~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Friday October 29, 2010A service of Producers Cooperative Oil Mill, Midwest Farm Shows and KIS Futures!
-- Big Conservation Push to Fund Water Quality Improvement in Eucha-Spavinaw and Illinois River Watersheds
-- Talking Record Cotton Prices With OSU Economist Kim Anderson
-- Slim Chances for Deal on Death Taxes
-- Another Letter to EPA on Too Much Regulation on Agriculture.
-- Beef Exports to South Korea Climbing, Need Free Trade Agreement to Seal the Deal
-- Oklahoma Cattlemen Have Big Day Planned for Next Friday- November 5th
-- Quote of the Day- and Other Bits and Pieces
-- 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 proud to have KIS Futures as a regular sponsor of our daily email update. KIS Futures provides Oklahoma Farmers & Ranchers with futures & options hedging services in the livestock and grain markets- Click here for the free market quote page they provide us for our website or call them at 1-800-256-2555. When you call them- ask them about their brand new Iphone App which provides futures quotes for your Iphone.
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Big Conservation Push to Fund Water Quality Improvement in Eucha-Spavinaw and Illinois River Watersheds
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Chief Dave White announced Thursday that Arkansas will receive $3 million and Oklahoma will receive $725,000 in additional cost-share assistance for fiscal year 2011 (the current fiscal year that began October first) to accelerate implementation of conservation practices for improving water quality in the Illinois River Sub-Basin and the Eucha-Spavinaw Lake Watershed in northwestern Arkansas and northeastern Oklahoma. Arkansas NRCS State Conservationist Michael E. Sullivan and Oklahoma NRCS State Conservationist Ron L. Hilliard joined Chief White for the announcement.
Also on hand from the Oklahoma Conservation Community was Mike Thralls, Executive Director of the Oklahoma Conservation Commission.
"The funding for this project will assist landowners on 1.32 million acres in the impacted area," said Chief White. "This initiative is expected to be funded over an eight-year period through 2018. The total amount of additional financial assistance available over the life of the project could be $38 million. The project will be implemented working with our conservation partners to accelerate conservation treatment and expand their capacity to improve water quality and maintain productivity throughout the basin and watershed."
The targeted area for the special project initiative is located within portions of the Arkansas counties of Benton and Washington, plus portions of the Oklahoma counties of Adair, Cherokee, Delaware, Mayes and Sequoyah. The area includes 576,517 acres in Arkansas and 739,156 acres in Oklahoma. Click here to see the map of the area that will be targeted for the additional funding.
We have more details on this announcement and some audio comments on the day's events with Chief Dave White and OCC Executive Director Mike Thralls- our thanks to Stewart Doan of Agri-Pulse who covered this announcement in Little Rock and helped us with our reporting of the event.
Talking Record Cotton Prices With OSU Economist Kim Anderson
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~It's a different direction that the new host of SUNUP has taken the regular conversation with OSU Grain Marketing Economist Dr. Kim Anderson as we wrap up October- as Lyndall Stout talked mostly about the sky high cotton prices with Kim in this week's interview slated to run within the weekly OSU Ag Communications TV production on OETA Saturday morning.
With the extraordinary cotton prices that have developed just as we have entered the heart of the harvest season, Anderson says that this is a year for balance sheets on cotton farms to dramatically improve with farmers having a chance to pay down debt with proceeds from cotton prices that have now established all time highs. Dr.Anderson does predict that while it will be difficult to maintain current cotton prices that are well north of a dollar per pound into next year- the floor will likely be 75 to 80 cents- and he would not rule out dollar cotton prices in 2011 as well.
They also discussed just a wee bit about the wheat market- with Kim saying we continue to be very volatile right now in all of the grain and oilseed and cotton markets. He says that we could easily get an 80 cent price run up or down in the wheat market near term. Click on the LINK below to read more about Kim's comments- listen to them as a preview to the Saturday morning show on OETA- and you can also get the full rundown of the program features that will be on SUNUP this weekend.
Slim Chances for Deal on Death Taxes
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The old joke, which in this case is not very funny, is that the chances right now are Slim and None- and Slim was seen leaving town. It's a joke that can be applied to the issue of getting a fix for the so called Death tax before December 31. Right now, the Federal Estate Tax is zero, but it returns January first with just a million dollar exemption and a 55% tax rate on all assets above that exemption level.
Colin Woodall. lobbyst for the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, was in Oklahoma City earlier this week for the annual meeting of the Texas Cattle Feeders Association. He sees little hope that Congress will move the urgency for dealing with the Death Tax high enough for a fix to happen in the upcoming Lame Duck session that will follow the election on November second. Right now, Congress is slated to return to Washington November 15- and there is absolutely no way to know how much they will attempt to accomplish in the few days they will meet between then and Christmas.
You can hear our Beef Buzz with Colin Woodall of the NCBA by clicking on the LINK below- the Beef Buzz is heard on great radio stations across the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network, and it's also available on our website, www.OklahomaFarmReport.Com.
