~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Monday August 6, 2007!A service of Farm Credit of East Central Oklahoma, American Farmers and Ranchers & Midwest Farm Shows
-- Foot and Mouth Strikes England- Research Lab May be Source!
-- Oklahoma out of the running for Replacement to Plum Island- at least one Oklahoma Group has said "Fine By Us"
-- Spend a Buck- make Thirteen Dollars! It's called Pork Power.
-- House Ag Approps Bill includes Money for OSU Wheat Pasture Research at Marshall.
-- Folks are STILL trying to harvest wheat- and here's at least one successful result!
-- This week- Congressmen Lucas and Boren hold Town Hall Meetings, as does Senator Coburn.
-- A great time at the 2007 Major County Relay for Life in Fairview!
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Foot and Mouth Strikes England- Research Lab May be Source!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Foot and Mouth Disease was discovered in Great Britain over the weekend- with the UK government moving quickly on several fronts. They have already culled the infected animals and then set up an initial cirlce of containment of up to six kilometers from the infected farm. About 120 animals have been killed, although only two have been determined to be positive with FMD.
They have since determined that the strain of FMD associated with these animals is one that infected British farm animals back in 1967. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)said the virus is the same as one being used at Pirbright Laboratory, just a few miles from the farm. Defra could not say definitely if the laboratory was the source of the disease, but immediately increased the size of the protection zones covering farms in the area. The lab in question is owned and operated by Merial Animal Health.
British officials are hopeful that the quick response over the last three days will keep this from being a devasting rerun of 2001, when more than six million animals ended up being culled and it took months to bring the disease under control. Government officials in England are hoping they have gotten to the source of the problem quickly here in 2007- and that they can resolve this outbreak in a matter of days or at worse, a few weeks.
Oklahoma out of the running for Replacement to Plum Island- at least one Oklahoma Group has said "Fine By Us"
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We reported to you last month that Oklahoma was no longer in the running for a replacement to the Plum Island High Security Biological Disease Research Center- and that suited Ray Wulf of the AFR/OFU just fine. When we traveled with the group to Washington back in June, their representatives talked with the Oklahoma Congressional Delegation about wanting more transparency in the process that could have brought this high security animal disease lab to Canadian County.
Since those meetings in June, the Department of Homeland Security announced they had narrowed the list of potential sites for what is being called the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility to five finalists, with Ft. Reno not making the cut. Two sites north and south of us remain in contention- Manhattan, Kansas and San Antonio, Texas.
The fears of several of our agricultural groups back this spring was the lack of certainty in having the very most dangerous animal diseases in the world handled inside this thirty acre complex, with lots of assurances that they could never escape- but those assurances smell bogus with the word from Great Britain that we may have had a forty year old version of Foot and Mouth Disease escape a high security laboratory site in England this past week- resulting in Foot and Mouth Disease discovered at a farm in Surrey. It must be noted that British investigators have no final determination if the FMD found outside the lab came from inside the lab- but hey, you have a forty year old version of a disease being worked on in the lab- then presto! we have the exact same strain found five miles away on a farm- smells like a breach of security from all the way across the Atlantic.
Spend a Buck- make Thirteen Dollars! It's called Pork Power.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~A recently completed study of the economic value of Pork Checkoff programs has concluded that the returns to producers, on average, substantially outweigh the costs. In fact, the study shows that for every dollar invested into the pork checkoff by hog producers, over $13 is returned in value. The study, conducted by economists at RTI International of Research Triangle, N.C., and North Carolina State University, also concludes that the Pork Checkoff has "a significant positive effect on the demand for hogs and pork."
The study concludes that based on data from the five years of the study, marginal increases in Checkoff program expenditures would increase producer profitability, on average. Specifically, the study's results indicate an overall marginal benefit-cost ratio - the net return to producers divided by the program cost - of 13.8, "indicating that producers would gain an additional $13.80 for each additional $1 of program expenditures." That ratio is the combined ratio of an analysis of four specific Checkoff expenditure categories: Production research; post-farm research (marketing-chain research); domestic promotion; foreign market development. Among the four expenditure categories, the study found the highest average benefit-cost ratios for marketing-chain research, followed by foreign-market development. In other words, that's where the most bang for the buck exists.
The peer-reviewed study, "An Economic Analysis of the Effectiveness of the Pork Checkoff Program" focuses on the performance of Checkoff programs between 1999 and 2005. The study is required every five years by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as part of its oversight of the National Pork Board and Pork Checkoff programs. If you would like to check out the Executive Summary of the study on the value of the pork checkoff, we have the link for you below- please note, it is in Word format.
