~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Wednesday January 3, 2007!A service of Midwest Farm Shows
-- Cimarron County Ranchers needing help!
-- Getting Organized at the State Capitol
-- Early issues for Ag Interests to take note of.
-- Cotton Acreage in Oklahoma and Kansas wheat country keeps on growing!
-- From the Grassroots UP continues this week in Salt Lake City for Farm Bureau.
-- DTN is buying the Progressive Farmer Magazine
-- Monthly Crop Weather Update due out today
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 Southern Plains Farm Show in Oklahoma City April 19-21, 2007, as well as the Tulsa Farm Show held each December. Check out details of both of these exciting shows at the official website of Midwest Farm Shows by clicking here.
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Cimarron County Ranchers needing help!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~With the holidays, it's been hard to get much information from our westernmost county in the state- we knew that the Blizzard conditions were a part of the storm that roared through the region hit Cimarron County- but it appears they have been slow in being able to get out from under the snow drifts that are everywhere. We were hearing word by midday yesterday that several ranchers were asking for some help with some sort of an airlift to get some hay in to feed some stranded cattle. This is similar to what has been going on in Colorado already.
In talking to State Secretary of Agriculture Terry Peach and then later Jack Carson with the ODAFF, there will be a meeting of Emergency Management and the Ag Department this morning at 8:30 am, with an ICS team expected to quickly get out to Boise City and get a first hand assessment of the situation- hoping to get help quickly to those who need it. What's an ICS? I asked that question and Jack Carson says it stands for Incident Command System and is what the Agriculture Department has been assembling as a response to a infectious animal disease outbreak, or terrorism attack or natural disaster which is the category that this snowstorm falls under.
We did hear that folks are looking for square bales of hay that could be airlifted as the situation dictates. If you have some square bale hay in the northwestern part of the state- you might let the Oklahoma Department of Ag know- or you can drop us an email and we will pass your name along to them and they might want to contact you. Just email us at email@example.com.
Getting Organized at the State Capitol
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~As expected, Stillwater Democrat Mike Morgan was elected to a second term as the President Pro Tempore of the Oklahoma State Senate Tuesday as part of the Constitutional organization day for the 51st Oklahoma Legislature. As part of an historic power-sharing agreement, Morgan will serve as president pro tempore through June 30 and again from August 1 through November 19, 2008. Oklahoma City Republican Glenn Coffee was elected to serve as president pro tem for the month of July 2007. While the Senate is divided fifty-fifty, the Democrats own the edge with the election of a Democratic Lt. Governor in Jeri Askins, who, by the wya, was sworn in yesterday as Mary Fallin has exited stage left for Washington to begin her new job as the Congresswoman for Central Oklahoma.
We are hearing positive vibes from the agricultural community over the way the House has divided up responsibilities in the Natural Resources arena, specifically the move of Dale DeWitt of Braman to the Chairmanship of the Natural Resources Committee that is an umbrella over four different subcommittees, including Agriculture that will now be chaired by Don Armes.
The Senate Agriculture Committee will be Co-Chaired by a Republican and a Democrat- Republican Ron Justice of Chickasha and Democrat Charles Wyrick of Fairland. One Ag lobbyist said it will be interesting when it comes to possible Conference Committees between the two bodies how things will match up to get a working size group to make deals between the two bodies- that may well be a challenge. And, there 's the question of how long the shared power thing will last before some issue blows it all up. It's early yet- so for now, there's the talk of history in the making and working together under our still very new Capitol Dome- and who knows, maybe there will be some magic to this Centennial Year on Lincoln Boulevard.
Early issues for Ag Interests to take note of.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~They are still just pulling stuff together, but in talking to a couple of observers yesterday, we have several things that will be of interest to farmers and ranchers and those that live in rural areas likely to surface in this 2007 State Legislature. The Animal Manure Definition measure will be reintroduced, although it will be an uphill fight to get that through the State Senate once again as it was last year.
There is also talk about finding more money for Natural Resources in this Legislative session. One possibility would be the lifting of the cap on the refund of the Gross Production Tax that comes back to the state. Right now, the first ten million dollars of those monies are earmarked for several areas- including the efforts of the Conservation Commission in battling invasive species like the Eastern Red Cedar, repair and updating of Flood Control Dams and using state money to match Federal dollars to help improve water quality in Priority Watersheds in mostly Eastern Oklahoma. The hope is by lifting the "cap" that will up the amount of the monies in these three areas of Conservation spending from three million dollars to five or six million dollars.
Cotton Acreage in Oklahoma and Kansas wheat country keeps on growing!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Cotton production in Northern Oklahoma and Kansas continues to be profitable and expand, in spite of the crippling effect of the recent drought. This opinion reflects the thoughts of Dick Cooper, director for business development for the Plains Cotton Cooperative Association. Located at Liberal, Ks, Cooper is responsible for cotton marketing and market development in Kansas and all of Oklahoma north of I-40. "Realistically," he said,"we do not see any increase in irrigated cotton production for 2007 in this area. The advantage cotton has had in irrigated production will not be in play in the short term. Basically, this is due to the tremendous interest in biofuels production. But dryland cotton is still competitive and we expect to see these acres continue to grow."
In a report provided by NTOK Cotton, Cooper explained the region's 2006 cotton crop is 95 percent harvested and 55 percent ginned. "Cotton farmers in Kansas and the seven northern tiered Oklahoma counties planted 125,000 acres of cotton in 2006," he said. "This planting was a 40 percent increase over 2005. "Even with the severe drought to combat, the area's cotton crop will have the second highest per acre yield average of 567 pounds as well as the highest quality grades in the history of production in this region." In 2006, Cooper said, 226 new farms produced cotton. Even with the 2006 drought, he said, cotton production in this area marks 11 years of consistent, sustainable growth.
There are many reasons for the rapid development of cotton farming in Kansas and northern Oklahoma, Cooper said. "Sound economics, water conservation, effective crop rotation systems, along with time and labor efficiency have made these 11 years a real success story," he said. Other factors that have come into play, he said, are experience-gained management expertise, better cotton genetics and the establishment of a highly- developed ginning, warehousing and transportation infrastructure. "With support systems in place at each of the five gin locations and the support of state associations like the Kansas and Oklahoma cotton associations, entry level risk has been greatly reduced from a few short years ago."
From the Grassroots UP continues this week in Salt Lake City for Farm Bureau.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~An Oklahoma Farm Bureau delegation of 80-plus leaders will join more than 4,000 Farm Bureau members from across the country in Salt Lake City, Utah Jan. 7-10 for the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 88th Annual Meeting and Convention. Most importantly, state delegates will meet to discuss and vote on the positions that will guide AFBF in 2007. Oklahoma Farm Bureau President Steve Kouplen said several agricultural issues will be covered during discussions, including the next farm bill “The farm bill is probably the key issue. We will have to decide whether to extend the current policy, or write a new farm bill,” he said. “Hopefully, we can come to some agreements between all the agriculture groups and pull together to accomplish our goals.”
Kouplen adds that Disaster Assistance is another issue that he is hopeful that American Farm Bureau will come out strongly in favor of during the Delegate sessions next Tuesday and Wednesday. “We are in the midst of widespread disaster, not only in Oklahoma, but across the country,” Kouplen said. “I think it has finally become evident that something needs to be done.” He is hopeful Congress agrees and comes through with a disaster bill for producers here in January.
Farm Bureau members will get to hear the opinions from both sides of the Washington political spectrum this coming Monday, as both Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns and new Chairman of the House Ag Committee, Democrat Collin Peterson of Minnesota are scheduled to speak to the group. We will be traveling to Salt Lake City this weekend and reporting from the AFBF meeting early next week.
DTN is buying the Progressive Farmer Magazine
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Data Transmission Network announced yesterday that they are buying one of the longtime journalistic names in agricultural circles, the Progressive Farmer. DTN is the group that has built their niche in the ag media arena by selling subscriptions to farmers and those in agribusiness of their daily market information service, delivered mostly by satellite and the famous DTN box that so many have seen at their local Coop or Bank. Now they are are doing more than ever via the Internet- we have a subscription with them that allows us to take our real time market quotes and news from several sources with us whereever we go as long as as we have an internet link available.
DTN officials say they will keep the magazine's headquarters in Birmingham, Alabama. The magazine has been around since 1886. In recent years, Progressive Farmers had been devoting more of their time to rural lifestyle issues in addition to production agriculture, and the DTN folks say that focus will continue.
Monthly Crop Weather Update due out today
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~It was actually due out yesterday- but was delayed a day with the national Day of Mourning declared for former President Gerald Ford. We'll have details from that report tomorrow for you.
Agricultural futures markets will be returning to their normal schedules today in Chicago, Kansas City and New York. In addition, most of the livestock auctions are gearing back up to their normal weekly schedules after the holidays by today- although in some areas like Dodge City, Kansas, they may have few cattle as they dig out from the snow storm. We do expect pretty good runs at OKC West in El Reno and the Southern Oklahoma Livestock Market in Ada.
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