~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Tuesday January 13, 2009A service of Producers Cooperative Oil Mill, Midwest Farm Shows and KIS Futures!
-- Final COOL Rule Now Out For All to See
-- NFU's Tom Buis Still Very Unhappy With USDA Over the Mixed Origin Label
-- Mary Kay Explains it All- If "All" means Washington Insiders Ag Stuff
-- Hard Red Winter Wheat Seedings Down From a Year Ago- Led by Declines in Kansas and Oklahoma
-- House Ag Republicans Named by Congressman Lucas
-- From the Calendar- Deadline is Upon Us for Horse and No-Till Training
-- Grain Exports Face Challenges in 09
-- Let's Check the 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 KIS Futures as a regular sponsor of our daily email update. KIS Futures provides Oklahoma Farmers & Ranchers with futures & options hedging services in the livestock and grain markets- Click here for the free market quote page they provide us for our website or call them at 1-800-256-2555.
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Final COOL Rule Now Out For All to See
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~USDA has made public details of the final regulation for the mandatory country of origin labeling program required by the 2002 and 2008 farm bills. The rule covers muscle cuts and ground beef, lamb, chicken, goat and pork; wild and farm-raised fish and shellfish; perishable agricultural commodities - specifically fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables; - macadamia nuts; pecans; ginseng and peanuts. The full text of the final rule will be published this Thursday in the Federal Register. The rule becomes effective 60 days later.
We had the chance to ask outgoing Secretary of Agriculture Ed Schafer about the details of this finalized Rule as he prepared to speak on Monday at the American Farm Bureau convention in San Antonio.He calls this rule "a good compromise that is balanced" and that he believes will work well.
Schafer's comments on the finalization of COOL is the centerpiece of our Tuesday Beef Buzz that comes out of the AFBF meeting in San Antonio. We have it linked below so you can hear the comments by the outgoing Secretary, as well as be linked to our earlier stories and some of the first reaction that groups have offered thus far.
NFU's Tom Buis Still Very Unhappy With USDA Over the Mixed Origin Label
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~When the program began last fall, perhaps the most vocal critic of the mixed origin label that was rolled out by USDA for use by the packers was the President of the National Farmers Union, Tom Buis. I remember in a teleconference with Tom as he vented over what he called a disregard for the intent of Congress of what is a product of the USA and how that should be transmitted to consumers.
Buis demanded change then- had meetings with several of the major packers, and they pledged to move to a label that says Product of USA only this spring for most of their product. After those meetings, he talked about the need to trust, but verify. Now, with USDA's final Rule on COOL out, Buis is angry (or close to it) again.
NFU issued a statement saying that USDA has clearly missed the intent of Congress and those who drafted the language in the 2008 Farm Law- and that "The intent was to provide country of origin labeling, not trade agreement origin of labeling. If a product is exclusively born, raised and processed in the United States it should be labeled as such." He adds that if later in 2009 if that concept is not followed by the packers as they pledged in those meetings- that his group will not hesitate to go and demand a legislative fix for this loophole.
Mary Kay Explains it All- If "All" means Washington Insiders Ag Stuff
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Our Monday Ag Perspectives Podcast from the 2009 American Farm Bureau Convention features Mary Kay Thatcher, lobbyist for the AFBF in their Washington offices. We talk what the mood is in Washington right now as the Bush Administration winds down and the Obama Administration approaches inauguration day. We talk about the selection of Governor Vilsack as the next Secretary of Agriculture, about Congressman Lucas as the new ranking member of the House Ag Committee and about several key policy issues that Farm Bureau is very much interested in.
We have the link to our nine minutes with Mary Kay linked below- click to get up to date on what's happening inside the Washington beltway as it relates to the business of agriculture.
