10.5 percent protein were not well tested in early trading, but bids were indicated as steady to lower compared to Monday’s noon bids for the same delivery period. Some exporters were not issuing bids for nearby.

Bids for 11.5 percent protein US 1 Hard Red Winter Wheat for July delivery were not well tested in early trading, but were indicated as lower compared to Monday’s noon bids. Some exporters are not issuing bids for nearby delivery.

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

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

Bids for US 1 Yellow Soybeans delivered full coast in 110 car shuttle trains during July trended higher in early trading compared to Monday’s noon bids.

All wheat bids in dollars per bushel

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

Ordinary protein

Jul 4.9000-5.0875

Aug NC 4.9000-5.0875

Sep 4.8000-5.0900

Oct NA

Nov NA

Guaranteed maximum 10.5 pct protein

Jul 5.0000-5.0875

Aug NC 4.9875-5.0875

Sep 4.9000-5.0875

Oct NA

Nov NA

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

Ordinary protein

Jul 4.9000-5.1500

Guaranteed maximum 10.5 pct protein

Jul 5.0000-5.1375

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

better)

Ordinary protein 4.5400-4.8200

11 pct protein 4.7400-4.9000

11.5 pct protein

Jul 4.8400-4.9400

Aug NC 4.8400-4.9400

Sep 4.8400-4.9900

Oct 4.9900-5.1400

Nov 4.9900-5.1400

12 pct protein 4.8900-4.9900

13 pct protein 4.9900-5.0900

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 5.4025-5.6725

14 pct protein

Jul 5.7225-5.8725

Aug NC 5.7225-5.9725

Sep 5.7225-5.9725

Oct 6.0375-6.1375

Nov 6.0375-6.1375

15 pct protein 5.8825-6.0725

16 pct protein 6.0325-6.2725

US 2 Yellow Corn

Shuttle trains-Delivered full coast Pacific Northwest-BN

Jul 4.4375-4.4975

Aug 4.4875-4.4975

Sep 4.4875

Oct 4.5150

Nov 4.5150

Dec 4.5150

US 1 Yellow Soybeans

Shuttle trains-Delivered full coast Pacific Northwest-BN

Jul 11.8600-11.8800

Aug 11.8800

Sep 11.8975-11.9175

Oct 11.8975-11.9175

Nov 11.8975-11.9175

Dec 11.8350-11.8650

US 2 Heavy White Oats 3.0475

Not well tested.

Exporter Bids Portland Rail/Barge Jun 2016

Averages in Dollars per bushel

US 1 Soft White by Unit Trains and Barges 5.4600

US 1 Hard Red Winter (Ordinary protein) 5.1700

US 1 Hard Red Winter (11.5% protein) 5.3900

US 1 Dark Northern Spring (14% protein) 6.3500

Source: USDA Market News Service, Portland, OR

]]>
State receives just 2 applications to grow hemp in Maine http://www.capitalpress.com/AP_Nation_World/20160712/state-receives-just-2-applications-to-grow-hemp-in-maine http://www.capitalpress.com/AP_Nation_World/20160712/state-receives-just-2-applications-to-grow-hemp-in-maine#Comments Tue, 12 Jul 2016 08:37:56 -0400 MARINA VILLENEUVE http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2016160719972 AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — So far, only the Passamaquoddy Tribe and a Portland resident have received permission to grow what would be the state’s first licensed crops of industrial hemp.

They’re setting off into unknown territory in Maine at a time when federal law prohibits commercial hemp cultivation.

Republican Rep. Deborah Sanderson, of Chelsea, who sponsored last summer’s hemp legalization bill, said the state’s been “very slow” in getting the crop going. Benedicta potato farmer Glenn Lane, who credits his late wife Rebecca with spearheading the bill, said the department of agriculture, conservation and forestry has prolonged the rule-making process and has not advocated for hemp aggressively enough.

But a spokesman for Maine’s agriculture department says the process of creating inspection and violation rules went quickly for such a complicated issue, and that federal law’s been the biggest impediment.

University of Maine Extension professor John Jemison said this fall he plans to seek a federal Drug Enforcement Administration permit to research hemp cultivation and its potential use as food and cannabidiol oil.

Agriculture department spokesman John Bott said there’s no plans to get a DEA permit. And even if the department did, seed could only be sold to research institutions, he said.

Such issues didn’t keep Steven Zeno, of Portland, from applying. Last week, he planted hemp seeds from a Colorado food bank on a one-acre plot of land in Monmouth.

Zeno has formed the Maine Hemp Association and launched a crowdfunding campaign to purchase the costly equipment needed to harvest and process hemp, a non-psychoactive variety of cannabis. He hopes farmers will eventually share seeds and machines and produce oil, fuel pellets, protein and plastic.

Quoddy Hemp Manufacturing LLC spokeswoman Diana Nelson said the company’s seeds come from Kentucky, and that the Passamaquoddy tribe is researching what kinds of hemp might grow best in Northern New England.

“We’re going to let the plant dictate what industry emerges from it,” she said.

This fall, Maine voters will consider legalizing recreational marijuana — another potential avenue for the tribe. But for now, the tribe’s moving ahead with plans to grow 25 acres of hemp on its land, with hopes of providing needed revenue.

Jemison said though hemp could succeed as a rotational crop, it’s tough creating a new industry amid federal anti-drug laws.

Though timber processing mills could be tweaked to process hemp, Jemison noted Maine lacks the infrastructure of a tobacco-producing state like Kentucky. And the next president could always amp up federal enforcement, Jemison said.

“I don’t think it’s going to hurt us to let somebody else dive in and tell us how deep the water is,” he said.

]]>
Corn, soybean crops ahead of schedule in Iowa and Nebraska http://www.capitalpress.com/Nation_World/Nation/20160712/corn-soybean-crops-ahead-of-schedule-in-iowa-and-nebraska http://www.capitalpress.com/Nation_World/Nation/20160712/corn-soybean-crops-ahead-of-schedule-in-iowa-and-nebraska#Comments Tue, 12 Jul 2016 08:34:07 -0400 http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2016160719973 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Corn and soybean crops in Iowa and Nebraska continue to make good progress and plant development remains ahead of the five-year average for this point in the growing season.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s weekly crop update says corn in Iowa and Nebraska is rated at nearly 80 percent good to excellent while soybeans are around 78 percent good to excellent.

Storms last week brought rain to both states, missing south-central and southeast Iowa and leaving western and southwestern Nebraska without much new moisture.

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey says some Iowa farmers have reported isolated crop damage from high wind.

Nebraska farmers reported high wind knocked some corn plants over and snapped off some stalks in a number of eastern counties.

]]>
Two firefighters killed in Nevada crash as fires burn in West http://www.capitalpress.com/Nation_World/Nation/20160712/two-firefighters-killed-in-nevada-crash-as-fires-burn-in-west http://www.capitalpress.com/Nation_World/Nation/20160712/two-firefighters-killed-in-nevada-crash-as-fires-burn-in-west#Comments Tue, 12 Jul 2016 08:26:50 -0400 The http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2016160719975 Two federal firefighters were killed in a crash returning from a wildfire patrol in remote northern Nevada, while crews battled blazes across the Western U.S.

Federal fire managers on Monday reported active fires in at least nine states. Here’s a look at some of them:

Tire failure may be to blame for a firetruck rollover crash that killed two federal firefighters and injured a third on a remote highway about 37 miles north of Winnemucca, the Nevada Highway Patrol said Monday.

The driver, Jacob Omalley, 27, and a passenger, Will Hawkins, 22, both of Winnemucca, were killed in the wreck about 5:20 p.m. Sunday on State Highway 140, about 6 miles from the junction with U.S. Highway 95, Trooper Jim Stewart said.

The other passenger, 23-year-old Zachery McElroy of Reno, was being treated Monday at Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno for non-life threatening injuries, he said.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management crew members were returning to Winnemucca from fire-spotting patrol following weekend lightning strikes near the Oregon state line town of Denio, BLM spokesman Stephen Clutter said.

The highway patrol and local agencies escorted the bodies of the two dead firefighters during the 165-mile trip on Interstate 80 from Winnemucca to Reno, Clutter and Stewart said.

Stewart said the preliminary investigation indicates the truck overturned due to tire failure.

Five homes have been destroyed by a Colorado wildfire that authorities say two transient men accidentally started.

Officials said Monday that two more houses burned. Three homes were confirmed lost Sunday near the mountain town of Nederland, roughly 20 miles west of Boulder.

Court documents say 28-year-old Jimmy Andrew Suggs of Vinemont, Alabama, told investigators that he and Zack Ryan Kuykendall didn’t put dirt on their campfire to extinguish it, just rocks.

They were arrested Sunday at a shelter for people evacuated by the fire, which has burned about a square mile and has been fueled by hot, dry weather. A day before they were coincidentally interviewed by a reporter from the Daily Camera about the fire with Suggs saying they had “never seen anything like it.”

Some residents have lashed out at Suggs on a Facebook page that appears to be his and expressed frustration with people living in campsites in the area.

It’s not clear how long Suggs and Kuykendall had been camping in the area along with a 20-year-old woman who investigators say didn’t help build the fire. According to the court documents, they told investigators they had been camping in the area at different sites on what turned out to be private property and reading their Bibles.

The campfire that sparked the fire was about a mile away from an established campground popular with transients, Boulder County Sheriff’s Office division chief Heidi Prentup said.

