~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Wednesday February 21, 2007!A service of Midwest Farm Shows
-- Senator Coffee says OSU is due the money and he's working to find that $2.9 million misdirected by the Regents in 2006.
-- Unlock the CRP- so says Agribiz and Livestock Groups!
-- What's the Consumer Saying???
-- Catching up with Kochenower- the Panhandle is Wet!
-- Commodity Classic next week in Florida- followed Immediately by a Close Encounter with Nancy Pelosi at the 105th National Farmers Union Convention!
-- WTO Deal Would Trump Any Farm Bill Results- Does that light your fire?
-- From Calumet west to the State Line- take a listen to the Coyote for Markets and Farm News!
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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Senator Coffee says OSU is due the money and he's working to find that $2.9 million misdirected by the Regents in 2006.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The top Republican in the dead even Oklahoma Senate, Glenn Coffee, tells us that he is talking to all the parties involved- and everyone agrees that it was a mistake for the $2.9 million earmarked by the Legislature in 2006 for Extension and the Experiment Station at OSU not to have been routed that direction by the Regents for Higher Education. Senator Coffee says he is hopeful that they can add $2.9 million to the budget supplemental now being worked on by the Legislature and make up those 2006 funds to the Division of Agriculture. And, he says he is extracting promises from all concerned that this not honoring the intent of lawmakers won't happen again this year or in future years.
We caught up with the Senator after his comments to the Oklahoma Farm Bureau Leadership Conference- where he seemed to be on the same page with the farm organization on several topics- including the importance of a thoughtful water policy in this state (mentioning specifics from west to east as he commented on H2O), tort reform and private property rights.
We visited with the Senator after he spoke to the OFB- and colleague Sam Knipp and I quiz the Senator in the link provided below- including his promise to find that money for OSU!
Unlock the CRP- so says Agribiz and Livestock Groups!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) and 29 other national and state trade associations representing a broad spectrum of U.S. agribusiness have urged Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns to provide flexibility to producers with land currently enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) to respond to the current strong demand for corn and other grains. That list includes the major livestock organizations- National Cattlemen's Beef Association, the National Pork Producers and the National Chicken Council. The Oklahoma Grain and Feed Association was one of the signers among state groups.
At a minimum, the groups said, Johanns should allow producers the flexibility to remove certain classes of land from the CRP, without penalty. Further, they said it was “critical” that Johanns announce such a decision “as soon as possible” to allow the market to utilize any additional acres that might become available.
The trade groups were responding to the Bush administration’s 2007 farm bill proposal that noted that 27 million of the 39 million acres currently enrolled in the CRP were suitable for crop production. But the administration proposed to restrict those planting-suitable acres to production and harvesting of only biomass crops, such as switchgrass. “We support the goal of reducing reliance on fossil fuels and imports of foreign oil, but the market faces significant challenges in producing adequate quantities of corn and other grains before cellulose becomes proven as an economically viable feedstock,” the groups wrote in a letter to Johanns. The groups also noted that it was unwise to set policy in place on just a "hope" that research will unlock the ability to produce cellulosic based ethanol at some point in the future, ignoring the need for more acres to meet immediate demand as grain based ethanol rapidly expands.
What's the Consumer Saying???
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Today's consumer is continuing to change- and Mark Thomas, Vice President of Global Marketing for the NCBA says the beef industry continues to track the shifting attitudes and behavior of the end user of the beef grown from our beef cattle in Oklahoma and all across America. This question is featured on today's Beef Buzz, heard on Radio Oklahoma Network stations around the state- and available on our web site as well. We have also linked today's report below for your convenience.
Thomas says that today's consumer continues to say that they consider beef as the entree of choice when it comes to special occasions and for celebrations- he says you simply don't go out and celebrate a raise or a promotion or some other special event by having a skinless boneless chicken breast- you celebrate with a steak. Secondly, the consumer continues to express the need for convenience to meet their busy life style.
Finally, Thomas says we are hearing more and more from consumers- especially baby boomers who are now beginning to hit retirement age, of their consideration of "wellness" in their food eating choices. In this regard, Thomas says that in some cases, the beef industry is doing well- in others- there is work to be done. He cites the need, for example, to really perfect low fat ground beef and get that more and more into the mainstream for consumers to have as a choice so that the twenty and thirty percent fat mixes won't become a turnoff in the years to come.
Catching up with Kochenower- the Panhandle is Wet!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Rick Kochenower is area Agronomist for OSU Extension in the Panhandle- and he says the three Oklahoma Panhandle counties remain on the wet side- between above normal end of the year precipitation in 2006- as well as the snows and cold rains that have fallen since the beginning of the year. That could bode well for the 2007 winter wheat crop.
As far as planting decisions are concerned for the spring- a lot more corn acres will be going in this year in response to the higher market prices that are trying to pull millions of acres into the crop because of strong ethanol demand. He sees fewer sunflowers and cotton this spring being planted- and perhaps a few more grain sorghum acres along with the corn being planted in the next couple of months.
We also talked with Rick about a recently announced breakthrough that could help put milo on a more level playing field with corn in the years to come- and you can hear more about that by clicking on the link below and listening to our full conversation with Rick.
Commodity Classic next week in Florida- followed Immediately by a Close Encounter with Nancy Pelosi at the 105th National Farmers Union Convention!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We will be heading for a pair of big events next week as we will be covering the 2007 Commodity Classic in Tampa next week- we will be reporting from Tampa next Wednesday through Friday. This event includes three major commodity groups this year, as the National Corn Growers and the American Soybean Association welcome the National Association of Wheat Growers to the party this year. US Wheat will also be in Tampa for their meetings separate but in conjunction with NAWG. As we reported last week- the Wheat Growers will be talking farm policy as well as biotech wheat(the growers want it- but the marketers say foreign markets will beat a path away from our door if we allow GMO wheat to move in).
Of course, it now appears almost certain that when it comes to the Commodity Title of the soon to be written 2007 farm bill, the three groups will not be speaking from the same page of the Hymn book. Actually, soybeans and wheat seem to both want some adjustment to current direct payments and countercyclical payments- while the National Corn Growers continue to talk about BIG change in the form of a revenue based safety net.
Next Friday- we will then head to the National Farmers Union- Ray Wulf will lead a good group of OFU members as delegates and observers to this year's convention to be held in Orlando. They will have the chance to hear from the US Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi of California, during Friday evening's opening session. House Ag Committee Chairman Collin Peterson of Minnesota will also be on the program Friday night as well as helping lead a Farm Bill Panel on Saturday morning. I have linked below the news release from NFU on some of the highlights of their 105th annual meeting which kicks off Friday, March 2nd.
WTO Deal Would Trump Any Farm Bill Results- Does that light your fire?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Pascal Lamy, Head of the World Trade Organization, told reporters earlier today while in Indonesia at a Trade Conference that he thinks there are "good signs" of a trade deal brewing in the currently stalled Doha Round of World Trade Talks.
Lamy adds that compromise is needed from all sides. In the case of the United States- the EU leads the way in demanding that we do more on farm subsidies- that they must be reduced further. As for Lamy, he says the Bush Administration proposal was a step in the right direction, but he added that "at the end of the day what will be negotiated around the WTO table will prevail over farm bill results."
Meanwhile, in this country, we are hearing rumblings that an additional offer to further cut farm subsidies may be forthcoming by the US, based on others doing more(at least that's how any such offer will be couched by the USTR) and we understand that the US cotton support program may be one of the focal points for cuts. The National Cotton Council has decided to do a Thursday News Teleconference Call this week- highly unusual for the commodity group but apparently they have decided to take their concerns public! We will keep you advised!
From Calumet west to the State Line- take a listen to the Coyote for Markets and Farm News!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We are proud of our radio partners and wanted to remind you that you can hear our markets and farm news throughout the day on KWEY FM (and AM, too) at 95.5 FM all along Interstate 40 in western Oklahoma. Their AM signal is directional- going toward the southwest from Weatherford. From Bessie to Watonga and beyond- you can hear the FM signal and Ron Hays and Ed Richards daily on the Radio Oklahoma Network.
We have linked details on when you can hear farm and ranch news and market updates on KWEY below. AND, if you want to know about the reports that are aired on stations in your neck of the woods- drop me an email. I will be happy to give you a list of the stations in your area where you can hear Ron on RON!
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