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Agrimarketing : September 2012
38 Agri Marketing September 2012 as some of us get out and mix and mingle with our agricultural producers at various, meeting's, convention's, livestock auctions, county and state fairs. KFRM by Kyle Bauer, Gen'l Mgr Clay Center, KS www.kfrm.com What is the news on the Plains? Dry, but hey it is the Plains. We are used to "dry spells." We don't like them, but we are used to them enough that no one takes a crop for granted. We appreciate everyone of them. The wheat crop was pretty good. As we covered the harvest from central Oklahoma to SW Nebraska, we heard time and again that "one- 3/4 inch rain south of town made 10 bushels to the acre more crop than north of town." Much of the dryland corn was chopped for silage, which is a normal process here. After all, nearly 30% of all the cattle in the country take their final steps under our signal. We import a lot of corn from central Illinois by unit train. Much of our ag economy is driven by the cattle industry. More than 4 million cattle are hauled more than 700 miles into our area. Most of them come from the south east part of the U.S., some come from Mexico, and of course there are 2.5 million momma cows that stay here year around. With all of that said, if we don't have feed, we don't buy feeder cattle, or we pay a lot less for them. Last year huge numbers of trucks were hauling hay south through our area. This year very few are. There are not additional stocks to sell this year. With all the said, business is good. GOOD??? Yep, GOOD. 1. Most farmers had a good wheat. 2. Last spring, calves brought record prices, our operators are very good at risk management. If they weren't, they would be out of the industry before now. 3. As more businesses become regional, a large station like ours is consistent with its business plan. We control most all of our inventory so we are not locked in a few slots that have to charge a higher price. 4. Our sales staff is the best it has ever been. We all know how difficult it is to find self-motivated and self-disciplined people. Then you add to that, that most of their clients are a two to five hour drive away, it takes dedication and they have that. In summary, it's dry, prices are great --- if you are selling, and the last drought was broken by a rain --- this one will too RFD RADIO NETWORK by Alan Jarand, Host Bloomington, IL www.rfdradio.com As was the case in much of the nation, drought has been the number one story in Illinois agriculture this growing season. Following an unusually mild winter, spring arrived early and warm with ideal planting conditions and farmers were looking forward to record corn production in 2012. Coming on the heels of several years of strong demand and strong prices, the agricultural sector was a bright light throughout the economic downturn that began in 2007 and farmers were expecting another banner year. Then the rains stopped. After several years of planting delays due to excessive spring moisture welcomed the opportunity to get in the fields early and get the crops in the ground, with little hint that the dry conditions of March represented the start of the worst drought since 1988, perhaps since the 1930s. The first hint of a troublesome growing season came in late April when, after record warmth in March had brought the peaches, apples and other fruit crops to an early full bloom, a frost hit the entire state decimating the peach crop and severely limiting apples. By late May concern over the dry conditions escalated when soybeans in southern Illinois failed to germinate, and a stunted corn crop lacked the moisture to grow. The lack of moisture continued into June and it was becoming clear that Illinois was at the epicenter of a drought that was spreading across much of the nation. By July, even the rich, water retaining soils of central and northern sections of the state were running out of subsoil moisture and most of the states farmers were resigned to harvesting a small crop, and for some no crop at all. Crop insurance, an afterthought in many years, may be the primary source of farm income in many counties in 2012. In the midst of dealing with the drought, we were covering the lack of progress on the farm bill in Washington, new regulations on that threatened to impact farm labor, grain transportation and CAFO's . At the end of 2011, Rita Fraser, formerly of WSMI in Litchfield, IL, joined our staff and hit the ground running concentrating on the livestock industry in the state but also piling up the miles covering field days, meetings and other events. Advertising has remained surprisingly strong even with the productions issues this year, as farmers will still need those inputs to get a crop in the ground for 2013. RED RIVER FARM NETWORK by Don Wick, Broadcaster Grand Forks, ND www.rrfn.com As farm broadcasters, we know farmers and ranchers are hungry for information. Igotagood reminder while preparing for a live broadcast of our midday show while in Warren, MN. Four local farmers, two agronomists and an extension educator were guests during this broadcast. The conversations we heard before we went on the air and afterwards were amazing. This group was quoting stories the Red River Farm Network (RRFN) aired that morning, almost verbatim. They were also commenting on the seminar schedule RRFN was hosting for the Big Iron Farm Show. BROADCASTING/continued from page 37 Bauer Jarand Wick
AgCareers USA 2012