~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Thursday October 14, 2010A service of Johnston Enterprises, P & K Equipment/ P & K Wind Energy and American Farmers & Ranchers Mutual Insurance Company!
-- US Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver Sides with Chicken Growers- Throws Out Appeal From OK Farms
-- In A Wishy Washy Way- EPA Moves Forward with E15
-- Lots of Reaction on E15 Announcement
-- Livestock Groups Also Have Issues Over E15
-- Oklahoma Farm Bureau Organizing a Stop 744 Road Trip
-- Do-Nothing Approach on Death Tax Hurts Ag
-- Blackjack and Friends Angus Sale Coming THIS Saturday October 16
-- 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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US Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver Sides with Chicken Growers- Throws Out Appeal From OK Farms
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~A multi million dollar judgment against OK Farms is getting close to being finalized. Yesterday, a Federal Appeals Court rejected the claims of OK Farms as they appealed the verdict against them that has set in 2008. A jury ruled that OK Farms had violated the Packers and Stockyards Act, and awarded $21 million to the chicken growers. The judge in the case later reduced the monetary award to the actual damages claimed by the plaintiffs- which was $14.5 million.
The Class Action Lawsuit dates back to 2002- and the universe of growers that were an original part of the Class Action Lawsuit were those raising chickens for OK Farms from 1987 to around 1997. The growers involved were all Eastern Oklahoma contract growers. Dr. Bob Fields, who operates a Vet Clinic in Wister, is one of the named Plaintiffs in the Class Action, says many growers were persuaded to opt out of their status as Class Action participants as OK Farms offered small incentives to those who would withdraw.
Bob Fields says he is elated with the Appeals Court decision, but adds that one final appeal is possible. OK Farms could elect to appeal to the US Supreme Court- but getting that body to hear the case is a longshot. One irony of the case is that none of the five named plaintiffs in the litigation are still raising chickens for OK Farms.
Click on the LINK below to read more on this case- to listen to an
audio overview with comments from Dr. Fields, and a PDF you can download
to read the decision from the Judges in Denver.
In A Wishy Washy Way- EPA Moves Forward with E15
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today waived a limitation on selling fuel that is more than 10 percent ethanol for model year 2007 and newer cars and light trucks. The waiver applies to fuel that contains up to 15 percent ethanol - known as E15 - and only to model year 2007 and newer cars and light trucks. This represents the first of a number of actions that are needed from federal, state and industry towards commercialization of E15 gasoline blends.
EPA says they are still testing cars built from 2001 to 2006 and the results of their testing should be known in a few weeks. Older, "legacy" cars from 2000 or older will not receive any EPA blessing on the use of E15.
Click on the link to the EPA website below which goes to the page that has lots of information on it regarding the blend of 15% ethanol with gasoline called E15. You will see a link at the top of the page that is called the "Response to Application for Waiver" which if you click- you will be taken to the more than 200 pages that EPA produced saying E15 is okay for the newest of on road vehicles.
Lots of Reaction on E15 Announcement
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~It was Growth Energy that filed the waiver request that resulted in Wednesday's announcement that EPA will permit owners of model year 2007 and newer cars and light trucks to burn a mixture of 15 percent ethanol and 85 percent gasoline. As a result, Growth energy says it is happy to see what it calls - the first crack in the blend wall in three decades. Growth Energy says - much more must be done to reduce America's dependence on foreign oil, create jobs here in the United States and improve our environment.
Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis says the approval - proves what was laid out in Growth Energy's Green Jobs Waiver - that E15 is a good fuel for American motorists. And while this is an important first step, there are many more steps we can take toward strengthening our national security by reducing our dependence on foreign oil, creating jobs here in the United States and improving our environment. Click here for more on what Growth Energy has to say about the word from EPA on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, in response to the EPA E15 announcement, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said this is - an important step toward making America more energy independent and creating much-needed jobs in rural America. The Secretary added, EPA's move - provides assurance to farmers, ranchers and the renewable fuels industry that the government backs the use of home grown energy in our cars and trucks. Vilsack hopes the evaluation of 2001-2006 models is completed soon.
The American Farm Bureau Federation says EPA's Decision on E15 is a step in the right direction, but more has to happen to make this decision meaningful. Farm Bureau president Bob Stallman says, - EPA must now follow up on this first effort to reaffirm America's commitment to biofuels. Click here for the AFBF statement on E15.
