~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Friday March 16, 2007!A service of Midwest Farm Shows
-- The Enid to Woodward line seems to mark the good versus bad for 2007 Wheat Crop
-- HB 1485 is a HUGE win for Agriculture!
-- Class 13 of the OALP wrapping up their East Coast Experience.
-- Heart of Oklahoma Cow-Calf Conference happens NEXT Saturday!
-- NCBA Chief Economist Greg Doud heading to South Korea as deadline looms on Free Trade talks.
-- Ag Disaster Aid- It's in there!
-- Check out Ron on RON at 1520 on the AM dial- KOKC in Oklahoma City!
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.
If you have received this by someone forwarding it to you, you are welcome to subscribe and get this weekday update sent to you directly by clicking here.
The Enid to Woodward line seems to mark the good versus bad for 2007 Wheat Crop
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We stopped and visited with OSU Area Agronomist Roger Gribble yesterday when we were in Enid yesterday- and got an overview of the 2007 Oklahoma Hard Red Winter Wheat Crop in the northcentral and northwestern areas of our state. Based on the drought maps we have seen in recent days- the epicenter of drought conditions for Oklahoma remains in the Woods, Alfalfa, Grant and northern Garfield County area. And Roger Gribble says that continues to line up with what he has seen and had reported to him when it comes to this year's wheat crop.
Gribble says that south of that Enid- Woodward line- wheat is looking good from last weekend's rains. Many farmers have been able to get fertilizer and chemicals on ahead of that rain- and the wheat is really beginning to "wake up." North of that line, it's still too early to abandon fields that have either not germinated at all- or have impossibly thin stands. Gribble says that insurance adjusters will be working that area in the next few weeks- and that around the first of April, we may see some decisions being made- and that will give us time to go back in with a spring milo crop if the farmer has some moisture available to him and the insurance company has released him regarding that failed wheat crop.
Corn is being planted now in north central Oklahoma- and still to come will be some acres of soybeans and grain sorghum in the next thirty to forty days. Gribble says the economics argue against cotton this spring- at least right now. We have our entire conversation with Roger Gribble linked from our web site- and you can hear by going to the link below.
HB 1485 is a HUGE win for Agriculture!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~That was the word we got from Mason Mungle, lobbyist for the Oklahoma Farmers Union, who says the entire ag coalition held firm on what they felt had to be done- and they got the compromise needed to save millions of dollars of local property tax income destined for rural schools. In its original form, House Bill 1485, by state Rep. Dennis Adkins, R-Tulsa, would have exempted several categories of oilfield equipment currently being taxed. The bill was filed due to longstanding complaints from oilfield producers.
State Rep. Ryan McMullen, who helped forge a compromise on the issue, said the legislation shifted from the most contentious issue of the 51st Legislature to one of the biggest achievements. "We've had some extremely contentious, partisan battles in the House lately, but this is an example of how lawmakers can work together on a bipartisan basis for all Oklahomans," said McMullen, D-Burns Flat.
"Currently, a piece of oilfield equipment - say a natural gas compressor - will be valued at $100,000 in one county and the exact same piece of equipment will be valued at $500,000 just across the line in a neighboring county," McMullen said. "This huge disparity is quite simply unacceptable. We need a uniform standard, helping to ensure that everyone gets a fair shake." However, in its original form, officials believe House Bill 1485 would essentially reduce oil and gas industry taxes to schools and counties by anywhere from $11 million to $65 million per year.
McMullen joined agricultural organizations such as Farm Bureau, Farmers Union, Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association, and Oklahoma Grain and Feed Association in opposing the oilfield exemptions because they believed other property remaining on the rolls (mostly land used for agricultural production) would face a greater tax burden to pay local school bond indebtedness. To address the concerns of oilfield producers, local schools and all other landowners, McMullen authored an amendment that removed the section of House Bill 1485 exempting oilfield equipment from property tax. At the same time, the amendment left in language creating a uniform valuation system. "This compromise helps the oil and gas industry address a legitimate grievance without slashing funding for our schools," McMullen said. "Under this plan, oilfield equipment on the tax rolls will stay there, but the way counties assess the value of that property will become consistent across the state." The measure, as amended, passed the House 78 to 23 and now head to the Senate for consideration there.
Class 13 of the OALP wrapping up their East Coast Experience.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~In talking briefly with OALP Director Dr. Joe Williams this morning, I am told that it's going to be a rainy nasty day for OALP's final full day in Washington. But, he says the weather before today has been great- and the group has had a tremendous week in Pennsylvania, Virginia and our nation's Capitol.
In Pennsylvania, they spent a night with farm families- and Brenda Neufeld of Fairview told us that it really felt "closed in" compared to the wide open spaces we take for granted here in Oklahoma. Thad Doye agreed with Brenda, adding that it's eye opening to see how these smaller farm operations are able to make a living (although not a real good one) from a hundred acres or a little more- and how they do so surrounded by a suburban population.
During their Washington meetings, they got the Administration viewpoint on farm and trade policy- then were exposed to a variety of other viewpoints on where farm policy needs to go with presentations from the American Farmland Trust and the Environmental Working Group, as well as from the House and Senate Ag Committees. They met with several Oklahoma lawmakers, including Frank Lucas and Senator Jim Inhofe. Yesterday, they spent a day in Virginia- toured Phillip Morris in Richmond and also a commercial tulip operation run by partners who had come over from the Netherlands. The group, stretched on many of their preset ideas, returns to Oklahoma this weekend.
