~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Monday January 4, 2010A service of Producers Cooperative Oil Mill, Midwest Farm Shows and KIS Futures!
-- Happy New Year!
-- USDA Gets Access From IRS to Check Income Limits For Those Getting Farm Program Payments
-- SURE Program Sign-Up Begins Today
-- Looking at the Latest Financials of HSUS- Lotsa Bucks!
-- In Summary- Our 2009 Top Ag Stories
-- Moving on and Moving Around- Abby, Adam and Daren
-- A Final Bit of Holiday Fun- Courtesy of the Angus Association
-- Let's Check the Markets!
Here's your morning farm news headlines from the Director of Farm Programming for the Radio Oklahoma Network, Ron Hays. We are proud to have KIS Futures as a regular sponsor of our daily email update. KIS Futures provides Oklahoma Farmers & Ranchers with futures & options hedging services in the livestock and grain markets- Click here for the free market quote page they provide us for our website or call them at 1-800-256-2555.
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Producers Cooperative Oil Mill, with 64 years of progress through
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sunflowers on the PCOM
website- go there by clicking here.
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Happy New Year!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We have finally emerged from the holiday period that usually extends from mid December into early January. Some folks do remain on holiday for a while longer- but for many folks, it's time to get back to work.
One good evidence of that for the farm and ranch community will be the reopening of our livestock auction barns, who have mostly been quiet since mid December. The regular Monday auctions held in locations like Tulsa, Joplin and Oklahoma City will be up and running today after their extended time off- and others will follow suit as this week unfolds.
We also start back with agricultural events- including two National meetings this week and this weekend. One is the annual Beltwide Cotton Conferences in New Orleans, and another is the American Farm Bureau annual convention that starts this coming weekend in Seattle, Washington. You can check other events coming up in the days ahead by clicking on the link below for our Calendar page found on our website, www.OklahomaFarmReport.Com.
Click here for the Calendar page found at www.OklahomaFarmReport.Com
USDA Gets Access From IRS to Check Income Limits For Those Getting Farm Program Payments
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced on New Year's Eve that USDA is partnering with the Internal Revenue Service to reduce fraud in farm programs and streamlining payment limits for family farmers. The actions are intended to strengthen the integrity and defensibility of USDA farm safety net programs and help the agricultural industry to meet requirements included in the 2008 Farm Bill. "Today's announcement will ensure that the producers who depend upon the safety net of USDA programs will have future access to these programs by enhancing the overall integrity of the programs," said Vilsack. "It will also provide more flexibility for family farm operations across the country."
The agreement between the USDA and the IRS will ensure that payments are not issued to producers whose adjusted gross income (AGI) exceeds certain limits. The limits set in the 2008 Farm Bill are $500,000 nonfarm average AGI for commodity and disaster programs; $750,000 farm average AGI for direct payments; and $1 million nonfarm average AGI for conservation programs.
Meanwhile, beginning with the 2010 program year, USDA has amended the
rules that govern the requirements to be 'actively engaged' in farming.
These rules apply to eligibility for payments under the Direct and
Counter-cyclical Program (DCP) or Average Crop Revenue Election (ACRE)
program administered by the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA). USDA has
implemented the following change to permit certain operations, most often
family-run operations, to meet 'actively engaged' in farming requirements
under less restrictive rules.
Click here for the full news release from USDA on the IRS partnership and Actively Engaged Rules
SURE Program Sign-Up Begins Today
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Producers who incurred crop losses for the 2008 crop year can now sign up for the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments program. Eligible growers can apply for the program at their local USDA Farm Service Agency county office.
SURE provides assistance in an amount equal to 60 percent of the difference between the SURE farm guarantee and total farm revenue. The farm guarantee is based on the amount of crop insurance and Non-insured Crop Disaster Assistance Program coverage on the farm. Total farm revenue takes into account the actual value of production on the farm as well as insurance indemnities and certain farm program payments.
We talked with Oklahoma FSA Director Francie Tolle about the SURE program- and she tells us most counties qualify as a disaster county for the 2008 crop year- allowing producers who believe they have a claim to be able to apply. She says that the local offices have had training for SURE- and will be ready to handle folks walking in this week who have questions or want to apply for assistance under the SURE program.
Click here to jump to our webstory, where you can listen to our conversation with Francie Tolle about the SURE signup getting underway.
