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Your Update from Ron Hays of RON
USDA Releases Results of New Survey on Honey Bee
U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agriculture Statistics
Service (NASS) released the results of its first ever Honey Bee
Colony Loss survey last week. The survey queried more than
20,000 honey beekeepers about the number of colonies, colonies lost,
colonies added, and colonies affected by certain stressors and gleans
state-level estimates on key honey bee health topics. The survey was
developed as part of the "National Strategy to Promote the
Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators" released last
summer, and gleans state-level estimates on key pollinator health
Results from the survey will provide statistically strong baseline
information about honey bee losses and can help guide honey bee
management decisions in the United States. NASS created the survey
questions with input from beekeepers and researchers, and other
stakeholders. The results will allow USDA and other federal
departments and agencies to create a more unified and complementary
approach to implementing the National Strategy, which was unveiled in
"Pollinators are essential to the production of food, and in the
United States, honey bees pollinate an estimated $15 billion of crops
each year, ranging from almonds to zucchinis," said Dr. Ann Bartuska,
USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Research, Education and Economics.
"This new data will add to USDA's robust scientific body of
knowledge on the inventory, movement and death loss of honeybees in
the United States."
According to the survey released this past week, there were 2.59
million or 8% fewer honey bee colonies on January 1, 2016 than the
2.82 million present a year earlier on January 1, 2015 for operations
with five or more colonies. New quarterly colony data allow new
levels of analysis. For example, there was an 18% loss of colonies in
the January-March quarter in 2015 and a 17% loss in the same quarter
in 2016. Honey beekeepers with five or more colonies reported Varroa
mites as the leading stressor affecting colonies. They also reported
more colonies with symptoms of Colony Collapse Disorder lost in the
first quarter of 2016 with 113,930 than the 92,250 lost in the same
quarter in 2015.
Read more about the survey and find a link to the
complete results here.
Deere and Oklahoma-owned P&K
Equipment are proud to be leading the way with
equipment sales, parts, and service solutions. As Oklahoma's
largest John Deere dealer with ten locations across the state, as
well as an additional nine stores in eastern Iowa, P&K has the
inventory and resources you need. Plain and simple, if you need
it, they've got it. And they'll get it to you when you need it,
with honesty, courtesy, and a sense of urgency. Visit P&K
Equipment on the web by clicking here... meet
your local John Deere experts and you'll see why in Oklahoma, John
Deere starts with P&K.
Lam Says Conservation Practices are Paying Off for Oklahoma Farmers
continues to rank in the top five when it comes to improving the
quality of the state's water, and Trey Lam, executive director of
the Oklahoma Conservation Commission, says it is a testament to the
work agricultural producers are doing to conserve natural resources.
Lam says when the Nonpoint Source Pollution Program was first
established in Oklahoma, officials decided to monitor the streams
near the epicenters of agricultural activity across the state to
determine the industry's impact on water quality.
"We continue to monitor those while conservation practices are
put on the ground; thus, we can show improvement that's directly
related to the activities that farmers and ranchers are doing to not
only improve the quality of water but also to improve the quality of
their soil and productivity," he says.
OCC recently announced seven water quality success stories from
across the state. Lam says these are examples of the ongoing effort
to promote the progress being made to improve Oklahoma's water
sources. He attributes the state's success to the idea of tying the
in-stream water quality monitoring process to the conservation
"It's actually being able to monitor over a long period of time
- close to those agricultural lands - that we can show that
agricultural producers in Oklahoma are doing the right thing through
conservation," he says.
here to listen to Lam talk more about OCC's water quality
and soil health improvement efforts.
Joe Neal Hampton on the Hunt
for Wheat Farmers to Join the Oklahoma Wheat Growers
If you are a wheat farmer in the state of Oklahoma, Joe Neal Hampton
would like to have a word with you. Hampton has taken on extra duties
beyond his role as the President and Chief Executive Officer of the
Oklahoma Grain and Feed Association, as the OGFA has taken over the
management of the Oklahoma Wheat Growers Association- and Hampton is
now the Executive Director of the state Wheat Growers group.
We caught up with Hampton on Friday at the 2016 Lahoma Wheat Field
Day- and talked with him about the efforts that are now under way to
entice wheat growers all over the state to join the revitalized
here to jump over to our story on our website for a chance to
hear our conversation with Joe Neal about the membership development
efforts that he and his staff are undertaking even as wheat farmers
prepare for wheat harvest.
