Capital Press | Nation/World Capital Press Thu, 18 Sep 2014 04:42:24 -0400 en Capital Press | Nation/World General Mills misses Street 1Q forecasts Wed, 17 Sep 2014 10:10:06 -0400 MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — General Mills, the food company behind Cheerios cereal and Yoplait yogurt, reported disappointing fiscal first-quarter results Wednesday and announced plans to cut costs further to fight falling sales.

Its shares fell more than 3 percent in morning trading Wednesday.

The Minneapolis company said it is reviewing its manufacturing and distribution network. It said the cost-cutting initiative could save it $100 million per year by fiscal year 2017. It plans to take action in its fiscal second quarter, but gave no details, except that it may assume severance costs. A spokeswoman for the company declined to comment about any possible job cuts.

In June, the company announced another cost-reduction initiative that will help it save $400 million in fiscal year 2015.

To try to boost sales, the company has been tweaking its recipes and getting into new food categories and consumers’ tastes change. It gave Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal a stronger cinnamon taste, removed aspartame sugar substitute from Yoplait Light and released a new line of Cheerios with added protein.

It announced earlier this month that it plans to buy Annie’s, the maker of rabbit-shaped organic mac and cheese, for $820 million. The deal is expected to close later this year.

General Mills reported fiscal first-quarter profit of $345.2 million. On a per-share basis, it said it had profit of 55 cents during its fiscal first. Earnings, adjusted for non-recurring costs and restructuring costs, were 61 cents per share.

The results fell short of Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 69 cents per share.

The company posted revenue of $4.27 billion in the period, also falling short of Street forecasts. Analysts expected $4.42 billion, according to Zacks.

General Mills Inc. shares fell $1.92, or 3.6 percent, to $51.26 in morning trading. Its shares had been up 6.6 percent so far this year through Tuesday’s close.

Judge rules GMO measure can appear on Maui ballots Wed, 17 Sep 2014 08:38:33 -0400 WAILUKU, Hawaii (AP) — A judge’s ruling allows Maui County to print ballots that ask voters about a proposed moratorium on genetically engineered crops.

Monday’s decision dissolves a temporary restraining order after those who support genetically modified organisms sued to remove the measure. They argued its wording was deceptive, misleading and would confuse voters.

The county filed to dissolve the order, which had prevented preparing ballots. Some ballots, including ones for military members, have to be mailed this week, the Maui News reported.

Tom Blackburn-Rodriguez, spokesman for one of the plaintiffs, Citizens Against the Maui County Farming Ban, said they would consult with their attorney to analyze the ruling.

Anti-GMO group Sustainable Hawaiian Agriculture for the Keiki and the Aina Movement said they are pleased with the decision. The group, known as the SHAKA Movement, gathered 19,000 signatures to put the measure on the Nov. 4 ballot.

“The judge clearly understands that Maui’s first-ever successful citizens’ initiative should not be blocked by a well-funded corporate campaign designed to thwart the democratic process,” the group said in a statement.

Second Circuit Judge Rhonda Loo on Monday also granted a request by SHAKA to intervene in the case.

The proposed moratorium would make it illegal to cultivate, grow or test genetically modified crops in Maui County until companies complete environmental and public health studies to show their practices are safe.

Two companies that grow genetically modified crops in the county have said hundreds of people would lose their jobs on Maui and Molokai if the measure passed.

Cuts to food stamps will only hit four states Wed, 17 Sep 2014 08:30:55 -0400 MARY CLARE JALONICK WASHINGTON (AP) — Cuts to the nation’s food stamp program enacted this year are only affecting four states, far from the sweeping overhaul that Republicans had pushed, an Associated Press review has found.

As a result, it’s unclear whether the law will realize the estimated $8.6 billion in savings over 10 years that the GOP had advertised.

A farm bill signed by President Barack Obama in February attempted to save money by scaling back what lawmakers called a loophole in the food stamp program that entitles low-income families to more food aid if they participate in a federal heating assistance program. States were giving some people as little as $1 a year in heating assistance so they could get more food aid. It’s called “heat and eat.”

Among the 16 states that allow the practice or some form of it, 12 governors have taken steps to avoid the food stamp cuts.

“Government’s role is to help people help themselves, and these steps are necessary to help our most vulnerable residents and families meet their most basic needs,” Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick said when he announced his state’s move earlier this year.

The farm bill was held up for more than two years as conservatives insisted on cutting the nation’s food stamp program, which now serves 1 in 7 Americans at a cost of around $80 billion a year. The roughly 1 percent cut was a compromise between Republicans who had hoped for far larger cuts and Democrats who didn’t want to see any cuts at all.

The states’ workaround — mostly by Democratic governors — has infuriated Republicans who pushed the cuts. In March, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, called the states’ moves “fraud.” House Agriculture Chairman Frank Lucas, R-Okla., and House Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Upton, R-Mich., have asked the Obama administration to “hold states accountable” for dodging the cuts.

The governors say they are following the law while preserving crucial benefits for their neediest citizens.

The new law says that people can’t get the higher food benefits unless they receive more than $20 a year in heating assistance, which lawmakers hoped would be too expensive for states to pay. But the governors in 12 states and the mayor of the District of Columbia have said they will find a way. Most will use federal heating assistance dollars. At least one state, California, will use its own money.

As of now, the cuts will only affect Michigan, Wisconsin, New Jersey and New Hampshire. All but New Hampshire have Republican governors.

There are about 1.8 million households that receive food stamps in those four states, out of almost 23 million households nationwide.

It’s unclear how many people will be affected. Officials in Wisconsin, New Jersey and New Hampshire said they don’t track that number. Michigan officials say around 20 percent of the state’s recipients, or around 170,000 households, participated in the “heat and eat” program and will see cuts.

Bob Wheaton, spokesman for the Michigan Department of Human Services, says the state didn’t want to “create a new loophole even beyond the loophole that previously existed” and draw down federal heating benefits for others in the cold-weather state. He said the average decrease will be around $76 a month for a family of four, starting in November. That amount varies by state.

Terry Smith, director of New Hampshire’s family assistance programs, said his state’s decision “was not to deplete an already tenuous LIHEAP allocation in our state and take needed heat from people.”

LIHEAP is the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, and it is paid to states as federal grants each year. New Hampshire did not give recipients $1 payments but did allow a LIHEAP application to qualify them for higher food benefits. The farm bill’s change in policy will discontinue that practice.

The states that are using that federal heating assistance money to avoid the food stamp cuts say they believe they can do it without significantly reducing heating aid to others who need it, even without more money from the federal government. Peter Merrill, the deputy director of MaineHousing, says he estimates that maintaining the food stamp benefits will only reduce federal heating assistance payments to Maine residents by about $4 a year on average.

In Washington state, residents will see food stamp benefits reduced briefly, in November and December, due to a backlog in getting their computer systems running. A spokeswoman for the governor said the state will reinstate the higher heating assistance payments in January, once the backlog clears, and 200,000 residents will see their benefits go back up.

On Capitol Hill, Republicans say the states’ decisions don’t mean the farm bill cuts are obliterated. A GOP memo from the House Agriculture Committee staff notes that some states may reverse their decisions to avoid the cuts, especially as current recipients move off the rolls. And the Congressional Budget Office, which figures out how much bills cost, accounted for some states bowing out when coming up with its $8.6 billion estimate over 10 years. But the CBO hasn’t said whether it accounted for high-population states like California, New York and Pennsylvania maintaining the higher food stamp benefits.

Other states that have dodged the cuts are Connecticut, Delaware, Montana, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont.

Pat Baker of the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute, an advocacy group that focuses on poverty issues, says the “heat and eat” recipients are often elderly or disabled, sometimes living in apartments where utilities are included but the rent is higher. “This would be a significant loss in nutrition benefits to the lowest-income and neediest residents,” she says.

Court voids ConAgra liability in bin blast Tue, 16 Sep 2014 09:48:30 -0400 Mateusz Perkowski A federal appeals court has absolved the ConAgra food manufacturing company of liability for a 2010 grain bin explosion in Illinois that injured three people.

A jury had awarded the three men $180 million in compensatory and punitive damages, of which ConAgra would have to pay more than $140 million. 

The three injured men worked for companies hired to fix ConAgra’s grain bin, including West Side Salvage, which was found liable for much of the remainder of the award.

The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has held that ConAgra is not liable for the workers’ injuries, much as a property owner was not liable for the injuries sustained by contractors working on his damaged porch in an earlier case.

The appellate court also held that West Side Salvage wasn’t liable for punitive damages because there’s no evidence a company supervisor thought an explosion was imminent.

Corn mazes growing more elaborate Tue, 16 Sep 2014 09:48:00 -0400 John O’Connell Shawn Stolworthy now leases all of his Firth, Idaho, farm land to other growers to devote his full attention to designing and building crop mazes — a one-time hobby that’s evolved into a big business.

Stolworthy experimented with corn mazes designed with GPS technology on his own farm before contracting to create them for other growers. He boasts his company, MazePlay, is now the nation’s second largest builder of corn mazes, constructing about 95 of them nationwide each fall.

Many of his clients have shifted their focus from agriculture and toward agri-entertainment, making mazes the centerpieces of increasingly extravagant harvest-themed community celebrations.

