~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Tuesday August 14, 2007!A service of Farm Credit of East Central Oklahoma, American Farmers and Ranchers & Midwest Farm Shows
-- Oklahoma Department of Ag Relaxes Germination Standards for Seed Wheat This Fall
-- Hundred Degree Days Sapping Moisture in Double Time.
-- Meanwhile the Pastures Keep on Burning...
-- Koreans say we don't understand their market- Editorials Call for Korean Government not to give an inch to US Demands to Relax Inspection Quarantine.
-- Beef Demand- Was it just a Fad?
-- National Food Safety Conference Coming to Oklahoma Next Month
-- Inhofe/Thune Livestock Measure is Signed into Law by President Bush!
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Oklahoma Department of Ag Relaxes Germination Standards for Seed Wheat This Fall
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food, and Forestry's Legal Services Division and Consumer Protection Services Division announced on Monday that this year the guaranteed germination requirement for seed wheat has been reduced from 70 percent to 60 percent.
"After talking with producers and the Oklahoma Wheat Commission we felt we had to respond to this problem," said Terry Peach, State Secretary of Agriculture. "Wheat is our fourth largest agricultural crop in terms of sales and is critical to our state's beef industry for winter grazing." Licensed dealers with seed wheat for sale as well as farmers looking for seed are encouraged to call the hotline at 1-800-580-6543. An online directory is being developed and is expected to be available by Wednesday, August 15 on the ODAFF website, which we have linked below.
Information that will be listed includes seed variety, quantity available, contact information and location. Sellers are reminded that varieties under the Plant Variety Protection program can't be sold without specific permission from the licensed owner of the seed. Sellers of rye seed are also encouraged to call the hotline to list their products. "We are also encouraging producers who are lawfully using their own seed from this year's crop to have it tested for germination quality and vigor," Peach said. "Our laboratory results have shown mixed results for seed wheat this year and it is important to know the viability of the seed you plant." ODAFF's germination laboratory charges $12 for a standard germination test and an additional $12 for a testing procedure known as Accelerated Aging that determines whether seed has either high or low vigor. "Given the stress that this year's crop was under due to the extremely wet and unfavorable conditions, we are seeing more low vigor seed coming through our lab than normal," Peach said. "Given the high costs of seed and the additional expenses associated with planting, having your seed tested is relatively inexpensive insurance."
Hundred Degree Days Sapping Moisture in Double Time.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~With temperatures climbing each day into the upper 90s and low 100s, topsoil moisture is dramatically dropping daily. One week ago, we had 73% adequate to surplus topsoil moisture, while yesterday afternoon the number showed a 27% decline to 44% adequate and only 2% surplus on moisture in the topsoil. Subsoil ratings declined some- but the drop was much less dramatic. We dropped from 85% adequate to surplus to 75% adequate to surplus on subsoil moisture supplies in the latest reporting week.
With the exception of Oklahoma soybeans, our spring planted crops remain in good to excellent condition, even as they swelter in the century heat. Soybeans are rated mostly in fair condition in this latest report. Fully one fourth of our corn crop is now at the mature stage.
It most certainly is hot, and the average 24 hour a day temperatures across the nine regions of the state reflect how hot it is, with the average temperature is generally in the mid 80s- ranging from 83 degrees on average in the southeast to 87 degrees on average in the north central part of the state.
Meanwhile the Pastures Keep on Burning...
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~There are only two states in the country with better pasture and range conditions than we find in Oklahoma and Texas, if you base it solely on the current ratings. Those two states have about as much pasture land as some of our larger counties- Massachusetts and New Hampshire. They are at 98% and 85% in good to excellent shape respectively. Meanwhile, Texas Pasture and Range conditions are at 81% good to excellent condition, while Oklahoma checks in at 79% good to excellent shape.
In contrast, you have the West Coast in dire straits once again, with 98% of the California pasture land in poor to very poor shape, while Nevada is hot and dry at 87% poor to very poor shape.
The upper midwest is very dry as well, with Michigan at 74% poor to very poor, and Minnesota at 71% poor to very poor on their pasture ratings. Our neighbors are in fair shape, with Kansas rated at 50% good to excellent and 37% in fair shape, while Arkansas shows 73% fair to good ratings for their pastures. New Mexico is not in too bad of shape, at 52% good to excellent, Colorado checks in at 55% in good to excellent shape on their permanent pasture and ranges.
Koreans say we don't understand their market- Editorials Call for Korean Government not to give an inch to US Demands to Relax Inspection Quarantine.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~There is no indication that US officials were successful in persuading their Korean counterparts to accept the explanations carried by those USDA officials after investigating the latest snafu by a major beef packer to send the wrong box that contained t- bone beef complete with bones that the Koreans say correctly were not supposed to be there, based on the current protocol they agreed to accept US beef under.
