~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Tuesday May 29, 2007!A service of Midwest Farm Shows
-- Wheat Harvest Stuck at the Starting Line!
-- Sine Die- Victories and Disappointments from the 2007 Legislative Session
-- Frankly Speaking- we talk to Congressman Lucas as he heads home to green pastures!
-- Cotton Planting hits Road Gear in the High Plains
-- Japanese Ag Minister Commits Suicide- Johanns offers Condolences.
-- Ag Singles plan to get together in Yukon next month.
-- Farm Bill Tidbits- Senator Conrad carrying water on Commodity Title in Senate- expects a cut in Direct Payments.
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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Wheat Harvest Stuck at the Starting Line!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~If you watched any of the Indy 500 on Sunday, you heard them talk about watching the radar and that rain was coming in 30 minutes, then 15 minutes and then oh my- it's arrived. That happened twice and it was a rain shortened race at the end of the day- well, I can imagine some of our custom harvesters watching the radar in southwestern Oklahoma and saying, well, it looks like the rain is ninety minutes out- it's 45 minutes out- and then dang it, here she comes again! High humidity and showers off and on have kept most of our wheat harvest activity sidelined up to this point.
Oklahoma Wheat Commission Executive Director Mark Hodges headed out on Memorial Day to see what he could see in Cotton, Tillman and Jackson Counties- and saw very little when it came to combines running- and found no elevators open to accept any wheat that might be cut. Mark tells us late Sunday evening that it will take a couple of sunny days with drying winds to really crank things up. By the end of this week, if we get any of that kind of weather, we might see test cutting all the way up to I-40 and maybe even a little north of that line by June first (that's Friday).
We have some of our conversation with Mark linked below- not much to talk about yet except what happens if Mother Nature will cooperate.
Sine Die- Victories and Disappointments from the 2007 Legislative Session
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Executive Director of the Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association, Scott Dewald, joined us on Saturday morning to talk on News9 about the Range Roundup held this past weekend at the State Fair Arena- and afterwards, we did a radio interview with Scott about several events coming up as well as a review of the 2007 Legislative Session.
Dewald called the passage of SB 709 as easily the top victory of the Legislative Session for Oklahoma Agriculture- that of course the measure that declares that animal manure is NOT a hazardous waste. He was also very pleased with the passage of HB 1490 that codified the Federal Court Ruling regarding application of poultry waste in the Eucha-Spavinaw watershed and placed the Department of Agriculture in charge of handling the regulation of that ruling- Dewald says that the victory for agriculture is that this bill remained very narrow and stayed with just the ruling and was not expanded beyond the scope of the ruling- as many environmental advocates were demanding.
The big disappointment- Governor Brad Henry bowing to pressure and vetoing SB 95- the measure that had to do with trespass. Dewald expects that the agricultural community will push this measure again in early 2008.
Frankly Speaking- we talk to Congressman Lucas as he heads home to green pastures!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Congressman Frank Lucas had a busy week before the Memorial Day District Work Period began this past weekend- and we caught up with the Third District Lawmaker as he headed home from Will Rogers Airport for Cheyenne and Greener Pastures(at least this year!)
We talked with the Congressman about the hearings of this past week in the House Ag Committee- including the hearing that he helped mange with Subcommittee Chairman Tim Holden of Pennsylvania, the Subcommittee on Conservation, Credit, Research and Energy. Lucas was pleased that several elements of his Rural America Energy Act were included in the energy Mark Up. He is hopeful that there will be monies for some of the Energy priorities that he is promoting. He also acknowledged that House Ag Committee Chair Colin Peterson seems to now have the "Green Light" on spending up to twenty billion dollars of additional money in developing the 2007 Farm Bill.
Lucas was delighted that Congress has finally passed Ag Disaster Aid- even with a last minute reduction from $3.5 billion down to $3.0 billion. Lucas says that both grain and livestock producers in our region will benefit from this Ad Hoc emergency spending. We have our full conversation with Congressman linked on our website under Featured Audio- and we have it directly linked for you below.
Cotton Planting hits Road Gear in the High Plains
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We get word from Vic Schoonover of NTOK that planting of cotton in the Oklahoma Panhandle and into southwest Kansas has gone quickly.
The High Plains Cotton Planting report has been received from Dick Cooper, Plains Cotton Cooperatve Association. marketing agent at Liberal, Kansas. "We are 70- 80 percent planted; all planted in the last 10 days. Emergence is slow due to wet, cool conditions. Dryland acres will be slightly less than 2006 and irrigated acres are down 60 percent with the rest all planted to corn. With a June 1 planting deadline for crop insurance purposes, the continued rain and flooding in central Kansas will prevent some of our expected acreage from being planted. When warmer, dry weather returns, our dryland acres are all sitting in a full soil moisture profile which should get us off to a good start."
Japanese Ag Minister Commits Suicide- Johanns offers Condolences.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Word came on Monday morning that Agricultural Minister Matsuoka of Japan had committed suicide. He apparently has been caught in the middle of scandal that has hit the Abe government in Tokyo.
USDA Secretary Johanns issued a brief statement on Monday afternoon- even with it being a US Holiday. "I was saddened to learn today of the death of Japanese agricultural minister Matsuoka. Since coming into office last fall, he had worked to resolve trade challenges, which brought us together on several occasions. He ably represented Japan's agricultural interests. My condolences to Minister Matsuoka's family and to the people of Japan."
The Ag Minister had been quoted this past week as saying the Japanese government is prepared to meet with the United States to talk about beef trade in the aftermath of the OIE Ruling that the US is a Controlled Risk Country when it comes to BSE- Matsuoka saying that the Japanese were ready to talk if the US requests a meeting- but added that no request had yet been made. Now, with his death, will that process be slowed again?
Ag Singles plan to get together in Yukon next month.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The state chapter of the national group, Singles in Agriculture, has a get together planned for early June in Yukon. The Oklahoma Singles in Agriculture organization will be meeting June 8-10 and will include a variety of activities that weekend for those who are in attendance.
SIA is a national agriculture singles group made up of farmers, ranchers and agriculture related occupations and backgrounds. Singles in Agriculture is the oldest agriculture singles group in America. They have 12 chapters in 16 states and celebrated their 21st convention in Indianapolis, Indiana, where we had singles from 17 states present. They have 3 large National Events a year and than each state chapter has events regularly. They do a wide range of activities, barn dances, canoeing, barbecues, water tank rides, scavenger hunts, dancing, bowling and various agriculture and regular tours, just to name a few.
To get more information on the Yukon event, contact Warren Rowland at 405-745-3183- or you can go to our Calendar page of our website- and we have a link there for more information under our June events.
While you are on the Calendar page- please note we have updated several items for you to check out. That includes links to Town Hall meetings for Congressmen Dan Boren and Frank Lucas that happen this week!!!!
Farm Bill Tidbits- Senator Conrad carrying water on Commodity Title in Senate- expects a cut in Direct Payments.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, Kent Conrad, is leading the effort to draft a Commodity Title in the Senate, but says he is doing so in consultation with Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa, the Chairman of the Senate Ag Committee and that there is no feud between them on this issue.
Senator Conrad says he is submitting various ideas for a Commodity Title to the Congressional Budget Office because he is in charge of that office and he believes the staff will tell him more quickly how these various schemes will score when it comes to budget outlays.
Senator Conrad does say he fully agrees with Senator Harkin that Direct Payments will have to be shaved some in order to cover other needs, because of the tight budget situation we find ourselves in. That won't please Senator Conrad's wheat constituents who are pushing for a higher direct payment, at least for wheat.
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