November 2013: Farm Bureau News

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Flip through the pages of the latest issue of Farm Bureau News, a bi-monthly newspaper focusing on agricultural issues from whats happening around your community to whats going on at the legislature. Classified ads also make it easy for members to market what they have to sell.

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<ul><li><p>FARM BUREAU NewsISSN 1062-8983 USPS 538960 Volume 92 Number 6 November 2013</p><p>T E NN E S S E E</p><p>WHATS INSIDE:PagE 2 Tale of Two Farmers</p><p>PagE 6 Vietnam veteran tells his story</p><p>PagE 9-12aITC annual Report</p><p>Farm Bureau NewsT E N N E S S E EOfficial newspaper of Tennessee Farm Bureau</p><p>2013: The Year of the Bumper Corn Crop</p><p>Corn Yields Soar Tennessees corn crop looks to be one of the best in years and many producers are reporting record or near record yields. as harvest continues on the states 880,000 acres planted for grain, USDa projects a record yield of 152 bushels per acre and a record production of 133.7 million bushels.</p></li><li><p>2 Tennessee Farm Bureau News - November 2013 www.tnfarmbureau.org</p><p>Pettus Read, EditorLee Maddox, Assistant Editor</p><p>Melissa Burniston, Feature WriterStacey Warner, Graphic Designer </p><p>Misty McNeese, Advertising</p><p>P.O. Box 313, Columbia, TN 38402-0313(931) 388-7872</p><p>Issued bi-monthly by the Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation located at 147 Bear Creek Pike, Columbia, Tennessee 38401. Non-profit periodical postage paid at Columbia, TN and additional entry offices.</p><p>Send address corrections to: Tennessee Farm Bureau News Offices, P.O. Box 313, Columbia, TN 38402-0313.</p><p>Subscription rate for Farm Bureau members (included in dues) $1 per year. </p><p>Advertising Policy: Advertising is subject to publishers approval. Advertisers must assume all liability for content of their advertising. Publisher maintains right to cancel advertising for non-payment or reader complaint about advertiser service or product. Publisher does not accept political, dating service or alcoholic beverage ads, nor does publisher pre-screen or guarantee advertiser service or products. Publisher assumes no liability for products or services advertised in the Tennessee Farm Bureau News.</p><p>ISSN 1062-8983 USPS 538960</p><p>FARM BUREAU NEwsT E N N E S S E E</p><p>OrganizationBobby Beets </p><p>DirectorBryan Wright </p><p>Associate DirectorPaige Bottoms </p><p>Regional Member Benefits Coordinator</p><p>CommunicationsPettus Read </p><p>DirectorLee Maddox </p><p>Associate DirectorMelissa Burniston Associate Director</p><p>Public PolicyStefan Maupin </p><p>DirectorRyan King </p><p>Associate Director Special Programs</p><p>Charles Curtis Director</p><p>Chris Fleming Associate DirectorKristy Chastine</p><p>Associate DirectorDan Strasser</p><p>Associate Director</p><p>Board of directors Lacy Upchurch Jeff Aiken President Vice President</p><p>Directors-at-Large Charles Hancock David Richesin</p><p>Catherine Via</p><p>District Directors Malcolm Burchfiel Dan Hancock James Haskew David Mitchell Eric Mayberry Jane May</p><p>Advisory Directors Jimmy McAlister Dr. Larry Arrington</p><p>other officers and staffJoe Pearson</p><p>Chief Administrative OfficerRhedona Rose</p><p>Executive Vice President</p><p> Wayne Harris Tim Dodd Treasurer Comptroller</p><p>service companiesTennessee Farmers Insurance Cos.Matthew M. (Sonny) Scoggins, CEO</p><p>Tennessee Rural HealthAnthony Kimbrough, CEO</p><p>Farmers Service, Inc.Tim Dodd, Director of Operations</p><p>Tennessee Livestock Producers, Inc.Darrell Ailshie, Manager</p><p>TENNESSEE FARM BUREAU FEDERATION</p><p>Regional Field Directors Matt Fennel, Jim Bell, </p><p>Melissa Bryant, Eddie Clark, Kevin Hensley, Joe McKinnon</p><p>AFBF tells a tale of two farmers: Harvest, the Farm Bill and political paralysisAutumn in farm country brings with it the roar of combines lumbering across Americas farm fields. Its harvest sea-son and across the land, farmers are hard at work bringing in the bounty of what, in many areas, amounts to a pretty good year. The farm policy landscape, on the other hand, has yielded little, thanks to the frosty bite of American politics.</p><p>Because of congressional inability to reach a consensus, the nations farm bill has expired an occurrence that might have been lost in the hubbub of the larger government shutdown. This is not the first sign of farm bill trouble. It would have expired a year ago had Congress not simply extended it for another year due to disagreements and partisan paralysis.</p><p>Gone with the farm bill is the basic, no-frills safety net for farm families. Gone is the publicly recognized good of government-backed food security for our nation. Gone is the direct link between the people who farm and those Americans who feel the daily pang of hunger.</p><p>Two heartland farmers we spoke with were disap-pointed, even gloomy about these losses. Glenn Brunkow shared that feeling as he steered his combine into the afternoon sun on his farm in Pottawatomie County, Kan.</p><p>I am very, very disappointed that Congress would play political football with something that is as important as our nations farm bill, Brunkow said. Crop insurance as a safety net is important to me and most other farm-ers I know. Without crop insurance, and the promise of crop insurance, farmers cannot secure the operating loans they need to make it through another year.