House Ag Committee Chairman Clarifies
U.S. Negotiating Position For WTO Director
Friday, June 16, 2006 By Shawn Wade
WhenWorld Trade Organization Director General Pascal Lamy arrived in Washingtonthis week to discuss the status of the Doha agricultural negotiation process hewas no doubt hoping to hear some willingness that the U.S. would consideradditional concessions and move the negotiations forward.
Fortunatelyfor U.S. agriculture the message he received from both farm groups and HouseAgriculture Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) was clear and unequivocal.
Basedon published reports of the meetings he conducted with Goodlatte andrepresentatives from eleven farm organizations, it appears that Lamy heard thesame basic message at least a dozen times - the current U.S. offer is as goodas it gets.
Theunited stand is welcome news to farmers and ranchers who have spent monthslistening to a growing chorus of international interests wanting the U.S. togive up even more than the significant cuts already proposed and get less inreturn.
Ina statement issued after his meeting with Lamy, House Ag committee ChairmanGoodlatte said, "Earlier this year, members of the WTO called on the UnitedStates to make an ambitious and forthcoming proposal, and the U.S. answeredthat call."
Goodlattefurther stated that since the U.S. proposal was put forward "no other countryhas introduced a proposal that even comes close to the U.S. offer."
Goodlattesaid he told Director Lamy "in no uncertain terms" that additional U.S.concessions are not an option and there was absolutely no support in theCongress for considering any change in the U.S. proposal.
"TheU.S. has yet to see strong action on the part of other WTO members, such as theEU," Goodlatte said. "The U.S. will not accept an agreement that benefits ourinternational trading partners by putting our producers at a disadvantage. Wewill not unilaterally disarm."
Friday,June 16, 2006 By Shawn Wade
PlainsCotton Growers has updated and expanded its popular Heat Unit Calculator for2006 to include three Kansas observation stations: Dodge City, Garden City andWinfield. To use the new calculator visit PCG's web site at:
Withthe additions the updated 2006 Calculator features data for the followinglocations in Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas: Abernathy, Amarillo, Big Spring,Borger, Brownfield, Crosbyton, Dalhart, Denver City, Dimmitt, Dodge City KS, Dumas,Floydada, Friona, Garden City KS, Guymon OK, Hart, Hereford, Lamesa, Levelland,Littlefield, Lubbock, Morton, Muleshoe, Olton, Plainview, Post, Seminole,Silverton, Spur, Tahoka, Tulia, Vigo Park, Winfield KS.
ThePCG web page will calculate how many Degree Day 60s (DD60s), or Heat Units,have been accumulated at numerous weather stations across the Texas HighPlains.
HeatUnits are not an exact science, although when used in conjunction with plantmapping in the COTMAN modeling system, heat units can be a valuablecrop-monitoring tool.
DD60s,or Heat Units, are calculated by adding the high and low temperatures (inFahrenheit) for a day, dividing by two, and then subtracting sixty.
Friday, June 16, 2006 By Shawn Wade
AgricultureSecretary Mike Johanns has announced that from now through August 1, 2006agricultural producers can nominate eligible candidates to serve on USDA FarmService Agency (FSA) county committees. County committee elections arescheduled to be held in the Fall.
Agriculturalproducers who participate or cooperate in programs administered by FSA and livein the local administrative area conducting an election may be nominated forcandidacy for a committee. Farmers and ranchers can obtain a complete list ofeligibility requirements by visiting a local USDA Service Center or online at:
Individualsmay nominate themselves or others as candidates. Additionally, community basedorganizations representing minorities and women may nominate candidates. Tobecome a nominee, eligible individuals must sign nomination form FSA-669A. Theform includes a statement that the nominee agrees to serve if elected.
Farmersand ranchers should keep the following dates in mind during the 2006 countycommittee election process:
¥ The nomination period beganJune 15 and August 1, 2006 is the deadline to file nomination forms at local USDAService Centers.
¥ USDA will mail ballots toeligible voters by November 3, 2006. The last day to return voted ballots tothe local USDA Service Center is December 4, 2006.
¥ Newly elected county committeemembers will take office January 1, 2007.
Farmersand ranchers who serve on county committees help make decisions necessary toadminister federal farm programs offered in their communities such as commodityprice support loans and payments, conservation programs, disaster payments andemploying county executive directors.