~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Monday November 3, 2008!A service of Johnston Enterprises, KIS Futures and American Farmers & Ranchers!
-- Senator Obama Critical of Agriculture- Republican Farm Leaders Protest
-- Poultry Companies Ask Court to Dismiss Edmondson Lawsuit
-- Still More Questions Than Answers on ACRE as USDA Labors to Get 2008 Farm Law Implemented
-- Dr. Dicks and Sanders Will Offer Their Farm Bill Perspectives Tonight in El Reno
-- CAFO Final Rule Offered Up by EPA
-- Source Verification Program of the Angus Breed Rapidly Growing
-- This Week- TCFA in Grapevine- Election Day and Oklahoma Ag Expo
-- 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 American Farmers & Ranchers Mutual Insurance Company as a regular sponsor of our daily update- click here to go to their AFR web site to learn more about their efforts to serve rural America!
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Senator Obama Critical of Agriculture- Republican Farm Leaders Protest
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Several farm supporters of the McCain-Palin Presidential Ticket responded with anger and amazement over comments made in recent days by Democrat contender Barack Obama. The Senator made several statements that were spotlighted in a Friday article in the Des Moines Register that prompted the reaction from Iowa Senator Charles Grassley, Missouri Governor Roy Blunt and Missouri farmer Charlie Kruse (who happens to be the President of the Missouri Farm Bureau.)
The Register in their Friday story says "Barack Obama appeared to link farming with some of the nation's leading health problems, including obesity and heart disease, in a recent interview. Obama - citing an article by Michael Pollan, an author and outspoken critic of U.S. farm policy - told Time magazine that agriculture is "partly responsible for the explosion in our health care costs because they're contributing to type 2 diabetes, stroke and heart disease, obesity, all the things that are driving our huge explosion in health care costs."
In the Friday afternoon briefing for reporters, Grassley called the
comments by Obama as being "ludicrous" and that farmers should be
"thinking twice" about who they are going to vote for if Obama plans to
turn to a journalism professor from Cal-Berkeley for his farm policy
advice. Charlie Kruse said he is offended and that it is"a concern and
frightening that he would say these things about agriculture."
Poultry Companies Ask Court to Dismiss Edmondson Lawsuit
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The latest twist in the marathon legal battle between Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson and the Poultry industry over chicken litter in the Illinois River watershed came on Friday as the Poultry defendants have filed a motion for dismissal of the lawsuit because they are claiming the "legal owners" of the water in the watershed- the Cherokee Nation- did not join with Edmondson in the lawsuit.
"The state's complaint overlooks the well-established fact that the federal government transferred all of the water and other natural resources within the Oklahoma portion of the IRW (Illinois River Watershed) to the Cherokee Nation before Oklahoma became a state, and those natural resources remain the exclusive property of the Cherokee Nation today," according to the motion filed in U.S. District Court in Tulsa. "Indeed, the federal courts have previously rejected Oklahoma's claims that it owns or holds in trust the waters, streambeds and associated sediments previously granted to Indian Tribes." "The Attorney General is using natural resources that legally belong to the Cherokee Nation as a pawn in his politically-motivated lawsuit," said Jackie Cunningham, director of community relations for the Poultry Community Council. "We believe this is wrong, especially since he's trying to use these resources to win a damage award to help pay private lawyers working for him under an unlawful contingency fee agreement."
We have more on this motion by the Poultry Companies who are the defendants in this lawsuit- including the text of the motion filed with the court. Click on the link below for all of that.
Still More Questions Than Answers on ACRE as USDA Labors to Get 2008 Farm Law Implemented
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Congress gave the USDA a tough job when they concluded the writing of the 2008 farm law- it is a far more complicated law than its 2002 predecessor- and the lawmakers gave them less than half as much money to actually implement the law than they received in 2002. That was one of the things told members of the National Association of Wheat Growers as they were briefed by John Johnson, Deputy Administrator for the Farm Service Administration of USDA during their Fall Board of Directors Meeting in Dallas.
Johnson also told the NAWG attendees that in the case of both the SURE and ACRE programs, there is software to be written and both of these programs are months away from really going on line- at best. ACRE is still up in the air, with the USDA apparently now leaning to using the 2007/2008 crop years as the baseline to figure the safety net levels, but OMB is concerned about the cost of that option, and will make the final decision between 2006/2007 and the 2007/2008 levels for price triggers. The earliest that we could see signup for ACRE will likely be April, with any payments for 2009 crop coming after the end of the marketing year for crops.This means for those that hope for an ACRE payment, there is a major timeshift in when support comes- a major time lag. John Johnson spoke of the ACRE decision being irrevocable- and says that is for the life of the 2008 Farm Law only- it is USDA's read that the program as it is now written sunsets at the end of the 2008 law and that a farmer's obligations to ACRE are over at the end of the current farm program.