An unauthorized drone over a southern Utah wildfire was spotted by crews for the fifth time since it ignited nearly a month ago, stirring fears that firefighting aircraft could be at risk of a collision.

Firefighters will still use their airplanes and helicopters but face random, illegal drone flights as one more hazard, said Megan Saylors, spokeswoman for a team of agencies fighting the 3.6-square-mile fire about 300 miles south of Salt Lake City.

Saylors said aircraft are critical in the battle against the flames burning on a steep ridge above the town of Pine Valley because access for crews on the ground is limited.

No aircraft were flying Sunday night during the latest drone sighting, but firefighters had to ground their planes for several hours Friday night during another drone flight, Saylors said. It’s unclear if the same unmanned aircraft has been flying over the fire in all five incidents over the past month.

Crews bracing for another round of dry winds are dousing hot spots Monday as they continue to build containment lines around a smoky fire that forced weekend evacuations in the Santa Clarita Valley north of Los Angeles.

Officials said late Sunday that the blaze in the foothills of the Santa Susana Mountains was 85 percent contained after consuming about 1.7 square miles of thick chaparral.

The fire sparked Saturday prompted the South Coast Air Quality Management District to issue a smoke advisory through Monday for portions of the valley because of potentially unhealthy air.

About 2,000 people sent fleeing from homes in the Stevenson Ranch area were allowed to return Saturday night.

Aerial photos showed the flames came to the property line of a ridgetop home that was covered in fire retardant.

The cause is under investigation.

]]>
Congressmen rip BLM over new rule http://www.capitalpress.com/Nation_World/Nation/20160711/congressmen-rip-blm-over-new-rule http://www.capitalpress.com/Nation_World/Nation/20160711/congressmen-rip-blm-over-new-rule#Comments Mon, 11 Jul 2016 15:41:43 -0400 Carol Ryan Dumas http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2016160719978 Members of the House Oversight Subcommittee on Natural Resources say they may block funding for the Bureau of Land Management unless the agency extends the comment period on a new resource management planning rule.

They said the draft Planning 2.0 rule would shift resource management planning to bureaucrats in Washington, D.C.

BLM announced the new draft planning regulations in February, making changes to the procedures the agency follows to prepare resource management plans.

Subcommittee Chairman Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, warned that the Republican leadership is going to go to conservative legislators like him and ask what it will take to get a budget bill passed this year.

“We’re about to the point where it’s going to take gutting BLM’s leadership until we get people who will be responsive to the people that they’re gutting,” he said.

Opponents of the rule contend it diminishes the ability of state and local governments to participate in planning and violates protections in the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976.

BLM has already extended the comment period on the rule 30 days.

The new rule was in response to stakeholder complaints about the planning process, BLM Deputy Assistant Secretary Jim Lyons told the subcommittee on July 7.

The new rule is meant to address those issues, improve opportunities for stakeholders from the outset and reduce delays, costs and the chance of litigation, he said.

“The perception that this drives all decisions back to Washington is a gross misunderstanding,” he said.

Most committee members disagreed.

“In many ways the draft rule seems to be designed to increase Washington’s influence while minimizing BLM’s responsibility to work with states and local government and affected people,” said Gohmert, the subcommittee chairman. “BLM’s planning 2.0 efforts and this draft rule appear to ignore the law and undermines the communities that neighbor BLM land.”

The rule fails to honor the legally protected role of governors in planning and diminishes it in significant ways, said James Ogsbury, executive director of the Western Governors’ Association.

The proposed rule would only consider inconsistencies between BLM’s resource management plans and a state’s “officially adopted” land use plan, removing a state’s policies, programs and processes from the equation.

That would substantially narrow the influence of governors in their consistency reviews of BLM’s plans, he said.

In addition, the rule eliminates existing regulatory direction that BLM accept governors’ recommendations if they provide for reasonable balance between the nation’s interest and a state’s interest.

Under the new rule, the BLM director would only be required to consider governors’ views, not follow them, he said.

“It appears that BLM is investing itself with great, perhaps unfettered, discretion to disregard a governor’s recommendations,” he said.

Western governors are also concerned about provisions that shorten public comment periods for draft resource management plans and avoid the need to publish notices in the Federal Register.

In addition, while a new planning assessment that occurs before BLM begins work on a management plan proposes to elevate the role of public and non-government organizations through public meetings, it fails to acknowledge state data, science and analysis and treats governors like any other stakeholder, he said.

Lyons said the rule in no way negates cooperators’ opportunities to participate in the process.

Rather, it reaffirms their unique role and enhances their opportunities through a more open process, he said.

Utah Public Lands Policy Director Kathleen Clarke said the new rule will fundamentally undermine and significantly marginalize the role of state and county governments.

In addition, BLM proposes a shift to landscape-scale management that could extend across state borders, preventing close coordination between individual states and BLM with a one-size-fits-all directive, Clarke said.

The rule also weakens the role of BLM state directors and field office managers, putting decision-making in the hands of what BLM calls “deciding officials” and “responsible officials,” which could have no ties to states, no history with the planning area and no involvement in previous discussions, she said.

Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop, R-Utah, said BLM always talks about getting more input, and that’s good, but who makes the decisions is significant.

“This program significantly contracts who gets to make those decisions and centralizes who gets to make those decisions and minimizes elected input … that’s the biggest flaw in this program,” he said.

Gohmert asked Lyons if BLM would extend the comment period on the rule.

“We’ve done our utmost over the period of time we’ve been working on this rule to try to secure additional input. Now it’s time to finalize a rule based on all the input we received and then apply it,” Lyons said.

Frustrated with that response in light of governors and others pleading for an extension, Gohmert said, “It sounds like you’re saying ‘we’re not extending the comment period … we’re going to materially impact them and we don’t care. We’ve got our plan … we’re going to leave it right where it is. We’re satisfied with our little crew right here in Washington.’”

]]>
EPA ‘appreciated’ What’s Upstream, but some in agency weren’t so sure http://www.capitalpress.com/Washington/20160711/epa-appreciated-whats-upstream-but-some-in-agency-werent-so-sure http://www.capitalpress.com/Washington/20160711/epa-appreciated-whats-upstream-but-some-in-agency-werent-so-sure#Comments Mon, 11 Jul 2016 10:31:43 -0400 Don Jenkins http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2016160719984 The Environmental Protection Agency “appreciated” a Washington tribe’s plan to employ a Seattle lobbying firm to advocate stricter regulations on agriculture, though some within the federal agency questioned as early as 2011 the tribe’s goals and approach, according to newly released EPA records.

The records confirm that the EPA offered guidance as the Swinomish Indian tribe used an EPA grant to contract with Strategies 360 to survey voter attitudes and “create media pieces” for the What’s Upstream advocacy campaign.

“We appreciate the (tribe’s) leadership in using the potentially powerful tool of outreach and education to advance Puget Sound protection and restoration in the Skagit watershed,” stated a 2013 EPA review of the tribe and lobbying firm’s plan.

The records were obtained by the Capital Press through a Freedom of Information Act request and represent a portion of the documents the EPA is expected to eventually release about its role in What’s Upstream.

The tribe and several environmental groups used the EPA-funded campaign as a vehicle to rally grass-roots support for mandatory 100-foot buffers between farm fields and waterways in Washington.

Some federal lawmakers have asserted the campaign violated laws against using federal funds to lobby. The EPA’s Office of Inspector General is auditing how the tribe and Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission handled the grant.

The EPA had funded the campaign since 2011, but distanced itself from What’s Upstream when the agency’s role was publicized last spring, provoking criticism from farm groups and some federal lawmakers for portraying producers as unregulated polluters.

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy told a Senate committee in April that her agency was “distressed” by the campaign’s tone and shifted responsibility to the tribe and fisheries commission.

The newly disclosed EPA records show the agency’s Northwest regional office was generally supportive of the tribe’s activities, but also had some concerns, though the records do not show that the EPA insisted its advice be followed.

The EPA declined to comment for this story.

While concluding the campaign would not violate lobbying laws, the EPA cautioned the tribe about public perception.

The EPA urged the tribe to align its campaign with the goals of federal, state and local plans to protect Puget Sound. Otherwise, the EPA warned, the tribe’s efforts could be seen as a tribe-initiated “grass-roots lobbying effort.”

Despite the warning, the What’s Upstream website included a link allowing people to send a form letter to their state legislators urging mandatory buffers.

The tribe outlined for the EPA in 2011 plans to spend $665,755 over six years to raise “public awareness of regulatory and enforcement deficiencies.”

An EPA official commented that the tribe’s proposal seemed to conflict with an EPA-funded collaboration between the tribe, farmers and environmentalists to protect north Puget Sound.

The official stated that collaboration between various groups had proven to be the “best approach.”

“How will progress happen if these other players with a significant role in land use and practices are not involved in any way?” the reviewer asked.

]]>
Idaho farm groups join national effort to end trade ban on Cuba http://www.capitalpress.com/Idaho/20160711/idaho-farm-groups-join-national-effort-to-end-trade-ban-on-cuba http://www.capitalpress.com/Idaho/20160711/idaho-farm-groups-join-national-effort-to-end-trade-ban-on-cuba#Comments Mon, 11 Jul 2016 10:16:27 -0400 Sean Ellis http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2016160719985 BOISE — Major Idaho farm groups have thrown their support behind a national effort that seeks to convince Congress to end trade and travel bans on Cuba.

