~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Monday July 30, 2007!A service of Midwest Farm Shows
-- House Passes, with Controversy, the House Ag Committee's Farm Bill.
-- Brazil has Claimed Victory over the US Cotton Industry Again- National Cotton Council Says Hold the Phone.
-- OCA Elevates Ray Heldermon to President of the State Cattle Group
-- Oklahoma Cattlemen Approve Resolution to Support Investigators to Help with Cattle Rustling
-- Summer Lows of the Cattle Market May Already Be In.
-- A week from today- Oklahoma Farm Bureau begins August Area Meetings
-- This week- Bayer Crop Science & Major County's Relay for Life!!!
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 recently concluded Southern Plains Farm Show in Oklahoma City, 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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House Passes, with Controversy, the House Ag Committee's Farm Bill.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Friday midday, the full House passed by a mostly party line vote the 2007 2007 farm bill, almost exactly as drafted by the House Ag Committee. Among the things that were added after the final vote in the House Ag Committee that received a unanimous voice vote from both Democrats and Republicans was a tax increase imbedded into the Manager's Amendment to the Farm Bill that will close a loophole on foreign companies that have not paid taxes on some income generated int he United States. The Democrats claimed it was simply the closing of a loophole while the Republicans claim it is a tax increase. In reality, it seems to be both, and the unique thing about this measure is that it is tax policy that is being imbedded into a measure not originating in the House Ways and Means Committee- just being suggested as a way to find billions of dollars over the next few years by the Chairman of Ways and Means and with Charlie Rangel's blessing and the blessing of Nancy Pelosi and the Rules Committee, allowed to be made in order to be considered in the body of the farm bill. The only way to get it out- vote the whole farm bill proposal down and that is what most Republicans chose to do- vote against HR 2419. In the end, Pelosi brought her majority to the table and forced a positive vote without hardly any Republican help.
Republicans have cried foul, but most groups in agriculture seem to be saying they aren't impacted by the tax increase and that only bad thing about the measure is that the extra money is going for nutrition and not Title I or Title II spending (Farm or Conservation Programs). We have linked a large number of groups and their reaction to the passage of the farm bill on our Farm Bill webpage- and you can read each group's reaction for yourself and make your own mind up as to how each group feels.
We also have an interview with Congressman Frank Lucas who talked with us on Friday just before the final vote- he fully expected the Democrats to have just enough votes to win passage of the measure and indeed they pulled it through. Lucas expressed regret that Republicans were being seen by some as trying to block passage of the Farm Bill when it had been said all along that they were in favor but wanted to see where the money was coming from to pay for extra things that the Democrats called essential for this bill's chances of getting passed on the floor of the House. You can hear our interview with Congressman Lucas by going to our Farm Bill webpage- and also an audio overview of the comments from Colin Peterson, Democratic Chairman of the House Ag Committee after getting his bill passed through on the House floor.
Brazil has Claimed Victory over the US Cotton Industry Again- National Cotton Council Says Hold the Phone.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brazil announced Friday morning of this past week that they had won again in the WTO in a case against the US Cotton Subsidy program- claiming the US subsidies, even after changes were made from the first WTO ruling against US cotton, still violate world trade rules and have harmed Brazilian farmers. US Trade officials, Lawmakers and the US Cotton industry say that the apparent ruling against US subsidies is not based on what has already been done to US supports and where the global market now stands.
In a statement, The National Cotton Council says "Due to the confidential nature of the interim Panel ruling, the National Cotton Council has not seen the reported WTO decision. Initial press reports indicate that the Panel largely sided with Brazil. If the Panel ruled for Brazil on its serious prejudice claims, though, we believe that it would be contrary to the facts in the world cotton market. U.S. actions already taken to comply with the first WTO Panel ruling have had a significant impact on U.S. cotton and U.S. cotton producers. Since the U.S. eliminated cotton's Step 2 program, U.S. cotton acreage is down 28% for 2007, U.S. exports have declined significantly and U.S. production is predicted to be only around 17 million bales in 2007, the lowest since 2002. It cannot be credibly argued that any payments under domestic support programs are causing any country serious prejudice in 2007 - the first year of their operation without the Step 2 program. It is incomprehensible that a WTO panel could make a finding of serious prejudice against the U.S. when the international cotton market is strong, offtake will exceed production, world prices are up and acreage is up almost everywhere in the world except the U.S. cotton production outside the U.S. mushroomed and is estimated to be a record high of 97.1 million bales. India is expected to harvest an all-time record crop and has supplanted the U.S. as the world's largest exporter to China; world prices are up; and payments under the marketing loan program have decreased to zero. In the face of these facts, the U.S. cotton industry is left to puzzle the basis of such a decision. In addition to these changes, the farm bill passed by the House of Representatives contains a significant reduction in counter-cyclical program payments applied to cotton base acres. We would also be surprised by any finding in favor of Brazil when Brazil is currently harvesting a cotton crop that is 38% above last year's production and actually sold government cotton stocks during 2007 in an attempt to depress cotton prices."
