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Food prices, elections and robotic milkers

Weather was a big talking point across rural America. But that’s not the only story we’re looking at this week.

Ae we all count down to the midterm elections, the stakes are high for rural America. What will certain races mean for ag interests?

Commodity prices are on the rise and USDA predicts food prices will follow in 2011. Which products are jumping up the fastest and why?

And a 3rd generation dairy producer capitalizes on a steady source of labor by going robotic.

Those stories and market analysis with Darin Newsom, this week on Market To Market. Check your local PBS station for broadcast times or visit our website to view the program.

Posted in Economy, Production on October 28th, 2010 by paul – 1 Comment

Biofuels, fast harvest and nitrate runoff

Many of you taking just a few minutes from harvest to check out our program. We greatly appreciate all of your attention to our efforts.

We know the harvest or corn and soybeans is moving at an incredibly fast pace. And much of that is coming with little harvest pressure on the market.

Also this week the Obama Administration announces new incentives for biofuels production.

And we’ll examine efforts to curb nitrate runoff and increase yields through innovative drainage management.

Those stories and market analysis with Virgil Robinson.

What is happening with you? Any questions for Mr. Robinson?

Posted in Economy, Production on October 21st, 2010 by paul – Be the first to comment

Links for Market to Market 3542

Economists caution it could be years before the labor market recovers the 8.4 million jobs lost in the worst recession since the 1930s.

That’s one heck of a starting line, but that was Mark Pearson’s lead sentence in this week’s show (3542). Don’t believe me? What did he say next? Maybe something on the Labor Department?

The big story continues to be BP and their response to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. You’ll have to watch the entire program to see that story. Click here for the entire program.

Charlie Schafer is the president of Agri Drain Corp. Producer Andrew Batt filed this report about the midwestern company that is helping farmers reduce the amount of nitrates entering the gulf.

John Roach was our market analyst. Here’s the link to his in-show analysis.

John and Mark also did an extra segment called Market Plus. Did you download this week’s Market Plus segment? Here’s where you do that.

What is in store for this week? Well, producer Dave Miller is headed to Omaha to talk to Bob Dinnneen, President of the Renewable Fuels Association. Story is on delay in raising blending rate on E15. #MtoM

You can get all of our updated information from our Twitter feed 24/7. We’re @MarketToMarket in the twittersphere.

How wet is it where you are? Lots of rain is making lots of problems. We will see if we can break this wet pattern this week.

See you next time.

Posted in Economy on June 22nd, 2010 by paul – Be the first to comment

The future of E15 and shipping lanes

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said Friday that he expects an E15 blend will become reality for consumers and producers of the fuel additive. E15 is a blend of 85 percent gasoline and 15 percent ethanol. The USDA could help open the door to the new blend if the Environmental Protection Agency approves the new fuel mix.

No official announcement is scheduled, but Vilsack says the E15 policy change will likely happen this year.

Also on Friday, Vilsack said he doubts shipping lanes will be closed because of the major oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Those same shipping lanes were closed temporarily following Hurricane Katrina.

Friday’s comments were made in an extended interview between Market to Market host Mark Pearson and Secretary Vilsack in our studios.

***Update*** The official transcript is posted here now our website.

See parts of the interview in this week’s Market to Market broadcast. Check your local listings or watch online at

The entire interview will likely be posted next week on our website.

Posted in Economy, Rural Economy on June 4th, 2010 by paul – Be the first to comment

This week on Market to Market - May 7, 2010

Market to Market returns to a more traditional format with features and analysis.
Producer Andrew Batt looks at the beginning stages of writing the next Farm Bill. House Agriculture Committee members already are fanning out across the country for hearings.
The big story in the U.S. this week is the explosion of a Gulf Coast oil rig. This has really created an environmental nightmare for the petroleum industry. What does this mean for you and me?
And we head to Wisconsin for a story about the Crave Brothers Dairy and how they rely on innovation to produce more milk and weather the economic storms.
Plus we’ve got the analysis of Alan Brugler.
See us Sunday on Channel 47 WTVP in Central Illinois at 1p and many other fine stations across the country.

Posted in Economy, Production on May 7th, 2010 by paul – Be the first to comment

Rural Economic Summit

The Market to Market crew is putting the final touches on tonight’s broadcast. They will be bringing you the Rural Economic Summit from Indian Hills Community College in Ottumwa, Iowa.

It has been a busy week for the producers as they’ve traveled to Fort Madison and Ottumwa, Iowa. Plus Macon, Missouri to cover President Barack Obama’s White House to Main Street tour.

