~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Wednesday September 26, 2007!A service of Cusack Meats, Farm Credit of East Central Oklahoma & Midwest Farm Shows
-- Harkin Uncertain About Getting His Committee's Farm Bill Proposal Done
-- Made in Oklahoma Group has a One Hundred Thousand Meal Plan!
-- The September AFBF Economic Report- China faces lean hog numbers- and that's mighty good for our markets!
-- Death and Taxes Should Not Mix as your Final Function
-- Express Ranches Fall Bull Sale Happening this Coming Monday!
-- Peru Free Trade Deal Gets a Thumbs Up (sorta)
-- Writing from the Road!
Here's your morning farm news headlines from the Director of Farm Programming for the Radio Oklahoma Network, Ron Hays. We are proud to welcome Farm Credit of East Central Oklahoma as a regular sponsor of our daily email update. Farm Credit of East Central Oklahoma has ten branch offices to serve your farm financing needs and is dedicated to being your first choice for farm credit. Check out their website for more information by clicking here!
The newest sponsor on our daily email service is Cusack Meats, and Al Cusack wants everyone to know that he APPRECIATES Oklahoma's Farmers and Ranchers! You can go to the Cusack website and select some great gift packs of meat for giving- or for yourself! And, our email this morning is also a service of Midwest Farm Shows, producer of the Tulsa Farm Show coming up December 6-8, 2007, as well as the Southern Plains Farm Show in Oklahoma City next spring. Check out details of both of these exciting shows at the official website of Midwest Farm Shows by clicking here.
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Harkin Uncertain About Getting His Committee's Farm Bill Proposal Done
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~There is still not enough money to draft a farm bill in the Senate Ag Committee, so says the Chairman of the Committee, Senator Tom Harkin. The Iowa Democrat says that he is still working on the money issue- and is hopeful that his Committee will be able to come together on a deal before the Columbus Day Recess. He did leave himself some wiggle room on that deadline- and it now is a real possibility that the Senate Ag Committee might not work on their version of farm policy until well into October- after Columbus Day.
One of the contentious issues that Harkin says the Senators will have to compromise on is the idea of a Permanent Disaster Program. Senator Max Baccus of Montana, along with Kent Conrad of North Dakota and five other Senators have indicated that they will support a farm bill only if it includes a Permanent Disaster Program.
Meanwhile Senator Harkin calls that idea a step backwards in policy and he believes there are better ways to deliver on a safety net than that type of program. Senator Harkin, on a separate issue, acknowledged the need to find more money for specialty crops- with some 34 Senators signing a letter demanding that the amount of money for specialty crops in the House version of the bill, $1.6 billion, be doubled to $3.2 billion over the life of the measure.
The 2002 Farm Law expires this weekend- and while Congress has discussed a short term extension in a couple of specific areas- there has been NO talk by members of Congress about extending the authority of USDA to make early Direct Payments to those who would be eligible to receive them under the old law. That means no cash flow help to wheat producers as you buy inputs to plant the 2008 winter wheat crop. At the same time, everyone is ignoring, for now, the "elephant in the room" which is the permanent farm law of 1949 which would mandate supply controls and base things on parity.It theoretically kicks in as we begin the 2008 crop cycle for winter wheat- just don't tell USDA in Washington, they don't want to know.
Made in Oklahoma Group has a One Hundred Thousand Meal Plan!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~From September 26th through the end of October, a portion of all sales from 13 participating Made in Oklahoma Coalition companies will be donated to the Oklahoma City and Tulsa Regional Food Banks. The coalition hopes the promotion will raise enough food to provide 100,000 meals. "Last year this campaign raised 65,000 lbs. of food that helped feed needy Oklahomans over the holidays," said MIO Coalition Chairman, Garry Hess of Bar-S Foods. "We've set our goal slightly higher this year and we're confident we can reach it."
The "Feed the Hungry" promotion will be advertised in many state groceries and supermarkets. Participating companies include: Advance Brands (Fast Fixins and Fast Classics Brands), Bar-S Foods, Chef's Requested Foods, Clements Foods (Garden Club brand), Daddy Hinkle's, Field's Pies, Griffin Food Company, Head Country, Hiland Dairy, Ken's Bakery, J.C. Potter's, My Bigmama's Kitchen, and Shawnee Mills.
You can go to the link we have provided below for more information on the Made in Oklahoma Coalition as well as this Feed the Hungry campaign happening over the next several weeks.
The September AFBF Economic Report- China faces lean hog numbers- and that's mighty good for our markets!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The latest Economic outlook has been assembled by the team of Ag economists that work for the American Farm Bureau- as Chief Economist Bob Young spending his time in this latest report on the general economic outlook- and how that may have impact on agriculture over the next several months.
As always, they also look at grain, livestock and dairy prices- with some thoughts on how those markets are evolving. Jim Sartwelle III writes an interesting set of comments on the potential of supplying pork to the world's largest producing and consuming country for pork- China.
Sartwelle writes "Complicating U.S. efforts to expand pork exports in their direction significantly was China's rejection of imported product that was fed ractopamine (trade name, Paylean®). Then, on August 24, Smithfield announced a deal to ship 60 million pounds of ractopamine-free pork to China by the end of December. Smithfield controls the world's largest swine production system. Given that, they could quickly eliminate the lean growth promotant from their production systems and satisfy China's requirements for large tonnages relatively quickly.
