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Is Time Running Out?
Very soon, the United States Senate will reconvene. The members of the Senate will have many important issues to address. However, the passage of a new farm bill will be one of their top priorities.
When a farm bill is being considered, there are always various groups and agencies running to Congress with their hands out, asking members of Congress to fund different programs. A large sum of money is spent on these programs. Many, but not all, of the programs are justified.
After the disastrous prices received by dairy farmers in 2006, coupled with an ever-increasing cost of operating our dairy farms, many people thought there would be a real overhaul of milk pricing to the dairy farmers. So far, this has not happened.
The US House of Representatives has passed its version of the farm bill, which basically leaves the pricing of milk to dairy farmers at status quo.
Various dairy proposals have been floated to members of Congress, with little response. Sometimes I think that some of these dairy proposals are suggested only for the purpose of confusing the real issues.
However, the largest issue is unstable milk prices to dairy farmers.
A $9.90 per cwt support price will not solve the pricing problems for dairy farmers. The ILC program is costly, and the program covers only a portion of the dairy farmer’s production. Target programs of $12.00 per cwt only further confuse the issue. Continuing to price milk to dairy farmers on product pricing is not in the best interests of dairy farmers in the long run.
While prices paid to dairy farmers currently are realistic, many people attribute these prices to a worldwide shortage of dairy products. Certainly, depending on a continued global shortage of milk is not the answer to the dairy farmers’ pricing inequities.
Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) and Senator Robert Casey, Jr. (D-PA) have introduced a dairy bill that would revolutionize the method used to price milk to dairy farmers. The bill is identified as the Federal Milk Marketing Improvement Act of 2007 (S1722).
S1722 calls for all milk produced in the 48 contiguous states to be priced on the national average cost of production, as determined by the Economic Research Service, a division of USDA.
The Specter-Casey bill disallows any hauling cost being charged to dairy farmers. In addition, the bill also eliminates the controversial make allowance charges that have been lowering the dairy farmers’ milk prices since the year 2000.
S1722 contains an inventory management section which would control any overproduction possibilities, as well as prohibiting imported dairy products from destroying dairy farmers prices. The inventory management program would be funded by dairy farmers, and it would prevent dairy farmers’ milk prices from being destroyed.
All other dairy proposals cost USDA an extremely high amount of money and/or allow dairy farmers prices to plunge to the 2006 level.
Both Senator Specter and Senator Casey feel strongly that dairy farmers’ cost of production must be brought into the milk pricing formula for dairy farmers.
The beauty of S1722 is that the bill does not cost USDA anything. The bill does not interfere with any federal or state milk marketing orders.
The Specter-Casey bill would not raise consumer prices any more than the present level, and S1722 would prohibit the prices paid to dairy farmers from going to rock bottom again.
PRO AG can be reached at (570) 833-5776.
Manager, Pro Ag
We Rely On You
To the residents of the Susquehanna Fire Department coverage area.
The annual Fire Department Fund Drive is underway. Every household in the coverage area should receive a donation request by mail. The fund drive is very important to the operation of the Fire Department. We rely on the fund drive donations to operate the Fire Department each year. When you contribute to the fund drive, you are helping to insure that the Fire Department will be available if you should need it. It is more important this year than ever that the community support the Fire Department fund drive, given the unprecedented cost increase in operating the Fire Department. All of you who are paying for gasoline know what a hardship it is. You can imagine how much it costs to fuel a vehicle the size of a fire truck. If you have not received a fund drive request, please contact the Susquehanna Fire Dept, P.O. Box 175, Susquehanna, PA 18847, or call 853-3861.
The Susquehanna Fire Department
And Then There Were None
What about that pollution in the atmosphere you read and hear about? Myself, I am a firm believer of this catastrophic happening that becomes more intense by day. Can we deter this terrible, life-threatening, unseen pollution in our atmosphere? This is a worldwide happening. There are no exceptions anywhere on earth.
