~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Monday April 30, 2007!A service of Midwest Farm Shows
-- Creekstone has run the Gauntlet- US Beef to finally reach Korean Consumers!
-- Lots of Wheat Field Days to Choose From over the next three weeks.
-- Hold the Phone!!! That small herd of Oklahoma Hogs may not have eaten tainted feed after all!
-- Beef Herd in Cimarron County has cow test positive for Bovine TB
-- Horse Slaughter Ban Bill Passes out of Committee- Cattle Industry worried.
-- Weather and Cows- or is that Cows and Weather?
-- A week ago- the CREP deal was signed by Oklahoma and USDA- and do you know where the only "private" money came from that made the deal work?
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 just concluded Southern Plains Farm Show in Oklahoma City, 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 has run the Gauntlet- US Beef to finally reach Korean Consumers!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~It is a key step in getting commercially viable trade going with South Korea once again- we are talking about the announcement in both Seoul and in Ark City, Kansas that Creekstone Farms Premium Beef has had their 449 boxes of boneless beef inspected- and South Korea has confirmed it has passed their x-ray and other visual tests- and the 6.4 tons of US beef will be released into the Korean market this week. This is a monumental step in that for the first time since December 23, 2003, we have a shipment of US beef accepted by the Koreans.
However, it also points out how far we still have to go. USDA spokesman Keith Williams praised the South Koreans accepting the Creekstone shipment- but warned Korea that unless we get their market fully reopened to pre BSE levels- the Free Trade Agreement reached between the countries' negotiators will never be accepted by the US Congress.
Meanwhile back in Ark City (just north of Newkirk and Ponca City), officials with Creekstone say they have customers in South Korea ready to buy more- and they hope to start assembling more orders for Korea in a matter of days. And Tyson Foods issued a statement that plan on sending beef that will meet the current Korean specs within the next few weeks.
Lots of Wheat Field Days to Choose From over the next three weeks.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Courtesy of Dr. Jeff Edwards, our state wheat specialist, here is a listing of a bunch of wheat field days coming up during the month of May- starting as early as this Wednesday in Grady County. I would suggest you might check with your local County Extension Agent to confirm times and locations of these events- and in most cases, you can stop by between now and harvest and see how these plots continue to develop.
The wheat plot tours include: May 2 - Grady county wheat field day.
10:45 AM at Minco wheat plots.
Hold the Phone!!! That small herd of Oklahoma Hogs may not have eaten tainted feed after all!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We got a Saturday evening E-mail from Jack Carson from the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture on that small "Show Pig" herd of hogs we reported to you on Friday were facing depopulation because they had apparently eaten tainted feed that has been fed to several thousand hogs in seven other states.
Now, USDA and FDA have done more study- and it looks like those sows and their weanlings may well be spared as they did NOT ingest any feed with melamine imported from China as hogs in several otjher states did. In fact, the USDA now lists a total of 6 states where they continue to investigate this tainted feed- this release coming out Saturday night.
USDA and the Oklahoma Department of Ag had a late Saturday afternoon teleconference on this issue- and Oklahoma is no longer considered a "state of interest" in this feed investigation. Final details should be confirmed Monday- and those hogs will be cleared from this matter altogether. A happy ending for the owner of these swine.
Beef Herd in Cimarron County has cow test positive for Bovine TB
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Dr. Becky Brewer and her staff have been busy on another health issue which came to light on Friday afternoon. A beef herd of about a 1000 head (cows and calves) has been identified as having two positive animals tested for Bovine TB.
A routine test at a slaughter plant found the first animal with TB- health officials traced the animal back to this herd in Cimarron County where they tested everything and found one additional animal as testing positive for TB. What happens now is that the entire herd will be taken to slaughter- each carcass will be inspected and if no lesions are spotted- that carcass is released.
The herd owner will be compensated for this forced depopulation. This week, ODA officials will begin talking with cattle owners that have critters on land adjacent to the affected herd- and probably next week, those animals face testing. One thing that is at stake is the status of Oklahoma as a TB Free state, which we have had since 1984. Finding one herd does not impact that status- finding additional herds with TB could impact at least that part of the state. Obviously, we are talking about the county that sits at the very end of the Panhandle and it will be interesting to see how that might be handled if more cases should be found.
Horse Slaughter Ban Bill Passes out of Committee- Cattle Industry worried.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Our Beef Buzz this morning from the Radio Oklahoma Network features a final subject that we covered recently with Jay Truitt of NCBA's Washington office when he was in the state. That subject is the ban on horse slaughter for human consumption which passed the House in 2006 before dying in the Senate. It appears it is getting another head of steam in 2007- and that is most worrisome to folks like Truitt.
Truitt says that the proponents say this is just about the killing of companion animals- but he strongly disagrees. Groups like the Humane Society have stated in the past their desire to rid this country of animal agriculture- and that is what is really behind this drive- according to Truitt.
He admits that the livestock and ag groups fighting S311 have an uphill battle- but that it's a battle that has tremendous consequences and must be fought at all costs. You can hear his thoughts on this measure by clicking below- we have it also on our Beef Buzz page of our website- where you will find a lot of our Buzzes from the last several months for you to take a listen to.
Weather and Cows- or is that Cows and Weather?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The folks at the Mesonet have their latest electronic newsletter out- and it features some of the things on the Mesonet that may be of high interest to cattle ranchers across the state.
In particular, they explain their cattle stress maps- as well as other tools which help track drought conditions that we have faced over the last few years.
We have linked to this latest edition of the Oklahoma Mesonet newsletter- and you can take a look by clicking below.
A week ago- the CREP deal was signed by Oklahoma and USDA- and do you know where the only "private" money came from that made the deal work?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~According to one of the Commissioners on the Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Commission, the only private donation that was funneled through one of the participating groups to make the matching part of this CREP viable came from the Poultry industry. He calls the folks in the Poultry Industry the proverbial "elephant" in the room that no one wanted to admit were there.
Rick Stubblefield writes in an "op-ed" piece that he has made available to media outlets around the state that "It took an appeal from Oklahoma's scenic rivers commission for help following a rash of illegal dredging and construction in the riverbeds of Oklahoma's most precious streams to get results. The offer for donations came not from Oklahoma environmentalists, not from Oklahoma's legislature, but from the very companies and farmers who supposedly care the least about Oklahoma water quality. Even the donation of $1.1 million by the poultry industry was reviled, by the very people who would not donate one thin dime to protect scenic streams. To their credit, the majority of Oklahoma Scenic Rivers commissioners voted to accept the gift from the poultry industry, and began the process of determining how it could have the greatest possible impact."
Stubblefield adds that "Mike Thrall with the Oklahoma Conservation Commission approached OSRC with a vision of seeing the state's first CREP program approved for landowners in the Illinois River and Spavinaw Eucha watersheds. The concept made such incredible sense OSRC pledged $400,000 of the poultry gift to that end, with another $400,000 anticipated to be pledged as soon as it is received. To their credit, Oklahoma's Secretary of the Environment and other state agencies worked cohesively to make the CREP a reality - the signing of the agreement by Governor Henry was perhaps the greatest water quality success story in Oklahoma's 100 years of statehood. While numerous words of appreciation were uttered during the CREP ceremonies, none were directed toward the poultry industry, whose dollars were the only private dollars included in the CREP. Sadly missing was a simple thank you to the poultry industry who when asked to help fund a specific program, said, "You bet."
Stubblefield adds simply "Regardless, on behalf of Oklahoma's scenic
streams, a gracious and sincere thank you is called for to the poultry
industry who helped make this CREP a reality.
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