Doing that could open the door to significant export opportunities for several Idaho agricultural products, leaders of that effort said July 7 during a press conference to introduce the new Engage Cuba Idaho State Council.

The 29-member council includes a large number of people involved in the state’s agricultural industry, including the leaders of major Idaho farm organizations. It is chaired by Gov. Butch Otter, a rancher and farmer.

“There are real obstacles to letting American farmers compete on an equal footing in Cuba with their counterparts around the world,” Luke Albee, senior adviser of the Engage Cuba Coalition, told Capital Press after the press briefing. “That’s one of the reasons the Cubans have been buying rice from Vietnam and Brazil rather than from Mississippi and Arkansas.”

One of the main obstacles is that U.S. companies and farmers that want to sell farm products to Cuba must accept only cash and cannot extend credit, he said.

Another U.S. policy bars ships that have docked in Cuba from docking in the United States for 120 days.

And while Cuba requires a veterinarian to inspect beef carcasses at stock yards and slaughter houses before they’re shipped to that nation, the U.S. government doesn’t allow Cuban veterinarians to come here.

The Engage Cuba Coalition, which has 11 state councils, includes private companies and organizations that are trying to build enough support to convince Congress to end this country’s trade and travel bans on Cuba.

Press conference speakers said Idaho produces a lot of farm commodities that could benefit from freer trade with Cuba, including milk powder, beef, frozen potato products, wine, pulse crops, vegetable seed and malt.

“It’s really quite a match-up when you look at what Cuba imports and what Idaho produces,” said Skip Oppenheimer, CEO of Oppenheimer Companies Inc., a food processing and distribution company.

State Sen. Jim Patrick, a farmer from Twin Falls and member of the Engage Cuba Idaho Council, said Cuba used to be the No. 1 purchaser of Idaho small red beans before the U.S. trade embargo.

“For some commodities, Cuba would be a big opportunity,” he said.

Milk Producers of Idaho Executive Director Brent Olmstead said powdered milk and cheese would probably be the most promising dairy export possibilities to Cuba.

Albee said Engage Cuba has made significant progress since it began lobbying Congress last fall.

“My guess is that we may get something done on agriculture by the end of the year, if possible,” he said. “But if not by then, the writing’s on the wall. We’ve won the war.”

Cuba, a nation of 11 million people, is fast becoming one of the world’s top tourist destinations, according to an Engage Cuba fact sheet, and “lifting the travel ban will strengthen Cuba’s economy and create a massive new market for U.S. agriculture and food producers.”

]]>
National wool price review http://www.capitalpress.com/Markets/20160711/national-wool-price-review http://www.capitalpress.com/Markets/20160711/national-wool-price-review#Comments Mon, 11 Jul 2016 09:52:31 -0400 http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2016160719986 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.

NATIONAL WOOL REVIEW

(USDA Market News)

Greeley, Colo.

July 8

Domestic wool trading on a clean basis has been at a standstill this week. No confirmed trades were reported. The vast majority of the wool trade has been completed and the warehouses are starting to go to a cleanup mode.

Some small offerings will be taking place as the season winds down into the offseason. Domestic wool trading on a greasy basis was at a standstill this week. There were no confirmed trades reported.

Domestic wool tags

No. 1 $.60-.70

No. 2 $.50-.60

No. 3 $.40-.50

]]>
Selected Western hay price reports http://www.capitalpress.com/Markets/20160711/selected-western-hay-price-reports http://www.capitalpress.com/Markets/20160711/selected-western-hay-price-reports#Comments Mon, 11 Jul 2016 09:49:48 -0400 http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2016160719987 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:

Grade RFV ADF TDN CP

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

WASHINGTON-OREGON HAY

(Columbia Basin)

(USDA Market News)

Moses Lake, Wash.

July 8

This week FOB Last week Last year

24,620 10,500 4,900

Compared to July 1: All grades of export and domestic Alfalfa steady. Trade active this week with good demand even though some dairies have reported cutting hay consumption in their ration by two-thirds. Bluegrass straw is being sold for no value as long as the buyers bale it and haul it off the fields. Retail/Feedstore steady in a light test. Demand remains good.

Tons Price

Alfalfa Mid Square Premium 1500 $155

Good/Prem. 1200 $135

Fair/Good 2500 $125

1000 $80

Utility/Fair 4900 $115

Alfalfa Small Square Premium 500 $185

140 $220-250

Good/Prem. 30 $165

Fair/Good 500 $100

Orchard Grass Small Square Premium 100 $220-230

Timothy Grass Mid Square Premium 1000 $190

Good/Prem. 2000 $150

2000 $130

Oat Mid Square Good 250 $80

OREGON AREA HAY

(USDA Market News)

Portland, Ore.

July 8

This week FOB Last week Last year

5,212 3,957 25,301

Compared to July 1: Prices trended generally steady compared to week ago prices. Many hay producers are selling their first cutting hay, and working on second cutting resulting in higher volumes of hay moving.

Tons Price

CROOK, DESCHUTES, JEFFERSON, WASCO COUNTIES

Alfalfa Large Square Premium 250 $150

Fair 500 $115

Small Square Premium 150 $195-210

Alfalfa/Orchard Mix Small Square Premium 10 $245

Orchard Grass Small Square Premium 50 $235

Good/Prem. 95 $210-215

Mixed Grass Small Square Good 25 $200

Grass Mix-Five Way Small Square Premium 15 $230

EASTERN OREGON

Alfalfa Large Square Supreme 25 $150

24 $300

Premium 280 $135

Alfalfa/Orchard Mix Small Square

Premium 30 $165

Timothy Grass Large Square Premium 200 $180

Good 200 $160

Small Square Premium 15 $165

HARNEY COUNTY

Alfalfa Large Square Supreme 700 $160

300 $150

120 $185

Premium 750 $140

KLAMATH BASIN

Alfalfa Large Square Premium 585 $175

Fair 90 $100

Small Square Good/Prem. 500 $160

Orchard Grass Small Square Premium 100 $280

Timothy Grass Small Square Premium 75 $280

LAKE COUNTY

Alfalfa Large Square Supreme 10 $225

24 $225

Good 34 $170

Small Square Good/Prem. 30 $200

Good 25 $180

IDAHO HAY

(USDA Market News)

Moses Lake, Wash.

July 8

This week FOB Last week Last year

20,500 5,500 5,760

Compared to July 1: All grades of Alfalfa steady for higher testing dairy hay. Trade active this week with good demand. Most first cutting Supreme testing Alfalfa has pretty much been spoken for, trade sources report. California hay buyers are looking for high potassium testing Alfalfa. Retail/feed store/horse not tested this week.

Tons Price

Alfalfa Mid Square Supreme 6500 $135-155

Prem/Sup. 3500 $140

Premium 900 $120

Good/Prem. 1000 $170

Good 900 $110-125

Timothy Grass Mid Square Good/Prem. 5200 $140-150

Fair/Good 1000 $105

Mixed Grass Mid Square Good 1500 $80

CALIFORNIA HAY

(USDA Market News)

Moses Lake, Wash.

July 8

This week FOB Last week Last year

14,075 13,460 16,953

Compared to July 1: All classes traded steady. Demand moderate. Exporters remain active at current market levels. Dairymen are buying supplies needed in the short term and being very selective.

Tons Price

REGION 1: NORTHERN INTERMOUNTAIN

Includes the counties of Siskiyou, Modoc, Shasta, Lassen, and Plumas.

Alfalfa Supreme 75 $310

Prem/Sup. 25 $190

Good/Prem. 1300 $150

450 $170

Good 100 $105

Alfalfa/Orchard Mix Premium 100 $170

Alfalfa/Grass Mix Premium 200 $100

Wheat Hay Good 250 $80

REGION 2: SACRAMENTO VALLEY

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

Alfalfa Premium 150 $160

Fair/Good 1000 $100

Fair 1000 $90

Utility/Fair 250 $90-95

Forage Mix-Two Way Good 200 $130

Forage Mix-Three Way Fair 75 $65

REGION 3: NORTHERN SAN JOAQUIN VALLEY

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

Alfalfa Supreme 175 $190

Premium 400 170

75 $160

225 $98

Good/Prem. 225 $160

Good 825 $130

1000 $130

Fair 1500 $100

Oat Hay Good 50 $65

Forage Mix-Two Way Good 200 $160

Wheat Straw Good 300 $60-70

REGION 4: CENTRAL SAN JOAQUIN VALLEY

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

Alfalfa Premium 300 $170

50 $200

REGION 5: SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

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

Alfalfa Good/Prem. 475 $180

Good 100 $160

REGION 6: SOUTHEAST CALIFORNIA

Includes the counties of Eastern San Bernardino, Riverside, and Imperial.

Alfalfa Premium 100 $140

750 $145

Good/Prem. 100 $135

Fair/Good 400 $135

Fair 600 $100

Utility/Fair 750 $80

Sudan Good 300 $135

]]>
West Coast grain price report http://www.capitalpress.com/Markets/20160711/west-coast-grain-price-report http://www.capitalpress.com/Markets/20160711/west-coast-grain-price-report#Comments Mon, 11 Jul 2016 09:44:54 -0400 http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2016160719988 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.

PORTLAND GRAIN

(USDA Market News)

Portland

July 7

PACIFIC NORTHWEST MARKET SUMMARY

Cash wheat bids for July delivery ended the reporting week on Thursday, July 7, were lower compared to June 30 noon bids for July delivery.

