2014-08-18 00:00:00.0 08/18/2014 In This Week's Journal
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ISSUE: 08/18/2014

Be prepared for higher interest rates

By Larry Dreiling

Historically, presidents of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City have been consistently resistant to most forms of artificial stimulation of the United States economy.

When these presidents hold a seat on the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), which decides interest rates the Fed offers lenders, and in turn to the public, they often show their Heart of America roots by being a lone voice of dissent when the FOMC calls for such action as buying additional government securities to stabilize the economy.

The benefits of such purchases, KC Fed leaders have historically believed, outweighed the benefits, and a continued high level of monetary accommodation increases the risks of future financial imbalances and, over time, would cause an increase in long-term inflation expectations that could destabilize the economy instead of strengthen it.

The bank’s current president and CEO, Esther George, brings her background of growing up on a farm in northwest Missouri to the job. The sense of responsibility of farm chores is seen in George’s analysis, which is leaning—as one might expect—to a call for high interest rates.

“Getting interest rates off zero relatively soon is not only appropriate in terms of current economic conditions, but also will allow the Fed room to maneuver in the future should economic activity slow,” George told attendees at the KC Fed’s recent agricultural symposium.

APH unlikely for 2015 crop year, Vilsack says

By Larry Dreiling

The U.S. Department of Agriculture will be unable to implement Actual Production History (APH) provisions of the 2014 farm bill this year, according to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack.

The APH provision in the 2014 farm bill is supposed to make it possible for farmers to update their crop history and exclude years where yields are more than 50 percent below their county’s 10-year production average.

Such an update could dramatically improve the number of bushels per acre on which farmers could base their crop insurance policy. That could prove to be of great assistance should drought conditions reappear in the coming growing season to affect their crops.

Vilsack told reporters on a conference call Aug. 6 that USDA does not have “APH on its to-do” list for 2015 because it was more important to implement the Stacked Income Protection Program (STAX) for cotton and the Supplemental Coverage Option (SCO) insurance programs as well as the new Price Loss Coverage (PLC) and Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC) commodity programs.

Hereford juniors receive scholarships in honor of John Wayne

Two $1,000 John Wayne Memorial Scholarships were awarded July 11 at the 15th Annual VitaFerm Junior National Hereford Expo (JNHE) in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. B

New junior Hereford board members, officers elected

The election of four new junior Hereford members to the National Junior Hereford Association (NJHA) board of directors was made, along with announcement of the new officer team,

NMSU graduate student awarded ASI scholarship

Whit Stewart, a doctoral candidate with extensive experience working with and on behalf of the sheep industry, has been selected as the recipient of the American Sheep Industry Association’s

Ranch Rodeo

The 28th Annual Flint Hills Beef Fest is scheduled for Aug. 22 to 24 at the Lyon County Fairgrounds in Emporia, Kansas. Friday evening’s ranch feed will be in the Anderson Building beginning at 6 p.m. Come in out of the heat and enjoy a delicious dinner whi


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