</p><p>Brunkow said without incentives included in the farm bill to purchase crop insurance, the product simply is not affordable for most farmers. He said the difference is $40 to $50 an acre.</p><p>I just cant imagine going through a crop year without having a safety net, Brunkow said. We had adequate rainfall this year, but not enough rain-fall to restore soil moisture. We are just one dry spell away from being in another drought and I cannot imag-ine going into that not knowing that I have crop insurance to help at least pay my fixed costs back.</p><p>We are not talking about mak-ing a profit off of crop insurance. We are talking about just paying our fixed costs our land costs, our seed, our </p><p>fertilizer, our fuel costs, just enough to make it so we can carry on into another year.</p><p>According to Brunkow, crop insurance is keeping some farmers in business this year, helping them weather through one of the worst drought periods since the Dust Bowl. The prospect of that safety net being in place for the next growing season rests at the doorstep of Congress.</p><p>We each need to contact our members of Congress and let them know how important this is, Brunkow said. We need to let them know we rely on and need crop insurance. And it is not just us; its everyone up and down the Main Streets of our rural communities. Our rural communities rely on us. We are the foundation, the </p><p>building block of the rural economy. When we have a good year, Main Street has a good year.</p><p>Meanwhile, about 150 miles north and east of Brunkow, in Atchison County, Mo., Blake Hurst has his com-bines lined up and ready to start the harvest. Like Brunkow, he is living on the edge of drought. Due to drier con-ditions during key growing periods, Hurst believes he is looking at a corn crop that is two-thirds to three-fourths of optimal and a soybean crop that is on the lower side of that range.</p><p>Hurst, who is president of the Missouri Farm Bureau, considers this a drought year, just not quite as severe as the one he and other farmers faced in 2012. However, it is the first time he has faced two consecutive drought years in his 35 years of farming.</p><p>Crop insurance kept everything together last year, Hurst said. Crop insurance was the difference for me between a large loss and a small profit. Crop insurance is extremely important.</p><p>Not knowing whether he will have that key risk management tool head-ing into next year is more than a little disconcerting for the Missouri farmer.</p><p>Its the uncertainty of it, Hurst </p><p>said. I cant really plan on what the crop insurance program might be next year. I dont really know how long it will last. I dont know what will be required of me as far as qualifying for crop insurance and what will be required from me as far as premiums.</p><p>We already have enough uncer-tainty in farming from weather, bad prices, which currently means 45 per-cent lower prices for corn than they were last year. So, I already have uncer-tainty without uncertainty caused by the political situation as well.</p><p>Hurst explained that farmers are constantly living under time con-straints. If they are not able to harvest all their crops before the snow starts to fly in the Midwest, they face the prospect of huge yield losses, which </p><p>drastically impacts the bottom line.</p><p>Its much like Congress with the farm bill expiring, Hurst explained. We know that no matter what hap-pens, we will get our harvest out this year. Congress is a year late in getting its job done on the farm bill. It is expiring now and that is after a one-year extension. And now, even that has expired. Of course, Mother Nature never gives me a one-year extension on harvest. If I dont get it done, I just lose the crop.</p><p>He believes that if members of Congress could feel the same kind of time pressure he experi-ences during harvest, it could possibly make a difference.</p><p>I dont know what the parable is to this story, but if I do not get my harvest done, I dont have any income for the year, Hurst said. If I were to leave 30 percent of my crop in the field because I just dont work hard enough to finish, I lose 30 percent of my income. Members of Congress seem to be able to maintain their income, while leaving well over 30 percent of their work in the field. It wouldnt be a bad idea if we said that if they did not renew bills on time, if they didnt finish a budget, if they didnt finish appropri-ations bills, that maybe they ought to face the same penalties that any small business might face when they do not get their work done.</p><p>Meanwhile, the farm bill has expired, and government has shut down due to partisan politics. Both Hurst and Brunkow are hopeful both situations are settled before they bring in their last bushels and park their combines in their machine sheds. Otherwise, both know that it could be a long, cold winter for farmers and all Americans. t</p></li><li><p>www.tnfarmbureau.org November 2013 - Tennessee Farm Bureau News 3 </p><p>Burn permits now requiredThe Tennessee Department of Agriculture Division of Forestry and the Department of Commerce and Insurances Division of Fire Prevention are reminding homeowners to fol-low simple safety practices to prevent wildfires. The official start of wildfire season in Tennessee is October 15.