~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Thursday December 13, 2007!A service of Cusack Meats, American Farmers and Ranchers & Midwest Farm Shows
-- Maybe Today will be IT!!!
-- Senator Coburn Wins One- and Withdraws One (with a promise)
-- Livestock Amendments to be debated today (with possible votes as well)
-- More on Olin Sims of the National Association of Conservation Districts.
-- What About E20 or E30 in your tank???
-- Meetings Planned and Meetings Cancelled
-- Alltech Wraps up Calf Country Tour Today
Here's your morning farm news headlines from the Director of Farm Programming for the Radio Oklahoma Network, Ron Hays. One of our sponsors on this daily email service is Cusack Meats, and Al Cusack wants everyone to know that he APPRECIATES Oklahoma's Farmers and Ranchers! You can go to the Cusack website and select some great gift packs of meat for giving- or for yourself!
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Maybe Today will be IT!!!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~It's probably still a little too optimistic- but Senator Harry Reid, the Senate Majority Leader, told members last night that it's possible that the farm bill debate could be wrapped up tonight. Most certainly, several of the amendments that are a part of the 20/20 deal were disposed of yesterday- and more are to come today.
The big debate yesterday, and the debate where the emotions rode high was the payment limits debate over the Dorgan-Grassley Amendment. This bill would place a hard cap on farm program payments- and according to its two authors, is badly needed to keep urban folks from questioning the need for a farm safety net.
The opposition to Dorgan-Grassley was lead by Saxby Chambliss- the ranking Minority Member of the Senate Ag Committee, and Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas- she told her fellow lawmakers that if this amendment became law- it would devastate southern agriculture- and effectively it would be the end of a safety net for her producers- and potentially mean more and more foreign food would cross into America.
This amendment has been challenged- which means that it will have to receive 60 votes to be attached to the Senate Farm Bill- we have heard from several directions that there are only about 55 votes out there for this measure- we will see as the vote is set to come up around 8:15 am Central time. We are tracking all of this on our web site- and invite you to check there through the day for the latest- including audio of the Congressional version of sausage making. We have a link there below.
Senator Coburn Wins One- and Withdraws One (with a promise)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn told fellow Senators last night that one of his amendments- #3530- has been accepted by Senate Ag Committee leadership and debated a second amendment- #3632, before withdrawing that amendment with a promise of action.
His amendment that Coburn says will be attached to the Senate Farm Bill is about dead people (in other words- their estates) receiving farm program payments. Cobrun says it is silly for USDA to be paying dead people for years and years- and says his amendment would tell the estates of those deceased that they have two years to settle things before USDA will look at dropping their farm program benefits.
On the EQIP amendment- Senator Coburn wants a string attached that to get EQIP Conservation cost sharing dollars, you have to be a farmer or rancher. The definition of that- according to Coburn- would be two thirds of your income from farming or ranching. Senator Tom Harkin promised Coburn that he would work with him on getting some resolution of that in the Farm Bill Conference Report. We have an audio overview of the Coburn amendments- click below to take a listen.
Livestock Amendments to be debated today (with possible votes as well)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~NCBA's Colin Woodall, their Executive Director for Legislative Affairs in Washington, is worried about a pair of amendments that will be debated today- and if passed and eventually end up in the final law- could be huge headaches for folks in the livestock business.
In our Thursday Beef Buzz, our regular Beef Industry news radio report on the Radio Oklahoma Network- we feature comments with Colin on these two amendments- one to be offered by Charles Grassley and the other by Jon Tester. The Beef Buzz is heard on great radio stations across Oklahoma- as well as can be heard on demand on our website on our Beef Buzz page.
The Grassley amendment would set up a task force that go looking for problems with the competition issues in the livestock business- while the Tester amendment is about the Packers and Stockyards Act- and would remove certain business considerations as being a valid reason for how livestock prices are set. We have today's Beef Buzz linked below- take a listen!
More on Olin Sims of the National Association of Conservation Districts.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Several have asked me about the memorial arrangements for Olin Sims, the President of the NACD who died last week on his ranch in Wyoming. Here is the latest communication we have seen- our thanks to Clay Pope for passing it along:
"It feels impossible to find words to describe the loss of a man whose presence could fill an entire room, but that is what members of the extended conservation district family are doing across the nation this week. NACD President Olin Sims died unexpectedly in an accident on his ranch in McFadden, Wyoming last Friday. We mourn together a man who believed in the work of conservation districts-he was deeply involved in it his entire life." Details regarding services are available at the link we have provided below.
The NACD Executive Board has named Steve Robinson as Acting NACD President until the Board of Directors meets in February.
What About E20 or E30 in your tank???
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~New research indicates that mid-range ethanol blends -- fuel mixtures with more ethanol than E10 but less than E85 -- can in some cases provide better fuel economy than regular unleaded gasoline. The new study, cosponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy and the American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE), also found that mid-range ethanol blends reduce harmful emissions and that vehicles without any adjustments can operate well on higher ethanol blends than previously thought. So, the higher levels would not require a flex fuel conversion to be utilized.
More research is needed, but the findings could turnaround previous assumptions which held that ethanol's lower energy content should always directly correlate with lower fuel economy for drivers. Instead, the new research strongly suggests that there is an "optimal blend level" of ethanol and gasoline-most likely E20 or E30-at which cars will get better mileage than predicted based strictly on the fuel's per-gallon Btu content.
The study- done in North Dakota and Minnesota- suggests that non flex fuel cars can handle higher levels of ethanol than the traditional E10 mixture that started back in the old gasohol days. We have a link to that study below for you to take a look at.
Meetings Planned and Meetings Cancelled
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Regular monthly meeting of the Oklahoma Wheat Commission is set for next week at the Commission offices in OKlahoma City. The meeting will be held on Wednesday December 19 at 9:00 am.
Meanwhile the Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Commission Regular Business Meeting scheduled for Tuesday, December 18, has been canceled. The next regularly- scheduled business meeting will be held Tuesday, February 19, 2008.
Alltech Wraps up Calf Country Tour Today
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Alltech has been holding a series of 18 Lunch and Dinner Meetings across the state of Oklahoma- they are calling this the 2008 Calf Country Profit Tour- they are talking about different ways you can control scours without having to resort to antibiotics.
The final six meetings are set for today- lunch meetings will be held in El Reno, Duncan and Vinita. The Dinner meetings this evening are set for Clinton, Chickasha and Bartlesville. If you want details of a meeting close to you- call the Alltech office at 417-886- 1000 and ask for details about the Oklahoma Calf Country meetings.
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