His mazes — some cut into fields and others planted in their ultimate designs — are a forum for games featuring farm animals, such as identifying farm animal tracks and a detective game to catch the animal that kidnapped Farmer Joe. His field artwork has become so detailed that faces of people are an increasingly popular request. American icons such as Paul Bunyan and Johnny Appleseed are especially popular, as are football themes and celebrities.

Planning can take all year for many of the farms that host corn mazes, most of which are located in Eastern population centers.

“Corn mazes have been around for a long time, but their popularity is continuing to grow,” Stolworthy said. “Some of the farms are becoming a lot more successful.”

In addition to corn, he’s experimented with mazes in sorghum, sudan grass and sunflowers.

This fall, Squealers Fun Park in Rigby has an 8-acre sunflower maze, carved by Stolworthy into the shape of three pigs. A local farmer helped Squealers owner Matt Blackham with the labor and will cut the sunflowers for silage once the maze closes.

“We wanted to try something different than everybody else has,” Blackham said. “It’s prettier than corn.”

Richard Johnson, owner of Grove City Gardens in Blackfoot, Idaho, had Stolworthy design his Wild Adventure Corn Maze in the shape of the family from the popular reality TV show Duck Dynasty. The maze and accompanying events — including chucking pumpkins from catapults, corn maze Laser Tag, farmer golf, wagon rides and a barrel train — have grown to represent about half of Johnson’s farm income. Planning the events also requires about half of his time throughout the year.

The corn maze is open from Sept. 15-Nov. 1, featuring 5.6 miles of trails throughout 12 acres. Customers can buy corn and fries made with Grove City Gardens produce. Local businesses and organizations, such as Bingham County Farm Bureau, have sponsored his events, and staff from local schools will help run the maze each Wednesday and Thursday night, in exchange for school donations.

Linder Farms in Meridian, Idaho, also supports education with its corn maze, which features a Boise State University football helmet and players. A percentage of admissionfrom the maze, in its 11th season, goes to BSU’s general scholarship fund. Randy Feist, owner of the hobby farm, estimates 10,000-15,000 children will walk through the maze between Sept. 26 and Oct. 31.

Portland daily grain report Tue, 16 Sep 2014 09:39:44 -0400 Portland, Ore., Tuesday Sept. 16

USDA Market News

Bids for grains delivered to Portland, Oregon during September 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 September delivery. Bids for corn are for 30 day delivery.

In early trading December wheat futures trended 1.25 to four cents per bushel lower than Monday’s closes.

Bids for US 1 Soft White Wheat for September delivery in unit trains or barges were not fully established in early trading but bids were indicated as steady to higher compared to Monday’s noon bids for the same delivery period. The higher basis bid by some exporters supported cash bids.

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

The lower Kansas City December futures pressured cash bids. Some exporters are not issuing bids for nearby delivery.

Bids for 14 percent protein non-guaranteed US 1 Dark Northern Spring Wheat for September delivery were not fully established in early trading but were indicated as lower, compared to Monday’s noon bids. The lower Minneapolis December wheat futures and a lower basis bid by some exporters pressured cash bids. Some exporters are not issuing bids for nearby delivery.

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

Sep mostly 6.7375, ranging 6.6675-6.9000

Oct 6.6675-6.9300

Nov 6.6675-6.9600

Dec 6.6675-6.9900

Jan 6.6900-7.0200

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

Sep mostly 9.0475, ranging 8.6675-9.4175

Not fully established and limited.

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


Ordinary protein 6.8300-7.0000

10 pct protein 6.8300-7.0000

11 pct protein 6.9100-7.1000

11.5 pct protein

Sep 6.9500-7.1500

12 pct protein 6.9500-7.1500

13 pct protein 6.9500-7.1500

Not fully established and limited.

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 6.1675-7.4675

14 pct protein

Sep 7.7675-8.9175

15 pct protein 8.9675-10.1175

16 pct protein 10.1675-11.3175

Not fully established and limited.

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 14.0000

Not well tested.

Exporter Bids Portland Rail/Barge Aug 2014

Averages in Dollars per bushel

US 1 Soft White by Unit Trains and Barges 6.8800

US 1 Hard Red Winter (Ordinary protein) 7.1500

US 1 Hard Red Winter (11.5% protein) 7.2700

US 1 Dark Northern Spring (14% protein) 7.9400

Source: USDA Market News Service, Portland, OR

Niki Davila 503-326-2237

24 Hour Market Report 503-326-2022—gr110.txt

8:47 P nd

U.S. tobacco growers brace for tougher competition Tue, 16 Sep 2014 09:28:22 -0400 TAMARA LUSHand MICHAEL FELBERBAUM DANVILLE, Va. (AP) — Starting next month, America’s remaining tobacco growers will be totally exposed to the laws of supply and demand.

The last buyout checks, totaling about $916.5 million, go out in October to about 425,000 tobacco farmers and landowners. They’re the last holdovers from a price-support and quota system that had guaranteed minimum prices for most of the 20th century, sustaining a way of life that began 400 years ago in Virginia, when the leaf became the chief cash crop of the Jamestown colony.

Cigarette makers will have paid $10 billion to compensate growers for surrendering their quotas. Growers got another $5 billion from the companies as part of their 1998 settlement of state lawsuits over smoking-related health care costs.

When the last checks are cashed, surviving growers will be on their own, forced to find profits in a tremendously competitive global market. But those who remain in the business are thriving right now: Many are producing more leaf than they have in years, and enjoying higher prices as well.

“I’m not in this for nostalgia purposes,” said Steven Barts, a fourth-generation tobacco farmer in Chatham, Virginia. “The day we’re not making money is the day we’re not doing it.”

Many growers took the money and got out, figuring that without guaranteed profits, there was little point in remaining in a dying industry. The number of tobacco farms dropped from 124,270 in 1992 to 16,234 during the last federal crop census in 2007.

But the U.S. tobacco crop is still worth about $1.5 billion, the same as a decade ago, and production is stable, growing less than 2 percent over the last five years.

“The people who can hang on can make a substantial living,” said Harry Lea, a leaf dealer and tobacco warehouse owner in Danville, a one-time industry hub where tobacco fortunes in the 1800s built ornate Victorian mansions on a “Millionaire’s Row.”

Danville still has a huge R.J. Reynolds smokestack in the middle of town, but it hasn’t been used for years. Most of its warehouses are empty, and unemployment has soared since anti-smoking laws and health campaigns prompted a continuing 3 percent to 4 percent decline in U.S. cigarette sales. Only 18 percent of U.S. adults now smoke, down from 42 percent in 1964, when the U.S. surgeon general’s historic report linked smoking with cancer.

While local economies suffer across America’s tobacco country, cigarette makers remain profitable. They are competing for a dwindling market, but getting higher prices with lower production costs, using newer, high-speed manufacturing equipment.

Making a pack of 20 cigarettes costs about 27 cents, and they sell for an average of $5.80. Even after taxes, there’s plenty of profit to be had.

Consolidation also is aligning costs with demand. Reynolds American Inc. promises $800 million in savings through its proposed $25 billion merger with Lorillard Inc. The deal would create a formidable No. 2 U.S. tobacco company behind Altria Group Inc., which owns Philip Morris USA, maker of the top-selling Marlboro brand.

U.K.’s Imperial Tobacco would become No. 3, buying Lorillard’s Greensboro, North Carolina, factory and some of the combined company’s brands. But Reynolds and Altria would form a duopoly, together commanding 85 percent of the U.S. cigarette market. That could leave growers with fewer outlets to sell to, and an anti-trust review is pending.

Chris Haskins, who owns about 50 acres of tobacco not far from Danville, would prefer to have more competition among cigarette makers. But he and other growers are more concerned about global tobacco trends and the advent of e-cigarettes.

Nearly 50 percent of some kinds of U.S. tobacco is exported to countries where consumption is declining less sharply. U.S. shipment volumes fell nearly 3 percent to 285 billion cigarettes last year, while global volumes fell slightly more than 1 percent to more than 5.71 trillion cigarettes, according to market researcher Euromonitor International.

“Without the export market we’d have a continually shrinking volume,” Barts said.

Virginia tobacco is still in demand and maybe always will be. Tobacco companies prize the “bright leaf” grown on Virginia’s nutrient-rich Old Belt, which produces a mild, light and aromatic taste when smoked.

But tremendous growth in electronic cigarettes is a threat because most of their nicotine is extracted from tobacco in China, said Will Snell, an agricultural economist and tobacco expert at the University of Kentucky.

Some farm groups are lobbying to have these new devices taxed and regulated like other tobacco products, and pushing their makers to use nicotine from U.S. tobacco.

“At this point, there’s very little benefit to U.S. tobacco growers” from e-cigarettes, Snell said.

Even the most successful growers acknowledge that their family traditions may end with them. Cities across the South have given up staking their futures on the crop that shaped their past.

In Danville, Japan Tobacco International has the only major processing facility still operating. The town’s thriving textile plants also shut down when those jobs went overseas. Danville’s National Tobacco-Textile Museum closed in 1990.

Haskins, a fourth-generation tobacco grower, expects to get his last buyout check in October, but says he weaned himself off the money long ago.

“I’m sure it’s going to change some situations for other farmers,” Haskins said. But “I’ve been expecting it to be over with. I’m not getting that much as it is anyway. I don’t foresee it having a big effect on our operations.”

