~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Monday November 6, 2006A service of Midwest Farm Shows
-- Sunday brings significant rains to portions of Oklahoma
-- Bits and Pieces from the Fall Board Meeting of the OCA
-- The Poop Pressure Plan!
-- Speaking of the NCBA- we visited with Paul Hitch in El Reno!
-- Election day finally arrives tomorrow!
-- Wall Street Journal says that "Corn is Booming as Ethanol Heats Up."
-- Our condolences to Scott Dewald
Here's your morning farm news headlines from the Director of Farm Programming for the Radio Oklahoma Network, Ron Hays. Our email this morning is a service of Midwest Farm Shows, featuring the Tulsa Farm Show December 7-9, 2006 and the Southern Plains Farm Show in Oklahoma City April 19-21, 2007. Check out details of both of these exciting shows at the official website of Midwest Farm Shows by clicking here.
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Sunday brings significant rains to portions of Oklahoma
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Some two dozen Oklahoma Mesonet sites had an inch or more of rain on Sunday, with the locations sprinkled in west central, southwest, east central and southeastern locations. Clayton, Wilburton and Wister all were soaked with more than three inches of rain to claim the title of the wettest spots this weekend in the state. Unfortunately, the driest areas of north central Oklahoma again came up with only a few hundredths of an inch, if that. We did see west central Oklahoma get some decent amounts, with Butler in Custer County reporting 1.96 inches of rain yesterday.
It appears that rain chances are slim as we go through the middle part of the week across Oklahoma, with temperatures to be mild to almost warm and into the 60s by later today, 70s tomorrow and some low 80s possible by Wednesday/Thursday. Then comes gusty winds and a cold front that could set us up for more rain at the end of the week- and definitely cooler temperatures by Saturday.
Bits and Pieces from the Fall Board Meeting of the OCA
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The fall board meeting of the Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association was held on Friday morning at OKC West El Reno, and we wanted to pass along a few tidbits that were offered during the course of that meeting. Dr. Clarence Watson of OSU reported that progress is being made on filling both the Department Head positions in Animal Science and Ag Economics. He reports they are down to three finalists for the Ag Econ position, and hoping to have a meeting this week on the Animal Science position and have three or four finalists emerge for that slot as well.
Drummond Ranch of Pawhuska will represent the OCA this week at the World Championship of Ranch Rodeos in Amarillo November 9-12. Two other Oklahoma ranches have also qualified for the event, the A Bar Ranch of Claremore and the Sooner J Ranch and Bricker Livestock of Rush Springs.
The OCA has teamed up with the Oklahoma Farm Bureau to offer a $10,000 award for information that will lead to the arrest and conviction of the vermin that were involved in a fire near Wyandotte back in October. The rancher hit by this arson and losing 800 round bales in the process was Jim Beck, who has expressed appreciation for the OCA's help. Beck indicates he has been hit twice this year by suspicious fires, and is not sure if he will try to build back this go round. If you have any information on this fire that happened on the Lost Creek Cattle Company, you are asked to contact Oklahoma State Fire Marshall agent Donny Howard at 1-800-522- 8666.
The Poop Pressure Plan!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Or- the call to action, if you please, by Jay Truitt of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association for anyone who is interested in seeing a Federal clarification that animal manure is NOT a hazardous waste to be regulated under the so called Superfund Laws.
The Superfund legislation being supported by NCBA and 226 members of Congress (H.R. 4341 and S. 3681) will expire at the end of the 109th Congressional session if no action is taken before they adjourn. To make the most of the time we have left in the 109th Congress, now is the time for cattlemen to step-up communications on this issue. “It’s crucial that your Senators and Representatives understand this issue and how it could affect our nation’s family farms and ranches,” says Jay Truitt, NCBA’s vice president of government affairs. “I know we’ve been saying this all along, but now is the time to tell Congress that manure shouldn’t be subject to Superfund regulations. The clock is ticking, and we want to get this done before we’re out of time.”
These bills are aimed at clarifying that manure is not a hazardous substance, pollutant or contaminant under the Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA/Superfund regulations). Without Congressional clarification, every farm and ranch operation in the country that spreads manure potentially could be declared a Superfund site and subject to penalties and enormous clean-up costs. In the Senate, S. 3681 currently has 36 co- sponsors. In the House, H.R. 4341 currently has 190 co-sponsors! If your Senator or Representative has not yet signed on as a supporter, send a message to them asking them to sign on and communicate to them about the importance of this issue!
Speaking of the NCBA- we visited with Paul Hitch in El Reno!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The current Vice President of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, Paul Hitch, was at the fall board meeting of the OCA as well as the OCA Fall Cattle Drive- and we had the chance to visit with him for a few minutes about a variety of subjects- everything from the Superfund issue to EPA Dust Rules to Smithfield coming to Oklahoma if they build their announced beef processing plant.
In today's Beef Buzz, we feature our conversation with Paul Hitch as we focus first on the EPA Dust Rules that have been finalized and while EPA claims they don't plan on enforcing them on production agriculture- Hitch says don't believe it. And, on the issue of Superfund- he says every single livestock owner in America could be impacted by Drew Edmondson and his Poultry lawsuit if he wins and we fail to get Congress to clarify that manure is not Superfund hazardous waste.
You can click below and hear the first portion of our conversation with Paul Hitch on today's edition of the Beef Buzz from the Radio Oklahoma Network.
Election day finally arrives tomorrow!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We will be watching races at the state and national level that have impact on agriculture. One of the more interesting ballot measures that has serious consequences on animal agriculture will be happening in Arizona, where animal rights groups are promoting Proposition 204, a measure that will require larger gestation crates for hogs. Tom Miller, Executive Director for the Arizona Pork Council says he believes that if the Humane Society and their cohorts succeed- and at this point the polls show they are way ahead- that the groups will move to other states with limited hog production and try to get similar measures on the ballot.
The opponents of 204 have lumped the supporters of this measure in with PETA, and those groups have howled in protest. Ag Secretary Johanns told Arizona farm leaders and the local media this past week that such simple minded ideas sometimes cause more problems than they address. In a larger pen where sows can turn freely, they have a tendency to lay on baby pigs and smother them- in some cases will turn around and even eat their babies- stalls can help prevent both of those problems from happening.
Opponents are hoping the fact that there are 19 questions for voters to deal with may mean that many will simply vote no on all of them- which could help them squeak by on this Proposition- but it looks like it may well be passed, which would mean that Arizona would be the second measure with such constitutional rights bestowed upon pigs- the first is Florida which has a similar measure that will become law in 2008.
Back here in Oklahoma- the bottom line for rural folks is to get out and vote- the people you elect- or hope to defeat as the case may be- will have a direct impact on your ability to profitably operate your farm, ranch or agribusiness. GET OUT AND VOTE!
Wall Street Journal says that "Corn is Booming as Ethanol Heats Up."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The weekend edition of the Wall Street Journal had a pretty interesting read on the booming ethanol fuel industry and what it means for several different players. The WSJ cites the fact that corn prices have jumped 55% since mid September, even as we have gone through a significant part of the 2006 US corn harvest, a time that normally corn prices hit their lows for the year. Dr. Keith Collins, Chief Economist for USDA is quoted as saying that the "Consequences of ethanol are the biggest thing going on in agriculture today."
The article says that traditional users of corn are suffering, citing one dairy farmer in Idaho who says the ethanol rally has cost him hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional feed costs. They also say that major users like Kellogg Company are singing the blues over the run up in corn prices.
They do note there are winners- companies like Monsanto who should have more demand for their seed in the spring of 2007, and also equipment companies like John Deere who may see grain farmers anxious to spend some of those dollars for tractors and more. And, the article claims that farm subsidy savings because of higher corn prices could be major- somewhere in the neighborhood of six to seven billion dollars annually over the next year or so.
Our condolences to Scott Dewald
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Scott's Mother, Elaine Dewald, passed from this life on Thursday of this past week, with funeral services on Saturday afternoon in Woodward. Scott is the Executive Director of the Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association and was one of five children of Elaine and her husband Chet, who preceded her in death in 2002.
Our thoughts and prayers have been with Scott and his family over this past weekend as they have said goodbye on this earth to their mother.
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