September wheat futures ended the reporting week on Thursday, July 7, lower as follows compared to June 30 closes: Chicago wheat futures were 20 cents lower at $4.2550, Kansas City wheat futures were 10.25 cents lower at $4.1225 and Minneapolis wheat futures trended 12.25 cents lower at $4.9575.

Chicago September corn futures trended 23.75 cents lower at $3.4175 and August soybean futures closed 123.75 cents lower at $10.5050.

Bids for U.S. 1 Soft White Wheat delivered to Portland in unit trains or barges during July for ordinary protein trended 15.50 to 17 cents per bushel lower compared to week ago prices for the same delivery period at $4.75-5.03.

Some exporters were not issuing bids for nearby delivery. White club wheat premiums were zero cents per bushel this week compared to no white club wheat premiums for last 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 not available and bids for White Club Wheat were also not available.

Forward month bids for soft white wheat ordinary protein were as follows: August New Crop $4.75-5.03 and September $4.80-5.08. One year ago, forward month bids for soft white wheat for any protein were as follows: August New Crop and September $6.4925-6.8525, October and November $6.4875-6.8275.

Bids for U.S. 1 Soft White Wheat guaranteed maximum 10.5 percent protein during July trended 15.50 to 19.50 cents per bushel lower than week ago prices for the same delivery period at $4.85-5.0050. Some exporters were not issuing bids for nearby delivery.

White club wheat premiums for guaranteed maximum 10.5 percent protein soft white wheat this week were zero to ten cents compared to no white club wheat premiums last 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 $7.0025-7.36 and bids for White Club Wheat were also $7.0025-7.36. Forward month bids for soft white wheat guaranteed 10.5 percent proteins were as follows: August New Crop $5.1250-5.20 and September $5.0550-5.25. One year ago, forward month bids for soft white wheat for any protein were as follows: August New Crop and September $7.1025-7.4525, October and November $7.0775-7.4775.

Bids for 11.5 percent protein U.S. 1 Hard Red Winter Wheat for July delivery were 8.25 to 15.25 cents per bushel lower compared to June 30 noon bids for June delivery. Some exporters were not issuing bids for nearby delivery. Bids were as follows: July $4.6625-4.8225, August New Crop $4.7225-4.8725, September $4.8225-4.9225, and October $4.9650-5.0650.

Bids for non-guaranteed 14.0 percent protein U.S. 1 Dark Northern Spring Wheat for Portland delivery during July were 9.50 to 17.50 cents per bushel lower than June 30 noon bids for the same delivery period. Some exporters were not issuing bids for nearby delivery. Bids for non-guaranteed 14 percent protein were as follows: July $5.7075-5.9075, August New Crop $5.7075-5.8075, September $5.7075-5.8575 and October $6.0150-6.1150.

COARSE FEEDING GRAINS

Bids for U.S. 2 Yellow Corn delivered full coast Pacific Northwest - BN shuttle trains for July delivery were 15.75 to 17.75 cents lower from $4.4175-4.4575 per bushel. Forward month corn bids were as follows: August and September $4.4375-4.4475, October, November and December $4.4050-4.4250. Bids for U.S. 1 Yellow Soybeans delivered full coast Pacific Northwest - BN shuttle trains for July delivery were 113.75 to 116.75 cents lower from $11.4250-11.5050 per bushel. Forward month soybean bids were as follows: August $11.5050, September $11.7050, October $11.4675-11.4775, November $11.4175-11.4375 and December $11.3975. Bids for U.S. 2 Heavy White Oats for June delivery trended steady at $3.0475 per bushel.

PACIFIC NORTHWEST EXPORT NEWS

There were eight grain vessels in Columbia River ports on Thursday, July 7, with three docked compared to twelve last week with four docked. There were no new confirmed export sales this week from the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) of the USDA.

CALIFORNIA GRAINS

(USDA Market News)

Portland

July 7

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

GRAIN DELIVERED

Mode Destination Price per cwt.

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

FOB Kern County NA

Rail Los Angeles NA

Stockton-Modesto-Oakdale-Turlock NA

Kings-Tulare-Fresno Counties $8.65

Glenn County NA

Colusa County NA

Truck Petaluma-Santa Rosa NA

Stockton-Modesto-Oakdale-Turlock NA

Kings-Tulare-Fresno Counties NA

CORN-U.S. No. 2 Yellow

FOB Turlock-Tulare $8.07

Stockton-Modesto-Oakdale-Turlock NA

Kings-Tulare-Fresno $6.95

Rail Single Car Units via BNSF

Chino Valley-Los Angeles $8.33

Truck Petaluma-Santa Rosa NA

Stockton-Modesto-Oakdale-Turlock $8.37

Los Angeles-Chino Valley NA

Kings-Tulare-Fresno Counties $8.37

Glenn County NA

SORGHUM-U.S. No. 2 Yellow

Rail Los Angeles-Chino Valley

via BNSF Single $8.14

Truck Modesto-Oakdale-Turlock NA

OATS-U.S. No. 1 White

Truck Petaluma NA

Stockton-Modesto-Oakdale-Turlock NA

Rail Petaluma NA

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

(Domestic Values for Flour Milling)

Los Angeles 12 percent Protein NA

Los Angeles 13 percent Protein NA

Los Angeles 14 percent Protein NA

Truck/Rail Los Angeles 11-12 percent Protein

Los Angeles 12 percent Protein NA

Los Angeles 13 percent Protein NA

Los Angeles 14 percent Protein NA

FOB Tulare-Kern-Merced NA

WHEAT-U.S. Durum Wheat

Truck Imperial County NA

Kings-Tulare-Fresno Counties NA

WHEAT-Any Class for Feed

FOB Tulare NA

Kings-Tulare-Fresno Counties $8-8.05

Kern County NA

Truck/Rail Los Angeles-Chino Valley NA

Truck Petaluma-Santa Rosa NA

Stockton-Modesto-Oakdale-Turlock NA

King-Tulare-Fresno Counties NA

Fresno NA

Merced County NA

Colusa County NA

Kern County NA

Prices paid to California farmers, seven-day reporting period ending July 7:

No new sales confirmed.

]]>
California shell egg price report http://www.capitalpress.com/Markets/20160711/california-shell-egg-price-report http://www.capitalpress.com/Markets/20160711/california-shell-egg-price-report#Comments Mon, 11 Jul 2016 09:40:47 -0400 http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2016160719989 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.

DAILY CALIFORNIA SHELL EGGS

(USDA Market News)

Des Moines, Iowa

July 8

Benchmark prices are steady. Asking prices for next week are unchanged on all sizes. Trade sentiment is usually lower. Offerings are light for Jumbo, light to instances moderate for Extra Large, moderate for Large and heavy for Medium.

Retail demand is light to moderate with institutional sales mostly moderate. Warehouse buyers are working from current floor stocks and watching current market conditions. Supplies are light for Jumbo and moderate on the balance of sizes. Market activity is slow. Small benchmark price 80 cents.

Size Range Size Range

Jumbo 161 Extra large 142

Large 130 Medium 100

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

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 113-124 Extra large 68-79

Large 61-70 Medium 38-47

]]>
National feeder and stocker cattle report http://www.capitalpress.com/Markets/20160711/national-feeder-and-stocker-cattle-report http://www.capitalpress.com/Markets/20160711/national-feeder-and-stocker-cattle-report#Comments Mon, 11 Jul 2016 09:37:53 -0400 http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2016160719990 Cattle prices in dollars per hundredweight (cwt.) except some replacement animals per pair or head as indicated.

NATIONAL FEEDER AND STOCKER CATTLE

(Federal-State Market News)

St. Joseph, Mo.

July 8

113,400 270,000 205,900

An overwhelming majority of cattle auctions took the time to breathe from the roller coaster ride that has wreaked havoc on the agriculture complexes the last few weeks.

Three sales in Green City, Mo., Valentine, Neb., and Mitchell, S.D., accounted for over 50 percent of the auction receipts this week.

The auctions that did have a sale this week were greeted with handsome prices as the late last week fed cattle traded $6 higher at mostly $122 live and mostly $7 to $10 higher dressed at $195-200.

Buyers were in the seats for those specials and on offer were mostly yearling cattle coming off grass.

On July 6 in Green City, a load of 770 lb. thin steers sold for $163.50 and in Valentine, a load of 919 lb. steers brought $149.35.

The fed cattle market has not been defined yet this week after the “ooohs and aaahs” heard around the country over the extended weekend.

Packers decided last week their margins were good enough to pique their interest in acquiring inventory out front, to the tune of 38,618 head for 15-30 day delivery — the third largest volume for fed steers and heifers since that category was initially started in March of 2010.

Keeping feedlots current through the dog days of summer is what packers and producers should want this time of year in order to help maintain some stability for fed cattle prices down the road.

The cut-out value held together this week as good movement in of product was reported over the July 4th holiday and packer margins remain healthy in spite of the higher prices for fed cattle.

The corn market has been under pressure the last three weeks and new-crop December corn has retreated from a recent high on June 17 of $4.48 3/4 to close today at around $3.57; 90-plus cents lower.

One factor that has helped put the pressure on the market is corn crop conditions are rated at 75 percent good to excellent.

Larger than expected planted acres released last week at 94.1 million acres was an additional element, which was 1.3 million acres above industry expectations.

The Corn Belt has received ample moisture the last three weeks and the corn plant is going through its normal maturation process with the type of weather it desires — hot and humid.

