~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Thursday, September 15, 2011A service of Johnston Enterprises, P & K Equipment/ P & K Wind Energy and American Farmers & Ranchers Mutual Insurance Company!
-- Colorado Cattle Rancher Asks Congress to Derail GIPSA Rule
-- Livestock Industry Agrees- If Corn Needs to Be Rationed- Ethanol Needs to Participate
-- Renewable Fuel Supporters Push Back Against Criticism of Corn Based Ethanol
-- Terry Detrick and AFR Delegation Winding Down Time in Washington
-- Ag Chairman Frank Lucas says Audit Hearings Prepare for Farm Policy Decisions
-- GAO Issues Yet Another Report on Antibiotic Use in Animal Agriculture
-- State Fair, Drought Management and More on the Calendar
-- 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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Colorado Cattle Rancher Asks Congress to Derail GIPSA Rule
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform hosted a hearing called "How A Broken Process Leads To Flawed Regulations." Representing the livestock industry was Robbie LeValley, co-owner, Homestead Meats and member of the board of directors for the National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA). She told the committee about the potential impact of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) proposed livestock marketing regulation - the GIPSA rule (Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration would oversee the rule). Specifically, LeValley denounced big government invading the private marketplace. Click on the LINK below to hear LeValley's testimony to the Committee.
"Value-based marketing has given our family business the opportunity to compete for market share at the highest level," said LeValley, a third generation Colorado cattlewoman who sells beef directly to consumers. "We do not need big government setting up shop on our farms and ranches. Government intrusion into the private marketplace is not the answer."
She told the committee that USDA did not conduct a cost/benefit analysis before proposing the rule. NCBA, the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) and other groups commissioned an independent analysis by Informa Economics, which concluded the rule would result in the loss of more than 23,000 jobs and reduce the annual gross domestic product by $1.6 billion.
Chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee Congressman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) said LeValley's testimony revealed how the proposed GIPSA rule could dismantle the food production and supply markets. He said LeValley's testimony also called attention to the overall cost of this proposed rule.
"Government regulators set the rules, but working Americans and job creators pay the price for their implementation. GIPSA's proposed rule change under the Packers and Stockyards Act is a blatant attempt to regulate livestock marketing practices that could literally dismantle the food production and supply markets as we know them," said Chairman Issa. "This would mean higher prices and fewer options for consumers, as well as impacts on food producers and firms at every point in the supply chain. GIPSA's rule was pursued with a woefully inadequate economic impact analysis. Today's hearing has called attention to this key issue and points out the price paid by producers, distributors and consumers."
Livestock Industry Agrees- If Corn Needs to Be Rationed- Ethanol Needs to Participate
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The House Committee on Agriculture's Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy and Poultry heard firsthand the challenges the livestock and poultry industries face currently and expect to face in the coming years because of tight feed grain supplies. The hearing came on the heels of a U.S. Department of Agriculture World Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimates report that projected this year's corn crop will be 417 million bushels lower than initial estimates.
Tight corn supplies, which have been affected by bad weather and rising demand, particularly from the ethanol industry, have pushed prices to nearly $7.50 a bushel and prompted concerns about possible feed grain shortages.
Representatives from the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, National Pork Producers Council, National Turkey Federation, National Chicken Council and the American Feed Industry Association, who testified before the subcommittee, issued the following statements subsequent to the hearing:
"While U.S. corn usage for food and industrial purposes other than
ethanol have remained relatively constant since 2008, the amount of corn
used for ethanol has increased eight-fold, with three-quarters of that
increase occurring since 2005," said Steve Meyer on behalf of NCBA. Meyer
is president of Paragon Economics, a livestock and grain marketing and
economic advisory company in Adel, Iowa. "I realize we cannot 'un-ring the
bell' on ethanol subsidies and tariffs but subsidized ethanol has meant
record-high corn prices and record-high costs of production for meat and
poultry resulting in lower per capita meat and poultry output. If you hear
from anyone that the government should not be deciding on winners and
losers, please realize that you have already done so."
Renewable Fuel Supporters Push Back Against Criticism of Corn Based Ethanol
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) urged the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry to consider all factors responsible for increasing feed prices when it held a hearing on this matter.
The hearing focused on the availability of livestock feed and its effect on the livestock and poultry industries. Many of the groups slated to testify have repeatedly and incorrectly blamed higher food and grain related prices on the increased use and production of ethanol.