Haskins, 32, isn’t sure if his 22-month-old son and another on the way will stay in the business. But for now, he plans to keep farming tobacco just like his great-grandfather did, walking the rows each fall and stripping wide, green leaves off thick stalks to be cured in barns that dot the rolling hills.

“It’s something that I was born into that I love to do,” he said. “It’s something I’m going to continue to do as long as it’s legal.”

Portland’s Redd building will incubate food businesses Mon, 15 Sep 2014 13:25:23 -0400 Eric Mortenson It’s a building in Portland, on Salmon Street, and will serve as an incubator for businesses. So, naturally, it is called “The Redd,” after the gravel beds where salmon lay their eggs after migrating upstream.

Ecotrust, a Portland non-profit that steers capital and expertise to a wide range of projects and enterprises, intends the former warehouse and stamping building to become a start-up place for food-related businesses. In particular, Ecotrust wants to expand the urban infrastructure that helps producers get more value from what they grow or raise, said Nathan Kadish, the group’s director of investment strategy.

“We don’t know what form that will take at The Redd, since we’re still developing the design and the programming,” Kadish said by email. “But we’d like to do something that allows farmers or groups of farmers to extend their value chain.”

Kadish said the development is not intended to compete with Oregon State University’s Food Innovation Center in Portland, which among other things helps farmers and ranchers develop products for sale. The center’s services include taste test panels, packaging help and marketing expertise.

“We want to be additive and not competitive with those efforts,” Kadish said. “We’re not going to be working on the science of individual products, for one thing. One of our core goals will be to help the regional food system function better.”

The 16,000 square-foot building was purchased for $2.5 million using financing from investor groups, primarily the Bill Healy Foundation, named after one of the developers of Oregon’s Mount Bachelor ski resort. After remodeling, it’s expected to open in mid-2016.

National wool and sheep report Mon, 15 Sep 2014 14:56:38 -0400 Wool prices in cents per pound and foreign currency per kilogram, sheep prices in dollars per hundredweight (cwt.) except some replacement animals on per head basis as indicated.


(USDA Market News)

Greeley, Colo.

Sept. 11

Domestic wool trading on a clean basis was at a standstill this week and there were no confirmed trades. Demand good and trade activity moderate for this time of year. Domestic wool trading on a greasy basis was at a standstill this week and there were no confirmed trades.

Domestic wool tags

No. 1 $.60-.70

No. 2 $.50-.60

No. 3 $.40-.50


(USDA Market News)

San Angelo, Texas

Sept. 11

Compared to Sept. 5: Slaughter lambs were steady to as much as $20 higher. Slaughter ewes were firm to $13 higher. Feeder lambs were $2-10 higher, instances $15-20 higher. At San Angelo, Texas, 5,612 head sold in a one-day sale. Equity Electronic Auction sold 340 slaughter lambs in North Dakota. In direct trading slaughter ewes were steady and feeder lambs were steady to $10 higher. 9,400 head of negotiated sales of slaughter lambs were steady to $1 higher and 6,200 head of formula sales of carcasses under 65 lbs. were not well tested; 65-75 lbs. were steady to $5 higher; 75-85 lbs. were $3-4 lower and over 85 lbs. were not well tested. 6,418 lamb carcasses sold with 45 lbs. and down $4.29 higher; 45-55 lbs. $3.57 lower; 55-65 lbs. $1.16 higher and 65 lbs. and up $2.36-3.75 higher.

SLAUGHTER LAMBS Choice and Prime 2-3:

San Angelo: shorn and wooled 120-135 lbs. $170-180.

SLAUGHTER LAMBS Choice and Prime 1:

San Angelo: 40-60 lbs. $230-260; 60-70 lbs. $218-238; 70-80 lbs. $260-226; 80-90 lbs. $210-224; 90-110 lbs. $ 190-202.

DIRECT TRADING (Lambs with 3-4 percent shrink or equivalent):

9,400 Slaughter Lambs shorn and wooled 80-160 lbs. $143-169.97 (wtd avg $156.74).

California: 1,300 Feeder Lambs 115-125 lbs. $160.

Idaho: 1,300 Feeder Lambs 85-95 lbs. $195; 105-115 lbs. $185. 900 Slaughter Ewes Utility and Good 1-3 $40; Cull and Utility 1-2 $20.


San Angelo: Good 2-3 (fleshy) $70-80; Utility and Good 1-3 (medium flesh) $80-88, high-yielding $90-96; Utility 1-2 (thin) $70-78; Cull and Utility 1-2 (very thin) $58-68; Cull 1 (extremely thin) $42-50.

FEEDER LAMBS Medium and Large 1-2:

San Angelo: 49 lbs. $246; 50-60 lbs. $230-238; 60-70 lbs. $216-224; 70-90 lbs. $200-216; 90-115 lbs. $190-205.

REPLACEMENT EWES Medium and Large 1-2:

San Angelo: yearling whiteface $179 per head; baby tooth $152 per head.


Weight Wtd. avg.

45 lbs. down $416.07

45-55 lbs. $371.61

55-65 lbs. $338.50

65-75 lbs. $326.31

75-85 lbs. $316.43

85 lbs. and up $303.28

Sheep and lamb slaughter under federal inspection for the week to date totaled 38,000 compared with 34,000 last week and 41,000 last year.

Western hay report Mon, 15 Sep 2014 14:45:57 -0400 Hay prices are dollars per ton or dollars per bale when sold to retail outlets. Basis is current delivery FOB barn or stack, or delivered customer as indicated.

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


Supreme 185+ <27 55.9+ 22+

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

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

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

Utility <130 36+ <50.5 <16


(Columbia Basin)

(USDA Market News)

Moses Lake, Wash.

Sept. 11

This week FOB Last week Last year

8,145 9,275 11,315

Compared to Sept. 5: Alfalfa for domestic and export weak in a light test. Lower grain prices continue to drive the market. Trade remains slow. Demand light with an interest or so out of the market. Timothy for export was steady. Retail/Feedstore hay steady. Buyer demand good with moderate supplies. All prices are dollars per ton and FOB the farm or ranch unless otherwise stated. Delivered prices include freight, commissions and other expenses.

Tons Price

Alfalfa Large Square Premium 1200 $245

Good/Prem. 3760 $205

Fair 300 $190

Small Square Premium 110 $250-260

Good 250 $230-250

Orchard Grass Small Square Premium 175 $260-275

Timothy Grass Large Square Premium 2000 $220

Small Square Premium 350 $230


(USDA Market News)

Portland, Ore.

Sept. 11

This week FOB Last week Last year

2,406 6,416 5,746

Compared to Sept. 5: Hay prices were generally steady compared to last Friday. There was buyer interest; however, the volume of trading was lighter than last week due to farmers cutting and baling third and, in some areas, fourth cutting.

Tons Price


Alfalfa Small Square Premium 56 $250

3 $275

Orchard Grass Small Square Premium 115 $250-265

35 $260-275

Good/Prem. 50 $240

40 $250

Meadow Grass Small Square Premium 50 $230

Mixed Grass Small Square Premium 6 $275

Good 35 $235

Barley/Pea Mix Large Square Fair 200 $175

Grass Mix-Five Way Small Square Premium 86 $275-285


Alfalfa Large Square Supreme 155 $245

Alfalfa/Orchard Mix Small Square Good 3 $190

Timothy Grass Large Square Good 239 $235

Mixed Grass Small Square Good 64 $175


Mixed Grass Small Square Good/Prem. 30 $185


Alfalfa Small Square Supreme 52 $270

Premium 32 $250

Fescue Grass Small Square Premium 27 $275


Alfalfa Large Square Supreme 26 $275

Prem./Sup. 32 $250

Good 34 $210

Fair/Good 33 $185

Fair 3 $170

Triticale Large Square Good 1000 $145


(USDA Market News)

Moses Lake, Wash.

Sept. 11

This week FOB Last week Last year

3,675 4,425 3,300

Compared to last week: Alfalfa steady in a light test. Trade very slow this week as both buyers and sellers try to decide on what to do with heavy rain-damaged supplies. Demand good for non-rained, light for heavy rained-on supplies. Retail/feed store/horse not tested this week. All prices are dollars per ton and FOB the farm or ranch unless otherwise stated. Delivered prices include freight, commissions and other expenses.

Tons Price

Alfalfa Large Square Premium 300 $220

Good/Prem. 750 $175

Fair/Good 850 $175

Fair 525 $150-160

Utility/Fair 1250 $75


(USDA Market News)

Moses Lake, Wash.

Sept. 11

This week FOB Last week Last year

5,395 0 17,885

Compared to last week: 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. Rain came again this week for region six, but this one did not get to many fields with hay down. Prices reported FOB at the stack or barn unless otherwise noted.

