Capital Press | Nation/World http://www.capitalpress.com Capital Press Tue, 26 Aug 2014 22:06:25 -0400 en http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/staticimage/images/rss-logo.jpg Capital Press | Nation/World http://www.capitalpress.com U.S. imposed duties on Mexican sugar http://www.capitalpress.com/Nation_World/Nation/20140826/us-imposed-duties-on-mexican-sugar http://www.capitalpress.com/Nation_World/Nation/20140826/us-imposed-duties-on-mexican-sugar#Comments Tue, 26 Aug 2014 15:48:14 -0400 John O’Connell http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2014140829900 Washington, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Commerce has placed tariffs on Mexican sugar, ruling that government subsidies have given Mexican sugar growers an unfair trade advantage.

The decision on Aug. 26 means duty deposits will be collected beginning immediately, pending the outcome of further investigation. DOC is also scheduled to make another preliminary ruling in October on allegations that Mexico has illegally dumped sugar onto the U.S. market.

U.S. sugar producers filed petitions on March 28 alleging the illegal dumping of subsidized Mexican sugar has depressed domestic prices. A 17.01 percent duty has been imposed on sugar imported from mills owned by the Mexican government, representing about 20 percent of the country’s production. The tariff will be 2.99 percent on the Mexican sugar company GAM and 14.87 percent on all other Mexican sugar.

The tariffs may still be overturned or amended when DOC makes its final ruling early next year, which could lead to a five-year period of tariffs followed by a review of the duty. DOC’s final determination is due Jan. 7 but could be pushed back until March 9, said Amalgamated Sugar Co. President Vic Jaro.

Final approval by the U.S. International Trade Commission, which made a preliminary ruling in May that evidence exists that Mexican dumping and subsidization have hurt U.S. interests, would follow DOC’s final action.

The American Sugar Association anticipates DOC will ultimately impose duties that are even higher, according to a press release.

“One reason for our confidence about the final determination is that the DOC is now investigating new information about Mexican subsidies,” ASA spokesman Phillip Hayes said in the press release.

Sugar producers represented by ASA content inefficient Mexican producers have benefited from “export subsidies, preferential government loans coupled with debt forgiveness, government cash infusions to cover operating shortfalls and government grant programs to finance inventory, exports and inputs,” according to the press release.

ASA further alleges that Mexican sugar producers have increased shipments to the U.S. by 1 million tons in the past year, selling well below the fair price in Mexico.

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Amalgamated expects strong beet crop http://www.capitalpress.com/Business/20140826/amalgamated-expects-strong-beet-crop http://www.capitalpress.com/Business/20140826/amalgamated-expects-strong-beet-crop#Comments Tue, 26 Aug 2014 11:33:48 -0400 John O’Connell http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2014140829905 BOISE, Idaho — Amalgamated Sugar officials expect an outstanding sugar beet crop that should nearly rival last year’s record yields, but with a higher average sugar content.

The company intends to start early harvest on Sept. 9, a week ahead of schedule, in Magic Valley and Eastern Idaho, with factory operations commencing two days later, and on Sept. 30 in Treasure Valley, with factory operations starting Oct. 2.

Amalgamated President Vic Jaro said the early harvest is planned because processing of last season’s crop dragged into April, causing sugar content and beet quality to deteriorate and elevating processing costs. This season, he hopes an earlier start to harvest will enable the company to finish processing the crop in March.

John Schorr, the company’s corporate director of agriculture, said cool weather throughout much of Amalgamated’s territory this August may slow bulking but should stimulate sugar development.

“I think (yield) will be close to last year, which was a record. I don’t think it will surpass it, but it will be close,” Schorr said.

Last season, despite widespread replants in Magic Valley and east due to frost, the company was pleasantly surprised by a record average yield of 36.3 tons per acre. However, sugar content averaged 15.87 percent, which Jaro said was the lowest level in more than two decades. Jaro expects this year’s sugar content will be at least equal to the five-year average of 17 percent, and ideal conditions could drive it higher. Amalgamated intends to conduct its first testing of the season for sugar levels soon.

The company’s crop size, at 178,000 acres, is down 4,000 acres from last season, mostly in Western Idaho around Owyhee Reservoir, where growers faced irrigation shortages and planted more water-efficient crops.

American Falls, Idaho, grower Alex Tiede said his beets established a healthy stand this spring.

“Most of the beet crop seems like you make it early, and we had a nice spring that cooperated with us and not a lot of frost and replants,” Tiede said.

Tiede said his farm, like many others in his area, switched to a Midwestern beet variety that tends to yield a bit lower but is known for producing high sugar levels. He said the company pays an incentive for high-sugar beets, which yield more finished sugar with less processing.

Given the extremely wet August weather in Southern Idaho, Tiede said some growers in his area have been spraying beets for mold recently.

On the whole, Jaro said fields appear clean, and depressed sugar prices have begun to rise a bit since the industry sought to address the alleged dumping of Mexican sugar on the U.S. market.

In futures trading, the October 2014 price for a pound of sugar on ICE Futures U.S. rose from 15.4 cents to 15.65 cents and was trading at 17.6 cents per pound for March 2015 Tuesday morning after Reuters published news of the U.S. government’s preliminary decision to impose subsidies on Mexican sugar. An official announcement was expected later in the day.

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RMA announces fall canola projected prices http://www.capitalpress.com/Business/20140826/rma-announces-fall-canola-projected-prices http://www.capitalpress.com/Business/20140826/rma-announces-fall-canola-projected-prices#Comments Tue, 26 Aug 2014 12:12:40 -0400 Matw Weaver http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2014140829903 The USDA Risk Management Agency has announced its projected prices for fall canola.

Fall canola growers have until Sept. 2 to contact their crop insurance agent to obtain revenue coverage, said Jo Lynne Seufer, risk management specialist for the USDA Risk Management Agency office in Spokane.

The 2015 crop year projected price for fall canola is $0.178 per pound. The projected price for fall rapeseed is $0.216 per pound.

Farmers who obtain the insurance are guaranteed to receive at least the projected prices for their fall canola and rapeseed. Farmers use the price to evaluate their crop insurance coverage options.

Revenue coverage provides a risk management tool in addition to yield coverage, Seufer said.

The agency will determine spring projected prices in February 2015 and announce them by March 4, Seufer said.

Growers are advised to contact their multi-peril crop insurance agent for complete crop insurance details.

The agency will announce the rest of its fall projected prices, including wheat and fall barley, by Sept. 5, for a Sept. 30 sales closing date, Seufer said.

Online

http://www.rma.usda.gov

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Calif. man will lead Farm Service Agency http://www.capitalpress.com/Nation_World/Nation/20140826/calif-man-will-lead-farm-service-agency http://www.capitalpress.com/Nation_World/Nation/20140826/calif-man-will-lead-farm-service-agency#Comments Tue, 26 Aug 2014 10:29:16 -0400 Jerry Hagstrom http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2014140829909 Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has named Val Dolcini the new administrator of the Farm Service Agency, the division of USDA that distributes farm subsidies and disaster payments.

Dolcini, who has been the California state executive director since 2009, succeeds Juan Garcia, who retired. It will be Dolcini’s responsibility to implement the 2014 farm bill’s new commodity program that involves individual farmers’ choice between the Price Loss Coverage (PLC) and Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC) programs and coordinating their interaction with the crop insurance program. He will also be in charge of the Agriculture Department’s disaster programs.

Vilsack announced Dolcini’s appointment in a memo to staff Aug. 22, and it is on a permanent rather than acting basis, a spokesman said. The appointment, which does not require Senate confirmation, will take effect on Sept. 8.

Vilsack also said that in California, Dolcini will be succeeded by Oscar Gonzales Jr., who has been serving as Vilsack’s deputy chief of staff.

Dolcini joined the Obama administration from the private sector, but he also served as California FSA executive director for two years during the Clinton administration. He served as FSA acting administrator for three months in 2011.

From 2005 until he joined the Obama administration, Dolcini managed all government relations in the western United States for Accenture LLP. Before then, he served as the policy director for California Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante, a Democrat. His responsibilities for Bustamante included agriculture, rural development, and business issues.

From October 2003 to October 2004, Dolcini was vice president of the California constituent relations office for ACS State and Local Solutions.

He has served in staff positions for California members of the House of Representatives.

Dolcini is a fifth-generation Californian with deep roots in Yolo County. He has also served as chairman of the Yolo Basin Foundation and as the chairman of the Sutter Davis Hospital Foundation Board.

He received a bachelor of arts degree from San Francisco State University in 1985 and a law degree from Golden Gate University in 1993.

Gonzales served as deputy assistant secretary for administration at USDA before going to work as Vilsack’s deputy chief of staff.

He joined USDA in June 2009 as the deputy director of intergovernmental relations and later became acting deputy assistant secretary for congressional relations.

Gonzales served as deputy appointment secretary to former California Gov. Gray Davis, and also worked as a field representative to former California Assembly Speaker Antonio Villaraigosa.

His organizing work began in the aftermath of the Los Angeles riots in 1992 and at the time Clinton launched the AmeriCorps program. During this time, he worked for the Constitutional Rights Foundation and the Corporation for National Service as a program and training officer.

Before joining the Obama administration, Gonzales served as associate director of the United Farm Workers Foundation, where he helped advance the rights of farm workers and the need for immigration reform. He also served as the California director for the National Hispanic Environmental Council, where he worked on federal legislation to protect California’s wilderness and wild rivers systems.

Gonzales was born and raised in East Los Angeles, Calif. He earned an associate of arts degree from East Los Angeles College and went on to earn a bachelor of arts in political science at the University of California, San Diego.

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Portland Daily Grain Report http://www.capitalpress.com/Markets/20140826/portland-daily-grain-report http://www.capitalpress.com/Markets/20140826/portland-daily-grain-report#Comments Tue, 26 Aug 2014 09:38:41 -0400 http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2014140829912 Portland, Ore., Tuesday, Aug. 26, USDA Market News

Bids for grains delivered to Portland, Oregon during August by unit trains and barges, in dollars per bushel, except oats, corn and barley, in dollars per cwt. Bids for soft white wheat are for delivery periods as specified. Hard red winter wheat and dark northern spring wheat bids are for full August delivery. Bids for corn are for 30 day delivery.

