~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Friday November 16, 2007!A service of Cusack Meats, American Farmers and Ranchers & Midwest Farm Shows
-- Farm Bill Remains Stuck in the Procedural Mud of the Senate.
-- Bob, Jerry, Frank and the Boys Roll Out Colin Peterson's Language for the Farm Bill Extension.
-- Congressman Lucas offers his thoughts on the Farm Bill Extension Concept.
-- Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson Decides Any Amount of Chicken Litter is Dangerous- Poultry Industry Fires Back!
-- Say Hey for Sesame- 2007 has resulted in an "okay" harvest.
-- Beef Buzzing on a Friday with Mary Kay and Max
-- This N That- Oklahoma A&M Grad Inducted, Canola and Western Collection happening!
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Farm Bill Remains Stuck in the Procedural Mud of the Senate.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Senate Ag Committee Chairman Tom Harkin of Iowa says the farm bill will either be completed this year - if lawmakers vote today to curtail debate and amendments - or the 2002 law may have to be extended.
Harkin says if 60 Senators vote to invoke cloture on the farm bill - the Senate will return to the bill in December - after Thanksgiving break. There will then be just 30-hours to consider only relevant amendments - the dispute that's stalled the bill now for 10 days. But if the votes are not there- all bets are off.
The "rosy scenario" that Harkin claims could still happen with a successful cloture vote would be the Senate finishing their version of the Farm Bill around December 5th or 6th - reconcile it with the House- pass the conference report in one-week - and have it to the President before Christmas. I have not found many takers on this being anywhere in the neighborhood of reality. That's one of the reasons for this next story to be unfolding in the House.
Bob, Jerry, Frank and the Boys Roll Out Colin Peterson's Language for the Farm Bill Extension.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The top Republican on the House Ag Committee, Bob Goodlatte joined with his colleague Jerry Moran of western Kansas to introduce a one year extension of the 2002 farm law as the impasse continued in the Senate over their debate of the farm bill.
Moran told reporters yesterday afternoon that farmers need answers as to what farm policy they are growing crops under in 2008- noting that farmers in his state of Kansas- same for Oklahoma as well- have already planted their 2008 wheat crop and have done so without any idea what farm policy they are operating under. He also indicated that even if we got a farm bill done quickly- which would be early in 2008 now- it would be almost impossible for USDA to write the regulations of the new farm law, get software updated in a timely way to be able to serve farmers as they deal with their 2008 harvest next spring for winter wheat producers and plant their spring planted crops this coming spring.
In the Q&A time- Goodlatte and Moran indicated they have discussed this idea with the Chairman of the Committee, Colin Peterson and while he continues to think it is premature to do this- he has not flat out rejected the concept. Moran did say that he had actually dusted off the Colin Peterson language from a while back and used it as the base for his extension proposal.
Congressman Lucas offers his thoughts on the Farm Bill Extension Concept.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's man on the House Ag Committee, Frank Lucas, is one of the original co-sponsors for the Farm Bill Extension unveiled by Jerry Moran and Bob Goodlatte on Thursday afternoon. We asked his office for some of the lawmaker's justification for this proposal and here are the thoughts of Congressman Lucas on the Farm Bill Extension.
"The stalemate in the Senate is frustrating for me, but it's much more frustrating for producers. The Farm Bill was designed to give producers a reliable safety net, and all we're giving them now is a hazy picture as to what the Farm Bill will look like.
"For the past two years my work in the Agriculture Committee has been toward one goal - to craft a Farm Bill that improves upon the successes of the agriculture legislation we wrote in 2002, in order to meet the needs of all participants in the agriculture sector, from producers to consumers. I am very disappointed in the results we have created. In the House, we worked for months to craft a solid bill in terms of policy, only to see the Democrat Leadership hang a $4 billion tax hike onto the bill at the eleventh hour. In the Senate, we still don't even have a bill to compare to the House bill we passed in July.
"Even if the Senate were to pass its version of the Farm Bill, I don't see how we can settle our differences before the end of the year. I am completely under-whelmed by the Senate Democrats' inability to move this important issue forward. I'd even take a bad Senate bill that we can fix in conference, instead of more hoping and waiting."
Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson Decides Any Amount of Chicken Litter is Dangerous- Poultry Industry Fires Back!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Wednesday afternoon, Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson filed a restraining order in the Oklahoma Northern District, Federal Court seeking an immediate restraining order to stop the land application of all poultry waste in the Illinois River Watershed. The restraining order is being sought related to elevated levels of bacteria deemed harmful to public health.
