~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Friday June 12, 2009A service of Johnston Enterprises, American Farmers & Ranchers and Midwest Farm Shows!
-- Seven Hour Hearing Allows Lawmakers to Vent Their Displeasure with Waxman-Markey Climate Change Bill
-- Former Oklahoma Lawmaker Glenn English Among Those Who Go Before the Committee
-- As You Deliver Wheat to the Elevator- You Could Face Costly Discounts from Dockage
-- Backlog of Approved but Unfunded Loans At USDA Stands at 3,000
-- NAIS Budget Zeroed Out- Congress Demands USDA Make Program Mandatory
-- Sorghum Scientist Awarded Prestigious World Food Prize
-- This Weekend- Pecan Valley, Pawnee Bill and Lots More
-- 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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Seven Hour Hearing Allows Lawmakers to Vent Their Displeasure with Waxman-Markey Climate Change Bill
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The House Agriculture Committee held a hearing Thursday on the much talked about Waxman-Markey climate change and energy legislation. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Committee Chairman Henry Waxman want to push the bill through rather quickly. But, Ranking Member, Frank Lucas, said - the most important thing we can do for our agriculture community is allow the legislative process to work, to take the time to understand the consequences of our actions.
Lucas offered one of the opening statements before the Committee heard from its star witness, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack. Click here to hear the full statement from Congressman Lucas at the front end of the seven hour marathon hearing. The lawmakers kept Secretary Vilsack under the spotlight for just over three hours, not counting a twenty minute break for a House vote. House Ag Democrats and Republicans told Secretary Vilsack there will be no climate change bill - or none agriculture can live with - unless the Administration forces changes in the pending measure approved by the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
Later in the hearing, six farm leaders offered their perspective and
several key points surfaced. One was the exclusion of agriculture from
being listed in the bill as an industry that would participate in the
offset program that would make up a key part of the bill. In addition, ag
groups repeated over and over the need to have USDA oversee any offset
program for agriculture, not the EPA.
Former Oklahoma Lawmaker Glenn English Among Those Who Go Before the Committee
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The CEO of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, Glenn English, testified today before the House Agriculture Committee on the H.R. 2454, the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES) of 2009. English was returning to the Committee where he spent a major part of his time in Congress while serving as the 6th District Congressman from Oklahoma .
English began his testimony noting that NRECA's objective is to help Congress develop and pass an affordable, workable, and sustainable piece of legislation to address the nation's energy and climate change objectives. Maintaining the affordability of electricity is the principle against which NRECA will judge all climate change and energy legislation.
English says that his organization is very concerned that the results of a Climate Change bill will produce winners and losers among consumers of electric energy, even though they have no say so in where and how their electricity is generated. We have a portion of the Glenn English testimony on our website- and you can click on the link below to get to that story.
As You Deliver Wheat to the Elevator- You Could Face Costly Discounts from Dockage
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Dr. Kim Anderson of OSU talked with Kathy Shelton during his regular segment on SUNUP, the weekly TV show seen on OETA and produced by OSU Ag Communications. Anderson talked with Kathy about the discount schedule that wheat farmers are facing this year- elevators have upped the discounts for foreign material in wheat delivered to them- and Anderson suggests that farmers adjust their combine settings and blow as much of that foreign matter out the back of the combine as possible instead of hauling it to the elevator- you will face steep dockage rates if your wheat has too much trash.
Anderson also talked with Shelton about the earlier in the week Supply and Demand report from USDA, and current wheat price outlook.
SUNUP has a good program lineup this week- and we have details of that, along with the audio of Kim Anderson as a preview of this weekend's SUNUP on our website. Click on the link below to check it out.
Backlog of Approved but Unfunded Loans At USDA Stands at 3,000
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~On Thursday morning, the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Conservation, Credit, Energy, and Research held a hearing to review the credit conditions in rural America.
Doug Caruso, Administrator of the USDA's Farm Service Agency, told the Committee that demand for operating and ownership loans through FSA loan programs has sky rocketed- as there are currently some 3000 loans that have been approved but unfunded- a total of $373 million worth of loans, because money has been depleted for the current fiscal year. Another 3,000 loans have not been acted upon because they would just add to the backlog.
