~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Thursday January 11, 2007!A service of Midwest Farm Shows
-- Congressman Lucas re-introduces Disaster Aid measure and proposes Blizzard help in the mix
-- Ag Secretary Johanns continues road gear pace- meets with his Japanese counterpart today.
-- Kouplen reelected to AFBF Board of Directors
-- A Packer's perspective on dealing with Asian Beef Markets.
-- Ice won't be nice this weekend!
-- Helping Iraqi Agriculture- reflooding ancient marshlands underway in the war torn country.
-- Mark your calendars for the Laura's Lean Beef Producer Seminar January 24th.
Here's your morning farm news headlines from the Director of Farm Programming for the Radio Oklahoma Network, Ron Hays. Our email this morning is a service of Midwest Farm Shows, featuring the Southern Plains Farm Show in Oklahoma City April 19-21, 2007, as well as the Tulsa Farm Show held each December. Check out details of both of these exciting shows at the official website of Midwest Farm Shows by clicking here.
Our E-mail the next few days is also being sponsored by Laura's Lean Beef- Laura's Lean Beef Co., a natural beef provider based in Lexington, KY, will hold a gathering 10:00 am Jan 24 at the Heart of Oklahoma Exposition Center in Shawnee, Ok to introduce local producers to the benefits of raising the lean, heavily muscled cattle that will perform well on Laura's bonus grids. For more information on this meeting- you can can e-mail Beth Whiteford at bwhiteford@LLBcorp.com. Or click here to be taken to their web site for more producer information on Laura's Lean Beef!
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Congressman Lucas re-introduces Disaster Aid measure and proposes Blizzard help in the mix
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~U.S. Congressman Frank Lucas is continuing his efforts to provide assistance to help agriculture producers deal with losses caused by the unprecedented natural disasters over the past two years, including a recent blizzard in the Oklahoma Panhandle. Lucas will introduce the new version of his Agriculture Disaster Assistance bill this week to provide relief from the natural disasters that have plagued the farm sector over the last two years. Lucas rewrote the bill’s language for the new 110th Session of Congress to also include losses in late December and early January from a snowstorm that dumped as much as four feet of snow on parts of the Oklahoma Panhandle, Colorado, and western Kansas.
The Lucas plan was introduced by the lawmaker last summer and died at the end of the 109th Congress after the November elections saw the Democrats sweep into power. Republicans lost their desire to accomplish a lot in the Lame Duck session and passed a Continuing Resolution and headed home. Now, from a minority perspective, the Congressman Rancher has dropped this new measure into the hopper.
Like the previous bill, Lucas’ Natural Disaster Assistance Bill of 2007 will provide payments to those producers dealing with extensive recent natural disasters such as the drought in the Midwest and flooding in California. The new bill will provide assistance for crop, livestock, and grazing losses in 2005, 2006, or 2007. Lucas hopes to first garner the support necessary to get the legislation passed out of the House Agriculture Committee. New Chairman of the House Committee is Collin Peterson- and he expressed hope earlier this week while at the Farm Bureau convention that a disaster aid measure could begin moving once the Democrats get through their early "First 100 Hour" agenda. Lucas believes the programs could provide as much as $3 billion in federal assistance for those producers hardest hit by natural disasters. The bill would make producers eligible for payments to cover half their losses that are beyond a loss of 35 percent of normal yields. The bill provides payments for livestock losses in qualifying disaster counties. It also pays 30 percent of the market value of animal losses due to natural disasters.
Ag Secretary Johanns continues road gear pace- meets with his Japanese counterpart today.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns told the Beltwide Cotton Conference in New Orleans yesterday that the 2002 farm law is outdated for the global ag marketplace that we face today. Johanns told attendees to the largest cotton industry gathering of the year that cotton producers should understand that our current policy is too vulnerable to challenges by other countries under the WTO- and that's not acceptable when you have to depend on export markets to take up to 80% of your production annually- as is the case with the U.S. cotton industry as the demise of the domestic cotton milling business pushes that export number higher and higher.