In early trading September wheat futures trended 7.25 to 11.00 cents per bushel lower than Monday’s closes.

Bids for US 1 Soft White Wheat for August delivery in unit trains or barges were not fully established in early trading but bids were indicated as steady to three cents per bushel lower compared to Monday’s noon bids for the same delivery period. The lower Chicago September wheat futures pressured cash bids however a higher basis bid by several exporters offered some support.

Bids for 11.5 percent protein US 1 Hard Red Winter Wheat for August delivery were not fully established in early trading, but were indicated as 7.25 cents per bushel lower than Monday’s noon bids for the same delivery period. Cash bids were pressured by the lower Kansas City September wheat futures.

Bids for 14 percent protein non-guaranteed US 1 Dark Northern Spring Wheat for August delivery were not fully established in early trading but were indicated as 11.00 cents per bushel lower compared to Monday’s noon bids. The lower Minneapolis September wheat futures pressured cash bids.

Bids for US 2 Yellow Corn delivered to Portland and the Yakima Valley were not available.

All wheat bids in dollars per bushel

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

Aug NC mostly 6.8975, ranging 6.8450-7.0000

Sep 6.8450-7.0300

Oct 6.8325-7.0600

Nov 6.8825-7.0900

Dec 6.8825-7.1200

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

Aug NC mostly 8.8325, ranging 8.3450-9.8450

Not fully established.

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

better)

Ordinary protein 6.9350-7.0850

10 pct protein 6.9350-7.0850

11 pct protein 7.0150-7.1650

11.5 pct protein

Aug NC 7.0550-7.2050

12 pct protein 7.0550-7.2050

13 pct protein 7.0550-7.2050

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 7.4100-7.6600

14 pct protein

Aug NC 7.6600-8.0600

15 pct protein 7.7800-8.2600

16 pct protein 7.9000-8.4600

US 2 Yellow Corn in dollars per CWT

Domestic-single rail cars

Delivered full coast-BN NA

Delivered to Portland NA

Rail and Truck del to Willamette Vly NA

Rail del to Yakima Valley NA

Truck del to Yakima Valley NA

US 2 Heavy White Oats in dollars per CWT 14.5000

Not well tested.

Exporter Bids Portland Rail/Barge Jul 2014

Averages in Dollars per bushel

US 1 Soft White by Unit Trains and Barges 6.6900

US 1 Hard Red Winter (Ordinary protein) 7.3100

US 1 Hard Red Winter (11.5% protein) 7.4200

US 1 Dark Northern Spring (14% protein) 8.1800

Source: USDA Market News Service, Portland, OR

Robert Eaton 503-326-2237 Portland.LPGMNams.usda.gov

24 Hour Market Report 503-326-2022

www.ams.usda.gov/mnreports/jo—gr110.txt

www.ams.usda.gov/lpsmarketnewspage

8:47 P re

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Daily California Egg Report http://www.capitalpress.com/Markets/20140826/daily-california-egg-report http://www.capitalpress.com/Markets/20140826/daily-california-egg-report#Comments Tue, 26 Aug 2014 09:36:09 -0400 http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2014140829913 Tuesday Aug 26, USDA Market News

Prices are steady. Trade sentiment is steady to higher. Offerings are moderate with demand light to mostly moderate. Supplies are moderate.

Market activity is slow to moderate. Monday’s shell egg inventories declined 1.7% in the Southwest and increased 19.1% in the Northwest. 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.

RANGE

JUMBO 182

EXTRA LARGE 164

LARGE 152

MEDIUM 123

Source: USDA AMS Livestock, Poultry & Grain Market News

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Law on genetically modified crops ruled invalid http://www.capitalpress.com/AP_Nation_World/20140826/law-on-genetically-modified-crops-ruled-invalid http://www.capitalpress.com/AP_Nation_World/20140826/law-on-genetically-modified-crops-ruled-invalid#Comments Tue, 26 Aug 2014 08:34:51 -0400 JENNIFER SINCO KELLEHER http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2014140829920 HONOLULU (AP) — A Kauai County law requiring companies to disclose their use of pesticides and genetically modified crops is invalid, a federal judge ruled Monday.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Barry Kurren ruled in favor of four seed companies seeking to stop Kauai’s new law from going into effect in October.

Syngenta Seeds, DuPont Pioneer, Agrigenetics Inc., doing business as Dow AgroSciences, and BASF Plant Sciences sued for a permanent injunction, arguing the ordinance unfairly targets their industry.

Kurren’s ruling agrees that the ordinance is pre-empted by state law. The judge’s ruling stops the county from enforcing the ordinance.

“I’m disappointed but that’s the judge’s option,” said Paul Achitoff, an Earthjustice attorney who helped defend the law on behalf of intervening community groups. “I think the consequences for the people of Kauai, in particular, and throughout the state are very unfortunate.”

He said he’ll discuss options to appeal with his clients.

Margery Bronster, an attorney representing two of the companies, said the judge’s ruling makes it clear that counties don’t have the authority to regulate agriculture as called for in the ordinance.

“I’m very pleased because this is what we told the county when they were discussing it initially,” she said. “I think they wasted time, effort and money trying to fight for a law they had no right to pass in the first place.”

The Kauai County Council passed the ordinance over the veto of Mayor Bernard Carvalho, who called the measure flawed.

“We’re very thankful that the court has ruled in a timely manner and we’re happy to have a verified, legal analysis” of Ordinance 960, Carvalho told reporters in Honolulu Monday. He said Kauai County’s special counsel would be reviewing the ruling.

Carvalho said he has always agreed with the law’s intent, but had issues with its legality.

Councilman Gary Hooser, who co-authored the bill, said he hopes the county will appeal.

“These companies have fought compliance for over a year now. They have much more money than the county ... they’re billion-dollar corporations determined not to follow the rules of Kauai County,” he said. “This is a long way from over.”

The law also required companies using large amounts of restricted-use pesticides to establish buffer zones around sensitive areas, including schools and hospitals. The size of the buffer zone would vary depending on the property. For example, there would be 500 feet between a school and crops.

“People are concerned about their health, they’re concerned about the environment,” Hooser said. “This is just disclosure and buffer zones, nothing more. If they were good neighbors they would just comply.”

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Guilty plea in California meat-recall case http://www.capitalpress.com/California/20140826/guilty-plea-in-california-meat-recall-case http://www.capitalpress.com/California/20140826/guilty-plea-in-california-meat-recall-case#Comments Tue, 26 Aug 2014 08:29:45 -0400 http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2014140829921 SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The co-owner of a Northern California slaughterhouse accused of processing cows with cancer while U.S. livestock inspectors took lunch breaks has pleaded guilty to a federal criminal charge.

Robert Singleton, who co-owns the Petaluma-based Rancho Feeding Corp., entered his plea Friday in a San Francisco courtroom to aiding and abetting in the distribution of adulterated, misbranded and uninspected meat, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Singleton, 77, is free on $50,000 bail. He has signed an agreement requiring him to work with prosecutors who have filed charges against the company’s other owner, Jesse Amaral Jr., and two employees, Eugene Corda and Felix Cabrera.

Those three have pleaded not guilty.

But by admitting guilt, Singleton “accepts full responsibility for his conduct,” his attorney Pamela Davis said. “He acknowledges the harm he’s caused to the community.”

Prosecutors alleged that the owners schemed with employees to slaughter about 79 cows with skin cancer of the eye rather than stopping plant operations while inspectors took lunch breaks. Then, the government alleges, plant workers swapped the heads of diseased cattle with heads of healthy cows to hide them from inspectors.

Operations were halted in February after a series of recalls, including one for 8.7 million pounds of beef. The meat was sold at Walmart and other national chains and used in products, including Hot Pockets.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has said Rancho processed diseased and unhealthy animals and circumvented federal inspection rules.

There have been no reports of illnesses linked to the products, which were processed from Jan. 1, 2013, through Jan. 7, 2014, and shipped to distribution centers and retail stores in California, Florida, Illinois and Texas.

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Winter wheat harvest wrapping up in South Dakota http://www.capitalpress.com/AP_Nation_World/20140826/winter-wheat-harvest-wrapping-up-in-south-dakota http://www.capitalpress.com/AP_Nation_World/20140826/winter-wheat-harvest-wrapping-up-in-south-dakota#Comments Tue, 26 Aug 2014 08:26:36 -0400 http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2014140829922 SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — The winter wheat harvest in South Dakota is nearly wrapped up.

The weekly crop report from the federal Agriculture Department says 94 percent of the winter wheat is in the bin. That’s ahead of 93 percent at the same time last year but behind the five-year average of 98 percent.

The report says rain and humidity last week slowed the small grain harvest, but above-average temperatures in the eastern part of the state aided the development of row crops.

Pasture and range conditions in South Dakota are rated 67 percent good to excellent.

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Week of rain halts small grains harvest in North Dakota http://www.capitalpress.com/AP_Nation_World/20140826/week-of-rain-halts-small-grains-harvest-in-north-dakota http://www.capitalpress.com/AP_Nation_World/20140826/week-of-rain-halts-small-grains-harvest-in-north-dakota#Comments Tue, 26 Aug 2014 08:24:41 -0400 http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2014140829924 FARGO, N.D. (AP) — A week of heavy rainfall brought North Dakota’s small grains harvest to a halt.

The Agriculture Department says in its latest weekly crop report that all areas of the state got at least an inch of moisture in the past week, with some areas in the southwest getting nearly half a foot.

The report says the rain was needed by row crops but that flooding damaged hay, fences and some crops.

Only 10 percent of the state’s staple spring wheat crop has been harvested, behind 25 percent last year at the same time and the five-year average of 43 percent. Eighty percent of the crop is rated in good to excellent condition.

Pasture and range conditions are rated 83 percent good to excellent.

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Regional Livestock Auction Report http://www.capitalpress.com/Markets/20140825/regional-livestock-auction-report http://www.capitalpress.com/Markets/20140825/regional-livestock-auction-report#Comments Mon, 25 Aug 2014 14:58:51 -0400 http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2014140829926 Cattle prices in dollars per hundredweight (cwt.) except some replacement animals per pair or head as indicated.

