Articles, Blog

Valley Today Ag News – August 17


IN ABOUT A MONTH, THE WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION WILL HEAR FROM CANADA, MEXICO AND THE U.S. ON COUNTRY OF ORIGIN LABELING. THE OTHER TWO NORTH AMERICAN COUNTRIES ARE SINGULAR IN THEIR WISHES, THEY WANT THE U.S. TO DROP MANDATORY COUNTRY OF ORIGIN LABELING LAW. IN THE U.S., THERE ARE A VARIETY OF OPINIONS. “ON THE ONE HAND YOU’VE GOT THE HOUSE BILL WHICH IS JUST REPEALING MANDATORY COOL AND THEN YOU HAVE OUR BILL WHICH REPEALS MANDATORY COOL AND INCLUDES A VOLUNTARY. AND THEN OTHER PEOPLE HAVE DIFFERENT IDEAS AND SO WHAT WE’RE TRYING TO DO IS FIND SOMETHING THAT WE CAN GET ENOUGH PEOPLE TOGETHER TO GET IT PASSED AND MAKE SURE WE DEAL WITH THE PROBLEM SO WE DON’T HAVE ANY TARIFF IMPOSED ON OUR AG PRODUCTS. CANADA HAS VERY RESTRICTED PROVISIONS ON ALLOWING ANY DAIRY INTO THEIR COUNTRY, SO IT’S A LITTLE IRONIC HERE WE ARE TALKING ABOUT IT, CANADA’S INVOLVED AND THEY’RE REALLY BLOCKADING NOT ONLY US BUT THE OTHER COUNTRIES ON DAIRY AND THEN THEY’RE TAKING A REALLY HARD LINE ON COOL AND I WOULD JUST SAY, YOU KNOW I DO A LOT OF WORK WITH CANADA ON ENERGY AND EVERYTHING ELSE AND WE NEED TO FIND A WAY TO WORK TOGETHER.” SOUTH DAKOTA STOCK GROWER’S PRESIDENT BOB FORTUNE SAYS IT’S PREMATURE TO TALK ABOUT PREMATURE TO TALK ABOUT REPEALING THE LAW WHEN MOST CONSUMERS AND PRODUCERS WANT IT. FORTUNE SAYS JUST ABOUT EVERY COUNTRY HAS THEIR OWN LABELING LAW, SO IT’S INCONSISTENT FOR CANADA AND MEXICO TO DEMAND THE U.S. DROP THEIRS. A LOT OF FOOD COULD GO TO WASTE IN CALIFORNIA’S CENTRAL VALLEY THIS SEASON. BUT THE PROBLEM HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE DROUGHT. REPORTER LEN RAMIREZ SHOWS US FARMERS ARE HAVING A HARD TIME FINDING HELP FOR THE HARVEST. IT’S HARVEST TIME IN THE SALINAS VALLEY.AND PRODUCE FROM THE SALAD BOWL OF THE WORLD IS READY FOR THE DINNER TABLE. BUT IN THIS THE LAND OF PLENTY.THERE IS A BIG SHORTAGE.OF FARMWORKERS. LUIS HIDALGO, FARMWORKER: “ES DEFICIL ESTA LA FRONTERA..” LUIS HIDALGO FROM GUANAJUATO, MEXICO WAS TAKING A BREAK FROM PICKING ICEBERG LETTUCE. HE TOLD ME IN SPANISH THAT IT’S HARDER TO CROSS THE U.S.-MEXICO BORDER FOR PEOPLE TO COME HERE AND WORK. LUIS HIDALGO, FARMWORKER: “ESTA MUY BAJO LAS PERSONAS PARA TRABAJAR.” IT’S A TREND THE GROWERS HAVE BEEN WATCHING FOR THE LAST FEW YEARS. JIM BOGART, GROWER- SHIPPERS ASSOCIATION: “IT’S BEEN GETTING PROGRESSIVELY WORSE TO THE EXTENT WHERE NOW CREWS ARE DOWN 25 TO 30 PERCENT.” JIM BOGART SAYS WITH SO FEW WORKERS.NOT ALL FIELDS CAN BE PICKED. SO PERFECTLY GOOD FOOD IS GOING TO WASTE. JIM BOGART, GROWER- SHIPPERS ASSOCIATION: “CROPS NEED TO BE HARVESTED AT A SPECIFIC TIME. AND IF YOU DON’T HAVE ENOUGH WORKERS TO HARVEST THOSE CROPS, THEY SIT THERE AND THEY ROT IN THE FIELDS.” U.S. FRUIT AND VEGETABLE PRODUCTION IS DOWN 9.5 PERCENT THIS YEAR.BUT FARMWORKER WAGES ARE UP AS GROWERS TRY TO ATTRACT AND RETAIN WORKERS. ENTRY LEVEL JOBS ARE NOW PAYING TEN TO ELEVEN DOLLARS AN HOUR…UP ABOUT 50 CENTS THIS SUMMER. LEN RAMIREZ, REPORTING: “EVEN THOUGH THE PAY MIGHT BE SLIGHTLY BETTER, IT’S STILL BACK BREAKING WORK OUT IN THE HOT SUN. AND SO MANY FARMWORKERS ARE STARTING TO FIND JOBS IN OTHER PARTS OF THE