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Your Update from Ron Hays of RON
Friday, June 22, 2018
US House of Representatives Pass Farm Bill to Agriculture Industry's Delight in Tight 213 - 211 Vote
The House of Representatives Thursday passed its version of the farm bill 213-211. The narrow vote followed a failed attempt at passing significant immigration reform in the House. The bill again received no support from House Democrats, just as it did when the House failed to pass the legislation previously.
Attention now turns to the Senate, expected to consider its version of the farm bill within the next two weeks. The Senate bill was crafted in a bipartisan way and is expected to pass.
However, the House version of the bill, greatly differs, with work requirements included for recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
House Agriculture Chairman Mike Conaway of Texas says he looks forward to "working with the Senate and the president" to deliver an on-time farm bill. The current farm bill expires in September.
Conaway was congratulated by his counterpart in the Senate, Pat Roberts and by USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue - but was chastised by Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Collin C. Peterson of Minnesota.
"The partisan approach of the Majority has produced a bill that simply doesn't do enough for the people it's supposed to serve. It still leaves farmers and ranchers vulnerable, it worsens hunger and it fails rural communities," Peterson said. "The only upside to its passage is that we're one step closer to conference, where it's my hope that cooler heads can and will prevail."
These remarks were followed by a deluge of comments and reactions from the agriculture industry which universally shared much of the same sentiments - one calling the bill's passage a "big win for agriculture" and "a step closer to certainty." You can click here to scroll through some of the statements made earlier in the day. The next story, below, includes more industry comments as well.
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|Oklahoma and Texas Groups Thank House Members from Both States for Voting Aye for 2018 Farm Bill
Oklahoma Farm Bureau thanked the current Oklahoma Congressional delegation for voting in favor of H.R. 2- the 2018 Farm Bill- on Thursday afternoon- those four votes helped secure the 213 to 211 vote which moves the House language forward to be considered in a Conference with the Senate this summer.
(Oklahoma has one house seat currently vacant- with former Congressman Jim Bridenstine having been confirmed to be the Administrator of NASA in the Trump Administration.)
to read the complete statement by OKFB President Rodd Moesel
that was released by the group yesterday afternoon.
Likewise- the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers and Plains Cotton cheered the Republicans in the Texas Congressional delegation- saying they are pleased that all of them joined with their colleague Mike Conaway in supporting the measure- Conaway, of course, is the Chair of the House Ag Committee and the primary author of the bill. No Democrats voted for the measure either time the bill was considered on the floor by the full body.
Some groups were less than pleased with the partisan bill being approved on Thursday- click or tap here to read the comments of disappointment offered by the Center for Rural Affairs- and available here are comments released by Roger Johnson of the National Farmers Union- also unhappy with the House proposal but looking forward to improving the House plan in the upcoming Conference.
|Plains Grains Sees Oklahoma 91% Done with Wheat Harvest- Kansas Already to Halfway Mark
The latest wheat harvest report from Plains Grains was released late Thursday evening- showing the march northward of the 2018 harvest even in the face of rain making storm systems. Plains Grains lines up with the Oklahoma Wheat Commission with their more than ninety percent completion rate for harvest in the state for 2018. Here is the text of the report as provided to the Oklahoma Farm Report by Mark Hodges:
"The 2018 HRW wheat harvest came to an almost complete stop this week when a solid line of intense thunderstorms producing localized areas of very heavy rainfall ((> 9" (23 cm)) and hail moved across the central and south central Great Plains Tuesday night through early Wednesday. Areas that received significant measurable precipitation includes extreme northwest Texas, northwest Oklahoma, the northwest 3/4ths of Kansas, eastern Colorado and southeast Nebraska. Harvest was just getting underway in southeast Colorado and southeast Nebraska.
"Harvest is now 72% complete in Texas with irrigated wheat (slower to mature) making up many acres remaining to be cut. Overall Oklahoma is now 91% complete with harvest and only areas of north central (85% complete) and the extreme northwest (50% complete) remaining. USDA now estimates Texas at 66% of wheat acres were abandon and a 53% abandonment rate in Oklahoma, well over 2 times the normal rate.
"Kansas has now reached the halfway mark (50%) complete with harvest. Areas that had been in the full swing of harvest (the central corridor and southern south central area of Kansas) are now winding down. The remainder of Kansas was just getting into the full swing of harvest (prior to the rain) in most areas, the exception is the northwest ¼ of the state where harvest has not yet started."
Click or tap here to read about the samples taken to date by Plains Grains which are showing a good quality crop in the making in the southern Great Plains.
Southeast Oklahoma Continues to Dry Out as State Braces for Hotter Than Normal Temperatures
This week's Drought Monitor shows quite a bit of change compared to the week before, most notably the increase in drought across the far southeast part of Oklahoma. However, that area receive a some decent rain over the past few days which may improve the area's condition rating in next week's report.