Next week’s WASDE report will give us an indication of the condition of the U.S. corn crop if the projected corn production for 2016-17 will be above or below their June estimate of 14.430 bb; a record estimate.

Auction volume this week included 78 percent weighing over 600 lbs and 34 percent heifers.

AUCTIONS

This week Last week Last year

25,400 116,900 98,000

WASHINGTON 1,900. 81 pct over 600 lbs. 39 pct heifers. Steers: Medium and Large 1-2 500-550 lbs. $151.30; 550-600 lbs. $152.19; 650-700 lbs. $149.46; 700-750 lbs. $137.37; 750-800 lbs. $138.60; 800-850 lbs. $136.81; 850-900 lbs. $136.67. Heifers: Medium and Large 1-2 400-450 lbs. $152.18; 450-500 lbs. $150.73; 600-650 lbs. $130.70; 650-700 lbs. $130.54; 700-750 lbs. $130.28; 750-800 lbs. $129.88; 800-850 lbs. $128.80.

DIRECT

This week Last week Last year

56,500 51,700 48,800

SOUTHWEST (Arizona-California-Nevada) 8,300. No cattle over 600 lbs. No heifers. Holsteins: Large 3 300 lbs. $125 current Del; 325 lbs. $120 current Del; 300 lbs. $128-132 October Del; 300 lbs. $132 November Del 325 lbs. $126-128.70 November Del.

NORTHWEST (Washington-Oregon-Idaho) 4,200. 100 pct over 600 lbs. 36 pct heifers. Steers: Medium and Large 1-2 Current FOB Price 850-900 lbs. $133-137 Washington-Idaho-Oregon. Current Delivered Price 850-900 lbs. $136-141 Idaho. Large 1 900-950 lbs. $130-137.50 Idaho. Future Delivery Delivered Price 900 lbs. $138 for July-August Idaho. Heifers: Medium and Large 1-2 Current FOB Price 800-850 lbs. $126-130 Washington-Idaho-Oregon. Current Delivered Price 850-900 lbs. $126-127 Idaho. Future Delivery Delivered Price 800 lbs. $136 for July-August Idaho.

NATIONAL SLAUGHTER CATTLE

(USDA Market News)

Oklahoma City, Okla.

July 8

Slaughter cattle sold on a live basis in all major feeding regions traded mostly steady.

Boxed Beef prices July 8 averaged $202.82 up $1.70 from last July 1. The Choice/Select spread is $13.07. Slaughter cattle on a national basis for negotiated cash trades through July 8 at noon totaled about 20,799 head. The previous week’s total head count was 124,682 head.

Midwest Direct Markets: Live Basis: Steers and Heifers: $120. Dressed Basis: Steers and Heifers $191.

South Plains Direct Markets: Live Basis: Steers and Heifers $120.

Slaughter Cows and Bulls (Average Yielding Prices): Slaughter cows and bulls not established due to the holiday shortened week.

Cutter Cow Carcass Cut-Out Value July 8 at the close on July 8 was $171.05 down $1.10 from July 1.

NORTHWEST DIRECT CATTLE

(USDA Market News)

Moses Lake, Wash.

July 8

This week Last week Last year

4,150 400 4,450

Compared to July 1: Feeder cattle $2-3 higher. Trade moderate this week. Demand good. The feeder supply included 64 percent steers and 36 percent heifers. Near 100 percent of the supply weighed over 600 lbs. Prices are FOB weighing point with a 1-4 percent shrink or equivalent and with a 5-12 cent slide on calves and a 3-8 cent slide on yearlings.

Current sales are up to 14 days delivery. Delivered prices include freight, commissions and other expenses.

Steers: Medium and Large 1-2: Current FOB Price: 850-900 lbs. $133-137 Washington-Idaho-Oregon. Current Delivered Price: 850-900 lbs. $136-141 Idaho. Large 1: 900-950 lbs. $130-137.50 Idaho. Future Delivery Delivered Price: 900 lbs. $138 for July-August Idaho.

Heifers: Medium and Large 1-2: Current FOB Price: 800-850 lbs. $126-130 Washington-Idaho-Oregon. Current Delivered Price: 850-900 lbs. $126-127 Idaho. Future Delivery Delivered Price: 800 lbs. $136 for July-August Idaho.

]]>
Selected Western livestock auction prices http://www.capitalpress.com/Markets/20160711/selected-western-livestock-auction-prices http://www.capitalpress.com/Markets/20160711/selected-western-livestock-auction-prices#Comments Mon, 11 Jul 2016 09:32:35 -0400 http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2016160719991 Cattle prices in dollars per hundredweight (cwt.) except some replacement animals per pair or head as indicated.

California

SHASTA

(Shasta Livestock Auction)

Cottonwood, Calif.

July 8

Current week Last week

566 1,361

Compared to June 24: Slaughter cows steady, bulls higher. Yearling market spotty. Off

lots and singles $25-50 below top.

Slaughter cows: High yielding $70-73; $74-79 high dress; Boning $62-69; Cutters $40-60.

Bulls 1 and 2: $70-98.

Feeder steers: 450-500 lbs. $157;

500-550 lbs. $135-145.50; 600-650 lbs. $145; 650-700 lbs. $130-141; 700-750 lbs. $125-136; 750-800 lbs. $133-134.50; 800-900 lbs. $124-134; 900-1,000 lbs. $115-120.

Feeder heifers: 550-600 lbs. $124-137.50; 600-650 lbs. $126.50-127; 650-700 lbs. $120-129; 700-750 lbs. $119-130; 750-800 lbs. $115-125.25; 800-900 lbs. $109-114.

Pairs: Mixed ages- $1400-2100.

Calvy cows: Too few to test the market.

Washington

TOPPENISH

(Toppenish Livestock Auction)

(USDA Market News)

Moses Lake, Wash.

July 8

This week Last week Last year

1,100 1,000 1,060

Compared to June 24 at same market: Not enough stocker or feeder cattle this week for accurate market trends; however, a higher undertone was noted. Trade active with good demand.

Slaughter cows and bulls steady to $2 higher. Trade active with good demand. Slaughter cows 72 percent, slaughter bulls 10 percent, and feeders 18 percent of the supply. The feeder supply included 72 percent steers and 28 percent heifers. Near 65 percent of the run weighed over 600 lbs.

Feeder Steers: Medium and Large 1-2: 400-500 lbs. $155; 600-700 lbs. $132-143.50; 700-800 lbs. $132.50-135; 800-900 lbs. $120.50. Large 1: 1000-1100 lbs. $110. Small and Medium 1-2: 600-700 lbs. $129. Small and Medium 2-3: 500-600 lbs. $131, Full; 500-600 lbs. $150, Yearlings.

Feeder Holstein Steers: Large 2-3: 300-400 lbs. $115; 400-500 lbs. $101; 500-600 lbs. $95; 1200-1300 lbs. $92.50.

Feeder Heifers: Medium and Large 1-2: 500-600 lbs. $138-139; 600-700 lbs. $140; 700-800 lbs. $120-129.50. Medium and Large 2-3: 400-500 lbs. $137; 500-600 lbs. $116. Large 2-3: 700-800 lbs. $81.

Slaughter Cows: Boning 80-85 percent lean 1400-2200 lbs. $73-78; Lean 85-90 percent lean 1200-1800 lbs. $74-79; Lean Light 90 percent lean 900-1300 lbs. $64-69.

Slaughter Bulls, Yield Grade 1-2: 1300-2200 lbs. $89-95.

]]>
Farm cooperative buys struggling biotech developer http://www.capitalpress.com/Nation_World/Nation/20160711/farm-cooperative-buys-struggling-biotech-developer http://www.capitalpress.com/Nation_World/Nation/20160711/farm-cooperative-buys-struggling-biotech-developer#Comments Mon, 11 Jul 2016 09:30:09 -0400 Mateusz Perkowski http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2016160719992 A major farm cooperative is buying a money-losing biotechnology company that’s introduced several genetically engineered crops exempt from USDA’s regulatory process.

Land O’Lakes, a Minnesota-based cooperative with roughly $13 billion in annual revenues, has agreed to pay about $17 million for Ceres, a publicly-traded California biotech firm that lost more than $28 million in its most recent fiscal year.

Ceres’ performance has disappointed investors since selling its shares to the public in 2012: Revenues have since dropped by nearly half, to $2.7 million in 2015, while its stock price plummeted from a high of more than $130 to as low as 16 cents before the takeover was announced.

With profits topping $300 million in 2015, though, Land O’Lakes isn’t taking a serious financial risk with its 40-cent-per-share acquisition of Ceres, while the investment has the potential upside of expanding the cooperative’s biotech portfolio.

Land O’Lakes already owns Forage Genetics International, which sells glyphosate-resistant biotech alfalfa that was targeted in high-profile lawsuits by critics of genetic engineering.

In the past couple years, Ceres has re-oriented its focus from bioenergy crops grown in Brazil to food and forage crops, such as sorghum and sugarcane.

Notably, the company has received written assurances from USDA that nine varieties of sugarcane, corn, sorghum and switchgrass it developed through various biotechnology methods don’t need to be cleared by the agency to be commercialized.

Many common genetically engineered crops must first be deregulated by USDA, which typically involves a time-consuming environmental analysis.

However, crops whose genes were altered without the use of plant pests don’t have to undergo this process according to USDA’s policy, which has been affirmed by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Ceres, for example, has used a “gene gun” to shoot genetic material into plant cells, thereby avoiding any parasitic or disease-causing organisms for gene transfer.