"The preliminary witness list for this hearing is a who's who of groups
that think they are entitled to cheap corn forever and now aren't happy
with corn prices. But that doesn't change the fact that corn ethanol is
not the primary or even a significant source of increased feed and food
prices. In fact, corn ethanol production results in feed and food
production of distiller's grain," says ACE Executive Vice President Brian
The Renewable Fuels Association also urged the House Agriculture
Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry to look at both sides of
ethanol and feed usage when it comes to corn. They released the following
statement regarding the hearing.
Terry Detrick and AFR Delegation Winding Down Time in Washington
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~A delegation of leaders from American Farmers & Ranchers have been in Washington this week- led by their President Terry Detrick. The AFR delegation has been participating in both the fall National Farmers Union Fly-in as well as the Oklahoma State Chamber of Commerce Fly-in.
We talked on Wednesday morning with Detrick about the week's highlights, including the release by the NFU of a farm bill proposal developed for the general farm organization by Dr. Daryll Ray of the Univesrity of Tennessee- and a former Ag Economics Professor on staff at Oklahoma State University. Detrick calls the concepts in the measure interesting and is asking Bart Fischer, Chief Economist on the staff of House Ag Committee Chairman Frank Lucas to review the proposal, as well as the Ag Econmics Department at OSU and State Farm Service Director Francie Tolle.
Click on the LINK below to listen to our conversation with AFR President Terry Detrick on the meetings being held in Washington, D.C. this week.
Ag Chairman Frank Lucas says Audit Hearings Prepare for Farm Policy Decisions
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~This week during The Ag Minute, Chairman Frank Lucas discusses the importance of the audit hearing series on farm policy that the Agriculture Committee recently finished. Since June, subcommittee chairmen have examined programs in their respective jurisdictions to determine spending trends and confirm the efficacy and efficiency of each program.
Chairman Lucas notes that the information gained throughout the process will be useful in developing future farm policy and in telling the story of American agriculture. Information on all of the audit hearings, including testimony, archived video, and audit questionnaires, can be found by following the link below.
Part of the transcript for The Ag Minute is below.
"We have looked for ways to increase efficiency and reduce spending in every aspect of farm policy-from commodity support to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program."
GAO Issues Yet Another Report on Antibiotic Use in Animal Agriculture
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~A report issued by the Government Accountability Office concluded there isn't sufficient data to study a link between antibiotic use in food animals to antibiotic resistance in humans.
The report comes amid attempts in Congress to restrict use of antibiotics in food animals; supporting legislators point to other reports claiming there is such a link.
GAO concluded USDA and Health and Human Services have collected some data on antibiotic use in food animals and on resistant bacteria in animals and retail meat, but said "these data lack crucial details necessary to examine trends and understand the relationship between use and resistance."
"Not only is there no scientific study linking antibiotic use in food animals to antibiotic resistance in humans, as the U.S. pork industry has continually pointed out, but there isn't even adequate data to conduct a study," National Pork Producers Council President Doug Wolf said in a news release issued in response to the report.
State Fair, Drought Management and More on the Calendar
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The State Fair of Oklahoma begins its 10 day run today- and as Roy Lee Lindsay of the Oklahoma Pork Council said yesterday on Facebook- "It's a limited time offer." What he was referring to was the opportunity to go to the Oklahoma Pork Council Pork Chop Tent and grab one of their classic pork chop sandwiches- I think I will follow his advice.
Beyond that- lots of livestock show events are posted on our calendar pages- click here for our calendar and scroll down through September and check them out. There is also the annual Oklahoma Farm Bureau's YF&R Livestock Judging Contest for 4-H and FFA youth that happens tomorrow- starting first thing tomorrow morning.
The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, Oklahoma State Extension and the Oklahoma Quality Beef Network will host a Basic AG Fall Management Seminar to assist new producers prepare their livestock for the upcoming season. The event, which is offered at no cost and is open to the public, will take place this evening- starting at 6:30 PM at OKC West in El Reno, Oklahoma. Click here for more details.
It's also the season for the Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association to head to the country for a round of meetings that they are calling "Fall Gatherings." They have lined up some of the great ranches across the state and will use them as a venue to gather on a regional basis- fellowship, have a meal together and update cattle producers on several key issues that affect the cattle business. They have one planned for this evening in Eufaula- and another one set for next Tuesday in Weatherford.
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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 $12.96 per bushel- as of the close of trade Wednesday, while the 2012 New Crop contracts for Canola are now available are $12.96 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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