We have linked a story from that meeting in New Orleans about the Johanns speech of yesterday before a group that has consistently called for a straight up extension of the 2002 farm law. In contrast, Johanns is stumping for radical changes in especially the Commodity Title of the bill (Title 1) as he wants to spread that money around to other agricultural commodities calling current year inequitable.
Today, the Secretary meets with Japanese Ag Minister Toshikatsu Matsuoka and is expected to take about the Doha round of WTO talks that are currently in the ditch- and Johanns will most certainly will bring up the desire of the U.S. for Japan to begin accepting beef from animals older than the current limit of 20 months of age.
Kouplen reelected to AFBF Board of Directors
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~One bit of news from Salt Lake City that we had not mentioned thus far this week is that Oklahoma Farm Bureau President Steve Kouplen was reelected to serve another year on the Board of Directors of the American Farm Bureau.
Kouplen, a rancher from Beggs, is serving his last year as President of the Oklahoma Farm Bureau as he will be term limited out here in 2007. A new President will be selected this coming November- and early indications are that Mike Spradling from Tulsa County may have the inside track on the job.
A Packer's perspective on dealing with Asian Beef Markets.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Kevin Yost of Swift and Company was a panelist this week on the program at the International Livestock Congress- held this year for the first time in Denver during the National Western Livestock Show. Yost told the audience that market access is critical to his company, and to the entire U.S. beef industry. He adds that a good first step would be to get some sort of standardization between the various deals we have struck with various trading partners- for example, it appears that almost every one of the Pacific Rim markets have a slightly different deal- and that's a real headache for a packer.
Yost adds that Swift believes that we have a real upside in Japan, as consumers are really starting to express their demand for US beef- and that will likely pressure politicians to allow beef from animals up to 30 months of age- instead of the current 20 month threshold.
Kevin Yost is our guest today on the Beef Buzz- and we have that report linked below so that you can hear his thoughts on the global marketplace.
Ice won't be nice this weekend!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The various weather forecasters have various timelines- but everyone seems to agree that we are looking at a significant ice event coming at Oklahoma by Friday or Friday night. One to two inches of ice are being talked about by the weather forecasters. We currently have a Winter Storm Watch over the northern Texas Panhandle, the Oklahoma Panhandle and all of the body of Oklahoma except for a few of our southeastern counties.
We have linked below the current weather statement as of 6 am this morning from the National Weather Service in Norman that details what they see as the current timeline.
Helping Iraqi Agriculture- reflooding ancient marshlands underway in the war torn country.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~A friend of ours from the USDA is on loan to the U.S. State Department and is serving his second tour of duty in Iraq- reporting back to us about the help that we are providing to Iraq in rebuilding their agriculture.
Paul McKellips reports that from 1991 until 2003, Saddam Hussein’s Ba’athist Regime nearly destroyed the Mesopotamian Marshlands, one of the largest wetlands systems in the world. Massive drainage structures were used to divert water away from the 8,000 square miles of marshes. The 5,000-year old Marsh Arab society was exiled and nearly annihilated. Thousands and thousands of residents were brutally murdered. With help from USAID, the American military and coalition partners, the new Iraqi government has been working to restore the wetlands at the confluence of the Tigris and Euphrates in southern Iraq. Reflooding has now covered 25- to 30-percent of the original marshlands. Contractors for USAID have already released 2 million fingerlings back into the marshes.
Paul provides an audio report on this effort to reclaim the marshlands and we have linked it below. This is one of those good news stories of what our folks are doing to help Iraqis come closer to living normal productive lives.
Mark your calendars for the Laura's Lean Beef Producer Seminar January 24th.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Laura's Lean Beef Co., a natural beef provider based in Lexington, Ky., will hold a gathering 10:00 am Jan 24 at the Heart of Oklahoma Exposition Center in Shawnee, Ok. to introduce local producers to the benefits of raising the lean, heavily muscled cattle that will perform well on Laura's bonus grids. Producers interested in attending should RSVP to Beth Whiteford at bwhiteford@LLBcorp.com or (859) 685-4406.
Our thanks to Midwest Farm Shows for their support of our daily Farm News Update. Go to their website at the link at the top of today's email for more information on either the Tulsa Farm Show or the Southern Plains Farm Show.
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