Chris Policinski, CEO of Land O’Lakes, said the “acquisition brings complementary strengths together, adds new advanced plant breeding and biotechnology to the FGI research and development pipeline and accelerates the process of bringing new forage solutions to existing and new markets.”

The takeover may face some legal hurdles, however: Several shareholders are pursuing a class action lawsuit against Ceres alleging that its board of directors approved the deal against the best interest of investors.

]]>
Portland daily grain report http://www.capitalpress.com/Markets/20160711/portland-daily-grain-report http://www.capitalpress.com/Markets/20160711/portland-daily-grain-report#Comments Mon, 11 Jul 2016 09:15:45 -0400 http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2016160719994 Portland, Ore., Monday, July 11, 2016

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 futures trended one to 6.50 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 July delivery for ordinary protein were not well tested early trading, but bids were indicated as steady compared to Friday’s noon bids for the same delivery period. Some exporters were not issuing bids for nearby delivery. Bids for guaranteed maximum 10.5 percent protein were not well tested in early trading, but bids were indicated as steady to higher compared to Friday’s noon bids for the same delivery period. Some exporters were not issuing bids for nearby.

Bids for 11.5 percent protein US 1 Hard Red Winter Wheat for July delivery were not well tested in early trading, but were indicated as lower compared to Friday’s noon bids. Some exporters are not issuing bids for nearby delivery.

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

Bids for US 2 Yellow Corn delivered full coast in 110 car shuttle

trains during July trended lower compared to Friday’s noon bids.

Bids for US 1 Yellow Soybeans delivered full coast in 110 car shuttle

trains during July trended higher in early trading compared to Friday’s

noon bids.

All wheat bids in dollars per bushel

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

Ordinary protein

Jul 4.7500-5.2000

Aug NC 4.7500-5.2000

Sep 4.8000-5.2400

Oct NA

Nov NA

Guaranteed maximum 10.5 pct protein

Jul 4.8500-5.0925

Aug NC 4.8500-5.0925

Sep 4.9000-5.0925

Oct NA

Nov NA

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

Ordinary protein

Jul 4.7500-5.3000

Guaranteed maximum 10.5 pct protein

Jul 4.8500-5.0925

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

better)

Ordinary protein 4.5475-4.7275

11 pct protein 4.7475-4.8475

11.5 pct protein

Jul 4.8475-4.9475

Aug NC 4.8475-4.8975

Sep 4.8475-4.9975

Oct 4.9950-5.1450

Nov 4.9950-5.1450

12 pct protein 4.8675-4.9975

13 pct protein 4.9075-5.0975

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 5.4300-5.7000

14 pct protein

Jul 5.7500-5.9000

Aug NC 5.7500-5.8500

Sep 5.7500-5.9000

Oct 6.0500-6.1500

Nov 6.0500-6.1500

15 pct protein 5.9100-6.0100

16 pct protein 6.0600-6.2000

US 2 Yellow Corn

Shuttle trains-Delivered full coast Pacific Northwest-BN

Jul 4.5025-4.5625

Aug 4.5425-4.5725

Sep 4.5225-4.5525

Oct 4.5750

Nov 4.5750

Dec 4.5750

US 1 Yellow Soybeans

Shuttle trains-Delivered full coast Pacific Northwest-BN

Jul 11.8950-11.9150

Aug 11.9150

Sep 11.8825-11.9025

Oct 11.8825-11.9025

Nov 11.8825-11.9025

Dec 11.8075-11.8375

US 2 Heavy White Oats 3.0475

Not well tested.

Exporter Bids Portland Rail/Barge Jun 2016

Averages in Dollars per bushel

US 1 Soft White by Unit Trains and Barges 5.4600

US 1 Hard Red Winter (Ordinary protein) 5.1700

US 1 Hard Red Winter (11.5% protein) 5.3900

US 1 Dark Northern Spring (14% protein) 6.3500

Source: USDA Market News Service, Portland, OR

]]>
Fifth drone sighting over southern Utah wildfire http://www.capitalpress.com/Nation_World/Nation/20160711/fifth-drone-sighting-over-southern-utah-wildfire http://www.capitalpress.com/Nation_World/Nation/20160711/fifth-drone-sighting-over-southern-utah-wildfire#Comments Mon, 11 Jul 2016 09:03:27 -0400 http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2016160719995 SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — For the fifth time, officials have spotted an unauthorized drone flying over a southern Utah wildfire.

Fire spokeswoman Megan Saylors says the unmanned aircraft was seen Sunday night above the wildfire near the town of Pine Valley.

Saylors says there were no firefighting aircraft in the air at the time. Firefighters had to ground their aircraft on previous sightings of drones over the fire on Friday night and in recent weeks to avoid collisions.

It’s unclear if the same drone has been flying in all five occasions.

The 3.6-square mile fire has been burning on a ridge above the town of Pine Valley for nearly a month.

Saylors says a voluntary evacuation is in place for a small area of the town but officials are re-opening campgrounds in the nearby Pine Valley Recreation Area on Monday.

]]>
Starbucks to increase base pay of workers in October http://www.capitalpress.com/Business/20160711/starbucks-to-increase-base-pay-of-workers-in-october http://www.capitalpress.com/Business/20160711/starbucks-to-increase-base-pay-of-workers-in-october#Comments Mon, 11 Jul 2016 09:01:52 -0400 http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2016160719996 NEW YORK (AP) — Starbucks is boosting the base pay of all employees and store managers at U.S. company-run stores by 5 percent or more.

In a letter sent to workers Monday, CEO Howard Schultz said that the amount of the raise — which will occur in October — will be determined by geographic and market factors. Starbucks doesn’t disclose specifics on starting salaries for employees, saying it’s determined on a market-by-market basis.

Starbucks has approximately 7,600 company-run stores across the country.

Pay for entry-level jobs has become a hot political topic ahead of the presidential election. Over the weekend a draft of the Democratic Party’s policy positions was being pieced together. It includes a call for a $15 federal minimum wage over time. Republican Donald Trump favors leaving the wage decision to the states.

Tension over pay has been rising for major U.S. corporations that employ thousands of entry-level workers. Workers at McDonald’s Corp. have picketed across the country outside restaurants for starting pay of $15 an hour. Last month Macy’s Inc. struck a tentative deal with some of its workers, in which an employee union negotiated higher wages and more affordable health care.

And as with other companies, Starbucks is facing increasing pressure to make schedules for their workers more predictable and reliable.

Last month, a Starbucks employee in southern California launched a petition on Coworker.org, saying the coffee chain was cutting work hours to save on labor costs. The petition said employees are finding it nearly impossible to secure more than 25 hours a week, and that the labor cuts were hurting morale and damaging customer service. Jaime Prater, who launched the petition, said that he spoke with Schultz by phone, who told him the company needed to make it right.

In his letter to workers on Monday, Schultz said that Starbucks will work with employees to make sure that they have the hours they need. Schultz said the company was committed to helping workers meet their specific scheduling needs, especially when it comes to ensuring benefits eligibility.

Starbucks Corp. also said that it’s doubling the annual award for its stock program for hourly workers with two years of continuous employment. The Seattle company is also implementing “go shop” employee health care coverage starting next week, allowing them to pick and choose from a number of options.

Shares shed 39 cents to $56.12 in morning trading.

]]>
Farmers lobbying for the right to fix own tractors http://www.capitalpress.com/Profit/20160709/farmers-lobbying-for-the-right-to-fix-own-tractors http://www.capitalpress.com/Profit/20160709/farmers-lobbying-for-the-right-to-fix-own-tractors#Comments Thu, 7 Jul 2016 09:17:27 -0400 NICHOLAS BERGINLincoln Journal Star http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2016160709939 LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Mick Minchow’s tractors are marvels of modern machinery.

They have air conditioning, guidance systems, satellite radio and more sensors than he can shake a corn cob at, all kept running by computer systems and software.

But there’s one thing the Waverly farmer doesn’t have: the right to fix his John Deere 8235 R if it goes on the fritz.

Gone are the days when farmers could be their own mechanics. Just taking a peek under the metaphorical hood of the computers that run the big tractor could put Minchow in violation of the federal Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

It’s the same for digital products from cellphones to printers to concrete crushers that rely on computer programs to run.

The Lincoln Journal Star reports that Nebraska is one of four states to consider legislation that would require manufacturers to make diagnostic, service and technical information available to farmers and independent repair technicians. The others are Massachusetts, Minnesota and New York.

While the Nebraska Fair Repair Bill (LB1072) failed to gain traction before senators adjourned this spring, the issue is far from dead. It has been referred to the Agriculture Committee for study over the summer, and advocates are pushing for the bill to be reintroduced during the next session.

Now, the makers of off-road and farm equipment and many consumer electronics require their products to be repaired by certified technicians.

That means if Minchow’s tractor stops working he has no choice but to call the dealer. He can’t check the system codes himself to decide whether it’s an easy fix like changing a filter or something more complicated. And that grinds the Waverly-area farmer’s gears.

“I want it to be my call. I don’t want to have to make two trips to the service department — one to diagnose it and one to fix it,” said Minchow, who has been farming north of Waverly for more than 40 years.

And as dealerships have closed or consolidated, he said, technicians have gotten further away and service bills more expensive.

John Deere, in a 2014 comment to the U.S. Copyright Office, said the people who buy its tractors don’t own the software that makes them run. Instead, each has an “implied license for the life of the vehicle to operate the vehicle.”