We talked with Darren Coppock about Johnson's comments and several other policy issues that NAWG is talking about in this meeting just before everything potentially changes in Washington with the general elections of this week. You can read more about what John Johnson offered the NAWG members- and hear Coppock's comments as well when you go to our website and read our top story of this Monday morning.
Dr. Dicks and Sanders Will Offer Their Farm Bill Perspectives Tonight in El Reno
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~How will the Farm Bill that was passed back during the summer affect your farming and ranching operations? What are the local impacts producers need to prepare for based on FSA and NRCS programs for 2009? These are questions that will be wrestled with tonight in Canadian County as Dr. Michael Dicks and Dr. Larry Sanders of the OSU Ag Economics Department will join local government representatives in explaining what is known to this point about the 2008 Farm Law.
This meeting will take place at 7:00 PM in the educational building on the Canadian County Fairgrounds, 220 North Country Club Road in El Reno. Call 405-262-0155 for directions or answers to any questions.
CAFO Final Rule Offered Up by EPA
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced final rules on Halloween for concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) "to protect the nation's water quality." EPA estimates that the new manure-management rules "will prevent 56 million pounds of phosphorus, 110 million pounds of nitrogen, and 2 billion pounds of sediment from entering streams, lakes, and other waters annually." In announcing the new rules, EPA Assistant Administrator for Water Benjamin H. Grumbles said Friday that "EPA's new regulation of animal feedlots sets a strong national standard for pollution prevention and environmental protection, while maintaining our country's economic and agricultural competitiveness. This clean water rule strengthens environmental safeguards by embracing a zero discharge standard and requiring site-specific management plans to prevent runoff of excess nutrients into our nation's waters."
As far as early reaction to the rule- the pork industry has issued a
news release saying "The CAFO regulation issued today is a tough but fair
rule and sets a standard that the U.S. pork industry has been and will
continue living up to," said NPPC Environment Committee Chairman Randy
Spronk, a pork producer from Edgerton, Minn. "Pork producers are ready to
comply with the new regulation."
Meanwhile, environmental activists call this a Halloweeen Horror- one
email that we received came from a group known as the Environmental
Integrity Project- they are saying in part "This "regulation" in fact
allows these industrial meat "farms" to avoid the Clean Water Act
altogether by certifying that they have taken voluntary action to avoid
discharging. These certifications would not be reviewable by federal or
state authorities under the final rule, which literally puts the foxes in
charge of their gigantic henhouses, as well as hog and dairy confinement
operations. EPA's final rule suggests that its action was required by a
recent federal court decision. In fact, the court and the law provide the
EPA with the tools to determine which animal confinements are likely to
pollute and therefore require permits. The rule makes it much harder for
the long-suffering neighbors of these factory farms to challenge
operations that pollute their rivers and streams by holding them
accountable under the Clean Water Act."
Source Verification Program of the Angus Breed Rapidly Growing
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Strong demand for Angus genetics and a continuing market for verified cattle led to a 24.8% increase in the number of cattle enrolled in AngusSource® during fiscal year 2008, which ended Sept. 30.
Data collected from Superior Livestock June- September 2008 indicates that cattle enrolled in age- and source-verified programs received $2.08 per hundredweight (cwt.) more than calves that were not source and age-verified. The data also suggested that calves enrolled in AngusSource had a $1.29-per- cwt. advantage over other source- and age-verified programs, bringing the total value of AngusSource enrollment to $3.37 per cwt.
AngusSource, which recently celebrated its third anniversary, is a U.S. Department of Agriculture process-verified program (PVP) for Angus-sired cattle. Operated by the American Angus Association, the program began in October 2005 and documents source, age and a minimum of 50% Angus genetics. "Every facet of the program grew during fiscal year 2008," says Sara Snider, director of AngusSource. "The average size of each enrollment increased to 146 head, pushing the enrollment numbers this year to more than 113,000 head."
This Week- TCFA in Grapevine- Election Day and Oklahoma Ag Expo
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We are in Grapevine, Tx this morning for the 2008 Texas Cattle Feeders Association convention - will be listening and reporting on the mood of the cattle industry today and tomorrow- and we will have reports that a service in part of Hudson Livestock Supplements. In particular, we look forward to visiting with Andy Grosetta- President of the NCBA as well as hearing the Packer Panel to talk about the state of the industry from the Big Three Packers Point of View.
Tuesday- as you well know- is Election Day. We plan on watching both the local and state races that will have major impact on rural Oklahoma- and report on those for you on Wednesday morning- we may do a couple of emails on Wednesday in order to get to everything that may need to be reported- we shall see how that plays out. For reports as they unfold Tuesday evening- check on our website, WWW.OklahomaFarmReport.Com for that ongoing coverage that looks at the races through agriculture's eyes.
Finally, on Wednesday and Thursday- we look forward to spending some time at the Oklahoma Ag Expo- we'll tell you a little more about their program tomorrow morning- but it looks like a good one for 2008- with lots of continuing education credits available along the way- they will meet as they have in recent years at the Clarion Hotel and Conference Center at I-40 and Meridian in Oklahoma City.
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