Ag Chat with Bob Bosold- August 12
Agriculture secretary Sonny Perdue's call to move the Economic Research Service and the National Institute for Food and Agriculture isn't going real well. First of all, Congress is still fighting the plan since they say Perdue is using funds for the move that have to have Congressional Approval-and that hasn't happened yet. And it doesn't look like many of the current employees want to leave Washington as Perdue had expected. So far over two thirds of the current employees say they're not going to Kansas City. Under Perdue's plan that means those employees will lose their jobs on September 27th.
A combination of hog diseases and falling imports has pushed food prices in China up by over 9% this year. Their biggest challenge is dealing with African Swine Fever in their hog herd which is the biggest in the world. Because of the fever, the Chinese have already destroyed more hogs than we even have in this country-pushing their pork prices up by about 27% so far this year. And because they've cut their imports of agricultural goods from the United States, products like fresh fruit are costing the Chinese 39% more than a year ago. Our exports of fresh fruits to China are now less than half of what they were a year ago.
Today will be a big day for reports coming from the USDA. At 11 o'clock this morning, economists will release their August crop numbers which will include the results of their second planting survey of 14 major corn growing states. That second look at planting was necessary because the grain trade felt strongly that the June estimates were way out of whack because of the late planting season. And most traders feel today's estimate of the corn crop will be much smaller than the July numbers. In fact some figure the crop could be as small as 12.7 billion bushels on yields of just over 165 bushels per acre. No one is looking for a corn crop anywhere near 14 billion bushels. Also today, the Farm Service Agency will let us know its estimates of prevented planted acres for this year.
The Wisconsin State Fair ended yesterday in West Allis. Congratulations are in order for the Chippewa County 4-H dairy exhibitors who won the herdsmanship award at the fair for the third consecutive year. Members of that delegation were Alissa Maier, Jacob Maier, Lily Crosby, Michelle Asselin, Philip Taylor, Mitchel Romundstad and Autumn Pawlak.