Frankly Speaking - USDA
Proposal Threatens Rural America's Access to Food Assistance Programs
a regular basis, Oklahoma Third District Congressman
Frank Lucas authors an
opinion-editorial article called "Frankly Speaking." This
week, the Congressman looks at some of the latest rules being
proposed by the Administration for the SNAP program.
"This week the House Agriculture Committee heard from a variety
of retailers, including Love's Travel Stops in Oklahoma, about their
experience working with SNAP (the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance
Program). Under a new USDA proposal, there is a growing concern from
many retailers and convenience stores that they will no longer be
able to accept SNAP benefits.
"USDA's new criteria calls for much stricter requirements on the
number and variety of foods a retailer must stock and sell to
participate in the program. It also disqualifies businesses where
readymade or prepared meals account for over 15 percent of its sales.
"This may make sense for more urban, densely-populated areas but
for folks in rural America who live 20, 30 or more miles from the
nearest grocery store, the new standards are far too stringent.
Smaller retailers are disproportionately impacted because they are
simply unable to keep up with stricter staffing and food stocking
requirements. These sorts of business decisions make it significantly
more difficult for retailers who are looking to open up shop in
regions without large grocery stores.
"Assistance programs like SNAP serve an important purpose to
help folks who are struggling to put food on the table.
"It's also an essential reality for the development and passage
of any modern Farm Bill that maintains critical protections and
resources for our nation's farmers and ranchers. We made big reforms
in the 2014 Farm Bill to rein in excessive spending and promote SNAP
accountability by tightening the standards for eligibility and
implementing commonsense restrictions.
"Several years of hard work and bipartisan negotiations went
into crafting and passing the 2014 Farm Bill, and I believe the law
is very clear when it comes to which retailers may or may not
participate in the food stamp program.
Read Congressman Lucas' complete article here.
Farm Shows is our longest running sponsor of
the daily email- and they say thanks to all of you who participated
in their 2016 Oklahoma
City Farm Show.
Up next will be
the Tulsa Farm
Show in December 2016- the dates are December 8th,
9th and 10th. Now is the ideal time to contact Ron Bormaster
at 507-437-7969 and book space at the 2016 Tulsa Farm
Show. To learn more about the Tulsa Farm Show, click here.
Elevators Facing A Host Of Challenges In New Crop Year
U.S. grain merchandisers are beginning the new-crop
growing season facing significant challenges, according to a new
research report by CoBank. Low price volatility, ample grain and
oilseed inventories, slow farmer selling and an anemic export program
suggest elevators are in for a difficult 2016-2017 season.
"With no relief immediately in sight, grain merchandisers will
undergo further belt-tightening in the year ahead," said Tanner Ehmke,
senior economist with CoBank's Knowledge Exchange Division.
"Most grain elevators have solid balance sheets thanks to
multiple years of strong revenues. Nonetheless, pressure for
consolidation will likely intensify in an environment of slimmer
Amid ample inventories in the U.S. and a lackluster export market,
the grain and oilseed basis markets continue to remain stagnant,
offering limited opportunities for elevators to profit on old-crop
basis appreciation. However, grain elevators could still stand to
profit by year's end off the opportunity to buy wider new-crop basis
post-harvest, says Ehmke.
A growing concern among co-op managers is the availability of storage
space this fall. High carryover stocks mean inventories will continue
to build. Elevators are already holding a significant amount of farmer-owned
old-crop in their facilities. Most years, inventories are about 10
percent farmer-owned, but many co-ops report that level at around 30
percent this year. Experts predict that only a major weather-induced
crop failure could reverse this trend, and even then supplies are
expected to remain sufficient to meet demand.
"Barring any significant weather-related crop losses this year,
grain handlers could be tasked with managing huge farmer-owned
inventories into the new-crop year and creating, at least
temporarily, additional storage," notes Ehmke. "Whether or
not farmers will be willing to sell grain, remains the coops'
here to read more about CoBank's report and to find a link to
a brief video overview of the report, "Grain Elevators
Braced for a Challenging 2016."
to Have the Latest Energy News Delivered to Your Inbox Daily?
broadcast journalist Jerry
Bohnen has spent years learning and understanding how
to cover the energy business here in the southern plains- Click here to
subscribe to his daily update of top Energy News.
USMEF Working to Expand
Export Markets for Beef Variety Meats
The beef export business is an important aspect of the
U.S. cattle industry, and the sale of beef variety meats - liver,
tripe, oxtails and more - continues to play a vital role in that
Beef variety meat exports make an important contribution to the
profitability of U.S. cattle producers by enhancing the "drop
credit" - the price received for items other than muscle
U.S. Meat Export Federation senior vice president for global
marketing, says the drop credit has been under pressure in recent
years, due in part to Russia closing to U.S. beef in 2013.