In some cases, the company said, software could be subject to third-party restrictions and accessing it could violate copyright, trade secret or contractual rights.

But farmers work when they can, and every hour matters when storms, frost and mud leave them with few suitable days. A malfunctioning combine can bring the fall harvest to a standstill.

Waiting for a dealer to diagnose and fix a problem could mean hours, days or weeks lost.

Proponents of Nebraska’s Fair Repair Bill say it would let farmers work on their own equipment and allow independent mechanics to help get machines running quicker.

The Nebraska Farm Bureau, the state’s largest agriculture advocacy group, has not taken a stance on the issue but its members are talking about it, said Jordan Dux, the state Farm Bureau’s director of national affairs.

“For the time being, we remain neutral on it but that very well might change as we work through our policy development process,” he said during a recent web forum.

Some Farm Bureau members, Dux said, are concerned about taking business away from dealerships at a time when the ag economy has slowed and few farmers are buying new machinery.

“Keeping those dealerships in their communities is important,” he said. “Repairs are going to be the way a lot of these dealerships are going to make money for the time being simply because folks aren’t buying a lot of new equipment.”

Another concern, Dux said, centers on what farmers should do if they buy equipment and find the previous owner made changes to the software they don’t like.

Kyle Wiens, a software engineer and leading figure in the national Right to Repair movement, said in the same web seminar that new owners of used equipment would have what they need to restore factory defaults if manufacturers provided diagnostic tools and software.

John Hansen, president of the state’s second largest agricultural advocacy organization, the Nebraska Farmers Union, supports the Right to Repair efforts saying farmers should have the same option to get their tractor fixed by an independent mechanic as they do when they need to get their truck fixed.

“This is a fairness issue. Folks in agriculture shouldn’t be singled out and treated differently than the automotive customers or truck customers,” Hansen said in the web forum.

“Competition is what makes our system of economics better. When you take competition out of the equation there is almost always a reduction in choice and quality and an increase in cost to the consumer.”

]]>
Book series teaches kids about farming http://www.capitalpress.com/Nation_World/Nation/20160708/book-series-teaches-kids-about-farming http://www.capitalpress.com/Nation_World/Nation/20160708/book-series-teaches-kids-about-farming#Comments Fri, 8 Jul 2016 11:11:06 -0400 Carol Ryan Dumas http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2016160709918 A cast of on-farm cartoon characters takes children on an educational exploration of modern farming and the equipment that brings crops to harvest and food to the table in the Casey & Friends book series aimed at 4- to 8-year-olds.

Written by Holly Dufek and illustrated by Paul Nunn, the five-book series follows Casey, a young woman farmer, as she works on her farm to grow crops and raise livestock. Casey and her farm-equipment friends explain the components of modern agriculture from seed to table.

Dufek, a Wisconsin-based freelance writer who has helped develop educational standards and text book curricula for the past two decades, said the books are meant to introduce children about modern agriculture.

Ag equipment manufacturer Case IH and publishing company Octane Press wanted to create a series of books that help children make the connection between farm equipment and their food, she said.

“My goal is to make it educational,” Dufek said, adding more books are planned.

The books are packed with information, incorporating ag science and technology, fun facts, side-bars, activities and real-life photos of equipment in the fields.

Equipment is “cool,” and the photos are used to engage children. It’s also important for kids who don’t have access to a farm to see how the equipment works, Dufek said.

Casey & Friends examine the realm of components in growing food, such as the weather, healthy soils and crop protection, and walk children through farming practices from planting to harvesting and the different equipment needed to do the job.

The books are written on multiple levels to appeal to an age-range of children, whether they’re being read to or reading the books themselves, Dufek said.

They’re easy, simple and short enough for younger children and include side-bars with extra information and experiments for the older children, she said.

The series begins with “A Year on the Farm with Casey & Friends,” which teaches children about the different jobs a farmer does each season and shows how tractors, combines and other equipment are used to plant, protect and harvest crops and care for livestock.

The book is followed by books with Casey & Friends focusing on tractors, combines, planting and winter responsibilities.

They are being used in classrooms and stocked in libraries in to help teach children about agriculture and technology, Dufek said.

The response has been “really positive,” she said.

“Working in education, I knew there’s not a ton of material for that age group that’s not fiction and that’s informational,” she said.

The biggest comment she receives is that people had no idea how much farm equipment does and all the science and technology that goes into modern farming. Even farm youth are attracted to all the nuts and bolts of the books, she said.

“I think it’s such a great series for kids on lots of levels,” she said.

It shows women in agriculture, the science and technology of farming and the numerous and diverse opportunities in that field, she said.

“I feel very blessed to be a part of this series. It opens them (children) up to a world they wouldn’t necessarily be interested in or knew anything about,” she said.

The books can be purchased on the internet through Octane Press, Case IH and Amazon.

]]>
Portland daily grain report http://www.capitalpress.com/Markets/20160708/portland-daily-grain-report http://www.capitalpress.com/Markets/20160708/portland-daily-grain-report#Comments Fri, 8 Jul 2016 10:46:58 -0400 http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2016160709920 Portland, Ore., Friday, July 08, 2016

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 futures trended five to 11.75 cents per bushel higher compared to Thursday’s closes.

Bids for US 1 Soft White Wheat delivered to Portland in unit trains and barges for July delivery for ordinary protein were not well tested early trading, but bids were indicated as steady to higher compared to Thursday’s noon bids for the same delivery period. Some exporters were not issuing bids for nearby delivery. Bids for guaranteed maximum 10.5 percent protein were not well tested in early trading, but bids were indicated as steady to higher compared to Thursday’s noon bids for the same delivery period. Some exporters were not issuing bids for nearby.

Bids for 11.5 percent protein US 1 Hard Red Winter Wheat for July delivery were not well tested in early trading, but were indicated as higher compared to Thursday’s noon bids. Some exporters are not issuing bids for nearby delivery.

Bids for 14 percent protein US 1 Dark Northern Spring Wheat for July delivery were not well tested in early trading, but were indicated as steady to higher compared to Thursday’s noon bids. Some exporters are not issuing bids for nearby delivery.

Bids for US 2 Yellow Corn delivered full coast in 110 car shuttle trains during July trended higher compared to Thursday’s noon bids.

Bids for US 1 Yellow Soybeans delivered full coast in 110 car shuttle

trains during July trended higher in early trading compared to Thursday’s noon bids.

All wheat bids in dollars per bushel

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

Ordinary protein

Jul 4.7500-5.2000

Aug NC 4.7500-5.2000

Sep 4.8000-5.2400

Oct NA

Nov NA

Guaranteed maximum 10.5 pct protein

Jul 4.8500-5.1225

Aug NC 4.8500-5.1225

Sep 4.9000-5.1225

Oct NA

Nov NA

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

Ordinary protein

Jul 4.7500-5.3000

Guaranteed maximum 10.5 pct protein

Jul 4.8300-5.2225

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

better)

Ordinary protein 4.6000-4.7800

11 pct protein 4.8000-4.9000

11.5 pct protein

Jul 4.9000-5.0000

Aug NC 4.9000-4.9500

Sep 4.9000-5.0500

Oct 5.0500-5.2000

Nov 5.0500-5.2000

12 pct protein 4.9200-5.0500

13 pct protein 4.9600-5.1500

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 5.4375-5.7075

14 pct protein

Jul 5.7575-5.9075

Aug NC 5.7575-5.8575

Sep 5.7575-5.9075

Oct 6.0675-6.1675

Nov 6.0675-6.1675

15 pct protein 5.9175-6.0175

16 pct protein 6.0675-6.2075

US 2 Yellow Corn

Shuttle trains-Delivered full coast Pacific Northwest-BN

Jul 4.4800-4.5300

Aug 4.5200-4.5300

Sep 4.5000-4.5300

Oct 4.5350-4.5550

Nov 4.5350-4.5550

Dec 4.5350-4.5550

US 1 Yellow Soybeans

Shuttle trains-Delivered full coast Pacific Northwest-BN

Jul 11.6825-11.7025

Aug 11.7025

Sep 11.7050-11.7250

Oct 11.7050-11.7250

Nov 11.7050-11.7250

Dec 11.6400-11.6700

US 2 Heavy White Oats 3.0475

Not well tested.

Exporter Bids Portland Rail/Barge Jun 2016

Averages in Dollars per bushel

US 1 Soft White by Unit Trains and Barges 5.4600

US 1 Hard Red Winter (Ordinary protein) 5.1700

US 1 Hard Red Winter (11.5% protein) 5.3900

US 1 Dark Northern Spring (14% protein) 6.3500

Source: USDA Market News Service, Portland, OR

]]>
Senate backs bill to label genetically modified food http://www.capitalpress.com/Nation_World/Nation/20160708/senate-backs-bill-to-label-genetically-modified-food http://www.capitalpress.com/Nation_World/Nation/20160708/senate-backs-bill-to-label-genetically-modified-food#Comments Fri, 8 Jul 2016 08:25:31 -0400 DONNA CASSATAand MARY CLARE JALONICK http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2016160709923 WASHINGTON (AP) — Food packages nationwide would for the first time be required to carry labels listing genetically modified ingredients under legislation the Senate backed Thursday.

The vote was 63-30 for the bipartisan measure, which would compel foods that include genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, to carry a text label, a symbol or an electronic code readable by smartphone. Advocates for labeling and the food industry, which has fought mandatory labeling, have wanted to find a national solution to avoid a state-by-state patchwork of laws.