Jackie Cunningham with Poultry Community Council issued this statement on Thursday afternoon "It's unfortunate that the state's top law enforcement official has resorted to scare tactics and exaggerations in his latest legal maneuver against poultry producers. Contrary to his claims, there is no "imminent and substantial endangerment" to public health from the safe, government-regulated practice of using poultry manure as a fertilizer. If there were, Oklahoma's own state officials who monitor the river and protect the health of Oklahoma's citizens surely would have addressed it. The fact the Attorney General waited two and a half years after filing suit against the poultry industry to submit this motion, is further evidence it's really just another litigation and PR stunt orchestrated by Mr. Edmondson's contingency-fee lawyers."
Cunningham continues "The Attorney General's motion lacks specific
locations or data. It's supported only by affidavits from hired experts
who offer broad conclusions without citing a single poultry farm or
location. These are the same kind of generalities Mr. Edmondson has been
using in legal proceedings against the poultry industry, in which he
admits he lacks evidence that poultry farmers have violated the laws or
caused pollution. In fact, we're not aware of evidence of a single person
suffering heath effects from the use of poultry litter in the Illinois
Say Hey for Sesame- 2007 has resulted in an "okay" harvest.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We appreciate Danny Peeper of Wheeler Brothers Grain in giving us an update on the 2007 Sesame crop that is just now being harvested in Oklahoma. Peeper tells us that "Sesame Harvest this year is about 3 weeks behind schedule due to below average temperatures and wet weather in the late summer that slowed development. The abundance of moisture did not do any favors for yield considering sesame is a dry weather crop. Also flowering was hindered due to the lack of 100 degree days. Also wet weather caused planting to be much later than desirable. With all this said we are still experiencing average to slightly better than average yields. The majority of the completed fields are ranging from 300-800 pounds.
"Quality of the crop has been excellent, and the delay in a killing freeze has helped to finish some of the late planted fields. Current contract prices are 27 cents a pound with an opportunity for up to a 3 cent premium. Producers have been pleased with performance and most have plans to expand plantings for next season."
Sesame was a crop that I always associate with our old friend Tedrowe Coulter, who before he passed away, was really promoting it as a great change of pace crop for many of our continuous wheat acres in north central areas of the state. After several years where we have had limited Sesame activity, it appears that we have some improvement in the genetics and that Sesame could be a dry, hot weather crop alternative to some of the other options we consider viable here in the state.
Beef Buzzing on a Friday with Mary Kay and Max
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Sometimes, our radio shows can make for odd combinations- and today we feature comments from Mary Kay Thatcher of the American Farm Bureau's Washington office on the Packer Ban language in the Senate Ag Committee's 2007 Farm Bill Proposal- as well as other related livestock issues floating around the Senate farm bill debate.
.Thatcher does not see a vote coming to attempt to strip out the Packer Ban on Livestock Ownership from the Senate measure- because there are likely a majority of Senators who would favor the measure- but she not does see the House Farm Bill Conferees wanting anything to do with the measure.
Jumping from legislation to litigation- we also checked in on today's
Beef Buzz with Dr. Max Thornberry of Missouri who is the President of
R-Calf USA, who have filed for an injunction against the so called "OTM"
rule that is set to take effect this coming Monday. This regulation will
allow older Canadian cattle access into the United States- and that has
got R-Calf all worked up- they hope the Judge will see it their way and
block that opening.
This N That- Oklahoma A&M Grad Inducted, Canola and Western Collection happening!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Here in Kansas City where we have been reporting a good bit of this week- the National Association of Farm Broadcasters inducted into the Farm Broadcasters Hall of Fame Bob Nance- who was a legendary farm broadcaster from up in Iowa at WMT Radio in Cedar Rapids. Nance is originally from the Ada area- graduated from Byng High School and then from Oklahoma A&M in 1948. He worked with the Extension folks and helped produce radio programs out of Stillwater to be used across the state. He left broadcasting in the early 1970s and went to work as the lead marketer for Vigortone products and was the bass singer for the Vigortone Barber Shop Quartet which sang literally around the world as they represented the feed additive company.
Canola prices for Oklahoma up another half penny this week for contracting the 2008 crop. The new price brings us to 17 cents per pound- or $8.50 a bushel, delivered to several local points around the state- this the word from Gene Neuens of Plains Oilseed Products.
The Western Collection Cattle Sale that we told you about earlier this week happens tomorrow- Saturday, November 17 at 1 pm just outside Canute. We have the link below for all the details of this offering of top cattle genetics from several outstanding seedstock producers across the state.
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