~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Friday April 13, 2007!A service of Midwest Farm Shows
-- Two Senators- Two Opinions on USDA's Plan to Draft Farm Bill Legislative Language
-- One Listener/Reader asks why Secretary Johanns is writing farm policy?
-- A possible Timeline for a Farm Bill to Become Farm Law Here in 2007.
-- National Sorghum Producers have Ethanol Info in Cyberspace!
-- See you for Breakfast- Tomorrow and Next Thursday!!!!
-- CRP Benefits are HUGE- and mount up year by year.
-- Reflecting on the life of our friend, Paul Jackson
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.
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Two Senators- Two Opinions on USDA's Plan to Draft Farm Bill Legislative Language
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa offers a Thumbs up- Senator Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas offers a thumbs down to Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns and his announcement that USDA is writing actual legislative language in hopes they can drop wholesale amounts of their farm bill ideas into language that Congress will be writing over the next few months.
Senator Harkin, Chairman of the Senate Ag Committee, says he supports some of the changes the administration is proposing - or at least the main thrust. For instance - Harkin says he supports the idea of putting limitations on payments to large farmers - which provides some savings. And that’s just one option - even with a tighter budget - Harkin says Congress can shift the way the money is spent.
While Senator Harkin is applauding the Ag Secretary’s decision to offer legislative language for various farm bill titles - another Democratic Senator is very clear that Congress will draft the next version of farm policy - not the administration. And for southern producers - Arkansas Democratic Senator Blanche Lincoln says that’s a good thing. She dislikes the Johanns concept of sharply cutting the level of payment limits- calling that a deliberate attempt to injure economically southern farmers. Based on conversations with members of the House - Lincoln says she’s encouraged that lawmakers recognize the 2002 bill as a good bill that served the U.S. well and saved money. We feature comments with both Senators Harkin and Lincoln on Friday's Agricultural News on the Radio Oklahoma Network- and you can hear that by going to the link below.
One Listener/Reader asks why Secretary Johanns is writing farm policy?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We reported earlier this week on Wednesday about the intention of Secretary Johanns to write title by title legislative language the version of the 2007 farm bill he would like to see become law. That obviously takes time and resources at the Department.
In response to that story- one farm couple offered their thoughts on that story to us- "Ron, Where do we go or can you ask this question. Why is it that we don’t have the time or money to take care of the problems with the computer systems for FSA offices but our USDA Secretary or and his staff have time to write their ideas for a farm bill which has never been done in history. This is the job of our congress. The feeling in the country is that the Secretary would like to do away with the FSA division in the farm bill, and our commodity titles. "
A possible Timeline for a Farm Bill to Become Farm Law Here in 2007.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We have heard this timeline from a couple of different directions- including from Oklahoma's man on the House Ag Committee, Third District Lawmaker Frank Lucas. The Committees in both the House and the Senate continue to gather input to begin writing policy in the near future. Congressman Lucas told us that he is expecting Chairman Collin Peterson to get a definite budget number to work with in a matter of another couple of weeks after they return to Washington this coming Monday. And he adds that by the first of May- they start drafting policy at the Sub- Committee level in the House. As far as the rest of the Timeline:
July 4—Proposed time for Agriculture Committees to have reported their
versions of the Farm Bill
This is the perfect on time delivery of policy- and we all know how successful Congress is normally in delivering their work in a timely manner. Let's just say that if Congress was the delivery boy for pizza, your order for a Canadian Bacon and Pineapple Pizza would be three weeks after you needed it- and would have been changed to Jalapenos and Anchovies to satisfy certain special interests groups. Congressman Lucas told us earlier this week that if money is REALLY tight when it comes down to the hard choices within the farm bill and how that money will be allocated- come September- we may not be close to a final deal and some may want to step back and revisit an extension of current policy- that is the only thing under the current budget baseline rules that could skate by and keep higher support levels for a safety net intact. So, we shall see if the Farm Bill Train of 2007 can stay on time and on track to its final destination this fall.
National Sorghum Producers have Ethanol Info in Cyberspace!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The National Sorghum Producers, based out of Lubbock, has posted several sorghum-to-ethanol documents from Kansas State, Texas A&M, Oklahoma State, Iowa State and others on their website. The research focuses primarily on sweet sorghum and sorghum biomass potential for ethanol production. The Iowa State document compares sorghum to switchgrass.
We have linked to that lineup of information that NSP has brought together for us- and you can travel there by clicking below. Among the links they have brought together in this one resource is information from Oklahoma State University on sorganol. Check it out!
