~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Wednesday, September 14, 2011A service of Producers Cooperative Oil Mill, Midwest Farm Shows and KIS Futures!
-- There is No Centralized Oversight for Food and Agro-Defense says Government Accountability Office
-- USDA Working to Avoid Scorched Earth Tactics If Foot and Mouth Disease Should Hit US Livestock Industry
-- USDA Calling Six Strains of E. coli Adulterants; Calling for an Abundance of Caution Through Tighter Regs
-- National Farmers Union Releases Study on 2012 Farm Bill Policy Options
-- FFA Membership Trending Higher With Another All-time High; Oklahoma Ranks Fifth in Membership Nationwide
-- Global Demand Drives Food Prices Higher in Third Quarter
-- GIPSA, Feed, Detrick, Eller, Nichols and Rain Under Our This and That Umbrella
-- 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- and their IPHONE App, which provides all electronic futures quotes is available at the App Store- click here for the KIS Futures App for your Iphone.
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There is No Centralized Oversight for Food and Agro-Defense says Government Accountability Office
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~In a public hearing held by the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management, the Federal Workforce, and the District of Columbia, Lisa Shames, Director of Natural Resources and Environment for the U.S. Government Accountability Office, testified on Agro-Defense and what they are doing to respond to threats to America's agriculture and food systems.
A study was released as well that shows how the agencies are working together on Agro-Defense. Shames says there were three key findings in their study. The first key finding Shames addressed in her testimony was that there is no centralized coordination to oversee federal agencies' overall progress in implementing the nation's food and agriculture defense policy. Shames says the centralized oversight is critical to insure an effective response.
GAO's second key finding that Shames discussed was that the USDA does not have a strategy for implementing its food and agriculture defense strategies. Shames says the USDA has delegated these steps to their agencies. While USDA has taken steps to implement departments response and recovery responsibilities, the department face challenges continues Shames.
The third finding the GAO brought to light was that the USDA faces challenges in coordinating the federal food and agriculture response for natural disasters. Shames says many state agencies told them in their study that because several federal agencies become involved in these emergencies, responsibilities are not always clear and could delay a response.
In conclusion, Shames says the GAO included several recommendations in their study to help ensure that the federal government can effectively implement a food and agriculture defense system and adequadetly respond and recover from emergencies.
USDA Working to Avoid Scorched Earth Tactics If Foot and Mouth Disease Should Hit US Livestock Industry
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Agro-Defense was the subject of a Senate hearing on Tuesday- and Kansas Senator Jerry Moran discussed the threat and fears of an intentional introduction of a contagious animal disease with the Chief Veterinary Officer of the USDA's APHIS, Dr. John Clifford.
Moran asked Dr. Clifford if there is any evidence of an actual threat to US agriculture by terrorists- Dr. Clifford told the Senator "There's not been any attempt, to my knowledge, of introduction" of disease organisms by terrorists- although Dr. Clifford added that they are aware that Islamic terrorists after 9-11 had written about possible attacks on the US food supply with the use of disease.
Dr. Clifford went on to say that it would not really matter whether it was an intentional introduction of a disease into the livestock of the United States- or an unintentional occurance- USDA and the other federal agencies that would respond would do so the same way-using the same kind of plan. The only difference is that if it appears that it is an intentional attack- the FBI could play a role and declare some locations as a crime scene
Dr. Clifford says that it is important for the United States to continue to work towards different ways to deal with diseases like FMD- and to avoid the "scorched earth" tactic that resulted in millions of animals destroyed in Great Britain during their devastating Foot and Mouth Disease outbreak almost a decade ago.
USDA Calling Six Strains of E. coli Adulterants; Calling for an Abundance of Caution Through Tighter Regs
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that it is taking new steps to fight E. coli and protect the safety of the American food supply. Six additional serogroups of pathogenic E. coli will be declared adulterants in non-intact raw beef. Raw ground beef, its components, and tenderized steaks found to contain these bacteria will be prohibited from sale to consumers. USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) will launch a testing program to detect these dangerous pathogens and prevent them from reaching consumers.
As a result, if the E. coli serogroups O26, O103, O45, O111, O121 and O145 are found in raw ground beef or its precursors, those products will be prohibited from entering commerce. Like E.coli O157:H7, these serogroups can cause severe illness and even death, and young children and the elderly are at highest risk. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identifies these particular serogroups of non-O157:H7 Shiga-toxin producing E.coli, or non-O157 STEC, as those responsible for the greatest numbers of non-O157 STEC illnesses, hospitalizations, and deaths in the United States. However, CDC does acknowledge that only three cases have been tied back to ground beef.
"The Obama Administration is committed to protecting our food supply and preventing illnesses before they happen," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "Today's announcement does exactly that by targeting and eliminating contaminated products from the market. Too often, we are caught reacting to a problem instead of preventing it. This new policy will help stop problems before they start."
Lots of reaction has come from the USDA move on these additional strains of E-Coli. Consumer groups are applauding the "abundance of caution" approach being taken by USDA- while the meat industry is wondering if policy is getting well out in front of sound science. Click here for some of that reaction from both consumer groups as well as the American Meat Institute.
