~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Friday March 30, 2007!A service of Midwest Farm Shows
-- Creekstone WINS! Judge says private entities can test for Mad Cow.
-- Lotsa Rain and some Rough Weather with more moisture in the wings!
-- Prospective Plantings Out on Friday Morning- we have link to follow once report is released.
-- Day 2 of the Oklahoma Dietetic Association Meeting in Norman.
-- Dates are set in May for 2007 Grain Grading Schools in the Oklahoma Wheat Belt.
-- Hog numbers have leveled off- that's what we expect to see this afternoon in another USDA report.
-- Thanks again to the Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts!
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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Creekstone WINS! Judge says private entities can test for Mad Cow.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Federal Judge James Robertson has declared that USDA was "out of bounds" in their refusal to allow Creekstone Farms Premium Beef to test all of their animals they were processing for Mad Cow Disease. The Judge has ruled late Thursday afternoon that the USDA does not have the authority to regulate the test. He did put his order on hold to give USDA a chance to appeal- if they do not- his ruling will go into effect June first. We will link the Judge's Order and Memorandum later today once it is posted on the District Court's website(The District Court of the District of Columbia)
Creekstone Farms is a company that has headquarters in Kentucky, with their processing facility in Arkansas City, Kansas- just across the state line from Kay County. They asked USDA for the right to test all of their animals for BSE, not expecting to find anything, but rather doing it as an extra measure of assurance to Japan in an effort to reopen that market to their shipments of beef. USDA refused, citing a turn of the century law for their justification, and Creekstone sued.
Only one group has reacted thus far- R-Calf USA's Shae Dodson burned the midnight oil and got a release out about midnight last night- quoting their President Max Thornsberry of Missouri as saying “We are pleased that the judicial branch of our government is helping to maintain the accountability of this agency. We stood by Creekstone’s entrepreneurial spirit then, and we do so now because Creekstone can now lead the beef-processing industry into a new era – one that’s predicated on meeting the needs and wants of its customers."
The R-Calf release goes on to say “In April 2004, R- CALF USA wrote to then-Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman in support of Creekstone’s request to voluntarily test for BSE because Creekstone was responding to its customers’ requests – primarily from the Japanese government,” he noted. “Had USDA granted Creekstone’s request – which obviously was a reasonable, efficient and timely solution for resuming export trade with Japan – then perhaps our Asian export markets would’ve agreed to accept more U.S. product. “As it stands now, it appears Japan and South Korea feel uncomfortable with the agency’s obstinate tactics, and the resulting situation – age limits on beef, rejections of entire shipments of beef, and difficult trade negotiations – could have been avoided altogether,” Thornsberry pointed out. “USDA should never have attempted to use its regulatory authority to hamstring market competition, particularly in this instance, because Creekstone intends to use identical BSE-testing procedures currently used by USDA,” he said. “R-CALF stands by its original position that USDA’s actions shielded the less innovative, less nimble and less responsive beef processors from the competitive capacity of cutting- edge processors like Creekstone.”
Lotsa Rain and some Rough Weather with more moisture in the wings!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Thunderstorms and even a tornado came rolling across the plains yesterday here in Oklahoma- with rainfall amounts reported by the Mesonet continuing to be impressive and helping us to do an 180 degree turnaround in our soil moisture profiles.
Top rainfall amount in the state for Thursday was Hinton in northern Caddo County, with 2.8 inches of rain reported. We had dozens of stations in at an inch or more with only the southeastern and northwestern corners of the state not being included in the Thursday rain. We did see an inch of rain being reported since Midnight in McCurtain County in far southeastern Oklahoma.
There are predictions of more rainfall into the weekend- and we are starting to get enough rain to see serious recharging of the subsoil moisture that we have had depleted for a year or longer. One other encouraging thing we have seen is the rising levels of Lake Altus. We are still three or four feet below the level of a year ago- but it now seems possible that we will at least meet the levels of water storage in that lake that we have a year ago. Back in December, that seemed like that would be a difficult possibility to imagine.
