~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Thursday July 26, 2007!A service of Midwest Farm Shows
-- KABOOM!!!! The "Non Partisan" House Ag Committee Disintegrates Over "underhanded" Nutrition Offsets
-- What About the Floor Debate????
-- Congrats to Jeff Krehbiel- Newest Oklahoma Wheat Commissioner.
-- EPDs That Show Heifer Pregnancy Traits Unveiled by American Angus Association
-- Waiting in the Senate wings- a Stronger Revenue Counter Cyclical Program
-- Wheat Quality Summit Set for August 14 in Stillwater.
-- See ya at the Reed Center!
-- Ross Wilson on the Beef Buzz
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 recently concluded Southern Plains Farm Show in Oklahoma City, 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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KABOOM!!!! The "Non Partisan" House Ag Committee Disintegrates Over "underhanded" Nutrition Offsets
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~If Tuesday was a day where the House Ag Committee came together with major ag groups, joined hands started singing Kum Ba Ya, then Wednesday was the day that at least two bombs were dropped into the middle of the gathering and a loud KABOOM was heard in Washington- at least within farm circles.
It all started with word that came late Tuesday night from the House Ways and Means Committee as to how they planned to fund four billion dollars promised by Charlie Rangel to Colin Peterson to pay for more Nutrition spending in the bill- four billion dollars worth over the five year life of the bill. Immediate Heartburn set in among the Republican members of the House Ag Committee and then Johanns lit the fuse and threw his bombs into the mix on Wednesday morning. The Secretary said the last minute "tax increase" to pay for this farm bill was totally unacceptable and then also said it was the Bush Administration's position to VETO the House Ag Committee version of the 2007 Farm Bill if it ever reached George W. Bush's desk.
Shortly after that, the House Ag Committee Republicans issued a statement that they would oppose the bill because it had been "highjacked by forces outside our control" and called the Democrats "underhanded" in their efforts to bypass the Committee with these changes. Almost immediately, the Chairman of the Committee, Democrat Colin Peterson fired out his own press release that says the Democrats are playing their own brand of partisan politics and claims they are "mischaracterizing the offset that will expand nutrition benefits" and calls on the Republicans to come home and support this farm bill. We have links to multiple statements on a new page that we have placed on our web site to keep up with the Farm Bill Debate- click below to see the statements of both the Republicans and the Democrats- and an audio piece on what the Secretary was saying yesterday as well in what is the strongest push by a Secretary of Agriculture to get his will imposed in the farm bill process.
What About the Floor Debate????
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~It isn't 100-percent clear what will unfold later today as members of the U.S. House debate the farm bill put forward by the House Agriculture Committee. While some House members have voiced their support for the legislation - others have voiced strong opposition - calling for deeper subsidy cuts.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has been on that side of the argument before - backing an approach that cut commodity payments and shifted money to conservation and nutrition programs. But this time around - she's endorsed the measure that takes what she calls a critical first step toward reform with an Adjusted Gross Income cap of one-million dollars. The Speaker is catching a lot of grief from groups within her home district over supporting Colin Peterson and the House Ag Committee, and Ag Secretary Mike Johanns did a guest shot on a San Francisco talk radio show and fired several salvos at the Speaker over that support of the Peterson bill.
Many see an amendment from Representatives Ron Kind and Jeff Flake as the biggest threat to the committee's bill. Kind came close to winning adoption of a similar proposal in 2002. But that was with the support of Pelosi and Hoyer - without it - many question if he'll have the votes needed this year. If he does - Arkansas Democrat Marion Berry says it will be tragic. He says the Kind-Flake amendment - now dubbed the fairness amendment - destroys the whole farm bill. It is our understanding that Berry may offer an amendment that substitute the Commodity Title of the 2002 Farm Law intact as a substitute for the Commodity Title of the House Ag Committee's Farm Bill. At this point, the measure is still on the schedule to be debated today- the House begins their day at 9 am central time and could pick up the House Ag Committee Farm Bill shortly after that.
Congrats to Jeff Krehbiel- Newest Oklahoma Wheat Commissioner.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We have confirmed with the Governor's office that Jeff Krehbiel has been named to the Wheat Commission seat for District Four. District Four includes Caddo, Comanche, Cotton, Greer, Harmon, Jackson, Kiowa and Tillman counties. This is the partial term left vacant with the death earlier this year of Paul Jackson of Apache.
Krehbiel is a wheat producer in the northeastern corner of the District- and the immediate past President of the Oklahoma Wheat Growers Association.
Still to be announced by the Governor's office- the District Two Seat that has been held by Tom Stephens of Guymon. Stephens was one of three names that was nominated by producers in the District and has been sent to the Governors' office. At the most recent Oklahoma Wheat Commission meeting, only three of the five Districts were represented as the two open seats had not been filled by the Governor. So with the Krehbiel appointment, it's one down and one to go.
