~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Friday February 16, 2007!A service of Midwest Farm Shows
-- The Three Million Dollar Problem- Fiscal Year 2007 Earmarks worth that much to OSU Ag Research.
-- The $350 Million Complication!
-- Warmer Air and Rapid Wheat Growth may go hand in hand this coming week!
-- Monday is Presidents Day- Ag Futures, Banks and Uncle Sam's offices will be closed!
-- House Ag Committee Member Frank Lucas holding Town Hall Meetings this coming week.
-- Oklahoma Beef Quality Summit Signup Continues.
-- Kansas Lawmaker Wants to Open up Trade with Cuba!
Here's your morning farm news headlines from the Director of Farm Programming for the Radio Oklahoma Network, Ron Hays. Our email this morning is a service of Midwest Farm Shows, featuring the Southern Plains Farm Show in Oklahoma City April 19-21, 2007, as well as the Tulsa Farm Show held each December. Check out details of both of these exciting shows at the official website of Midwest Farm Shows by clicking here.
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The Three Million Dollar Problem- Fiscal Year 2007 Earmarks worth that much to OSU Ag Research.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Dean Bob Whitson of Oklahoma State's Division of Agriculture has money dreams these days with a couple of big numbers floating around in his head. One of those numbers is $3 million, the figure that Dr. Whitson says is the amount of money that OSU could lose from not getting any earmarks for ag research this current fiscal year. As you may recall, The Republican majority last fall failed to move budgets for many agencies through both the House and Senate (including USDA) and the new Majority Party in both bodies has decided to "punt" the current fiscal year with a Continuing Resolution which gives us spending locked in at 2006 levels. However, that does not include Congressional earmarks which includes funding for all kinds of specific projects- sometimes known as "pork."
As the Dean joked with members of the Oklahoma Wheat Commission yesterday in Stillwater, it's only "pork" when it is in some other state- here at home, we are talking important projects. In the case of OSU, we are talking about the Wheat Pasture Research at Marshall as well as some of the cellulosic biofuels research underway at the University. Whitson told us that there is a possibility that we might still get some of those dollars through various federal monetary spigots- but OSU is trying to find ways to keep these programs going at some minimal level until they see what Fiscal Year 2008 brings.
There is also another figure that has been stuck in the Dean's head for several months now- and that is the $2.9 million that state lawmakers tried to specify should go to OSU Extension and the Experiment Station in the 2006 Legislative session- but got reallocated by the Higher Education Regents. There are lots of folks at the State Capitol trying to help fix this shortfall- but it may not come until the new state fiscal year after July first. We have a link to our conversation with the Dean below- check it out!
The $350 Million Complication!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Oklahoma Tax Commission has recommended to the State Equalization Board to think low on the amount of revenue that will be available for the State Legislature to spend over the next couple of months for the coming Fiscal Year.
The Tax Commission now thinks that we could have $250 million less in tax collections than what was being estimated back in December, while corporate income tax collections need to be scaled back by some $100 million compared to the December guesses- which even new math means $350 million less for the basics plus all the new projects and/or tax cuts that various lawmakers are promoting.
This could have impact on what OSU wants and on any other measure that has Fiscal impact- such as the Vet Debt Forgiveness measure that we mentioned earlier in the week. It is out understanding that the Equalization Board will certify a number this coming week- and that will be how many dollars will be in the State's Cookie Jar for all to share- that will be bear watching.
Warmer Air and Rapid Wheat Growth may go hand in hand this coming week!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Dr. Jeff Edwards, OSU Extension Wheat Specialist, tells us that he will be checking the earlier varieties of HRW this coming week for any initial signs of First Hollow Stem- the stage of the wheat plant's development that will signal that we need to pull cattle off of the wheat fields that we hope to harvest for grain.
The research shows that we lose over a bushel of yield potential for every day we wait to pull those cattle from the fields that we identify as hitting that stage of development. We have a link below with Dr. Edwards about the latest on scouting your wheat- and also the need to get after your fertilizer top dressing ASAP.
Monday is Presidents Day- Ag Futures, Banks and Uncle Sam's offices will be closed!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~This coming Monday will not be the day to get business done with the local FSA office, or go to the bank. It will be President's Day as we honor both the Washington and Lincoln birthdays of this month in a unified holiday Monday.
Ag Futures will also take the day off- but we will have our normal radio reports on the Radio Oklahoma Network, as well as this email as we hopefully will be celebrating some sunshine and warmer temperatures!
House Ag Committee Member Frank Lucas holding Town Hall Meetings this coming week.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~U.S. Third District Congressman Frank Lucas will hold town meetings in three counties in northern and eastern Oklahoma on February 19th and 20th as part of his annual round of 50 town hall meetings each year. The public is encouraged to attend the meetings to hear of recent issues in Congress they should be aware of, and to express to Lucas their concerns.
Every year Lucas conducts town hall meetings in all counties in his congressional district to give his constituents an opportunity to meet with the congressman. Lucas is committed to continuing this tradition in the Third Congressional District, which includes all or portions of 32 counties in Oklahoma, stretching from the Oklahoma panhandle to the outskirts of Tulsa, and from Yukon to Altus in the southwest. The congressional district takes up almost half the state's land mass. Frank Lucas is serving his seventh full term as a Member of Congress, representing Oklahoma's Third Congressional District. He serves on the Agriculture, Financial Services, and Science and Technology Committees, and is currently the Ranking Member of the Agriculture Subcommittee on Conservation, Credit, Energy, and Research. Lucas also operates a farm and cattle ranch in Roger Mills County.
Monday, February 19, 2007
Oklahoma Beef Quality Summit Signup Continues.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The dates for the spring edition of the Oklahoma Beef Quality Summit have been set as March 5-7 and March 7-9 on campus in Stillwater of Oklahoma State University.
Slots are filling up for these two sessions- free to Oklahoma cattle producers with a small charge to those in allied industries that wish to participate. Producers are responsible for lodging in Stillwater for the event. If you wish to find out more about the Beef Quality Summit, go to the link we have below which will tell you details about the two and a half day program.
If you want to call and reserve your spot, call the Oklahoma Beef Council at 1-800-235-5403 and they will be happy to sign you up!
Kansas Lawmaker Wants to Open up Trade with Cuba!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Kansas Congressman Jerry Moran has introduced legislation to increase the ability of U.S. ag producers to market their products to Cuba. The measure - the Agricultural Export Facilitation Act of 2007 - would remove barriers to all present and future sales of ag goods to Cuba under the Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act of 2000.
According to Moran - itís the right time to encourage the U.S. to change its trade policies toward Cuba as Cuban dictator Fidel Castro is stepping aside. He says Cuba is an important market for U.S. agriculture - but ag sales have been inhibited by the actions of the U.S. government. Thanks to unreliable and uncertain trade policies - Moran says the U.S. has sent the signal to Cuba that itís easier to turn to other countries for products. As a result - he says the U.S. is only hurting the U.S.
Of course that was the point made this past weekend by former National Association of Wheat Grower President Jim Billington when he sparred with Oklahoma's man on the House Ag Committee and colleague to Jerry Moran, Frank Lucas. Lucas defended the Bush Administration's position that Cuba should be treated differently than any other communist nation in the world when it comes to trade- obviously something that many in agriculture take issue with.
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