As for the Bush Administration, they say that they will defend US Cotton producers in regards to this ruling out on Friday, saying US cotton supports are not depressing prices in the global market. The dispute process will likely drag on into early 2008, at which time, unless the ruling is reversed, the US will agree to implement the ruling or Brazil will be able to request authorization to apply trade sanctions.
OCA Elevates Ray Heldermon to President of the State Cattle Group
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Everybody that we talked to seemed pleased with the first Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association Convention and Trade Show that has held someplace besides the OKC Marriott in recent memory. The Reed Center in Midwest City handled the meeting well- and it is expected that with scheduling in the years to come, both the upper and lower levels of the Reed Center can be controlled for the three day meeting- and that will allow growth int he Trade Show and an even better experience for all involved.
New officers were installed by the OCA during their Saturday Business Session. Jim Birdwell of Fletcher ended his two years as President of the outfit, and Ray Heldermon of Claremore stepped up to accept the gavel. President Elect nominee Terry Stuart Forst of Waurika was elected to that position. This puts her on track to be the first female President of the OCA. The only other new officer for the organization in 2007 is Bob Howard of Altus, who steps in as Southwest District Vice President, replacing A.L. Hutson of Duncan, whose term expired.
Several honors were handed out during this year's meeting and they
Oklahoma Cattlemen Approve Resolution to Support Investigators to Help with Cattle Rustling
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~During the business session on Saturday of the OCA, the organization passed a resolution that would offer support to the efforts of the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture to increase the number of inspectors in the the newly revamped Rural Crimes Division of the ODAFF.
Earlier this year, Colonel Mike Grimes joined the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture staff after serving for many years with the Oklahoma Highway Patrol- and he has been busy organizing a team of ten people to help investigate cattle theft and other rural crimes in cooperation with local law enforcement officials.
The members of OCA authorized their Executive Committee to work with the ODAFF and help determine if the OCA and other groups might need to offer some temporary help through private funding and a Memorandum of Understanding that would use some private industry dollars to hire one or two additional investigators primarily to help fill in gaps now seen in western areas of the state. We talked with State Secretary of Agriculture Terry Peach of the ODAFF about this effort by his agency- and you can hear our conversation with Terry by clicking below.
Summer Lows of the Cattle Market May Already Be In.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We traded cash cattle in the Southern Plains this past Friday at $91 to $91.50, the third week in a row that we have moved higher off what may have been the low cattle prices of the summer season. We talked with Kansas State University Beef Economist Jim Mintert about that on Saturday after he spoke with the cattle producers of the OCA during their final session of the 55th annual Convention of the group in Midwest City.
Dr. Mintert says that we have wholesale beef prices unchanged from a year ago, while cash cattle prices are much higher than last July-August, which tells him that we have tight supplies of market ready cattle, and that there is an excess of packing capacity in our beef plants in 2007. He sees no real weakness in cattle price outlook for the rest of 2007 into 2008.
You can hear a part of our conversation with Dr. Mintert on our Monday ediition of the Beef Buzz, a regular radio feature of ours on the Radio Oklahoma Network. We have a link to today's program for you below- so check it out!
A week from today- Oklahoma Farm Bureau begins August Area Meetings
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~It will be the start of the grassroots process that Oklahoma Farm Bureau uses to develop policy that dictates the positions they take at the state capitol- and positions that they carry on to the American Farm Bureau for possible inclusion in that group's national policy.
August Area Meetings of the Oklahoma Farm Bureau begin next Monday and Tuesday in northwestern Oklahoma- starting in their District one:Monday, August 6 at Hunny's BBQ in Guymon; or Tuesday, August 7 at Western Electric in Woodward. Later in the week, they will hold a District 7 meeting in Enid at the Garfield County Fairgrounds. All of these meetings are planned for six to nine pm. You can check with your local Farm Bureau office for further details on these meetings.
We have also linked the schedule of the meetings the balance of the month from the Oklahoma Farm Bureau website. These meetings are the starting point for discussions that will be held in November during the 2007 Annual Convention of the Oklahoma Farm Bureau in downtown Oklahoma City.
This week- Bayer Crop Science & Major County's Relay for Life!!!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We have a couple of public appearances that we are looking forward to this week. Tuesday afternoon, we will be talking about some of the latest policy and market outlook issues of interest to the Oklahoma wheat industry during a special Seminar being planned by Bayer Crop Science.
We will be trying to get to bed early on Thursday and get rested up for something I am really looking forward to- the 2007 Major County Relay for Life Event in Fairview- it starts 6 PM at the Fairview High School Football Field and goes all the way to 6 AM Saturday morning! They have asked me to be their emcee for the twelve hour event- designed to raise money for cancer research, honor those who have been claimed by the disease but also celebrate with those who have beat cancer and bring awareness to the fact it takes a whole community coming together to support those involved in this disease. It will be an exciting time- lots of fun and I really hope that if you are anywhere close to Fairview Friday evening- you will stop by and say Howdy! The Fairview event is one of the best Relay for Life Rallies in the entire country- and the 2007 event is shaping up to be a dandy!!!
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