From: Ron Hays []
Sent: Thursday, February 01, 2007 07:00
Subject: Oklahoma's Farm News Update
Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Thursday February 1, 2007!
A service of Midwest Farm Shows
-- The Key for getting International Beef Trade back on Track!
-- Ag Secretary Mike Johanns unveils BIG changes for 2007 Farm Policy.
-- Tunica meeting filled with farmers wondering about their future.
-- Flinchbaugh on Farm Policy here at the Cattle Meeting
-- BOVINE BLOG is the place to check today and tomorrow!
-- Congrats to Brian Healey- He makes the Operating Committee!

Howdy Neighbors!

Here's your morning farm news headlines from the Director of Farm Programming for the Radio Oklahoma Network, Ron Hays. Our email this morning is a service of Midwest Farm Shows, featuring the Southern Plains Farm Show in Oklahoma City April 19-21, 2007, as well as the Tulsa Farm Show held each December. Check out details of both of these exciting shows at the official website of Midwest Farm Shows by clicking here.

If you have received this by someone forwarding it to you, you are welcome to subscribe and get this weekday update sent to you directly by clicking here.

The Key for getting International Beef Trade back on Track!
As we continue to report from Nashville and the Cattle Industry Convention and Trade Show- we talked yesterday at length with Greg Doud, current Chief Economist with the NCBA. We talked ethanol and then we talked international trade.

Doud tells us that the real key to reopening the Asian markets as well as Russia to US beef at commercially viable levels is the BSE risk designation that will be assigned to the US cattle industry this spring by the OIE, the international Animal Health Regulatory body. That designation will be either Negligible Risk or Controlled Risk. Both categories would carry the recommendation that US beef is safe as long as Specified Risk Materials are removed at the time of slaughter. Bone in or Boneless- no matter and age would not be a concern based on this risk guidelines.

You can hear Greg's comments on this subject on today's Beef Buzz, heard on many of our Radio Oklahoma Network stations- or you can check out our Beef Buzzes on our website at OR- you can click below to get today's update from right here in Nashville!

Click here to listen to Ron with Greg Doud on today's Beef Buzz.

Ag Secretary Mike Johanns unveils BIG changes for 2007 Farm Policy.
These would be BIG changes, assuming that Congress pays any attention to the USDA plan- and Mike Johanns knows that he has to hit the road like the traveling salesmen seen in Iowa in The Music Man! That's what he is doing, as he traveled immediately to Tunica, Mississippi after unveiling the plan yesterday morning in Washington and followed Tunica with a stop in Des Moines, Iowa. Today he is in California before heading back to Nashville where he has local events here before speaking to the Cattle Industry gathering here at the Opryland.

With an aggressive payment limits plan that has southern crops staggering, Johanns would establish a very low means test to determine your eligibility for farm program payments. If your Adjusted Gross Income on your taxes is more than $200,000, you become ineligible. The Administration says that will impact 80,000 taxpayers (in other words, farmers or ranchers mostly) and provide savings of $1.5 billion over a ten year span. That money would be plowed back into specialty crops in technical assistance, the Market Access Promotion Program and into specialty crop research.

Beyond payments limits, the Secretary would like to totally change the countercyclical payment, slightly raise the direct payment and drop the loan rate to 85% of the market price average over a five year period. If you want to see the highlights of the plan, we have linked it below.

Click here for the USDA Farm Bill Proposal Overview.

Tunica meeting filled with farmers wondering about their future.
The Payment Limits proposal of the Administration is extremely tough and includes an elimination of the three entity rule and would limit individuals $350,000 in farm program payments. The reality is that with the means test set as having to be under $200,000 in AGI, that ceiling on farm program payments will likely never be touched before a person is zeroed out on that level of income.

We understand it was a full house in Tunica and that farmers there only asked two questions- one of which was about the Beginning farmer concepts advanced by USDA. The other question was a written question handed to the Secretary and it asked him with the price of a cotton picker and other inputs, how do you expect farmers in the south to survive? The Secretary said that he was not going to change their minds and that the crowd has not going to change his mind and left it at that- then headed for the door after no other questions were raised.

It apprarently was a friendlier crowd in Des Moines as they are less worried about the Payments Limits issue than the folks in the South. In his comments yesterday morning in Washington, the Secretary said that southern farmers don't likke the Payment Limits issue at all- but that he heard calls for Payments Limits in other parts of the country. If this becomes a major part of the debate, we have a classic north versus south battle shaping up quickly.

Flinchbaugh on Farm Policy here at the Cattle Meeting
I spent a good bit of time yesterday with perhaps THE GURU when it comes to farm policy in this country- Dr. Barry Flinchbaugh of Kansas State. He spoke yesterday afternoon to the Cattlemen's College about farm policy- and I had the chance to talk with him exclusively about the subject yesterday morning right after the Mike Johanns announcement. In fact, we provided Dr. Flinchbaugh with the Fact Sheets from USDA on the USDA proposal.

He still sees Congress not making HUGE wholesale changes in farm policy and says that Senator Tom Harkin is probably the really key person- as he helped finalize the 2002 farm law as Chairman of the Senate Ag Committee that year- and that he thinks that Harkin likes the bill he wrote in 2002.

Payment Limits will be a north versus south battle and he adds that the countercyclical portion of the 2002 Farm Law was bad policy- that it is backwards and needs fixing- so it will be interesting to get into the real details of the USDA proposal in that regard. We have the full interview that we had with Barry Flinchbaugh up on our web site- and here is the link for that interview.

Click here to listen to Ron and Barry Flinchbaugh on farm policy from Nashville.

BOVINE BLOG is the place to check today and tomorrow!
Our Bovine Blog on our website will be a good place to go and look at from time to time over the next few days as we continue our coverage from Nashville and the Cattle Industry Convention. We have several written comments and links to interviews up there now and we will add some highlights from the Cattlefax Seminar later this morning.

The link to the Bovine Blog is below- CHECK IT OUT!

Click here for the Bovine Blog from OklahomaFarmReport.Com

Congrats to Brian Healey- He makes the Operating Committee!
Brian Healey has been involved in the Oklahoma Beef Council as well as the Cattlemen's Beef Board the last few years- and he has been nominated to serve on the Operating Committee of the Beef Board in 2007. The Operating Committee is very powerful in the Beef Checkoff world in that the money allocation for everything flows through this Committee. So, it's good that an Oklahoman will be a part of the Committee in the coming year.

Our thanks to Midwest Farm Shows for their support of our daily Farm News Update. Go to their website at the link at the top of today's email for more information on either the Tulsa Farm Show or the Southern Plains Farm Show.

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.

Click here to check out WWW.OklahomaFarmReport.Com

God Bless! You can reach us at the following:
phone: 405-473-6144

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