Radio Script 6-4-19

Flooded fields still plaguing U. S. farmers

Good morning! This is Bob Bragg with the June 4th edition of Farm News and Views.

I hate to sound like the proverbial broken record, but the top ag news today…You guessed it weather and trade or maybe trade and weather.

Soggy fields are still keeping many farmers out to their fields in the Midwest, but weather forecasts are calling for rains to let up later this week in the Corn Belt. The U.S. corn planting in 2019, is the slowest pace in USDA records dating back to 1980. As of May 26, only 58% of the country’s estimated 92.8 million corn acres have been planted. The five-year average for this time off year is 90%. Soybean planting is only at 29% complete on 84.6 million acres allocated to this crop, with he five-year average for late May of 66% planted. read more

Radio Script 5-28-19

Cloudy weather has plagued farmers this year in the Midwest and beyond.

Good morning. This is Bob Bragg. Welcome to the May 28th edition of Farm News and Views.

Weather in much of the Corn Belt and beyond, is top of the news this morning. Farmers from Michigan to Ohio and west into Minnesota, Iowa and Nebraska are reporting that their fields are to wet to plant, and rain continues to fall. Rivers in Illinois and Iowa are flooding adjacent farm land, and the Mississippi Levee Board is reporting that more than a half million acres of land in the Mississippi Delta has been covered by backwater floods. Flooding is also occurring along the Missouri river and its tributaries. Many farmers are predicting that much of the flooded land in the Midwest won’t be farmed this year. read more

Radio Script 5-21-19

Osmia Ribifloris, A wild bee related to the Blue Orchard Bee USDA ARS Photo by Jack Dykinga

Good morning. This is Bob Bragg. Welcome to the May 21st edition of Farm News and Views.

Did you celebrate World Bee Day yesterday? I did, and I read some interesting statistics about bees that I’ll share. World wide there are over 20,000 species of bees, including about 4,000 species of Native bees in North America that are found where ever flowers bloom. Bees are estimated to pollinate 170,000 species of plants worldwide, so the common expression “busy as a bee” isn’t just a misnomer. It was once believed that honey bees didn’t exist in North America before Europeans brought them to Virginia in 1622. But a 2009 discovery of a 14 million year old fossil of an extinct honey bee in west-central Nevada proved that honey bees had lived in North America in the distant past. In the west, according to records, the first honey bees arrived in Utah about 1850, and came to Colorado in 1863. Although honey bee Queens often live for three or four years, worker bees live for a few weeks in the summer, and a few months while in the hive during winter. One worker bee will produce about 1/12th of a teaspoon of honey during its lifetime in the summer. read more

Radio Script 5-14-19

Corn is a major export commodity for U.S. farmers. NRCS Photo by Tim McCabe

Good Morning, this is Bob Bragg with the May 14th edition of Farm News and Views.

News about a trade trade deal with China, or lack of one, has dominated agricultural news for the past several weeks. Just when there seemed to be light at the end of the trade deal tunnel, the door was slammed, and agricultural commodity markets took another downward spiral. Prices for wheat and beef, two commodities that are important to Four Corners Region farmers and ranchers, though seemingly not a top priority for trade negotiators have followed other ag commodities prices down from what they were a month ago. read more

Radio Script 5-7-19

USDA Photo

Good morning, this is Bob Bragg with the May 7th edition of Farm News and Views.

The story at the top of ag news today is President Trump’s threat to impose additional tariffs on China May 10th if the U.S. and China don’t reach a trade agreement this week. Commodity markets were sharply down yesterday for corn, soybeans, wheat, cotton and hogs. These commodities were already facing stiff headwinds due to overproduction and the yearlong trade wars with our leading trading partners. A done deal with China this week would garner a huge sigh of relief from U.S. farmers, many of whom are struggling with the sixth year of low commodity prices. read more

Radio Script 4-30-2019

Spring time in the Rockies NRCS Photo Gene Alexander

Good morning! This is Bob Bragg with the April 30th edition of farm news and views

Last week, two class action lawsuits were filed in Federal Courts that will be of interest to both cattle producers and beef consumers.

On April 23, R-Calf USA filed suit alleging that meat packing companies Tyson, Cargill, National Beef and JBS, violated U.S. antitrust laws, the Packers and Stockyards Act, and the Commodity Exchange Act by unlawfully depressing the prices paid to American ranchers, and thereby inflating their own margins and profits. These four companies slaughter over 80% of all of the cattle raised in the U.S. This lawsuit seeks to recover the losses suffered by both cattle producers and traders who transacted live cattle futures or options contracts on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange from January 2015 to the present. read more

Radio Script 4-23-19

New Mexico Cattle NRCS Photo Jeff Vanuga

Good morning! This is Bob Bragg. Welcome to the April 23rd edition of Farm News and Views

The Creighton University Rural Main Street Index, which provides indicators of economic conditions in small, rural communities, reported that the economy is expanding outside of agriculture, but in April the borrowing index climbed to 81.3. This is the highest level of farm loans since the survey was started in 2006. read more

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