He says the USMEF is "focused on trying to impact that demand
curve for the beef variety meats" and points to Japan and South
Korea as good examples of this process.
"We've had a lot of success this year in Japan, especially with
beef tongue. The volume on exports is up about 20 percent compared to
last year," Halstrom says. "Beef feet and oxtails have a
very big market in Korea, and we've seen more volume in the first
three months this year than we did in the first half of last
"If you add a few of these together, it impacts the drop credit
Halstrom says beef liver exports to Egypt have increased by 14
percent in volume in 2016, but says the U.S. is becoming overexposed
with so much of this variety meat going into that market. To help
reverse this trend, Halstrom says it is important to find a wider
range of destinations for beef livers.
"Markets like Peru, markets like Angola and South Africa - we
just regained access there from the 2003 BSE incident," he says.
"So South Africa would be a brand new market that hasn't had the
opportunity to send any variety meats there, and it's definitely a
destination for beef liver.
"Trying to build up that demand in some of these smaller
emerging markets is a key strategy of ours."
more about how variety meats are impacting the U.S. beef export
business during the latest Beef Buzz.
Kubota to Acquire Great
It appears Kubota Corporation is not done expanding its farm
equipment footprint. After buying the Kverneland Group in 2013- which
provided Kubota a line of hay tools, there were indications that
Kubota was continuing to shop to expand its influence in the ag and
rural lifestyle market.
On Friday, they executed their next move- the purchase of a Kansas
company that had just celebrated their 40th anniversary- Great Plains
to the News Release from Kubota and Great Plains, it appears that
Kubota most wanted the Land Pride division of Great Plains.
"Since 2007, Kubota has worked closely with Land Pride to
provide quality, performance-matched implements to Kubota dealers and
customers across the U.S. and Canada. "This acquisition aligns
with our long-term strategic vision to continue our market expansion
and provide high-quality products and comprehensive solutions for our
customers," said Mr. Masato
Yoshikawa, president and CEO of Kubota Tractor
Corporation. "Great Plains and Kubota share a common set of
values in that we both were founded four decades ago on a reputation
for quality, innovation and engineering excellence. We believe these
synergies will continue to add value for our dealers and our
customers for many years to come."
For farmers here in the southern plains- Great Plains is synonymous
with grain drills for planting hard red winter wheat.
As for Kubota- they have emerged as a leader in the small horsepower
tractor line- and earlier this year- added higher horsepower tractors
to their stable. They are also establishing themselves as a
middle of America company.
According to Farm Industry News- "Kubota recently announced that
its North American Distribution Center will be established in
Edgerton, Kan., which will be the primary distribution hub for Kubota
parts and whole goods distribution across the U.S. and Canada. Kubota
is also moving its U.S. headquarters from Torrance, Calif., to
Grapevine, Texas. It's new corporate headquarters facility is now
Feral Hog Bill- After
Easily Passing the House and Senate- Could Be in Jeopardy
Apparently one single word that was mistakenly struck
has caused a huge amount of heartburn in Senate
Bill 1142, a measure that would authorize the hunting of feral
swine 24/7 by a landowner or anyone he or she authorizes on their
land without having to get a license from the State Wildlife
explained the snafu on Friday afternoon at the OCA Spring Quarterly
Board Meeting. With the striking of the word "fish"
in the bill, Bowfishing in Oklahoma could be in jeopardy- and that
would likely have meant the Governor would have vetoed the bill.
Last Monday, the Legislature sent the bill to the Governor.
Apparently someone figured out the error May 10th- as the request was
made in the form of SCR
39 asking the Governor to return the bill to the lawmakers.
The official request was adopted last Thursday- and the Governor has
agreed- and as of May 12- the bill is back to the Senate to be
That is likely to happen as early as this morning- the measure could
be on its way back to the Governor by midweek- but hold on to those
wild piggies for a moment- Kelsey told his board members that there
are rumblings that Governor
Mary Fallin just might veto this bill- no real reason
why was offered- BUT if she does- the time line to attempt a veto
override gets pretty tight- especially as lawmakers concentrate on
the contentious budget fight ahead of Sine Die a week from Friday-
So- while those wild hogs keep breeding out in the woods- it's
unknown what the Governor will do with a cleaned up Feral Hog Control
bill that should reappear on her desk before the end of this week.
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