~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Wednesday October 5, 2011A service of Johnston Enterprises, P & K Equipment/ P & K Wind Energy and American Farmers & Ranchers Mutual Insurance Company!
-- Agriculture and Conservation Groups Call for Changes from Policymakers
-- America Farm Bureau Federation Urges Congress to Hold the Line on Capital Gain Rates
-- USMEF, Sorghum Producers and Cotton Producers Join Support of FTAs
-- Government Report says Ethanol Worsens Greenhouse Gases; RFA Disagrees
-- American Farmers and Ranchers Annouce Fall Speech Contest Dates
-- Master Cattleman Summit Early Registration Deadline is Today
-- Beef Export Marketing Efforts A Major Part of Improving Beef Demand by Beef Checkoff
-- 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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Agriculture and Conservation Groups Call for Changes from Policymakers
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~"The most important resources for a functioning society are soil quality and the production capacity inherent in the land," says Julia Freedgood, Managing Director of Farmland Protection and Agricultural Viability Initiatives at American Farmland Trust (AFT). "We need new ideas and solutions to meet the economic and environmental challenges that will shape the future of America's agricultural landscape and rural regions in the 21st century. First and foremost is the need to provide healthy food to as many as nine billion people on a shrinking resource base of U.S. farm and ranch land, which is threatened by competition for land and water resources."
Held in the shadow of the first possible government shutdown this year, the National Agricultural Landscapes Forum brought together thought-leaders from around the country to foster a dialogue about the major trends and issues shaping the future of agriculture, conservation and rural regions, and to put forth policy and program options to increase government effectiveness and facilitate cross-jurisdiction collaboration. The forum was hosted by AFT, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and Farm Foundation NFP.
In her opening keynote, USDA Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan challenged forum participants to address some key questions: "What approaches are needed to protect the land? How can we balance the regulatory requirements? How can we make sure our tools will be effective with challenges such as climate and water and future challenges that we don't know about yet? And, how do we approach the need for 100,000 new farmers each year?"
The group of more than 250 leaders in agriculture and conservation emphasized the many themes to guide policy, improve environmental performance, share the costs and ensure a future for farmers and ranchers on the land.
America Farm Bureau Federation Urges Congress to Hold the Line on Capital Gain Rates
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The American Farm Bureau Federation is urging Congress to maintain capital gains rates at the current 15 percent level and strongly backs legislation introduced that would eliminate the sunset of the current tax rates for capital gains and dividends.
The bills introduced in the Senate by Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and in the House by Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.) will provide greater tax certainty for America's farmers and ranchers, according to AFBF President Bob Stallman. Under current law, the top long-term capital gains tax rate will rise to 20 percent on Jan. 1, 2013. The Crapo and Roskam bills would kill that increase.
"Farm Bureau calls on Congress to pass these important bills introduced by Sen. Crapo and Rep. Roskam," Stallman said. "The legislation will prevent tax rates on capital gains and dividends from increasing. Allowing these tax rates to increase would undermine economic recovery efforts. Keeping tax rates for capital gains at the current level is vital for the health of both the U.S. economy as a whole and for the farm and ranch economy."
Stallman explained that low capital gains tax rates increase the incentive for U.S. farmers and ranchers to invest in assets to grow their businesses and help them remain productive and profitable. Higher capital gains taxes make it difficult for many family farms, which make up 98 percent of total farms across the United States, to obtain land, buildings and animals they need to stay efficient.
USMEF, Sorghum Producers and Cotton Producers Join Support of FTAs
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The submission to Congress by President Obama of free trade agreements with South Korea, Panama and Colombia is a positive step toward improving the U.S. balance of trade and creating new jobs in America, the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) said.
"This move by President Obama is a critical step toward passing free trade agreements that will help ensure a level playing field for U.S. exports internationally," said Philip Seng, USMEF president and CEO. "We congratulate our trade negotiators for keeping these FTAs moving forward and urge Congress to move quickly to ratify them."
Click here for more from USMEF on the FTA movement.
The National Sorghum Producers also applaud the Administration for
submitting legislation to Congress to ratify the three pending bilateral
trade agreements between the United States and Korea, Columbia and Panama.
The National Cotton Council also welcomed the news that the enabling
legislation necessary for Congress to approve the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade
Agreement (FTA) has been formally transmitted to Congress. The U.S. cotton
industry urges immediate approval of the legislation by the House and
Government Report says Ethanol Worsens Greenhouse Gases; RFA Disagrees
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~A new report by the National Academies of Science has found that corn ethanol production increases greenhouse gas emissions and damages soil, air, water and wildlife habitat. As well it says advanced biofuels such as cellulosic ethanol are unlikely to prove practical substitutes for either corn ethanol or fossil fuels.
"This report highlights the severe damage to the environment from corn-based ethanol," said Sheila Karpf, EWG's legislative and policy analyst. "It underscores just how misguided and U.S. biofuels policy has become. It catalogs the environmentally damaging aspects of corn-based ethanol and also casts serious doubt on the future viability of so-called 'advanced' biofuels made from other sources."
