~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Wednesday April 9, 2008!A service of National Livestock Credit, American Farmers & Ranchers and the Southern Plains Farm Show!
-- American Farm Bureau and National Farmers Union Do NOT See Eye to Eye on Columbia.
-- Blue Dogs Bark At Leadership over the Farm Bill- Meanwhile Saxby Still Not Interested in Extension.
-- Boonville and Arkansas Wooing Cargill as the Town Hopes to Convince Cargill to Stick Around and Rebuild.
-- Time Magazine Gets Lost in the Amazon Looking for Blame For Ethanol.
-- The "Worst Fears" of the Cattle Industry...
-- Guymon Joins the Biofuel Business As Plant Opens This Month!
-- Grass to Grid Sale Happens Saturday in Follett, Texas!
-- Markets Markets Markets!
Here's your morning farm news headlines from the Director of Farm Programming for the Radio Oklahoma Network, Ron Hays. We are proud to have National Livestock Credit Corporation as a regular sponsor of our daily email update. National Livestock Credit Corporation works diligently to provide unsurpassed service to their customers in the area of livestock financing. Check out the National Livestock Family of Services website by clicking here.
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American Farm Bureau and National Farmers Union Do NOT See Eye to Eye on Columbia.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~As the President officially transmitted the US- Columbia Free Trade Agreement to Capital Hill on Tuesday, we had several farm groups that were quickly issuing news releases on their view of the measure. Two of the major general farm organizations have taken opposing viewpoints on this deal and it's value to farmers and ranchers.
Bob Stallman, President of the American Farm Bureau, praises the move by President Bush- ""The American Farm Bureau Federation is pleased that President Bush has sent the implementing legislation for the Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement to Congress. This important trade agreement is good for U.S. agriculture because it corrects an inequity that exists between U.S. and Colombian agricultural exporters. "Currently, U.S. exports face significant tariffs or other restrictions in Colombia. Meanwhile, 90 percent of Colombian products enjoy duty-free access to the United States due to the Andean Trade Preference and Drug Eradication Act, which Congress recently extended. Congressional approval of the Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement will clear the way for U.S. food and agricultural products to receive duty-free treatment into the Colombian market."
However, Tom Buis with the National Farmers Union urges members of Congress to oppose the Columbian FTA as he explains in this statement issued yesterday morning- ""It is premature to consider the Columbia Free Trade Agreement until provisions for a level playing field have been established. America's farmers and ranchers produce the safest, most abundant, most affordable food supply in the world. Yet our trading partners are not required to meet our high labor, environmental, health and safety standards. Our current trade agreements have failed to live up to their promises. The Columbia Free Trade Agreement is another step in the wrong direction."
The Administration decided they had run out of time to send the measure to Capitol Hill- and transmitted it this week despite the protests of the Majority Democratic leadership, who currently oppose the agreement.
Blue Dogs Bark At Leadership over the Farm Bill- Meanwhile Saxby Still Not Interested in Extension.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Senate Finance leaders were reportedly meeting with House Ways and Means leaders Tuesday evening. The committees are trying to resolve differences on farm bill budget offsets. The meeting comes on the heels of a letter Arkansas Congressman Mike Ross - who serves as communications co-chair for the group of fiscally conservative House Democrats known as the Blue Dogs - sent to House leaders to urge quick passage of a new farm bill.
According to the letter - the farm bill under consideration includes
the most reform of any other similar legislation passed in Congress - as
it eliminates the three-entity rule and generic certificates - tightens
the caps on payments - and dramatically reduces the requisite AGI. Ross
also points to increased funding for nutrition and conservation and
investments in energy and rural development.
A late word in from one of the "Big Four" Preconference insiders comes
from Sara Wyant of AgriPulse. She covered a speech given by Senator Saxby
Chambliss- who says he remains "optimistic" that the ten billion dollars
promised by the Democratic Leadership will be forthcoming- it's a matter
of when that deal will be completed. Chambliss calls the idea of passing a
one or two year extension a "bad idea" because of what happens to the pot
of money that will be available at the end of the time of the extension.
Sara asked the Senator about some policy specifics and he said it's still
"in discussion- all of it."
Boonville and Arkansas Wooing Cargill as the Town Hopes to Convince Cargill to Stick Around and Rebuild.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Both the state of Arkansas and the city of Booneville have offered Cargill incentives to rebuild its beef plant there, which was heavily damaged by a fire last month.
Gov. Mike Beebe would not outline specifics of the incentive package after a luncheon speech Monday, but he said the Arkansas Economic Development Commission made its proposal to Cargill last week. At least one other state has indicated it will also offer incentives for the plant to relocate, the governor said.
The city of Booneville and Logan County are also offering Cargill perks to stay, including 35 acres of land close to the plant's current location and free water service for a year. The plant employed some 800 workers. Cargill has said it has not yet decided whether to rebuild the facility.
