~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Thursday April 23, 2009A service of Johnston Enterprises, KIS Futures and American Farmers & Ranchers Mutual Insurance Company!
-- Lucas on Climate Change, Crop Insurance and More
-- Ghost Crop Tales- as told by Francie Tolle of the AFR
-- The Ins and Outs of Crop Insurance After the Wheat Freeze Event
-- Rush Limbaugh and Carrie Underwood Have Been Given the Same Kool Aid
-- AG Drew Edmondson- Poultry Trial on Track for September
-- The Heck with a Two Month Delay- FDA Says Let's Start Enahnce Feed Ban Next Week
-- Southern Plains Farm Show ready for Three Day Run!
-- 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 pleased 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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Lucas on Climate Change, Crop Insurance and More
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~There is a lot of controversy over global warming among scientists- but it is certain that things are heating up in Washington over Greenhouse gases- and regulation of those gases by the EPA will have a big impact on agriculture. That was top of mind for Congressman Frank Lucas as we talked with him on Wednesday morning. The Ranking Minority member of the House Ag Committee is dubious that House Democratic leadership will give agriculture a fair shake in setting up a balance between costs from greenhouse gas emissions and payments for carbon credits.He also worries about how EPA will draft any rules they believe they can put in place under the Clean Air Act.
Beyond Climate change, we also talked about crop insurance, farm bill signup and the concern of allowing USDA have IRS data on individual farmers as a condition for signup, Animal ID, the slowness of the Obama Administration to get USDA appointments on line and what Congressman Lucas was hearing from the country after the two week Easter recess where he held more than a dozen local listening sessions.
We have our full conversation with Congressman Lucas on line as a Podcast on our website- click on the link below to take a listen.
Ghost Crop Tales- as told by Francie Tolle of the AFR
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma wheat producers are going to become more and more aware of some different terms as we get some of the provisions of the 2008 farm law fully implemented. One of those new terms is "ghost crop." This is a crop that could follow a failed wheat crop in years like this one where we have had a weather induced disaster. Francie Tolle of the American Farmers & Ranchers is in Washington, DC this week along with Tim Bartram of the Oklahoma Wheat Growers Association- and she updates us as of Wednesday evening of some progress made in clearing up what could be a very challenging situation for wheat producers in southern great plains that face a wheat crop failure because of the hard freeze at the beginning of this month.
She writes: "We met with Congressman Lucas today to talk about two issues that are facing producers. First, the issue of crops that follow a failed crop (otherwise knows as ghost crops) and how they will be handled in accordance with the new disaster program otherwise known as SURE. In order for a producer to be eligible for the new disaster (SURE) program they must have purchased crop insurance. Last fall legislation was passed that made ghost crops exempt from the calculation of revenue included in the whole farm disaster program, which helped solve one problem. At the same time in order to be eligible for the new disaster program farmers need to purchase crop insurance or a CAT/NAP policy. Our concern was that the date to get a NAP policy on a follow up crop after a failed wheat crop was over March 15th, so essentially there is no opportunity for producers with a failed wheat crop to obtain coverage for the crop that follows the failed wheat crop - say a grain sorghum, corn or soybean crop.
From what we have learned from Congressman Lucas on this trip there will be confirmation passed down from USDA to state farm service agencies that confirm that NAP will not be required in order to be eligible for the disaster program. It's important to note that if you happen to live in one of the few counties in Oklahoma where double cropping is insurable you fall into a different category. Producers need to check with their FSA office before they do anything in regard to planting another crop after failed wheat.
Francie and Tim also talked with Congressman Lucas about crop insurance as it relates to the so called permanent disaster program that is a part of the 2008 farm law. Click on our link below to get the rest of the story on that from Francie as found in this important story from Washington.
The Ins and Outs of Crop Insurance After the Wheat Freeze Event
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We also got an email on Wednesday afternoon from the National Sorghum Association folks, addressing some of the same issues that were brought up in our story above from Francie Tolle and Tim Bartram. Please note that NSP is citing the law as it is- based on what we are hearing from Tolle- there could be some wiggle room on this for this crop year only.
Hannah Lipps with the National Sorghum Producers out of Lubbock writes "We've run into a problem with some misinformation on crop insurance that was being distributed in Oklahoma. Essentially, there was some misunderstanding of a provision passed in the second technical corrections bill on the '08 Farm Bill. The confusion is regarding a farmer's ability to insure a second crop behind a failed wheat crop. Some producers have been told that planting a second crop behind wheat may affect eligibility for SURE if their wheat had already headed out. They're being told that the "second crop" would be considered "double crop" and therefore uninsurable. However, a producer planting a second crop behind the failed wheat crop (regardless of the growth stage of the wheat) will be considered a "ghost crop" and WILL BE eligible for SURE if the producer had signed up for insurance on the second crops (ie, listed sorghum on their insurance policy - remember no premium is due unless you actually insure acreage) OR had purchased NAP on the second crops. FSA has confirmed that a "liberal equitable relief policy" will be in effect for 2009 given the late freeze on wheat.
"Producers who did not indicate on their insurance forms that they may
plant another crop besides wheat will be at the mercy of this "liberal
equitable relief policy." We're not going out on a limb to say that they
will definitely be able to get SURE if they plant a second crop and didn't
indicate that intent, but we know that if they have sorghum - or another
crop - listed on their policy, then they are safe under SURE and should
have no problems.