California

SHASTA

(Shasta Livestock Auction)

Cottonwood, Calif.

Aug. 22

Current week Last week

980 1,245

Compared to Aug. 15: Slaughter cows and Bulls steady. Steers under 500 lbs. steady. Over 550 lbs steady to $7 lower. Heifers $7-15 lower. Off lots and singles $20-40 lower than top offerings.

Slaughter cows: Breakers $101-109, $110-126 high dress; Boneing $91-100; Cutters NA. Bulls 1 and 2: $100-119; $120-138 high dress.

Feeder steers: 400-450 lbs. $277-282.50; 450-500 lbs. $252-270; 500-550 lbs. $230-261; 550-600 lbs. $220-248; 600-650 lbs. $210-240.50; 650-700 lbs. $217-229.00; 700-750 lbs. $204-230; 750-800 lbs. NA; 800-900 lbs. $200-216

Feeder heifers: 300-400 lbs. $242-262.50; 400-450 lbs. $200-231; 450-500 lbs. $200-241; 500-550 lbs. NA; 550-600 lbs. $195-220; 600-650 lbs. $189-200; 650-700 lbs. $185-197.50; 700-750 lbs. $194.50; 750-800 lbs. $186-198; 800-900 lbs. $180-186

Calvy cows: Spring Bred Broken Mouth cows $1,300-1,460

Pairs: Too few for market test.

Washington

TOPPENISH

(Toppenish Livestock Auction)

(USDA Market News)

Moses Lake, Wash.

Aug. 22

This Week: Last Week: Last Year:

1,530 2,800 1,650

Compared to last Thursday at same sale: Stocker and feeder cattle $9-10 lower. Trade moderate to active with moderate demand. Slaughter cows $1-2 lower. Slaughter bulls $11-12 lower. Trade moderate to active with moderate demand. Slaughter cows 70 percent, Slaughter bulls 10 percent, and feeders 20 percent of the supply. The feeder supply included 76 percent steers and 24 percent heifers. Near 71 percent of the run weighed over 600 lbs.

Feeder Steers: Medium and Large 1-2: 400-500 lbs. $270; 400-500 lbs. $249, Thin Fleshed; 500-600 lbs. $240-250; 500-600 lbs. $256, Thin Fleshed; 600-700 lbs. $224-233; 700-800 lbs. $210-221; 700-800 lbs. $207, Full. Large 2-3: 900-1000 lbs. $168; Holstein Steers: Large 2-3: 600-700 lbs. $170; 800-900 lbs $162; 900-1000 lbs $145. Feeder Heifers: Medium and Large 1-2: 500-600 lbs $224-231; 700-800 lbs. $199.50-200; Large 1-2: 1000-1100 lbs. $158; Small and Medium 1-2: 500-600 lbs. $183, Full; 600-700 lbs $200.50

Slaughter Cows:

Pct. Lean Weight Avg Dressing High Dressing Low Dressing

Boning 80-85 1400-1900 113.00-118.00 —— 105.00-113.00

Lean 85-90 1000-1800 107.00-117.00 119.50 98.00-107.00

Lean 90 900-1400 90.00-98.00 —— 75.00-90.00

Slaughter Bulls: Weight Avg Dressing High Dressing Low Dressing

Yield Grade 1-2 1300-2600 $133.00-143.00 $147.00-154.00 $112.00-133.00

Oregon

MADRAS

Aug. 22

Steers - 200-300 lbs. $230-250; 300-400 lbs. na; 400-500 lbs. $232-249; 500-600 lbs. $227-238; 600-700 lbs. $211-222; 700-800 lbs. $190-208; 800-900 lbs. $151-169

Bulls - High yield $128 TOP $139.50; Mostly $119 TOP $122; Thinner $108 TOP $118

Heifers - 300-400 lbs. $200-247; 400-500 lbs. $213-250; 500-600 lbs. $214-227; 600-700 lbs. $204-220; 700-800 lbs. $190-210

Heiferettes - 1000 lbs and down $138-139; 1000 lbs and up $138-139

Butcher Cows - High yield $121.50 TOP $139; Fleshy $110 TOP $130; Medium Fleshy $87 TOP $114.50; Thin Older $84 TOP $84

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National Slaughter, Feeder and Stocker Cattle Report http://www.capitalpress.com/Markets/20140825/national-slaughter-feeder-and-stocker-cattle-report http://www.capitalpress.com/Markets/20140825/national-slaughter-feeder-and-stocker-cattle-report#Comments Mon, 25 Aug 2014 14:53:43 -0400 http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2014140829927 Cattle prices in dollars per hundredweight (cwt.) except some replacement animals per pair or head as indicated.

NATIONAL SLAUGHTER CATTLE

(Federal-State Market News)

Oklahoma City-Des Moines

Aug. 22

Compared to last week: Slaughter cattle trade was on the decline again this week with sales $2-3 lower. Dressed sales in Nebraska were $1-2 lower. Beef prices on the decline as summer’s heat is moving to the east and hampering the demand for beef.

Boxed beef prices Friday morning averaged $245.13. That is $6.83 lower than last Friday and just over $11 lower than two weeks ago. The Choice/Select spread is $10.12. Slaughter cattle on a national basis for negotiated cash trades through Friday morning totaled about 81,635 head. Last week’s total head count was 91,102 head.

Midwest Direct Markets: Live Basis: Steers and Heifers 35-80 Percent Choice, 1200-1400 lbs.: $152-153; Dressed Basis: Steers and Heifers: $240-242

South Plains Direct Markets: Live Basis: Steers and Heifers 35-65 percent Choice, 1100-1400 lbs. $152-153

Slaughter Cows and Bulls (Average Yielding Prices): Slaughter cows steady to $4 lower. Slaughter cows steady to $2 lower. USDA’s Cutter cow carcass cut-out value Friday morning was $233.95 up $0.13 from last Friday.

%Lean Weight Wyoming Oklahoma Alabama

Breakers 75-80% 1100-1600 110.00-114.00 123.00-127.00 110.00-111.00

Boners 80-85% 1000-1450 112.00-120.00 124.00-131.00 108.00-112.00

Lean 85-90% 1000-1300 109.00-112.00 117.00-126.00 100.00-105.00

Bulls 88-92% 1300-2500 130.00-145.50 144.00-152.00 128.00-133.00

NATIONAL FEEDER AND STOCKER CATTLE

(Federal-State Market News)

St. Joseph, Mo.

AUG. 22

This week Last week Last year

354,700 195,900 275,600

Compared to Aug. 15: feeder cattle and calves traded very uneven with calves ranging from steady to $5 higher to steady to $5 lower. While yearlings sold mostly steady to $5 lower, with several auctions this week catching up with last week’s declines that are on a two week schedule quoting yearlings $10-15 lower than two weeks ago.

Cattle buyers turned a little cautious this week as good gains in the Live and Feeder cattle futures on Monday turned decisively lower on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, before recovering with solid gains on Friday after a very volatile couple of weeks of trading.

Added losses on Boxed Beef values as retailers prepare for Labor Day and with continued declines in the fat cattle trade.

On Wednesday afternoon in Kansas trade developed with live sales $3 lower at $152 and a few live sales in Nebraska also at $152. On Friday afternoon in Nebraska had some live sales trading at $155 pretty much steady with last week. If we are starting to come off a top in our cattle markets sometimes it’s difficult to know or understand if we have put a top in the market or a correction. No one knew how high this market would go, but we all knew that one day it would top out.

Many would agree that this late-summer calf and yearling market could very well have put in its highs for the time being as this feeder cattle market has for some time continued to defy gravity at high altitude prices.

Needless to say, pressure was felt this week due to lower futures, boxed beef prices and lower fat cattle trade. Still, demand remains very good for feeders, this week many auctions were selling 700-800 lbs. yearling steers ranging from $220-240, with a near pot load of fancy black steers at the Callaway Livestock Center in Kingdom City, Mo., weighing 710 lbs. at $256. In Valentine, Neb., on Thursday over 400 head of 900-950 lbs. steers sold with a weighted average price of $215.76.

This Bull Market of 2014 has been a demand driven market for an overall short supply of feeder cattle. The Pro-Farmer Tour is underway with all signs pointing to a record corn and soybean crop throughout the Corn Belt. Friday’s Cattle on Feed Report was mostly neutral to a little larger than expected, but close to expectations, with Aug. 1 inventories at 98 percent, while placements came in at 93 percent and marketings at 91 percent. This week’s reported auction volume included 46 percent over 600 lbs. and 38 percent heifers.

AUCTIONS

This week Last week Last year

138,400 146,300 160,000

WASHINGTON — 2200. 80 percent over 600 lbs. 30 percent heifers. Steers: Medium and Large 1-2 600-650 lbs. (617) $232.69; 700-750 lbs. (720) 216.37. Heifers: Medium and Large 1-2 700-750 lbs. (730) $200.64.

SOUTHWEST (AZ-CA-NV) 7,000. 1 percent over 600 lbs. No heifers. Steers: Medium and Large 1-2 900 lbs. $208.06 Current FOB. Holsteins: Large 3 300 lbs. $295 Dec Del; 300 lbs. $297 Jan Del; 325 lbs. $283 Dec Del; 325 lbs. $267 Jan Del.

NORTHWEST (WA-OR-ID) 2,700. 74 percent over 600 lbs. 32 percent heifers. Steers: Medium and Large 1-2 Current Delivery FOB Price 800-850 lbs. $205-212.50 WA-ID. Current Delivery Delivered Price: 800-900 lbs. $214-224 ID. Future Delivery FOB Price: 550-600 lbs. $259 for Oct-Nov ID; 650-700 lbs. $224-226 calves WA. Holstein Steers: Large 2-3: Current Delivery FOB Price: 350 lbs. $220 WA. Heifers: Medium and Large 1-2: Current Delivery FOB Price: 800-850 lbs. $206.00-206.50 ID. Current Delivery Delivered Price: Large 1-2: 950-1000 lbs. $200.50 ID. Medium and Large 1-2: Future Delivery FOB Price: 550-600 lbs. $249 for Oct-Nov ID.

NORTHWEST DIRECT CATTLE

(USDA Market News)

Moses Lake, Wash.

