~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Monday July 16, 2007!A service of Midwest Farm Shows
-- What Went Wrong? We talk to Dr. Jeff Edwards on the 2007 Wheat Crop.
-- Summer Cattle Industry Conference Happens this week in Denver.
-- Farm Bill Markup to Begin Tuesday Midday.
-- Peterson Continues to Work on Finding a Deal that Can be Supported by His Committee and Survive a Flood Fight!
-- Food Fight!!! China responds to US Concerns about contaminated food from China with bans on US products.
-- Strong Case Made for Current Farm Programs Made by Moran and Lucas.
-- Check out our Dynamic Duo of Enid Radio Stations on RON!
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 recently concluded Southern Plains Farm Show in Oklahoma City, 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.
What Went Wrong? We talk to Dr. Jeff Edwards on the 2007 Wheat Crop.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Our Saturday morning edition of In the Field with Ron Hays featured OSU Extension small grains specialist Dr. Jeff Edwards. We talked with Jeff about the sharp drop in the fortunes of the 2007 Oklahoma Hard Red Winter Wheat Crop.
Off camera, Jeff told us that if we could actually end up with 116 million bushels as the size of the Oklahoma wheat crop this season- he would be "tickled." He says the combination of the Easter Freeze, disease pressure that proved to be intense on our top most planted varieties and the non stop rains in June into early July have caused the hopes for this 2007 wheat crop to evaporate.
Our In the Field with Ron Hays video segment is seen on Saturday mornings at 7:40 am on KWTV, News9. In case you want to see it again, we have it linked below for your viewing on your computer.
Click here to view In the Field with Ron Hays as Ron talks with Dr. Jeff Edwards of OSU.
Summer Cattle Industry Conference Happens this week in Denver.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The cattle industry comes together twice a year to discuss current issues as a group, to work on programs and initiatives, and to set the course we should take with our various projects for the betterment of the beef cattle industry. The Cattle Industry Summer Conference features meetings of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, Cattlemen's Beef Promotion & Research Board, American National CattleWomen, Inc., Cattle-Fax and National Cattlemen's Foundation
We have looked over their committee agendas and among the key topics that will be covered here in 2007 will include mandatory COOL, feed grain prices and the ethanol impact, animal welfare, and international market developments. One interesting panel that is planned for Thursday will have top officials from Tyson, National, Swift and Cargill talking about global beef market access- "Then versus Now."
The Beef Board will continue to develop its plan for the new fiscal year that begins October first as they allocate the monies to be spent from the collections of the dollar a head beef checkoff. Speaking of the checkoff, the latest survey of producers on their support of the checkoff will be shared at this mid year conference. We will have coverage of the activities in Denver, and will set up our network central there in Denver for several days this week.
Farm Bill Markup to Begin Tuesday Midday.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~According to House Ag Committee Chairman Colin Peterson, the start of the markup session was pushed back from first thing Tuesday morning to midday at the request of Republican members. The Committee has planned meetings Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday to accommodate the mark up process.
The Chairman has unveiled a fresh Chairman's Mark on most of the titles, and has really ignored the work of the General Commodities Subcommittee from a few weeks back, when they voted to extend current farm policy from the 2002 farm law with a few minor modifications.
Peterson has been under intense pressure since that time to move the Committee to a point of significant change in 2007 and faces the dilemma of coming up with a bill that can pass the Committee AND survive on the floor of a very hostile full House of Representatives. We have heard some rumblings that the markup process might actually be delayed unless several key areas are hammered out and promises are made by the House Democratic leadership to support the Committee on the floor against a possible hijacking of farm policy by Congressman Ron Kind of Wisconsin with his Farm21 proposal. We have linked below the latest versions of the Chairman's mark- you can be assured that further modifications to what is now on the website may be forthcoming.
Click here for the House Ag Committee's "starting point" for the Farm Bill Markup that begins Tuesday.
Peterson Continues to Work on Finding a Deal that Can be Supported by His Committee and Survive a Flood Fight!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The key battleground appears to be payment limits and who is eligible to receive farm program payments. Current law allows a maximum of $360,000 in farm program payments to an individual, a three entity rule- and a "means test" that prohibits anyone with a gross adjusted income of more than $2.5 million from receiving farm program supports.
Reformers, including apparently House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is demanding that House Ag Committee Chairman Colin Peterson come up with a plan that would drastically lower the overall cap on farm program payments to $250,000 annually or even less, eliminate the so called three entity rule but allow spouses to both receive program payments, further tighten payment rules and set a much lower "means test" to what the Administration called for earlier this year- blocking farm program payments if you have an adjusted gross income of $200,000 or more.
