~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Friday August 3, 2007!A service of Farm Credit of East Central Oklahoma & Midwest Farm Shows
-- Jay Truitt of NCBA- Hoping it will be days and not weeks for Korea and the US to Get Past this Latest "Human Error" of Bone in Beef to Korea.
-- House Ag Committee Chairman Colin Peterson Piles it Back on the Koreans
-- On Bush's Desk- Clarification for Livestock Producers regarding Disaster Aid.
-- FSA Offices gathering data for Disaster Request from Oklahoma.
-- Congrats to Jeff Edwards!!!
-- One Farmer's Opinion of the EWG is Not Very High.
-- Wheatland Stocker Conference Date is Set- August 22 in Enid.
Here's your morning farm news headlines from the Director of Farm Programming for the Radio Oklahoma Network, Ron Hays. We are proud to welcome Farm Credit of East Central Oklahoma as a regular sponsor of our daily email update. Farm Credit of East Central Oklahoma has ten branch offices to serve your farm financing needs and is dedicated to being your first choice for farm credit. Check out their website for more information by clicking here!
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Jay Truitt of NCBA- Hoping it will be days and not weeks for Korea and the US to Get Past this Latest "Human Error" of Bone in Beef to Korea.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~If your favorite Uncle sent you a box of T-Bones for your birthday instead of a box of Chuck Roasts, would you be too mad at him? Well, that is what basically happened in the case of the Friona, Texas Cargill beef plant in this latest snafu with South Korea over our sending them a box of beef with bones within the beef cuts actually in the box. What really has the Koreans up in arms over this incident is the fact that the bones in question included some vertebal column, something they consider a specified risk material. So, as we reported yesterday, South Korea has effectively blocked US Beef from entering their country as they are refusing to inspect any shipments of US beef until they apparently get us groveling a bit and telling them the ten things we are doing in that plant that messed up and in general to make sure it never happens again.
Jay Truitt, head of the Washington office for the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, tells us that he is fearful that if the Koreans delay solving this current incident quickly, the politics on both sides of the Pacific could enter in and really make this messy. As we talked with him yesterday midday, his group was preparing to go across the National Mall to USDA and urge them to be aggressive, "get the highest official available on a plane, first to Friona to inspect the situation first hand and then on to Seoul to deliver a first hand report of what happened, why it won't happen again and to express an in person apology."
Truitt says that Cargill has been great over the last forty eight hours or so in determining what happened to allow this single box to get mixed in with hundreds of other boxes that were all correctly sent in observance of the South Korea trade restrictions. We have posted our conversation with Jay Truitt- and we invite you to take a listen to those comments by going to the link provided below.
House Ag Committee Chairman Colin Peterson Piles it Back on the Koreans
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Chairman of the House Ag Committee, Collin Peterson of Minnesota, was not contrite in his response to South Korea being upset with this latest bone in beef incident. Instead, he blamed the Koreans for not judging us at the OIE International Standards for Minimal Risk when it comes to BSE- saying that the two most recent bone in beef complaints from Korea would not have mattered if Korea was where they should be on the OIE trading standards.
Congressman Peterson adds that the Koreans may be flushing down the toilet any chance to get the Free Trade Agreement with the United States passed through the United States Congress, as the only way that has any chance of happening will be when they fully reopen their market to US beef- both boneless but also bone- in beef cuts.
We feature The Chairman's comments in our Friday edition of the Beef Buzz, our daily Beef Industry grab bag of great information important to anyone who makes their living within the beef pipeline. The Beef Buzz is heard on great Radio Stations along the Radio Oklahoma Network- and you can also hear many of our old shows archived on our website. Today's show is linked for you below- take a listen to The honorable Chairman of the House Ag Committee and his diplomatic way of telling our trading partners from across the Pacific, keep your mouth shut as you chew your beef steak!
On Bush's Desk- Clarification for Livestock Producers regarding Disaster Aid.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Both houses of Congress have approved a bill (S. 1716) which will help make livestock producers eligible for livestock assistance programs regardless of whether they had Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance (NAP) coverage. In the emergency supplemental passed earlier this year, Congress included agriculture disaster assistance to provide much-needed aid to livestock producers who were dealt a blow by wildfire, drought and other natural disasters. However, due to interpretation of the legislative language, the majority of our nation's livestock producers would be excluded from any assistance unless they had NAP coverage. Senate Bill 1716 strikes that requirement.
In a letter sent to Congress on this issue, the National Cattlemen's Beef Association said, "Benefits derived from livestock disaster assistance programs have consistently been calculated on livestock losses, and a clarification is needed to ensure that farmers and ranchers will benefit from the aid Congress passed earlier this year. The vast majority of America's ranchers will be excluded from any assistance unless Congress takes action to reaffirm its intent."
Over the last two weeks, Congress has acted to strike the NAP requirement. The bill passed the Senate late last week and passed the House this week on July 31. It is now headed to the President's desk for signing.
