Radio Script 4-16-19

Midwest wheat field

Good Morning! This is Bob Bragg with the April 16th edition of Farm News and Views.

Results of the 2017 USDA Agricultural Census was released on Thursday last week. The Census is gathered every five years, targeting farmers and ranchers who file a Farm Schedule F as part of their federal income Tax returns. The Census provides a broad overview of agricultural production in the U.S., which is also broken down to the state and county levels. The information in this report is often used to spot trends and to provide information for setting agricultural policies over the next five years. read more

Radio Script 4-2-19

Iowa Corn NRCS Photo
Lynn Betts

Good morning. This is Bob Bragg with the April 2nd Edition of Farm News and Views.

In its March Quarterly Grain Stocks Report released last Friday, the USDA reported that the U.S. soybean stocks, as of March 1st, were 2.72 billion bushels, that’s about 600 million bushels more than a year ago. Corn stocks were 200 million bushels lower, while wheat was 100 million bushels higher than a year ago. read more

Radio Script 3-26-19

Nebraska Flood FEMA Photo

Good morning! This is Bob Bragg. Welcome to the March 26th edition of Farm News and Views.

Flooding has been at the top of U.S. news cycle for the past couple of weeks. It’s affecting large swaths of farm land and small towns in the rural Midwest. Nebraska farmers have been especially hard hit with an estimated 1 billion dollars in losses to buildings, fences, machinery, livestock and stored crops, and that figure is expected to rise. Wide areas of Iowa, Wisconsin and Missouri are also flooded. Some farmers are ferrying feed to isolated livestock in Iowa and Nebraska by boat, and volunteers from the Nebraska Air National Guard is using helicopters to air drop hay to hungry, stranded cattle. But ng to NOOA, nearly two-thirds of the Lower 48 states face an elevated risk for flooding through May, with the potential for major or moderate flooding in 25 states that could affect 200 million people. The flooding may be caused by additional spring rain and melting snow, especially in the central and southern U.S. As this excess water flows downstream through major river basins, the flood threat will become worse and geographically more widespread. read more

Radio Script 3-19-19

Good morning! This is Bob Bragg. Welcome to the March 19th edition of Farm News and Views.

I’ve recently reported on lab grown meat and fish products that are expected to come to grocery stores in the near future. Now a product that mimics eggs, made from mung beans, will soon be rolled out nationally by a company called, Just Eggs. (They plan to distribute the products through national retailers.) read more

Radio Script 3-12-19

Good morning. This is Bob Bragg. Welcome to the March 12th edition of Farm News and Views.

Winter snow bring water and mud.USDA ARS by Scott Bauer

Early last fall, the long range weather forecasts for a wetter than normal winter were eagerly received by farmers and ranchers. But by mid November, a lot of folks were wondering if we were in for another dry year. When winter hit though, it delivered. During all of the sometimes heavy snow, I didn’t hear any farmers or rancher complaining about drifted in drives and the difficulties of having to feed livestock in coveralls and muck boots. But our late winter snow, rain and warmer days have brought a new plague especially to livestock producers…boot sucking off Mud. This has coincided with Calving cows, lambing ewes and departing soil stabilizing frost. An example of the changing conditions was seen at the Old Fort at Hesperus, where Coordinator Beth Lashell posted a picture three weeks ago of cows being fed in a valley of snow that had been carved out by a snow blower on the back of a big John Deere tractor. Last week they were searching for bedding for cows that were starting to calve on ground that was starting to turn into a quagmire…I still haven’t heard any farmers or ranchers complaining about the snow and rain we’vereceived or the mud. read more

Radio Script 03-05-19

Tall corn country

Good Morning. This is Bob Bragg with the March 5th edition of Farm News and Views.

There’s been a lot of trade chatter over the past few days. On Friday, President Trump tweeted that he had asked China to immediately remove all tariffs on agricultural products because the trade talks were going nicely. Recently, the USDA reported that sales of soybeans and other farm commodities had fallen from 20 billion dollars in 2017 to 16.3 billion in the fiscal year 2018, and are projected to decrease by 9 billion dollars in 2019. These statistics are concerning to grain farmers who are suffering through the sixth year of low commodity prices. When coupled with the Congressional Budget Office projections indicating that farmers will grow near-record crops this year in an attempt to generate revenue, while at the same time, slowly working down a soybean stockpile that is expected to approach a billion bushels this summer This is the largest soybean inventory ever. So farmers are hoping for a trade resolution sooner rather than later. read more

Radio Script 2-19-19

Good morning! Welcome to the February 19th edition of Farm News and Views. This is Bob Bragg.

A couple of ag headlines bring home how weather often has a negative impact on farmers and ranchers. For example, an estimated 300,000 head of cattle were drowned due to flooding in northern Queensland, Australia, last week. The heavy rains have followed a drought that has plagued farmers and stockman in that state for the past seven years. read more

Radio Script 2-12-19

Abraham Lincoln’s boyhood home in Kentucky

Good morning! Welcome to the February 12th edition of farm news and views.

Abraham Lincoln was born in 1809, 210 years ago today, in Hardin County, in northwestern Kentucky. His father, Thomas, was a farmer who eked out a living on hard scrabble farms first in Kentucky, where they lived until Abraham was seven years old. After his father lost his farm in a land title dispute in 1816, they moved 100 miles northwest to Spenser County Indiana. His mother died there two years later, and his father remarried in 1819. Abraham grew up on the Spenser county farm, which probably helped form Abraham’s work ethic and character. In 1830, Thomas gave up on that densely wooded, hilly, and rocky farm, and moved his family, with help from his 21 years son, to Macon County Illinois, south of Decatur. Abraham then when out on his own and worked at a number of different jobs before practicing law and entering politics with election to the Illinois State Legislature in 1834. read more

Radio Script 2-5-19

Ridge tilling soybeans in Ohio
USDA ARS Photo by Kieth Weller

Good morning. This is Bob Bragg with the February 5th edition of farm news and views.

Trade has been a hot topic in agricultural news over the past week. When it was reported last Friday that Chinese negotiators announced that China would purchase 5 million metric tons of soybeans, the futures markets reacted with a giddy uptick on soybeans. But by Saturday morning, the balloon had burst, because everyone realized that there was no time table associated with the sale. While 5 million tons of soybeans sounds like a lot of beans, the phantom sale amounted to less than 4% of 2018’s total crop of 4.6 billion bushels, and soybean exports to China are already running way behind the quantity of beans that U.S. farmers had sold to China by this time last year. read more

Farm News and Views 1-29-19

Photo Courtesy of USDA ARS

Good morning. This is Bob Bragg. Welcome to the January 29th edition of Farm News and Views.

The end of the government shutdown is a relief for the 800,000 federal workers who haven’t received a paycheck since the shutdown started on December 21st . At this stage, it is unknown how fast the USDA will get the normal programs back on track, but farmers and ranchers who’ve not been able to negotiate loans, sign up for government crop and conservations programs are ready to get to work on planing for the 2019 growing season. read more