Midwest Ag Report
Aug. 1, 2014
Midwest Ag Report
Give 100 percent
GOP-controlled Senate
USDA implements
Americans continue
Senate Republicans


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Give 100 percent

This past week my co-workers and I spent at Ag Media Summit. I already knew I work with some very talented people, but I was reassured at AMS.


While it is great to be awarded for all our hard work, it's also very rewarding to learn how to be a better writer, photographer, employee and person.


One of the speakers reminded us how important it is to always give 100 percent in everything we do. As farmers, it's something we are used to doing because we couldn't just partially plant a crop or partially feed our animals and expect to feed the world. 


This guy was talking about more than farming. He was talking about life. As they say, we only have one life, so live it. Don't just let other people say that, become an example of what those around you want to mirror. Always give 100 percent in everything you do and then you won't wish you had.


--Jennifer Carrico


headlinesTagAg News Headlines
for the
week ending Aug. 1, 2014     
  • GOP-controlled Senate could help ag producers, senator says   
  • USDA implements key farm bill crop insurance provision
  • Americans continue to demand beef amidst record prices           
  • Senate Republicans meet with EPA chief   

GOP-controlled Senate could help ag producers, senator says


If the Republican Party takes control of the U.S. Senate, it could mean less frustration in trying to get meaningful legislation approved-if the GOP holds onto the House as expected.


U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Dodge City, said election cycles are unpredictable, but there could be a mood nationwide to put the GOP in control of the Senate. That could open up opportunities that could help farmers and ranchers and alleviate uncertainty among producers. That anxiety inhibits productivity and hurts young farmers who need to know how to plan their operations.


As of now, Democrats control the Senate by a 53-45 margin. Two of the senators are classified as independents and they are classified with the majority. The GOP does expect to pick up several seats.


Roberts could be in line to serve as chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee. If that feat is accomplished, he would be the first elected official to ever hold that distinction. He has served as ranking member in the Senate and been chairman and ranking member in the House Agriculture Committee.


"I want to steer the Department of Agriculture to being more interested in helping farmers and ranchers and declare war on agencies that are against the normal crop and livestock operations that have agendas that have nothing to do with production agriculture," Roberts said.

(Read more)

USDA implements key farm bill crop insurance provision


The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced continued progress in implementing provisions of the 2014 farm bill that will strengthen and expand insurance coverage options for farmers and ranchers. The new Supplemental Coverage Option (SCO), available through the federal crop insurance program and set to begin with the 2015 crop year, is designed to help protect producers from yield and market volatility.


"America's agricultural producers work hard to produce a sufficient amount of safe and nutritious food for the country," said Secretary Tom Vilsack. "It's critical that they have crop insurance options to effectively manage risks and ensure that they do not lose everything due to events beyond their control. Following the 2014 farm bill signing, USDA has made it a priority to ensure the SCO was available to help farmers in this upcoming crop year."


The 2014 farm bill strengthens and expands crop insurance by providing more risk management options for farmers and ranchers and by making crop insurance more affordable for beginning farmers. SCO, which is administered by the Risk Management Agency (RMA), further strengthens the farm safety net.


(Read more


Americans continue to demand beef amidst record prices


Across the board, cattle and beef prices have surpassed record levels. Speaking at the Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association annual convention, Livestock Marketing Information Center Director Jim Robb says, from an economist view, it's a combination of the supply and demand side coming together.


"The domestic consumer demand has stayed surprisingly strong, and we've had some support in the beef complex from the trials and tribulations in the pork industry and the moving up of pork and hog prices," Robb said. "Then the export demand has been surprisingly good at these very high prices and foreign demand has stayed very strong and very robust for beef; in fact, we are getting year over year increases still in beef exports."


At the OCA meeting, Robb talked with Radio Oklahoma Network Farm News Director Ron Hays about the market situation. On the supply side, the industry has shrunk numbers significantly in recent years from ongoing drought in the south as well as the Midwest. In the short term, Robb says packers are needing animals, which pushes cattle and, in turn, beef prices higher. He says there are strong fundamentals under the market and at some point the market will peak, but no one knows when that will take place.


(Read more)


Senate Republicans meet with EPA chief

Republican members of the Senate Agriculture Committee had a long-awaited meeting July 22 with Environmental Protection Agency Administrator (EPA) Gina McCarthy.


The meeting with the senators to discuss their concerns about an assortment of environmental regulations planned by the Obama administration and their effects on agriculture production and rural economies, requested in May, was by some member's accounts, something that didn't go all that well.


Sen. Thad Cochran of Mississippi, ranking member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, said in a statement the meeting continued to raise red flags about the impact on agriculture and rural economies of EPA's new Clean Water Act (CWA) regulations.


Chief among the concerns raised by GOP senators representing rural communities and agriculture is the "Waters of the United States" (WOTUS) rule, which could bring more waters under the jurisdiction of the CWA, making them subject to EPA permitting requirements and the agriculture interpretive rule that outlines specific practices that qualify producers for exemptions from regulation if approved by U.S. Department of Agriculture.


The public comment period ends Oct. 20 on the proposed WOTUS regulations that were unveiled by the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers in March, and the comment period closed July 7 for the agriculture interpretive rule.


(Read more)

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