Heart of Oklahoma Cow-Calf Conference happens NEXT Saturday!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Producers who are interested in knowing the latest information and technology available for improving beef production should plan on attending the Heart of Oklahoma Cattle Conference March 24 at the Exposition Center in Shawnee. Ag producers have been experiencing one of the worst drought periods in modern history and resources have been difficult to stretch over this period. This year’s conference is designed to bring Oklahoma farmers and ranchers the latest information and technology with ‘Principles of 21st Century Beef Production.’
The morning sessions will cover the topics of plant nutrition and fertilization; the effects of fertility management on forage stocking rates; weed and brush – timing, new products, hard to control species and using goats; and profiting from fertilizing and controlling weeds. This year weed control may be worth everything in an operation. Lack of competition in grass stands has allowed many weeds to flourish. The conference will look at the latest and best products and how to use them in a cost effective manner on pasture weeds and brush. The afternoon session will focus on hay quality and what affects it, grazing solutions for 2007 and herd health practices for the 21st century.
We have been asked by Joe Benton to Emcee the event- and we look forward to seeing many of you next Saturday in Shawnee. Joe says that you can still get the $7 rate for registration which includes lunch if you send it in before next Saturday- Registration at the door will be $10.00- but you still must call and let them know you are coming for the meal count. For details, contact Joe Benton at the Pottawatomie County Extension Office, 405-273-7683.
NCBA Chief Economist Greg Doud heading to South Korea as deadline looms on Free Trade talks.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~NCBA’s Chief Economist Gregg Doud is heading to South Korea this weekend to support U.S. trade negotiators on priority issues for U.S. cattle producers in next week's scheduled talks in Seoul, March 19-21. Negotiators from the United States and South Korea are expected to discuss details of the U.S.-South Korea Free Trade Agreement as well as a science- based reopening of the Korean borders for U.S. beef.
"As a former Kansas farm kid who still owns cattle, I'm extremely proud to represent NCBA in Seoul on this important trade issue," says Doud. "We have the highest quality, safest beef in the world, and it’s about time Korea recognized international trade guidelines. We can only support a free trade agreement if Korea agrees to finally re-establish legitimate access for U.S. beef, at pre-December 2003 levels. The time for playing games and dragging feet is over." Top Korean officials are also expected to visit the United States in the coming days. An accord must be made by the end of March so President Bush can utilize his expiring Trade Promotion Authority granted by Congress.
Earlier this month, we talked with Phil Seng of the US Meat Export Federation, who believes that the Ministry of Agriculture in Korea is being "guided" by other government ministries toward reopening the Korean market to US beef- and we report on that angle of this in today's Beef Buzz heard on the Radio Oklahoma Network. Click below to go to our Beef Buzz page on WWW.OklahomaFarmReport.Com and scroll down to the bottom for the March 16th report to get Phil's take on how these negotiations may yet break our way.
Ag Disaster Aid- It's in there!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The US House Appropriations Committee approved the so called "War Supplemental" to pay for the military activity in both Iraq and Afghanistan- with something over eleven billion dollars added by the Democrats in Congress for domestic programs that they won't have to find offsets for because of this measure being considered an "emergency" spending bill.
Included in that is something between three and four billion dollars in Ag Disaster Aid for 2005, 2006 or 2007 disasters- you choose. The final vote out of the Committee was 36 to 28. Supporters of Ag Disaster Aid believe that while the President has opposed such relief without an offset- he will sign the package if it reaches his desk. This could well be the last ad-hoc disaster aid bill- especially if Congress should be able to find a way to fund a Permanent Disaster Aid pool of money in the 2007 Farm Bill. That may be as difficult or more so than getting A La Carte Disaster Aid pushed through.
Check out Ron on RON at 1520 on the AM dial- KOKC in Oklahoma City!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We mentioned to you a couple of weeks ago about our lineup of farm program reports on the 50,000 watt AM News Talk station in Oklahoma City, KOKC at 1520 on the AM dial. I have one adjustment, time wise, to our lineup of programs.
The afternoon market close is being aired right around 2:32 in the afternoon weekdays. Initially, they were looking at airing it later in the afternoon- but have elected to go sooner after the markets have closed for the day. Our colleague Ed Richards anchors that report.
Earlier in the day, we have morning farm news at around 6:35 am, as well as a midday farm news update report at 12:12 pm, just ahead of the midday Paul Harvey News and Commentary. And, you can hear Sam Knipp from the Oklahoma Farm Bureau with his Ag First Report at around 6:55 am weekday mornings as well. We appreciate KOKC as our Oklahoma City radio partner- and encourage you to give them a listen- the early morning reports can be heard just about anywhere west of I-35- and the midday and afternoon reports in a wide circle of 80 or 90 miles out from Oklahoma City!
Our thanks to Midwest Farm Shows for their support of our daily Farm News Update. Go to their website at the link at the top of today's email for more information on either the Tulsa Farm Show or the Southern Plains Farm Show.
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