~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Monday March 3, 2008!A service of Farm Credit of East Central Oklahoma, KIS Futures & Midwest Farm Shows
-- Ag Secretary Schafer Confident That a Farm Bill Deal Will Come Together...
-- NFU Invades Sin City and Gets a Live Update From Inside the Washington Beltway on Sunday Night...
-- The Wheat Priorities from Outgoing NAWG President John Thaemert of Kansas
-- Was the Humane Society of the US truthful in their testimony to Congress???
-- Glover Cattle Company Purebred Sale Set for this Wednesday.
-- Beef Buzzing with Secretary Schafer, Randy Blach, Kevin Good and Andy Grosetta!!!
-- China- 2008 versus 1984!!!
Here's your morning farm news headlines from the Director of Farm Programming for the Radio Oklahoma Network, Ron Hays. We are proud to welcome 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 website or call them at 1-800-256-2555.
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Ag Secretary Schafer Confident That a Farm Bill Deal Will Come Together...
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Speaking to the Commodity Classic in Nashville, Ag Secretary Ed Schafer offered his optimistic take on the 2007-2008 Farm Bill Standoff by saying he thinks that we will find a way to get a bill done that both bodies of Congress will approve and that will be acceptable to the White House.
He did tell reporters on Friday midday that comments by Senator Tom Harkin that the Administration is not being cooperative in helping find suitable budget offsets for increased farm bill spending actually means that the Admninistration has offered no offsets that Senator Harkin defines as "suitable." Schafer says the reality is that all three sides are offering budget offsets and that the trick is to find a mix that all three sides can live with and adds up to enough to pay for increased levels of spending above the budget baseline- whatever that number finally is.
Secretary Schafer did talk a little about the Beef Recall from the
Westland plant in California as well- he treaded lightly around any
criticism of the Humane Society of the US- praising them for offering the
video "evidence" of abuse of the downer cows in the pictures they took. He
did not offer any thoughts on the revelation that the Humane Society may
well have lied to Congress as to the reason they did not offer the video
promptly to USDA officials to prevent months of abuse to continue at that
now closed plant.
NFU Invades Sin City and Gets a Live Update From Inside the Washington Beltway on Sunday Night...
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~With the Farm Bill Discussions at a critical juncture, House Ag Committee Chairman Colin Peterson of Minnesota elected to stay in Washington and not travel to Las Vegas to keynote the opening banquet of the National Farmers Union. However, NFU members got a real time update from the ongoing negotiations and word that the Bush Administration seems to be caving on several key demands at this point in the talks. Peterson shared with the group a letter that some media outlets had earlier on Sunday from USDA that signals a willingness to go along with $10 billion above the budget baseline- and to back off the extreme AGI payment limits cap of $200,000 annually- now the Administration is talking a $500,000 cap- something the House Ag Committee has had as part of their plan. The Administration is still demanding real reform beyond that given the House Ag Committee Leadership back earlier in February when Peterson and Bob Goodlatte first proposed a measure that was loudly condemned for being too Draconian at six billion dollars above the budget baseline.
Peterson did take potshots at the Administration for some of their "offset" ideas. For example, the Administration is proposing limits on payments for Oxygen reimbursement under medicare- something that Peterson expressed disgust about- and Tom Buis added his unhappiness about in reaction after the Peterson presentation.
Peterson did say that if they can come to an agreement in general of
how the money is to be offset- and how the monies are to be divided up
between the various titles- he expects the Staffs to work over the Easter
Recess the second half of March- and that Congress can return and pass a
final farm bill version in early April in time to make an April 15
deadline- adding that he would support another thirty day extension to
preserve budget baseline dollars till mid April to make all of this work.
The Wheat Priorities from Outgoing NAWG President John Thaemert of Kansas
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The National Association of Wheat Growers had their time with the media late on Friday afternoon- which limited coverage of their news conference- but we were there in Nashville and heard from John Thaemert- outgoing President of NAWG.
The Kansas wheat farmer spoke of the need to get a farm bill done NOW- and he also defended Direct Payments and deplored the idea of cutting funding to crop insurance- he indicated the combination of a direct payment plus crop insurance has acted as a good safety net for many wheat producers who have had crop failures during the life of the 2002 farm bill- and he says that wheat has different risk compared to many of the row crops- and has to have that Direct Payment to have some certainty in the ups and downs of wheat production.
He also spoke of the wheat industry being at risk because of not having transgenic wheat accepted by domestic and international customers. The wheat industry feels they are slipping behind in the ability to capture a share of the overall US acreage because other crops that have biotech traits can be grown more economically on a per unit basis than wheat can.
