~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Wednesday July 30, 2008!A service of Producers Cooperative Oil Mill, Farm Credit Associations of Oklahoma and Midwest Farm Shows!
-- You Have to Pay the Penalty if You Want Out Early from CRP.
-- WTO Talks Collapse- But Are Not Over.
-- Senator Inhofe Moves on to the November general election with ease.
-- Speaking of the Senator- AFR Applauds Inhofe and Lucas for Seeking Legislative Fix Regarding Critical Feed Use
-- OSU Biofuels Center Becoming a Reality
-- Congrats to Don Schieber as He Officially Takes a Spot on the USW Officer Team
-- Special Coverage Later Today From the Wheat Technology Conference in Downtown OKC
-- Let's Check the Markets!
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You Have to Pay the Penalty if You Want Out Early from CRP.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Secretary of Agriculture Ed Schafer has announced on Tuesday afternoon that there will be no "early out" for contract holders of the Conservation Reserve Program- he cited expectations for an adequate corn crop in 2008 and the further expectation that millions of acres may opt out of CRP as those contracts end.
Schafer says that this September 2.1 million acres will be up for renewal, September 2009 will see 2.8 million acres up for renewal and September 2010 4.4 million acres will see the end of their current contract- and could either exit the program or be "re-upped." Schafer adds that 50% more acres of land this year versus last year came out early from the CRP, with landowners willing to accept the penalties that are now in place.
We have the Secretary's full statement he offered reporters on Tuesday linked on our website- the link to that is below.
WTO Talks Collapse- But Are Not Over.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Tuesday in Geneva, after what has been described as long hours of hard talking, WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy announced that ministers have "failed" in their effort to agree on blueprint agreements in agriculture and industrial products. He said that out of a to-do list of 20 topics, 18 had seen positions converge but the gaps could not narrow on the 19th - the special safeguard mechanism for developing countries.
But the talks are not over. Lamy gave the ministers overnight to "cool
off" and come back for more discussions.
The National Cotton Council really felt like they have dodged a bullet. Cotton has been singled out as especially a problem for poor African countries- and the agreement had been made to cut cotton subsidies faster and further than other commodities. The Council said in their statement "We applaud Ambassador Schwab for refusing to settle for a bad agreement. We are encouraged that the United States held firm to its commitment to U.S. agriculture. We also believe that U.S. negotiators were justified in their criticism of China and India for those countries' insistence on allowances to raise agricultural tariffs above current levels."
Senator Inhofe Moves on to the November general election with ease.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Senator Jim Inhofe wins the Republican primary for the US Senate Seat he has held for two terms- beating back three challengers with 81% of the vote. Senator Inhofe will have a Democratic opponent in the fall- and that will be Andrew Rice, who dispatched Jim Rogers with 59% of the Democratic vote that turned out statewide last night.
Two of the five Congressmen that represent Oklahoma had primary night challenges- with Dan Boren beating Kevin Coleman with 85% of the vote, and First District lawmaker John Sullivan securing almost 92% of the vote in winning the right to face Democrat Georgianna Oliver who won the Democratic nod in the First District with 55% of the vote.
A couple of state House races were probably of interest to agricultural
interests. One of only two incumbents in the House that had a primary
challenge was Republican Chris Benge- and he wins his race with 80% of the
vote over Brian Jackson.
Speaking of the Senator- AFR Applauds Inhofe and Lucas for Seeking Legislative Fix Regarding Critical Feed Use
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~"We are very proud of the legislation that Senator James Inhofe introduced addressing the Critical Feed Use (CFU) restrictions for Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) lands," said Ray L. Wulf, President and CEO of American Farmers & Ranchers. "Senator Inhofe has always been a friend of agriculture and this is just another example of his support." The CFU initiative has been delayed by a lawsuit filed by the National Wildlife Federation. The legislation introduced last week by Senator Inhofe will help allow full participation in the CFU initiative on CRP acres. This move follows a bill that was introduced in the House of Representatives and is fully supported by Congressman Frank Lucas.
