Tuesday, March 11,2014


Today's Update!


USDA Strives To Expand Support Of Small, Mid-Sized Farmers U.S.


Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced new and expanded efforts to connect small and mid-sized farmers and ranchers with USDA resources that can help them build stronger businesses, expand to reach new and larger markets and grow their operations. Vilsack says the recent Census of Agriculture shows there is tremendous growth potential for small and mid-sized producers in the American agricultural landscape. He says USDA is taking a hard look at existing resources to ensure they work for producers of all sizes. Vilsack says policies have been adjusted, programs strengthened and outreach intensified to meet the needs of small and mid-sized producers. He says these producers are critical to the country's agricultural and economic future. Efforts include improved access to USDA resources, revised risk management tools that better fit the needs of smaller producers, additional support for hoop houses and expanded collection of valuable market news information. USDA is also introducing a series of education tools focusing on opportunities for farmers engaged in local and regional food systems. USDA will roll out additional information about tools and resources available to small and mid-sized farmers in the coming months.



ASA Comments On Reducing Trans Fat Consumption


In a submission to the Food and Drug Administration today, the American Soybean Association (ASA) officially submitted its comments on the FDA's proposal to further reduce trans fat consumption by rescinding the generally regarded as safe (GRAS) status for partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs), including partially hydrogenated soybean oil. 
While urging FDA not to withdraw GRAS status for partially hydrogenated oils, ASA noted the almost 70 percent reduction and continued downward trend in consumption of trans fats over the last decade, and touted the work of the soybean industry to develop high oleic soybean varieties. These varieties can replace the functionality of partially hydrogenated soybean oil in certain applications like baking, frying, and other food processing without the addition of trans fats.
Current projections from QUALISOY indicate that approximately 1.3 billion pounds of high oleic soybean oil will be extracted from the 2016 crop of high oleic soybeans and available for use by the food industry in 2017, with increasing quantities available in subsequent years.
"We are confident that high oleic soybean oil can replace a substantial portion of the between 2 and 2.5 billion pounds of partially hydrogenated oils that are still in the market," wrote ASA in its comments. "But that cannot happen without FDA's recognition of the importance of ensuring a sustainable domestically-produced food supply."
ASA further encouraged the agency to take into account the time needed to ramp-up domestic high oleic soybean oil production; and urged FDA to pursue alternative strategies that have already aided in the dramatic reductions in trans fat consumption over the last decade. These include education, revisions to the nutrition fact panel, and limits on the amount of trans fats that food products can contain to be labeled free of trans fats.
The association also registered serious concerns that FDA's proposal would have the unintended consequence of raising saturated fat consumption as a result of manufacturers opting to substitute higher saturated fat palm oil for PHOs as it waits for high oleic soybean production capacity to catch up with current demand. 



Export Estimates Rise Again for 2013 Record U.S. Corn Crop


U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates released Monday  lowered ending stocks estimates on increased export estimates for the record 2013 corn crop for the second consecutive month. Despite the overall demand increase demonstrated by this revision, the season average farm price remained stable.


"America's farmers have produced an abundance that is meeting meet all needs," said National Corn Growers Association President Martin Barbre, a farmer from Carmi, Ill. "Given the record-setting crop, it is imperative that we maximize all markets for this essential national resource."


Projected corn exports were raised 25 million bushels from the previous month to a new total of 1.625 billion bushels in 2013. This followed an upward export totals revision of 150 million bushels in the February report. At the same time, projected ending stocks declined by the same amount. The season-average farm price held at $4.50 per bushel, still sharply down from the record $6.70 to $7.10 the prior year.






Monday's  Closing Market Prices


Nov  Soybeans                  1176.4 up 10.6

Dec Cotton                         7978 up 46

North & South

   Delta Cotton                    8831 up 29

Sept  Corn                          478 down 6.6

Sept   Rice                          1408.5 up 1.5

Sept  Wheat                        654.2 down 12

#16 Sugar May                   1822 up 21

April Live Cattle                   143-25 unch

April Feeder Cattle              175-70 up 205




Don Molino & Neil Melancon 

Please contact us with any questions or feedback regarding information you would like to receive in this e-letter. 


Don Molino

Senior Farm Broadcaster



(225) 291-2727, ext. 210