Archive for October 29, 2008

National Agricultural Summary Oct. 20-26, 2008

Corn: Nationally, 96 percent of the corn crop was mature, 4 points behind last year and 3 points behind the 5-year average. Nebraska acreage at 87 percent mature was the farthest behind, lagging 13 points behind the average. The crop was within 6 points of full maturity elsewhere. Producers had harvested 39 percent of the national crop, 31 points behind last year and 27 points behind the 5-year average. Producers in the Dakotas had harvested the smallest amount of their planted acreage, with 4 and 16 percent of the crop harvested in North Dakota and South Dakota, respectively. Harvest was also well behind in Illinois, Iowa, and Missouri. Condition of the corn crop improved 2 points from last week, reaching 64 percent good to excellent.

Soybeans: Producers had harvested 76 percent of the soybean acreage, 5 points behind last year, and 7 points behind the 5-year average.

Winter Wheat: In the winter wheat growing areas, the majority of the rain fell over Kansas and Nebraska. Totals reached 5 inches in isolated areas, while only light, scattered showers fell over areas to the south in the Oklahoma and Texas panhandles. Nationally, planting of winter wheat was complete on 84 percent of the acreage, 2 points behind last year and 4 points behind the 5-year average. Major planting activity was evident in Illinois, Indiana, and Oregon, where at least 15 percent of the crop was planted during the week. Producers completed seeding acreage in Colorado and Ohio. Producers in Arkansas and Missouri were planting their acreage 16 and 20 points, respectively, behind the 5-year average. Nationally, 69 percent of the crop had emerged, 3 points ahead of last year, but the same as the 5-year average. The winter wheat crop was rated 65 percent good to excellent.

Cotton: Nationally, 92 percent of the cotton acreage had open bolls, 3 points behind last year, and 1 point behind the 5-year average. Producers had harvested 40 percent of the crop, 7 points behind last year and 5 points behind the 5-year average. In California and Mississippi, harvest lagged 22 and 20 points, respectively, behind the average. Cotton condition was 48 percent good to excellent, unchanged from the previous week.

Sorghum

Rice: Ninety-five percent of the rice crop was harvested, 1 point ahead of last year, but 1 point behind the 5-year average. Harvest was complete in Louisiana and Texas. Harvest was 7 points ahead of the average pace in California, but was at or behind elsewhere.

Peanuts: Peanut producers had harvested 66 percent of the acreage, 7 points ahead of last year’s harvest pace, but 1 point behind the 5-year average. Harvest was very active in all States, with between 10 and 23 percent of the crop being harvested during the week.

Other Crops: Sugarbeet producers had harvested three-fourths of the acreage, 6 points behind last year, and 9 points behind the 5-year average. Harvest in Minnesota and North Dakota was most advanced, while major harvest activity during the week occurred in Idaho and Michigan. Twenty-two percent of the sunflower acreage was harvested, 25 points behind last year and 31 points behind the 5 year average. Other than Colorado, where harvest was 1 point ahead of the 5-year average, harvest was more than 30 points behind the average pace.

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Heritage Says Obama is Lying About His Tax Plan

Heritage never endorsed Obama’s tax plan, as his ads on television say they did, at all.  Why would he lie about something so obvious and easy to check?  (This seems to be a recurring theme.)

Anybody that thinks that Obama’s tax plan of wealth redistribution will lead to economic growth needs to get their medications changed.

Conclusion

The economy improves under each plan as compared to the baseline. The baseline forecast assumes that all of the Bush tax cuts disappear, which raises the cost of capital and marginal tax rates. Both candidates plan to reduce taxes com­pared to this scenario.

Senator McCain’s plan is substantially better at spurring economic growth than Senator Obama’s. This is not surprising, since Senator McCain focuses on economic growth and job creation while Senator Obama focuses on the redistribution of income. As Tax Policy Center Director Len Burman states, “the major themes of the two plans are, in the case of Senator McCain’s plan, that the major emphasis is on economic efficiency—cuts marginal tax rates, improves economic incentives…. In the case of Obama’s plan, the goal is primarily to improve pro­gressivity…to lower tax burdens on low-income people and raise them on higher-income people.”[10]  Each presidential candidate achieves his stated goal,with Senator McCain generating the most new jobs, growth, and additional income for individuals. Sen­ator Obama’s plan drives up the tax rate for individ­uals with annual incomes above $250,000 and redistributes money to workers with lower incomes.

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