~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Tuesday November 6, 2007!A service of Cusack Meats, American Farmers and Ranchers & Midwest Farm Shows
-- Congressman Lucas Says Farm Bill Finale Won't Come until After New Year's Day.
-- Nice Speeches to an Empty Senate Chamber Mark the First Day of the Senate Farm Bill Debate.
-- Acting Secretary Chuck Conner Not Impressed with Senate Ag Committee Farm Bill- Wants Much More Reform and More Fiscal Responsibility!
-- Pushing and Shoving in the Cash Cattle Market.
-- AgPreference Farmer & Rancher Forum Set for Next Week!
-- The 2008 Oklahoma Wheat Crop in Fair to Good Shape Acorss Oklahoma.
-- Express Ranches Offering Stocker-Feeder and Commercial Female Sales This Week in Apache
Here's your morning farm news headlines from the Director of Farm Programming for the Radio Oklahoma Network, Ron Hays. One of our sponsors on this daily email service is Cusack Meats, and Al Cusack wants everyone to know that he APPRECIATES Oklahoma's Farmers and Ranchers! You can go to the Cusack website and select some great gift packs of meat for giving- or for yourself!
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Congressman Lucas Says Farm Bill Finale Won't Come until After New Year's Day.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Congressman Frank Lucas, Oklahoma's senior (and only) member on the House Ag Committee, says he is hoping that the Senate will not bog down but rather will move a farm bill through the process and get something reported out of the Senate by next Friday, November 16. The Congressman says that if that happens, we would see conferees appointed as early as the first week of December- and then the real work in putting together a farm bill will be under way.
He has concerns about whether or not Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi will allow the House Conferees to actually make policy decisions within the conference committee, as that is the only way Lucas believes we have a chance in the world in getting a final bill out- and that is likely not until just before Christmas and perhaps not until the first couple of weeks in January. Ms. Pelosi has blocked some other Conference Committees to really do their work- and that is a worry to the Oklahoma Republican.
He does believe that there will have to be a "sobering up" process among the Senators involved in the Conference Process- as it seems that every pet project of one member or another has been allowed in- and that the dollars wanted far exceed what actual monies are available in the Senate version of the bill. We talked about all of these issues relating to the Farm Bill and a few more- click below to take a listen.
Nice Speeches to an Empty Senate Chamber Mark the First Day of the Senate Farm Bill Debate.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~A couple of hours worth of speeches marked the first day of the Senate's Debate on the 2007 Farm Bill- with the promise that Tuesday will bring the floor fight of several very challenging amendments from those that demand bigger reforms than what the Senate Ag Committee was willing to agree to.
We will likely see the floor debate on the Senate floor begin before 10 AM Central time this morning- after the Senate takes care of some of their housekeeping starting at 9 AM Central. There are some ten amendments that could be considered by the Senate this week and likely next week- some of them very controversial. Other measures, like the Ban on Packer Ownership, that are already in the Committee Bill may be challenged with attempts to amend or remove them.
Both Senators from North Dakota weighed in during the window dressing time yesterday on the Senate floor- Senator Conrad blasted the media for not being honest about the value of farm programs- challenging several major East Coast Newspapers to print stories explaining things like the fact that our level of subsidies in actual dollars is one third the size of the subsidies spent by the European Union. His colleague from that same state- Byron Dorgan- spoke of the need for this bill ONLY because of the desire to help family farmers- not corporate agriculture.
The actual battle for what the Senate version of Farm Policy will ultimately look like begins in just a few hours- but it is very likely to last into next week- and veteran farm bill observers hope it won't stretch past next Friday- because that will mean it has not been finished before the Thanksgiving recess.
Acting Secretary Chuck Conner Not Impressed with Senate Ag Committee Farm Bill- Wants Much More Reform and More Fiscal Responsibility!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Full Senate has begun debate on the Farm Bill, but it is doing so under the threat of a White House Veto. Acting Agriculture Secretary Chuck Conner has announced the President's senior advisors will recommend a veto of the combined Senate Finance Committee and Senate Ag Committee Farm Bill. The full Senate started debate on the 2007 Farm Bill on Monday afternoon, just moments before Conner's announcement. Conner says the administration is concerned with the Bill's funding and lack of reform, "The Senate Ag Committee has not been honest about the cost of the Farm Bill." He says it contains nearly $22-billion in budget gimmicks and nearly $15 billion in new taxes. He says that is unacceptable and makes a mockery of the budget process.
The official "SAP" or "Statement of Principles" from the Administration was expected out yesterday- but now is expected out today- and it is expected to flesh out the complaints of the Bush Administration when it comes to the Senate Ag Committee Farm Bill- which according to Acting Secretary Conner, could run as much as $37 Billion about the current Farm Policy Budget Baseline.
Conner says that the reform offered in the Senate Ag Committee's version of the Bill is "very minimal reform" and much much more is needed. Conner says the Administration would actually like to see Direct Payments raised some- but then cuts in how the countercyclical part of the program works, a much lower ceiling in the amount of money a farmer may receive, and a drastically lower ceiling in the dollars a person can earn before he or she becomes ineligible for farm program payments. You can hear Conner's remarks that are on our Farm Bill page on the Website, WWW.OklahomaFarmReport.Com- plus we have them linked for you below.
Pushing and Shoving in the Cash Cattle Market.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~In the Regular Cow-Calf Corner offered by Glen Selk and Derrell Peel of OSU- Dr. Peel offers his thoughts about the red ink for the packers and the razor thin margins for the feedlots- he writes "Demand constraints continue to limit wholesale beef prices and add additional pressure to beef industry margins. Beef wholesale and retail markets appear to be stalled with continued weak macroeconomic news and mounting pressure from pork and poultry. Already weak wholesale pork prices, especially hams, coupled with recent weakness in chicken breast and wing prices is weighing on boxed beef prices. Pork production is up 3.1 percent for the year to date and the most recent week was 5.8 percent above the same week last year. The pressure is exaggerated even more by the unexpectedly strong beef slaughter rates recently and heavy carcass weights both of which are pushing up beef production. It appears that packers, already suffering from lousy margins, are making matters worse in the short run by jockeying aggressively for market share.
"The result is a vicious squeeze for feedlots and packers with a lot of pushing and shoving in the fed cattle market each week. There does not seem to be much relief in sight for packers. Beef demand will continue to be pressured the rest of the year with ample pork and poultry production. With South Korea back out of the beef market until 2008, there is little chance that export demand will come to the rescue. Current boxed beef values do not support fed cattle prices above the mid $80s yet packers are paying near $90 for fed cattle at this time.
"At the same time feedlots get little relief. Feeder cattle prices have weakened somewhat the past month but do not appear likely to move much lower. This year's record corn crop is nearly harvested and it is clear that feed prices will not be dropping much in the short run nor longer term. Corn futures for December 2008 have risen over 30 cents per bushel in the past month. Meanwhile, feedlots continue to sell fed cattle that were bought as very pricey feeders last summer, many of which have breakevens in the mid $90s yet they have been able to sell fed cattle around $90 at best. Both packers and feeders are taking punishment in the market and there seems little they can do about it for the time being except battle each week to see how the losses get split between them. The pushing and shoving will likely continue."
AgPreference Farmer & Rancher Forum Set for Next Week!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~He's back with his insights and strategic recommendations about where this business is going and how we best position ourselves to be ready. I am talking about Dr. David Kohl from Virginia Tech- the keynote speaker once again here in 2007 for the AgPreference 8th Annual Farmer and Rancher Forum that comes up November 14 at the Quartz Mountain Resort.
AgPreference ACA has brought Dr. Kohl in several times before- and his vision for what we are doing in agriculture is remarkable. The organizers of the event say that this event is designed for Farmers, Ranchers (and their spouses), Young Farmers, Senior Farmers, Farm/Ranch Families in Transition (Moving from one generation of management to another generation of managers), Farm and Ranch suppliers, Implement dealers, others interested and involved in farming and ranching. Dr. Kohl will address the group in the morning- a lunch is planned that is included in your registration and then an afternoon panel of some innovators in production agriculture as well as in ag lending will help bring the day into focus.
For more information on this conference, we have a link on our calendar page at WWW.OklahomaFarmReport.Com or you can call Diane Beach at AgPreference- her contact number is 1-800-727-3276.
The 2008 Oklahoma Wheat Crop in Fair to Good Shape Acorss Oklahoma.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The latest Oklahoma Crop Weather Update is out- and it shows we continue to lag in planting the 2008 Oklahoma Wheat Crop- and in getting it up to stand. 89% of the crop is now planted, with 68% of the crop emerged and up to a stand- both of those numbers well behind the five year average. The crop is rated 76% in fair to good condition around the state- with the driest of the wheat now "turning a yellowish color from low soil moisture levels in some areas."
As far as our spring planted crops are concerned the latest update reports "Three fourth's of soybeans were mature with 44 percent harvested by week's end. Ninety-five percent of grain sorghum had reached maturity with 70 percent of the harvest completed, both ahead of normal. Ninety-one percent of peanuts were dug, an increase of 17 points from last week. As of Sunday, 77 percent of the crop was combined, 11 points ahead of the five-year average. Forty percent of cotton was harvested by week's end, an increase of 16 points from the previous week."
This past week was a totally dry week for all of the state- and topsoil moisture conditions declined by several percentage points as a result. Subsoil moisture ratings declined by a small amount this week versus a week earlier, with 63% of the subsoil in adequate to surplus this week- it was 65% the week before and far far better than the 16% adequate ratings of this point in 2006. We have the full report linked below- read the other detaila for yourself.
Express Ranches Offering Stocker-Feeder and Commercial Female Sales This Week in Apache
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~It's the annual Express Ranches Customer Appreciation Sale tomorrow at 1:00 pm at the sale barn in Apache- featuring some 600 females, both bred heifers and young bred cows to sell on Wednesday.
Following their annual Customer Appreciation Sale- they go right back to Stockman-Oklahoma Sale Barn in Apache for the Express Select Stocker Feeder Auction this coming Friday at high noon. This offering will be a part of the regular Friday sale in Apache- this is designed as a sale date for folks to consign and sell "Express Genetics"- all Express sired and many backed by the Merial SUREHEALTH limited warranty.
There's not much available on these sales on the Express Ranches web site- but you can call for last minute information at 405--350-0044 in the Oklahoma City area or across the country toll free at 1-800-664- 3977.
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