Southern Farm Show Kicks Off Today

Today the Southern Farm Show kicks off with the opening breakfast, then, David Zimmerman, President of Southern Shows and producer of the Southern Farm Show says that the NC State Fairgrounds are jam packed with exhibitors:

“We’ve got another great show, we’ve filled up all the buildings at the NC State Fairgrounds, and have more outdoor exhibits than we’ve had in a long time.”

Several producer association meetings are scheduled in conjunction with the Southern Farm Show. Zimmerman outlines a few:

“They continue to add to our special events and features of the show, you know we kick off with the Agribusiness breakfast we’ve got the big Agricultural Development Forum on Thursday hosted by the Department of Agriculture, the FFA is going to be back with their tractor and truck driving competitions, we’ve got the Tobacco Growers Association’s annual meeting on Friday.”

Also, the North Carolina Pork Council will be hosting their annual meeting and conference on Thursday and Friday, as well as the North Carolina Soybean Producers Association annual meeting on Friday. For more information on all these meetings, check our website,

Food Prices Should Ease in 2012

After being hammered by record high food prices in 2011, which helped ignite the Arab Spring uprisings, consumers worldwide may find some relief in 2012 if U.S. farmers, induced by last year's high crop prices, plant more fields to grain this year.

Analysts polled by Reuters expect prices of corn, soybeans and wheat to tumble as much as 15 percent from a year ago, which will benefit companies that produce meat like Smithfield, Sanderson Farms and Purdue in terms of lower feed costs.

Consumer Confidence Dips

Consumer confidence took a dip in January after two months of positive news. The Conference Board's Director of Consumer Research Lynn Franco says the index now stands at 61.1, down from 64.8 in December. Jobs, salaries, and the overall economy are weighing on Americans.

“Much of the headwinds that consumers were facing in 2011 they’re facing in 2012, you know it’s going to take a while before all is well.”

Agriculture Bank Portfolios Strong

The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City reports that strong farm income propelled farmland values to record highs and strengthened loan portfolios at agricultural banks at the end of last year. Cropland values have soared to all-time highs with many states posting annual value gains between 20 and 40 percent.

Survey Says: New Laying Cages

A report released by an independent research company, The Bantam Group, and commissioned by the United Egg Producers, reveals that American consumers, by a margin of four to one, support national legislation regarding egg production that has been introduced in Congress. The legislation would transition egg production from the existing conventional cages used for egg-laying hens to enriched cages. The survey was said to be “not biased”.

MF Global Funds Likely Gone

The Wall Street Journal reports that, according to people familiar with the investigation, and nearly three months after MF Global Holdings Ltd. collapsed, officials hunting for an estimated 1.2-billion dollars in missing customer money increasingly believe that much of it might never be recovered.

Cattle Numbers Should Begin Rising

Cattle producers are well aware of what’s happened with cattle and beef prices over the past year. Now even the national consumer media has taken notice as USA Today ran an article this week documenting the decline in U.S. beef herds and resulting inflation in beef prices.
As we reported yesterday, the 2012 January 1 Cattle report from USDA shows U.S. beef herds at their lowest number since 1952. Producers have begun retaining more heifers for breeding, which eventually should turn the trend around, easing beef prices at the retail meat counter.
But, despite those rising prices at the meat counter, Shayle Shagam, USDA livestock analyst, says demand for beef is rising:

There has been an increase in demand over time, a lot of it tied to wealth, we’ve had increased population over time, change in dietary habits which have helped support the demand for beef.” is dedicated to serving the agricultural industry in the Carolinas and Virginia with the latest ag news, exclusive regional weather station readings, and key crop market information. The website is a companion of the Southern Farm Network, provider of daily agricultural radio programming to the Carolinas since 1974. presents radio programs, interviews and news relevant to crop and livestock production and research throughout the mid-Atlantic agricultural community.