Iowa Public Television



Large economies, genetically engineered crops and robotic milkers

Greetings from the production crew of Market To Market.

It is cold this morning in rural America, but we know there’s plenty to keep you warm, like watching the commodity markets go up and down.

But we’ve got other stories to keep you warm this weekend. This week, a delegation from China came to the United States. They got the red carpet treatment and it appears the leaders of the world’s two largest economies find common ground on matters of trade.

Lawmakers are now posing questions to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack on rules relating to genetically engineered crops. What will this mean to producers and researches of such crops?

And we’ve got a feature that’s both interesting and concerning. A 3rd generation dairy producer capitalizes on a steady source of labor by going robotic. How many of you from dairy farms see this as a threat and relief? Those of you in the dairy business know of the dedication it takes to do what you do.

And we get into the market analysis with Alan Brugler.

Posted in MToM, Production on January 21st, 2011 by paul – Be the first to comment

Tight supplies, school lunch overhaul and Ford N-series

The big news was made this week by USDA and their final crop production totals. The report found reduced production, tighter supplies and strong demand… all helped push grain and oilseed prices sharply higher.

The Agriculture Department unveils a sweeping nutritional overhaul of America’s school lunch program.

And we’ll meet the man behind the design of the iconic Ford N-series tractor and the famed John Deere 4020.

Those stories and market analysis with Jamey Kohake.

Posted in MToM, Production on January 13th, 2011 by paul – Be the first to comment

Cranberries, subsidies and food safety

The production of Market To Market #3612 is in full swing this Thursday afternoon.

We’ve got producers sorting through a new study by Iowa State University’s Center for Agriculture and Rural Development about the future of the ethanol industry without the extension of the ethanal tax credit. We should learn in the next few weeks about the future of the 45-cent-per-gallon ethanol tax credit and import tariff worth 54-cents-per-gallon. This is a follow up study released back in July, but many things have changed since then. What impact will the markets and supplies have on the industry?

Plus the issue of food safety is again in the news. This time, a bill passed by the House a year ago have finally been passed the Senate. The bill provides more power to the FDA to prevent food-borne illness. But the bill still has hurdles including concern for the impact on small farmers. Another obstacle is a possible amendment that would ban earmarks, the popular rallying cry of this year’s election.

And it is Thanksgiving time again and many of you will enjoy cranberries with your meal. But what is the status of that industry? It is a business that has many cooperative agreements, including the those involving the big producer Ocean Spray. How will companies like Ocean Spray and the others fare post-recession?

Analyst Darin Newsom will be joining us to discuss the commodity markets. If you’ve got a question, drop it in our comment section below and we’ll try to get that answered promptly.

Be sure to check out our last post about Mark Pearson’s trip to Idaho.

Posted in Production on November 18th, 2010 by paul – Be the first to comment

EPA, Bears and debt reduction on MToM #3611

Lots to get to today on the blog.

Market To Market #3611 is posted here. This episode looks at a lawsuit brought against the EPA over increased blends in ethanol.

The nation’s debt also made news last week as another attempt at reduction was unveiled. And the bullish markets were not just limited to commodities like corn and soybeans, but many of the softs saw a big run last week. What does that mean? How did Alan Brugler see the markets? What’s ahead? Did you listen to our Market Plus segment?

Host Mark Pearson wanted me to share a story with you. He was recently in Boise talking to the Idaho Dairymen’s Association. Mark said he thought he’d been having a rough morning when he was approached by an audience member. The man told Mark about how he lost all of his straw and hay supply in a fire. Turns out, he wasn’t alone as six farms were damaged on a recent crime spree causing $45,000 in damage. The cost of replacement will be double what the hay was worth.

Mark has many other speaking engagements scheduled in South Dakota, North Dakota and Indiana to name a few. We’ll let you know where he’ll be so you can try and see the ever-entertaining Mr. Pearson in person.

Also, Elaine Kub responded to a comment we received last week. Kub was the analyst on MToM #3610. We received a comment here to the blog and Elaine responded.

Post a comment below and we’ll try and respond to all your questions.

Posted in Mark Pearson, Production, Talk Back on November 17th, 2010 by paul – Be the first to comment

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

Back in the Studio #3604

The kids are back from Nebraska and last week’s trip to the Husker Harvest Days as part of our Rural Economic Summit. Did you miss it? You can still watch the 2 programs here. They are posted on the Market to Market website.

The first link is the special program. This link is the traditional Market To Market.

As always, this week we’re hitting on the important issues of rural America.

Corn trades at levels not seen since 2008, setting up a classic acreage battle next spring.

Plus an advisory committee tells the FDA, genetically modified salmon are safe for human consumption.

And, in the wake of a half-a-billion egg recall, lawmakers call on a key producer to explain why as Iowa egg producer Jack DeCoster of Wright County Egg goes to Washington.

Those stories and market analysis with Don Roose.

Where do you watch us from? We know we’ve got a Canadian following. Where are you watching us from?

Posted in Production, Rural Economic Summit on September 24th, 2010 by paul – Be the first to comment

Eggs and Fairs on MtoM 3551

Despite tougher FDA regulations, a salmonella outbreak leads to the recall of 380 million eggs. And, the Secretary of Agriculture outlines Obama Administration plans for a “rural renaissance.”

Those stories and market analysis with Walt Hackney and Virgil Robinson. You can listen to the extra analysis in our Market Plus segment by clicking here.

Here’s the link to the broadcast.

This is show #51 of the 35th season. What will season 36 bring? How about a road trip to Nebraska? We will post more on the final Rural Economic Summit in the next couple of days.

Posted in Production, Rural Economic Summit on August 24th, 2010 by paul – Be the first to comment

Dam breaks, environmental issues and alternative fuels - 3548

Flooded drive-thru in Manchester, Iowa. July 23, 2010.

Flooded drive-thru in Manchester, Iowa. July 23, 2010.

The weather is a big deal for every producer. There’s no secret there. But how about 6-10 inches in a 12-hour period.

That was the case in northeast Iowa where areas along the Maquoketa and Wapsipinicon Rivers are still dealing with large amounts of water.

A 83-year-old dam making Lake Delhi broke last week. What will be the impact on the farm land around the break? Significant — 8,000 acres were damaged in two counties alone.

How have you been impacted by water this season?

We’re also looking at President Obama’s environment plan and statements made this week on climate change. What will this mean for carbon credits and other programs like it?

Plus we’ll hear more about the renewable fuel tax credits that are in danger of expiring in December. What will happen if those credits don’t live on into 2011?

An Iowa State University professors who also is the director of the Center for Agricultural and Rural Development has completed a ‘what if’ study on how the ethanol industry could survive without a subsidy or import tariff. Bruce Babcock makes a bold statement about the future of the industry. Hear it on this week’s program.

A little note for you, two of our producers were on the road this week. One to New Orleans and the gulf region to see what’s happening in the dead zone following the oil spill.

We also had a producer in New York City this week to talk about urban farmers.

Look for those stories in the coming weeks on Market to Market.

Posted in Production on July 29th, 2010 by paul – 1 Comment

What’s on Market to Market #3546 this week?

The news program about rural America is in full production mode for Friday’s taping.

So, what is everyone working on today?

One big story is the sweeping financial overhaul bill that now goes to President Obama for signature. What will this bill mean to you? How about its effect on commodity industry? Producer Andrew Batt is working on that story.

Mr. Batt is also working on a story about author Michael Pollan. Andrew had a chance to sit down with Mr. Pollan earlier this year on the merits of production agriculture. Pollan is an outspoken critic of America’s food system and wrote  ”The Omnivore’s Dilemma.”

We also hear from Blake Hurst, a Missouri farmer who countered Pollan with a piece he calls The Omnivore’s Delusion.

And the weather continues to be a major story in many parts of the country.  What will the impact be on production?

On a side note, producer Chris Gourley is looking for some help on a feature. He’s trying to find someone restoring a Ford N9 tractor. Any leads for him? He’s looking for a tractor like this one.

There will also be stories this week on the website about wind production, smelly cereal and other stories of interest. Give our website a look when you’re done here.

Thanks to the good folks in Nebraska for watching us on NET. See us Saturday morning at 630 AM.  And if you’re in Oklahoma this weekend, check us out on OETA at 7 AM.

Posted in Production on July 15th, 2010 by paul – Be the first to comment