~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Wednesday October 3, 2007!A service of Farm Credit of East Central Oklahoma, American Farmers and Ranchers & Midwest Farm Shows
-- Senate Finance Committee May Break the Farm Bill Logjam on Thursday.
-- Senator Harkin Would Like to Slide in Behind Finance Committee and Meet Late Thursday Afternoon.
-- Jeff Krehbiel Talks Farm Bill Strategy with his NAWG Hat On
-- Korean Panel To Meet Friday- Could Bone-in Beef Be Allowed into Korea Sooner Rather than Later?
-- Rural Development and Ag Marketing Service Agencies of USDA Shoveling out the cash as we begin the new Fiscal Year.
-- OALP Class 13 Heading to Little Dixie
-- Wheat Market Suffers Breath Taking Fall
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Senate Finance Committee May Break the Farm Bill Logjam on Thursday.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~An extensive agricultural tax package will be considered by the Senate Finance Committee Thursday afternoon- an event that has to happen before the Senate Ag Committee will move forward with their markup of the 2007 Farm Bill.
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus of Montana released a 76 page overview of his ideas for this ag tax package that he is calling the "Heartland Habitat, Harvest and Horticulture Act of 2007 (Try saying that three times fast) The package includes a five billion dollar permanent disaster program, various conservation incentives and focuses heavily on tax credits for renewable fuels.
The Baucus plan could provide up to nine billion dollars in additional monies for agriculture- although over half of that would be needed for the permanent disaster plan. Cellulosic ethanol production would receive several new incentives in this package. You can link to the package as created by Senator Baucus by clicking below.
Senator Harkin Would Like to Slide in Behind Finance Committee and Meet Late Thursday Afternoon.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We will get the word sometime later today about the possible mark-up this week by the Senate Ag Committee of the 2007 Farm Bill. Tom Harkin of Iowa, the Chairman of the Committee, wants to wait until he knows exactly what the Finance Committee's ag tax package looks like before he proceeds- and he hedges on his willingness to accept the money from the Baucus Committee with the strings they will be attaching- he says that once the money arrives in the Senate Ag Committee, it is subject to amendment .
Harkin really does not like the Permanent Disaster Program, but has indicated that he will accept it. He has talked of wanting to cut direct payments when prices at the farmgate rise- a move heavily criticized by several members of his Committee. AND, he continues to demand more money for the Conservation Security Program, a brainchild of his from the 2002 Farm bill- he wants nationwide signup in these next five years.
You can hear Senator Harkin's comments as he gets closer to moving forward with his markup(click below)- he may find it more difficult to bring his members together to hammer out a deal compared to how Colin Peterson was successful in doing so in the House back this summer.
Jeff Krehbiel Talks Farm Bill Strategy with his NAWG Hat On
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The past President of the Oklahoma Wheat Growers, Jeff Krehbiel of Hydro, is the current Vice Chairman of the Ag Policy Committee of the National Association of Wheat Growers- and I caught him still in the pickup driving home from the airport as he returned from the fall Board of Directors meeting of the wheat growers group in Denver.
Krehbiel says the wheat growers have not given up trying to get a better direct payment for wheat producers in this 2007 farm bill- they definitely don't like the idea of Tom Harkin in which he calls for a cut in Direct Payments when commodity prices rise. He is also dubious about the value of a permanent disaster payment program as proposed by Senator Baucus and others.
Will we get a farm bill this year? Krehbiel says that is a tough call, but is skeptical that it will happen here in 2007. He says for now, there is no interest in a 2002 Farm Bill extension- but that could change if the deep differences in how to spend scarce resources continues in the Senate. We have linked some of our conversation with Jeff below- click and take a listen.
Korean Panel To Meet Friday- Could Bone-in Beef Be Allowed into Korea Sooner Rather than Later?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~A South Korean consultation committee is expected to render a recommendation on existing U.S. beef import regulations this week, Yonhap News reported. The livestock quarantine committee, which advises the agriculture minister, is slated to meet Friday to discuss the safety of U.S. beef, the extent to which import rules might be relaxed and a schedule for revising them.
With receipt of the committee's formal recommendation, the government can begin negotiations with Washington to change the sanitary and phytosanitary measures, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry said.
The panel has convened twice since July, but progress stalled due to the discovery of banned bones in Seoul-bound shipments of U.S. beef and a resultant import ban. Yonhap also reports that government officials have hinted that Seoul may allow ribs and other bone-in U.S. product, but recurring mishaps in tracking cattle and processing meat may prevent U.S. packers from being able to export all beef parts. Meanwhile, our country continues to insist that a full reopening of the South Korean market to US beef is called for, based on the ruling back in May from the OIE that the US beef cattle industry is a "controlled risk" country when it comes to BSE.
Rural Development and Ag Marketing Service Agencies of USDA Shoveling out the cash as we begin the new Fiscal Year.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Ag Marketing Service of USDA is overseeing the handing out of $900,000 in grant monies through the Farmers Market Promotion Program. Funds will support projects that establish, expand and promote farmers markets and other direct producer-to- consumer market opportunities.
Two projects are getting bucks in Oklahoma.
Meanwhile the Rural Development Agency of USDA has announced some big bucks are going to projects under the Distant Learning and Telemedicine banner- $22 million nationally. Oklahoma has two projects where the money will go exclusively to helping Oklahomans with Distance Telemedicine while a third project is in conjunction with some folks in Texas.
Eight projects in Texas and Oklahoma have been selected to receive DLT funding. Texas' Education Service Center Region 12 will receive $338,936 to expand distance learning for 30 additional sites in rural areas of central Texas and southern Oklahoma. Added courses include college preparatory and teacher training and certification opportunities. Northwestern Oklahoma State University will increase access to higher education courses in five rural counties with the help of a $256,390 grant. A grant of $246,410 will help Oklahoma State University's Center for Health Services develop a telemedicine network to provide radiology services and specialty care for small hospitals in an extremely rural part of the state.
OALP Class 13 Heading to Little Dixie
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Class 13 of the Oklahoma Ag Leadership Program is on the road with their tenth seminar of the two year study program- heading into southeast Oklahoma today thorough Friday midday.
Stops to be made include the Kerr Center, Tyson Foods in Idabel, Weyerhauser and the Alan Richey Farm. The current class is in its second year of the two year leadership development program, which will culminate with an international travel experience to the Peoples Republic of China next February.
Wheat Market Suffers Breath Taking Fall
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Gravity finally struck the high flying wheat market in the US and the Chicago and Kansas City wheat markets fell the limit of thirty cents per bushel yesterday, then have slipped another twenty cents a bushel in the overnight electronic trade early this morning.
Everybody that follows this market expected a big down day at some point- and it arrived yesterday after we saw wheat futures run to all time highs through Monday, with local grain elevator bids in Oklahoma making it to $8.98 per bushel before falling hard yesterday.
The wheat market watchers say that most of the news that has been talked about in recent weeks that has shoved prices sharply up is now in the market- and we have reached the stage where it seems the market seems to be saying, "buy the rumor and sell the fact." Local cash grain prices remain in the eight dollar area- as you can see from the link below, but they did suffer a pretty good haircut yesterday with another trim anticipated when ODA updates these numbers after the markets close today.
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