~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Tuesday April 8, 2008!A service of Farm Credit of East Central Oklahoma, KIS Futures & the Southern Plains Farm Show!
-- Despite Democratic Opposition- President Bush Sends Columbian FTA to the Hill!
-- Time Magazine Called Out for "inaccurate" reporting Over their Cover Story on Corn and Ethanol.
-- Wheat Crop Remains About a Week Behind Normal- Based on Latest Crop Weather Update.
-- Food Insecurity As Big a Problem and Perhaps More Real Than Global Warming!
-- Cotton Meeting Set for Thursday in Altus...
-- Dr. Dan Badger Celebration Set for this Sunday...
-- If Framework and Funding Done- USDA and Administration would accept one more short Farm Bill Extension.
-- Let's Check the 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 website or call them at 1-800-256-2555.
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Despite Democratic Opposition- President Bush Sends Columbian FTA to the Hill!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~After 16 months, President George W. Bush officially sends legislation to implement the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement to Congress later today as the House convenes for the week. The agreement would tear down trade barriers between the two nations - but it is heavily opposed by Democrats in Congress who contend Colombia has not done enough to halt violence, protect labor activists and demobilize paramilitary organizations. Congress has 90 days to vote on the proposal.
In economic terms, the deal would largely open up the Colombian markets for American goods without many of the duties that now exist. Under the Constitution, the House must act first because the measure would affect revenue. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi earlier advised the White House not to send the legislation to Congress. House GOP members are asking for a vote on the pact as soon as possible.
Secretary of Agriculture Ed Schafer says Congress needs to move forward with approving the U.S. Colombia Free Trade Agreement. He says - without implementation, American farmers loose. He adds - it is time for fair and equal two-way trade with Colombia and it's the right thing to do for America's economy and for American farmers. Colombia is the largest market for U.S. agriculture exports in South America. In 2007, the United States exported a record 1.2 billion dollars of agricultural products to Colombia. However - according to the Secretary - current tariffs between the United States and Colombia are one-sided, as 99.9 percent of Colombian food and agricultural exports enter into the United States duty-free. As it stands right now, no U.S. agricultural exports to Colombia receive duty-free treatment.
We have seen support signaled by the National Pork Producers and the National Cattlemen's Beef Association- but at least one livestock group is totally against the FTA- and that is (you guessed it) R-Calf USA. They object to the deal based on what they call food safety concerns. "The Colombia FTA would limit inspections and safety requirements for food imported into the U.S. from there, as this FTA speeds up the implementation of mechanisms to facilitate trade rules, including 'equivalence determinations' that require the U.S. to permit imports of meat and poultry products that do not meet U.S. safety standards," said R-CALF USA Region VII Director Eric Nelson, who also co-chairs the group's trade committee.
Time Magazine Called Out for "inaccurate" reporting Over their Cover Story on Corn and Ethanol.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Responding to widespread inaccuracies in this week's Time magazine cover story, the 25x'25 National Steering Committee has sent a letter to the editors of Time expressing disappointment with the questionable characterization of biofuels and their role in the issue of greenhouse gas emissions in "The Clean Energy Scam," by Michael Grunwald. The letter was authored by steering committee member and former Congressman Thomas W. Ewing, who is also the Immediate Past Chairman of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Department of Energy Biomass Research and Development Technical Advisory Committee. A set of talking points has also been developed that addresses point-for-point the misconceptions and inaccuracies found in the Time article.
At the top of the talking points, the 25X25 group says "25x'25 rejects the premise set forth in "A Clean Energy Scam," a story featured on the cover of Time magazine (dated April 7, 2008) and written by Michael Grunwald that perpetuates negative misconceptions about the role of biofuel production in greenhouse gas emissions. The story also fails to take into account other credible points of view."
We have the complete set of talking points linked below, which looks at ten major points trotted out by the Time article, with each of those points then taken on by the 25X25 organization.
Wheat Crop Remains About a Week Behind Normal- Based on Latest Crop Weather Update.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Oklahoma Panhandle has been left behind in the dust- with little precipitation reported over the last week once again- that according to the latest Oklahoma Crop Weather Update. However, the main body of the state is seeing moisture continue to fall- and the winter wheat crop and pasture conditions both continue to improve as we warm up in these early spring days.
The report indicates that for the winter wheat crop "Small grain crops
in the Panhandle desperately need moisture with wind erosion affecting
some dryland wheat fields. However, in other areas of the State where soil
moisture was adequate, wheat conditions have improved with the moderately
warm temperatures. Winter wheat jointing was at 67 percent, up 17 points
from the previous week, but 13 points behind the five-year average. A
small percentage of the State's wheat crop was heading by week's end."
For our spring planted crops, our state crop watchers report "Seedbed
preparations remained ahead of normal for corn, soybeans, peanuts, and
cotton. Corn seedbed prepared was up 12 points from the previous week, and
running five points ahead of normal. Corn planted was up six points from
the previous week at 20 percent, but remained 15 points behind last year.