National Farmers Union Releases Study on 2012 Farm Bill Policy Options
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~National Farmers Union (NFU) unveiled a study by the University of Tennessee on policy options for the 2012 Farm Bill, including possibilities to help stabilize volatile food prices.
"In today's economic environment, it is very likely that agriculture's budget will be cut for the next farm bill," said NFU President Roger Johnson. "This study looks at possible ways to help reduce the budget for farm programs but still provide the same level of protection to farmers and ranchers during their times of need. Using a farmer-owned reserve and other tools, Dr. Daryll Ray and his team at the University of Tennessee Agricultural Policy Analysis Center have found that it is possible to provide a strong safety net to farmers and ranchers while significantly reducing the cost to taxpayers."
Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., was also at the unveiling of the study to discuss the 2012 Farm Bill.
"Dr. Ray found that, if we had adopted this approach over the last 13 years (1998-2010), the value of U.S. exports would have been nearly $5 billion more than it actually was," said Johnson. "Corn prices would have been $0.26 higher than they actually were, wheat prices would have been $0.48 higher, and soybeans would have averaged $1.09 more over the period studied. The farmer-owned reserve acts to moderate highs and lows of grain prices, and during the period studied, farmers would have gained more income from market receipts and relied less on government payments, which would have been reduced by more than half."
FFA Membership Trending Higher With Another All-time High; Oklahoma Ranks Fifth in Membership Nationwide
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~In the past year, more than 17,000 new students have joined FFA, setting a new all-time high in the organization's membership since founded in 1928.
During the 2010-11 school year, FFA membership grew to a record 540,379 students, up 17,070 students from 523,309 members in the 2009-10 school year. The number of FFA chapters in the U.S., Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands also grew with the creation of 106 new, chartered FFA chapters.
Oklahoma ranks fifth in membership with 23,562 FFA members. The rest of the top five begin with Texas, which tops the list of states with the largest FFA membership with 81,694 students, followed by California with 70, 555, Georgia with 31,616, and Missouri with 25,096. The 10 largest FFA chapters are all in California.
Texas also tops all states for largest FFA membership growth during the 2010-11 school year, followed by California, North Carolina, Georgia and Utah. FFA chapters can now be found in 18 of the 20 largest U.S. cities, including New York City, Chicago and Philadelphia.
Global Demand Drives Food Prices Higher in Third Quarter
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Strong global demand, especially for pork and other protein-rich foods, was a primary driver behind higher retail prices at the supermarket during the third quarter of 2011, according to the latest American Farm Bureau Federation Marketbasket Survey.
The informal survey shows the total cost of 16 food items that can be used to prepare one or more meals was $53.12, up $1.95 or about 4 percent compared to the second quarter of 2011. Of the 16 items surveyed, 13 increased, two decreased and one remained the same in average price compared to the prior quarter.
"Global demand for meat and dairy products remains strong and continues to influence retail prices here in the U.S.," said AFBF Economist John Anderson. "Many nations around the world rely on America to provide the food they need to improve their standard of living, particularly through the addition of protein to the diet. Strengthened demand for meats began in 2009, continued through 2010 and remains important as we look ahead to the close of 2011."
Meat and dairy products accounted for about 40 percent of the quarter-to-quarter retail price increase. Boneless chicken breasts increased 24 cents to $3.33 per pound, bacon rose 23 cents to $4.41 per pound, sliced deli ham was up 17 cents to $5.43 per pound, shredded cheddar increased 14 cents to $4.70 per pound and whole milk was up 4 cents to $3.66 per gallon.
GIPSA, Feed, Detrick, Eller, Nichols and Rain Under Our This and That Umbrella
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Two hearings are planned for today or interest to animal agriculture in the US House-The House Committee on Oversight & Government Reform and the House Committee on Agriculture's Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy & Poultry will each hold hearings to examine how government policies can impact job creation and raise food prices for consumers. The Oversight Committee hearing will be hammering on the GIPSA Rule- Click here for more details and the House Ag Subcommittee hearing at 12:30 central time will focus on feed availability- click here for details at House Ag Committee's website. Both the NCBA and NPPC are licking their chops for their reps to tackle both of these subjects- in particular, the afternoon hearing has as its leadoff witness Steve Meyer of Paragon Economics who has done work for both of those groups.
Terry Detrick of the American Farmers & Ranchers is wrapping up his week in DC- meeting this morning with the Oklahoma State Chamber of Commerce- has been in meetings and sessions earlier with the National Farmers Union- we talked to him as we were wrapping up this email- will have that interview out on our website in just a few minutes- and he mentioned to us the Daryll Ray plan on farm policy that we referenced in a story above- pointed out that Frank Lucas told the NFU group that Dr. Ray was one of his Ag Econ Professors at OSU a few years back. Go to our website later this morning and you will be able to grab and listen to that full interview with Detrick on how his week has gone in Washington.
A quick note of retirement- Burton Eller of the NCBA Washington
office is stepping down- details
here- we wish Burton well- we have a lot of interviews under our belt
with this gentleman.
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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 $13.08 per bushel, while the 2012 New Crop contracts for Canola are now available are $13.16 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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