Time Magazine Gets Lost in the Amazon Looking for Blame For Ethanol.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We got an interesting response on the Time Magazine story on Corn and Ethanol- Time blasting the alternative fuel as the problem instead of the solution in a feature article this week. The response is from OSU Ag Policy Professor Michael Dicks who believes that Time has been led down the garden path in their assumptions that you can blame deforestation in the Amazon River Basin on corn production grown for ethanol.
Dr. Dicks writes "The Time magizine article makes the same mistake that Dennis Avery and the Heritage Institute made during the 1990s. There is no relationship between what the U.S. does or does not do and what Brazil does with respect to conversion of the Amazon. The data clearly show that the Brasil has been expanding cropland area for the last 50 years and it does not matter what the price is, whether the U.S. uses land retirement programs (As Avery insists is the cause), or feed corn gets shifted into ethanol production. Brazil needs foreign exchange earnings and the cheap land (that is the cash cost of it) allows them to produce below U.S. costs and compete in world markets.
"What I find amazing is that no-one talks about how the absence of
sufficient government stocks or idled acres has contributed to the huge
run-up of prices. In 1995 the mantra was "let the markets work". Seven
years latter Oklahoma lost roughly 3 million acres of wheat that
essentially went back to forage production. And, it did this through whole
farm production rather than by all farms setting aside 20 percent of their
land. Over those same seven years stocks dwindled until we were
maintaining about 60 days worth of carry over. So the market essentially
trimmed agriculture of its excess capacity. And as in the past, just as
the market is becoming successful in aligning supply and demand, weather
around the globe fails, supplies fall precipitously and yes demand
increased slightly so that supplies got extremely tight and prices went
through the roof as industries bid for land to plant their needed
The "Worst Fears" of the Cattle Industry...
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~That may be a little melodramatic- but still Gregg Doud, Chief Economist of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association believes that the cattle industry really is facing a major uphill struggle with sustained high corn prices that seem to be in the cards, based on the recent USDA Prospective Plantings report.
Doud says that we planted huge acres to corn in 2007, we are swinging a lot of those acres over to soybeans in 2008- and that the market will be forced to buy a lot of those acres back in 2009- keeping corn prices in the upper five dollar to low six dollar range for much of the rest of this year into 2009. He says that really means trouble for cow-calf and stocker operators who face real pressure on the price of their calves, stockers and yearlings as a result.
Doud lays out his case on our Wednesday Beef Buzz, which is heard on great radio stations across the state on the Radio Oklahoma Network- as well as linked on our website, WWW.OklahomaFarmReport.Com on the Beef Buzz page. We also have today's report linked directly for you below- check it out.
Guymon Joins the Biofuel Business As Plant Opens This Month!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Seaboard Foods said its High Plains Bioenergy biodiesel production plant it announced last year will open April 24 with a 30-million-gallon annual capacity. The plant will employ 30 to 35 workers when running at capacity and plans to run 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It will use animal fats, including pork fat from the Seaboard Foods Guymon pork processing plant and vegetable oils.
One gallon of biodiesel can be made from every gallon of pork fat, the company said, adding that it can be used in any concentration with petroleum-based diesel fuel in existing diesel engines with little or no modification. Musket Corp., a fuel trading and distribution company, will market and sell the biodiesel the plant produces.
The biodiesel plant falls under the purview of newly formed High Plains Bioenergy, a wholly owned subsidiary of Seaboard Foods. "High Plains Bioenergy will focus on finding renewable energy sources from our integrated system, and complements the proactive environmental commitment exhibited in our processing plants and farms," said Rod Brenneman, president of Seaboard Foods and High Plains Bioenergy.
Grass to Grid Sale Happens Saturday in Follett, Texas!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Grass to Grid Bull and Female Sale, is featuring the genetics of Collins Cattle of Frederick, Oklahoma and Griswold Cattle of Follett, Texas. The sale is to be held in Follett, Texas on the 12th at 12:30 PM. Angus, MaineAngus and SimAngus Bulls will be sold, along with 100 Commercial black bred and open fancy heifers.
The Sale Catalog- available by going to the link below- talks about the genetics from these ranches- "These programs have a solid foundation as producers of moderate, efficient cattle that are backed by maternal traits. Our implementation of Maine Angus and SimAngus is a result for our demand for these type of females."
The sale will be held on the west side of Follett, TX at the intersection of Hwy 15 and FR 2741, at the Jeff Bourquin sale facility. (This is just a few miles west of the Oklahoma state line east of Shattuck and Woodward) The bulls are on feed at Panhandle Feeders in Shattuck, OK. For more information, you can contact Christy Collins at 1-800-975-6313- or go to the link provided below for their full sale catalog.
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Markets Markets Markets!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We have had a nice couple of days to the up side in the wholesale boxed beef trade- although choice and select carcass cutouts are closer in value than ever. The choice to select spread is now just 31 cents per hundred weight- as of yesterday afternoon.
Meanwhile, we had bit of a bounce for wheat prices on Tuesday, with nearby May Kansas City futures pushing seven cents and change higher.
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