EPDs That Show Heifer Pregnancy Traits Unveiled by American Angus Association
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The American Angus Association has released its first research heifer pregnancy genetic evaluation. This project is part of a comprehensive effort to characterize economically important traits in Angus cattle and to develop selection tools to benefit commercial producers and seedstock breeders. The initial research includes sire heifer pregnancy expected progeny differences (HP EPDs). These EPDs are designed to identify genetic differences among sires for daughter pregnancy.
"Even though reproductive traits are recognized as being lowly heritable, this research allows us to provide a genetic value to commercial producers in an area of high economic importance," says Sally Northcutt, genetic research director for the Association. (and yes, that's "our" Sally who was at Oklahoma State University a few years back)
The Fall 2007 heifer pregnancy research report contains HP EPDs and accuracies for 429 sires. The release of HP EPDs is in the form of a web-based research report found at the link we have provided below containing sire EPDs with a minimum 0.30 accuracy. Printed copies are available on request. If you have questions, contact the Performance Programs Department at 816-383-5100.
Waiting in the Senate wings- a Stronger Revenue Counter Cyclical Program
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Illinois Democratic Senator Dick Durbin and Ohio Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown have introduced the Farm Safety Net Improvement Act of 2007. According to American Farmland Trust President Ralph Grossi- the measure fundamentally transforms risk management programs to provide better protection - less market distortions and equity across crops.
American Farmland Trust worked with Senators Durbin and Brown as well as the National Corn Growers Association to develop the revenue-based protection program included in the Act. Because it adjusts with the market - rather than politically set target prices and loan rates - Grossi says the safety net better protects farmers when they need help. He says it also reduces the need for ad hoc disaster assistance.
Since the new program is linked to market indicators - Grossi says it will also cause less market and trade distortions. He says current signals are artificial - encouraging farmers to overproduce by planting for the program rather than market demand. The changes suggested by Durbin and Brown - he says - should help to liberalize international trade and reduce incentives to produce on marginal land. That - Grossi notes - will result in environmental benefits. It's uncertain how much interest that Senator Tom Harkin, the Chairman of the Senate Ag Committee, has in this concept and if he would entertain this plan being a part of his mark up during the 2007 farm bill process. Of course, we still don't know when Harkin will get around to a Farm Bill Markup- it now looks like that won't happen until September as he continues to tell reporters that he is waiting on getting floor time before moving forward with mark up.
Wheat Quality Summit Set for August 14 in Stillwater.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~With planting season just around the corner, producers are making decisions on what varieties to plant. High yields and test weights are important factors to the producer when choosing which varieties to plant, but good end-use quality should also be a consideration. The Wheat Quality Summit, hosted by Plains Grains, Inc. and OSU's Food and Ag Products Center (FAPC), is designed to help producers understand how quality is determined once wheat moves through the supply chain from the elevator to the milling and baking industry.
To be competitive in the global market, it is important that the U. S. wheat industry delivers a quality product to the customer. The Wheat Quality Summit will help the producer understand what quality means to the milling and baking community and how that quality is affected by the varieties they plant.
The 2007 Wheat Quality Summit is on Tuesday, August 14 at the FAPC in Stillwater, Okla. Sign-in, coffee, and donuts will be from 8:30 -9:00 followed by morning speakers and afternoon tours. Lunch will be provided and there is no charge for attending. For more information on the agenda and for registration, you can call Karen Smith at 405-744-6071 by Friday, August 10th- or check out the link that we for you below.
See ya at the Reed Center!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The 55th Annual Meeting of the Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association kicks off today with Committee meetings and the opening of the Trade Show with a reception this afternoon/evening. Friday, the general session will include lots of hoopla over Premise ID with a news conference to tell more about the new "Locate in 48" voluntary Animal ID program that will be a joint effort between government and private industry.
Saturday, the Association will have their annual business session and will elevate a new President into position as Jim Birdwell ends his term and Ray Heldermon will step up. Also on Saturday, Congressman Frank Lucas is scheduled to speak and the convention wrapup will be the annual market outlook session- to be handled this year by K-State's Jim Mintert.
Ross Wilson on the Beef Buzz
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The top hired hand of the Texas Cattle Feeders Association, Ross Wilson, joins us today on our Beef Buzz, our beef industry news heard on radio stations across the Radio Oklahoma Network. TCFA is a trade group that represents feedlots in Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma.
We talk with Ross about the market and how it has responded with more acres of corn to help meet the demands of the export markets, domestic feeding and the ethanol industry. We have the program linked below and we invite you to check it out.
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 and make plans to be an exhibitor at either the Tulsa Farm Show this December or the Southern Plains Farm Show next spring!
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