FSA Offices gathering data for Disaster Request from Oklahoma.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~State Secretary of Agriculture Terry Peach tells us that work is going on even as we write this to gather data to support the agricultural disaster declaration requested by Governor Brad Henry from about three weeks ago.
This data is being gathered by county FSA offices, as they work with their local Committees to come up with an assessment that will determine which counties may receive this disaster declaration. In 2005 and 2006, we received multiple ag disaster declarations for drought here in the state- but in 2007, the request was made for a variety of problems- flood, freeze and high winds among the conditions cited by the Governor's office in their request to Ag Secretary Mike Johanns.
Secretary Peach's comments on this were a part of our Friday morning farm and ranch news- and you can hear all of what the Commissioner had to say on this if you click on the link provided and take a listen to our morning farm news report. We also summarize where we stand with South Korea in getting beef trade back on track. BY THE WAY- Terry Peach is our guest on our In The Field segment on News9, KWTV in Oklahoma City Saturday morning- tune in just before 7:40 to see Ron and the Secretary talk Locate in 48!
Congrats to Jeff Edwards!!!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Dr. Jeff Edwards, Oklahoma Small Grains Extension Specialist, was just awarded the 2007 ASA-CSSA- SSSA Early Career Professional Award.
The Early Career Professional Award recognizes professionals who have made an outstanding contribution in Agronomy, Crop Science and/or Soil Science within seven years of completing their terminal degree (BS, MS, PhD). The award consists of a certificate and $1,000 honorarium.
Our thanks to the new head of the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences at Oklahoma State, Dr. David Porter, for giving us this heads up on this achievement of Jeff Edwards.
One Farmer's Opinion of the EWG is Not Very High.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Farmer Buddy Treadwell penned a letter that I guess you might call "To Whom it May Concern." He expresses a lot of concern about those who want to tell him how policy should be because they have "studied" the issue. I offer it to you today as bit of food for thought without further comment:
"I am a Farmer, Rancher, Husband and most of all a Father. My wife and I have raised two great kids that are now young adults. I am concerned at where our country is going. My biggest concern now is that we the American public and our elected officials in Washington doesn't have a clue to where their next meal comes from. We have pushed most of our major industries out of business and are now trying to put agriculture out the same way. We talk about National Security and chase all over the world fighting battles that can't be won. Agriculture is our national security. We have and produce the safest and most affordable food source in the world, and can feed our Nation and many others at the same time. But if we do with agriculture like we have done with all of our other major industries in this Nation we will be standing in line for our next meal and be paying for it. We have let TV personalities and environmental groups try to tell our Elected Officials how our business needs to be run. Most of these people couldn't tell which came first the chicken or the egg.
"I have been farming for 41 years and I learn something new each day. One thing I know is that the number of people producing our Nation's food is getting smaller with each day. I sat in a meeting with the Under Secretary of Agriculture last fall and his main concern was getting young people back on the farm. That's great and I will agree with him but there is one major problem. Most all of the young people leaving the farm or ranch don't want to have the problems or headache that their father and grandfathers before them have had. EWG for the past several years have been telling the American public how much money we in agriculture receive. We receive a lot but if not for this money there would be fewer farmers and ranchers in business today. The problem today is everyone wants to be the one talking but most all the time they don't know what they are talking about.
"EWG is right on two thing's, we do have absentee farmers and we do have people that have estate's which are active in farming and ranching that do receive payments. They are called landlords and when they share in expenses and the risk of farming and receive a share of a crop they are also called farmers. The reason why our store fronts are closing is because the people are moving from the rural communities to the larger cities in search for jobs. The reason government payments are so large is because each of us are taking on more and more farms. The prices that we see today have only happened for wheat four times in forty years. When I started farming wheat was about $2.75 per bushel and in those forty-one years the price of wheat has averaged from $2.75 to $3.75 per bushel except for those few years that prices went higher because of problems with the world's crops. In those years I have seen farm fuels go from .25 cents per gallon to $2.65 per gallon. Our fertilizers have gone from nothing to over $500.00 per ton. EWG and most in Washington have not a clue when it comes to Agriculture but yet I doubt that any of them have missed a meal nor do they intend to. Agriculture in America is in trouble and it's not from the men and women that are farming and ranching. It is because there are too many people that know too little about our business trying to run our business."
Wheatland Stocker Conference Date is Set- August 22 in Enid.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Just a quick note for you to save the date for the 2007 Wheat Stocker Conference that will be held Wednesday, August 22 at the Cherokee Strip Conference Center in Enid.
The program this year will include a couple of Vets from Kansas State University as they talk about maintaining a healthy stocker calf. Dr. Derrell Peel is charging up his Crystal Ball to be able to talk about all the many factors impacting our markets this fall- and David Lalman and Chris Richards from the OSU Animal Science Department will also have a part on this year's program.
If you want information on the program- contact Greg Highfill, Area Livestock Specialist in Enid with OSU Extension at 580-237-7677.
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