~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Wednesday February 7, 2007!A service of Midwest Farm Shows
-- Undersecretary Dorr comes calling on Oklahoma!
-- Friday through Sunday- the 102nd annual convention of the Oklahoma Farmers Union!
-- Oklahoma Pork Congress making history at the Oklahoma History Center this Friday!
-- How do you know when it's Hollow Stem Time???
-- Group that vows to eliminate much of modern Animal Agriculture has annual donations of $119 MILLION!
-- As Mark Hodges Says- I sure feel a lot better this year than last year at this time!
-- South Korea willing to talk about bone chips- but don't even think about bone in ribs!
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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Undersecretary Dorr comes calling on Oklahoma!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~About 200 agricultural leaders from across the state convened in the House Chamber of the State Capitol on Tuesday afternoon to hear from USDA on their 2007 Farm Bill Proposal. Undersecretary for Rural Development, Tom Dorr, was dispatched to Oklahoma for this briefing. Dorr admitted that while the USDA and the Bush Administration can propose- it is up to Congress to dispose and actually write new legislation that will be our farm policy over the next five years.
Undersecretary Dorr reviewed the detailed proposal that USDA will be submitting to Congress. In the question and answer session after his presentation, Dorr was short on specifics outside of his immediate areas of responsibility. He did tout this farm bill proposal as one that will help beginning farmers get going in a farm operation- and a measure that will aid in rural development in such a way that young people will be able to go off to college, but then have a viable way to make a living if they choose to return to rural areas. He cited the increasing availability of broadband wherever you live as one of the keys that helps "level the playing field" between urban and rural settings.
We talked afterwards with Tom Dorr about ethanol, the Fiscal Year 2008 budget for agriculture and rural development as well as the issue of earmarks and how they may impact agriculture. You can hear that exclusive conversation with the Undersecretary by clicking below.
Friday through Sunday- the 102nd annual convention of the Oklahoma Farmers Union!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Moving Forward is the theme of the 2007 annual convention of the Oklahoma Farmers Union- which is moving downtown this year to the Cox Convention Center. They will get most of the business out of the way right off the bat on Friday morning, with President Ray Wulf presiding.
Friday afternoon’s session will feature Farm Policy panel beginning at 3p.m., including Daren Coppock, Chief Executive Officer, National Association of Wheat Growers; Bill Wilson, Past President, National Association of Conservation Districts and Dr. David Morris, National Program Leader, National Animal Identification System.
Both Oklahoma Congressmen Frank Lucas and Tom Cole are scheduled to speak to the group on Saturday- Lucas to conclude the Saturday morning program while Congressman Cole will speak to the group during their Saturday evening banquet. We have linked the full schedule of the event below- Terry Detrick of OFU tells me that anyone is welcome to attend the Farm Policy Session on Friday afternoon- you don't have to be a Farmers Union member if you wish to hear what these folks are thinking on farm policy.
Oklahoma Pork Congress making history at the Oklahoma History Center this Friday!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~This Friday, February 9, will find Oklahoma's Pork Producers gathering at the Oklahoma History Center on the northeast corner of 23rd and Lincoln, just across from the State Capitol. The Oklahoma History Center is brand new- and this will be the first ag industry gathering that I am aware of in this facility.
The morning program will include Dr. Michael Senn of Pfizer Animal Health as well as a Legislative Update by the lobbying firm that represents pork producers. McSpadden and Associates.
The group will be announcing their Environmental Stewardship Award winner, as well as their Hall of Fame Inductees and their Distinguished Service Award winners for 2007 as well. More information on the 2007 Pork Congress can be had by calling 405- 232-3781 in the Oklahoma City are or statewide toll free at 888-729-7675.
How do you know when it's Hollow Stem Time???
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~That question is answered by OSU Extension Wheat Specialist Dr. Jeff Edwards in the February newsletter put out by the Mesonet folks, AgWeather. First Hollow Stem is the stage of wheat growth that you need to remove cattle from grazing if you intend to harvest that wheat for grain.