Prospective Plantings Out on Friday Morning- we have link to follow once report is released.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~If you remember our conversation earlier this week with Dr. Kim Anderson, he is of the opinion that our wheat price outlook will be greatly affected by the number of acres that we end up planting to corn in 2007- and that watching corn futures instead of wheat futures may actually tell you more about cash wheat prices here in the southern plains.
The general expectations are that the market has allowed corn prices to rise enough to have bought 12 to 12.5% more acres for corn planting this year than last- the average pre report guess is 88 million acres. Dr. Anderson has actually said that likely won't be enough to fully meet corn demand this year- and will help place a strong floor under corn and as a result, wheat prices.
We have linked an audio preview of the report for you- and we will update this report after the report is out and we get some reaction from the trade. You can listen right away for the preview- and after 9 am central time for the review of the actual report that we will place on the link below.
Day 2 of the Oklahoma Dietetic Association Meeting in Norman.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We were invited by Susan Allen and Heather Buckmaster of the Oklahoma Beef Council to join them yesterday for the opening day of the Oklahoma Dietetic Association in Norman- as Oklahoma's beef producers sponsored Dr. Gary Smith of Colorado State to come in and talk to the Dieticians about food borne illness and how the beef industry responded to the infamous Jack-in-the Box case of E-coli in 1993.
We will be featuring an extended conversation that we had with Dr. Smith all of next week as we have Gary join us a week long guest on the Beef Buzz. This morning though, we wanted to share a conversation that we had with Karen Meyers of Edmond, who is a registered Dietician and past President of the state association.
Meyers tells us that Dieticians are always on the lookout for credible, science based information to share with their clients about how to eat a balanced healthy diet that will help them either lose weight, maintain previous losses and/or stay on track when other health problems are a part of person's life. We also talked with Karen about the credibility of groups like the Oklahoma Beef Council in working with professionals like the ODA- and she was very strong in her praise of the factual approach the Beef Council and several other commodity checkoff groups have taken in dealing with these dietary influencers. You can listen to our conversation with Karen Meyers by clicking below.
Dates are set in May for 2007 Grain Grading Schools in the Oklahoma Wheat Belt.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~OSU Extension Grain Marketing Economist Dr. Kim Anderson has once again organized a series of Grain Grading Schools in cooperation with several groups- including the Oklahoma Grain and Feed Association.
Sessions are planned this year for Altus, Clinton and Enid, beginning May 8th. There will also be a single Canola Grading School during the sessions in Enid- the Canola session planned for the afternoon of May 16.
For more information, contact Dr. Kim Anderson at OSU in Stillwater at 405-744-9817, or go to the link provided below for a couple of pages of information on this opportunity.
Hog numbers have leveled off- that's what we expect to see this afternoon in another USDA report.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~According to industry observers - the Quarterly Hogs and Pigs Report scheduled for release this (Friday) afternoon could show how increased corn prices are impacting the swine industry. Analysts say the nation’s breeding herd will likely remain virtually unchanged from a year ago. University of Missouri Livestock Economist Ron Plain says breeding herd growth has stopped - despite three years of profits - as a result of the dramatic hike in corn prices.
USDA’s National Ag Statistics Service is slated to release the report at two o’clock Central.
Thanks again to the Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Mark Harrison with the Oklahoma Conservation Commission let me know this week that they now have pictures and info up on the Conservation Day festivities earlier this month at the State Capitol. They also have a writeup on the President's Award which they presented yours truly at the annual meeting of the Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts. I have linked details of the President's Award below.
We appreciate their kind words- and I am pleased that they understand our interest to do the very best job we can and be a part of a team that in many ways is already the best source of information for the agricultural community here in the state of Oklahoma.
The Griffin Family that I now work for as the Director of Farm Programming of the Radio Oklahoma Network is local- and they want to be the very best media company in Oklahoma- and that includes the delivery of agricultural information to farmers, ranchers and those in agribusiness. I am pleased to be a part of that effort- and there are some exciting things ahead- both in expanding our radio network to even more radio stations here in 2007 to things that we can do on the Internet and TV to help deliver the type of information you get every morning here in this email.
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