~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Friday December 4, 2009A service of Johnston Enterprises, P & K Equipment/ P & K Wind Energy and American Farmers & Ranchers Mutual Insurance Company!
-- Democrats Move Estate Tax Measure Through the US House- NCBA Calls Measure "Unacceptable"
-- Wheat Faces More Downside Risk Than Upside Market Potential- Dr. Kim Anderson
-- EPA's Delay on E15 Raises More Questions than Answers
-- Healthy Heifer Protocol Could Be a Tool for Your Beef Replacement Females
-- Beef Board Hires New CFO
-- Irrigated Acres Up Five Percent in the Last 6 Years
-- This Weekend- YF&R Holding Socials, AFR Speech Contest Finals and More
-- 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 pleased to have American Farmers & Ranchers Mutual Insurance Company as a regular sponsor of our daily update- click here to go to their AFR web site to learn more about their efforts to serve rural America!
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Democrats Move Estate Tax Measure Through the US House- NCBA Calls Measure "Unacceptable"
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~On Thursday, the House passed H.R. 4154 by Rep. Earl Pomeroy (D-ND) to permanently extend the estate tax at 2009 levels, without indexing for inflation. H.R. 4154 passed under a closed rule by a vote of 225-200, with all Republicans and 27 Democrats voting against the bill. No amendments were allowed by the closed rule, as put in place by the House Democratic Leadership. The National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) is extremely disappointed that Congress has ignored repeated calls for estate tax reform.
According to Congressman Pomeroy, this bill will provide full and permanent estate tax relief for 99.75 percent of families, farmers, and small businesses in this country, who would not have to pay any estate tax. Pomeroy adds, this bill will - provide the stability families need to make long-term decisions and avoid the estate planning roller coaster that will result from current law.
The National Cattlemen take exception to that reasoning. "The Pomeroy bill is a disservice to America's family farmers and other small businesses," said NCBA President Gary Voogt. "By keeping a flawed law in place, Congress will simply extend our problems with the current system into the future."
NCBA believes that it's now up to the Senate to pass meaningful and permanent relief. If the Senate fails to act by the end of the year, the tax will revert to a staggering 55% tax on estates worth only $1 million or more. NCBA would strongly support legislation similar to the Lincoln-Kyl amendment which passed earlier this year as an amendment to the Senate budget resolution. The amendment would have raised the death tax exemption to $5 million per individual and $10 million per couple, indexed for inflation, while reducing the maximum tax rate to 35%. While the amendment did not have the force of law, it was a strong bipartisan showing of support for reform.
Click here to see the NCBA "one pager" explaining their call for Death Tax reform.
Wheat Faces More Downside Risk Than Upside Market Potential- Dr. Kim Anderson
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Dr. Kim Anderson, Extension Grain Marketing Economist at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, says that wheat, corn and soybeans all seem to be stuck in a trading range as we hit the first few trading days of December. He says that it appears that there is limited linkage between the wheat market and the markets for corn and soybeans, at least at this time.
Specifically for wheat- Dr. Anderson does not see much upside potential for old crop wheat and believes that farmers need to understand that if they are still holding any of the 2009 crop that there is "more downside risk than upside potential" in the current wheat market. He feels the wheat market could be especially vulnerable if the major funds that are in commodities begin to pull out- that could cause major price problems for wheat based on current supplies.
We have Kim's comments in full on our website at the link below- his comments coming from the weekly program produced by the Division of Agriculture at OSU, SUNUP. Besides Kim's comments with Clinton Griffiths, we also have this weekend's SUNUP lineup in that story linked below- go and check it out.
Click here to go and listen to Dr. Kim Anderson's Q&A with Clinton as a preview to this weekend's SUNUP.
EPA's Delay on E15 Raises More Questions than Answers
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) announcement earlier this week that it was delaying a decision on the waiver to approve 15% ethanol blends raised more questions than it answered. Specifically, the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) today sought more clarification from EPA on its apparent focus on vehicles model year (MY) 2001 and newer. Such a limitation could potentially limit once again the market for ethanol by excluding some 40% of the vehicle market and causing both consumer confusion and retailer unwillingness to offer the product.
In its letter, the EPA stated, "Although all of the studies have not been completed, our engineering assessment to date indicates that the robust fuel, engine and emissions control systems on newer vehicles (likely 2001 and newer model years) will likely be able to accommodate higher ethanol blends, such as E15." The RFA wrote EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson today seeking more details on this apparent limitation to the waiver. In its letter, the RFA raised concerns about limiting any potential waiver to vehicles MY2001 and newer.