August 22nd

This week Last week Last year

2,650 1,450 5,200

Compared to last week: Feeder cattle steady to $20 higher with most advances on Holstein steers as the trade disregards the lower futures market this week. Trade slow to moderate. Demand good. The feeder supply included 68 percent steers and 32 percent heifers. Near 74 percent of the supply weighed over 600 lbs. Prices are FOB weighing point with a 1-4 percent shrink or equivalent and with a $0.05-0.10 slide on calves and a $0.03-0.07 slide on yearlings. Delivered prices include freight, commissions and other expenses.

Steers: Medium and Large 1-2: Current Delivery FOB Price: 800-850 lbs. $205-212.50 WA-ID. Current Delivery Delivered Price: 800-900 lbs. $214-224 ID. Future Delivery FOB Price: 550-600 lbs. $259 for Oct-Nov ID; 650-700 lbs. $224-226 calves WA.

Holstein Steers: Large 2-3: Current Delivery FOB Price: 350 lbs. $220 WA.

Heifers: Medium and Large 1-2: Current Delivery FOB Price: 800-850 lbs. $206-206.50 ID. Current Delivery Delivered Price: Large 1-2: 950-1000 lbs. $200.50 ID. Medium and Large 1-2: Future Delivery FOB Price: 550-600 lbs. $249 for Oct-Nov ID.

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California Shell Egg Report http://www.capitalpress.com/Markets/20140825/california-shell-egg-report http://www.capitalpress.com/Markets/20140825/california-shell-egg-report#Comments Mon, 25 Aug 2014 14:39:54 -0400 http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2014140829928 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

Aug. 22

Benchmark prices are steady. Asking prices for next week are unchanged on Jumbo, $0.08 higher for Extra Large, $0.07 higher for Large and $0.02 higher for Medium and Small. Trade sentiment is steady to higher. Demand is moderate to fairly good on moderate offerings. Supplies are mostly moderate. Market activity is moderate. Small benchmark price $1.01.

CALIFORNIA:

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.

Size Range Size Range

Jumbo 182 XL 159

Large 151 Medium 123

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA:

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

Size Range Size Range

Jumbo 164-176 Extra Large 134-146

Large 122-134 Medium 101-109

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Western Grain Market Summary http://www.capitalpress.com/Markets/20140825/western-grain-market-summary http://www.capitalpress.com/Markets/20140825/western-grain-market-summary#Comments Mon, 25 Aug 2014 14:30:13 -0400 http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2014140829929 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

Aug. 21

Cash wheat bids for August delivery ended the reporting week on Thursday, Aug. 21, higher as follows compared to last week’s August bids.

September wheat futures ended the reporting week on Thursday, Aug. 21, higher as follows compared to last Thursday’s closes: Chicago $0.09 higher at $5.46, Kansas City $0.14 higher at $6.22 and Minneapolis wheat futures trended $0.10 higher at $6.16. Chicago September corn futures trended 1/4 of a cent higher at $3.62 while September soybean futures closed $0.60 lower at $10.38.

Bids for US 1 Soft White Wheat delivered to Portland in unit trains or barges during August were $0.09 to $0.10 per bushel higher, from $6.86 to $7.00, mostly $6.94. Bids for last Thursday for August delivery were $6.77-6.90, mostly $6.83. White club wheat premiums for this week were $1.50 to $1.75, mostly $1.58 and last week were $0.75 to $1, mostly $0.94 per bushel over soft white wheat bids.

One year ago bids for US 1 Soft White Wheat delivered by unit trains and barges to Portland for August delivery were $7.24-7.39, mostly $7.34 and white club wheat was $7.35-7.44, mostly $7.39.

Nearby bids for US 1 Soft White wheat began the reporting week on Friday at mostly $6.88, dropped to mostly $6.81 on Monday, before rising to mostly $6.86 on Tuesday and Wednesday. Thursday, bids jumped to the weekly high of mostly $6.94. Some exporters were not issuing bids for nearby delivery. Forward month bids for soft white wheat were as follows: September $6.86-7.03, October $6.91-7.06, November $6.91-7.09 and December $6.96-7.12.

One year ago, forward month bids for soft white wheat were as follows: September $7.29-7.44, October and November $7.29-7.44, and December $7.29-7.45. Bids for 11.5 percent protein US 1 Hard Red Winter Wheat for August delivery rose by $0.14 cents per bushel compared to last week’s bids. Higher Kansas City

September wheat futures supported bids. On Thursday, bids were as follows: August$7.12-7.27, mostly $7.21; September $7.17-7.37; October, November and December $7.42-7.52. Bids for non-guaranteed 14.0 percent protein US 1 Dark Northern Spring Wheat for August Portland delivery trended $0.05 to $0.20 cents per bushel higher than last week’s bids. Cash bids were supported by the higher Minneapolis September spring wheat futures for the week. On Thursday, bids for non-guaranteed 14 percent protein were as follows: August $7.56-7.96, mostly $7.7975; September 7.6575-7.9575; October $7.93-8.28; November $8.03-8.28 and December $7.98-8.28.

COARSE FEEDING GRAINS:

Bids for US 2 Yellow Corn delivered to Portland in single rail cars were not available. Bids for US 2 Yellow Corn truck delivered to the inland feeding areas of Yakima, Washington, and Hermiston, Oregon were also not available. Bids for US 2 Heavy White Oats for August delivery were steady at $290. Outstanding U.S. white wheat export sales as of Aug. 14, 2014 for the marketing year beginning June 1, 2014 and ending May 31, 2015, in 1000 MT, totaled 1023.0 thousand MT compared to 1095.8 thousand MT one week ago, and 1034.5 thousand MT one year ago.

Outstanding white wheat export sales for the 2014-2015 marketing year were to the following countries in 1000 MT: South Korea 189.9, Japan 163.6, Philippines 113.6, Sri Lanka 45.0, Indonesia 32.0, Thailand 30.0, Taiwan 25.7, Nigeria 24.0, China 20.0, Singapore 15.0, Guatemala 12.4, El Salvador 12.1, Malaysia 5.0, Burma 1.5, Canada 1.3, Hong Kong 1.1, Vietnam 0.3 and total unknown 330.5.

Accumulated white wheat export shipments as of Aug. 14, 2014, in 1000 MT for the 2014-2015 marketing year, totaled 739.4 compared to 642.4 one year ago.

Outstanding U.S. barley export sales as of August 14, 2014 for the marketing year beginning June 1, 2014 and ending May 31, 2015, in 1000 MT, totaled 19.8 compared to 20.0 last week and 45.2 one year ago.

Outstanding barley export sales for the 2014-2015 marketing year in 1000 MT were to the following countries in 1000 MT: Japan 14.4, Taiwan 4.3, South Korea 0.7 and Philippines 0.4. Accumulated barley export shipments as of August 14, 2014 were 17.6 thousand MT compared to 7.4 one year ago.

PACIFIC NORTHWEST EXPORT NEWS: There were 15 grain vessels in Columbia River ports on Thursday, Aug. 21, with three docked compared to 17 last Thursday with five docked. There were no new confirmed export sales to the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) this week.

CALIFORNIA GRAINS

(USDA Market News)

Portland

Aug. 21

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)

Truck Petaluma-Santa Rosa $11.50 Bid $10

Stockton-Modesto-Oakdale-Turlock $11.50 Bid $10

Fresno-Tulare-Corcoran-Coalinga NA

Colusa County NA

Glenn County NA

Rail Any origin

Stockton-Modesto-Oakdale-Turlock NA

Tulare NA

CORN - U.S. No. 2 Yellow

FOB Turlock $9.00

Truck Petaluma-Santa Rosa NA

Stockton-Modesto-Oakdale-Turlock $9.31

Los Angeles-Chino Valley NA

Fresno-Tulare-Corcoran-Coalinga NA

Rail Single Car Units via BNSF

Los Angeles-Chino Valley $10.40

SORGHUM - U.S. No. 2 Yellow

Rail Los Angeles-Chino Valley

via BNSF Single $10.17

Truck Modesto-Oakdale-Turlock NA

OATS - U.S. No. 1 White (36 lbs. per bushel)

Truck Los Angeles-Chino Valley $16.15

OATS - U.S. No. 2 White

Truck Petaluma NA

Stockton-Modesto-Turlock NA

WHEAT - U.S. No. 2 or better - Hard Red Winter (Domestic Values for Flour Milling)

Truck (CA Origin)

Los Angeles 12 percent Protein $14.25

Los Angeles 13 percent Protein $14.45

Los Angeles 14 percent Protein $14.65

Truck/Rail (Out-Of-State Origin)

Los Angeles 12 percent Protein $13.37

Los Angeles 13 percent Protein NA

Los Angeles 14 percent Protein NA

WHEAT - U.S. Durum Wheat

FOB Imperial County NA

WHEAT - Any Class for Feed

FOB Tulare NA

Truck Petaluma-Santa Rosa NA

Stockton-Modesto-Oakdale-Turlock NA

Fresno-Tulare-Kings NA

Merced County NA

Colusa County NA

Kern County NA

Truck/Rail

Los Angeles-Chino Valley $13.10-14.10

Prices paid to California farmers, seven-day reporting period ending Aug. 14:

WHEAT, US No 2 or better, Hard Red Winter Wheat 13% Protein

Kings/Tulare/Fresno $11.90

WHEAT, US No 2 or better, Hard White Wheat 13% Protein

Kings/Tulare/Fresno $11.90

WHEAT, US No 1, Hard Amber Durum for Flour Milling

No confirmed sales.

BARLEY, US No 2, 48 lbs per bushel

No confirmed sales.

YELLOW CORN, US No 2 or better

No confirmed sales.

SORGHUM, US No 2 or better

No confirmed sales.

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Western Hay Market Report http://www.capitalpress.com/Markets/20140825/western-hay-market-report http://www.capitalpress.com/Markets/20140825/western-hay-market-report#Comments Mon, 25 Aug 2014 14:15:55 -0400 http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2014140829931 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.