Hard Red Winter Wheat Seedings Down From a Year Ago- Led by Declines in Kansas and Oklahoma
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~A whole host of reports were issued by USDA on Monday morning, including a report that showed a bigger reduction in the number of acres that were planted to winter wheat than had been expected by traders. The prereport guesses had been for a total of just over 44 million acres that were planted to winter wheat this past fall- however, USDA found only 42.098 million acres seeded to winter wheat for 2009 harvest.
Kansas led the decline with a six percent drop versus a year ago- with seedings at nine million acres, Oklahoma was down four percent from last fall at 5.4 million acres and Texas was actually up two percent to 5.9 million acres planted.
We also got final numbers on our spring planted crops across the country. For Oklahoma producers- we saw final Cotton crop numbers at 260,000 bales with one of the best yields of lint per acre at 805 pounds in the country; Oklahoma produced 13,950,000 bushels of grain sorghum for the year and a slightly smaller corn crop than had been earlier guessed- 36,800,000 bushels.
House Ag Republicans Named by Congressman Lucas
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~House Ag Committee Ranking Member Frank Lucas has announced the Republican membership of the committee. Tennessee's Phil Roe, Missouri's Blaine Luetkemeyer and Pennsylvania's Glenn Thompson are new to the committee. One vacancy remains. Among those continuing to serve are former Ranking Member Bob Goodlatte, Sam Graves of Missouri, Steve King of Iowa, Randy Neugebauer of Texas, Jeff Fortenberry of Nebraska.
Lucas says the nation's farmers and ranchers are facing significant challenges - including higher input costs, increased regulation and devastating disasters. He says he will work with his colleagues to ensure farmers and ranchers have the tools they need to produce a safe, affordable and abundant food supply. Subcommittee assignments and leadership will be announced as those decisions are finalized.
The House Ag Committee Republicans includes the following:
From the Calendar- Deadline is Upon Us for Horse and No-Till Training
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~January 15 is the deadline for registration for a series of short course meetings planned in northeast Oklahoma for horse owners. The Tulsa Area Shortcourse begins the end of this month- but you need to go to our website to get further details and registration information to make sure you get one of the remaining slots for the multiple sessions.
The Short course will include lectures, demonstrations, and problem solving. Meetings will begin at 6:30 p.m. Each class will last approximately two hours, with two related topics taught each evening.
Meanwhile the nation's best No Till Conference is up the highway in
Salina, Kansas and early registration deadline is this week for the 2009
edition of No Till on the Plains. The date for this event is January
Grain Exports Face Challenges in 09
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Speaking to American Farm Bureau Members in San Antonio, Texas, Shannon Schaffer says that after record U.S. grain exports in 2008, organizations that focus on spurring the flow of U.S. grain abroad will be looking at a few more challenges this year. Schaffer is director of membership for the U.S. Grains Council. She predicted, - this year's global market dynamics - pose substantial challenges regarding exports.
Feed grains exports in 2008 largely surpassed 2007 numbers. However, the Agriculture Department projects fiscal 2009 exports for coarse grains will be nearly 17 million tons below last year. But, given the tough competition U.S. farmers face from an abundant and affordable supply of feed wheat from Russia, the European Union and Ukraine this year, Schaffer said his organization will focus on marketing U.S. supplies of the ethanol co-product, distiller's dried grains with solubles.
Schaffer adds that the Grain Council sees distiller's dried grains as an ingredient most likely to compete with feed wheat from a price perspective. He added, - now is the time to work with our members to secure the presence of U.S. barley, corn, sorghum and their co-products in the global marketplace.
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We also invite you to check out our website at the link below to check out an archive of these daily emails, audio reports and top farm news story links from around the globe.
Let's Check the Markets!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Oklahoma National Stockyards had approximately 11,000 cattle for their Monday sale, with yearlings steady to a dollar cheaper than last week, while calves were down $1 to $3. Five to six hundred pound steer calves brought $102 to $114, while seven to eight hundred pound steer yearlings checked in from $94 to $98.00 For the complete Oklahoma City Monday cattle market rundown- click here.
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