Another Letter to EPA on Too Much Regulation on Agriculture.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~House Rural America Solutions Group Co-chairs, Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Frank Lucas (R-OK), Small Business Committee Ranking Member Sam Graves (R-MO) and Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member Doc Hastings (R-WA), sent a letter Thursday to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa Jackson to recap the Rural America Solutions Group forum on job-killing EPA regulations held on September 29, 2010 that she declined to attend. The letter states that "some of the EPA's proposed regulations would have a depressing effect on rural jobs and economic growth and that the agency needs to justify its proposed regulations firsthand to rural Americans."
We have the full letter linked below- but a couple of the highlights that the lawmakers provided to Ms. Jackson included comments at the forum from Mr. Gerald Simonsen, Chairman of the National Sorghum Producers, who traveled from Nebraska. He cited a study by University of Chicago which found that banning the widely used pesticide atrazine would cost corn growers as much as $58 an acre and destroy as many as 48,000 jobs.
The letter also talks about testimony offerd by Ms. Tamara Thies, Chief Environmental Counsel at the National Cattlemen's Beef Association. She told the forum "By imposing stringent regulations with all the discretion and judgment of a chronic drunk, the EPA will leave many cattle operations with no recourse but to shut down and eliminate jobs."
Beef Exports to South Korea Climbing, Need Free Trade Agreement to Seal the Deal
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Despite the numerous regulatory and legislative challenges facing cattle producers today, one bright spot in the industry has been the growth in the export market. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Foreign Agriculture Service, beef exports over the past two weeks totaled 46,935 metric tons (MT), of which 1,600 MT was sold to Korea. These two-week export totals are just slightly below the 47,804 MT all-time record for a two-week period that occurred in May-June 2003. Additionally, the United States' year-to-date (YTD) total commitments to South Korea topped 92,900 MT as of Oct. 28, 2010, which is more than double the total commitments during the same time period last year.
The National Cattlemen's Beef Association Chief Economist, Gregg Doud,
says "we are seeing beef export levels that we haven't seen since 2003.
The increased sales make it clear that there is a growing demand for U.S.
beef in the Korean market. The best way to ensure we continue to increase
our market share and to reach pre-2003 level sales into Korea is to finish
the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA)."
Doud adds, "The Australians are currently also negotiating with the Koreans on a trade agreement, and it is critical that we seal the deal on the KORUS FTA first. If Australia swoops in and takes this from us, they will have a 2.67 percent advantage for the next 15 years over the United States. We have worked too hard to gain an advantage in that marketplace to lose out now. The KORUS has potential to be one of the biggest bilateral trade agreements in our history, and it's time to get it done."
Oklahoma Cattlemen Have Big Day Planned for Next Friday- November 5th
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~A Board Meeting, an excellent Ribeye lunch and a great set of replacement females to auction off are a part of the lineup for next Friday, November 5th at OKC West in El Reno.
The board meeting is the quarterly board meeting for the Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association, which starts at 10 AM. the Oklahoma Cattlewomen's Board will also meet separately at 10 AM as well. Ribeye Lunch will be available from the Oklahoma Cattlewomen at noon, and then the 12th Annual OCA Fall Cattle Drive Sale begins at 1 PM.
Consignments continue to come in and there are some tremendous females set to be sold next Friday afternoon. Click on the LINK below for the full listing to date of these replacement females.
Quote of the Day- and Other Bits and Pieces
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~I think the quote of the day came over in Little Rock as my colleague interviewed Dave White, the Chief of the NRCS. White told Stewart that he knew this was not politically correct but he would say it not as Chief but as citizen Dave White that "one of my goals- I would like to turn the Regulatory Community into the Maytag Repair Man, where everything is so cool that there is nothing for them to do." I think Dave White 'gets" it.
Another quote comes from former Oklahoma State Senator Paul Muegge who is a big supporter of the GIPSA Rule regarding the marketing of livestock. The Senator was responding to the webstory that we linked to yesterday on Dudley Butler wanting to move this proposed rule that he has written through without regard to the comments the public make up through the 22nd of November. He disagrees with the author of that webstory- "you ask me about Dudley Butler, yes he is the champion of the little guy and he is a dedicated public servant. Do not make him the scape goat."
One final note on the Number One Story that we wrote on this morning- the Little Rock announcement of EQIP money- a lot of it- going into northwest Arkansas. the Conservation folks say it's not about politics- but Senator Blanche Lincoln's people seized on the announcement and pointed to one more thing that their boss had done for the state- implying that you don't want to lose Blanche because she can do lots for Arkansas as Chair of the Senate Ag Committee. The counties involved are home territory for her challenger, Congressman John Boozman- and a part of the state where she is especially getting killed in the polls. Statewide, she continues to badly trail the Republican Congressman who wants to graduate to the US Senate Tuesday- leaving a vacancy at the top of the Senate Ag Committee no matter who controls the US Senate after the midterms.
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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 $9.00 per bushel, while the 2011 New Crop contracts for Canola are now available are $9.70 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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