Aug. 22

This week FOB Last week Last year

16,292 16,265 7,047

Compared to last week: Alfalfa for domestic and export markets steady to higher. Trade was moderate. Demand was moderate for domestic supplies but light for export buyers. All prices are dollars per ton and FOB the farm or ranch unless otherwise stated. Delivered prices include freight, commissions and other expenses. Washington State Hay Association is handling all requests for any parties wishing to donate hay or any other forage to areas affected by the recent fires in the state.

Tons Price

Alfalfa Large Square

Premium 1,100 $230

2,400 $235-245

Good/Prem. 3,800 $220-225

Good 2,570 $220

Alfalfa Mid Square

Fair 5,200 $230

Orchard Grass Small Square

Premium 225 $260-275

Timothy Grass Large Square

Premium 497 $250

Good/Prem. 480 $210-215

Timothy Grass Small Square

Good/Prem. 145 $220

OREGON AREA HAY

(USDA Market News)

Portland, Ore.

August 22nd

This week FOB Last week Last year

5,518 6,489 10,509

Compared to Aug. 15: Hay prices were generally steady compared to last Friday. There was buyer interest but the volume of trading was slower than last week. Rain and Thunderstorms in most locations in the past few weeks has caused much rain damage to hay that wasn’t already stored.

Tons Price

Crook, Deschutes, Jefferson, Wasco Counties:

Alfalfa Large Square

Good 30 $200

Alfalfa Small Square

Fair 50 $150

Orchard Grass Large Square

Good/Prem. 20 $225

Orchard Grass Small Square

Premium 100 $245-250

Meadow Grass Small Square

Premium 25 $230

Grass Mix-Five Way Small Square

Premium 20 $275-295

Eastern Oregon:

Alfalfa Large Square

Prem./Supr. 60 $240

Alfalfa/Orchard Mix Small Square

Premium 20 $185

Harney County:

Alfalfa Large Square

Premium 70 $220

Good/Prem. 450 $200

Good 2,000 $225

Klamath Basin:

Alfalfa Mid Square

Premium 300 $255

Alfalfa Small Square

Good/Prem. 112 $240

Lake County:

Alfalfa Large Square

Supreme 74 $275

Good/Prem. 1,100 $240

Good 66 $210

75 $200

300 $200

Fair 32 $190

Alfalfa Small Square

Supreme 60 $280-295

Premium 50 $250

Good/Prem. 100 $220

Utility 50 $150

Mixed Grass Small Square

Premium 125 $245

Oat Large Square

Good 29 $150

Triticale Large Square

Good/Prem. 200 $160

IDAHO HAY

(USDA Market News)

Moses Lake, Wash.

August 22nd

This week FOB Last week Last year

15,651 3,325 7,180

Compared to last week: The alfalfa market trended generally higher. Demand was light for non-rained-on supplies. Trade is moderate with limited buyers. Many producers are busy in the field.

Tons Price

Alfalfa Large Square

Supreme 667 $280

Premium 3,000 $205-240

667 $265

Good 600 $170

667 $250

Fair/Good 2,600 $180

Fair 550 $185

400 $140

Timothy Grass Large Square

Good/Prem. 6,500 $140

CALIFORNIA HAY

(USDA Market News)

Moses Lake, Wash.

August 22nd

This week FOB Last week Last year

13,895 11,325 20,822

Compared to Aug. 15: Premium and Supreme hay is mostly steady. Demand very light to light on low test hay and good to very good on milk test hay. According to the U.S. crop report released on Tuesday this week, California has 930,000 acres harvested with yields at 7.00 tons for 2014. This is up 30,000 acres and the yield is up .20 tons from last year.

REGION 1: North Inter-Mountain

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

Tons Price

Alfalfa

Premium 3504 $310-315

425 $270-280

Orchard Grass

Premium 100 $320

REGION 2: Sacramento Valley

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

Tons Price

Alfalfa

Premium 150 $310

Good/Prem. 675 $300

Good 350 $220

30 $270-285

REGION 3: Northern San Joaquin Valley

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

Tons Price

Alfalfa

Fair 600 $200-210

Utility 2,375 $180-185

Oat

Fair 2,000 $185

REGION 4: Central San Joaquin Valley

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

No New Sales Confirmed.

REGION 5: Southern California

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

Tons Price

Alfalfa

Premium 1,420 $280-290

Good/Prem. 274 $250-265

Good 260 $240

REGION 6: Southeast California

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

Tons Price

Alfalfa

Good 100 $250-260

Fair 1,262 $190-210

Utility 150 $165

Bermuda Grass

Good 220 $175-185

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National Wool and Sheep Report http://www.capitalpress.com/Markets/20140825/national-wool-and-sheep-report http://www.capitalpress.com/Markets/20140825/national-wool-and-sheep-report#Comments Mon, 25 Aug 2014 13:52:39 -0400 http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2014140829932 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.

Aug. 15

Domestic wool trading on a clean basis was at a standstill this week. There were no confirmed trades this week. Demand good and trade activity moderate for this time of year. Domestic clean wool and confirmed trades are reported on a weighted average basis. Prices reflect trades FOB warehouse in original bag or square pack, bellies out, some graded, and 76 mm or longer.

Domestic wool tags

No. 1 $.60-.70

No. 2 $.50-.60

No. 3 $.40-.50

NATIONAL SHEEP SUMMARY

(USDA Market News)

San Angelo, Texas

Aug. 22

Compared to last week slaughter lambs were steady to as much as $20 higher, mostly $10-20 higher. Slaughter ewes were steady to $10 higher. Feeder lambs were steady to $15 higher. At San Angelo, Texas, 4,705 head sold in a one-day sale. Equity Electronic Auction sold 340 slaughter lambs in North Dakota. In direct trading slaughter ewes not tested and no comparison on feeder lambs. 6,400 head of negotiated sales of slaughter lambs under 170 lbs. were $2-3 higher and 5,900 head of formula sales of carcasses under 65 lbs. were not well tested; 65-85 lbs. were $10-15 higher and over 85 lbs. were not well tested. 5,220 lamb carcasses sold with 45 lbs. and down $4.25 higher; 45-55 lbs. $3.32 lower; 55-75 lbs. $0.05-1.60 higher and 75 lbs. and up $2.89-3.60 higher.

SLAUGHTER LAMBS: Choice and Prime 2-3 90-160 lbs.:

San Angelo: shorn and wooled 105-145 lbs. $150-164.

Virginia: wooled 90-110 lbs. $153-172.50; 110-130 lbs. 155-160; 130-160 lbs. 149-158.

Pennsylvania: shorn and wooled 110-130 lbs. $184-186.

Ft. Collins, Colo.: wooled 130-150 lbs. $158-165.

Billings, Mont.: no test.

Kalona, Iowa: no test.

South Dakota: shorn and wooled 120-160 lbs. $156.50-159.25; 166 lbs. $155.

Missouri: 110-140 lbs. $143-155.

Equity Elec: wooled 140 lbs. $164.50.

Slaughter Lambs: Choice and Prime 1:

San Angelo: 40-60 lbs. $192-206; 60-70 lbs. $180-195; 70-80 lbs. $178-188; 80-90 lbs. $170-184; 90-105 lbs. $168-176.50.

Pennsylvania: 50-70 lbs. $216-246; 70-80 lbs. $190-212; 80-100 lbs. $178-208.

Kalona, Iowa: no test.

Ft. Collins: 80-90 lbs. $187-195.

Missouri: 40-70 lbs. $162-175; 70-105 lbs. $136-157.50.

Virginia: 30-60 lbs. $150-200; 60-90 lbs. $141-185.

South Dakota: no test.

Billings: no test.

Direct Trading: (lambs fob with 3-4 percent shrink or equivalent)

6,400: Slaughter Lambs shorn and wooled 105-165 lbs. $137-162.50 (wtd avg $155.46).

Texas: 700: Feeder Lambs 90 lbs. $187.50.

Idaho: 3,500: Feeder Lambs 110-120 lbs. $165-170 for Aug-Sep del.

Nevada: 5,000: Feeder Lambs 90 lbs. $190 for Sept del.

Wyoming: 1,500: Feeder Lambs 100-110 lbs. $180.25 for Sept del.

Colorado: 8,000: Feeder Lambs 105-115 lbs. $171 for Sept del.

Slaughter Ewes:

San Angelo: Good 2-3 (fleshy) 62.00-70.00; Utility and Good 1-3 (medium flesh) $66-76, high yielding $78-86. Utility 1-2 (thin) $54-66; Cull and Utility 1-2 (very thin) $46-52; Cull 1 (extremely thin) $30-35.

Pennsylvania: Good 2-3 (fleshy) $80-117; Utility 1-2 (thin) $68-88; Cull 1 $40-50.

Ft. Collins: Good 3-5 (very fleshy) $55-59; Good 2-3 (fleshy) $70-74; Utility 1-2 (thin) $50-56 Cull 1 (extremely thin) $37.

Billings: Good 3-4 (very fleshy) no test; Good 2-3 (fleshy) no test; Utility and Good 1-3 (medium flesh) no test; Utility 1-2 (thin) no test; Cull 1 no test.

South Dakota: Good 3-4 (very fleshy) $51.50-52; Good 2-3 (fleshy) $53-58; Utility and Good 1-3 (medium flesh) $47-50; Utility 1-2 (thin) $46-51; Cull 1 (extremely thin) $33-36.

Missouri: Utility and Good 1-3 $50-80; Cull 1 $50.

Virginia: Good 2-4 70.00-90.00; Utility 1-2 $69-77.50.

Kalona: Good 2-3 no test; Utility 1-2 no test; Cull and Utility 1-2 no test.

Feeder Lambs: Medium and Large 1-2:

San Angelo: 50-70 lbs. $190-206; 70-80 lbs. $185-194; 80-90 lbs. $180-190; 90-110 lbs. $176-185; 124 lbs. $176.

Virginia: no test.

Ft. Collins: 57 lbs. $185; 70-80 lbs. $192.50-210; 80-90 lbs. $187.50-205; 90-100 lbs. $180-197; 100-110 lbs. $175-200; 110-120 lbs. $159-180; 120 lbs. $158; 133 lbs. $160.

Billings: no test.

Kalona: no test.