</p><p>Burning vegetative material that has accumulated around the yard or using fire to clear an old field can be an efficient way to get rid of debris, State Forester Jere Jeter said. However, this activity needs to be done safely. The divisions burn permit system focuses attention on the safe use of fire for debris burning.</p><p>Activities requiring a burn permit include unconfined outdoor burning of brush, leaves, and untreated wood waste and burning to clear land. Burn permits are free of charge. Citizens can apply for burning permits online or by calling their local Division of Forestry office between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Forestry offices are listed in your local phone directory under state government, or can be found by visiting www.burnsafetn.org. The website also includes tips for safe debris burning and provides access to the online permitting system. Permit holders should also check for other restrictions in their locale as some counties and municipalities have their own regulations.</p><p>Using the online permit system is a great way to avoid heavy call volume which often occurs on Fridays as resi-dents prepare to burn leaf and brush piles over the weekend. Over 40,000 permits were issued online last year, and the system has the capacity to handle much more than that. Permits issued over the phone or online are the same. However, online permits will only be available for small scale burning of leaf and/or brush piles measuring less than 8 feet by 8 feet in dimensions. Online permits, as well as phone per-mits, are issued only when conditions are conducive to safe burning. Online </p><p>permits may be issued after-work hours and through the weekend, by going to www.burnsafetn.org.</p><p>It only takes a couple of minutes to get a burn permit, whether one is obtained by calling in or online, said Jeter. Either way its important for citizens to know when, where and how its safe to conduct a debris burn, and the burn permitting system is our way of getting that information to them.</p><p>Homeowners living in forested communities should take steps to protect themselves and their property before a wildfire affects their area. Keeping gutters and rooftops free of debris, maintaining at least two to five feet of non-flammable material next to the foundation of the home and clearing away flammable brush at least 30 feet from the house are just a few simple examples of what homeowners can do. These tips, plus many more, can be found on the divisions burn-safetn.org website under the How to Protect Your Home &amp; Community From Wildfire section.</p><p>For many years, Tennessee has occupied an undesirable ranking in the country for fire deaths. Falling asleep while smoking in bed or in a comfortable chair remains a signifi-cant cause of fire deaths in Tennessee, says Department of Commerce and Insurance Commissioner and State Fire Marshal Julie Mix McPeak. Be mindful of possible fire hazards in your home and always make sure to have working smoke alarms installed.</p><p>Escaped debris burns are the lead-ing cause of wildfires. Burning without a permit is a Class C misdemeanor punishable by up to 30 days in jail and/or a fine not to exceed $50. Wildfires caused by arson are a class C felony punishable by 3 to 15 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines. Anyone with information about suspected arson activity should call the state Fire Marshals Arson Hotline toll-free at 1-800-762-3017.</p><p>For more information, visit www.burnsafetn.org. t </p><p>$6.1 million debt ceiling explainedAnd were at it again. As if the federal government shutdown isnt enough, we now have to talk about the debt ceiling. But before you read on about our money woes, one of the ways to relieve stress is to count to 10 One. Two. Three. Four. Five. Six. Seven. Eight. Nine. 10. While you did this 10-second stress-stopper exercise, the United States added $203,570 to its debt. Weve got a debt of $16,700,000,000,000, and its growing with every tick of the clock.</p><p>Acquiring debt is not necessarily a bad thing. If manageable, it can result in a better financial gain. But the key word is manageable. Taking out stu-dent loans for college tuition is good debt, while taking out loans for that all-inclusive trip to Bora Bora is bad debt. Our situation has become the latter. It is internationally accepted that a country can manage its debt at around 60 per-cent to 70 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP). Currently, the U.S. debt-to-GDP ratio is 75 percent, but were on course for that ratio to skyrocket close to 200 percent by 2040, putting the U.S. in uncharted territory, shattering the record debt of Greece and Italy!</p><p>We all know that our massive debt is unacceptable, but over the next few days the debt drama will continue to pile on as Congress debates raising the debt ceiling. However, while the debt ceiling has nothing to do with the debt thats being compiled, it has everything to do with how much we can borrow. And lets face it, when we are running a deficit well over $600 billi...</p></li></ul>