REGION 1: North Inter-Mountain

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

Tons Price

Alfalfa Good 350 $220

450 $250

100 $230

Brome Grass Premium 150 $180

Oat Good 200 $170

Barley Good 325 $185

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 25 $300

Good 250 $260-270

Oat Good 25 $300

Rice Straw Good 500 $80

REGION 3: Northern San Joaquin Valley

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

Tons Price

Alfalfa Good 100 $240

Fair 50 $210

Sudan Premium 50 $150

Good 175 $135

REGION 4: Central San Joaquin Valley

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

Tons Price

Alfalfa Premium 300 $310

Good 100 $220

250 $270

Fair 500 $220

REGION 5: Southern California

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

Tons Price

Alfalfa Premium 300 $290

Good/Prem. 150 $280

Fair 25 $195

125 $200

Forage Mix-Three Way Premium 75 $290

REGION 6: Southeast California

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

Tons Price

Alfalfa Good 170 $220

Fair 150 $195

500 $138

Western grain market summary Mon, 15 Sep 2014 14:32:29 -0400 Grains are stated in dollars per bushel or hundredweight (cwt.) except feed grains traded in dollars per ton. National grain report bids are for rail delivery unless truck indicated.


(USDA Market News)


Sept. 12


Cash wheat bids for September delivery ended the holiday shortened reporting week on Thursday, Sept. 11, mixed as follows compared to the previous week’s September bids. Bids for soft white wheat and hard red winter wheat were mixed, while bids for dark northern spring wheat trended higher.

December wheat futures ended the holiday shortened reporting week on Thursday, Sept. 11, lower as follows compared to Sept. 5 closes: Chicago 20.75 cents lower at $5.0950, Kansas City 14 cents lower at $6.0625 and Minneapolis wheat futures trended 15.25 cents lower at $5.9275. Chicago December corn futures trended 5.50 cents lower at $3.41 while September soybean futures closed 2.75 cents lower at $10.6150.

Bids for U.S. 1 Soft White Wheat delivered to Portland in unit trains or barges during September were mixed, from 10.75 lower to 9.75 cents per bushel higher, from $6.5950-7, mostly $6.7725. Bids for Sept. 5 for September delivery were $6.7025-6.9025, mostly $6.8025. One year ago bids for U.S. 1 Soft White Wheat delivered by unit trains and barges to Portland for September delivery were $7.28-7.35, mostly $7.3275 and white club wheat was $7.33-7.58, mostly $7.4025.

Nearby bids for U.S. 1 Soft White wheat began the reporting week on Sept. 6 at mostly $6.8650 then moved higher to the weekly high on Sept. 8 of mostly $6.89 before moving lower on Sept. 9 to mostly $6.8450, continuing lower on Sept. 10 to mostly $6.8225. Sept. 11, bids dropped to the weekly low of mostly $6.7725.

Some exporters were not issuing bids for nearby delivery. Forward month bids for soft white wheat were as follows: October $6.6950-7.03, November $6.6950-7.06, December $6.6950-7.09 and January $6.6625-7.12. One year ago, forward month bids for soft white wheat were as follows: October $7.28-7.35, November and December$7.28-7.38 and January $7.34-7.39.

Bids for 11.5 percent protein U.S. 1 Hard Red Winter Wheat for September delivery trended mixed, from four cents lower to one cent per bushel higher compared to the previous week’s bids. Lower Kansas City December wheat futures pressured cash bids, however a higher basis bid by some exporters were supportive to bids. On Sept. 11, bids were as follows: September $7.1625-7.3625, mostly $7.2625; October, November and December $7.3125-7.4625 and January $7.3350-7.4850.

Bids for non-guaranteed 14.0 percent protein U.S. 1 Dark Northern Spring Wheat for Portland delivery for full September delivery trended 4.75 to 59.75 cents per bushel higher compared to Sept. 11-20 bids and 4.75 to 34.75 cents higher compared to September 21-30 bids for last Thursday. Cash bids were supported by the higher basis bid by some exporters for the week.

On Sept. 11, bids for non-guaranteed 14 percent protein were as follows: September $8.1275-9.1775, mostly $8.6575; October, November and December $8.4275-9.1775 and January $8.5275-8.8275.


Bids for U.S. 2 Yellow Corn delivered to Portland in single rail cars were not available. Bids for U.S. 2 Yellow Corn truck delivered to the inland feeding areas of Yakima, Wash., and Hermiston, Ore., were also not available. Bids for U.S. 2 Heavy White Oats for September delivery held steady at 280.


There were nine grain vessels in Columbia River ports on Thursday, Sept. 11, with two docked compared to 14 on Sept. 4 with four docked. There were no new confirmed export sales from the Commodity Credit Corporation his week.


(USDA Market News)


Sept. 11

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


Mode Destination Price per cwt.

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

Truck Petaluma-Santa Rosa NA

Stockton-Modesto-Oakdale-Turlock $11

Fresno-Tulare-Corcoran-Coalinga NA

Colusa County NA

FOB Yolo County NA

FOB Glenn County $8.61

CORN - U.S. No. 2 Yellow

FOB Turlock $9.04

Truck Petaluma-Santa Rosa 9.20

Stockton-Modesto-Oakdale-Turlock $9.34

Los Angeles-Chino Valley NA

Fresno-Tulare-Corcoran-Coalinga NA

Colusa County NA

Rail Single Car Units via BNSF

Chino Valley-Los Angeles $9.62

SORGHUM - U.S. No. 2 Yellow

Rail Los Angeles-Chino Valley

via BNSF Single $9.98

OATS - U.S. No. 2 White

Truck Petaluma-Stockton-Modesto-Turlock $15-15.50

OATS - U.S. No. 1 White

Truck Los Angeles-Chino Valley $15.60

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

(Domestic Values for Flour Milling)

Kings County 13 percent Protein NA

Los Angeles 12 percent Protein $14.24

Los Angeles 13 percent Protein $14.44

Los Angeles 14 percent Protein $14.64

Truck/Rail Los Angeles 11-12 percent Protein NA

Los Angeles 12 percent Protein $13.44

Los Angeles 13 percent Protein NA

Los Angeles 14 percent Protein NA

WHEAT - U.S. Durum Wheat

Truck Imperial County $17.78

WHEAT - Any Class for Feed

Truck Petaluma-Santa Rosa NA

Stockton-Modesto-Oakdale-Turlock NA

Merced County NA

Colusa County NA

Kern County NA

Truck/Rail Los Angeles-Chino Valley $13.25-14.10

Prices paid to California farmers, seven-day reporting period ending Sept. 11:

YELLOW CORN, U.S. No. 2 or better

Tulare $7.98 Spot FOB Elevator

Glenn $8 OC, Spot FOB Ranch

California egg report Mon, 15 Sep 2014 14:17:43 -0400 Shell egg marketer’s benchmark price for negotiated egg sales of USDA Grade AA and Grade AA in cartons, cents per dozen. This price does not reflect discounts or other contract terms.


(USDA Market News)

Des Moines, Iowa

Sept. 11

Benchmark prices are steady. Asking prices for next week are 16 cents lower on Jumbo, 14 cents lower for Extra Large and Large and 3 cents lower for Medium and Small. The undertone is barely steady to weak. Retail and food service demand is in a full range of light to fairly good, usually light and better into scattered ads. Offerings are heavy for the larger sizes and moderate for Medium. Supplies are moderate and easily cover current needs. Market activity is slow to moderate. Small benchmark price $1.04.

Size Range Size Range

Jumbo 178 Extra large 172

Large 160 Medium 124


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 160-172 Extra large 150-162

Large 137-148 Medium 104-112

National slaughter, feeder and stocker cattle report Mon, 15 Sep 2014 14:13:23 -0400 Cattle prices in dollars per hundredweight (cwt.) except some replacement animals per pair or head as indicated.


(Federal-State Market News)

Oklahoma City-Des Moines

Sept. 12

Compared to Sept. 5: Slaughter cattle trade so far this week South Plains live sales $1-2 lower. Dressed sales in Nebraska not available at time of report. Boxed beef prices Sept. 12 averaged $243.03 that is $.57 higher than Sept. 5. The Choice/Select spread is $15. Slaughter cattle on a national basis for negotiated cash trades through Sept. 12 totaled about 14,000 head. The previous week’s total head count was 93,656 head.

South Plains Direct Markets: Live Basis: Steers and Heifers 35-65 percent Choice, 1100-1400 lbs. $161-162.

Slaughter Cows and Bulls (Average Yielding Prices): Slaughter cows and bulls mostly steady.

USDA’s Cutter cow carcass cut-out value Sept. 12 was $235.53 up $.70 from Sept. 5.


(Federal-State Market News)

St. Joseph, Mo.

Sept. 12

This week Last week Last year

272,300 150,900 285,600

Compared to Sept. 5: Coming back after the holiday with many auctions taking Sept. 1 off, the week’s comparable sales had yearlings trading mostly $3-8 higher with calves steady to $5 higher. In the Southeast calves sold mostly $3-8 higher, spots $10 higher. Many of the current week’s auctions that were off the previous week sold $5-15 higher catching up with last week’s higher market. Best demand is noted in the Northern Plains and upper Midwest on yearlings as a large number of buyers participating for these cattle. The previous week’s rocket sales on fat cattle trading mostly $8 higher at $163 as packers had to ramp up their bidding and chase after fat cattle to fulfill their needs. This inspired confidence and conveyed volumes to the feeder cattle market this week.

Slaughter cattle are focusing on tight supplies for market ready cattle with supplies looking to remain tight throughout the fall. Feeder cattle contracts this week made all-time record highs as did live cattle contracts only to see triple-digit losses on Thursday. With feedlot trade so active last week, this had feeder cattle buyers very active again this week to buy feeders.