We have an audio overview from that Thursday morning session of the House Ag Subcommittee- click on the story link below and take a listen.
NAIS Budget Zeroed Out- Congress Demands USDA Make Program Mandatory
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Chairlady of the House Appropriations Ag Subcommittee, Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut, has sent a message to USDA and the livestock industry, agree to a mandatory program- or the NAIS will be zeroed out in the 2010 fiscal year budget. In fact, the program was reduced to zero budget in the Ag Appropriations measure approved yesterday by the Subcommittee.
DeLauro says that USDA has mismanaged the program while spending millions, and says that we must move to a mandatory program in order to "provide assurance against economic calamity" as well as to "protect our export markets." The move by the Appropriations Subcommittee is not unexpected, and earlier Collin Peterson, Chairman of the House Ag Committee, had said he would support cutting off funding for the program unless USDA finds a way to make the program mandatory.
We talk about this move by the Appropriations subcommittee on our Friday Beef Buzz, and how USDA finds itself in a tough situation- you have Congress on one side telling you to make it mandatory or else- and on the other side, you have the opinion of the overwhelming majority of those showing up at your NAIS listening sessions telling you to dump the program or else. Either way, it does appear that Secretary Vilsack and Company will get a dose of "or else."
Sorghum Scientist Awarded Prestigious World Food Prize
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Dr. Gebisa Ejeta, a sorghum scientist who was raised in Ethiopia and made his way to the U.S. through a myriad of educational opportunities, has been awarded the prestigious World Food Prize. The World Food Prize was founded by Dr. Norman Borlaug, Father of the Green Revolution and Nobel Peace Prize winner, and this year's recipient was announced by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Thursday morning in a ceremony at the State Department. The ceremony was also attended by the Secretary of Agriculture and numerous other dignitaries.
Dr. Ejeta, who is now a Distinguished Professor of Agronomy at Purdue University, was awarded the prize for his work in improving sorghum yields and introducing the first sorghum hybrid in Africa. Those hybrids ultimately improved Africans' access to a higher yielding grain crop for food. He also conducted breakthrough research on a parasitic weed called Striga that robbed sorghum crops of their yield potential. In a March 2008 letter recommending Dr. Ejeta for the World Food Prize, NSP Research Advisor Dr. Bruce Maunder said, "Dr. Ejeta's enthusiasm and capacity for work are the driving force so badly needed and highly respected by those fighting food insecurity."
Today, Dr. Ejeta mentors the next generation of African scientists while continuing to pursue his research in his role at Purdue University. In an interview, he said he would likely use the $250,000 prize to promote the value of science in alleviating Africa's deep poverty and promoting education for children in his home country of Ethiopia.
This Weekend- Pecan Valley, Pawnee Bill and Lots More
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~If you check our calendar pages on the website- we have it linked for you below- you will notice a whole host of items listed for Saturday June 13. Included in that listing is the Angus Dispersion sale of Pecan Valley Ranch in Pauls Valley. They have a great set of cattle to be offered- and you can click here for the Pecan Valley on line catalog to review the offering.
Also happening this weekend- and the next two weekends after this- is the 2009 celebration of the Pawnee Bill Wild West Show. It is really a jump back into the days of the old West- lots to see and do and enjoy throughout the afternoon and evening the next three Saturdays- we have details on our website- including a feature interview we did with Martha Ray, producer of the show. Click here to jump straight to that listing.
Beyond these events, there are a lot of other great things going on this weekend- and for the rest of June- and we have a lot of them listed and linked on our Calendar. If your organization or group has an event this month- or later in the year that we need to include, please don't hesitate to drop me an email at the address listed at the bottom of this daily email that we send you- I would love to hear from you.
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Looking at our Agricultural Markets...
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Apache Livestock Market had 2,286 cattle on Thursday, with yearlings called steady to $3 higher. There are very few lighter weight cattle right now, with 86% of their run yesterday made up of cattle over 600 pounds. Seven to eight weight steers sold from $$91 to $991.0, while eight weight steers cleared from $90.50 to $96.35. Click here for the full report from Stockman's Livestock auction in Apache as reported by USDA market news.
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