It is AFR's contention that more Oklahoma land owners were preparing to apply for the Critical Feed Use program and the judge in Seattle eliminates taht as a possibility in a year where the forage is badly needed by many. We have ranchers that were waiting for approval or had appointments set up to enroll in the days after the Temporary Restraining Order that are now left with arbitrary stipulations," said Ray Wulf.
Last weeks ruling allows applicants approved for the CFU initiative prior to the original temporary restraining order to participate as it was announced by USDA, allowing for haying and grazing until November 10 (approximately 200,000 acres). However, for those producers who had pending applications prior to the temporary restraining order the rules have now changed. Once they are approved for the program they will be allowed haying until September 30 and grazing until October 15 (approximately 153,000 acres). Anyone who applies to participate in the CFU and can demonstrate detrimental reliance, by having expended $4,500 or more, may be approved for and participate in the CFU but also must end haying activity by September 30 and grazing activity by October 15. Wulf went on to say "All of this has lead to wasted time and more paper work when our producers desperately needed their CRP lands for haying and grazing."
OSU Biofuels Center Becoming a Reality
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma State University's Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources is creating a new Biobased Products and Energy Center to better meet ever-increasing demands for the division's scientific expertise regarding biofuels, said Robert E. Whitson, DASNR dean and director and OSU vice president of agricultural programs.
Division officials view the center as the next logical step in focusing multi-disciplinary efforts related to biofuels development not only within DASNR but across the state and nation. "The main activity of the center will be to coordinate and provide leadership for the division's bioenergy programs and serve as a liaison with the bioenergy industry," said Bob Westerman, DASNR assistant vice president for program support. Westerman said key areas of emphasis will be identifying and developing biomass feedstock sources; logistics of harvest, handling and transport of feedstock and processed value-added products; development and enhancement of efficient biomass conversion processes and technology; increased efficiency in biobased fuels, materials and products; marketing and contractual assistance; and the determination of economic, social and environmental effects.
Ray Huhnke, OSU Cooperative Extension biosystems engineer with the
division's department of biosystems and agricultural engineering, will
serve as center director. In addition to his center duties, Huhnke will
continue to serve as coordinator of the multi-college, multi-
institutional OSU Biofuels Team. The team is comprised of scientists and
engineers within the division; the OSU College of Engineering,
Architecture and Technology; the University of Oklahoma; Mississippi State
University and Brigham Young University.
Congrats to Don Schieber as He Officially Takes a Spot on the USW Officer Team
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~USW is the US Wheat Associates- the market promotion arm overseas for US wheat producers- and at their summer board meeting that was held in Kansas City in the last few days- they moved the folks through their officer chairs, including Oklahoma wheat producer Don Schieber of Ponca City, who is now officially their Secretary-Treasurer.
The U.S. Wheat Associates Board of Directors honored wheat producer Ron Suppes, Dighton, Kan., as he turned over the Chairman's gavel to Michael Edgar, Yuma, Arizona. Also at the meeting, Janice Mattson, Chester, Montana, assumed the duties of Vice Chairman, while Don Schieber assumed the Secretary-Treasurer position.
USW is the industry's export market development organization funded by America's wheat producers and through cost-share funding provided by USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service. The organization elects officers for the next marketing year (June-May) at its Winter Board Meeting.
Special Coverage Later Today From the Wheat Technology Conference in Downtown OKC
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The 5th Annual Wheat Technology Meeting put on the Bayer Crop Science folks is today in Oklahoma City- and it will feature not only Bayer Crop Science presenters on the latest regarding their products for us in winter wheat here in the southern plains- but also an impressive lineup of University specialists from OSU, Kansas State and Texas A&M.
We plan on posting several stories on our website as the day goes by- and updating you on subjects like weed and insect control strategies, soil fertility and resistance issues found here in the southern plains.
Be on the lookout for those stories from the Seminar later today on WWW.OklahomaFarmReport.Com.
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