In Torrington, Wyo., on Sept. 10 at the Torrington Livestock Commission Co. sold 373 head of steers averaging 960 lbs. sold with a weighted average price of $216.05. In Valentine, Neb., on Sept. 11 at the Valentine Livestock Auction sold 257 head of steers averaging 794 lbs. with a weighted average price of $242.27 and 129 head of value added heifers averaging 872 lbs. sold with a weighted average price of 221.11.

In Pratt, Kan., on Sept. 11 at the Pratt Livestock Auction sold a near pot load of steer calves weighing 507 lbs. with the gavel dropping at $312.

On Thursday USDA estimated this year’s corn yield at 171.7 BPA with a record 14.4 billion bushels, up 3 percent from the August forecast and a 4.3 BPA bump up from August. Corn prices continue to be dominated by this very large U.S. harvest and with lower fed cost will create a strong case for feeder cattle support. North Central Regional averages this week for 800-900 lb. steers was $226.52, last week $223.05 and last year $155.62. In Kansas on Sept. 12 afternoon live prices traded $1-2 lower from $161-162. This week’s auction volume included 49 percent over 600 lbs. and 40 percent heifers.


This week Last week Last year

201,100 113,200 203,400

WASHINGTON 1,100. 53 pct over 600 lbs. 65 pct heifers. Heifers: Medium and Large 1-2 600-650 lbs. $225.54.


This week Last week Last year

44,700 33,600 45,200

SOUTHWEST (Arizona-California-Nevada) 5,300. No cattle over 600 lbs. No heifers. Holsteins: Large 3 January 275 lbs. $313 Del; 300 lbs. $292 Del; February 325 lbs. $295 Del.

NORTHWEST (Washington-Oregon-Idaho) 200. 50 pct over 600 lbs. 50 pct heifers. Steers: Medium and Large 1-2 Current Delivery FOB Price 850 lbs. $208 Idaho. Heifers: Medium and Large 1-2 Future Delivery FOB Price 500-550 lbs. $221 for October Washington.


(USDA Market News)

Moses Lake, Wash.

Sept. 11

This week Last week Last year

200 2,800 2,100

Compared to Sept. 5: Not enough feeder steers or heifers reported this week for accurate trends. Trade near standstill as most interests are doing business this week on the video sales and local sale barns. Demand good. The feeder supply included 50 percent steers and 50 percent heifers. Near 50 percent of the supply weighed over 600 lbs. Prices are FOB weighing point with a 1-4 percent shrink or equivalent and with a 5-10 cent slide on calves and a 3-7 cent slide on yearlings. Delivered prices include freight, commissions and other expenses.

Steers: Medium and Large 1-2: Current Delivery FOB Price: 850 lbs. $208 Idaho.

Heifers: Medium and Large 1-2: Future Delivery FOB Price: 500-550 lbs. $221 for October Washington.

Western livestock auction report Mon, 15 Sep 2014 14:03:25 -0400 Cattle prices in dollars per hundredweight (cwt.) except some replacement animals per pair or head as indicated.



(Shasta Livestock Auction)

Cottonwood, Calif.

Sept. 12

Current week Last week

864 3,278

Compared to Sept. 5: Slaughter cows and bulls $2-3 softer. Cattle under 700 lbs. mostly steady. Yearlings steady to $8 lower on less demand. Off lots and singles $15-40 below top offerings.

Slaughter cows: Breakers $100-108, $109-120 high dress; Boning $91-99; Cutters $84-90.

Bulls 1 and 2: $100-120; $121-129 high dress.

Feeder steers: 295-322; 450-500 lbs. $265-302; 550-600 lbs. $240-273; 600-650 lbs. $235-254.50; 650-700 lbs. $215-235; 700-750 lbs. $220-235.50; 800-900 lbs. $200-211.50

Feeder heifers: 400-450 lbs. $265-302.50; 450-500 lbs. $283; 500-550 lbs. $239-254; 550-600 lbs. $210-230; 600-650 lbs. $210-244; 650-700 lbs. $210-244; 750-800 lbs. $200-226.50.

Calvy cows: Too few to test

Pairs: Too few to test



(Treasure Valley Livestock)

Sept. 5

Steers: 300-400 lbs. $320; 400-500 lbs. $183; 500-600 lbs. $210; 600-700 lbs. $190; 700-800 lbs. $175; 800-900 lbs. $165; 900-1000 lbs. $164; 1000 lbs. and up $131.

Heifers: 200-300 lbs. $322; 300-400 lbs. $266; 400-500 lbs. $229.50; 500-600 lbs. $199; 600-700 lbs. $180; 700-800 lbs. $176.50; 800-900 lbs. $152.50; 900-1000 lbs. $154.75; 1000 lbs. and up $127.

Cows (wt.): 800-900 lbs. $79; 900-1000 lbs. $82.25; 1000-1100 lbs. $82.25; 1100-1200 lbs. $93; 1200-1300 lbs. $102.25; 1300-1400 lbs. $103; 1400-1500 lbs. $98.50; 1500-1600 lbs. $109; 1600-1700 lbs. $113; 1700-1800 lbs. $113.50; 1800-1900 lbs. $117.

Bull calves (wt.): 300-400 lbs. $291; 400-500 lbs. $257; 500-600 lbs. $219.25; 600-700 lbs. $148.75; 700-800 lbs. $77.25; 800-900 lbs. $131.75; 900-1000 lbs. $140; 1000-1100 lbs. $161; 1100-1200 lbs. $129.50; 1200-1300 lbs. $122; 1300-1400 lbs. $130.50; 1400-1500 lbs. $129.50.

Bulls (wt.): 1500-1600 lbs. $128.50; 1600-1700 lbs. $137.25; 1700-1800 lbs. $135; 1900-2000 lbs. $135; 2200-2400 lbs. $142.

Pairs (hd.): 1000 lbs. and up $1625.

Stock cows (hd.): 800 lbs. and up $1710.

Bull calves (hd.): 100-200 lbs. $435; 200-300 lbs. $525.

Heifer calves (hd.): 100-200 lbs. $425; 200-300 lbs. $420; 300-400 lbs. $375.

Steer calves (hd.): 100-200 lbs. $155; 200-300 lbs. $410.



(Toppenish Livestock Auction)

(USDA Market News)

Moses Lake, Wash.

Sept. 12

This week Last week Last year

1,870 1,640 1,740

Compared to Sept. 5 at the same market: Stocker cattle less than 600 lbs. steady to $3 higher. Feeder cattle greater than 600 lbs. steady to weak. Trade active with good demand. Slaughter cows $2-5 lower. Slaughter bulls $5-6 lower. Trade slow to moderate with moderate demand. Slaughter cows 58 percent, Slaughter bulls 10 percent, and feeders 32 percent of the supply. The feeder supply included 55 percent steers and 45 percent heifers. Near 62 percent of the run weighed over 600 lbs.

Feeder Steers: Medium and Large 1-2: 300-400 lbs. $280-301; 400-500 lbs. $255; 500-600 lbs. $229-241; 500-600 lbs. $258, Thin Fleshed; 600- 700 lbs. $228-240; 600-700 lbs. $213-219, Full; 700-800 lbs. $213.50- 218.50; and 800-900 lbs. $200-211.50. Large 1-2: 900-1000 lbs. $195. Small and Medium 1-2: 500-600 lbs. $205; and 600-700 lbs. $220, Yearlings.

Feeder Bulls: Medium and Large 1-2: 500-600 lbs. $216-230.

Feeder Heifers: Medium and Large 1-2: 300-400 lbs. $277; 400-500 lbs. $235-251; 500-600 lbs. $226-231; 600-700 lbs. $215-229; 700-800 lbs. $207-213.50; 800-900 lbs. $205-207; and 800-900 lbs. $199, Full. Large 1-2: 1000-1100 lbs. $166. Large 2-3: 1100-1200 lbs. $1165 138- 141. Small and Medium 1-2: 400-500 lbs. $220 220; 500-600 lbs. $215 215; and 600-700 lbs. $190 190, Yearlings. Small and Medium 2-3: 500- 600 lbs. $180, Yearlings. Small 4: 300-400 lbs. $108, Mexican Origin.

Slaughter Cows:

Boning 80-85 percent lean 1300-1800 lbs. $106-113; Lean 85-90 percent lean 1300-1600 lbs. $103-110; Lean 90 percent lean 1200-1400 lbs. $90-99.

Slaughter Bulls: Yield Grade 1-2 1200-2250 lbs. $125-135.50.

Bred Cows (Per Head): Medium and Large 1-2: Mid-Aged 1200 lbs. 1900 1-3 mos. bred.



(Producers Livestock Market)

Sept. 10

Total receipts: 1011 head.

Market comment: Lighter weight calves a touch softer; cattle from 600 lbs. and up $4-6 higher; cows $4-6 lower; bulls steady and a few bred cows sold well with good demand.

Steer calves: 300-400 lbs. $310-335; 400-500 lbs. $295-312; 500-600 lbs. $245-275.

Heifer calves: 300-400 lbs. $260-290; 400-500 lbs. $250-265; 500-600 lbs. $230-238.