A Korean editorial calls the US "arrogant" and adds that "The U.S. should have apologized first for its careless dealing and lack of efforts to meet the import requirement." The Korea Times Editorial adds that "The U.S. has said there is no reason for South Korea to ban the imports the U.S. beef, citing the ruling made by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) which says bones from animals under 30 months of age are acceptable. But it is very arrogant for the U.S. to ask for the imports of its beef even after the spinal bones were detected. "
We have linked to this editorial from the Korea Times below- and have also seen other editorials that call on their government to tell us to take a flying leap from the Golden Gate Bridge(okay- that was not the exact translation- but it comes close to the essence of what the writer seems to be saying!) We are quickly stretching from days into weeks with this latest de facto ban on US beef- and there seems to be little desire on the part of the Korean government to let "bygones be bygones" on this latest miscue from the Cargill plant in Friona, Texas.
Beef Demand- Was it just a Fad?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The rise in beef demand in the late 1990s and earlier this decade encouraged the beef cattle industry as they saw consumers turn back to their product after some twenty years of declining demand. A lot of folks pointed to the industry's determination to develop more convenient and easy to use products, along with health information developed that shows the amount of fat in many beef cuts is not more than parts of the chicken.
Another factor that everyone acknowledges was a part of the equation were the number of people on Atkins Diets- but most folks in the cattle business believe that was only a small part of the overall puzzle. Well, Dr. Jim Mintert says that based on data from that era and what has happened as the "low carb high protein" diet has waned, he believes maybe the diets that drove a lot of consumers to beef were a MAJOR impacter of beef demand in those years- and the passing of this "fad" is bad news for the beef business.
We visit with Dr. Mintert on this subject, as he lays out his case to us in today's Beef Buzz from the Radio Oklahoma Network. You can hear our Beef Buzz reports daily on great radio stations around the state- AND we do have today's update linked for you to check out by going to our Beef Buzz page on our website, WWW.OklahomaFarmReport.Com When you arrive at the page, scroll down to the date, August 14, and click on that link and you can hear our report with Dr. Mintert.
National Food Safety Conference Coming to Oklahoma Next Month
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Food industry professionals are invited to register for the Food Industry Trends Conference to be held Sept. 13-14 in Oklahoma City. The Robert M. Kerr Food & Agricultural Products Center will host this new national food safety conference, to be held at the Embassey Suites in Oklahoma City. More than 100 food industry representatives are expected at the event, which will openly discuss new food safety issues and solutions, as well as food traceability technologies and regulatory issues driving those technologies. "FAPC research and development focuses on food safety and effective pathogen interventions from raw and cooked food products to minimize food safety risks," said Chuck Willoughby, FAPC business and marketing relations manager and conference chair. "We are pleased to offer a national conference that will encourage discussion and collaboration about food intervention strategies."
The two-day conference will feature three keynote sessions in which participants will hear from 13 national food industry leaders. Session topics include Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP), changes in regulatory issues, the mediašs impact on food safety, epidemiological traceability, probiotics, raw and ready-to-eat meat and seafood processing, and leafy greens processing. David Acheson, Food and Drug Administration assistant commissioner for food protection, will discuss food safety regulatory issues. Yifen Wang, food safety expert for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, will discuss food traceability and identification technologies. A complete agenda and list of speakers is posted on the conference Web site. And we have that website linked below.
The conference is expected to sell out soon, and interested parties are encouraged to register now. Participants may register by phone at 405-744-6489 or online. Registration for the conference is $350 before Aug. 21 and $500 after that date. Registration includes all conference activities, program materials and lunch on Sept. 13.
Inhofe/Thune Livestock Measure is Signed into Law by President Bush!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Monday, President Bush signed a measure that will allow as many as 90 percent of the livestock and forage producers who suffered losses during 2005 and 2006 to received funds from the disaster aid package that passed Congress in May. South Dakota Senator John Thune authored the change with Oklahoma Senator Jim Inhofe which, according to the lawmakers - corrected a potentially devastating 3 billion dollar mistake. The assistance provided by Congress includes payments for livestock losses under the Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) and compensation for grazing and other losses under the Livestock Compensation Program (LCP).
Earlier this summer, the Department of Agriculture's Office of General Counsel interpreted language in the disaster legislation to mean that in order to be eligible for the LIP, or the LCP, a producer must have participated in the Non-Insured Crop Disaster Assistance Program, or a federal crop insurance pilot program during the year. According to USDA, nationwide participation in NAP during the required years was less than 13 percent. Participation is low because payments for losses generally amount to only $1 or $2 per acre.
Earlier, after passage of this measure, Senator Inhofe offered this reason why he got involved with this measure- "Oklahoma's agriculture producers have suffered serious setbacks in the past few years from natural disasters," Senator Inhofe said. "Due to USDA interpretation of language currently in the agriculture disaster aid package, up to 90% of those eligible for livestock disaster assistance would be prevented from receiving aid. This legislative fix restores Congress' original intent, providing needed disaster assistance to Oklahoma farmers and ranchers."
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