Iowa Public Television


Harvest progress Lags

posted on November 8, 2002

Hello, I'm Mark Pearson.

The party of business scored some important congressional victories at the polls this week. But the news that may well affect business the most was the Election Day resignation of SEC chairman Harvey Pitt, and the day after the Federal Reserve interest rate cut.

Pitt has been criticized for his failure to provide better oversight of some dubious accounting practices employed by corporations. The Federal Reserve has been pressured to kick the economy into motion. Interest rates now stand at 40 year lows. Inflation is nearly non-existent. Some worry about deflation.

Indeed the urban-based industrial and service sectors are beginning to emulate the slower growth rural agri-economy that is tied to commodity production. Currently much of that economy is operating in catch-up mode.


Harvest progress Lags

Still working behind the average pace, autumn grain, oilseed and cotton harvests are nearing completion.

At the start of the week 53 percent of the Cotton was headed to the gin. Eighty seven percent of the soybean crop and 77 percent of the corn been harvested.

In the trading pits corn prices exhibited signs of harvest pressure, but bean prices moved higher in spite of news of rain in parched Brazilian fields and private sector estimates that the U.S. harvest may be larger than thought.

Export prospects may be boosted by the Federal Reserve's interest rate cut. The cut weakens the dollar, which increases the buying power of foreign currencies.


Tags: agriculture crops harvest markets news