~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Tuesday July 27, 2010A service of Producers Cooperative Oil Mill, Midwest Farm Shows and Big Iron OnLine Auctions!
-- Cattlemen's Beef Board Receives Damning Report on NCBA's Handling of Beef Checkoff Money
-- Some Perspective on the Beef Checkoff and Its Process and the NCBA
-- General Signup for CRP Will Begin August 2 at FSA Offices Nationwide
-- USDA and GIPSA Split the Difference- Extending Comment Period on Revised Marketing Rules for Livestock by 90 Days
-- The Long and the Short of the Cattle Market- Dr. Derrell Peel Tells All
-- Ethanol Groups Call on EPA to Act on Raising Level of Ethanol in Gasoline- Wanting to go to E-12 for the Time Being
-- Big Iron Auction Set for Wednesday of This Week
-- 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 welcome Big Iron Unreserved Online Auctions as our newest sponsor of the daily Email. Their next auction is Wednesday, July 28- featuring Low Hour, Farmer Owned Equipment. Click here for their website to learn more about their Online Farm Equipment Auctions.
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Producers Cooperative Oil Mill, with 64 years of progress through
producer ownership. Call Brandon Winters at 405-232-7555 for more
information on the oilseed crops they handle, including sunflowers and
canola- and remember they post closing market prices for canola and
sunflowers on the PCOM
website- go there by clicking here.
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Cattlemen's Beef Board Receives Damning Report on NCBA's Handling of Beef Checkoff Money
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Cattlemen's Beef Board has just released a Compliance Review of their major contractor for beef checkoff programs- the National Cattlemen's Beef Association. The audit comes just ahead of the Summer Conference of the Cattle Industry that will be held in Denver this week- and the CPA firm that conducted the audit for CBB, Clifton Gunderson, appeared to detect a pattern of problems with adequate documentation to prove many expenses were properly allocated to the checkoff overhead that NCBA is allowed to claim as a contractor.
According to the conclusion found in the Executive Summary of the Compliance Review- there are significant problems that NCBA must address and there appears to be some rebuilding of the "firewall" that is talked about so often by checkoff groups. The conclusion says "It is evident from the report that the exceptions and undetermined items identified by CG occurred in all periods tested, but the prevalence was greater in fiscal years 2009 and 2010. In addition, the nature of several of the exceptions and undetermined items reported by CG clearly indicates that NCBA breached the financial firewall during the periods tested and that NCBA did not maintain sufficient documentation in many instances to adequately support the separation of expenditures between the policy side of NCBA and the checkoff side of NCBA. Although not reported as such by CG, CBB considers this lack of sufficient documentation to be noncompliance."
There are some things that will likely be hard to explain and will be embarassing to the NCBA. Travel has been a difficult issue for the NCBA management in the last couple of years and the Compliance Report shows on Page 8 of the report that "A senior staff member expensed travel costs totalling $3,592 related to his spouse's travel to New Zealand for the Five Nations Beef Conference and his spuse and child's travel to San Antonio, Tx to the overhead cost pool." The report points out that these costs should have been paid by the staff member or allocated to the policy side of the NCBA. The report cites federal rules which come into play "Checkoff funds cannot be used for spouses travel per the Ag Marketing Service guidelines." In many other cases, thousands of dollars are questioned by the CPA firm as not having documentation backing up which pot of money should have paid for the expense.
Click on the LINK below for the rest of our webstory- which includes links to the Executive Summary, the full 18 page Compliance Review- which I was told by a CBB staffer last night is not a full fledged audit- and also some very interesting comments by Beef Board officer Robert Fountain of Georgia, who is the Secretary-Treasurer of the CBB.
Some Perspective on the Beef Checkoff and Its Process and the NCBA
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~One thing that Beef Board officer Robert Fountain said in his comments released by the CBB last night is that the Program people who execute the programs that the Beef Promotion Operating Committee decides to spend beef checkoff monies on continue to do an excellent job. He adds that the results are significant and positive for every beef cattle producer in the country.
State Beef Councils like the Oklahoma Beef Council do an excellent job. OBC and other state beef councils actually collect the money locally and send 50 cents of each dollar on to the national CBB. Some of the dollars that are left stay in the state promoting beef and helping to educate consumers about the healthful benefits of today's beef. A lot of that local fifty cents is pooled with other State Beef Councils in what is called the Federation of State Beef Councils- and concerns about the Federation's role in any of these problems are minimal.
The Beef Checkoff has been in place since the late 1980s- and NCBA has done a tremendous job in doing the work domestically that has helped turn around a slide in beef demand- and NCBA was the principle voice for the beef industry back in 2003 when BSE arrived in the US Cattle Herd- helping consumers understand the US beef supply was still safe. Let me get on my soapbox for a moment- this review shows there are issues in how management within NCBA has not gotten their paperwork done in accounting for all the checkoff dollars they handle- and a relatively small amount may have been misspent- but NCBA has still done a great service over the years to the cattle industry as the major contractor and should be allowed to continue- assuming these discrepancies are cleaned up. (end of soapbox rant)
Early this morning- NCBA did release a very short statement- asking for
time- saying "The National Cattlemen's Beef Association staff and elected
leaders received the independent auditor's final report, CBB's executive
summary and media statement the same time you did. Currently NCBA is
reviewing the information CBB publicly released. NCBA appreciates your
patience while we develop a response as quickly as possible. NCBA will
provide additional information later today, July 27."
General Signup for CRP Will Begin August 2 at FSA Offices Nationwide
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~A general sign-up for the Conservation Reserve Program begins August 2nd and will continue through August 27th. During the sign-up period - farmers and ranchers may offer eligible land for CRP's competitive general sign-up at their county Farm Service Agency office. In making the announcement - Agriculture Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agriculture Services Jim Miller encouraged all interested farmers and ranchers to contact their local FSA office to learn more how to take advantage of this opportunity.