As early as the 20th of February, producers need to start checking for first hollow stem in your wheat, especially in your earliest planted wheat fields. Dr. Edwards told us earlier this week when we interviewed him at the Nitrogen Management Workshop that they would be evaluating the wheat at several key research locations across the state around the 14th of February and will be getting the information out how far along the wheat plants are when it comes to development toward first hollow stem.
Dr, Edwards has details about not just first hollow stem- but also the latest on the nine lives of our wheat plant here in the southern plains- plus the Mesonet folks have additional tips about how to best use the web site to keep tabs on things like solid moisture in your home area. Check it out by linking to their February issue.
Group that vows to eliminate much of modern Animal Agriculture has annual donations of $119 MILLION!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~According to a media update issued by the Animal Agriculture Alliance, the largest of the groups that regularly is speaking out against modern livestock production in this country, the Humane Society of the US, has been piling up lots of cash from donors in the most recently reported period. The Alliance refers to the December 2006 issue of Animal People that revealed the Humane Society for the United States (HSUS), the largest animal rights activist group in the USA, increased donations by a striking 62% in 2005, the latest period available. Additionally, HSUS’ net assets increased 80% during the year, to over $200 million, an amount twice its annual budget. Animal People, which brands itself as ''News for people who care about animals,'' publishes an annual article titled, ''Who Gets the Money'' - the newspaper’s annual review of animal charity budgets and is based upon Internal Revenue Service Form 990 filings the groups are required to file.
This is the group that helped lead the battle over Horse Slaughter in the U.S. House this past fall and continues to push that part of their agenda in 2007. They are also the group that had one of their top staffers speak of the need to eliminate the broiler and egg industry in the United States this past year. In addition, their President, Wayne Pacelle, has pledged to redouble their efforts against modern agriculture in the days ahead. We have linked a news release on those comments from the Animal Agriculture Alliance from last fall to remind you of this group's hostility against animal agriculture.
The point to remember from this blurb is that the HSUS is one of several groups that hope to insert various pieces of their agenda into the 2007 Farm Bill and have INCREDIBLE resources at their disposal. That much money- if used against traditional agriculture- could cause farmers and ranchers huge headaches in the days ahead.
As Mark Hodges Says- I sure feel a lot better this year than last year at this time!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Mark Hodges, who is the Executive Director of the Oklahoma Wheat Commission, was making reference of the overall condition of the 2007 Oklahoma winter wheat crop. The latest crop weather readings confirm what Mark is feeling- things are vastly improved here in 2007.
The Oklahoma wheat crop reading in the monthly summary of the Oklahoma Crop Weather report the first of February a year ago showed the wheat crop 58% poor to very poor! The same summary one year later released this week shows the 2007 crop rated at 53% good to excellent! Both the Kansas and Texas crops are also improved compared to one year ago, with Texas showing a rating of 42% good to excellent while Kansas checks in at the beginning of February at 62% good to excellent.
Here in Oklahoma, topsoil moisture readings have almost totally flip-flopped- 97% short to very short one year ago- 84% adequate to surplus this year. The most worrisome number reported both years is the Pasture and Range condition- 64% poor to very poor a year ago and still 63% poor to very poor this year. This month's summary says "Warmer temperatures will be needed for pasture conditions to improve."
South Korea willing to talk about bone chips- but don't even think about bone in ribs!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The first day of technical talks have now ended in Seoul, South Korea and little is known about specifics of the discussion on Wednesday. One South Korean official was quoted as saying that "We will discuss inspection procedure and technical issues such as how to define bone fragments in imported U.S. beef. But we will not consider any requests of opening the market to ribs."
The U.S. team is being led by Dr. Chuck Lambert of USDA, who told us this past Friday that he hopes to establish a basis to resume commercially viable trade with South Korea of at least boneless beef from animals under 30 months of age. The key is how the groups will now define boneless beef- as the strict interpretation Korea has used this past fall resulted in the de facto ban on U.S. beef into what was once our third largest customer for U.S. beef.
Dr. Lambert told us last week that this meeting is a two day meeting- but that the US delegation would be prepared to stay longer if that proves useful.
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