South Dakota: 43 lbs. $235; 50-60 lbs. $224-234; 60-70 lbs. $226-245; 70-80 lbs. $214-227; 80-90 lbs. $210-225; 90-100 lbs. $192.50-213; 100-110 lbs. $175-204; 110-120 lbs. $164.50-200; 132 lbs. $172.

Missouri: 30-40 lbs. $150.50-157.50.

Replacement Ewes: Medium and Large 1-2:

San Angelo: hair ewe lambs 60-80 lbs. $190-198 cwt; yearling hair ewes $140-174 per head; solid mouth hair ewes $116-166 per head.

Ft. Collins: no test.

Billings: no test.

South Dakota: young open 122 lbs. $105 cwt.

Kalona: no test.

Missouri: wooled 95-175 lbs. $60-140 cwt; hair 60-115 lbs. $75-90 cwt.

Virginia: no test.

National Weekly Lamb Carcass — Choice and Prime 1-4:

Weight Head Wt Avg

45 lbs. down 222 $425.73

45-55 lbs. 232 $375.18

55-65 lbs. 1107 $335.91

65-75 lbs. 1930 $321.89

75-85 lbs. 1300 $308.13

85 lbs. up 429 $293.73

Sheep and lamb slaughter under federal inspection for the week to date totaled 38,000 compared with 38,000 last week and 43,000 last year.

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Seed company sued by migrant workers in Michigan http://www.capitalpress.com/AP_Nation_World/20140825/seed-company-sued-by-migrant-workers-in-michigan http://www.capitalpress.com/AP_Nation_World/20140825/seed-company-sued-by-migrant-workers-in-michigan#Comments Mon, 25 Aug 2014 10:19:02 -0400 http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2014140829937 CASSOPOLIS, Mich. (AP) — A major seed company is being sued by 32 migrant farm workers and seven of their children over the workers’ claims that they were underpaid and experienced unsafe conditions and poor housing while removing tassels from corn in southwestern Michigan.

The workers are mostly from Texas and were hired in 2012 to work in Cass County. Detasseling is hot, labor-intensive work that occurs while the corn still is in the ground.

The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Grand Rapids, accuses Johnston, Iowa-based DuPont Pioneer and two recruiters of violating federal wage and migrant labor laws. The allegations include poor housing, unsafe transportation to the fields and inadequate water.

The suit said that the defendants housed the workers and their families “in mobile trailers and a renovated farm building, which failed to comply with state and federal health and safety requirements.”

It said the defendants also violated their rights by “providing false and misleading information at the time of recruitment regarding the terms and conditions of employment; failing to provide potable water, toilets and hand-washing facilities for plaintiffs while they worked in the fields; and failing to pay plaintiffs for all the hours of work performed.”

DuPont Pioneer was formerly called Pioneer Hi-Bred and is part of Wilmington, Delaware-based DuPont Co.

The seed company said the claims were untrue.

It said it “denies that the housing facilities failed to comply with state and federal health and safety requirements, given that the facilities were inspected and approved by the Michigan Department of Agriculture.”

The company also denied that it “provided false and misleading information to plaintiffs concerning the terms, conditions or existence of agricultural employment when recruiting and offering plaintiffs employment.”

On the availability of drinking water on the job, the company denied the claim but acknowledged “that on some occasions cups were not immediately available.”

A court filing last week said all parties “remain open” to a settlement. Attorneys for both sides said they “believe that all discovery proceedings can be completed by June 30, 2015.”

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Company recalls pesto pasta in small tubs http://www.capitalpress.com/Washington/20140825/company-recalls-pesto-pasta-in-small-tubs http://www.capitalpress.com/Washington/20140825/company-recalls-pesto-pasta-in-small-tubs#Comments Mon, 25 Aug 2014 10:16:08 -0400 http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2014140829938 KIRKLAND, Wash. (AP) — A Kirkland, Washington, company is voluntarily recalling about 20 containers of “basil pasta pesto” packed in 8 ounce plastic tubs because it could be contaminated with listeria.

Tjs Place says the pasta was sold between Aug. 18 and Aug. 21 in convenience stores, pharmacies, cafes and espresso stands in King and Snohomish counties in Washington state.

Listeria can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly adults and people with weakened immune systems.

The company says it is not aware of any reported illnesses from the pasta. The problem was discovered by the Washington State Department of Agriculture.

Tjs Place has suspended production and distribution of the product while agriculture officials and the company investigate the source of the problem.

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Portland Daily Grain Report http://www.capitalpress.com/Markets/20140825/portland-daily-grain-report http://www.capitalpress.com/Markets/20140825/portland-daily-grain-report#Comments Mon, 25 Aug 2014 09:46:06 -0400 http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2014140829940 Portland, Ore., Monday, Aug. 25, USDA Market News

Bids for grains delivered to Portland, Oregon during August by unit trains and barges, in dollars per bushel, except oats, corn and barley, in dollars per cwt. Bids for soft white wheat are for delivery periods as specified. Hard red winter wheat and dark northern spring wheat bids are for full August delivery. Bids for corn are for 30 day delivery.

In early trading September wheat futures trended 7.25 to 8.75 cents per bushel lower than Friday’s closes.

Bids for US 1 Soft White Wheat for August delivery in unit trains or barges were not fully established in early trading but bids were indicated as two to 2.25 cents per bushel lower compared to Friday’s noon bids for the same delivery period. The lower Chicago September wheat futures pressured cash bids however a higher basis bid by several exporters provided some support.

Bids for 11.5 percent protein US 1 Hard Red Winter Wheat for August delivery were not fully established in early trading, but were indicated as 8.75 cents per bushel lower than Friday’s noon bids for the same delivery period. Cash bids were pressured by the lower Kansas City September wheat futures.

Bids for 14 percent protein non-guaranteed US 1 Dark Northern Spring Wheat for August delivery were not fully established in early trading but were indicated as mixed from 8.25 cents per bushel lower to 1.75 cents per bushel higher compared to Friday’s noon bids. The lower Minneapolis September wheat futures pressured cash bids however a higher basis bid by several exporters offset some of the pressure and provided support for cash bids.

Bids for US 2 Yellow Corn delivered to Portland and the Yakima Valley were not available.

All wheat bids in dollars per bushel US 1 Soft White Wheat — delivered by Unit Trains and Barges

Aug NC mostly 6.9475, ranging 6.8975-7.0000

Sep 6.9475-7.0300

Oct 6.9125-7.0600

Nov 6.9625-7.0900

Dec 6.9625-7.1200

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

Aug NC mostly 8.5325, ranging 8.3975-8.7500

Not fully established.

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

better)

Ordinary protein 7.0275-7.1775

10 pct protein 7.0275-7.1775

11 pct protein 7.1075-7.2575

11.5 pct protein

Aug NC 7.1475-7.2975

12 pct protein 7.1475-7.2975

13 pct protein 7.1475-7.2975

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 7.5350-7.7850

14 pct protein

Aug NC 7.7850-8.1850

15 pct protein 7.9050-8.3850

16 pct protein 8.0250-8.5850

US 2 Yellow Corn in dollars per CWT

Domestic-single rail cars

Delivered full coast-BN NA

Delivered to Portland NA

Rail and Truck del to Willamette Vly NA

Rail del to Yakima Valley NA

Truck del to Yakima Valley NA

US 2 Heavy White Oats in dollars per CWT 14.5000

Not well tested.

Exporter Bids Portland Rail/Barge Jul 2014

Averages in Dollars per bushel

US 1 Soft White by Unit Trains and Barges 6.6900

US 1 Hard Red Winter (Ordinary protein) 7.3100

US 1 Hard Red Winter (11.5% protein) 7.4200

US 1 Dark Northern Spring (14% protein) 8.1800

Source: USDA Market News Service, Portland, OR

Robert Eaton 503-326-2237 Portland.LPGMNams.usda.gov

24 Hour Market Report 503-326-2022

www.ams.usda.gov/mnreports/jo—gr110.txt

www.ams.usda.gov/lpsmarketnewspage

8:47 P re

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Invasive insect threatens iconic Florida citrus http://www.capitalpress.com/AP_Nation_World/20140825/invasive-insect-threatens-iconic-florida-citrus http://www.capitalpress.com/AP_Nation_World/20140825/invasive-insect-threatens-iconic-florida-citrus#Comments Wed, 20 Aug 2014 08:24:09 -0400 TAMARA LUSH http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2014140829997 LAKE WALES, Fla. (AP) — The tourists stream to Florida in their cars, intent on a week at Disney or a sugar-sand seashore or a nonstop party on South Beach. Road weary and thirsty, they pull over at one of the state’s five official welcome centers. They walk inside, and then they look up.

“The best start under the sun,” reads a big sign. “FLORIDA ORANGE JUICE.”

Behind a counter, a woman sits with a stack of paper cups. “Welcome to Florida,” she says with a big smile. “Orange or grapefruit?”

The juice is cold and sweet. It tastes like the Sunshine State.

Once, emerald green trees bursting with citrus carpeted more than half of the state, from the northern reaches of Jacksonville and the parks of Orlando to the Miami coastline. Oranges, especially, have long been synonymous with the magic of Florida.

Think back to those old advertisements touting OJ as a vitamin-filled glass of goodness. The dream of Florida as a tropical vacation paradise was cemented in Americans’ minds through such promotions. Today, the orange adorns the state license plate. There is even a county called Citrus.

The people behind the groves have been among Florida’s most influential. The University of Florida’s famed football stadium was named after an orange magnate, and at least three of the state’s governors were citrus growers.

Throughout the decades, citrus has stood strong — through freezes, hurricanes and rampant development.

But now the $9 billion industry is facing its biggest threat yet, putting at risk the state’s economy and very identity. Blame a mottled brown bug no bigger than a pencil eraser and a disease called “the yellow dragon.”

———

Have you seen those commercials that begin with a farmer’s leather-gloved hands opening to reveal a blossom that ripens into an orange? The ads are for Florida’s Natural juice, and Ellis Hunt Jr. is the man behind the brand.

Tall and thin, wearing jeans and a plain white button-down with a Florida-honed tan on his 61-year-old face, Hunt could star in one of those spots. His family owns 5,000-plus acres of groves and is part of the co-op that contributes to Florida’s Natural — the third-largest juice brand in the country, behind Pepsi’s Tropicana and Coca-Cola’s Minute Maid.

