~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Monday April 5, 2010A service of Johnston Enterprises, P & K Equipment/ P & K Wind Energy and American Farmers & Ranchers Mutual Insurance Company!
-- Tyson Loses in McCurtain County Court Case- Ordered to Pay $7.3 Million to Poultry Growers
-- Watching the 2010 Wheat Crop with OSU Disease Guru Bob Hunger
-- Higher Spring Peaks Than Expected in Cattle Market- Winter Weather Was a Factor
-- Hopes are High for the Japanese Red Cattle- Akaushi in the US
-- HSUS a Presenter at the 2010 National 4-H Conference Causes a Stir
-- Harvsting and Planting- All at the same time.
-- OBI gets $2300 Average Per Bull Sold Last Month
-- Let's Check the Markets!
Here's your morning farm news headlines from the Director of Farm Programming for the Radio Oklahoma Network, Ron Hays. We are pleased to have American Farmers & Ranchers Mutual Insurance Company as a regular sponsor of our daily update- click here to go to their AFR web site to learn more about their efforts to serve rural America!
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Tyson Loses in McCurtain County Court Case- Ordered to Pay $7.3 Million to Poultry Growers
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~A McCurtain County jury returned a $7.3 million verdict against Tyson Foods Inc. on Friday, finding the company defrauded a group of 10 McCurtain County chicken growers through a series of deceptive and coercive business practices.
Idabel attorney Tony Benson, who helped represent the suing chicken growers, said his clients are excited about the verdict. "I heard several comments that it was a long time coming, and maybe this will make Tyson change the way it has been treating its growers," Benson said. Tyson officials reacted angrily to the verdict, calling the jury's decision a "runaway verdict" and issuing a news release stating the company believes it has "strong and numerous grounds" on which to appeal.
More than 50 chicken growers initially filed a lawsuit in May 2008 against Springdale, Ark.-based Tyson. The case was split into several smaller trials in an effort to keep court proceedings from becoming unwieldy. Facing more McCurtain County lawsuits, Tyson officials used a portion of their prepared statement to remind local residents of their company's large economic investment in the county. They also warned that could change. "We are very concerned about the legal climate in McCurtain County, and we are assessing all options available to us to address this injustice and to prevent it from happening again," company officials said.
The jury awarded the chicken growers about $4.79 million in actual damages and about half that much in punitive damages, Benson said. The damages included $125,000 to each of the 10 growers for mental anguish, Benson said. Mistreatment alleged In the lawsuit, chicken growers alleged Tyson used its tremendous economic clout to coerce them into growing chickens at less than break-even costs, "driving hundreds of families into bankruptcy and foreclosure." The growers claimed Tyson used verbal and financial pressure to try and persuade growers to borrow hundreds of thousands of dollars to construct newer-styled chicken houses.
Watching the 2010 Wheat Crop with OSU Disease Guru Bob Hunger
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Dr. Bob Hunger, OSU Extension Wheat Pathologist in the Department of Entomology & Plant Pathology issued a Friday morning report on what he is seeing as far as disease is concerned in the rapidly developing hard red winter wheat crop in the state. Here's what he has for us to date:
Wheat has grown considerably over the last week or so in Oklahoma. On trips this past week to McAlester (southeastern OK) and Clinton (southwestern OK) and then here at Stillwater, I found wheat mostly at GS 6-7 (one or two nodes present on lower stems) depending on planting date last fall. Fields I examined over the last week were mostly clean of foliar diseases although scattered pustules of leaf rust and occasionally powdery mildew could be found. This is consistent with reports from other extension personnel with only a few exceptions such as around the Fairview area where Roger Gribble (Area Extension Agronomist - NW Oklahoma) observed heavy powdery mildew. The other significant observation was the presence of stripe rust on Jagalene in Dr. Brett Carver's (OSU Wheat Breeder) plots here at Stillwater. This stripe rust was on lower leaves in Jagalene border rows. Severity on individual leaves was in the 65-80S range, but the incidence was scattered. No stripe rust was found in any other plots, not even in those of other susceptible varieties.
Dr. Hunger also provides us the following Texas update:
Higher Spring Peaks Than Expected in Cattle Market- Winter Weather Was a Factor
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~In the weekly eletronic publication called Cow Calf Corner- OSU Extension Livestock Market Economist Dr. Derrell Peel offers these thoughts about the cattle market as we begin the second quarter of the year.
