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UGUIDE

2007 Farm Bill Update/Status Thread

42 posts in this topic

As some of you may have heard or read, our 2007 Farm Bill is not passed and significant negative impacts loom if this bill is not passed by March 15, 2008. To that end I am starting this thread to keep interested and concerned parties abreast of developments. This forum has great participants with great access to info and just may have a fundamental impact on the passage of this bill.

Here are some info sources to start with and please feel free to add your updates/sources as we go. My hope is someone can post that the bill is passed between now and March 15th, 2008

http://www.farmpolicyfacts.org/

http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/!ut/p...RM_BILL_FORUMS

http://www.farmbill2007.com/

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Remember the bumper stickers "sportsmen for Bush". Etanol is not the answer, it takes to much energy to make ethanol bio-fuel. We won't need to worry about the Antis if their is no land and no game. It will only be a rich man's sport, at that rate in just years. Hopefully DU's switch grass project works and is accepted soon. It seems like coomon sense to use switch grass as farmers can farm more of it per acre and it helps wildlife, but I have'nt seen alot of common sense lately. Just shows how important everybody's word is and needs to be voiced, this is a battle woth fighting.

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Ethanol good for small towns, ADM and cargill and the landowner (today).

CRP good for the environment, sportsman and the landowner (yesterday - maybe tomorrow).

Farming generates more cash flow than hunting.

Ethanol is a joke. Price supported and competitors from Brazil are tariffed to keep them out.

Crude oil and gasoline are a globally traded commodity. The ethanol addition will not decrease our reliance on the mid-east.

We will pay more for bread, dairy products, and meat...

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A rather profound thought and statement was that "oil is still our best energy source today". Makes sense. Possibly Ethanol is our best alternative....today. We need cellulosic to be proven. The conversion is much better.

I like what I am seeing though which is more conservation, energy efficiency, and research on alternatives on renewal sources. The creative juices are flowing. It all comes down to where the consumer spends their dollar...the ultimate american vote.

The Farm Bill is entering into a new era with energy being a large new component. The 2007 Farm Bill is just going to end up being a draft for the 2012 Farm Bill.

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Let's just make sure that American companies are playing with the same deck as emerging nations (China). While US can take the lead, the average consumer is WalMart driven and price wins (directly or indirectly). The average American consumer will not pay more to be green.

Interesting story on the Orangutans of Borneo. They are going extinct because the rain forests are being cleared to make way for Palm plantations - needed to meet the needs of palm kernal bio-diesil fuels confused.gif

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Kind of off topic from the Farm bill but the CEO of British Shell oil recently said the easy to find oil is already being utilized. He looks for supply problems by 2015. That's only 7 years away! The 2007 Energy bill is the law of the land. We are not going back.

Right now if you do your homework you will find cellulose cannot even come close to competeing with corn. (and it is years away)Economists show cellulose ethanol will have a $2.25-2.40 per gallon cost. Right now net price to ethanol plants is $1.85-$1.95. Most of the tax breaks are "blenders credits", they go to the petroleum companies when they blend the ethanol with gasoline, although there are also credits for the first 15 million gallons produced at each plant. The point being if you don't like the current tax credit system you haven't seen anything yet.

From a corn ethanol perspective look for signifcant improvements in the number of gallons recovered per bushel as well as advancements in enzymes that break down the corn starch, a greening up of the energy needed to run plants and a reduction in the amount of water needed per gallon produced.

I am an avid waterfowler and pheasant hunter but if you want to affect change you must know the competition. Cheap food (starch) and high cost energy were always going to come to a clash.

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If ethanol is the answer - remove the 50 cent/gallon tariff on Brazilian sugar cane ethanol. Remove the US subsidies and let's see where the chips land

Much of the UNL gas is moved around the US via pipelines. Ethanol is not welcome in the pipeline system. The blending is always done right before the trucks head to the retailer and not at the refineries themselves (unless they are local).

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So what you are saying is you want to import oil from Canada, import ethanol from the low cost producer. By the way there are pretty hefty tax credits for wind energy as well, about 25% of the cost recovery of erecting large wind turbines is a Production Tax Cedit that basically is only usable by large corporations with unearned income. If you concentrate on the biased tax system you'll go nuts. What we need are tax credits for CRP.

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Mlaker3, maybe not a tax credit here but a credit for "green" no less. Chicago Board of Exchange is actually a trader of international greenhouse gases. first of it's kind I believe. More importantly to farmers and CRP owners practicing all different kinds of conservation get "Carbon Credits". You can signup your CRP, no-till practices, woodlots, riparian buffers, etc in multi-year contracts exchanging carbon credits for $$$. The buyers are industrial plants that emit greenhouse gases and need to purchase carbon to offset their emissions to maintain compliance.

