~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Monday March 28, 2011A service of Producers Cooperative Oil Mill, Midwest Farm Shows and Big Iron OnLine Auctions!
-- Communication Guru Tells Pork Producers- Consumers Don't Care About Sound Science Arguments in Animal Well Being Debate
-- Oklahoma Ag Groups Watching Tresspass Bill in Senate Ag Committee This Week
-- Southwestern Oklahoma Cotton Farmers Hoping for Spring Rains Before Planting Time
-- OSU Extension Offers Cow Calf Camp in April
-- Secretary Vilsack Addresses Food and Energy Prices
-- Japan Recovery Moving Forward
-- This Week in Ardmore- Feral Hog Workshop
-- 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 proud to have Big Iron Unreserved Online Auctions as one of our great sponsors of the daily Email. Their next auction is Wednesday, April 13th - featuring Low Hour, Farmer Owned Equipment. Click here for their website to learn more about their Online Farm Equipment Auctions.
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Communication Guru Tells Pork Producers- Consumers Don't Care About Sound Science Arguments in Animal Well Being Debate
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Dr. Wes Jamison believes that animal agriculture has made some basic mistakes in dealing with groups that are "anti animal agriculture" and want to see livestock production in this country rolled back to the way it was fifty years ago- or eliminated altogther. Jamison says that farmers and ranchers have assumed that consumers want to hear their story- and he contends that the anti- animal agriculture crowd have figured out consumers don't want to hear the story that farmers are telling- and are offering connections to the consumer that they are interested in.
Jamison told those gathered last week at the Oklahoma Pork Congress that agriculture has made the mistake of thinking that they can go out, hire a PR agency and use "sound science" and facts to communicate to today's consumer. Meanwhile, the groups that oppose animal agriculture use several tactics that portray today's livestock production as basically evil and needing to be reformed. He adds that a key strategy of anti animal Ag groups- moralize the issue & marginalize economics & science.
He says that animal agriculture has to get to the point where all species work together to tell consumers we are raising animals on the farm or ranch for the benefit of humans. And he added that one of the messages we need to communicate to consumers is that a dog does not equal a pig in this world- and that it's okay for them to have different feelings for their pets versus those animals that provide protein for people.
Click on the LINK below to read more about the comments made by Wed Jamison this past week at the Oklahoma Pork Congress- plus we have the You Tube there that he showed at the end of his presentation that people roared with laughter about- it's called Vegetarianism- From the Other Point of View. WE ALSO HAVE an audio conversation that we had with Wes Jamison that you will want to hear about these issues and how agriculture should be responding.
Oklahoma Ag Groups Watching Tresspass Bill in Senate Ag Committee This Week
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We talked at the end of this past week with Scott Dewald of the Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association about the measures in the Oklahoma legislature that are being closely watched by his and other ag organizations. One measure that will be heard early in the week by the Senate Ag Committee has the strong support of many in the agricultural arena.
Dewald writes in his weekly electronic newsletter late Friday that this "week will be another important week of committee work. The Senate Agriculture Committee is scheduled to meet on Monday at 3:30 and they discuss the Executive Nomination of Jim Reese as Secretary of Agriculture, they will also consider HB 1249 which is a measure supported by OCA, OFB and every other agricultural we have visited with The bill closes a loophole in existing law which allows people to trespass on property to "retrieve livestock and other animals." We have visited with the committee members and voiced our support of the bill. Simply put our policy supports closing the loophole by requiring people to obtain permission from landowners prior to going on private property. If someone wants to access someone else's property the ethical thing to do is to ask the landowners permission. Unfortunately the loop hole has been abused and it provides an excuse and has resulted in obvious theft or attempted theft cases from being prosecuted."
Click on the LINK below for more with Scott Dewald on the upcoming week at the State Capitol and what he and others that represent agriculture are watching as lawmakers boil down the huge number of bills they started with in early February to a few hundred within a couple of weeks.
Southwestern Oklahoma Cotton Farmers Hoping for Spring Rains Before Planting Time
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Farmers in Southwest Oklahoma continue to watch the weather forecasts and ponder what to do in what appears to be a very dry year for this quadrant of the state. This is the question passing through many farmers' minds today who grow crops in the North Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas portion of the Southern Plains.
Grain and fiber prices are the highest they have been in decades; at the same time, expenses for fuel, lubrication and labor are high as well. And the potential for a serious drought, now a certainty on the High Plains, lurks just a few weeks away. Attending a meeting of cotton growers last week at Altus, Ok., the chairman asked Roger Fischer, a Frederick, Ok., producer, to open the meeting with a prayer. Fischer prayed for rain. There were a lot of "Amens," spoken by growers when Fischer finished.