Land currently not enrolled in CRP may be offered in this sign-up provided all eligibility requirements are met. Additionally - current CRP participants with contracts expiring this fall covering about 4.5-million acres may make new contract offers. Contracts awarded under this sign-up are scheduled to become effective October 1st of this year.
We have more on our website- including the comments made to the media by Undersecretary Jim Miller and Jonathan Coppess- Administrator of the FSA- the agency within USDA that oversees the CRP program. Click on the LINK below for more on this story and to hear details from these officials.
USDA and GIPSA Split the Difference- Extending Comment Period on Revised Marketing Rules for Livestock by 90 Days
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has responded to calls from Congress, the National Cattlmen's Beef Association (NCBA) and other leading agriculture organizations to extend the comment period to the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration's (GIPSA) proposed rule on livestock marketing. The proposed rule, announced June 18, suggests major changes to the way producers can market their cattle. The comment period will be extended for an additional 90 days. That places the close of the comment period after the November general elections on the 22nd of November, 2010.
The American Farm Bureau Federation is pleased the Agriculture Department's Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration has extended its comment period by 90 days on its Packers and Stockyards Act proposed rule. Like other organizations - AFBF initially requested a 120-day extension to better analyze the economic and legal impacts of the rule on producers. But National Farmers Union is disappointed and calls the 90-day extension excessive. NFU President Roger Johnson says extending the comment period gives leverage for packers to offer lower prices to producers as a fear mechanism. Johnson adds that while USDA is taking a step in the right direction with this rule - the process needs to be expedited instead of slowed down.
We have more on the announcement made first thing Monday morning by USDA- with links to more information that is available on the USDA website. Click on the LINK below for the rest of the story.
The Long and the Short of the Cattle Market- Dr. Derrell Peel Tells All
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~In the latest Cow Calf Corner, OSU Extension Livestock Marketing Specialist Dr. Derrell Peel offers the "long" and the "short" of our cattle market as we begin this final week of July. We begin with the short term factors in today's cattle market:
"Fed cattle prices appear to have bottomed seasonally a bit early this summer. Prices have increased from a low around $91/cwt. in late June to the current level of $94+/cwt. Although it is early to be certain, current prices are consistent with boxed beef prices and there is no obvious reason that current price levels cannot hold into the fall. However, fed prices are unlikely to advance further and may trade in a $93-$95 range until late in the third quarter. Fed prices could advance solidly into the mid to upper $90s by the end of the year.
"The latest cattle on feed numbers showed a continued seasonal increase
in feedlot inventories. June placements were up 17 percent compared last
year. The increase was slightly smaller than the pre-report estimates of a
20 percent increase. Moreover, the increase reveals more about how small
last year's value was rather then how large placements were this year. The
June placement total is actually 1.7 percent smaller than the previous
five-year average. Marketings were equal to year ago levels, also slightly
smaller than expected. The resulting on-feed inventory was as expected at
103 of last year. The July 1 on-feed total was 3.2 percent smaller than
the previous five-year average."
Ethanol Groups Call on EPA to Act on Raising Level of Ethanol in Gasoline- Wanting to go to E-12 for the Time Being
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Three major ethanol groups today called on EPA Administrator Jackson to formally approve the use of E12 in the nation's gasoline supply. The groups - American Coalition for Ethanol, National Corn Growers Association and the Renewable Fuels Association - in a formal letter to the EPA Administrator wrote, "based on the EPA's delay in acting upon the full E15 waiver and on our concerns that the Agency will restrict the use of E15 to cars made in 2001 and thereafter, we encourage the EPA to formally approve the use of E12 for all motor vehicles as an immediate interim step pending any ongoing additional testing on E15."
The groups pointed to President Obama's stated goal of reducing reliance on oil imports and reiterated that expanded use of domestically produced ethanol will help accomplish that goal. According to the letter, "Decreasing dependence on foreign oil is a key to this country's environmental, energy and security policy, and the EPA must provide a practical and workable solution to the ethanol blend wall issue and do so soon. Allowing E12 for all motor vehicles as an interim step to a full waiver for E15 is a reasonable and defensible first step to solve the immediate problem."
The groups' letter reviewed previous EPA findings, policy positions and
research to demonstrate the reasonableness of approving E12 for use in the
nation's automobile and light truck fleet.
Big Iron Auction Set for Wednesday of This Week
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Tomorrow's on line Big Iron auction will have a lot of things to pick and choose from. The Big Iron July 28th unreserved auction will feature 322 items including:
- Case IH 2388 Combine,
- Multiple Genie Scissor Lifts
- a John Deere 8970
- 2004 Massey Ferguson 481 with MF 1070 Loader
Right in the Oklahoma area, the Big Iron folks have listings
This auction is only online and is unreserved so the highest bidder is the new owner! The auction begins to close out at 10am on Wednesday the 28th. Click on the LINK below to go to the website to review the listings for this week and learn how to both buy and sell the Big Iron way.
Our thanks to Midwest Farms Shows, PCOM, P & K Equipment/ P & K Wind Energy, Johnston Enterprises, American Farmers & Ranchers, KIS Futures and Big Iron Online Auctions for their support of our daily Farm News Update. For your convenience, we have our sponsors' websites linked here- just click on their name to jump to their website- check their sites 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- FREE!
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Let's Check the Markets!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We've had requests to include Canola prices for your convenience here- and we will be doing so on a regular basis. Current cash price for Canola is $7.60 per bushel, while the 2011 New Crop contracts for Canola are now available are $7.70 per bushel- delivered to local participating elevators that are working with PCOM.
Here are some links we will leave in place on an ongoing basis- Click
on the name of the report to go to that link:
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