The food industry supports the Senate bill, but many labeling proponents do not. Critics say the labels should be easily readable by consumers without smartphones, and have complained that the measure lacks penalties for companies that don’t comply.

“It is time for us to provide certainty in the marketplace,” said Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., chairman of the Agriculture Committee, who brokered the compromise bill with the panel’s top Democrat, Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow.

The measure now heads to the House, where its fate is less certain. That chamber has voted to make labeling voluntary.

Senate approval came over the strong objections of Vermont’s senators — presidential contender Bernie Sanders, an independent, and Democrat Patrick Leahy. They argued that the measure falls short, especially compared to tougher labeling requirements in their state that kicked in last Friday.

They said the federal government shouldn’t run roughshod over a state’s rules, pre-empting Vermont’s law, and the federal requirements would not be consumer-friendly. Sanders called Vermont’s law “a triumph for consumers” that was shaping up as a hollow victory, with the Senate bill trumping his state’s law.

Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., said a federal statute would save consumers money and avoid imposing Vermont’s law on other states, or a grab bag of state laws.

“What about California? What about my state of North Carolina, all the other ones?” Tillis asked.

Genetically modified foods are plants or animals that have had genes copied from other plants or animals inserted into their DNA. While farmers have been selectively breeding plants for centuries, this manipulation is done in a lab, speeding up the process by transferring a gene from one plant or animal to another. The engineering is done to create certain traits, like resistance to herbicides.

The bulk of the nation’s genetically engineered crops are corn and soybeans that are eaten by livestock or made into popular processed food ingredients like cornstarch, soybean oil or high-fructose corn syrup. Only a handful of genetically engineered fruits and vegetables are available in the produce aisle, including Hawaiian papaya, some zucchini and squash and some sweet corn.

The food industry says 75 percent to 80 percent of foods contain genetically modified ingredients — most of those corn and soy-based. The Food and Drug Administration says they are safe to eat.

The Agriculture Department would have two years to write the rules.

The legislation encompasses some foods that were exempted from the Vermont law, but it also allows the Agriculture Department to determine how much of a “bioengineered substance” must be present to require a GMO label. Labeling advocates say many foods wouldn’t be labeled if the department sets a high threshold.

“The idea that people would need to walk around the grocery store scanning product codes just to find out what’s in the food they’re buying is ridiculous and unfair,” said Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate, a foe of the measure.

]]>
Dairy inventories weigh down markets http://www.capitalpress.com/Dairy/20160707/dairy-inventories-weigh-down-markets http://www.capitalpress.com/Dairy/20160707/dairy-inventories-weigh-down-markets#Comments Thu, 7 Jul 2016 15:40:47 -0400 Carol Ryan Dumas http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2016160709925 The world’s dairy farmers have started to react to protracted lower milk prices by slowing production, but not before growing milk production beyond weak global demand.

The result is a glut of product inventory that is weighing down markets and stalling price recovery.

While Rabobank still forecasts a rise in prices in the first half of 2017, the high level of stocks and weak global demand due to low oil prices, trade bans and lack of affordability in emerging markets could threaten those price increases, the bank’s analysts reported in their latest dairy quarterly report.

Global stocks continue to increase, with current stocks estimated at 6.4 million tons higher than the five-year average — representing about 7.5 percent of annual global trade, the analysts stated.

Tom Bailey, Rabobank dairy analyst, said a couple of catalysts led to the current situation.

A 12-month period of record-breaking milk prices in 2013 and 2014 following five years of elevated prices, both fueled by demand from developing markets, communicated to farmers around the world a need for more milk. They responded with investments in their operations over the last 24 months, he said.

In addition, farmers in the EU were positioning themselves for the removal of milk quotas, which happened last year, he said.

On the demand side, however, an embargo of imports by Russia — the world’s second-largest dairy importer and a big market for the EU — took its toll. In addition, demand slowed in developing markets, he said.

“That left us in a bit of a quagmire for prices. They’ve been very low for the past 12 to 18 months,” he said.

But that message wasn’t received around the world. Here in the U.S., farmers were well prepared, having paid down debt when prices were high. In addition, U.S. milk prices were supported by strong butter and cheeses demand. And farmers in the EU were buffered with profits from branded businesses.

Just recently, markets are finally seeing production fall in the big exporting countries — for the first time in 12 months, he said.

“It seems the message is finally being received at the farm gate, but we still have a ways to go,” he said.

Massive product inventories have accumulated, and exports were down from the big seven countries in the first quarter of the year, he said.

A lot of those inventories are being held in the EU, where government intervention has led to inventories in excess of 4 million tons. That’s about two and a half weeks of international trade, which is manageable but puts a ceiling on prices, he said.

In addition, the U.S. has inventories of just under 1 million tons, and China and other developing markets are sitting on stocks purchased because of low prices, he said.

Global milk production did fall in April, he said

The EU went from a 5 percent year-over-year increase January through March to only a 1.6 percent increase. Production there is expected to contract slightly now that farmers are feeling the sting, he said.

Production in the U.S. has slowed, from a 2.1 percent increase January through March to a 1.1 percent increase in April and is expected to grow modestly over the next 12 months.

Production in Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay is down, and production in New Zealand and Australia is declining.

“So five of the seven export engines have stalled,” Bailey said.

Global prices are really starting to bite and are below breakeven in most of the world. Milk production will finally be contracting, which will help markets work through inventories. But it takes time, especially with weaker demand, he said.

“The end result is farm gate prices are not going to leave them (farmers) excited. The coming 12 months look a bit rough. There is a very dim light at the end of the tunnel, but it’s still a ways off,” he said.

Rabobank’s middle-of-the-road forecast for the next 12 months is that international product prices will remain fairly subdued, with a slight upside when inventories tighten up, he said.

“We’re not out of the woods yet,” he said.

]]>
Portland daily grain report http://www.capitalpress.com/Markets/20160707/portland-daily-grain-report http://www.capitalpress.com/Markets/20160707/portland-daily-grain-report#Comments Thu, 7 Jul 2016 09:23:08 -0400 http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2016160709937 Portland, Ore., Thursday, July 7, 2016

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 futures trended mixed, from 1.25 cents lower to 0.25 of a cent per bushel higher compared to Wednesday’s closes.

Bids for US 1 Soft White Wheat delivered to Portland in unit trains and barges for July delivery for ordinary protein were not well tested early trading, but bids were indicated as steady compared to Wednesday’s noon bids for the same delivery period. Some exporters were not issuing bids for nearby delivery. Bids for guaranteed maximum 10.5 percent protein were not well tested in early trading, but bids were indicated as steady to higher compared to Wednesday’s noon bids for the same delivery period. Some exporters were not issuing bids for nearby.

Bids for 11.5 percent protein US 1 Hard Red Winter Wheat for July delivery were not well tested in early trading, but were indicated as lower compared to Wednesday’s noon bids. Some exporters are not issuing bids for nearby delivery.

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

Bids for US 2 Yellow Corn delivered full coast in 110 car shuttle trains during July trended higher compared to Wednesday’s noon bids.

Bids for US 1 Yellow Soybeans delivered full coast in 110 car shuttle trains during July trended lower in early trading compared to Wednesday’s noon bids.

All wheat bids in dollars per bushel

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

Ordinary protein

Jul 4.7500-5.0300

Aug NC 4.7500-5.0300

Sep 4.8000-5.0800

Oct NA

Nov NA

Guaranteed maximum 10.5 pct protein

Jul 4.8500-5.0175

Aug NC 4.8500-5.0175

Sep 4.9000-5.0475

Oct NA

Nov NA

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

Ordinary protein

Jul 4.7500-5.0300

Guaranteed maximum 10.5 pct protein

Jul 4.8500-5.1175

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

better)

Ordinary protein 4.3950-4.7150

11 pct protein 4.5950-4.7950

11.5 pct protein

Jul 4.6950-4.8350

Aug NC 4.8350-4.8850

Sep 4.8350-4.9350

Oct 4.9750-5.0750

Nov NA

12 pct protein 4.7450-4.8850

13 pct protein 4.8450-4.9850

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 5.4450-5.8150

14 pct protein

Jul 5.7650-6.0150

Aug NC 5.7650-5.8650

Sep 5.7650-5.9150

Oct 6.0800-6.1800

Nov NA

15 pct protein 5.9250-6.0950

16 pct protein 6.0850-6.2150

US 2 Yellow Corn

Shuttle trains-Delivered full coast Pacific Northwest-BN

Jul 4.4375-4.4775

Aug 4.4575-4.4675

Sep 4.4575-4.4675

Oct 4.4250-4.4450

Nov 4.4250-4.4450

Dec 4.4250-4.4450

US 1 Yellow Soybeans

Shuttle trains-Delivered full coast Pacific Northwest-BN

Jul 11.7300-11.7800

Aug 11.7800

Sep 11.9800

Oct 11.7050-11.7150

Nov 11.6550-11.6750

Dec 11.6350

US 2 Heavy White Oats 3.0475

Not well tested.

Exporter Bids Portland Rail/Barge Jun 2016

Averages in Dollars per bushel

US 1 Soft White by Unit Trains and Barges 5.4600

US 1 Hard Red Winter (Ordinary protein) 5.1700

US 1 Hard Red Winter (11.5% protein) 5.3900

US 1 Dark Northern Spring (14% protein) 6.3500

Source: USDA Market News Service, Portland, OR

]]>