By week's end, a small percentage of the State's corn crop had emerged.
Sorghum seedbed prepared was at 25 percent, four points behind normal.
Sorghum was being planted in a few isolated areas. Soybeans seedbed
prepared, at 39 percent, was running four points ahead of normal. Peanuts
seedbed prepared, at 47 percent, was up 14 points from the previous week.
Cotton seedbed prepared was up 14 points from the previous week to reach
Food Insecurity As Big a Problem and Perhaps More Real Than Global Warming!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Food prices jumped 40% globally in 2007, and now the British government's chief scientific adviser, John Beddington, says food insecurity is a problem as dire as global warming. Beddington believes that that due to a combination of decreased rainfall, extreme weather events linked to climate change, and a world population expected to grow from six to nine billion by 2050, many developing countries may be staring into the abyss- and this time the richest countries may be too worried about their own food supplies to help out.
Lennar Bage, president of the United Nation's agricultural development financing arm, said biotechnology and other agricultural R&D are desperately needed. While many news reports suggest the first policy casualty of the food crisis could be ambitious goals for biofuels, which currently depend on grain, sugar and oils. The Agricultural Retailers Association here in the United State believes that the global food demand does not take into account the expanded growth in the world's population or that third-world countries' are becoming second-world countries.
The ARA also believes that biofuels are not the blame for food cost
increases. The dramatic increase in meat consumption in China has more to
do with America's food price increases than ethanol.
Cotton Meeting Set for Thursday in Altus...
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~OKLAHOMA AND NORTH TEXAS cotton producers are invited to attend a meeting on cotton pest control, plant mapping and growth regulators at 9:30 a.m., Thursday, April 10, 2008, at the OSU Southwest Research and Extension Center south of Altus. Dr. J.C. Banks, center director and OSU Extension state cotton specialist, asks all interested persons to RSVP immediately. "We will have a free lunch after the meeting, so we need to know how many will be attending." Dr. Banks said.
People planning to attend should email email@example.com or call 580-482-8880 to reserve their spot.
A presentation on cotton plant mapping will be given by Shane Osborne as the meeting gets underway Thursday morning. Cotton seedling diseases and early/midseason insect problems will be subjects covered by Terry Pitts. Pitts' subject matter will include diseases and fungicide seed treatments, cotton planting dates and cold chilling injury and insects, seed treatment and plant bug management. Control and cutout of mid and late season worms will be explained by Jerry Goodson. Beet armyworms, fall armyworms and budworms are all pests Goodson will cover. Growth regulator use and application will be discussed by Dr. J.C. Banks.
Besides this Cotton Conference later this week, there are a world of events coming up over the next three to four weeks- and we have many of them listed on our calendar page at WWW.OklahomaFarmReport.Com. One of the newest listings we have added is the annual Langston University Meat Goat Field Day coming up on April 26. Our link to the calendar page is below- take a look at events coming up- there are likely several you may want to take advantage of.
Dr. Dan Badger Celebration Set for this Sunday...
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Dr. Dan Badger served as a faculty member in the Department of Agricultural Economics from 1964 to 1990. He passed away this past February. Some of his friends in the OSU Ag Economics Department are hosting a "celebration" of Dr. Badger's life on Sunday, April 13, 2008 beginning at 12:30 pm (Conoco Phillips Alumni Center).
The Head of the Ag Economics Department, Dr. Mike Woods, explains the reason for the date of this celebration on the OSU Ag Econ website. "This Sunday, April 13, would have been Dan's 75th birthday, and we believe it's the ideal time to celebrate the fullness of his life. A reception with birthday cake and punch will be held at 12:30 p.m. followed by a celebration of life service at 1:15 p.m. We are pleased that Dan's wife of 51 years, Betty Jo, and their sons- Dan Jr., Sam, David-and daughter Jane will join us from their homes in Texas and Florida."
We have the invitation on the website linked below for your information.
If Framework and Funding Done- USDA and Administration would accept one more short Farm Bill Extension.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~USDA Secretary Ed Schafer told Ag Journalists in Washington on Monday that he would be willing to accept one more short term farm bill extension of the 2002 law- if we have the major framework in place, funding has been signed off on by all parties- and it's down to the mechanics of getting the bill through the pipeline.
However, if we still don't have a deal on reforms and funding, April 18 is a date that should be the tipping point to push us toward a one or two year extension of current law.
Schafer told the Journalists that he would be willing to accept a
Permanent Disaster Program as part of the safety net- but adds the worry
is that these payments would be considered "amber box" under current WTO
rules- and could be counted against the US as trade distorting
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Let's Check the Markets!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Wheat was the leader to the downside on Monday- with Kansas City Hard Red Winter Wheat futures slid 41 to 49 cents per bushel in daytime trade.
Meanwhile, the Oklahoma National Stockyards had 7500 to sell on Monday, with better prices than a week ago on stocker weights and yearlings, and steady to two dollars cheaper on calves. Click here for the link to the Oklahoma National Stockyards report.
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