See you for Breakfast- Tomorrow and Next Thursday!!!!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We have been asked to speak at the 2007 Eggs and Issues Breakfast being held in Elk City in conjunction with the 2007 Southwest Farm and Home Expo- and we look forward to visiting with producers about some of the big issues ahead for agriculture the balance of 2007. The festivities start around 8 am- and we are there in cooperation with our Radio Oklahoma Network affiliate The Coyote, KWEY-FM at 95.5 in Clinton/Weatherford.
Next Thursday, April 19th, the Radio Oklahoma Network and yours truly are hosting the Farm Appreciation Breakfast that officially kicks off the 2007 Southern Plains Farm Show in Oklahoma City. We are very excited about the opportunity to buy you breakfast, say Howdy and then give you the chance to get around several buildings full of the latest technology in the farm and ranch world.
Time for our breakfast next Thursday is from 8 am till 10 am at the Barn 3 Cafe- a brand new and BEAUTIFUL facility at State Fair Park. We have a great breakfast planned- and I just got confirmation that we will be featuring a delicious sausage gravy for your biscuits made with the Lopez Foods Beef Breakfast Sausage product- so if you are a cattle producer, come check out this relatively new branded product that helps the beef industry go after a hunk of the huge breakfast protein market.
CRP Benefits are HUGE- and mount up year by year.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Reports focusing on the benefits of the Conservation Reserve Program have been released by the Farm Service Agency. They reveal that CRP reduces soil erosion by an estimated 450 million tons per year - compared with pre-CRP erosion rates. And that enrolling marginal cropland in CRP increases the amount of organic matter on enrolled fields and virtually eliminates soil and nutrient loss.
Resarchers estimate that 6.5 tons of soil, 20.7 pounds of nitrogen and 5.4 pounds of phosphorus are saved annually through field-practice enrollments. And buffer practices in a watershed stop the loss of 3.1 tons of soil, 8.1 pounds of nitrogen and 1.4 pounds of phosphorus per acre of cropland in the watershed each year.
For the western half of the nation, researchers found that field practices significantly reduce damage from wind erosion. Specifically 13.1 tons less soil, 21.7 pounds less nitrogen and 6.0 pounds less phosphorous are stripped off fields annually. In addition, CRP promotes carbon sequestration by reducing soil loss. Field practices provide an average nationwide net increase of 14 hundred pounds of total organic carbon per acre each year.
Reflecting on the life of our friend, Paul Jackson
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~It was a bittersweet time Thursday evening for me as I traveled with two men who I think the world of to Apache to pay our respects to Paul Jackson, who passed away on Wednesday morning at the age of 75 after a long battle with heart disease. Dr. Joe Williams, Dr. Bob Terry and I traveled there to offer our thanks for Dosia and Paul for their service to so many aspects of Oklahoma Agriculture, including the Oklahoma Ag Leadership Program.
As we stood and visited with Dosia and her children, grand children and even several great grandchildren, it struck me how fabulously rich Paul Jackson really was as he ended this earthly life this week. No, Paul was not ranked in the top 100 list of wealthy Americans by Forbes or some other magazine- but I suspect most of us would jump at the chance to have his riches at the end of our lives versus that of some of the "dot com" winners. Paul had a lifetime of sunrises and sunsets on his farm just south of Apache- could walk outside of his door and survey a beautiful landscape that at this time of year is a beautiful green- and will later become golden as the winter wheat matures and is ready for harvest. He had a priceless relationship with a sweetheart from early on in his 55 years of marriage to Dosia. They worked dawn to dusk- yet he and Dosia had time to rear four children, and see them marry and have kids and more kids. And he had respect for God- leading the singing and teaching the Bible at his local church for generations. He also had the respect of man- giving of himself after long hard days of work on the farm. I was reminded as Bob, Joe and I talked about Paul's involvement with the Oklahoma Ag Leadership Program Advisory Council- that often Dosia would drive so that Paul might catch a nap to help him recharge his batteries before that next job that was waiting for him. As we mentioned yesterday, Paul loved to support young people- 4-H, FFA and young adults involved in agriculture- they all got a share of his wealth of resources, time and wisdom.
Paul was a part of the Oklahoma Wheat Commission since 1994- and in 2003, was the sixth inductee into the Oklahoma Ag Hall of Fame. Now, Paul's earthly body is ready, with his Oklahoma Wheat pin in his lapel and stalks of wheat and a New Testament in his hands for funeral services on Saturday morning at the First Baptist Church in Anadarko. Paul is already talking with Saint Peter and whoever else will listen about what he can do to help out as he walks the streets of gold- yes Paul Jackson leaves this earth a wealthy man in the ways that count- and he has left us better off because we have known him.
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