~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Wednesday July 9, 2008!A service of American Farmers & Ranchers, KIS Futures & Johnston Enterprises!
-- The Legendary Clem McSpadden- May He Rest in Peace.
-- Oklahoma Lawmakers Explain to USDA How Dry It Is
-- Raise Those Weight Limits on Farm Trucks!
-- Buzzing About Agroterrorism- Could It Happen Around Here?
-- USDA's ARS to Introduce Ug99 Resistant Wheat Lines
-- Senator Grassley Wants Actively Engaged Farming Rules to be Tougher.
-- Later today-
-- Looking at our Agricultural Markets...
Here's your morning farm news headlines from the Director of Farm Programming for the Radio Oklahoma Network, Ron Hays. We are proud to have KIS Futures as a regular sponsor of our daily E-Mail. KIS Futures provides Oklahoma Farmers & Ranchers with futures & options hedging services in the livestock and grain markets- Click here for their recent TV Commercial or call them at 1-800-256-2555.
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The Legendary Clem McSpadden- May He Rest in Peace.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The state of Oklahoma mourns the loss of former Congressman and State Senator Clem McSpadden, who died last night at the age of 82, after an extended battle with cancer. Besides his days as a public servant, McSpadden was known worldwide as one of the premiere rodeo announcers in the professional sport of Rodeo.
Tributes for McSpadden have poured in from state and federal leaders. Governor Brad Henry called Clem McSpadden "a true Oklahoman, a dear friend and a deeply committed public servant who loved the state of Oklahoma and its people, and he spent his life working to make a difference in the lives of those around him."
In recent years- McSpadden had founded McSpadden and Associates, a lobbying firm that had several clients that he and his son Bart (along with younger son James as well as Jamie Longacre) served. One of those clients was the Oklahoma Pork Council. We talked Tuesday afternoon with Roy Lee Lindsay, Executive Director of the OPC about his relationship with Clem McSpadden and how Clem understood the importance of agriculture and rural Oklahoma. Roy Lee adds that all of Oklahoma is a little poorer today with the death last night of McSpadden.
Oklahoma Lawmakers Explain to USDA How Dry It Is
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Senator Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) and Congressman Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) have sent a letter to Secretary of Agriculture Ed Schafer in support of an agriculture disaster designation for counties of Cimarron, Texas, Beaver, Harper, Woodward, Ellis, Roger Mills, Dewey and Woods in Northwestern Oklahoma.
This designation would make farm operators in these counties eligible for low-interest loans through Farm Service Agency's Emergency Loan (EM) Program. A secretarial disaster designation also makes the counties eligible for payments under the Livestock Indemnity Program and Supplemental Crop Revenue Assistance Program, which will be funded through the Permanent Disaster Trust Fund Congress just recently authorized in the 2008 Farm Bill. Additionally, this disaster designation makes livestock producers eligible for "involuntary conversion" under the tax code. If a rancher is compelled to sell livestock early due to drought conditions, the tax on the gain from the sale of those animals is allowed to be postponed for one year.
Senator Inhofe, in a news statement issued jointly by the three lawmakers, says "Farmers and ranchers are struggling, the situation is urgent, and it becomes more so every day. I am committed to continue working to ensure the federal government helps these farmers and ranchers as best it can and as quickly as possible." We have the letter as sent to Secretary Schafer linked below- click and read.
Raise Those Weight Limits on Farm Trucks!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Agricultural producers should be allowed to transport their commodities to market across state lines without being subject to Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) weight regulations for long-haul truckers. That's what Oklahoma Farm Bureau President Mike Spradling is telling a congressional subcommittee today in Washington, D.C.
Testifying before the House Subcommittee on Highways and Transit, Spradling said the nature of farming and ranching has changed and producers need the ability to transport goods long distance. "Concentration within the agriculture industry has reduced the number of grain elevators, cotton gins and livestock markets forcing producers to drive longer distances, often across state lines, to sell their commodities," Spradling said. Under current law, crossing state lines changes the classification from intrastate carrier to interstate carrier, triggering commercial requirements.
Spradling, testifying on behalf of the American Farm Bureau, believes
increasing the minimum weight requirement from the current 10,001 pounds
to 26,001 pounds would ease the problem. During the annual American Farm
Bureau convention in January delegates made uniform federal truck weights
a priority issue.
