~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Friday October 5, 2007!A service of Farm Credit of East Central Oklahoma, American Farmers and Ranchers & Midwest Farm Shows
-- Farm Bill Markup Delayed Until the Week of October 22nd- at least.
-- Finance Committee, after a delay, votes for Permanent Disaster Aid Package and More.
-- Bull Session on Ground Beef Recall- "We'll Learn from it"
-- Hundreds of Animals Shown- the Survivors Stand at Auction at the Tulsa state Fair
-- Watch Ron and Abby on Saturday's In the Field!
-- Graphic Evidence of Being Mighty Dry in More and More Locations.
-- Check out the Right Side of the Dial and KOKC Radio- AM1520 for Ron on RON.
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Farm Bill Markup Delayed Until the Week of October 22nd- at least.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~While meetings are being held in small clusters of the Agriculture Committee- mostly among Democrats- The Chairman of the Committee, Tom Harkin of Iowa admitted defeat in getting a farm bill deal done before Columbus Day- and is now looking at the week of October 22nd as the next opportunity to take up the mark up process in an open Committee session.
The Senator did get good news from the Finance Committee in that they found as much as 16 billion dollars in additional monies to spend above the current baseline on the 2007 Farm Bill- although he doesn't like how many of those dollars are proposed to be spent.
The questions now line up like dominoes- Can Senator Harkin pull his Committee together to write a policy to take to the floor- will there be floor time in early November on the Senate Floor?- and if a measure does pass the Senate, can a Conference Committee come to a deal on allocation of scarce resources that more people than ever before are fighting for? It is possible that we could still see a Farm Bill on President Bush's desk by Christmas- but the odds get longer with every week that slips under the bridge.
Finance Committee, after a delay, votes for Permanent Disaster Aid Package and More.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Senate Finance Committee late Thursday advanced an $8.6 billion tax package that will underwrite funding needed for a number of farm bill provisions and would create a $5.1 billion permanent trust fund for agricultural disaster payments. While the measure raises $8.6 billion over the five-year period of the farm bill; the committee scores the bill at closer to $16 billion when a 10-year forecast is included.
The bill would allow landowners with Conservation Reserve Program contracts an option of taking tax credits in place of direct rental payments. The bill caps that option nationwide at $750 million a year or a total $3 billion a year 2009 through 2012. Tax credits from a number of renewable energy sources including open- loop biomass facilities that process livestock manure and litter are included. Although the bill's language was not entirely clear, it appears the credit would amount to one cent per kilowatt hour for 2007. Open- loop livestock waste facilities placed into service after Oct. 22, 2004 and before Jan. 1, 2009 that produce not less than 150 kilowatts would qualify and be eligible for the credit for five years. Many of the renewable energy provisions were similar to those included in the stalled energy bills passed in differing forms by both the House and the Senate.
This measure will provide funding for a program a lot of folks have been pushing for- a Permanent Disaster Program with a price tag of $5.1 billion. One of the questions to be answered will be how much latitude Tom Harkin will have in moving some of the freed dollars up to his priorities- including his pet project, the Conservation Security Program.
Bull Session on Ground Beef Recall- "We'll Learn from it"
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We helped lead a Bull Session with participants of the Oklahoma Beef Quality Summit underway this week in Stillwater that is being coordinated by the Oklahoma Beef Council and Oklahoma State University- and the participants- ranging from ranchers to packers to food service professionals seemed to be in agreement that while the Topps Meat frozen beef recall will be detrimental in the short term to the industry-it may have a silver lining. One participant told me "We'll learn from it and make the system better." All agreed that groups like Consumers Union who have said that the system we now have in place is "broken" are wrong- the system works and that USDA doing their job is how we got to the size of the recall.
USDA did acknowledge that the timing of the actual recall should have happened quicker than it did. Briefing reporters yesterday afternoon, department officials acknowledged that they knew as early as September 7 that frozen hamburger patties could be contaminated after a federal inspector confirmed that preliminary tests indicated the E. coli bacteria strain O157:H7. The department said it was following its common practice of confirming the original results. "This agency is not completely satisfied with the time elapsed and the issuance of the recall," said David Goldman, assistant administrator of the USDA's Office of Public Health Science. "We will be reviewing data related to this recall as well as our own protocol to determine how we might improve." Richard Raymond, the department's undersecretary for food safety, then added: "It's a policy we will be changing here."
The recall that began September 25 was the second- largest beef recall in U.S. history. As of noon Wednesday, 29 people in eight states had E. coli infections matching the strain found in the meat.
Hundreds of Animals Shown- the Survivors Stand at Auction at the Tulsa state Fair
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Close to three hundred steers were being shown yesterday in the Tulsa State Fair Youth Division- that after hundreds of goats, barrows and lambs had been shown earlier in the week- all leading up to the annual Premium auction at the Fair planned for late this morning at 11 AM.
In an auction that is the second largest sale of animals in a premium sale format the state- only the Oklahoma Youth Expo is larger- Tulsa State Fair officials expect to see young people receive thousands of dollars that will go back into their livestock enterprises and in many cases, will help pay for future college expenses of those involved.
It's a combination of lots of local buyers, along with statewide groups like Oklahoma Farm Bureau and the American Farmers and Ranchers(Farmers Union) that help lead the way annually- and we'll have a rundown of the Champions come Monday on our Email update.
Watch Ron and Abby on Saturday's In the Field!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Saturday mornings- we do a farm news update on the CBS TV affiliate in Oklahoma City- KWTV, News9- and this week we are excited to have as our guest Abby Cash, Director of Agritourism efforts here in the state.
The report can be seen around 7:40 am on Saturday morning- and over the weekend- I will be linking the video on our website for you to see as well. Take a look live- or on the web- it's just one more way that we are taking the agricultural story out to not just the agricultural community- but hopefully to a lot of other folks as well!
Graphic Evidence of Being Mighty Dry in More and More Locations.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We were having a conversation just yesterday with an individual who was saying that she had been convinced before all the rains this spring and early summer that we were in a prolonged drought scenario- and I pointed out to this individual that in reality- a lot of long term weather watchers believe that the heavy downpours that we had earlier this year are in line with what can happens in a prolonged period of drought- you get periodic amounts of rain dumped upon you.
Since the heavy round of rain that some got in August- we have seen less rain on a widespread basis across Oklahoma. Our friend Mark Hodges of the Oklahoma Wheat Commission helps us make that point from a set of maps that he has sent to us, courtesy of the Oklahoma Climatological Survey, Gary D. McManus, Assistant State Climatologist.
These maps show that we have multiple locations that are really hitting the stress point once again because of lack of rainfall- and it comes as we are trying to plant fall seeded crops like wheat and canola for the 2008 harvest. As I told that person I was talking with about the weather- it's probably not a good idea to talk about the drought in past tense- she might get mad!
Check out the Right Side of the Dial and KOKC Radio- AM1520 for Ron on RON.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~It's our pleasure to salute one of our great radio station partners that we work with daily on the Radio Oklahoma Network. KOKC has one of the most powerful signals in the state on the AM Radio dial- and our Radio Oklahoma Network ag reports are heard three times daily on the booming 50,000 watt signal across a lot of the state!
Our morning farm news update is heard at about 6:35 am, with midday farm news right before Paul Harvey's Midday News at 12:12 pm, and our own Ed Richards offers a recap of the futures markets weekdays at 2:30 pm. In addition, Sam Knipp with the Oklahoma Farm Bureau can be heard just before 7:00 am ABC news with his daily Agriculture First Report.
With a great morning and midday news format- and some of the best talk show hosts in America- KOKC AM1520 is an excellent spot on your radio dial to catch some of our Radio Oklahoma Network Farm News Updates. Of course, we have 32 other great radio stations that we work with as well. Check with your favorite local station- and ask them if they carry Ron on RON- and when. If they don't, encourage them to join our team and have the best farm news and market information available for our state every day! And- drop me an email if you have questions about a radio station outlet near you- we would love to hear from you!
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