Yearling steers : 600-700 lbs. $225-247; 700-800 lbs. $220-230; 800-900 lbs. $205-210; 900-1000 lbs. $190-200.

Yearling heifers: 600-700 lbs. $220-230; 700-800 lbs. $215-225; 800-900 lbs. $195-200; 900-1000 lbs. $175-190.

Stock cows (young): $1600-1900.

Stock cows (B.M.): $1200-1500.

Butcher cows: $92-105.

Thin shelly cows: $75-91.

Butcher bulls: $110-133.

Portland Daily Grain Report Mon, 15 Sep 2014 09:36:11 -0400 Portland, Ore., Sept. 15

USDA Market News

Bids for grains delivered to Portland, Oregon during September 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 September delivery. Bids for corn are for 30 day delivery.

In early trading December wheat futures trended 2.50 to 7.50 cents per bushel lower than Friday’s closes.

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

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

The lower Kansas City December futures pressured cash bids. Some exporters are not issuing bids for nearby delivery.

Bids for 14 percent protein non-guaranteed US 1 Dark Northern Spring Wheat for September delivery were not fully established in early trading but were indicated as lower, compared to Friday’s noon bids. The lower Minneapolis December wheat futures pressured cash bids. Some exporters are not issuing bids for nearby delivery.

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

Sep mostly 6.7375, ranging 6.6500-6.9000

Oct 6.6500-6.9300

Nov 6.6500-6.9600

Dec 6.6500-6.9900

Jan 6.6750-7.0200

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

Sep mostly 9.0500, ranging 8.6500-9.4500

Not fully established and limited.

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


Ordinary protein 6.8425-6.9425

10 pct protein 6.8425-6.9425

11 pct protein 6.9225-7.1125

11.5 pct protein

Sep 6.9625-7.1625

12 pct protein 6.9625-7.1625

13 pct protein 6.9625-7.1625

Not fully established and limited.

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 6.3050-7.5050

14 pct protein

Sep 7.9050-8.9550

15 pct protein 9.1050-10.1550

16 pct protein 10.3050-11.3550

Not fully established and limited.

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 14.0000

Not well tested.

Exporter Bids Portland Rail/Barge Aug 2014

Averages in Dollars per bushel

US 1 Soft White by Unit Trains and Barges 6.8800

US 1 Hard Red Winter (Ordinary protein) 7.1500

US 1 Hard Red Winter (11.5% protein) 7.2700

US 1 Dark Northern Spring (14% protein) 7.9400

Source: USDA Market News Service, Portland, OR

Niki Davila 503-326-2237

24 Hour Market Report 503-326-2022—gr110.txt

8:48 P nd

Agriculture exhibit to open at LSU Mon, 15 Sep 2014 08:24:32 -0400 BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — An exhibit marking 100 years of the Cooperative Extension Service in Louisiana will open at the LSU Hill Memorial Library on Sept. 22.

The exhibit will include historical documents regarding LSU president Thomas Boyd and the establishment of cooperative extension at LSU, photos from early extension agent annual reports and first-edition extension bulletins containing advice on farming and food safety.

The Cooperative Extension Service was created to improve agricultural practices. Over the years, the service also expanded into urban areas with programs aimed at economic development, food safety, nutrition education, gardening and disaster recovery.

In addition to photos and documents, the exhibit will include a listening station at which visitors can select audio clips from current and retired extension employees.

The exhibit runs through Jan. 24, 2015.

North Dakota grain farmers worried about quality Mon, 15 Sep 2014 08:22:52 -0400 BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota farmers are growing increasingly concerned about crop quality as the small grains harvest progresses.

Barley farmers are facing the prospect of malting companies not wanting their grain, and wheat growers face the possibility that grain elevators won’t accept some of their crops.

A cool, wet summer has led to sprouting problems and crop disease concerns, and some farmers are worried they won’t even be able to get all of their crops into the bin after a wet August.

“There are more standing (crops) than harvested small grains in my area,” Mark Seastrand, a barley grower in northeastern North Dakota, told The Bismarck Tribune .

Quality concerns include vomitoxin, a toxin associated with scab disease that can make grain unsafe for people and animals to eat. Barley is used for beer and wheat for bread products. Both also are used for livestock feed.

Jim McCullough just finished harvesting barley on his central North Dakota farm and quickly turned to his wheat crop, still standing in the field.

“We basically lost the whole month of August,” he said.

Many North Dakota farmers were expecting bumper crops. The most recent federal Agriculture Department estimates, released in mid-August, projected the spring wheat crop to be up 16 percent over last year, to 273 million bushels. The state leads the nation in the production of that crop, and is the second-leading producer of barley, behind Idaho.

“At this point we’re trying to maintain vigilance and get the crop off the field,” said Steven Edwardson, executive administrator of the North Dakota Barley Council.

Bee studies give Nicholls student new insights Tue, 9 Sep 2014 09:24:31 -0400 XERXES WILSONThe Daily Comet THIBODAUX, La. (AP) — Nicholls State University freshman Brook Hoover wants to use lessons learned from a summer helping with honey bee research to educate others about world hunger.

Hoover recently completed the Wallace-Carver Fellowship, hosted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the World Food Prize. She was one of 33 students nationwide selected to take part in the program.

“The Wallace-Carver Fellowship exposes the best young minds in agriculture to the wide variety of opportunities available to them through civil service,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a news release.

Hoover grew up in Ponchatoula in Tangipahoa Parish. Her first experience understanding hunger came through her school’s FFA chapter.

“Actually, I got into it because growing up I was really intrigued by animals in anything we did,” Hoover said. “Through it I became aware of the local and world issue of global hunger. It sounds cliché, but when you’re faced with the fact, it’s scary.”

Hoover recalled growing produce for the local food bank and outings to teach her community inexpensive techniques to grow produce at home. Her first interaction with the World Food Prize was as a youth delegate, which led to the fellowship. The fellowship allows students to spend the summer working as a paid intern with researchers tackling world food obstacles.

Hoover chose to work with Agriculture Department scientists at the Honeybee Breeding, Genetics and Physiology Laboratory in Baton Rouge.

“I didn’t realize the aspect of the smallest creature, like a honey bee, the impact it can have on society,” Hoover said.

Bee pollination is responsible for more than $15 billion in crop value each year. Commercial production of many specialty crops such as almonds and other tree nuts, berries, fruits and vegetables depends on pollination by honey bees, according to the Agriculture Department.

Scientists were studying ways to mitigate honey bee colony collapse, which occurs for many reasons.

Hoover said her particular lab was studying a bee-killing parasite in an attempt to breed resistant bees.

Clad in arm-length gloves and a bee veil, Hoover said she was a little nervous the first time she investigated a hive.

“I was excited, but I was kind of nervous like I could get stung by 1,000 bees and not know what to do,” Hoover said. “I just kind of stood there at first. It was just one of those noises: when you hear a swarm of bees, you know to go the opposite direction. But I was standing there and couldn’t go anywhere.”

She said her nerves had calmed by the time she worked with a fourth hive, and she wasn’t stung until the last week of the internship.

Through the summer she learned about the physiology of bees by helping extract DNA and inseminate the insects. She also learned about the potential effects of widespread colony collapse.

“I never understood how important it was to have them,” Hoover said. If we lose our bees, there will be many problems there down the road. I hope that people will consider that.”

Hoover is studying agricultural engineering and hasn’t yet decided where a career would take her.

“I want to become an advocate for hunger,” she said. “I’m going to school for agricultural engineering because want to be an advocate, know what I am talking about and be able to offer solutions to farmers.”

She said the summer experience made her value the role of communicating science.

“In years we will have to produce more food on less land with changing climate that can’t be controlled. It’s going to be difficult to feed 10 billion people,” Hoover said. “There is a gap between research and communication. Somebody has to be able to tell the story in a simple way where people can grasp the full impact.”

Cedar City residents fighting prairie-dog rules Fri, 12 Sep 2014 10:04:44 -0400 LINDSAY WHITEHURST SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A federal judge is weighing a lawsuit from Cedar City residents who say prairie dogs are overrunning parts of their town and want federal protections for the animals rolled back.

The group argued in a hearing Thursday that the prairie dogs have damaged the southern Utah town’s golf course, airport and cemetery, even interrupting funerals with their barking.

“The problem is, this regulation is so unreasonable and it’s done by the wrong level of government,” said Jonathan Wood, an attorney with the Sacramento-based, property rights-oriented Pacific Legal Foundation. “It should be dealt with by the local government.”

Wood said the case wouldn’t have implications for other protected species beyond the 40,000 prairie dogs around the southwestern Utah town.

The Utah prairie dog is classified as threatened by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. People can apply for a permit to drive the creatures from private property, but Wood said the process is too onerous.

An attorney with the group Friends of Animals said prairie dogs are a valuable species that needs federal protection. “This is one of the most unique animals on earth. Their level of skill and communication is on par only with dolphins and humans,” Michael Harris said.

Federal attorney Mary Hollingsworth the prairie-dog protections are part of a larger system of protections under the Endangered Species Act.

No deadline was immediately set for U.S. District Judge Dee Benson to rule in the case.

Resident Matt Munson said that he’s seen 100 prairie dogs move into a half-acre empty lot within days in his neighborhood, and the creatures often burrow under the airport runway.

