~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Friday January 5, 2007!A service of Midwest Farm Shows
-- First Hay delivered via helicopter to Panhandle cattle about 1:45 yesterday afternoon.
-- Worse storm in 20 years for cattle stress and loss
-- Early Registration Deadline for the Cattle Industry Meeting in Nashville is TODAY!
-- It is official- the LAGP checks are in the mail!
-- Soil Moisture Profile improves during December- so says NASS
-- On the national farm news scene- USDA wanting to let older Canadian Cattle in & Biofuels Top of Mind for Ag Committee Chairs in New Congress
-- Laura's Lean Beef to Host Informational Gathering Jan 24 at Heart of OK Exposition Center
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.
Our E-mail the next few days is also being sponsored by Laura's Lean Beef- Laura's Lean Beef Co., a natural beef provider based in Lexington, KY, will hold a gathering 10:00 am Jan 24 at the Heart of Oklahoma Exposition Center in Shawnee, Ok to introduce local producers to the benefits of raising the lean, heavily muscled cattle that will perform well on Laura's bonus grids. For more information on this meeting- you can can e-mail Beth Whiteford at bwhiteford@LLBcorp.com.
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First Hay delivered via helicopter to Panhandle cattle about 1:45 yesterday afternoon.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, working with the Army National Guard, identified about five thousand cattle that were stranded and in need of feed from an aerial hay drop. That hay drop for western Cimarron County began yesterday afternoon after lunch and will continue into today. While things have warmed up some in that area- the deep snowpack has kept things on the chilly side- and snow melt will be slow. It also has made things a little sloppy for the Chinook helicopter from the Army National Guard, as the location where they were picking up the hay to drop saw the ground too soft to be able to set the flying machine down safely.
It was interesting as we have covered this story that we have been able to participate along the way as well- we got an email yesterday afternoon from the Oklahoma Air National Guard expressing interest in helping if they were needed in the hay lift effort. Major Andrew Sroczynski told us that they had helped in lifting and dropping large square bales back in 1998 in New Mexico and would be happy to assist here in 2007. We passed that word along to the Oklahoma Department of Ag and they were in the process of contacting the Major late yesterday afternoon in the hope of speeding the help to those cattle needing feed. We'll check on that today and let you know how that developed.
Speaking of help- we got word via e-mail from Jim Luetkemeyer of Congressman Frank Lucas' office that the Cattle Producer Congressman intends to author disaster assistance language to help cover cattle losses from the blizzard conditions. The Lucas aide says that when Congressman Lucas reintroduces his Ag Disaster Aid measure in the new session of Congress- he will update the previous language to include this latest calamity- hopeful that the losses will be minimal and that the current response at the state level will help cover many of the needs that these ranchers are facing.
Worse storm in 20 years for cattle stress and loss
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~News reports beyond are Oklahoma Panhandle don't sound encouraging as the haylift and search for cattle stuck out in the snowdrifts in Colorado, New Mexico and Kansas continues. In Colorado, the report is that an estimated 3,500 cattle have died thus far- and that number is guaranteed to grow a lot over the next few days as the snow melts and cattle are found.
Windier weather could hamper airlift of hay in the region on Friday- and the window of opportunity to help cattle deprived of feed and in many cases water for a week is closing fast.
It's not just pasture cattle that have been caught in this storm- but thousands and thousands of cattle in feedlots in the four states. Feedlot losses will be totaled fairly quickly- it will be the ranch losses that will take a lot longer to tally. Reuters quotes Ty Rumford, the Manager of the High Choice Feedlots in Scott City, Kansas as saying "I've been in this business over 20 years and this is the worst storm I've seen as far as impact on the cattle."
Early Registration Deadline for the Cattle Industry Meeting in Nashville is TODAY!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Preparations are underway for the 2007 Cattle Industry Annual Convention & Trade Show, January 31-February 3 in Nashville, Tennessee. We have a link below to get updated program information and for instructions on how to register. The deadline for pre- registrations, including ticket additions or changes, is January 5- that's TODAY! After January 5, attendees must register on-site and pay the higher registration fees. This annual event brings together thousands of cattle producers from all across the nation. Convention highlights include: Cattlemen's College® (Sponsored by Pfizer Animal Health), Cattle- Fax Annual Outlook Seminar, and our Beef Industry Issues Forums.
It is official- the LAGP checks are in the mail!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~As we reported to you at the end of last week- the Livestock Assistance Grant Program checks were going to be stuffed and mailed right after the New Year's holiday- and that happened the last couple of days and those checks are now MAILED!
In a news release from late yesterday afternoon, Oklahoma Secretary of Agriculture, Terry Peach, said Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food, and Forestry staff worked diligently to meet their goal of having all 13,804 checks mailed before the weekend.
The final amount each animal unit will receive under the program is $3.86 The total number of animal units finished at 1,709,056. The $6.5 million grant package was part of a $50 million program furnished by the USDA to about 20 states affected by the ongoing drought. Oklahoma was the only state to have all its counties qualify for the program.
Soil Moisture Profile improves during December- so says NASS
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~I meant to link this yesterday- but got tied up with the story on the cattle being stranded in Cimarron County- so let's play catchup today with this monthly assessment of Oklahoma Crop Weather Conditions. December saw an improvement in the 2007 winter wheat crop, as well as our soil moisture profile- especially the topsoil readings. One shortfall that continues to be a concern is the shortage of pond water for livestock- even with the recent rains.
First that winter wheat crop condition: Slightly more than one third of the crop is being grazed in 2006- 2007, with the figure in this December summary at 36%, two percentage points below the five year average. The crop condition stands at seventy six percent fair to good condition for the wheat crop, with only 14% in the poor to very poor category. For as dry as the fall was- that's not a bad number.
Topsoil moisture supplies are rated 61% adequate and three percent surplus- while subsoil moisture ratings have improved from November- but still have a ways to go before they are not worrisome- that subsoil rating stands at 72% short to very short, 26% adequate and 2% surplus. Obviously, where we received snow right at the end of the year in primarily the Panhandle will benefit as that snow melts and soaks in.
On the national farm news scene- USDA wanting to let older Canadian Cattle in & Biofuels Top of Mind for Ag Committee Chairs in New Congress
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has unveiled their proposal to expand the list of allowable imports from countries presenting a minimal risk of introducing BSE into the United States. USDA says, oh by the way, Canada is the ONLY country with such a minimal risk designation at this time. This proposal being made public is the first of several steps that will occur before this becomes policy. Other steps include a time for public comments in the near future.
Expansion of the U.S. Biofuels industry is Job One for the Agriculture Committees in the United States House and Senate in 2007- so say the new Democratic Chairmen of those bodies. Iowa Senator Tom Harkin, new chair of the Senate Ag Committee, says he will introduce legislation quickly to require the use of 30 billion gallons of biofuels a year by 2020 and will devote the first full Committee Hearing of the Senate Ag Committee in 2007 to an overview of how agriculture can help deliver on U.S. energy needs.
The Chairman of the House Ag Committee, Collin Peterson of Minnesota, said he will work with Democratic leaders this month to create a reserve fund that would finance renewable fuels projects- hoping to get a vote on this reserve fund as early as later this month. Peterson tells reporters we need those dollars to help move cellulosic ethanol efforts forward. Peterson adds that he also wants to quickly get some Disaster Aid for farmers- adding that the package that could probably gain acceptance may be something with a price tag of $3 billion or under.
Laura's Lean Beef to Host Informational Gathering Jan 24 at Heart of OK Exposition Center
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Laura's Lean Beef Co., a natural beef provider based in Lexington, Ky., will hold a gathering 10:00 am Jan 24 at the Heart of Oklahoma Exposition Center in Shawnee, Ok. to introduce local producers to the benefits of raising the lean, heavily muscled cattle that will perform well on Laura's bonus grids. Producers interested in attending should RSVP to Beth Whiteford at bwhiteford@LLBcorp.com or (859) 685-4406.
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