In mid-March it appeared that cattle and boxed beef prices had peaked seasonally but not so. In the last two weeks markets have pushed even higher and once again appear to be at a peak, albeit at a higher peak than anyone expected. Does the market have any more upside potential at this time? Somewhat nervously, I would say probably not but you can't rule it out entirely.
For the rest of his thoughts on the current cattle market for both fats and yearlings and calves- click on the link below for the current market analysis of Dr. Derrell Peel. We also have links back to the end of last week when we had a couple of days with Dr. Peel on the Beef Buzz.
Hopes are High for the Japanese Red Cattle- Akaushi in the US
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Longtime Beef Industry Executive Bill Fielding is the CEO for a relatively new company, HeartBrand Beef. This company is marketing beef from a new breed for the United States, Akaushi, or Japanese Red. In 1994 due to a loophole in the trade Act of 1992 between the United States and Japan, a small nucleus of Akaushi cows and bulls were brought to the United States in a specially equipped Boeing 747. Today, Akaushi genetics in the US are controlled by a group of Texans under the name HeartBrand Beef, Inc.
We are starting a four part series today on our Beef Buzz- as heard on great radio stations all across the state on the Radio Oklahoma Network. Fielding is our guest these next four days talking about the history of the breed in Japan and the US- and why he thinks that the Akaushi breed could be a positive game changer for the US beef cattle industry.
Click on the link below to take you to our Monday Beef Buzz- the audio of today's show is there as well as links to the new breed association formed for the Japanese Red- and a link to Heartbrand Beef as well.
HSUS a Presenter at the 2010 National 4-H Conference Causes a Stir
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We have heard from readers and listeners over the fact that the Humane Society of the US pulled a fast one and slipped in some HSUS activist propaganda at the National 4-H Conference back the last full week of March. HSUS did two workshops- had about 25 kids in each of them and some of the junk they put in these kids is totally out of line.
The uproar that has followed has prompted the National 4-H Headquarters to issue an explanation- not an apology as many have demanded. In that statement they say "For the 2010 National 4-H Conference, a proposal titled "Animal Instincts: Service Learning and Animal Welfare" was submitted by the Humane Society of the United States. It was reviewed by the planning committee and found acceptable. The proposal addressed the National Conference central theme of citizenship and showed alignment with programming areas for community service, youth volunteerism, service learning, and youth voice."
Amanda Nolz is a blogger we have linked you to before- here
is her take on the ruckus over HSUS getting their nose under the tent at
the National 4-H Conference (click here).
Harvsting and Planting- All at the same time.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~A quick note came in at the end of this past week from Kelly Goff from Kay County.
Kelly writes "A quick note on an interesting circumstance here at the Tonkawa Farmers Coop in Kay county. Corn harvest is back under way here with moisture running 12% and test weights an unbelievable 60 pound test weight per bushel." Kelly says at the same time you have "Corn planting is in full swing in nearby fields. Something you don't see every year."
Indeed- a full twelve month cycle for at least this crop season.
OBI gets $2300 Average Per Bull Sold Last Month
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Cattle producers looking for a performance-tested herd sire spent a total of $269,050 to garner that perfect bull at the March 25 Oklahoma BEEF, Inc. All-Breed Performance Tested Bull Sale at Oklahoma State University.
Bob Kropp, OSU professor of animal science and executive secretary of OBI, says "Cattle breeders know that a high percentage of the genetics within a beef herd is directly related to the decisions made in purchasing herd sires over a period of years. "Quality assurance is the primary reason why OBI sales are so popular, with buyers from across Oklahoma and throughout the region attending."
The top-selling Angus was consigned by Pfeiffer Angus Farms of Mulhall,
Okla., and was purchased for $4,600 by John Hunt of Green Ferry,
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Let's Check the Markets!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We've had requests to include Canola prices for your convenience here- and we will be doing so on a regular basis. Current cash price for Canola is $7.30 per bushel, while the 2010 New Crop contracts for Canola are now available are $7.50 per bushel- delivered to local participating elevators that are working with PCOM.
Here are some links we will leave in place on an ongoing basis- Click
on the name of the report to go to that link:
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