Buzzing About Agroterrorism- Could It Happen Around Here?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Our Beef Buzz for today is with Dr. Dave Sparks, who is talking how a cattle producer out in the country can help battle Agroterrroism. Sparks, with OSU Extension, has been coordinating a series of local meetings across the state on this issue and how people at the local level will be impacted by an Agroterrorism event- and what sort of response may be needed. Those meetings continue this month at several locations- we have details on them in our calendar listings on our website, www.OklahomaFarmReport.Com
In today's Beef Buzz, we talk with Dave about some of the common sense things a producer can do to help in reducing the chances of a successful terrorism strike against especially animal agriculture. Some of these practices may help your operation survive even if an agroterrorism incident should occur in your area.
The Beef Buzz is a daily radio feature of the Radio Oklahoma Network and is heard on great radio stations across the state. We also have an extensive archive of previously aired Beef Buzzes on topics that you may want to listen to again- or hear for the first time! Go to WWW.OklahomaFarmReport.Com and click on the Beef Buzz button to go to those older shows.
USDA's ARS to Introduce Ug99 Resistant Wheat Lines
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Wheat stockpiles are at a 30-year low and production costs are rising, but what really scares wheat growers is the specter of Ug99, a new rust fungus to which very few of the currently grown varieties of wheat are resistant. But the seed of a solution may sprout this fall when Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists release the first wheat lines pyramiding two or more genes for resistance to Ug99. One of these lines will be released this fall as a specialty wheat for the eastern United States. Wheat breeders will be able to use the new line along with others to develop new commercial varieties with high yield and Ug99 protection.
ARS has a priority program tackling many aspects of Ug99 with a team of more than 10 scientists, all of whom are keenly aware of Ug99's growing shadow, which emerged in Uganda and has already spread to Kenya, Ethiopia, Sudan, Yemen, and Iran. The scientists are located at ARS labs at Raleigh, NC; Aberdeen, ID; St. Paul, MN; Manhattan, KS; and Fargo, ND. Among their tasks are determining U.S. wheat and barley vulnerability to Ug99, identifying new sources of genetic resistance, discovering molecular markers to speed up breeding for protection, developing rapid detection methods, and nationwide surveillance for Ug99 in the United States. To support the monitoring work, ARS has established "trap" plots of wheat along known wheat rust pathways throughout the United States.
Of course, the ARS scientists are not going it alone. They're collaborating with researchers across the country and around the world to find ways to deal with this massive threat to a global food staple. As part of this cooperation and collaboration, ARS coordinates sending promising U.S. wheat varieties to Kenya and evaluating them for Ug99 resistance. This provides U.S. wheat breeders with a head start on protecting the country's wheat. The screening is done in partnership with the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), based in Mexico. ARS has already evaluated more than 5,000 U.S. wheat lines in Africa through this program. Results from the 2005-2007 screening showed that Ug99 has overcome even more major resistance genes than previously believed. ARS also will develop new sources of genetic resistance to rusts from three wild relatives of wheat and make it easier to introduce those genes into commercial wheat varieties.
Senator Grassley Wants Actively Engaged Farming Rules to be Tougher.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~A section of the new farm bill that addresses changes in commodity program payment limits is already being pointed at as being a problem. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says - very few of us were satisfied with farm payment reform, so this is an opportunity for the administration to leave its mark in this area. In a letter to Secretary of Agriculture Ed Schafer, Grassley and North Dakota Senator Byron Dorgan asked for the administration to make change through the rulemaking process.
The Senators wrote, as the authors of bills and amendments to sharpen rules related to "actively engaged" and "schemes and devices," we are requesting that USDA take immediate action to produce interim rules on these two issues that restore integrity to our payment limit system. The Senators want stricter enforcement and oversight to ensure that individuals who receive farm payments are actually actively engaged in farming. And they want proper oversight of schemes and devices that have historically been used to evade payment limitations.
The Senators also wrote - we support a recommendation that the active personal labor and management requirements be combined into a single criterion - and that USDA - define active personal labor and management through rulemaking to ensure individuals' contribution to the operation is meaningful and measurable.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Please be aware that later today- you may find our website unreachable for a time as we expect to move forward and "turn on" the new look and features to be found at www.OklahomaFarmReport.Com. We ask for your patience for the next couple of days and I think you will be pleased with the end result!
We will not have every feature that we are planning for you up and running as we kick off tomorrow afternoon and into Thursday morning- but there will be many features that I know that you will enjoy and find very useful right now- and many more are on the drawing boards.
All of our news will be available via an "RSS" feed, we plan on offering Podcasts, we plan on hosting the best calendar of agricultural events of interest to Oklahomans to be found anywhere on the Internet- and a whole lot more. Stay tuned!
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Looking at our Agricultural Markets...
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