~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Wednesday May 7, 2008!A service of The Oklahoma Bioenergy Center, Midwest Farm Shows and KIS Futures.
-- Congressman Lucas Agrees With the Description SAGA for this 2008 Farm Bill End Game.
-- Senate Hearings on Packer Concentration and Ethanol Planned for Today.
-- Day One of the Wheat Quality Council HRW Tour- More Potential Than Problems!
-- Leaf Rust Jumps in Intensity in Select Oklahoma Locations!
-- Kansas Wheat Farmer Offers A Call to Action on UG99!
-- Grain Sorghum Has a NATIONAL Checkoff Finalized and Ready to Go!
-- USDA(and others) to Offer Energy Workshop May 15.
-- Checking 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 "new look" website or call them at 1-800-256-2555.
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Congressman Lucas Agrees With the Description SAGA for this 2008 Farm Bill End Game.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~"This is the most complicated way to do a farm bill in my fourteen years in Congress" is how Congressman Frank Lucas is describing the 2008 Farm Bill Saga. The third District lawmaker told us in the hallway just off the House floor yesterday afternoon that he continues to be told by House Ag Committee Chairman Colin Peterson of Minnesota that we are "right there" as far as having a farm deal done. Lucas says he hopes "right there" comes to a conclusion very soon- but he adds that he will not be signing off on any Conference Report until he has the chance to review the final details- especially these many different issues that remain just beyond the reach of the Principals to get done.
We have our conversation (at least the on the record portion) with Congressman Lucas linked below. Even as we talked with Congressman Lucas, another closed door meeting was underway with the insiders who are making the deals between the House and the Senate on this 2008 Farm Bill. They were arguing over "beneficial interest" as it impacts LDPs and the ownership of the grain- as well as the AGI income thresholds that would be a cutoff of higher income producers and non producers to be eligible for price supports. And we are told they still have money issues to resolve- in other words how to fully pay for all the stuff they want to do and satisfy the ever shifting demands of Speaker Pelosi- not to mention the White House.
We have been told that there will be NO more public meetings of the
Conference Committee- that once the deal is done- the report will be
quickly circulated and Conferees will be asked to sign off on the
document. Peterson's office has also been shopping for groups to blindly
support the final package- sight unseen- and at this point, there are few
takers except for sugar and the National Farmers Union. One veteran
lobbyist has stated that they have to see details before they are willing
to say that their membership supports the measure.
Senate Hearings on Packer Concentration and Ethanol Planned for Today.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Senate Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights will examine Concentration in Agriculture and the JBS/Swift Acquisition. The hearing is set for this afternoon at one o'clock Central time.
Among those testifying at this hearing is Bill Bullard, CEO of R-Calf USA. His group is dead set against the purchase by JBS of Smithfield Beef and National Beef. Meanwhile, Bullard's testimony will be offset by the Brazilian head of the family that owns JBS-Swift, Wesley Batista. Others to testify will include Steve Hunt, CEO of US Premium Beef (a major shareholder of National Beef- they have blessed the JBS purchase); Douglas Ross, Special Counsel for Agriculture, Department of Justice; Peter Carstensen, Professor of Law at the University of Wisconsin Law School and Dillon Feuz, Ph.D., Department of Economics at Utah State University.
Also later today- The U.S. Senate's Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs will hold a hearing today on fuel subsidies and their impacts on food prices. The hearing begins at nine o'clock Central time in the Dirksen Senate Office Building. The Committee is chaired by Senator Joe Lieberman. Bruce Babcock, professor of economics at Iowa State University and director of the Center for Agricultural and Rural Development, will testify. Babcock will focus on federal ethanol policies and their short- and long- term impacts on the price and availability of ethanol, corn and other agricultural products.
Day One of the Wheat Quality Council HRW Tour- More Potential Than Problems!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The annual Kansas Wheat Quality Council Wheat Tour is underway- as six routes were followed on day one that took participants through a lot of central and north central Kansas as they started in Manhattan, Kansas and ended up in Colby, Kansas- in the far northwestern corner of that state.
The Director of Marketing for the Oklahoma Wheat Commission, Mike Schulte, is driving a van in this year's tour- his second year on the tour- and he tells us in an overview of Day One- which we have linked below- that his group saw "a lot of great wheat" as they traveled in Central Kansas. Mike says most fields they stopped and did tiller and head counts on reflect a potential of forty to fifty bushel wheat this year- if Mother Nature will cooperate between now and harvest. He reports some Hessian Fly issues, and only light disease pressure on the opening day of the tour. By the end of the day, as they got deeper into northwestern Kansas- some wheat reflected some drought stress- but still, the average tour yield for Day One stood at 45.4 bushels per acre.
Day two will take Tour Participants from Colby west into a little of Colorado and across western Kansas, southwestern Kansas, a little of northern Oklahoma and will end tonight in Wichita. We have an overview that Mike has provided us- play by play if you will from Day One- and we have that linked for you on our website and you can directly jump to that by clicking below.