Rush Limbaugh and Carrie Underwood Have Been Given the Same Kool Aid
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~A colleague of mine from Ohio, Susan Crowell, has written an excellent editorial on two popular voices that you often hear on the radio and have been duped in their decision to support the Humane Society of the U.S. I met Susan earlier this year while in Washington during a dinner sponsored by the Ohio Farm Bureau at the National Press Club. The Ohio Farm Bureau invites both some farm and non farm members of the media to come along with them to Washington when they make their annual journey to our nation's capitol- and she was at that same dinner that evening.
She takes dead aim at both Rush Limbaugh as well as Oklahoman Carrie Underwood for their support of the HSUS. Regarding Rush she says "Rush, repeat after me: The Humane Society of the United States does not speak for nor have any link to local unwanted pet shelters or humane societies. The Humane Society of the United States is a group that pushes - hard! - for an end to hunting, for an end to use of meat animals for food, and for an end to all "animal-based foods"."
She also has words for Carrie Underwood, "Like Rush, country music artist Carrie Underwood also recently got snookered into thinking HSUS was about animal rescue and animal charity. She's donating a portion of the sales of her new digital single, Home Sweet Home, to the Humane Society of the United States. ' We felt it was important to tie the release into an amazing animal charity like the HSUS,' Underwood says on her Web site." We have her full editorial linked below- and if you are now following me on Twitter- you will see info at the bottom of her article on her Twitter ID- you might want to follow her as well.
AG Drew Edmondson- Poultry Trial on Track for September
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson says that the judge in the lawsuit that his office is directing against the poultry industry of northwest Arkansas continues to expect to start the trial this coming September. He adds that there is always the chance that we could see a deal cut between now and then- but that he will hold onto the trial day in the Tulsa Federal District Court, just in case that a deal is not in the mix.
Edmondson, who spoke midday on Wednesday to the participants in Class 14 of the Oklahoma Ag Leadership Program, says that he believes that his case is strong and compelling. He told the OALP that he hopes that the farmers who have grower contracts with the poultry companies will be held harmless in any decision that he is able to obtain in the case- but he says it is possible they will lose the right to apply any of the chicken litter on the surface of the land in the one million acre Illinois River watershed.
You can hear our conversation with AG Edmondson after his presentation to OALP from Wednesday- click on the link below to jump to our story on his expectations of having a trial this September.
The Heck with a Two Month Delay- FDA Says Let's Start Enahnce Feed Ban Next Week
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday afternoon confirmed the effective date of April 27 for the final rule banning cattle materials at a high risk of carrying bovine spongiform encephalopathy from all animal feed. The agency also established Oct. 26 as an extended date by which renderers and packers must be in compliance with the rule, which was initially published in the Federal Register on April 25, 2008.
FDA had proposed delaying the April 27, 2009, effective date by two months and allowed a week-long comment period after industry organizations turned up the volume on concerns about the disposal of prohibited cattle materials and difficulties in modifying operations to comply with the rule.
Meanwhile, the National Cattlemen's Beef Association was highly critical of the decision to move ahead and implement this final rule next week. "This decision is extremely disappointing," says Dr. Elizabeth Parker, Chief Veterinarian for NCBA. "By going ahead with implementation of this unnecessary ban, the FDA is ignoring the substantial costs and environmental burdens it imposes on America's cattle producers."
Southern Plains Farm Show ready for Three Day Run!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~It is the fifth year for the Southern Plains Farm Show- and while it is not as big as the once proud Oklahoma City Farm Show held on the same dates at the State Fairgrounds by the Farmer Stockman- the Southern Plains Farm Show continues to grow and fill the three buildings and the outdoor parking lot it occupies at State Fair Park. REMEMBER- Admission and Parking are FREE!
It also features a lot of planned activities- including the judging competition this morning for 4-H and FFA youth- the Feeder Cattle Evaluation Contest. There will also be cattle handling demonstrations and the twice daily horse training seminars by Scott Daily of Arkansas City, Ks, which is sponsored by the Radio Oklahoma Network.
Of course, the real stars of the show are the several hundred exhibitors which will show off a variety of products and services for the farm, ranch and rural home. You can do three things if you stop at our booth in the Cox Pavilion. First, you can get that friend that is with you to sign up for our daily email- that will make you a good neighbor. Secondly, you can sign up for the Round Pen being used by Scott Daily over the three days as he shows off his horse training skills. And thirdly, if you tell them that you have a septic tank- our guys at the booth will give you a free package of Dr. Drain, a septic tank maintenance product that is the best on the market- and a product being made right here in Oklahoma!.
Our thanks to KIS Futures, Johnston Enterprises and AFR for their support of our daily Farm News Update. For your convenience, we have our sponsors' websites linked at the top of the email- check them out and let these folks know you appreciate the support of this daily email, as their sponsorship helps us keep this arriving in your inbox on a regular basis!
We also invite you to check out our website at the link below to check out an archive of these daily emails, audio reports and top farm news story links from around the globe.
Let's Check the Markets!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~It was mostly cattle over 600 pounds at OKC West in El Reno on Wednesday, with 7,428 cattle being sold in the midweek auction. A few five to six hundred pond steers brought from $116 to $126.50, while seven to eight hundred ponders cleared from $98 to $105.50. Click here for the full OKC West El Reno report as reported by the USDA Market News Service.
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