ECONOMY THAT ARE MORE STABLE AND EVEN BETTER PAYING, LEADING TO AN EVEN GREATER SHORTAGE.” JIM BOGART, GROWER- SHIPPERS ASSOCIATION: “AGRICULTURE NEEDS ACCESS TO A LEGAL, STABILE WORKFORCE WHEN THEY NEED THEM AND IN THE NUMBERS THEY NEED THEM.” IN THE MEANTIME.IT’S LONGER HOURS FOR THE FARMWORKERS WHO ARE HERE LIKE LUIS HIDALGO. INSTEAD OF GOING HOME THIS LATE IN THE AFTERNOON.HE WENT BACK FOR ANOTHER SHIFT. GROWERS ARE CONTINUING TO PUSH FOR A LONG TERM SOLUTION SUCH AS A GUEST WORKER PROGRAM. ACCORDING TO LAST WEEK’S U.S.D.A. NUMBERS, MINNESOTA IS ON TRACK TO PRODUCE A RECORD CORN AND SOYBEAN CROP. IN CORN, CROP SCOUTS DO EAR COUNTS, COUNT THE NUMBER OF ROWS OF KERNELS AND KERNEL DEPTH TO DETERMINE YIELD. WHAT’S THE PROCEDURE FOR SOYBEANS? “THERE’S NO REALLY GOOD MEASURE AS FAR AS CHECKING YIELD OTHER THAN KINDA EYEBALLING IT AND KNOWING FROM HISTORY WHAT A CERTAIN CROP LOOKS LIKE. BUT GOING OUT THERE AND LOOKING AT CROP HEIGHT IS ONE THING BUT GOING OUT THERE AND HOW MANY NODES DO YOU HAVE IN THAT PLANT, WE MAY HAVE CHEST HIGH SOYBEANS BUT IF WE HAVE NODES EVERY FOOT WE’RE KINDA REDUCED THAT WAY, BUT IF WE HAVE NODES EVERY FOUR INCHES OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT WE COULD HAVE FIVE TIMES THE YIELD JUST BECAUSE OF THE AMOUNT OF NODES AND FLOWERS AND THAT GOES THE PODS AND EVERYTHING AND THEN WE’VE GOTTA FILL THE PODS SO THERE’S A LOT OF VARIABLES ON SOYBEANS YOU STILL NEED THOSE RAINS THIS TIME OF YEAR HELP FINISH THOSE PLANTS OUT, HELP FILL THOSE PODS AND THEN I THINK POTENTIAL’S THERE FOR A PRETTY NICE BEAN CROP.” THE WEEKLY CROP REPORT COMES OUT THIS AFTERNOON. TIME NOW FOR IRON MONDAY, THE LATEST MACHINERY NEWS. 200 BUSHEL CORN PRODUCES A LOT MORE STALKS THAN 150 BUSHEL CORN. THAT’S WHY FARMERS IN IOWA ARE TURNING AWAY FROM THEIR FIELD CULTIVATORS AND CHECKING OUT COMPACT DISC’S. “I DO A LOT OF CORN ON CORN, WE’RE PRETTY WELL SATURATED DOWN THERE WITH ETHANOL PLANTS, THE ETHANOL BOOM CAME PRETTY HARD, FORCED US IN TO A LOT OF CORN ON CORN WHICH MADE US DO THE TILL YEAR AFTER YEAR TRYING TO GET THE RESIDUE DOWN AND NOW WITH THIS PARTICULAR TOOL COMING ALONG I THINK WE CAN FOREGO THAT PROCESS ONLY WHERE WE NEED IT INSTEAD OF DRAGGING THAT SMALLER, TIME CONSUMING, A LOT OF FUEL EQUIPMENT AND GET THE SAME SEED PREPARATION WITH A ONE PASS DEAL. PROBABLY HAVE TO STAY IN THAT 33 TO 26, GOTTA PRETTY GOOD SIZE HORSE BUT IF I WANT TO PUT IT IN THE GROUND, SOMEWHERE IN THAT NEIGHBORHOOD AND I’VE GOT A NEIGHBOR DOWN THERE AND WHEN THEY TRIED ONE OF THEIR 40 FOOTERS BECAUSE HE’S GOT A BIGGER TRACK AND GOT ALONG GREAT WITH IT, HE WAS IN TERRIBLY WET CONDITIONS, REALLY WASN’T FAIR TO THE PRO TILL OR THE GROUND BUT IT WAS THE ONLY GAME IN TOWN AND THE WAY IT TURNED OUT IT’S STILL SOME OF THE BEST BEAN STANDS THEY HAVE ON THEIR PARTICULAR FARM TOO.” RIGHT AFTER THE BREAK…. A LOOK AT TODAY’S FULL AG FORECAST … YOUR VALLEY NEWS LIVE STORM TEAM FORECAST TODAY: MOSTLY SUNNY, WITH A HIGH NEAR 73. NORTH WIND 5 TO 8 MPH. TONIGHT: PARTLY CLOUDY, WITH A LOW AROUND 52. . TUESDAY:P A CHANCE OF SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS AFTER 2PM. MOSTLY CLOUDY, WITH A HIGH NEAR

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *