~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Monday August 8, 2011A service of Johnston Enterprises, P & K Equipment/ P & K Wind Energy and American Farmers & Ranchers Mutual Insurance Company!
-- Oklahoma Farm Bureau Tackling Issues through August Area Meetings and Drought Summit
-- Managing Planting Wheat into Hot Soil Conditions
-- Five Oklahoma Schools Receive Funds for Wellness Program
-- R-CALF USA and Others Urge U.S. Senators to Finalize USDA's GIPSA Rule
-- Oklahoma Department of Agriculture Offering Grants for Specialty Crop Production
-- Noble Foundation Recognizes Hammert Family with Leonard Wyatt Award
-- Drought Monitor- The Correct Link and a Look at the Calendar
-- 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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Oklahoma Farm Bureau Tackling Issues through August Area Meetings and Drought Summit
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Mike Spradling, Oklahoma Farm Bureau President, says the members of Oklahoma Farm Bureau have a multitude of issues on their mind and they are speaking up at the August Area meetings for each district of Oklahoma Farm Bureau. The August Area meetings serve as an opportunity for Farm Bureau to ask their members what is on their mind as they begin the resolution writing process.
These resolutions will begin to percolate up at the county Farm Bureau meetings before moving onto the state and national levels to develop policy for the general farm organization. Three of the meetings have been held so far, with 12 August Area meetings being held total.
Spradling says the biggest issue of concern this year is water. Spradling also says they are preparing for the finalization of the Oklahoma Comprehensive Water Plan and making sure that agriculture is adequately represented in that area. Also, the issue of the 2012 Farm Bill is the national concern that is topping the list, says Spradling.
The Oklahoma Farm Bureau is also hosting a Drought Summit meeting on August 30 at the Oklahoma City office to address the issue of the drought but also how farmers and ranchers are going to recover from this severe drought year. The summit will feature speakers from the Sam Roberts Noble Foundation, Oklahoma State University, and the Oklahoma Agriculture Mediation Program, as well as, Agriculture Secretary Jim Reese and Francie Tolle with the USDA.
Managing Planting Wheat into Hot Soil Conditions
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Short or nonexistent pastures and tight hay supplies mean that producers will be anxious to get wheat pasture going as soon as possible. Wheat can be sown for pasture as mid August in Oklahoma, but there are a few cautionary items to consider prior to sowing wheat this early.
Is there enough moisture to sustain the crop?
Will you have to plant deep to reach moisture?
Five Oklahoma Schools Receive Funds for Wellness Program
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Five Oklahoma schools have been chosen to receive funds to support its Fuel Up to Play 60 initiative, Dairy MAX announced this past week. Cashion Elementary, Putnam City's Hefner Middle School, Lomega Elementary and Lomega High School, and Okeene Elementary were selected from among hundreds of schools across the country that applied for funding to help them jumpstart and sustain healthy nutrition and physical activity improvements. This nationwide funding program offers schools up to $4,000 to help them increase awareness of and access to nutrient-rich foods and physical activity opportunities for students. Funding for this competitive program is provided by Dairy MAX and America's dairy farmers.
Funds for Fuel Up to Play 60 provides support for a variety of activities and tools, such as foodservice materials and equipment, nutrition and physical education materials, student and staff incentives, staff development and overall Fuel Up to Play 60 implementation. Cashion Elementary will participate in taste tests helping to encourage kids to choose low fat and fat free dairy products, fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and will be participating in a walking challenge to get kids active.
"Promoting nutrient-rich dairy, fruits, vegetables and whole grains is a priority for us. Students who taste test these foods - some for the first time - are likely to choose them more often," said Valeri Evans, Kingfisher County Family & Consumer Science Extension Educator and co-program advisor for Cashion and Lomega schools, and several others schools in the county. Evans was recently named "Program Advisor of the Year" for Oklahoma.
R-CALF USA and Others Urge U.S. Senators to Finalize USDA's GIPSA Rule
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~A letter signed by R-CALF USA and 189 groups representing local, state and regional cattle, farm, community, church and consumer groups was sent today to all U.S. Senators urging them to support the finalization of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) proposed competition rule (GIPSA rule) that was published more than one-year ago, on June 22, 2010. NO Oklahoma based groups signed onto the letter circulated by R-Calf.
"Not since the heated debate over country-of-origin labeling, which like the current GIPSA rule pitted the self-interests of meatpackers against the interests of farmers, ranchers, and consumers, have so many groups joined together to urge Congress to support a needed agricultural reform," said R-CALF USA President George Chambers.