Livestock Groups Also Have Issues Over E15
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Randy Spronk, Chairman of the National Pork Producers Council's Ethanol Task Force, says his organization - is very concerned with the effect on America's pork producers of raising to 15 percent the amount of corn ethanol that can be blended into gasoline. NPPC is withholding comment on raising the blend rate to E15 from its current E10 until it can consult with economists. Of concern is the effects of such a move on corn prices, and the resultant effect on the cost of producing pork. Spronk says - given that the U.S. Department of Agriculture's October 8 crop report revised down the expected yield and ending stocks of corn, we're already seeing corn prices and the cost of raising a hog heading up.
The National Cattlemen's Beef Association says EPA's approval of Growth Energy's petition to allow the use of E15 in vehicles made since 2007 is yet another example of adding financial burdens to all users of corn. According to NCGA, - permitting E15 represents a 50 percent increase from the currently permitted level of 10 percent ethanol. According to NCBA President Steve Foglesong, - NCBA's members strongly oppose mandated production and increasing government intervention that artificially inflates the cost of feed ingredients. This waiver is a step closer to more government mandates.
Oklahoma Farm Bureau Organizing a Stop 744 Road Trip
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~A caravan of Oklahoma Farm Bureau leaders will make brief stops in six locations across the state Monday, Oct. 18, to support a "no" vote on State Question 744.
"We want voters to know the devastating impact of 744," Mike Spradling, OFB president said. "Farmers and ranchers support education, but 744 could cost up to $1.7 billion. How are we going to pay for that? The answer is severe budget cuts and higher taxes that will cost all Oklahomans with no guarantee of improving education."
The caravan will have both an east and west component. The eastern leg
consists of stops at the Pottawatomie County Farm Bureau office, 3301 N.
Kickapoo, Shawnee, at 9 a.m.; Muskogee County Farm Bureau office, 28 E.
Shawnee, Muskogee, at noon; and Tulsa County Farm Bureau office, 10777 S.
Memorial Drive, Tulsa, at 3 p.m.
Scheduled to speak are county and state Farm Bureau leaders,
legislators, businessmen and education leaders. Each stop will last
approximately one hour.
Do-Nothing Approach on Death Tax Hurts Ag
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Fifty organizations, Including the National Cattlemen's Beef Association have sent a letter to the House and Senate regarding the failure of Congress to take action on the estate tax, commonly known as the death tax, prior to adjourning for the November elections. The organizations represent the Family Business Estate Tax Coalition. The Coalition emphasized in the letter that family businesses, including farms and ranches, need resolution now because at the end of 2010 the estate tax rate will revert back to the pre-2001 level of 55 percent and the exemption amount will fall to one-million dollars.
NCBA President Steve Foglesong says allowing the estate tax to revert back to the 55 percent level would essentially represent passing a death sentence to family-owned operations. He says - taxing family farmers and ranchers out of business will have serious impacts on all Americans, not just in our rural communities.
Foglesong says - this is not a tax on the 'wealthy elite.' The wealthy can afford accountants and estate planners to help them evade the tax. This is a death warrant for small-to-medium sized family businesses. Farmers and ranchers are often forced to sell land, equipment, or the even the entire ranch just to pay off tax liabilities. This is money that could otherwise be reinvested to grow the family business and hand it down to future generations.
Blackjack and Friends Angus Sale Coming THIS Saturday October 16
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The 20th Annual Production Sale of Blackjack Angus Farm is set for a week from Saturday- October 16 at the Farm in Seminole, Oklahoma. Sale time will be at 12:30 PM.
Keith Grissom has another great set of cattle with some of the best blood lines that can be found in today's Angus breed. The sale will also include several lots from Pfeiffer Angus Farms out of Mulhall, Oklahoma- again with some great genetics backing up each and every lot.
Click on the LINK below to jump straight to the sale catalog that can be found on the National Cattle website. If you want to call for more information about the set of cattle to be offered- give Keith and Janet Grisson a call at 405-382-7678 or you can call Eddie or Ruth Sims at National Cattle- 580-492-4590.
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Let's Check the Markets!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We've had requests to include Canola prices for your convenience here- and we will be doing so on a regular basis. Current cash price for Canola is $8.75 per bushel- as of the close of trade Wednesday, while the 2011 New Crop contracts for Canola are now available are $9.55 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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