“Eventually someone is going to crash their airplane because it’s bumpy,” said Munson, part of the group called People for the Ethical Treatment of Property Owners.

Illegal immigrant deportations down 20 percent Fri, 12 Sep 2014 09:50:42 -0400 ALICIA A. CALDWELL WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama has quietly slowed deportations by nearly 20 percent while delaying plans to act on his own potentially to shield millions of immigrants from expulsion.

The Homeland Security Department is on pace to remove the fewest number of immigrants since 2007, according to an analysis of its data by The Associated Press.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the federal agency responsible for deportations, sent home 258,608 immigrants between the start of the budget year last Oct. 1 and July 28 this summer, a decrease of nearly 20 percent from the same period in 2013, when 320,167 people were removed.

Over 10 months in 2012, Immigration and Customs Enforcement deported 344,624 people, some 25 percent more than this year, according to federal figures obtained by the AP.

Obama announced plans earlier this year to act on his own to slow deportations but now has postponed any changes until after November’s elections. The delay is an effort to shield vulnerable Democrats from potential voter ire at his unilateral actions.

The removal figures, contained in weekly internal reports marked “Official Use Only,” reflect the marked decline in deportations even as Obama has delayed announcing what changes he will make to U.S. immigration policies.

Immigration advocates widely expect Obama to reduce the number of immigrants who are deported, a particularly sensitive issue in many states. Since Obama took office, his administration has removed more than 2.1 million immigrants.

There are two principal reasons fewer immigrants already are being deported:

—The Obama administration decided as early as summer 2011 to focus its deportation efforts on criminal immigrants or those who posed a threat to national security or public safety. Many others who crossed into the United States illegally or overstayed their visas and could be subject to deportation are stuck in a federal immigration court system. Last month the backlog in that system exceeded 400,000 cases for the first time, according to court data analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University. For each case, it now takes several years for a judge to issue a final order to leave the U.S.

—As Border Patrol agents detain more people from countries in Central America, not Mexico, the volume and circumstances of the cases take more time for overwhelmed immigration officials and courts to process because, among other reasons, the U.S. must fly such immigrants home rather than letting them walk back across the border into Mexico. A surge in the number of immigrant families, mostly women and young children, has swamped temporary holding facilities, leading the Homeland Security Department to release many people into the U.S. interior with instructions to report back to authorities later.

Asked for comment, Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman Gillian Christensen said the agency has not released removal numbers for this budget year and officials are “still assessing a number of factors that inform ICE’s ability to remove individuals.”

“ICE remains focused on smart and effective immigration enforcement that prioritizes the removal of convicted criminals and recent border entrants,” Christensen said in a statement.

Also, under U.S. law, immigrant children from Central America caught crossing the border alone can’t be subjected to speedy removal proceedings without appearing before a judge. The government interviews Mexican and Canadian children to make sure they aren’t trafficking victims; then they can be sent home quickly.

The administration instructed immigration officials starting in summer 2011 to prioritize deportation cases involving criminal immigrants. Deportations had been increasing since late 2008, but since that summer the overall number has dropped markedly.

It remains unclear exactly what actions Obama will announce after the elections. He said earlier this month the U.S. would be better off if immigrants — who in some cases, he said, have been in the U.S. for longer than 10 years and have American children — “have a path to get legal by paying taxes and getting aboveboard, paying a fine, learning English if they have to.”

But there are limits under U.S. law to actions that Obama could take without approval from Congress. He can’t generally give large groups of immigrants blanket permission to remain permanently in the United States, and he can’t grant them American citizenship. He almost certainly could delay indefinitely efforts to deport immigrants already in the U.S. illegally, and he could give them official work permits that would allow them to legally find jobs, obtain driver’s licenses and file tax returns.

The president said this month that a partisan fight in July over how to address a surge in the number of immigrant children caught crossing the border had created the impression that there was a crisis — and a volatile climate for taking the measures he had promised.

As of early September, only 319 of more than 59,000 immigrants who were caught traveling with their families have been returned to Central America.

Doctors: Finding source unlikely in E. coli deaths Fri, 12 Sep 2014 09:39:32 -0400 JEFF BARNARD Investigators say they don’t expect to find the specific sources of fatal strains of E. coli that killed two children in the Pacific Northwest and left a Washington boy fighting for his life.

Dr. Paul Cieslak, medical director of the communicable disease section of the Oregon Health Authority, said Thursday they need at least twice as many cases to pin down a source, which might be tainted food, lake water, or contact with livestock.

Relatives have said 4-year-old Serena Profitt of Otis, Oregon, and 5-year-old Brad Sutton fell ill after a family gathering in Lincoln County on the Oregon Coast. Serena was declared brain dead Monday at a Portland, Oregon, hospital.

Brad was upgraded to serious condition at Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital in Tacoma, Washington, spokeswoman Marce Edwards said.

Dr. Greg Stern, health officer of Whatcom County, Washington, said those cases are not related to that of 3-year-old Brooklyn Hoksbergen of Lynden in northwest Washington. She died a week ago in a Seattle hospital.

Stern and Cieslak said the families of the victims have been interviewed, and a variety of potential sources of E. coli were identified, but no specific sources have emerged. The bacteria can incubate for 10 days in a victim before they show symptoms, allowing for a wide range of sources, which can only be narrowed down through matches between multiple victims.

All three children had a potentially fatal strain of E. coli, Stern and Cieslak said.

Results have yet to come back on a kind of DNA fingerprinting test of the E. coli, which can then be compared to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s national database.

If the three strains match, or match other strains, that could provide clues in tracking down a cluster of cases and a source, Cieslak said.

Young children and the elderly are particularly at risk of dying from E. coli. Cieslak said Oregon has had 21 fatal cases of E. coli since 1992, of which seven were under the age of 5, and 10 were over the age of 70.

Victims can die from kidney failure or bleeding in the brain.

High prices slow U.S. dairy exports Fri, 12 Sep 2014 08:26:12 -0400 Carol Ryan Dumas U.S. dairy exports in July of 171,516 tons of milk powders, cheese, butterfat, whey, and lactose were down 5 percent from a year ago, 9 percent from June and the lowest in six months.

Export sales slowed across all categories in July, reflecting price disadvantages for U.S. suppliers and more competition from Oceana and the EU, according to the U.S. Dairy Export Council.

It’s not uncommon for exports to fluctuate a few percentage points from month to month, and the value of exports is still higher than a year earlier, but export volume has trended down three of the last four months, said Alan Levitt, the organization’s vice president of communications.

Exports of nonfat dry milk/skin milk powder were down 17 percent from June and only 1 percent above a year earlier. Cheese exports were down 8 percent from June but up 18 percent from a year ago.

Butterfat exports were down 10 percent from June and a whopping 40 percent from July 2013. Dry whey was down 14 percent from June and 17 percent from a year earlier. Exports of lactose were down 11 percent from June and 26 percent from a year earlier.

“We’ve been sort of experiencing this for a while,” Levitt said.

While U.S. dairy products are still being shipped under contract or to buyers who want particular product specifications, trade on the open market is being affected, he said.

A lot of spot trading is based on prices, and U.S. prices are higher than international prices in terms of buyers going on the open market to find the best deal, he said.

U.S. butter prices, for example, are record high and twice the world price, pricing it out of the International market and making the U.S. a good market for exporters from other countries. U.S. manufacturers would likewise get better returns selling it domestically, he said.

The current dairy situation is opposite from a year ago when the drought in New Zealand in March and April reduced milk production there 30 percent year over year and the EU also didn’t have much product to sell, he said.

World prices shot through the roof, and the lower U.S. spot prices were a good deal. Conditions were favorable for U.S. exports last summer, he said.

Exports of powder, cheese, butterfat, whey, and lactose in July 2013 were up 44 tons year over year. This July, they’re down 9 tons, but still up 35.5 tons from July 2012.

Sales on all dairy exports, including milk/cream, at $622.5 million are down 10 percent from June but up 2 percent from July 2013.

All U.S. dairy exports from January through July, valued at $4.54 billion are up 22 percent, $791 million, from a year earlier, according to the council.

In general, the U.S. market should stay fairly strong through the holiday buying period and until sometime in November. But Levitt doesn’t see how U.S. prices can stay detached from the world market much longer after that, he said.

Unfortunately, with prices this high, there’s that much further to fall. And once prices start falling, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, with buyers standing back to see how far prices will fall, Levitt said

CME cash prices on Wednesday were $2.99 a pound for butter and $2.35 a pound for block cheddar. The monthly average butter price for August on the Exchange was $2.59 a pound, compared with $1.40 a pound a year earlier. The average August price for block cheddar was $2.18 a pound, compared with $1.75 a year earlier.

USDA boosts corn, soybean harvest to new records Fri, 12 Sep 2014 08:13:19 -0400 DAVID PITT DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The nation’s corn and soybean farmers will bring in by far the largest harvest ever this year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said Thursday in a new report.

Corn farmers are expected to harvest nearly 14.4 billion bushels of corn, up from last year’s 13.9 billion bushel record. The yield of 172 bushels per acre is significantly higher than the previous record set in 2009 of 165 bushels per acre.

Record yields will be set in 18 states, the USDA said, and 10 states including Illinois, Iowa, and Nebraska, the top three producers, have the highest number of ears per corn stalk ever.

