~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Monday April 2, 2007!A service of Midwest Farm Shows
-- Lotsa Rain produces lots of Green- and some bright Yellow!
-- The Name is changed- and so will the signs- just not the people or service.
-- Progressive Ag Farm Safety Seminar in Enid attracts over 130!
-- Congrats to Walter and Lorene Johnson of Kremlin- Farm Family of the Year!
-- Cattle Conference in Clinton Today- Pesticide Pickups in Durant Tomorrow and Miami Thursday!
-- The U.S. and South Korea have a deal- Beef remains in Limbo.
-- A Horse Disaster in the Making!
-- We Be Beef Buzzing all week long with Dr. Gary Smith of Colorado State!
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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Lotsa Rain produces lots of Green- and some bright Yellow!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The latest rain making system left exactly one of the Mesonet stations in all 77 Oklahoma counties with ZERO precipitation- the facility in Boise City has measured zero rain in the last seven days- while the Kenton station, which is the most northwestern station in the state clocked just 6 hundredths of an inch. There were also a couple of east central Oklahoma Mesonet points that got less than an inch of rain- Wister recorded just .28 of an inch of rain- but everybody else got a tremendous end of March "welcome to spring" rainfall!
The north central counties that had been powder dry in many of their wheat fields back in the fall finally got an abundance of rain- Alva, the May Ranch, Cherokee and Medford all reported three and a half inches of rainfall or more. Slapout got its share with more than four inches of rain as well. There were three Mesonet sites that checked in with more than five inches of rain- as Grady County seemed to the epicenter of the largest amounts- Chickasha, Ninnekah and Sulphur all were greater than five inches of rain from this system that has now cleared out- leaving drier and cooler conditions as we begin this week.
Saturday, I drove to Enid for a Farm Safety event and everywhere you look, the wheat is green and lush- but as I came up the hill on Highway 3(Northwest Highway) towards the junction with US 81 just south of Okarche, I saw an odd site of a "yellow" field. I had seen the sign a few weeks ago and knew that it was a Canola field planted by a cooperator and being used as an OSU demonstration field by Brad Tipton of Canadian County- it was knee high or shorter when I saw it a few weeks back- but it has jumped ahead dramatically and was in FULL bloom Saturday. I stopped and got a few snapshots- and have them linked below if you want to check out the beauty of this crop that many have touted as a great rotation for wheat here in our state.
The Name is changed- and so will the signs- just not the people or service.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~New signs are on the way and will be soon showing up in all 77 counties for insurance agents of what was the Oklahoma Farmers Union Mutual Insurance Company and is now the American Farmers and Ranchers Mutual Insurance Company. The name change officially happened during the annual meeting of the Oklahoma Farmers Union back in February.
"We're excited to continue the same hundred-year tradition of great products, competitive pricing and excellent customer service we've been offering our Oklahoma members and customers. It's what built this company and has made us stronger than ever. And now, as we enter our second century of service, this name change will enable us to serve even more customers in a wider area. It will allow our marketing focus to enlarge outside the borders of Oklahoma, building on our well-established strength and legacy," said Ray L. Wulf, President and CEO. Notices of the name change will begin going out to policy holders who will notice no other changes in the operation of the insurance company. "We have the same officers, directors, agents, home office, products and services our customers have known and trusted for years," said Wulf.
The changing of the name also came with the authorization to move beyond the borders of Oklahoma in offering insurance products under the banner of AFR. While Wulf and others have not been specific about which states are their initial focus, we know they have been selling policies in Idaho for several months now- and that at their state headquarters in downtown Oklahoma City, there are several state flags that stand in their atrium area- including Oklahoma and Idaho- but also Texas, Kansas and Arkansas. Those neighboring states apparently where a lot of the early efforts of AFR will likely be.
Progressive Ag Farm Safety Seminar in Enid attracts over 130!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~These events have been around for several years- and are made possible by funding from several national sponsors- coordinated by the Progressive Ag Foundation. There are seventeen of these planned for Oklahoma here in 2007- and the Enid Day was the first of the year.
The kids learn everything from fire safety to safety around oil field equipment to grain bin safety and the dangers, tractor safety tips, safety around electrical lines, wearing seat belts and more. We talked with a couple of the presenters at the stations that were lined up around the building and the kids were rotated through to learn about these various aspects of farm safety. We have a report on those conversations linked below.
We also have the listing of the 2007 events for you across the country if you will click here. You will need to scroll down to the Oklahoma sites which run from Alva to Weatherford. It's a great program and the children who participated learned things that could one day save their life- or help save the lives of someone in their family or a neighbor!
Congrats to Walter and Lorene Johnson of Kremlin- Farm Family of the Year!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The couple were honored by KOFM and KGWA, our Enid Radio Oklahoma Network affiliates in a presentation that was made during the Progressive Ag Farm Safety Seminar in Enid on Saturday. Walter says that his family has been farming in the Kremlin area since 1913- with that farmstead established by his grandfather!
In addition, five young people were finalists for a Young Farmer and Ranchers Scholarship presented by the stations. Those young people included Ryan Johnson, of Kremlin-Hillsdale, Hannah Denker of Pioneer, Justin Strate of Garber, Melissa Barth of Gage and Lindsey Hankey of Burlington, who was declared the winner of the scholarship. All five young people were presented plaques for their efforts.
