Ag Policy Blog
Chris Clayton DTN Ag Policy Editor

Thursday 12/27/12

DTN Releases Forecast of 2013 News Events

I know you have waited all year for this. My skills to map trends of non-fundamental factors in world markets and politics, along a natural gift to overstate the obvious, have once again allowed me to detail the most important news events that will affect American agriculture and policymakers in 2013.

(Investment disclaimer: Past performance is not indicative of future results. Please consult someone else before making investment decisions based upon this analysis.)

Unable to come to an agreement on taxes, President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner create "the wheel of fortune." Estate taxes are eliminated, but are replaced with a new "funeral surtax" for everyone with more than $250,000 in assets.

ExxonMobil profits fail to reach $60 billion for 2012, prompting Congress to phase out the job-killing Renewable Fuels Standard.

Milk prices spike in January and commodity markets roil. Margin calls spark a round of farm failures and dairy bankruptcies. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor issues a press release blaming President Obama for not showing leadership on agricultural issues.

Monsanto gains a new edge in the marketplace after researchers find that Roundup-resistant Palmer amaranth plants can be a sustainable substitute for wood. Major League players discover the Palmer amaranth bats cause the baseball to travel farther, forever changing the dynamics of the game.

On Feb. 1, the House Agriculture Committee passes the farm bill 36-0, prompting Majority Leader Cantor to hit the "pause button" again. Ag Committee Chairman Frank Lucas sends Cantor a Valentine with a "I'm-gonna-break-my-foot-off-in-your-???" button inside.

China announces a 3-billion bushel purchase of 2013 U.S. soybeans.

Heeding the call of businesses and Latino groups that Congress deal with immigration reform, the House votes to spend $100 billion to build a bigger wall.

Due to new-found liberalization on marijuana, the farm bill creates a per-ton target price for cannabis over the objection of trading partners such as Mexico. U.S. pot growers learn the phrase, "farming the program." The group National Marijuana Growers Association, or NMGA, is formed.

The Army Corps says water releases on the Missouri River won't help barge traffic on the Mississippi. South Dakota declares a record attendance at its Corps of Engineer lakes.

While barges grind to a halt and haboobs pop up across the southern Plains, 60% of farmers report their operations haven't been affected by climate change.

Russia celebrates its first year in the World Trade Organization by banning everything from the United States. The Obama administration responds with a harshly-worded letter.

The WTO rules the U.S. law requiring ingredient labeling on food products also unduly restricts trade. The Obama administration responds with a harshly-worded letter.

Due to European investments, the crop insurance industry suffers a fiscal meltdown, sparking a federal bailout. Reforms lead to a 25% premium hike and lower payouts for disasters. A new poll shows 95% of farmers say their operations have been badly hurt by climate change.

A Tea Party coup leads to the words "House Speaker Tim Huelskamp." In an unrelated development, the Canadian government announces it is building a southern wall.

Follow me on Twitter @ChrisClaytonDTN

Posted at 9:45AM CST 12/27/12 by Chris Clayton
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