More here:

http://nfu.org/issues/environment/carbon-credits

Farmers Union’s Carbon Credit Program allows ag producers and landowners to earn income by storing carbon in their soil through no-till crop production, conversion of cropland to grass, sustainable management of native rangelands and tree plantings on previously non-forested or degraded land. In addition, the capture of methane from anaerobic manure digester systems can also earn carbon credits.

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I read that in the Willmar paper Farm News about carbon credits.Sounds like a good deal for more CRP extra $$$ per acre.

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Somewhat unrelated, but maybe should be related, to the Farm Bill is the Carbon Credits program. Heard about this a while back but then again at Pheasant Fest by the Agroforestry boys. Carbon credits are actually exchanged internationally via the Chicago Board of Trade (ChicagoClimateExchange).

They pay for no-till, grass acreas and tree acres. I signed my farm up today. They don't pay that much but for people already trying to go green and are conservation minded it is a little icing on the cake.

An example would be that 1 acre of grass fixes 1 metric ton of carbon into the ground (out of the atmosphere per year). that credit on the exchange is worth $3 dollars per ton. If you had a $100 acres in CRP for 15 years that would be $300/year on top of your rental payments.

Like I said, not uch but in the fight for habitat you can't leave any money on the table.

I am also in process of enrolling 80 wooded acres in Wisconsin. The right wooded acreage can fix up to 7 metric tons of carbon per acre. That program has not been ironed out yet so this stuff is fairly leading edge.

Basically as I see it, you are getting paid to manage cover that eats green house gases. that's another program I can live with. Spread the word.

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Brittman: Ethanol is no joke. Ethanol from grain has emerged as a stabilizing influence in an energy market where global demand has not yet peaked. Ethanol use reduces the emission of green house gases. Ethanol is also directly beneficial to sportsmen as row cropped ag land is ideal habitat for game. The next time you ask a grain farmer for permission to hunt, remind him what a JOKE his contribution to the economy is to you. As you say it, remember that you already enjoy the world's safest, cheapest, and most plentiful supply of food. Tread lightly on the landowner's property...it's expensive. Instead of worrying about bird hunting becoming a sport of the wealthy, worry about it becoming a sport of the ethanol proponents.

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 Originally Posted By: graingrower
Ethanol is also directly beneficial to sportsmen as row cropped ag land is ideal habitat for game.

Graingrower, thanks for the post. I agree with everything you've said except for the part quoted above. Row crops are definitiely "used" by much wildlife but am not sure they are ideal? Can you share more on this? Corn yield seems to be tied to herbicides and insecticide use. In my mind ideal habitat would provide 12 months of cover/food vs. 3-6 month. For instance, there is a notion that switchgrass as a cover crop might be better for environment/wildlife/energy than corn on same acres.

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Okay, first of all, corn yeild is a function of soil fetility, moisture and disease tolerance. The use of herbicide reduces competion for these factors and is necessary for preserving the plants potential for production. Herbicides carry a social stigma that was earned at its' inception but no longer deserves because of the technological advances achieved in the last say 10 years. Application rates have been reduced to as little as one pint per acre. No environmental study can link modern photo-inhibitors with water quality issues, reproduction problems in animals, or health effects in humans. Insecticides have made even greater gains as they have been inserted into the DNA of the corn plant an no longer need to be applied directly to the seed and possibly leaching into the adjacent soil. Remember that switch grass is harvested early fall with a mowing height of about 4 inches. Switchgrass will have little or no regrowth after harvest depending on the temp. This leaves the same duration of cover as row crops but with less protein and carbohydrate sources. Ethanol from cellulosic feedstocks may in fact be the future of biofuels. Conversion of cellulose to ethanol is still in its infancy and can only mature if technology can discover a process to make it commercially viable, a reliable feedstock source can be developed, and the market for the end and co-products is willing to accept its use. I want to finish by relating to the topic of this thread; the farm bill is very important to agriculture, perhaps the policies crafted therein should be generated by america's best stewards of the land, the farmer.

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 Originally Posted By: graingrower
I want to finish by relating to the topic of this thread; the farm bill is very important to agriculture, perhaps the policies crafted therein should be generated by america's best stewards of the land, the farmer.

Grainergrower, since so many of today's farmer "rent" waaaay more ground than they own, and are pressured against the market to pay for all their high buck equipment, I am not sure that they CAN be the best stewards of the land anymore. I think the "landowner" is in the ultimate position to be the best steward of the land. It really comes down to the goals and value system that the landowner has set for themselves and the land that is the bottom line. What are your thoughts?

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Washington consultant Jim Wiesmeyer is reporting a very high-level Democratic leadership meeting is tentatively scheduled for late this afternoon. Sources say the meeting will determine whether an agreement can eventually be reached between Senate and House members regarding budget offsets for additional farm bill spending above the budget baseline.

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Thanks for the update Uguide, let us know whatever you hear.