Chambers claims that the groups on the joint letter likely represent millions of rural Americans and their voices will help the Senate overcome the vocal opposition to the GIPSA rule generated by the self-interested but well-funded meatpacker lobby.
The letter points out that the nation's two largest general farm organizations - the American Farm Bureau Federation and the National Farmers Union - previously joined with 140 farmers, consumers and community groups across the nation to oppose the effort by the U.S. House to derail the GIPSA rule with language included in the House's Fiscal Year 2012 Agriculture Appropriations Act.
Oklahoma Department of Agriculture Offering Grants for Specialty Crop Production
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~A program directed toward small, limited resource producers wanting to expand specialty crop production is offering grants and up to one acre of plasticulture installation. Applications for the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food, and Forestry (ODAFF) must be postmarked by August 23, 2011.
Plasticulture can help with weed control, water erosion, nutrient leaching and compaction. The use of raised beds covered in plastic can increase plant and product quality and bring greater yields. Each bed includes a drip irrigation line under the plastic covering to supply water and fertilizer.
Limited resource producers are defined as having direct or indirect gross farm sales of not more than $100,000 in each of the previous two years and receiving little or no assistance from the government.
The program emphasizes marketing and requires a three year commitment as funds are provided in increments of a maximum of $500 each year. Micah Anderson, ODAFF Plasticulture Coordinator, said applicants will be evaluated based on experience, marketing plans and application date.
Noble Foundation Recognizes Hammert Family with Leonard Wyatt Award
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation presented Pete and Rose Hammert with the Leonard Wyatt Memorial Outstanding Cooperator Award during a special presentation at the organization's all-employee meeting.
The Leonard Wyatt Memorial Outstanding Cooperator Award is given annually to one of the 1,300 farmers and ranchers who work with the Noble Foundation's Agricultural Division. As part of its mission, the organization provides farmers, ranchers and other land managers - called cooperators - with no-cost consultation services and educational programs in an effort to help them achieve their financial, production, stewardship and quality-of-life goals.
Criteria for the Leonard Wyatt Memorial Outstanding Cooperator Award are based on accomplishments within the farmer or rancher's operation, their community service and their willingness to assist other farmers and ranchers, said Billy Cook, senior vice president and director of the Agricultural Division.
"The Hammerts are a special family, mixing the best of ranching
traditions with the desire to keep up with cutting edge technology and new
management practices," said Dan Childs, senior consultant. "They are
dedicated to their community, their operation and the agricultural way of
life. They are true stewards of the land and highly deserving of this
year's Leonard Wyatt award."
Drought Monitor- The Correct Link and a Look at the Calendar
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~On Friday- we had a story about the latest Drought Monitor as well as the fact that a La Nina redeveloping is a very real possibility and had a link in our story that should have taken you to the Drought Monitor graphic that was released last Thursday showing over 60% of Oklahoma now in Exceptional Drought. It was a link that took you to a different page- we apologize for that misdirection- click here for the correct story and the graphics on the Drought Monitor as well as a depiction of what the storm tracks look like when you have a La Nina.
From the calendar- there are a couple of events that we plan on covering for you- this coming Saturday- the 2011 Southern Plains Beef Symposium will be held at the Ardmore Convention Center right off I-35 in Ardmore. This has always been one of the finest one beef symposiums in this region- and it appears the 2011 event will be a dandy as well. We will be once again emceeing the morning sessions- The agenda includes one of the researchers who have challenged the notion that cows are a major cause of green house gases- Dr. Frank Mitloehner from University of California at Davis. Also on the agenda is one of our very favorite cattle market watchers- Jim Robb of the Livestock Market Information Center. Click here for more details about the 2011 Southern Plains Beef Symposium- or you can call the Carter County Extension Office to preregister at 580-223-6570.
On Friday and Saturday of this week- the Organization for Competitive Markets has their 13th ANNUAL Food and Agriculture Conference at the Western Crown Center in Kansas City. "Voices Rising From the Land" is their theme- Anita Poole recently switched jobs from her role as Counsel for the American Farmers & Ranchers to become the new Executive Director of the OCM- replacing Fred Stokes who is retiring. Their agenda is rather interesting- as they will be offering a GIPSA update from the perspective of group that wants the marketing rule implemented as USDA proposed it over a year ago- a panel on genetically modified crops as well as comments on the Beef Checkoff from the man who recently resigned from the Chairmanship of the Cattlemen's Beef Board- Tom Jones of Arkansas. We have plans on getting up to Kansas City and covering the meeting on Friday- for now- click here for the PDF of the agenda of this OCM Conference.
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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 $12.50 per bushel- as of the close of business yesterday, while the 2012 New Crop contracts for Canola are now available are $12.53 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
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