People do not concern themselves about this very serious situation. I for one hope there are many more that concern themselves about this situation. This so-called atmospheric pollution is there, no doubt about that. We read about the icebergs melting, the warming of the oceans causing many catastrophic weather happenings.
This is my long-range prediction of what will happen to our earth if nothing is accomplished to eradicate this situation as mentioned above. The earth will increase in temperature to the extent that people, and all other creatures, will move to cooler climates such as Alaska, Northern Canada and, as the heat intensifies, onward toward the North and South Poles as this happening goes both ways, south and north, the earth in its entirety. No springs, summers, falls, winters will exist; also, in the end, no living thing will exist.
The earth will become a desert with blowing, hot winds from the North Pole to the South Pole. The Planet Earth will compare to some of the other planets in our universe.
Hayden B. Aldrich
Great Bend, PA
In Support Of Fluoridation
I was very disappointed to read a recent letter to the editor regarding criticism of water fluoridation. I have been practicing dentistry in Montrose for 36 years and support water fluoridation to the fullest extent. In the interest of being brief, I will not refute each of the criticisms that the author of the letter had placed in print. Suffice it to say that my experience with scientific research has taught me to come to the age-old conclusion. There are three types of lies: lies, damn lies, and statistics.
I would simply like to point out that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta has called community water fluoridation one of the ten great public health achievements in the United States from 1900-1999. Also, I would like to give you a direct quote from Dr. William R. Maas, Director, CDC Division of Oral Health. “Fluoridation is the single most effective public health measure to prevent tooth decay and improve oral health over a lifetime.”
Thomas A. Pascoe, D.M.D.
What Does It Matter?
I was recently in my old hometown of Susquehanna, helping clean out our family home that had been in our family since the beginning of time, it seemed. The conversation turned to my sister’s headstone in St. John’s Cemetery.
The headstone, it seems, is not where it should be, it is in a crate in someone’s basement. It should be on my sister’s grave, and it is not because of some ancient rule of the board of St. John’s cemetery, whom by the way does not own the cemetery, the people and families of the people that are buried there do, hello. Just because of the color of the stone? Please, this is the 21st Century, what does it matter, the color of the stone is not going to do any damage to the cemetery. My nieces don’t have that much money that they can just go ahead and get another stone, so what do you, the board, suggest that my nieces do with the stone they already have?
Peggy Knapp Mushala
China Grove, Nicholson
What Is A Backflow Device?
As PA American Water has been sending notices to all of its commercial accounts, and I have been contacted numerous times to install and test these devices, I feel compelled to maybe educate or try to help everyone who has to have one installed as to what it is and what it does. I have been a certified installer, tester and repairer of these devices for over eight years now and will try to make this short and simple.
There are hundreds of different types of backflow devices, the simplest being a check valve, to the more technical and expensive RPZ, or reduced pressure zone valves. Now, what is backflow? Water distribution systems are designed with the intention of water flowing in a certain direction from the distribution system (water mains in the street) to you, the consumer. However, hydraulic conditions within the system may deviate from the normal conditions, causing water to flow in the opposite direction, say, a water main break, or the fire company hooking to a hydrant; therefore it is possible and common for the water to flow in the opposite direction in unprotected systems. This is called backflow. A backflow device is designed to prevent this from happening, or to keep your water in your building and not getting drawn back into the water mains, possibly contaminating the water system.
There are over 10,000 reported cases of backflow contamination each year in this country alone. Some cases can be fatal. Backflow devices are required by law where needed and must be installed in accordance with plumbing codes. A true backflow assembly device has test cocks and shutoff valves and must be tested each year, if relocated or repaired, and when installed.
I hope I have helped educate anyone who has to have one installed. If you have any questions on what type you will need to have installed, call me and I will be glad to help, 853–3610.
TO THE EDITOR POLICY
Thank you, Susquehanna County Transcript
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