During the Congressional debate over the 2007 Energy Independence and
Security Act, the Environmental Working Group argued for provisions to
roll back biofuels mandates uf production of these renewable fuels were
found to be found harmful to the environment. But the Renewable Fuel
Standard finally enacted did not include such language.
The Renewable Fuels Association was not pleased with the results of the
report saying the results of the National Academies of Sciences (NAS)
study, entitled "Renewable Fuel Standard: Potential Economic and
Environmental Effects of U.S. Biofuel Policy", should be interpreted with
extreme caution. Specifically, the NAS study released this morning and the
executive summary reviewed by the RFA largely assesses ethanol and other
biofuels in a vacuum and fails to appropriately compare the costs and
benefits of renewable fuels to the impacts of the marginal petroleum
sources they are displacing.
American Farmers and Ranchers Annouce Fall Speech Contest Dates
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~American Farmers & Ranchers (AFR) announces the dates for the 67th Annual American Farmers & Ranchers Fall Speech Contest. The theme for this year's contest is "I Believe in Oklahoma Agriculture."
For many years, AFR and its sister organization, Oklahoma Farmers Union, has continued to strive to provide the youth of Oklahoma many opportunities to develop into the leaders of tomorrow. Approximately 500 young people compete across the state in the five AFR district contests, with over 160 finalists advancing to the state competition.
According to the President of the AFR, Terry Detrick, "Over the years, our speech contests have been an AFR/OFU priority activity in which the youth of Oklahoma can compete. There have been thousands of participants-never a loser. Every participant is a winner by just participating. We constantly meet leaders from the forks of the creek to Washington D.C. who tell us they got their start participating in the AFR/OFU speech contest. We encourage every parent and grandparent to do their kids a favor and insist they take advantage of this tremendous leadership training opportunity."
Grades 4th-12th can compete in these five categories: American Farmers
& Ranchers, Natural Resources, Student Organizations, Agribusiness and
Master Cattleman Summit Early Registration Deadline is Today
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~TODAY is the final day to preregister and save money on registration if you are thinking of attending the 2011 Master Cattleman Summit at Oklahoma State University's Stillwater campus on Oct. 14-15. This year's program will feature two of the nation's most popular and knowledgeable speakers on ranch management: Kit Pharo and Burke Teichert. Kit Pharo is known for his unique and innovative management ideas and philosophies that differ substantially from many traditional ways of thinking. Burke Teichert has much experience in ranch management and is recognized for organizing operations that are cost-effective with efficient, small crews.
Additionally, the summit will include several concurrent sessions on October 14 where producers can choose topics of most interest to them. Two interactive sessions have limited enrollment to ensure participants receive the maximum possible benefit from the experience. The Reproductive Technology Workshop and the Feeder-Packer Game will run from 2:15 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. and each will be limited to the first 35 and 40 individuals who register for them.
The other three concurrent sessions will focus on key management issues related to the 2011 drought, and will be offered twice to allow participants to attend two of the three. Each session will run from 2:15 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. and then be repeated from 4 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. Concurrent sessions and workshops focusing on beef management tools, drought management and one-on-one drought nutrition will be led by OSU Cooperative Extension specialists who are experts in their fields.
The summit will begin at 1 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 14, and finish at approximately 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 15. Summit sessions will take place at the OSU Animal Science Building, located on Monroe Street near the Hall of Fame Avenue intersection. Cost is $30 if registering prior to Oct. 5 and $40 thereafter. To register, contact Kareta Casey by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 405-744-9836. The summit is unable to accept credit cards. Early registration is encouraged to facilitate planning and help ensure that sufficient numbers of meals, refreshments and conference materials are provided.
Beef Export Marketing Efforts A Major Part of Improving Beef Demand by Beef Checkoff
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~One of the tremendous success stories for the US Cattle Industry in recent years has been the growth of the beef export market. That growth has helped support higher cattle prices in the face of a domestic market that has been anemic at best- mainly because of high unemployment and fears of the future by consumers with jobs.
Irving Petsch is a Wyoming cattle producer who has been involved in shaping US beef export efforts, as he has served seven years as a director for the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF), a contractor to the Beef Checkoff Program. In our Tuesday and Wednesday Beef Buzz shows as heard on the Radio Oklahoma Network, Petsch highlights some of the foreign marketing programs that have proved beneficial to U.S. producers.
One of the biggest accomplishments in the foreign markets, according to
Petsch, was the ability over recent years to recover from the BSE problem
that occurred in 2003. Now, the U.S. is back to pre-BSE levels of
exportation and are actually a little beyond those levels says Petsch.
One aspect of the USMEF strategy that Petsch says he is very impressed
with is the USMEF hiring local people in 18 different offices around the
world. Petsch says this allows the USMEF to be very aware of what is going
on in those countries when it comes to political events or what the
consumer needs and wants.
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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 $11.25 per bushel- as of the close of business yesterday, while the 2012 New Crop contracts for Canola are now available are $11.30 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
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