House Ag Approps Bill includes Money for OSU Wheat Pasture Research at Marshall.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The $91.5 billion 2008 Agricultural appropriations bill was passed just before the August Congressional Recess out of the House of Representatives. It is about a billion dollars more than what President Bush requested- and that makes this bill a possible candidate for a Presidential veto if it makes it to the White House. It still must be reconciled with the Senate version, which has passed the Senate Appropriations Committee but has not yet been considered by the full Senate.
There are several Ag Research Service projects that are included in the fine print of the bill, including a half million dollars for Karnal Bunt research in Manhattan, Kansas- with another $420,000 for wheat quality research at that location as well. There's $3.7 million in research monies on the future of the Ogallala Aquifer with that research based in Bushland, Texas- near Amarillo.
Two research efforts specific to Oklahoma that fall under the Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service include $341,000 for continued Wheat Pasture research handled by Oklahoma State University, while $1.1 million will be shared by OSU and Mississippi State University for biomass-based Energy Research.
Folks are STILL trying to harvest wheat- and here's at least one successful result!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We were told at the end of this past week of one field of Garfield County wheat that was harvested the last couple of days of July, with amazing results. This field was right on the edge of Enid.
It was planted to Overly, and while the wheat was laying over, a flex head combine was able to run and pick it up and ended harvesting 51 bushels an acre with a test weight of 53 to 54 pounds and less than two percent sprout damage! With the deduct for test weight, the farmer and his landlord were able to gross more than two hundred dollars an acre.
More common are fair yields at best, very low test weight and very high levels of sprout damage. However, some folks are still making a run at fields they think might make something. It is truly amazing driving through the country side north of I-40 in Blaine, Kingfisher and Major Counties and see so much darn water in the roadside ditches, in the fields and drowning out parts of corn fields and pastures. It's been a amazing year for precipitation in so much of our state.
This week- Congressmen Lucas and Boren hold Town Hall Meetings, as does Senator Coburn.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~U.S. Congressman Frank Lucas will hold town meetings in seven counties in northwest Oklahoma on August 6 and 7 as part of his annual round of 50 town hall meetings each year. The public is encouraged to attend the meetings to hear about recent issues in Congress and to express to Lucas their concerns.
In addition to Congressman Lucas, Congressmen Dan Boren has meetings planned for the next couple of weeks, while Senator Tom Coburn will get around to about ten locations beginning this week to meet face to face with their constituents.
High on the minds of many farmers and ranchers will be the just passed House version of the 2007 Farm Bill. Lucas ended up being in the unique position of voting for the measure as it came out of Committee, but voted against it on the floor of the House, because of a funding mechanism inserted into the bill as the Democratic majority readied it for the floor debate.
The Lucas Town Hall Meetings are planned for Boise City, Guymon, Beaver
and Buffalo on the 6th of August- this coming Monday and in Arnett,
Cheyenne, Gage and Woodward next Tuesday.
A great time at the 2007 Major County Relay for Life in Fairview!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~It was a loong night, but we enjoyed the 2007 Major County Relay for Life, in which we were asked to emcee on Friday night/Saturday morning. It proved to be a great event, with the folks of Major County and Fairview pulling together to raise a lot of money for the American Cancer Society.
As we pulled up stakes Saturday morning around sunrise, Event Coordinator Kyna Dillard announced they had raised more than $58,000 out of this year's event, with some more dollars still expected to come in this week to help push the final total very close or beyond their goal of $60,000! I would call that a miracle, given the disastrous wheat harvest that many producers have endured here in the summer of 2007. I salute the entire team of folks that were involved, wanting to make a difference and I especially tip my hat to Elton and Pat Regier, a part of the organizing committee. Elton is an alum of the Oklahoma Ag Leadership Program as well as current President of the ALO, the alumni group of the OALP, while his wife Pat is a member of the current class. They are excellent examples of what OALP alums do over and over across our great state- and beyond in serving not just agriculture, but our rural communities as well.
I will stay on my soapbox for one more minute- guys and gals, please be diligent and get checked on a regular basis for two of the easiest cancers to treat if they are detected early- breast cancer and colon cancer. The men who are reading this today- if you have reached fifty and have not yet had a colonoscopy, you are just being dumb! Do it- and then get rechecked regularly as directed by a Doctor to do so. Ladies, do those regular examinations and don't let this disease get ahead of you. Early diagnosis means the best opportunity to be one of those survivors that we celebrated this past Friday night in Fairview- so consider this your official "Howdy Neighbor" friendly advice for the day.
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