Peterson told reporters on Friday that there will be "significant changes" when it comes to payment limits and added that they will likely "cause some heartburn for some." Remember this- what is good farm policy does not mean politically correct farm policy- and the reformers of current law see a major opportunity in front of them to grab a chunk of the money that has gone to program crop farmers and sprinkle it over any and all programs they prefer. That includes organic farming, fruits and vegetables, energy and conservation- just to name a few other special areas that crying for more funding. We may know sometime today where Chairman Peterson really is after a weekend for all of this to boil.
Food Fight!!! China responds to US Concerns about contaminated food from China with bans on US products.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~China suspended imports of various pork and chicken products from a number of U.S. meat processors and distributors in a move seen as a reaction to growing international concern over the safety of China's own food products, according to wire service reports.
The Chinese lined up and took aim at several US processing firms for a
variety of food products including :
US officials appeared to be taken by surprise by the Chinese action. A spokesman for the US Trade Representative said, "We are looking into what exactly the Chinese concerns are and whether or not their actions are consistent with their international trading obligations." He added, "Obviously we would go from there with respect to any kind of response." The spokesman said the US was seeking clarification from the Chinese as to what they are doing and why. The administration is also consulting the US exporters involved to try to see if there is substance to the Chinese claims. The US will likely make a fuller response later today or tomorrow..
Strong Case Made for Current Farm Programs Made by Moran and Lucas.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Both Kansas Lawmaker Jerry Moran and Oklahoma Congressman Frank Lucas have been in the middle of the fight to keep intact the bulk of current farm policy, with some changes but not a "throw the baby out with the bath water" approach.
Congressman Moran has penned an "open" letter entitled "Is the Pen Mightier than the Plow?" He starts with the classic quote from President Eisenhower many years ago that farming seems very easy when you are a thousand miles from the field and your plow is a pen. Moran writes "Critics of the policy claim that too much money is being spent to support farmers. Yet these critics fail to mention that the bill has come in about $25 billion under budget since it was enacted five years ago. This leaves the Agriculture Committee with 42 percent less funds to write the next commodity title. Another fact omitted by critics of farm policy is that American farmers are subsidized at much lower levels than other countries around the world. In 2005, American farmers were subsidized at around $44 per acre, compared to European farmers at $390 per acre and Japan at a whopping $4,442." He adds "I can only hope that the farm bill we debate today does not simply write off the very future of American agriculture. Click here for the link from the Wichita paper where it was published earlier this month.
Meanwhile over this past weekend, Congressman Frank Lucas launched an attack on the dangers of the Ron Kind proposal. Lucas writes of the dangers of the proposal from the Wisconsin lawmaker, "Rep. Ron Kind(D-WI) will offer an amendment to the floor debate for the 2007 Farm Bill later this month that will eliminate the section of the legislation that implements farm programs, called the commodity title. Instead, Kind's amendment would use those funds to create "farmer risk management accounts," and shift other parts of the funding to rural development and conservation programs. Although most of the spending in farm bills goes to social nutrition programs like food stamps, the commodity title of the farm bill has an enormous impact on the rural economy of Oklahoma and America. It creates the fundamental safety net that has been the hallmark of agriculture policy for decades. But if the Kind amendment passes, these programs would be no more." He adds that he is not sure if traditional farm programs will prevail against the radical reform proposed by Farm21, the Ron Kind measure, but he vows to battle on the floor for traditional farm program concepts. We have linked his "Frankly Speaking" column on the subject below.
Click here for the Congressman Lucas and his distaste for Farm21, a quick phase out of federal farm programs.
Check out our Dynamic Duo of Enid Radio Stations on RON!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We are very proud of our lineup of great radio stations across the state on the Radio Oklahoma Network- and two of the original stations that helped start the old Quinstar Network were KGWA AM and KOFM FM in Enid.
KGWA AM covers a lot of territory in northcentral and central Oklahoma at 960 on the AM dial and offers RON programming all day long. They also offer great news talk programming with everybody from Rush Limbaugh to Dave Ramsey a part of their lineup through the day. They truly are your Information Station!
Hot Country KOFM is at 103.1 on the FM dial, and features great country music and seven reports from the Radio Oklahoma Network daily. We have a full rundown of the reports and times of those reports that you can hear on both KGWA and KOFM in a link to our website below. Check it out and give Ron Hays and Ed Richards a listen!!!
Click here for the schedule of RON agri reports heard on KGWA and KOFM in Enid!
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 and make plans to be an exhibitor at either the Tulsa Farm Show this December or the Southern Plains Farm Show next spring!
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