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We have been promised an answer by Friday on the latest reports I have. There is NO way they will let it revert back to the 1949 bill. They would have to pay 9.00 for corn. It is not going to happen, if they can't come together, they will extend the current.

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If you have not realized yet the ETOH production is OK for right now using corn, but long term this is going to have very bad effects on water quality, rivers and lakes and very little value for wildlife. Corn plantings have increased and this has led to less acres enrolled in any conservation program, also inflates the prices of corn, feed and other corn bi-products and since more corn is planted, then less beans, grains etc... so it ineffect is raising all grains prices. I agree with some use of now since we do not have the bugs worked out to produce the ETOH out of other things yet. If we can figure out how to make it out of crops which are cheaper to grow, have less value as feed and human food and grow on fairly poor soils. Keep in mind the gain from making it out of corn currently is only 20 percent gain, which means you only are getting 20 percent more energy out of the corn ETOH than all the energy that went into producing the corn in the first place.

The way the biomass ETOH works is that it takes lots less energy to plant, manage and harvest than does corn, so eventhough it takes more of it to make the same amount of ETOH you have a crop that is improving runoff from fields, providing some habitat, nesting cover far better than corn.

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Does anyone have any news to report on the farm bill?

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Check online...do a search on the most searched search engine for Farm Bill 2007 and type in Phillip Fraas. He maintains a blog about the Farm Bill that has some good information on it.

The Dept of Ag also has a pretty good online resource.

What are your thoughts on it?

This is something that's rather boring to follow for the majority of people but it's going to have more to do with their hunting and fishing future than pretty much anything else on a local level!

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 Originally Posted By: WriteOutdoors
What are your thoughts on it?

This is something that's rather boring to follow for the majority of people but it's going to have more to do with their hunting and fishing future than pretty much anything else on a local level!

WriteOutdoors, I agree that this can be boring for most but the impacts of the new bill are far reaching. My thought on the major discussion issues with this bill is "Conservation meets energy independence". We won't see a solution to the problem in this new bill but will be lucky to get the ship starting to turn in the right direction. The debates are heated and good. Thank God for Dave Nomson and Pheasants Forever which has had a huge impact for hunters and conservation components of the past bills.

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USDA's Schafer: Progress made on farm bill. USDA Sec. Ed Schafer said there had been "real" progress in farm bill negotiations with the Hill over the past week as the search for a deal continues. Schafer said whether or not the final plan includes a disaster aid provision sought by some senators will depend on what is in the overall package. Schafer made the comments at the National Farmers Union convention in Las Vegas.

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Minnesota is VERY well represented in the discussions on the Farm Bill and I hope that they can come out of it with something that will continue the legacy of CRP and other programs that have really benefitted sportsmen and women.

It's tough that it lagged over into this election cycle, however. It's a difficult time to get anything constructive completed and if there are controversial provisions good luck getting an incumbent to attach their name to it. I hope I'm not being cynical because I think it still has a shot as passage but don't be surprised if it's officially known as the 2009 Farm Bill when all is said and done!

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I've been fortunate enough to hunt ND a fair amount over the last few years and loved every minute of it. Last fall several of our freinds out west reported seeing more pheasants than they can remember but have a grim forcast for the future because of the huge loss of CRP that is immenent. MN has lost many of it's ducks and it looks like big bussiness is going to play a big role for public hunting in years to come. An avid hunter who works in the agriculture bussiness in ND sent his view of the future of things to come and I figured I'd share it here.

" ND lost 420,000 acres (350,000 in SD) this last year and in the next 3 years we could stand to loose most all of the almost 3 million acres left (I believe that's what remains in ND).

With the current commodity prices you really can't blame the farmer for not re-enrolling in the program when his contract is up. Most CRP contracts pay $32 -$40 / acre and they can make a lot more either renting the land out or putting it back in production.

This is a serious deal and the Gov't could even decide to let them out of their contracts earlier because of the short markets on wheat and soybeans and sunflowers. Not to mention the need for all the corn acres to feed the ethanol plants.

Bad deal and this ethanol has created a monster competition for acres among the crops, along with some crop shortages in the world.

Who would have thought that the farmer would get $7 / bushel for his wheat last harvest - and most sold - and now the market is over $20 / bushel. Unbelievable.

We hunters stand to really loose out on the habitat and all the game it produces.

Could be fence post to fence post farming very soon."

Living here on the north shore, I'm an outsider looking in but I care very much about the future of our sport and the general health of the midwest. I wish I had some answers to share but game management is a multifaceted problem and unfortunatly money talks. I hope we can band together and represent our interests for the betterment of everyone in the future, there is less young poeple interested in hunting and fishing these days and it seems many priorities have shifted into a cloudy mess. I'm going to enjoy what we have now and try my best promote what we need for the future. Hopefully we won't have to tell our grandkids what the "good ol' days" were like, instead we should be able to show them.

redhooks

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