Hunt’s grandfather started the company in 1922, and ever since Hunt could walk, his life was surrounded by oranges. He followed his father into the business, and now serves on the state’s powerful citrus commission. He jokes that the backbreaking task of picking fruit was what inspired him to attend college, so he could take a rest from hard work.

This summer, Hunt’s has been driving his truck through his groves in Polk County, the state’s top citrus-producing region, and what he sees is uncertainty. Many of his trees look beautiful, acres upon acres of vibrant green. But trouble can be spotted if you look closely.

Hunt stops his truck, climbs out and points to a tree’s limb. Some leaves have turned yellow, and the hue is spreading in waves. He guesses that 75 percent of his groves are infected.

In China, where it was first found, the disease is called huanglongbing. Translation: “the yellow dragon.” In Florida, it’s known simply as “greening.”

It arrived here via a tiny invasive bug called the Asian Citrus Psyllid, which carries bacteria that are left behind when the psyllid feeds on a citrus tree’s leaves. The tree continues to produce useable fruit, but eventually disease clogs the vascular system. Fruit falls, and the tree slowly dies.

The psyllid isn’t native to Florida but is believed to have arrived from someone who perhaps unknowingly brought a slip of a tree from Asia. The bug was first spotted in the state in 1998, and some think it then spread on the winds of hurricanes. Greening showed up in 2005. There is no cure, and no country has ever successfully eradicated it.

All of that has Florida’s growers in a frenzy to find a way to stop the disease.

“It feels like you’re in a war,” Hunt said.

Hunt estimates he’s spending some $2,000 an acre on production costs, a 100 percent increase from 10 years ago. Much of that goes toward nutrients and spraying to try to control the psyllids. The trees that don’t survive are pulled out of the earth and tossed onto a giant bonfire.

Nearly all of the state’s citrus groves are affected in varying degrees by greening, and researchers, growers and experts agree that the crisis has already started to compromise Florida’s prominence as a citrus-growing region. Florida is second in the world, behind Brazil, in growing juice oranges, producing about 80 percent of juice in the U.S.

This past growing season, the state produced 104 million boxes of oranges, which comprise the bulk of Florida’s overall citrus crop. In 2003, two years before greening was discovered and prior to several devastating hurricanes, 243 million boxes were picked.

“This affects the whole state. The economic impact. The landscape. The iconic image of Florida and how it has drawn people here to smell the orange blossoms in the spring and look forward to that Christmas gift of fresh Florida citrus,” said state Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, whose family has grown oranges in Polk County since the early 1900s. “It will have a ripple effect throughout the economy if we can’t get our arms around this disease.”

Experts say that if a solution isn’t found, Florida’s entire citrus industry could collapse. Officials worry that some packinghouses and processing plants will have to close because of a lack of fruit. That could send the industry, with its 75,000 jobs, tumbling.

Compounding the problem is the timing of it: The disease coincides with an increase in foreign competition and a decrease in juice consumption as health-conscious consumers count carbs. In July, U.S. orange juice retail sales fell to the lowest level in 12 years for a second consecutive four-week period.

“We’re in the fight of our life,” said Michael Sparks, the CEO of Florida Citrus Mutual, the marketing and lobbying arm for the state’s citrus growers.

Already, some are losing.

In the early 1980s, farmer Richard Skinner and his wife took over a small grove near Tampa planted nearly 100 years ago by his wife’s grandfather. For years they thrived, selling boxes of oranges to large juice companies to augment their roadside business.

When greening struck his grove in 2011, Skinner realized he couldn’t sustain the cost of chemicals and nutrients needed to keep the trees alive. Within two years, 2,600 trees were cut down — and the century-old grove was gone.

“We cried,” said Skinner, who is 74 years old and doesn’t look like a man who cries easily.

———

The war room in the fight against the yellow dragon is found in Lake Alfred, 30 miles southwest of Walt Disney World, in a nondescript cluster of buildings at the University of Florida’s Citrus Research and Education Center.

There, some of the world’s top citrus researchers — from the U.S., China, Brazil, India — slouch over microscopes and peer into makeshift greenhouses, hoping to unlock the puzzle that is greening. They talk about nucleotides and genomes like regular folks order a sandwich.

They understand clearly that there is no magic bullet — an injection or spray, for example — to cure the disease instantly. So they concentrate on two things: a short-term workaround that will allow existing trees to survive, and a long-term solution — possibly three to five years away — to develop a greening resistant tree.

Experiments study everything from how fast the psyllid flies to how it’s attracted to the odor of an infected tree. One French researcher has tied the bug to a string and a post to measure its flight patterns. Another study, underway at an organic grower’s groves, assesses whether tiny wasps can be released en masse to gobble the bad bugs.

For three decades, horticulture professors Jude Grosser and Fred Gmitter have worked at the center, mostly studying citrus breeding and genetics. The two men are rock stars in the citrus world because of their vast knowledge. Now, much of their focus is on greening.

Grosser and Gmitter have discovered that a certain variety of orange trees grafted onto one particular kind of rootstock appears to be more tolerant to greening. Those trees could play a big role in managing the disease down the road.

“A lot of people are looking for miracle cures, but the answer for greening will be a number of different pieces,” Grosser said.

The pair want a solution and fast. They’ve spent their careers developing different fruit varieties, such as easy-to-peel and extra-juicy oranges. Some varieties are nearly ready for release and sales, they said, but most growers don’t want to take a chance on anything new until greening is gone.

“We need to give the tree a chance to beat the disease,” said Grosser. “How can we do that?”

Since 2008, $90 million has been spent in Florida on greening research, much of that money raised by growers from a tax they pay on every box of citrus that’s picked. And the 2014 federal farm bill included $125 million for greening research.

Growers are also taking matters into their own hands. Some have tried putting giant tents over their trees and using the sun’s heat in an attempt to kill the greening.

Rick Kress, president of Southern Gardens Citrus, one of the state’s largest juice suppliers, has hired a private team of researchers to work on genetically engineering a greening resistant tree with the DNA from spinach.

Kress knows that introducing juice from a genetically modified orange would create another hurdle because of the public’s perception of such foods. But the alternative — no juice at all — is unthinkable.

“Irrespective of the challenges, Florida orange juice is not going to go away,” he said. “Because Florida had the disease first, we’re on the forefront of dealing with it and finding a solution that will ultimately benefit the entire United States citrus industry.”

California growers, who raise the majority of the U.S.’s fresh citrus crop, are also petrified of greening. The psyllid has been found in various places around that state, and greening was detected in one residential tree in Los Angeles in 2012. California researchers are doing their own experiments and piggybacking on the Florida research. In Texas, greening has struck fewer than 200 commercial trees, and the disease has not been spotted in Arizona.

In Polk County, Hunt has been planting new trees to replace the diseased ones. He realizes that this is a gamble; psyllids prefer to munch on young, tender leaves. But if he can keep the bugs away long enough for the new trees to grow and bear fruit, maybe by then researchers will have found a solution to greening.

“We can’t let this thing go down on our watch,” he said.

Hunt had always hoped his family’s younger generation would one day take over the business. But now he worries that Florida juice could become a niche product, similar to pomegranate juice. It’s something he’s reluctant to contemplate.

“You don’t want to put your head in the sand and say everything’s OK. It’s not OK,” he said. “But you have to get up in the morning and go to work believing that we will win the battle.”

———

Follow Tamara Lush on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tamaralush

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Producing top-quality fruit is &#x2018;a process&#x2019; http://www.capitalpress.com/California/20140824/producing-top-quality-fruit-is-a-process http://www.capitalpress.com/California/20140824/producing-top-quality-fruit-is-a-process#Comments Mon, 25 Aug 2014 10:52:41 -0400 Tim Hearden http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2014140829935 Capital Press

CORNING, Calif. — Robert and Karen Mills won’t point to one or two reasons their fruit is among the most popular at area farmers’ markets.

“It’s a process,” Robert Mills said of why peaches, apricots and other fruit from R and K Orchards is known for being so consistently juicy and sweet.

“I could literally write a book on what to do,” he said. “It’s not so much, ‘What are we doing differently?’ I am building a name and not living on a name, if that makes sense.”

Whatever their secrets, the Mills have developed a reputation for high quality in their two decades of cultivating orchards on their 65-acre property. They grow cherries, peaches, apricots and nectarines to sell at their farm and at farmers’ markets, and they grow plums for prunes for Sunsweet Growers.

While more than a half-dozen vendors sell peaches at Redding’s Saturday morning farmers’ market, by far the longest lines lead to R and K’s booth, where Karen Mills cheerfully greets customers and helps them pick out the best fruit.

Among those standing in line on a recent Saturday was Dwight Havens of Redding, who said the Mills’ sugar content and juice are comparable to what you’d get in a backyard garden.

“I actually have an orchard at my house … and the stuff I’m pulling off my trees is almost as good,” he said. “This is quantity with the quality of a home garden.”

One of their most avid customers is Ken Waranius, whose Redding Compost Tea sells worms, worm castings and applications for soil health.

“They do soil tests and their brix count is high,” Waranius said of R and K. “They’re one of the few people in the farmers’ market that do soil tests. … They create nutrition-dense food, and because of that it tastes better.

“The better the soil you have, the better the product is going to be,” he said. “Because they do the tests, they’re able to say, ‘Hey, something is missing. We need to add something in.’”

What leads to R and K’s high quality is more than just soil and leaf tests or their aversion to cold storage. The Millses are meticulous about every step of the process, from planting and picking to packaging and selling. And that’s where their partnership comes in.

“Want to know what our secret is?” Karen Mills said. “I stay out of the orchards and he stays out of the kitchen.”

Both from Corning, the Millses were married when Robert was just starting his farming operation. They have four teenage and pre-teen children, all of whom help out with the business.

Robert Mills’ grandfather was a farmer who helped him start the operation after Robert earned a degree in agricultural business at California State University-Chico. Karen Mills had no farming background.

“Our extent of it in town was having some chickens, but I was kept out of the garden because I kill plants,” she said.

However, Karen’s degree at Chico State was in social science, which comes in handy with the business.

“I’m really good at the social part,” she said. “He likes trees and I like people. It works out well.”