Leaf Rust Jumps in Intensity in Select Oklahoma Locations!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The word comes from Dr. Bob Hunger- OSU Extension Plant Pathologist out of Stillwater. He writes in his update of Tuesday morning "WHAT A DIFFERENCE A COUPLE OF DAYS MAKES! Yesterday, May 05th, I took disease reaction notes in breeder nurseries here at Stillwater. In these nurseries and in the variety-demo strips, leaf rust on susceptible varieties such as Jagalene and Jagger has increase into the 65% severity range. A similar significant increase in leaf rust also was noted by Dr. Brett Carver in his breeder nurseries at Lahoma, OK. I would strongly suspect that similar increases either are or will be observed in other locations around Oklahoma. Given the cool and moist conditions that are forecast for the next 4-5 days, leaf rust could make a significant, late season increase in Oklahoma."
Dr. Hunger adds this on stripe rust- "Dr. Carver also noted that stripe rust has continued to be active on the Lahoma Station. Here at Stillwater, I also noticed some active stripe rust, but only in isolated pockets."
Kansas Wheat Farmer Offers A Call to Action on UG99!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~And what is ug99 you might ask??? Well, many wheat producers are well aware of this wheat disease that has yet to make it to the United States. The very real fear is that one day soon- it will arrive and it could be the wheat equivalent of Asian Soybean Rust (or worse)- a disease that could cost the wheat industry major dollars in losses unless we get a game plan rolling right away. We quote Paul Penner- a wheat producer from Kansas here- he cites, among others, Norman Borlaug, the Father of the Green Revolution, who offered an "Op-Ed" piece in the New York Times in recent weeks (click here to read Borlaug's take)
Paul Penner is the National Association of Wheat Growers Environment and Renewable Resources Chairman- he's from Hillsboro, Kansas and he offers these thoughts on ug99- "The progress promoted by world wheat production is under threat today, however, by something most Americans don't even know exists - a new and highly virulent race of a old wheat disease, a disease that has been under control since the days of the Green Revolution. Ug99, named such because it was first discovered in Uganda in 1999, is a race of stem rust, a disease that infects the vascular tissues of wheat plants. It can cause 100 percent yield loss in infected plants. This new race is virulent on plant genes that have provided stable resistance for nearly five decades. A large proportion of world wheat is now highly vulnerable, including nearly all spring wheat varieties and 75 percent of winter wheat varieties planted in the U.S."
Penner adds "Though the disease had been contained to Africa, the world got confirmation earlier this year that it had spread to Iran, meaning that the wheat fields of that country, Iraq, Pakistan, India, Syria and Turkey - which account for 20 percent of world wheat production - will soon be threatened as it spreads further on wind or clothing." He worries that global wheat research dollars are being cut- including support from the United States. While we boost food stamps and WIC by Billions of Dollars- we cut research dollars that could help prevent millions from starving in the years ahead if we can beat ug99 which a lot of scientists believe we can, with adequate research support. We have the full article written by Paul Penner linked below-
Grain Sorghum Has a NATIONAL Checkoff Finalized and Ready to Go!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The U.S. Department of Agriculture today published a final order on the proposed National Sorghum Checkoff and will begin collecting assessments on July 1, 2008. National Sorghum Producers (NSP) President Dale Murden is optimistic about the role a checkoff will play in the sorghum industry's future. "Now is the time to invest in sorghum," said Murden. "A National Sorghum Checkoff will leverage private industry investment while partnerships with public and private research and development operations will help bring technology to our fields."
Lloyd C. Day, administrator of USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) commented on the next steps in the process of implementing a national checkoff. "Now that a final order has been published, a certification process will begin for organizations to become eligible to put forward names for the National Sorghum Checkoff Board," said Day. "USDA will then start accepting board nominations from these organizations and the Secretary of Agriculture will appoint directors to serve on the National Sorghum Checkoff Board."
The Sorghum Promotion, Research and Information order will collect 0.6 percent of net market value for grain sorghum. For sorghum forage such as hay and silage, the assessment will be .35 percent of market value and will only be collected from first handlers who purchase more than 5,000 tons per year.
USDA(and others) to Offer Energy Workshop May 15.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~There will be a free public workshop explaining the alternative energy and energy efficiency provisions of Title IX, section 9006 of the Farm Bill. The workshop will be held Thursday, May 15 from 5:30 p.m. through 8:00 p.m. in the North Conference room on the third floor of the Student Center at Oklahoma State University - Oklahoma City. Parking is free and complimentary light snacks will be served.
Section 9006 of the Farm Bill makes available grants and guarantees loans to agricultural producers and rural small businesses for assistance in purchase of renewable energy systems and making energy efficiency improvements. The workshop is sponsored by the USDA Rural Development office, the US Department of Energy's Wind Powering America program, the Oklahoma Windpower Initiative, Oklahoma State University, the University of Oklahoma, and the Oklahoma Renewable Energy Council. Participants will learn of rural possibilities for alternative energy, energy audits, and energy conservation.
Workshop presenters will be Jody Harris of USDA Rural Development (Farm Bill 9006 and application process), Ray Chambers of Savanti Energy Services LLC (energy audits), Angie Albers of the Oklahoma Wind Power Initiative (community and small wind applications), Mike Kizer, Oklahoma State University Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering (irrigation pumping efficiency), Bob Willis of Sunrise Alternative Energy (solar power applications), and Doug Hamilton (poultry energy). Interested parties are encouraged to come, meet the experts, and learn about the energy future that can help the bottom line of rural enterprises. Please contact Angie Albers at 405 325 8870 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org to save a spot at this workshop.
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