Click on the LINK below for more on what a couple of cotton farmers are thinking in southwest Oklahoma- as the dry weather pushes everyone in agriculture to the breaking point this spring. Our thanks to Vic Schoonover for his help with this southwest Oklahoma cotton update
OSU Extension Offers Cow Calf Camp in April
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~As every rancher, large or small, eventually learns, there's a lot more to the cattle business than just looking good in a big hat. A few of the required disciplines would include, reproductive efficiency, nutrition, herd health, forage management, marketing, calving, handling stock, parasitology, and making good business decisions to maximize profitability and protect your sizable investment. Where can you go to get it all covered and tied together? If you don't have time to go back to school for 4 years to get an Animal Science degree you might want to look into the OSU Cow Calf Boot Camp to be held April 25, 26, and 27th in Ada, Oklahoma.
Unlike similar programs, this camp gives you real live cattle handling and lots of small group problem solving experience. Instead of just listening to lectures you will work through the exorcizes so you can go home and apply your new found skills to your herd. Although this will be the first cow/calf camp, the format has been used in other livestock species by OSU Extension educators and in 2008 won the award for the best livestock education program in the nation. The class size is limited to 50 and the program will provide a minimum of 30 hours of sessions during the 3 days, conducted by approximately 20 educators.
We've got details on our website about how to sign up and be a part of this Boot Camp for cattle production- click on the LINK below to find out more.
Secretary Vilsack Addresses Food and Energy Prices
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack addressed food and energy prices in a statement Friday. According to the Secretary, - energy costs are up, not only gas for our cars and trucks, but for tractors, combines, semis, ships, trains and cranes-all of the vehicles that help get food from the farm to our tables. Refrigeration, packaging, processing and marketing also contribute to the final food cost in a grocery store or restaurant. Meanwhile, costs for fertilizer, animal feed, and equipment are up for family farmers and ranchers across the country.
According to the Secretary out of every dollar a consumer spends on food, less than 16 cents goes to a farm or agricultural business. So while many farmers have weathered the recession and are earning strong incomes, not all farm families are doing as well as they might. Small and mid-sized operations in particular continue to struggle.
Thankfully, U.S. farmers are the most productive in the world. They have embraced science and new farming technologies to produce about twice as much per acre as they did 50 years ago. This record productivity has helped keep food affordable for American families. The average American household spends between six and seven percent of its income on food, while residents of nearly every other country in the world pay substantially more.
Japan Recovery Moving Forward
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The U.S. Grains Council reports the Japanese agriculture industry has been making significant strides to regain its normal feed mill production capacity within the next few months. USGC director in Japan, Tommy Hamamoto, says - assuming significant escalation of the nuclear power plant issues will not arise and in spite of the horrendous losses suffered in Japan, the Council believes the consumer demand in Japan will remain strong and will drive continued imports of U.S. coarse grains.
In the short-term, Hamamoto says - logistical issues will continue to be a problem, but the Japanese feed industry is working hard to recover from the damage. By April or May, the Council is hopeful Japan will recover and return to a somewhat normalcy. Exposure to radiation will remain a longer term concern. Japan's Ministry of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries released a notice alerting livestock farmers to be cautious and not to feed radioactive-material-contaminated hay, roughage, silage and water to livestock.
As reported by the Council, four of Japan's major importing facilities and attached feed mills were severely damaged by the earthquake and subsequent tsunami that struck Japan on March 11. These four facilities account for around 15 percent of Japan's total annual compound feed production of 25 million tons. Another mill, which accounts for an additional 15 percent, suffered some damage but compound feed production has already partially resumed.
This Week in Ardmore- Feral Hog Workshop
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Tomorrow- The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation is teaming up with the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service and Mississippi State University Extension Service to host a Managing Wild Hog Damage Workshop.
The workshop will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Tuesday, March 29. Because of demand, the location has been changed to the Ardmore Convention Center, located at 2401 N. Rockford Road in Ardmore. Registration will begin at 8:30 a.m.
The workshop is designed to provide foundational knowledge on ways to control damage due to invasive wild hogs, also known as feral hogs. Seminar attendees will receive information on wild hog history, biology, including diseases and parasites, and trapping techniques and designs. There will also be a discussion on wildlife services available in Oklahoma and laws governing removal of animals. The workshop will conclude with a demonstration on trapping techniques.
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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 $9.80 per bushel- as of the close of trade on Thursday, while the 2011 New Crop contracts for Canola are now available are $10.80 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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