Was the Humane Society of the US truthful in their testimony to Congress???
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Maybe not. The meat industry website Meatingplace.com reported at the end of this past week that the District Attorney that has jurisdiction in Chino, California where the Westland beef processing plant is located is saying that they never told HSUS to not talk to USDA about the video they had secretly shot in the meat processing firm. In fact, the Meatingplace story says the DA's office recommended that HSUS should consult with USDA on the Downer Cow video.
The Meatingplace report says "There was never any suggestion that (HSUS) not speak with USDA. That was never our advice to them. In fact, we did recommend to them that they speak with USDA," San Bernardino County Assistant District Attorney for Criminal Operations Dennis Christy told Meatingplace.com in a telephone interview. Christy's statements counter testimony that HSUS Public Health Director Michael Greger gave at a House subcommittee hearing. He said the group withheld the video at the request of the district attorney's office."
It's interesting that the story adds that the Humane Society did not want to include USDA in their dealings with the DA's office as the public attorney's interviewed the informant working for the Humane Society. It appears that the Humane Society was not interested in getting any abuse addressed inside the plant as they were not willing to bring the video to USDA, the government entity that could have dealt with the issue almost instantly.
Glover Cattle Company Purebred Sale Set for this Wednesday.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~National Cattle Services is helping put on the Glover Cattle Company Angus Bull Sale on this Wednesday, March 5, 2008 at 12:30 p.m. It will be held at the Stockman- Oklahoma Livestock Auction, Apache, Ok
Ronnie Glover will be selling 85 registered Angus bulls. All cattle will be at Auction barn by noon tomorrow for your inspection! Prior to that time they can be seen at the ranch, located 3 miles w of Elgin on US Hwy 277 to Jake Dunn Rd, 1 1/4 miles s. For more information on these cattle, call Ronnie Glover at 580/595-1494 or Eddie Sims- his number is 580/595- 1626 .
We have the link on the National Cattle Services website for the catalog for this sale of the Glover Cattle Company- Click and check it out.
Beef Buzzing with Secretary Schafer, Randy Blach, Kevin Good and Andy Grosetta!!!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~One of the issues brought up by the media in talking with Secretary Schafer on Friday while he was at the Commodity Classic in Nashville was the fallout of the Class 2 Beef Recall from the Hallmark/Westland plant in Chino, California.
Schafer told us from the question that we raised that he thinks this downer cow incident video taped by the Humane society was an isolated case- but that USDA is doing an audit of other processing plants to verify that.
He also believes that they will do a better job in monitoring the movement of older cows into slaughter in the days ahead because of this incident. You can hear the Secretary's comments on our Monday edition of the Beef Buzz, heard on great radio stations that are a part of the Radio Oklahoma Network. We also have it linked on our website on our Beef Buzz page- and invite you to check out not just this Beef Buzz- but also the programs from the last two weeks that are finally up on the Beef Buzz page at WWW.OklahomaFarmReport.Com.
We have them listed by date- and the week of February 18, we have Beef
Buzz shows with Andy Grosetta, new President of the NCBA and Kevin Good of
Cattlefax. The week of February 25- all five shows are with Randy Blach-
and if you want some of the best insights on where the Beef Cattle
Industry is today that are available anywhere at any price- go listen to
these five Beef Buzz reports.
China- 2008 versus 1984!!!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We have concluded our journey to China and to Korea with Class 13 of the Oklahoma Ag Leadership Program. I want to thank Dr. Joe Williams, Director of the Program, for allowing me to join the class in these travels- and a thank you to the class for making both Dr. Jim Trapp of OSU and myself feel welcome and a part of their group during our almost two weeks together.
As we wrap up our coverage of this event- I wanted to offer you five
areas of differences that stick out to me in comparing China in 1984 when
I traveled there with Class One of this Program versus China here in 2008.
THREE- Modern Transportation. I remember when we arrived in
Beijing in 1984 seeing a small 1940ish truck pulling luggage carts around
on the tarmac outside our plane. It was also seeing folks traveling mostly
on foot or by bicycle. My, how things have changed as the Beijing airport
was brand new- with their new terminal opening right after we left- and
the Shanghai airport a magnificent structure that looked like two massive
sea gulls. There were cars everywhere- millions in Beijing when there were
probably not 50,000 when we were there in 1984. Add to that modern buses
and subways- a lot of people are getting around in very modern
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