Looking at the Latest Financials of HSUS- Lotsa Bucks!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Center for Consumer Freedom has a fascinating look at the latest financial details available to the public of the Humane Society of the US- otherwise known as the HSUS. These numbers come from the organization's filing with the IRS and reflects their fundraising and disbursements of money in 2008.
The CCF writes in their look at the HSUS money report "HSUS reported spending almost $20 million on "campaigns, legislation, and litigation"- enough to worry any livestock farmer or hunter looking to keep their chosen lifestyle alive. The group collected over $86 million in contributions, and spent more than $24 million on fundraising, including $4 million on professional fundraisers. Think about it: 28 cents of every dollar contributed to HSUS goes back out the door to raise more money. HSUS even paid a single "lockbox" company more than $4.2 million to count and process its cash hauls."
The Center goes on to look at where they contend is a major concern-
where the money does not go: "But the real trouble lies in where most HSUS
money doesn't go: to pet shelters. In contrast with the group's
extravagant spending on people, HSUS's total grant allocation was less
than $4.7 million. And of that, almost half went to a political campaign
committee called "Californians for Humane Farms," the main lobbying
organization responsible for California's "Proposition 2" ballot
Click here for more on the Financial Report of the HSUS for 2008- as dissected by some of their critics.
In Summary- Our 2009 Top Ag Stories
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We got feedback from some folks on our list of the top stories in Oklahoma agriculture for 2009. Some agreed and a couple of folks thought we missed a story or two.
One story that Tim Bartram, Executive Director of the Oklahoma Wheat Growers, believes should have been included was the decision by Monsanto to purchase Westbred and get back into the wheat seed business. Leaders within the US wheat industry believe that we can only keep wheat production viable in the US if we can find a way to compete with those crops that have genetically modified plant material. Monsanto's move back to including wheat in their portfoliio may help that become a reality- someday.
We have compiled all ten stories in one story- with links of the details of each of them going from there. Click on the link below and take a look at our list- we highlighted these stories this past week on Wednesday and Thursday.
Click here for a consolidated list of our top ten farm and ranch news stories from this past year.
Moving on and Moving Around- Abby, Adam and Daren
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~As we begin the new year, several folks are moving around or have moved on- and we wanted to mention a few names to you that have done just that. Abby Cash, who has served the last couple of years as the head of the Oklahoma AgriTourism efforts, has left the ODAFF- her last day was New year's Eve- and is planning on using her new law degree at a legal firm in Enid.
Many of you may already be aware of the Oklahoma Beef Council being one person light in recent weeks. That's because Adam McClung, who was handling Industry Relations for the OBC, has moved back to Arkansas and is now the top hired hand of the Arkansas Cattlemen's Association in Little Rock. Heather Buckmaster is looking for Adam's replacement.
Finally, we got an email note from Daren Coppock on Thursday about his move that was announced some time back. The end of the year finished the splitting of his time between the National Association of Wheat Growers, where he has served as CEO, to this new CEO gig with the Ag Retailers Association. The NAWG continues their search for a new Executive- although it is possible that they are getting close, as applications for that position closed November 13.
A Final Bit of Holiday Fun- Courtesy of the Angus Association
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~I did not see this feature earlier- or I would have included it around Christmas- but the enterprising folks at the American Angus Association scored a major journalistic coup just before Christmas- an exclusive interview with Kris Kringle himself, explaining why he has taken up being an Angus producer when he is not being Santa Claus.
According to the exclusive "interview," Kringle says that his interest in Angus cattle began just a few years ago- "Well now, let's see. Kringle Angus Ranch began here at the North Pole about five years ago. I needed a side business to appease the demands of our off-season elves, but it needed to be something I could enjoy. A vacation from Christmas, so to speak."
Santa also sees advantages in raising Angus cattle that many of us have
probably never considerd- "Probably the best part is that Angus are
naturally polled, which is a great relief since I bet I take an antler in
the backside at least once a year. That's a real downer on the Christmas
spirit around here, and it's driven up our workmans' comp premiums, too."
Click here for the full interview that unveils Santa as a North Pole Cowboy.
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We also invite you to check out our website at the link below to check out an archive of these daily emails, audio reports and top farm news story links from around the globe.
Let's Check the Markets!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We've had requests to include Canola prices for your convenience here- and we will be doing so on a regular basis. Current cash price for Canola is $8.15 per bushel, while the 2010 New Crop contracts for Canola are now available are $8.25 per bushel- delivered to local participating elevators that are working with PCOM.
Here are some links we will leave in place on an ongoing basis- Click
on the name of the report to go to that link:
God Bless! You can reach us at the following: