~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Thursday September 18, 2008!A service of American Farmers & Ranchers, Johnston Enterprises and KIS Futures!
-- NFU, R-Calf and US Cattlemen All Agree- USDA Should Mandate USA Label
-- No Vote on Horse Transport Legislation
-- Meanwhile- PETA Releases Another Ag Animal Video- This Time It's Showing Swine Abuse
-- Cattle on Feed Numbers Out Friday Afternoon
-- Groups Tell USDA- You Got the Power!
-- Tax Policy Overhaul Almost Certain in 2009
-- State Women's Conference- State Fair Beef Cattle Shows- All on the Calendar.
-- Looking at our Agricultural Markets...
Here's your morning farm news headlines from the Director of Farm Programming for the Radio Oklahoma Network, Ron Hays. We are proud to have KIS Futures as a regular sponsor of our daily E-Mail. KIS Futures provides Oklahoma Farmers & Ranchers with futures & options hedging services in the livestock and grain markets- Click here for their recent TV Commercial or call them at 1-800-256-2555.
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NFU, R-Calf and US Cattlemen All Agree- USDA Should Mandate USA Label
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~National Farmers Union today expressed disappointment in the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) interpretation of the country of origin labeling (COOL) provision in the 2008 Farm Bill and urged the department to immediately reinterpret the provision. COOL is scheduled to go into effect October 1, 2008. NFU was joined by R-CALF USA and the U.S. Cattlemen's Association in a letter to USDA Secretary Schafer expressing concern over reports large meat processors intend to circumvent both the intent and letter of the labeling law.
"The law clearly states that products born, raised and slaughtered in the United States are to be labeled as a product of the United States. Despite this clear language, USDA's rules will allow packers to label exclusively American products with those from other countries," NFU President Tom Buis said. The farm bill language explicitly states exclusively born, raised and processed U.S. animals cannot be used in the multiple country category (category 2).
"USDA has created a loophole big enough to drive a truck through,
violating the spirit, letter and intent of the law and deceiving consumers
who have consistently shown support for buying U.S. products," Buis said.
"This is about truth in labeling."
No Vote on Horse Transport Legislation
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The website Farm Futures is reporting that the House Judiciary Committee met Wednesday morning to mark-up H.R. 6598, the Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act. Originally the bill was to be addressed last Wednesday but was pushed back a week. The committee did consider the bill, but no vote on the measure was taken before the committee adjourned. Much of the horse industry, including the American Veterinary Medical Association, American Association of Equine Practitioners, and the American Quarter Horse Association, are opposed to the legislation. These groups say that instead of protecting the welfare of horses, the bill will actually cause greater problems, doing more harm to horses than protecting them.
According to a Judiciary Committee spokesperson, no decision has
been made as to when the bill will be voted on.
That "whoever" is apparently the Humane Society of the US and their founder Wayne Pacelle, who called a House Agriculture subcommittee meeting he appeared before last year "sophomoric" and signaled at that time his intention to take even "modest" animal rights proposals on an end run around the germane committee- namely the Agriculture Committee.
Steve Dittmer wrote in his latest email on this subject late Tuesday about the antics of the head of the HSUS- both now and looking back to May of 2007: "apparently, this route for H.R. 6598 is one of Pacelle's end runs. His testimony last year covered production animal agriculture, like laying hens, gestation crates, veal calves, foie gras and downer animals, as well as poultry slaughter and dog and cat issues. Pacelle was promoting legislation even then that used the power of the federal government's food purchasing, for programs like the school lunch program, to force back door changes in animal production practices. The bill would have required producers to not use certain production practices if it wished to sell to the federal government (H.R. 1726- Farm Animal Stewardship Purchasing Act). The bill did not make it out of committee. "
Meanwhile- PETA Releases Another Ag Animal Video- This Time It's Showing Swine Abuse
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is out with another video. The PETA web site says the video was shot at an Iowa pig factory farm which supplies piglets who are raised and killed for Hormel products. The PETA web site also says the farm changed ownership and management during PETA's investigation. But, abuse and neglect were widespread during PETA's entire investigation.
The owners of the farm in question say they are taking immediate steps to correct the problems at the Bayard, Iowa, facility they purchased on August 18th. Representatives of the owners met Wednesday morning with PETA staff members to discuss specific corrective steps.
The pork industry is paying attention. The National Pork Producers Council is concerned that PETA did not alert the proper authorities about the abuse in a timely manner. And, Steve Weaver, President of the National Pork Board, encourages anyone having knowledge of the possible mistreatment of animals to bring that immediately to the attention of the responsible persons. We have the industry's response to the video released by PETA- as well as the link to the released video from the organization- all on a webstory on our website. Click on the link below to jump to that story.
Cattle on Feed Numbers Out Friday Afternoon
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~There are widely differing views on how the numbers will fall Friday afternoon in the monthly Cattle on Feed report to be released by USDA at 2 PM central time.
The big disagreement is over the placement number- with Dow Jones citing a range of guesses on the placements among analysts they contacted from 92.9% of a year ago to 105.5% of last August. A ten point spread in guesses is not unusual- but a twelve to thirteen percent spread makes it tough to zero in on what the report likely will tell us. All of the analysts agree that marketings were well under a year ago- with fewer kill days available in August of 2008 versus 2007.
Pre report average guesses show the expectations of 97.9% of a year ago on the total number of cattle on feed here in the US, 100.2% placements of a year ago- August to August and 90.3% marketings compared to one year ago.
Groups Tell USDA- You Got the Power!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Several farm groups have asked Secretary of Agriculture Ed Schafer to have USDA help keep farmers liquid while trying to survive the latest storm damage from Hurricane Gustav. After coming ashore, Gustav turned into a tropical storm that dumped many inches of precipitation across several south central and Midwestern states.
And, that does not even count the additional damage seen from Hurricane Ike- as he moved from Galveston up through Texas, Arkansas and then across portions of southern Missouri, Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio.
The groups believe USDA has the legal authority to establish a temporary loan guarantee program. The program would insure efficient marketing of farm commodities in the event of a liquidity melt-down.
We have audio comments with Randy Gordon of the National Grain and Feed Association, who joined with the American Farm Bureau, the National Farmers Union and a whole host of commodity organizations in sending the letter to USDA. Click below for that story and audio found on our website.
Tax Policy Overhaul Almost Certain in 2009
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~That's the assessment of Gregg Doud, Chief Economist of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association who is the dean of the Washington office of the organization, after recent departures makes him the one who has been in the employ of the group the longest. We wrap up our four day conversation with him on our Thursday Beef Buzz.
Our final day with Doud touches on the sensitive topic of taxes- and the reality that now that we will be reading 2009 on the calendar in just a matter of a few more months- the Bush tax cuts have to be addressed by the next Congress and the next President. Doud says that includes Estate Taxes, a longer term fix on the AMT, Capital Gains and more. And he says that politicians have to be honest about our trade policy. Doud contends that while some are out campaigning about the need to renegotiate this or that deal- he thinks we need to rethink the burden of regulations that we place on our businesses which make us less competitive- and as a result, less able to fully exploit the benefits of trade deals we already have in place.
The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the state on the Radio Oklahoma Network- and can be found on our website as well. We have a link for you to follow below that will take you to the main Beef Buzz page- today's Beef Buzz with Gregg Doud is at the top- but the next three listed in the Buzz list are our previous segments of our talk with Gregg about a wide range of subjects. Check one or more of them out.
State Women's Conference- State Fair Beef Cattle Shows- All on the Calendar.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Check our calendar for details on the 5th annual Oklahoma Woman's Conference on Agriculture that is underway today and tomorrow- as well as the multiple Beef Cattle shows that happen today through the weekend at State Fair Park as a part of the 2008 State Fair of Oklahoma.
One thing we are pulling off of our calendar is the TSCRA Fall Board meeting that was planned for Tyler, Texas over the weekend- they have canceled that event out of respect of so many of their cattle producer members that are still fighting the conditions left by Hurricane Ike.
Remember- please send us your calendar items as well as other feedback
to me at the email address at the bottom of the email. We want to help
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We also invite you to check out our website at the link below to check out an archive of these daily emails, audio reports and top farm news story links from around the globe.
Looking at our Agricultural Markets...
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Crude Oil is bouncing back quickly, after falling to under $92 early in the week as the Wall Street meltdown began- it jumped $6.01 a barrel yesterday and now early this morning, it's up another $2.57 a barrel to $99.73.
We also have the OKC West El Reno Cattle Market report for you by clicking here- they had 3565 cattle with prices $2-$3 lower with lots of worry about the state of the economy.
Here are some links we will leave in place on an ongoing basis- Click
on the name of the report to go to that link:
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