We have more details of the letter (including a link to the full letter) on our website- click on the link below to read more.
Click here for concerns that RFA has raised with EPA over the delayed E15 blending decision
Healthy Heifer Protocol Could Be a Tool for Your Beef Replacement Females
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Healthy Heifer is a program that has been developed by Novartis Animal Health and has both a beef and a dairy component. Dr. Mike Moore, Professional Services Vet for Novartis, talked with us recently about Healthy Heifer and says that the program is designed to achieve more consistent, heavier and healthier heifers and calves in your beef cattle herd.
The program emphasizes prevention, not treatment, and it focuses on five key management areas: prenatal care, colostrum management, nutrition, vaccination and growth and development.
We have an audio conversation with Dr. Mike Moore of Novartis about this program- why they have developed it and what they are hoping to achieve- that audio is found on our website at the link below. It's in our new section of our website called Agri- Innovations. This section is designed to offer stories and interviews about new ideas in the ever changing world of agriculture.
Click here to learn more about the Healthy Heifer program from Novartis
Beef Board Hires New CFO
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Cattlemen's Beef Board has hired a new chief financial officer. She is Katherine Ayers. Ayers is not new to the Beef Board; she has been contracting with them for three years, working on contractor compliance audits and state beef council financial reviews. She also has worked as an auditor, specializing in non-profit organizations. As CFO, Ayers will oversee all of the board's financial affairs, including accounting, financial reporting, budgeting, revenue projections, banking, collections and auditing.
The Beef Board's chief executive officer, Tom Ramey says, - Katherine brings a knowledge of checkoff contractors and state beef councils that is very unique. Ramey believes - this knowledge, combined with Katherine's solid financial experience, makes her a great fit for the position.
Irrigated Acres Up Five Percent in the Last 6 Years
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~USDA's 2008 Farm and Ranch Survey has found that farmers and ranchers are now irrigating 54.9 million acres of farmland across the United States, an increase of nearly 5 percent since 2003. Despite the changes in application methods, equipment in general continues to be one of the leading expenses of irrigation. In 2008, farmers and ranchers spent 2.1-billion dollars on expenses related to irrigation equipment, facilities, land improvements and computer technology.
The irrigation report also provides insight into farmers' energy and water conservation practices. Between 2003 and 2008, a total of 74,846 farms implemented changes in equipment or management practices that reduced energy use and/or conserved water. Nearly 46 percent of these farms reported reduced energy cost and 59 percent reported a reduction in the amount of water applied.
The survey results show a continuing trend towards more efficient irrigation methods as farmers reported irrigating 15 percent more acres with sprinkler systems and 5 percent less with gravity irrigation. And for the first time, the National Agricultural Statics Service gathered information on the use of recycled and reclaimed water. A total of 9,843 farms reported using recycled water and 3,205 used reclaimed water.
This Weekend- YF&R Holding Socials, AFR Speech Contest Finals and More
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Oklahoma Farm Bureau's Young Farmers & ranchers Committee has two socials planned- one for each side of the state this evening and tomorrow. The first social, in western Oklahoma, will be held this evening, December 4 at Lucille's Roadhouse in Weatherford. The event begins at 6 p.m. The second, in eastern Oklahoma, will be held at Hideaway Pizza in Tulsa beginning at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, December 5. Dress for both events is casual. Call 405-523-2470 to RSVP or click here for more details.
The state speech finals of the American Farmers and Ranchers will be held on Saturday on the campus of Oklahoma State University. Youth who have qualified at the District level will be competing for scholarship monies at this speech contest, which traditionally draws several hundred young people from across the state.
Two Purebred auctions are happening on Saturday that we have been
telling you about. The first is the OK Select Sale in Durant- featuring
100 Limousin bulls from several top breeders and a lot more. Click
here for more details from our auction page on this sale.
Our thanks to Midwest Farms Shows, PCOM, P & K Equipment/ P & K Wind Energy, Johnston Enterprises, AFR and KIS Futures for their support of our daily Farm News Update. For your convenience, we have our sponsors' websites linked here- just click on their name to jump to their website- check their sites out and let these folks know you appreciate the support of this daily email, as their sponsorship helps us keep this arriving in your inbox on a regular basis!
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!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~It was a good sale on Thursday at the Apache Livestock market, with 2461 cattle being sold- prices were higher for both yearlings and calves, with demand being called good. Click here for the full rundown of prices from yesterday at the Apache market
Current cash price for Canola is $8.10 per bushel, while the 2010 New Crop contracts for Canola are now available are $8.45 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:
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