"Let's put the Chinese market into perspective. The U.S. processes
roughly 2 million head of hogs each week. China processes in the
neighborhood of 10 million head of hogs each week. Any long-term decrease
in production would likely have to be made up from imports. The hog
markets have absorbed this news, with early 2008 CME Lean Hogs futures
contracts rallying $1.50 to $2 in the weeks following Smithfield's
announcement before settling around $64 for the December 2006 contract
(right around $68 for February 2008) by September 21."
Death and Taxes Should Not Mix as your Final Function
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The National Cattlemen's Beef Association attended a Death Tax Summit on Capitol Hill this past week. The Summit, held September 19th, was coordinated by a coalition of Washington-based industry groups to bring attention to the need to fully and permanently repeal the Death Tax.
Members of Congress including Senators Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) and Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) and Reps. Harry Mitchell (D-Ariz.) and Kenny Hulshof (R-Mo.) spoke to summit attendees about how the Death Tax hurts America's farmers, ranchers and small businesses. With rates ranging from 37 to 55 percent, the Death Tax is a leading cause of the break-up of U.S. family farms. Too often ranches and farms must be sold to pay the tax bill, and the land is often purchased by developers.
NCBA is supporting efforts in Congress to alleviate the burden of this devastating tax on America's farming and ranching families. H.R. 2380 was introduced by Rep. Hulshof on May 17th, and now has 152 cosponsors. Currently, a 10-year phase-out of the Death Tax ending in full repeal is scheduled to take effect by 2010. But the tax is then scheduled to be re-instated in 2011, back to 2001 levels. H.R. 2380 makes the repeal permanent. Similar legislation, H.R. 1586, was introduced by Rep. Mac Thornberry (R- Texas) on March 20th. That bill currently has 85 co- sponsors. In the case of both measures, on a bi- partisan basis, four of the five Oklahoma House members are co-sponsors of both of these bills. Only Tom Cole is not a co-sponsor of either measure.
Click here to see the "leave behind" piece that the National Cattlemen's Beef Association has produced on the problems of the Death Tax.
Express Ranches Fall Bull Sale Happening this Coming Monday!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The annual fall bull sale of Express Ranches happens Monday, October first- 12 noon central time at the ranch just north of Yukon. They have a great selection of bulls ready to go back to the ranch and get to work- 250 Angus and 60 Limousin Bulls. In addition, they have a set of commericial females that will be sold as well.
The Sale Book can be had by Calling the Express Ranch team in Yukon at 1-800-664-3977- and they do have their catalog with full details of the offering on line at their website. We have that linked for you below- take a look!
Click here for the Express Ranches Web Site where you can find the Annual Fall Bull Sale Catalog.
Peru Free Trade Deal Gets a Thumbs Up (sorta)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Draft legislation implementing a free trade agreement with Peru swiftly won on a voice vote during a "mock" markup in the House Ways and Means committee. During the session, the panel considered no amendments to the measure, which includes provisions long sought by Democrats on labor and environmental standards.
On the House floor the pact will face a tougher crowd. There is a significant segment of Democrats, including a number of freshmen, who oppose the Peru pact. Leaders of the group say they are already working to secure "no" votes, especially among their freshman colleagues. However, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charlie Rangel likes the measure as now crafted- and calls it an example of how we can get past the political infighting and put together an "American trade policy" good for us all.
Still, the implementing bill for the pact is expected to pass when it reaches the House floor, even if it does not garner a majority of Democrats. Representative Joseph Crowley of New York, a member of the Ways and Means Committee and chief deputy whip for the Democrats, said he does not think the leadership will assemble a formal whip operation for the Peru deal. That likely would put the onus on House Republicans to produce enough votes to approve a trade deal negotiated by the Bush administration.
Writing from the Road!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We have been on the road this week- and as we write this early on this Wednesday morning,we sit in central Indiana and can profess to seeing lots and lots and lots of corn and soybeans. Harvest is underway up here in eastern cornbelt, early yields have been pretty good- but the real story is that a strong cold front is moving in this part of the country and brought very heavy rain to parts of Illinois, Indiana and Ohio(with Ohio to get rain mostly today), helping to ease very dry conditions that these farmers are dealing with.
We are talking with other farm broadcasters this week that are innovators in their part of the country in serving agriculture- in the hope that we can come up with some ways of better serving Oklahoma agriculture. I guess you might call it a "continuing education" class for me this week- and I have a couple of ideas already of what we will be doing in the days ahead that will make our efforts on the radio, on our website and with this email that will make them hopefully more useful for you, the real reason for doing what we do.
In the meantime, I am reminded how thankful I am to have such wonderful support from our farmers and ranchers that listen to us on the radio, or see us on Saturday mornings on the TV or that read this email- I appreciate your interest in what we assemble on a daily basis. And we do appreciate your feedback. It encourages us- and it helps us do better in areas where improvement is needed. Let us hear from you- about what we are reporting as well as about the things going on that we need to know about to report on. Drop us an email- it's always a highlight of our day!
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