For the Millses, the customers’ experience when they buy the fruit is as important as anything. While many vendors simply dump peaches out on the table for patrons to pick through, as in a grocery store, the Millses present their peaches in boxes that are filled according to customers’ wishes.

For instance, if a customer says he wants peaches that will last a week, Karen Mills will fill a box with both ripe and firm peaches and tell the customer to work from one end to the other, she said.

“By the time they see a peach, only two people have touched it — the picker and my wife,” Robert Mills said.

The Millses don’t think their “process” could be adopted by a large-scale operation, though they say they have nothing against big commercial growers. They don’t have any plans to expand.

“There are only so many hours in a day, and I can only do so much,” Robert Mills said. “Part of our success comes from our interaction with the customer, and I don’t want to start hiring people to go to farmers’ markets. … When you buy from us, you’re talking to the people who grew it.”

As for backyard growers, Robert Mills has just one piece of advice.

“Give it up,” he said with a grin, “and just buy it from me.”

Robert and Karen Mills

Residence: Corning, Calif.

Ages: 47 and 43

Occupation: Owners, R and K Orchards

Acres: 65

Family: Children Joe, 16; Marissa, 15; Stephanie, 13; and Jason, 10

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Regional Risk Management Agency office gets new director http://www.capitalpress.com/Business/20140822/regional-risk-management-agency-office-gets-new-director http://www.capitalpress.com/Business/20140822/regional-risk-management-agency-office-gets-new-director#Comments Fri, 22 Aug 2014 10:02:35 -0400 http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2014140829948 Ben Thiel has been appointed director of the Spokane regional office of the USDA Risk Management Agency.

The office serves Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington.

Thiel has worked for USDA for more than 12 years. His background includes working as a manager and merchandiser in the grain elevator industry.

For the last six years, Thiel worked for the agency’s product management office as a risk management specialist in the policy administration branch, overseeing area-based insurance plans for canola, forage, malting barley, onions and small grains, according to an agency press release.

Thiel helped implement many of the new crop insurance changes enacted by the Agricultural Act of 2014.

He also worked for the USDA Farm Service Agency as a warehouse examiner and compliance officer, overseeing warehouses storing cotton, grain, peanuts, sugar and processed commodities under the United States Warehouse Act and storage agreements for the Commodity Credit Corporation.

Thiel grew up on a family farm west of Idaho Falls, Idaho. The farm produced alfalfa, malting barley and potatoes. He has a bachelor of arts degree from Idaho State University.

Thiel begins in October. He replaces Dave Paul, who retired in July after 19 years.

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Farm Rescue nonprofit nears another milestone http://www.capitalpress.com/RuralLife/20140822/farm-rescue-nonprofit-nears-another-milestone http://www.capitalpress.com/RuralLife/20140822/farm-rescue-nonprofit-nears-another-milestone#Comments Fri, 22 Aug 2014 09:36:47 -0400 BLAKE NICHOLSON http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2014140829949 BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The Farm Rescue nonprofit in the Upper Midwest is approaching another milestone — it will help its 300th farm family in the region by the end of the year.

The volunteer-based organization headquartered in North Dakota helped its 100th farm family in 2009 and its 200th in 2012.

“Three hundred families in the Upper Midwest are able to continue supporting their communities and feeding America,” founder Bill Gross said. “These families are friends, neighbors and customers. They’re the rural community.”

Farm Rescue plants and harvests crops for farmers in the Dakotas, Minnesota, Iowa and eastern Montana who have experienced an illness, injury or natural disaster. It’s been operating since 2006, supported by donations, business sponsors and about 1,000 volunteers.

“I appreciate the work they did for me; it helped quite a bit,” said Dan Dotzenrod, who became the 200th farmer to get help after he broke his neck in a fall on his southeastern North Dakota farm. “I’m mostly recovered — 90 to 95 percent. Still farming.”

Gross said Farm Rescue, which operates on an annual cash budget of about $450,000, will help about 50 farmers annually for another year or two.

“We need to build more support for the organization financially to expand beyond that level,” he said. “We are moving in that direction. Then, if we expand geographically in a few years, that number might grow.”

Farm Rescue has gotten a big boost in recent years from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, which has contributed nearly $1 million since 2008. Fargo-based RDO Equipment Co., which owns and operates more than 60 dealerships in nine states, has supplied critical equipment, according to Gross.

Keith Kreps, an RDO executive vice president, estimated the company has invested more than $1 million in the partnership.

“Bill approached us with a way to give to the large community that we do business in, and directly affect the farmers and the industry that we make our living in,” Kreps said. “We just thought it was the perfect fit.”

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Deere to lay off about 460 from Iowa tractor plant http://www.capitalpress.com/Business/20140822/deere-to-lay-off-about-460-from-iowa-tractor-plant http://www.capitalpress.com/Business/20140822/deere-to-lay-off-about-460-from-iowa-tractor-plant#Comments Fri, 22 Aug 2014 09:34:46 -0400 http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2014140829951 MOLINE, Ill. (AP) — Agricultural equipment maker Deere is laying off about 460 employees indefinitely from an Iowa tractor factory as it continues to adjust to market demand.

The Moline, Illinois, company said Friday that the latest round of layoffs will be effective Oct. 20. Deere said last week that it would lay off more than 600 employees at four Midwest factories that make harvesting and other agricultural equipment due to slumping demand.

The latest layoffs will happen at the company’s Waterloo, Iowa, operations. Last week’s announcement involved factories in East Moline and Moline, Illinois, as well as Ankeny, Iowa, and Coffeyville, Kansas.

The company said also said last week that it was implementing seasonal and inventory adjustment shutdowns and temporary layoffs at those factories as well as one in Ottumwa, Iowa.

Deere’s third-quarter profit dropped 15 percent as sales weakened, and the company said earlier this month that it planned to reduce agricultural equipment production for the remainder of the year. The company had hired several hundred manufacturing employees in recent years to meet demand for products made in its Midwest factories.

“We match the size of our manufacturing workforce with market demand,” spokesman Ken Golden said on Friday.

Deere & Co. is the world’s biggest farm equipment supplier and employs about 31,000 people in the United States and 67,000 overall.

Company shares fell $1.37 to $84.84 in Friday afternoon trading while the Standard & Poor’s 500 index was nearly flat.

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Higher prices prompt increase in milk production http://www.capitalpress.com/Dairy/20140822/higher-prices-prompt-increase-in-milk-production http://www.capitalpress.com/Dairy/20140822/higher-prices-prompt-increase-in-milk-production#Comments Fri, 22 Aug 2014 09:27:33 -0400 Carol Ryan Dumas http://www.capitalpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2014140829953 Responding to higher milk prices and lower feed costs, dairymen increased milk production in July, according to a USDA report released Aug. 19.

“The level of feed prices and much lower feed costs has meant very favorable margins for dairy producers to increase milk production,” Bob Cropp, professor emeritus, University of Wisconsin, said in his Dairy Situation and Outlook report released Aug. 19.

The 23 major milk-producing states produced 16.4 billion pounds of milk in July, a 4 percent increase over July 2013, the USDA reports.

July marks the highest year-over-year monthly increase since February 2012 when production increased 8.2 percent over February 2011.

At 1,911 pounds per cow and up 61 pounds over July 2013, cows weighed in with the highest July milk production since the 23 state series began in 2003, USDA reported.

Cow numbers, at 8.58 million head, were up 56,000 from July 2013 and 6,000 from June.

Twelve of the 23 states showed a year-over-year increase in cow numbers, 10 had fewer cows and one, Oregon, held steady.

Oregon, Minnesota and New Mexico posted lower milk production numbers, and Oregon and Texas showed a decline in milk per cow.

Despite the drought, higher hay prices and 2,000 fewer cows, California dairymen increased year-over-year production 4.4 percent to 3.5 million pounds. Idaho’s milk production increased 4 percent to 1.2 million pounds with 6,000 additional cows.

Washington dairymen increased production 2.9 percent to 563,000 pounds with 6,000 additional cows. Oregon decreased production 0.9 percent to 215,000 pounds with the same number of cows.

While New Mexico’s milk production was down slightly on 1,000 fewer cows, production in other western states showed a notable increase. In addition to increases in California and Idaho, production was up 8.9 percent in Arizona and 5.5 percent in Texas.

The Northeast also posted strong increases in milk production, up 8.2 percent in Michigan and 4.8 in New York, both with additional cows. Production was also up 3.4 percent Ohio and 3.0 in Pennsylvania, both with fewer cows.

In the Upper Midwest, Wisconsin posted a 3.4 percent increase in milk production with 2,000 additional head and Minnesota’s production declined slightly with 5,000 fewer head.

With good domestic sales and strong exports, the need for higher stock levels of butter and cheese exists, Cropp said. But increased milk production globally and slowing Chinese demand has resulted in U.S. prices for dairy products above world prices.

“To maintain export levels, U.S. prices will have to come down closer to world prices. Yet export volume will likely hold at levels that will end the year above the record level of 2013,” he said.

But U.S. dairy production and milk prices are expected to decline. Given the time it will take to build stocks, prices could gradually decline rather than take a sharp fall, he said.

Dairy futures remain optimistic, with Class III milk staying above $21 per hundredweight through October, above $19 for December and above $18 for 2015. Class IV futures stay above $20 through October, decline to less than $18 by December and stay in the $17s for 2015, he said.

Odds are prices later this year and into 2015 could average lower than the futures, but milk prices will set new records in 2014, he said.

Cropp expects Class III prices to average well over $21 this year, compared with $17.99 last year. He expects Class IV prices to average above $22, compared with $19.05 last year.

“We can expect milk production to run 4 percent or more higher than a year ago for the remainder of the year and end the year around 2.4 percent higher than 2013,” he said.

July milk production, top 10 states

State July ’13 July ’14 percent change

Million pounds

Calif. 3,373 3,520 4.4

Wis. 2,315 2,394 3.4

NY 1,135 1,190 4.8

Idaho 1,174 1,221 4.0

Penn. 870 896 3.0

Texas 820 865 5.5

Minn. 765 764 -0.1

Mich. 766 829 8.2

NM 689 688 -0.1

Wash. 547 563 2.9

Source: USDA-NASS

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