You can view the entire Ottumwa speech given by President Obama. Click on the video below. The first half is a speech, the second is Q and A.

This is the 3rd of four special “road editions” that we are producing this year. This time we’re focusing on alternative energy. Is it the commodity that will fuel an economic renaissance in rural America?

Wind energy is one of those components of the alternative energy economy. The president stopped in Ft. Madison to visit the Siemens Energy plant where wind turbine blades are produced.

Another part of the president’s midwest tour was a stop at POET’s biorefining facility in Macon, Missouri. POET is the world’s largest producer of ethanol with 1,500 employees, 1.6 billion gallons of fuel produced each year in 25 plants in 7 states.

Join us in discussing this program. Are the president’s ideas on track or does there need to be a different direction taken in jump-starting the economy?

Share your comments below.

Posted in Economy, Rural Economic Summit on April 30th, 2010 by paul – Be the first to comment

How are you doing?

President Barack Obama spent time in the midwest this week looking at success stories and some hardships as well.

We hear stories of economic recovery, but is that the case for you?

How is your situation?

Are you better off than you were a year before? 5 years before? 10 years?

What exactly will help your situation improve?

Share your story here or send us a question to

We’ve talked about the upcoming Rural Economic Summit. What do we need to discuss in the next Summit?

Posted in Economy, Rural Economic Summit, Talk Back on April 29th, 2010 by paul – Be the first to comment

Rural Economic Summit - President Obama links

Our Rural Economic Summit’s latest installment will take place this week from main street middle America.
President Barack Obama spent most of Tuesday and Wednesday this week in the midwest.

Here’s a little background on the trip to Iowa, Missouri and Illinois.

Iowa Public Television aired the speech by the president in Ottumwa. Here’s the link to that speech.

We’ve got a Market to Market crew that has been at many of the stops this week and will bring those to you in this week’s edition of the show as part of our Rural Economic Summit.

The president touted wind energy’s ability to generate power and jobs while in Iowa. During a trip to Missouri, the president visited the world’s top producer of ethanol to see how process works. So how does alternative energy fuel the rural economy?

Check local listings for the airtime of Market to Market. You also will be able to view the program on our website.

Posted in Economy, Rural Economic Summit, Rural Economy, Talk Back on April 28th, 2010 by paul – 1 Comment

Special Rural Economic Summit features President Obama’s White House to Main Street Tour

On the third of four special “road editions,”  Market to Market covers President Obama’s White House to Main Street Tour as a special “Rural Economic Summit.

Obama’s tour stops at several Midwestern events aimed at strengthening the rural economy.

The first stop Tuesday will be at the Siemens Energy plant in  Ft. Madison, Iowa.  The facility produces massive 12-ton blades for the company’s 2.3 MW generators that each produce enough energy to power 600-700 homes.  Siemens Energy received a $3.5 million federal tax credit back in January. The Siemens plant is the second largest employer in Lee County providing about 600 jobs.  This event is open only to media.

Then, it’s on to Mt. Pleasant, Iowa –  home of Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack — in Mt. Pleasant.  Like the preceeding stop in Ft. Madison, this event is closed to the public.

A third stop is planned in Ottumwa, Iowa for a town hall meeting at Indian Hills Community College.   The President will make a speech and answer questions from the audience.

Iowa Public Television will televise the town hall meeting live on its IPTV World Channel or .3 if you’re viewing inside the state of  Iowa.  Outside the broadcast region, you can view the event at: The coverage is scheduled to begin around 4 p.m. CT.

The White House said Monday the Midwest tour is about the president talking and listening to small business owners, workers, everyday people living the challenges they face in recovery.  This post covers most of the highlights of the President’s tour the next two days.

Wednesday’s tour includes a stop in Macon, Missouri at the POET biorefinery.  Producing 1.6 billion gallons of renewable fuel annually, POET is the world’s largest producer of ethanol.   The president will also visit a farm near Quincy, Illinois.

The White House released a report Tuesday from the Council of Economic Advisers, outlining four policies the President is likely to address this week:

  • Growing businesses and expanding employment opportunities.
  • Strengthening rural infrastructure
  • Strengthening the agricultural sector
  • Strengthening the labor force and improving the quality of life in rural America by investing in education and health care.

This week’s edition of  Market to Market will feature coverage of the president’s tour as a special “Rural Economic Summit.“  Check local listings for your area.

Posted in Economy, Rural Economic Summit, Rural Economy, Talk Back on April 27th, 2010 by paul – Be the first to comment