A massive harvest has been expected this year as adequate rain and cool temperatures made for favorable growing conditions. The expectations have driven corn and soybean prices significantly lower, but that isn’t expected to make much of a short-time difference in consumer food prices. However, since the grains are staples in livestock feed, lower prices could eventually lead to a decline in the cost of beef, pork, chicken and milk.

The soybean harvest estimate also moved upward to a record of 3.9 billion bushels. The previous record was 3.4 billion bushels in 2009. The per-acre yield is now estimated at record 46.6 bushels per acre, beating the 2009 record of 44 bushels per acre.

After meeting all current demands for corn — including exports and use for animal feed, ethanol and food ingredients — the USDA estimated 2 billion bushels of corn would remain in stock. That’s the highest ending stock in a decade.

The report estimated ending soybean stocks at 475 million bushels, the highest since 2006.

Another positive of the USDA report is that it also predicts record demand for corn and soybeans, said Chad Hart, an agriculture economist with Iowa State University.

That means farmers must keep a close eye on the markets and watch opportunities to sell, he said. Slight movements of pennies per bushel can make a difference in the year’s income.

Despite the strong forecast, concerns have grown in recent days that early cold weather is creeping into the upper Midwest too soon as some crops are maturing later this year because a wet spring delayed planting in northern states.

“It’s a huge concern,” said Ryan Buck, who grows corn and soybeans on about 1,000 acres near Red Wing in southeast Minnesota. “We need all of three weeks yet of warm weather. If we can string together some good weather here the potential is definitely there. The crop looks good, but we just need time.”

A hard freeze, temperatures at 28 degrees or below for at least four hours, causes significant damage to crops.

Most of the concern is focused on Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.

Iowa remains the top corn producer, expecting 2.4 billion bushels, up 13 percent from last year. Production in Illinois is estimated to be 9 percent higher at 2.3 billion bushels and Nebraska remains third in production with a 1.6 billion bushel estimate, down 3.5 percent from last year’s crop.

For soybeans, Illinois is the top producer, with an estimated crop of nearly 563 million bushels, up 21 percent. Iowa is second highest producer with 512 million bushels, up 24 percent from a year ago, followed by Minnesota at 312 million bushels, a 15 percent increase over last year.

Capital Press Calendar of Events Fri, 5 Sep 2014 11:30:45 -0400 To submit items to the calendar, send an email with information to



Sept. 15 — Willamette Valley Oilseed Producers Association Annual Meeting, 7:30-10:30 a.m., Polk County Fairgrounds, Rickreall,

Sept. 17 — Oregon Ryegrass Growers Seed Commission meeting, 6 p.m., Cascade Grill restaurant, 110 Opal St. NE, Albany, 503-364-2944,

Sept. 18 — Oregon Raspberry and Blackberry Commission meeting, 6 p.m., Langdon Farms Golf Club, 24377 NE Airport Road, Aurora, 541-758-4043

Sept. 26-27 — Geothermal Workshop: Lease, Units and Water Use Legal Issues and Hydrothermal Resources and Geothermal Exploration, Oregon Convention Center, Portland, or 530-758-2360

Sept. 28-Oct. 1 — Geothermal Resource Council Annual Meeting and Expo, Oregon Convention Center, Portland. Register by Aug. 30 for $100 discount, or 530-758-2360


Through Sept. 21 — Washington State Fair, Puyallup,

Through Sept. 13 — Columbia Basin Junior Livestock Show, Connell

Sept. 13 — Farmer Consumer Awareness Day festival, Quincy,


Sept. 18-19 — California Poultry Federation annual conference, Monterey Plaza Hotel, 400 Cannery Road, Monterey,

Sept. 23-25 — Fresh-Cut Products: Maintaining Quality and Safety Workshop, University of California-Davis,


Through Sept. 6 — Eastern Idaho State Fair, 97 Park St., Blackfoot, (208) 785-2480,



Oct. 1-3 — North American Blueberry Council and U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council fall meeting, Hyatt Rosemont Hotel, Rosemont, Ill., (847) 518-1234 or (916) 983-0111.

Oct. 20-22 — Export Exchange 2014, Sheraton Seattle Hotel, Seattle, co-sponsored by the U.S. Grains Council and the Renewable Fuels Association,

Oct. 20-22 — National Farmland, Food And Livable Communities Conference, American Farmland Trust, Lexington, Ky.,

Oct. 29-Nov. 1 — National FFA Convention and Expo, Louisville, Ky.,


Oct. 17-19 — The All About Fruit Show, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Clackamas County Fairplex, Canby,

Oct. 18 — Oregon Agriculture in the Classroom Foundation Fall Harvest Dinner and Auction, Oregon State University, Corvallis, (541)737-8629 or


Oct. 2 — Introduction to Food Safety and HAACP Workshop, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Hilton Garden Inn Idaho Falls, www.techhelp. org


Oct. 24-25 — Washington State Sheep Producers annual convention, Leavenworth, www.wssp. org



Through Nov. 1 — National FFA Convention and Expo, Louisville, Ky.,


Nov. 7 — Denim and Diamonds annual dinner auction, Agri-Business Council of Oregon, 5 p.m., Portland Marriott Hotel,


Nov. 3-5 — Produce Safety: A Science-based Framework Workshop, University of California-Davis,


Nov. 4-7 — Dairy Sheep Symposium, Chehalis

Nov. 7-9 — Tilth Producers of Washington 40th anniversary conference, Vancouver Hilton,

Nov. 10-11 — Dairy Industry Annual Meeting, Heathman Lodge, Vancouver,

Nov. 17-20 — Washington Farm Bureau annual meeting, Yakima Convention Center,


Nov. 4-6 — Practical Food Safety and HACCP Workshop, Riverside Hotel, Boise,



Dec. 6-10 — California Farm Bureau annual meeting, Hyatt Regency Orange County, Garden Grove,


Dec. 2-4 — Idaho Farm Bureau annual meeting, Boise,


Dec. 9-11 — Oregon Farm Bureau state convention, Salishan Resort in Gleneden Beach, near Lincoln City,



Jan. 11-14 — American Farm Bureau Annual Convention, San Diego, Calif.,

Farm groups hope waters bill impacts EPA rule Thu, 11 Sep 2014 15:58:35 -0400 Tim Hearden Though they praise the U.S. House of Representatives for passing the bill, farm groups realize that legislation to block the Environmental Protection Agency's new Waters of the U.S. rule will likely go no further.

However, some groups hold out hope that the bill's relatively widespread support — it had 120 cosponsors and passed 262-152 on Sept. 9 – will have an impact on a rule that critics say is a federal overreach.

"There were quite a few votes for it, so absolutely … it will send a message of what the will of the industry is and what Congress thinks of the proposal," said Shawna Newsome, a spokeswoman for the National Cattlemen's Beef Association.

About 150 pork producers and swine veterinarians visited Washington, D.C., this week to urge senators to take up the bill. But given a veto threat from the White House and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's support of President Barack Obama's initiatives, the legislation likely won't be considered, said Dave Warner, spokesman for the National Pork Producers Council.

"If Republicans take the Senate (in November's election), I think legislation to repeal the rule will pass in both houses," Warner said in an email. "I'm not sure what impact passage of the House bill will have on EPA, particularly given the agency's campaign to discredit those opposed to the rule."

The rule proposed in April by the EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers aims to clarify the agencies' authority over inland under the Clean Water Act. Their current jurisdiction based on several U.S. Supreme Court decisions includes "navigable" waters and waters significantly connected to navigable waters, the NPPC explains in a news release.

Critics argue the proposed Waters of the United States would broaden that to include intermittent and ephemeral streams such as the kind farmers use for drainage and irrigation and would narrow the scope of what are considered normal farming and ranching practices.

For instance, building fences or grazing cattle have never required a permit, but failure to obtain one in certain instances under this rule could bring a producer up to $37,500 in fines per day, NCBA environmental attorney Ashley McDonald said in a news release.

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy has said the proposal does not include new restrictions and merely clarifies what bodies of water already are under federal jurisdiction in the Clean Water Act, according to The Associated Press.

The House bill, the "WOTUS Regulatory Overreach Protection Act" sponsored by Rep. Steve Southerland, R-Fla., would prohibit the federal government from adopting or enforcing the rule or changing what it considers normal agricultural practices.

EPA spokesman Robert Daguillard pointed to a statement from the White House, which asserts the rule "is essential to ensure clean water for future generations and reduce regulatory uncertainty." The administration "is responsive" to calls from Congress, industry representatives and others, the statement added.

Previously, political pressure from farmers and ranchers has played a key role in stalling key parts of President Barack Obama's agenda that they didn't like, including cap and trade legislation and stringent new meatpacker rules.

Meatpacker-competition rules proposed in 2010 by the federal Grain Inspectors, Packers and Stockyards Administration were dramatically stripped down after the USDA received more than 61,000 written comments on the plan and lawmakers threatened to strip its funding.

With the waters rule, even lawmakers who opposed the House bill recognize "that there's a real problem here" and that the EPA and Army Corps "are overreaching," said Don Parrish, senior director of regulatory affairs for the American Farm Bureau Federation.

"There's a lot of people on both sides of the aisle who have huge heartburn" over the rule, Parrish said. "The message is being sent … loud and clear."