Cattle Conference in Clinton Today- Pesticide Pickups in Durant Tomorrow and Miami Thursday!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Western Oklahoma Spring Cattle Conference is happening this morning at the Ranchers and Farmers Livestock Auction just north of Clinton on US Highway 183. Program will start at 10 am- Farm Credit is sponsoring lunch and they have several most interesting topics they will be covering- including the use of Distillers Grains for Beef Cattle, Corral Design, Demonstration of Electronic Animal ID Equipment as well as the latest on Premise ID.
Tomorrow is the next of the ODA Unwanted Pesticide Disposal pickups. On Tuesday, April 3, 2007 the disposal site will be open from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm at Bryan Agri-Products Durant, 210 N. Katy St Durant, OK and April 5, 2007 8:00 am to 1:00 pm Ottawa County Fairgrounds Miami, OK This is for people in production agriculture (farmers, ranchers, greenhouses, and nurseries), certified applicators, and pesticide dealers. Please no homeowners at this time. No questions asked all farmers/ranchers and other participants will remain anonymous. This collection will take only pesticides no other hazardous waste will be accepted such as oil, paint, antifreeze etc. All pesticides will be taken no matter the size.
There is no cost for the first 2,500 pounds of pesticides brought by a participant. Anything over 2,500 pounds will be charged to the participant at a $1/pound for all pesticides except mercury based pesticides, wherein participants will be charged $2.22/pound for disposal. Clean Harbors will accept payment in the form of check or credit card at the disposal site. No cash will be accepted! We have linked their web site for this project below if you want last minute info.
The U.S. and South Korea have a deal- Beef remains in Limbo.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~At literally the last minute, a deal was struck and a letter was sent by President Bush to Congress that he intends to sign a Free Trade Agreement with South Korea today- getting in under the deadline to be able to run this FTA through Congress on a straight up or down vote.
South Korea demanded and got rice taken off the table- no reduction in restrictions on US Rice into South Korea- they do agree to reduce to zero Tariffs on US beef over a fifteen year period, Apparently, there is a "gentlemen's agreement" that the South Korean's will renegotiate their current stance on US beef once the OIE issues their ruling that the US is a "Controlled Risk" country for BSE in May of this year. The problem with that is if we have to negotiate with the Ministry of Agriculture, it will be a slow and almost impossible task to get anything out of the Koreans even then. It sure seems to me(start the editorial clock) that while folks like Dr. Gary Smith say the Koreans are saying we violated the exact letter of the law in shipping bone fragments the size of a pea to them and that they are justified in closing down the entire process as a result- even after they agreed to take our beef under 30 months of age smacks of hypocrisy at best and in reality- pure and simple cut throat trading, doing anything they can to keep US beef out because that's how the Ag Ministry protects their high priced beef produced by Korean farmers.
There will be briefings later today and over the next few days- but it is likely that the beef trade issue will keep the final passage of this FTA in some doubt as nothing will be resolved in this area until May - if then. I suspect that the South Koreans will want to study the final ruling for an extended time- then have multiple consultations and then begin a negotiating process, hoping to convince Congress that they will open their borders- get their positive vote for the FTA- and then put us on an indeterminate hold while they weigh their worries about the safety of our beef.
A Horse Disaster in the Making!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The finger of blame is being pointed at activist groups who some feel are responsible for horses starving is such states as Kentucky. The Animal Agriculture Alliance says - activist groups were directly responsible for the legal actions that forced three horse processing facilities - two in Texas and one Illinois - to close. The Alliance says - as a result - the price of horses has declined markedly. Rather than sell the horses some owners are setting them free - others are letting them starve and - worse yet - refusing to call the veterinarian for perfectly treatable conditions.
Kay Johnson, Executive Vice President of the Animal Agriculture Alliance says - this sad state of affairs is the direct result of the anti-horse slaughter movement - led by the vegan-led Humane Society of the United States and other animal rights organizations. Johnson says - these groups claim to care about animal welfare - but when faced with an animal welfare disaster caused by their efforts, they callously insist that the market will sort itself out or - worse yet, coldheartedly dispute that this crisis exists - while leaving seriously under-funded local animal rescue operations to save animals.
Johnson is calling for the federal government to intervene and stop these American icons from being used by vegan groups as political pawns in the quest to impose their vegetarian agenda on our nation.
We Be Beef Buzzing all week long with Dr. Gary Smith of Colorado State!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~All this week. we will be sharing with you comments from Dr. Gary Smith, one of the premiere meat scientists in the world. Dr. Smith is on the faculty of Colorado State University, and was brought to Oklahoma this past week by the Oklahoma Beef Council to address the spring convention of the Oklahoma Dietetic Association.
Today- we reflect on the South Korean Free Trade Agreement and the fact that the South Koreans are promising to talk about letting our beef back in once May rolls around and the OIE finalizes their ruling that the US is a "Controlled Risk" country when it comes to BSE. Dr. Smith says there is a perception problem with the OIE in countries like South Korea- and we explore that on today's show, heard across the state on the Radio Oklahoma Network. We also have it linked for your listening on demand below.
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