Periodic rains throughout the next week will also help to improve conditions across most of the state, but especially in northern Oklahoma. Farther out, though, forecasts call for warmer than normal temperatures from July through September. Rain chances during this period is uncertain, leaving the odds out there that existing drought conditions could potentially worsen between now and then.
Currently, Exceptional drought in Oklahoma has risen 1 point from last week, now at 3 percent; Extreme drought is down nearly 10 points at 14 percent; Severe drought is up 3 points at 38 percent; Moderate drought climbed 9 points to 59 percent this week and Abnormally dry conditions are now covering approximately 82 percent of the state, up 2 points from last week.
For a closer look at this week's Drought Monitor or for the latest Mesonet Ticker, click here.
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|OSU's Derrell Peel Says Cattle Markets in the First Half of 2018 Have Been "So Far, So Good..."
In these final days of June, we caught up with Oklahoma State University Extension Livestock Market Economist Dr. Derrell Peel to talk about how beef and cattle markets have measured up so far this year in 2018."I think 2018 has been largely a 'so far, so good' kind of situation compared to 2017. Supply continues to grow. We're going to have more beef production in 2018, but demand has been pretty good," he said. "So, all in all, I think markets have held together pretty well - whether you're talking beef markets or feeder and fed cattle markets."One issue that has Peel concerned going forward, however, pertains to carcass weights. In 2017, carcass weights dropped for the year, offsetting some of the large production that was seen. This year, weight are going back up relative to that 2017 level - which means we're going to have even more production in terms of carcass weights and slaughter. Fortunately, though, Peel says demand has maintained impressive strength and has kept markets afloat so far.As producers look to the second half of the year, Peel says other issues of concern like rising tensions among our trading partners will be closely monitored as the beef industry could be affected either directly, indirectly or both for that matter.Listen to Peel and I discuss the performance of the US beef markets during the first half of this year, on yesterday's Beef Buzz - click here.
Kansas Farmer Tells Congress About the Heavy Burden of Federal Regulations on Farmers and Ranchers
Kansas farmer Glenn Brunkow, took to the podium in DC, yesterday, to address before a House Small Business subcommittee on Capitol Hill, the economic storm that has been looming over the ag industry.
"Right now every penny counts in agriculture," Brunkow testified. "Farm income is at the lowest level in more than a decade. In tough economic times like this, farmers feel the impact of regulations even more because money dedicated to compliance - especially when it is of doubtful value - is money that cannot be reinvested in the farm or put in the bank to cushion against hard times."
Brunkow, told members of Congress that when it comes to regulations and agriculture, one fact cannot be overlooked - citing unjust and unnecessarily costly regulations that have been imposed on farmers in recent years, like WOTUS.
"Farmers and ranchers today are highly regulated and face an increasing array of regulatory demands and requirements that appear to be unprecedented in scope," Brunkow said.
He said Congress clearly wanted to ensure that prior converted cropland was classified as farmland eligible for farm programs, but farmers are repeatedly finding themselves fighting the federal government to assert their rights to manage their land in light of an appeals process "that is heavily weighted in favor of the government and against farmers."
Brunkow insisted that reforms were also needed relative to such issues as the Endangered Species Act, duplicative regulatory burdens, labor regulations, the need for cost-benefit analysis and transparency in the regulatory process itself.
Read more about Brunkow's visit with Congressional leaders or review his complete testimony by clicking or tapping here.
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Rural Leaders Add Their Support to Opposition of State Question 788
Leaders from many of our rural communities in Oklahoma, including city officials and business owners made a declaration of their support on Thursday, for the SQ 788 is not Medical Coalition - a group of influencers from the state's medical, faith and business community in opposition to State Question 788, which will be voted upon on June 26th.
The state question, community leaders say, is poorly written and leaves too much to question, posing threats to Oklahoma communities and businesses.
"SQ 788 is not the right policy for Oklahoma communities," House Majority Leader, Rep. Mike Sanders (R-HD 59) said. "Not only would the question effectively legalize recreational marijuana, exposing our families and children to secondhand marijuana smoke, it will prevent our employers from maintaining drug-free workplaces, putting employees, their safety and the public at risk. For rural communities where operation of farm equipment is the norm, this is an incredibly dangerous policy."
Those that made the declaration of support hope their example will encourage others with reservations about legalizing the use of marijuana based on morals, self-held principles or other reasons to join also and help build the collective voice of the opposition.
Review the complete list of those leaders who announced their decision to join this movement yesterday and read the full language of this proposed law by clicking here. Learn more about the SQ 788 is not Medical Coalition, here.
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