~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Tuesday April 17, 2007!A service of Midwest Farm Shows
-- Number Two Man at USDA will pay Oklahoma a visit next Monday!
-- Moisture supplies are their best levels since Fall-Winter of 2004-2005.
-- Fat Diesel is on its way!
-- Tort Reform Battle at State Capitol has Rural Landowner Angle
-- A Property "Takings" Case in Little Dixie has Oklahoma Farm Bureau involved.
-- Four Kansas Wheat Growers Among Those Bringing a Case Action Lawsuit Against Australia's AWB.
-- Collins Cattle in Frederick planning Composite Bull Sale April 21st!
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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Number Two Man at USDA will pay Oklahoma a visit next Monday!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~For the second time since he has been the number two man at USDA, Chuck Connor will be making a visit to Oklahoma. The USDA Deputy Secretary is scheduled to come to Oklahoma next Monday, April 23, for a signing event with Governor Brad Henry. The signing is for the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program projects approved for northeast Oklahoma. The signing will take place in the Blue Room beginning at 1:30 p.m.
A number of groups will be participating in the signing from Oklahoma- including the Oklahoma Conservation Commission, the USDA's FSA and NRCS, the City of Tulsa, the Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Commission and five different local Conservation Districts.
These projects have been very important for the watersheds in eastern Oklahoma, as efforts are being made to address nutrient management and water runoff issues into the lakes and streams found in Green Country. A lot of these plans center around the proper handling and movement of chicken litter- making sure that only scientifically calculated amounts of litter are used on those fields in these watersheds- and not a scoop shovel more. We'll be covering this signing with Chuck Connor and the Governor for you.
Moisture supplies are their best levels since Fall-Winter of 2004-2005.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Recent rains have pushed the soil moisture readings to their best levels since the beginning of 2005. The latest Oklahoma Crop Weather Update shows that our topsoil moisture readings stand at 91% adequate to surplus, with subsoil moisture readings improving to 66% adequate to surplus. Both of these numbers are almost 180 degrees opposite of spring 2006- when we were looking at 84% short to very short topsoil moisture and 90% short to very short subsoil moisture supplies.
The wheat crop ratings reflect that reality of much improved moisture supplies, with the latest readings show a crop ahead of normal development by at least a week and rated 74% good to excellent- versus 66% poor to very poor ratings at this point in 2006. The unknown in this rating is the amount of freeze damage that may be out there in our wheat fields. Kansas observers are convinced they have had many acres with moderate or severe damage- the latest Kansas report says that 44% of the acres in Kansas have received either moderate or severe freeze damage- that is HUGE! The Kansas crop is being rated at 36% good to excellent, 37% fair and 27% poor to very poor.
Back in Oklahoma, we have half of the corn crop now planted- with some of the early planted corn probably injured by freezing weather at the first of the month. Grain sorghum and soybean planting has just begun, and we have 10% of the first cutting of Alfalfa hay that has been taken.
Fat Diesel is on its way!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Two of the big Corporate Dogs in our part of the world, Conoco Phillips and Tyson, are planning to make biodiesel from animal fat in a joint venture- hoping to quickly ramp up to make 175 million gallons annually of regular diesel from a process they have developed at Conoco Phillips.
The product that they propose to make will come from the animal fat from Tyson's processing plants- beef, pork and chicken. It will take about one barrel of animal fat to make one barrel of diesel- and while it is more costly to make diesel this way compared to pulling it out of crude oil- the companies will be eligible for the $1 a gallon biodiesel tax credit.
We spotlighted this new process on today's Beef Buzz from the Radio Oklahoma Network- and we have it linked below for you to check out. We also have a great archive of previous Beef Buzzes for you to select from on our web site. Check them out at WWW.OklahomaFarmReport.Com and go down to the Beef Buzz button on the left hand side of the page.
Tort Reform Battle at State Capitol has Rural Landowner Angle
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~State Representative Ryan McMullen of Burns Flat was a key player earlier this session in Oklahoma City in helping agriculture and rural schools avoid a huge tax shortfall in property taxes that would have been a reality if HB1485 had been passed as originally proposed. Agriculture came together solidly- and McMullan and others brokered a deal that kept millions of dollars worth of oil field equipment from being removed from county tax rolls.
McMullen has another battle that he has undertaken as the session moves forward- this one to protect Mineral Rights and Royalty owners in their ability to take class action against Energy Companies. McMullen says he has had citizens tell him of violations to the written agreement with the land owners regarding deductions in their royalty checks. McMullen is offering an amendment to the Tort Reform Measure now being considered in the State House that would exempt Mineral Rights Owners from not being able to use Class Action legal action in these cases.
We talked with Ryan about these two measures that he has been a key player in- and you can hear his comments from this past Saturday's encounter that we had with him in Elk City during the Eggs and Issues Breakfast that we spoke at. We have that conversation linked below.
A Property "Takings" Case in Little Dixie has Oklahoma Farm Bureau involved.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Two 20-foot wide strips of land encircling vast acreage's of unincorporated territory previously outside the Durant municipal limits have become the focal point of a major battle over municipal annexation of private property. The Oklahoma Farm Bureau and several landowners have filed a lawsuit against the city of Durant claiming the city improperly annexed the property. "This is a classic case of taking land and increasing the regulatory burden on the landowner who had no vote in the matter," said Steve Kouplen, Oklahoma Farm Bureau President. These strips do not meet the legal requirements for annexation. According to Oklahoma law, annexed land must be adjacent or contiguous with the existing municipal limits. "We're concerned about the landowners who will have to abide by city regulations without receiving full city services," Kouplen said. "Prior to annexation these landowners lived outside the city limits and therefore did not have a vote in city elections."
Oklahoma law requires a municipality to prepare a plan for extending services to the proposed annexation area. Oklahoma Farm Bureau contends no such plan for services exists. "It is impractical if not impossible for Durant to create a plan to provide services to the narrow strips," said Jeff Todd, attorney for the Oklahoma Farm Bureau. "If allowed, Durant will have effectively 'captured' thousands of acres of land for future expansion without being required to satisfy the legal obligations associated with municipal territory."
Four Kansas Wheat Growers Among Those Bringing a Case Action Lawsuit Against Australia's AWB.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~American wheat farmers today filed a class action lawsuit in federal district court in New York City against AWB Limited ("AWB"), the private entity charged with exporting Australian wheat to foreign markets, and its U.S. subsidiary, AWB (U.S.A.) Limited. From 1999 until 2003, AWB allegedly paid bribes and kickbacks to the Saddam Hussein regime in exchange for exclusive contracts for wheat sales under the United Nations' "Oil for Food Program" and to keep its competition -- American-grown wheat -- out of the Iraqi market. As a result, American farmers were stuck with an oversupply of wheat during that period which depressed the prices at which they could sell their wheat.
Four Kansas wheat farmers, along with one from Virginia and one from Montana have jointly filed this proposed class action suit. The lawsuit invokes the federal antitrust and civil RICO laws to force AWB and its U.S. subsidiary to compensate American farmers for the damages they suffered. Damages to American farmers could be well over $100 million. Those Kansas wheat farmers who are involved in the lawsuit include Veryl Switzer of Manhattan, Gillan Alexander of Nicodemus and Rod Bradshaw and Wilburt Howard, both of Oakley.
The market promotion arm of the US Wheat Industry, US Wheat Associates, issued a statement that they are not a party to this lawsuit and added "While U.S. Wheat Associates has been monitoring this situation for more than a year, no organization representing U.S. wheat producers is a party to this class action suit, nor did U.S. Wheat Associates initiate this action. We will continue to follow this issue and inform our members as well as protect and promote the best interests of U.S. wheat producers." Wheat producers who want to learn more about or participate in the class action suit should contact Ben Brown with Cohen, Milstein, Hausfeld & Toll, P.L.L.C., 1100 New York Avenue, N.W., West Tower, Suite 500, Washington, DC 20005, (202) 408-4600.
Collins Cattle in Frederick planning Composite Bull Sale April 21st!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Collins Cattle's Composite Power Bull & Commercial Female Sale is on the horizon- as it is set for this Saturday midday April 21, 2007. You can add productivity and profitability to your calf crop with a Composite Power bull! Selling 60 SimAngus and MaineAngus bulls & 50 Spring First Calf Heifer Pairs with A.I. Calves at side at the Collins Ranch 11 miles east of Frederick, Oklahoma on Hwy 5. Sale starts at 1:00 and free lunch will be served. We have a link below to tell you more about these cattle or you can call Christy Collins at 580-335-3000 to get a sale catalog and/or get more sale information.
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