~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Wednesday October 1, 2008!A service of Farm Credit Associations of Oklahoma, Midwest Farm Shows and Producers Cooperative Oil Mill!
-- COOL Begins
-- Oklahoma Sustainable Energy Ends
-- Names of Note- Don Wagner, John Caddel and Shane Townsend
-- Beef Checkoff Legislation Introduced by Montana Lawmaker
-- Seminar Two of the Oklahoma Ag Leadership Class 14 Kicks Off
-- Fighting Fall Armyworms
-- This Month- Star Lake Herefords Bull and Female Sales Are Set
-- Let's Check the Markets!
Here's your morning farm news headlines from the Director of Farm Programming for the Radio Oklahoma Network, Ron Hays. We salute our longest running email sponsor- Midwest Farm Shows, producer of the annual Tulsa Farm Show scheduled for December 11-13 here in 2008, as well as the springtime Southern Plains Farm Show in Oklahoma City. Check out details of both of these exciting shows at the official website of Midwest Farm Shows by clicking here.
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~On this first day of the month of October, Mandatory Country of Origin Labeling is finally here. Proponents of COOL believe consumers will respond to labels that say "USA" beef and will be willing to pay more. That should mean more dollars flowing back up the pipeline to cattle producers. Detractors of the idea say that a voluntary program would have been less cumbersome and that if there really was economic value to be had- the market system would have figured it out already.
With COOL arriving, we will see in a few months if there is any truth to the claims of the supporters of the mandatory approach. The bill means that many fresh agricultural products, including meats, must be identified as to where they got their start and where they've been. Some labeling will be as simple as a placard at the point of sale or a twisty tie on your asparagus.
With the comment period for mandatory country-of-origin labeling coming to a close Tuesday - USDA is now moving forward with implementation of the rule. Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Bruce Knight says USDA has around 200 comments to evaluate in the coming weeks - but is ready to move forward with an informed compliance approach for the next six months. This means that they won't be issuing fines or other penalties early on for violations- but will be working with everyone along the food chain that will be touched to make sure they understand their obligations in how to make COOL work.
The Bush Administration intends to go to the final rule before the end of the calendar year. In doing so - USDA's Bruce Knight says they'll take comments and experiences during the first few months of implementation into account.
Oklahoma Sustainable Energy Ends
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~With the continuing delay in getting construction underway for the proposed ethanol plant planned by Oklahoma Ethanol in Blackwell, Oklahoma, the LLC of farmers who were planning on investing money into the plant has hit a trigger point as established by the Oklahoma Securities Commission. That trigger is forcing the LLC to return all monies initially placed with the intention of investing in this ethanol plant.
The Chairman of Oklahoma Sustainable Energy LLC, Terry Detrick, tells us that the deadline to have financing in place to begin the plant was September 15, 2008- and since that date has come and gone without any deal in place- and plant construction on that continuing hold- OSE has begun the process of cutting checks of the money invested- all of it, plus interest- back to the 293 partners involved.
Detrick says it was tough to write that letter to inform investors of this trigger, but he is expecting Chaparral Energy to proceed forward and eventually get this plant built, with the benefits it will bring to north central Oklahoma of better grain prices with a major user of grain established locally, the opportunity to increase crop rotations in the region away from just continuous wheat and the prospect of a high quality livestock feed available in the area as a by-product.
Names of Note- Don Wagner, John Caddel and Shane Townsend
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Recently retired Oklahoma State University animal science department head Don Wagner has yet another prestigious award to add to his wall full of honors. A 2007 Fellow of the American Society of Animal Science (ASAS), Wagner was inducted into the Oklahoma Higher Education Hall of Fame. Under his direction since 1990, the department emerged as the largest undergraduate major and scholarship program at OSU and developed state-of-the-art beef cattle and swine research facilities. "I think there is no question that Dr. Wagner has helped bring animal science at OSU into a new era," said Ron Kensinger, current department head. "He really provided very effective leadership."
A current member of the OSU Division of Ag team, Dr. John Caddel has been honored as the recipient of the North American Alfalfa Improvement Conference Honorary membership Award in 2008. Dr. Cadell is a Professor of Forage Agronomy in the Plant and Soil Sciences Department at OSU. Honorary membership in the NAAIC is awarded to individual members who are selected for their outstanding contributions to alfalfa improvement and/or utilization. This award recognizes alfalfa specialists, active or retired, who have made major contributions during their careers to the improvement and use of alfalfa.
Finally, U.S. Wheat Associates announces the appointment of Shane Townsend as Trade Policy Analyst at the Arlington, VA, headquarters. Townsend will contribute to the analysis of such policy issues as tariff and non-tariff trade barriers, food aid, credit programs, biotechnology and trade with sanctioned countries. Most recently, Townsend worked at U.S. Department of Agriculture's Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), Washington, D.C., in program monitoring and evaluation. Prior to joining FAS, he was an organizational development consultant, a relief worker following September 11, 2001, and Hurricane Katrina and a Peace Corps volunteer working with indigenous coffee growers in Bolivia.
Beef Checkoff Legislation Introduced by Montana Lawmaker
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Montana Senator Jon Tester has introduced the Beef Checkoff Modernization Act. The bill calls for the amendment of the Beef Act to allow the promotion of beef born and raised exclusively in the U.S. The bill would also allow the establishment of an importers qualified beef council. That council would promote non-domestic beef. Also, the bill would establish new referendum requirements - giving producers more control over the program.
In fact, the bill directs at least thirty percent of funds derived from beef checkoff assessments be made available for the promotion and marketing of products from U.S. born and raised cattle. And the new importers council would be given certain funds to promote products derived from cattle not born and raised in the U.S. Also, producer referendums would be provided for the termination or suspension of the program and covering all future changes.
This legislation has been praised by some of the newer activists cattle groups like R-Calf USA and the group that came into existence after a internal R-Calf fight erupted- the US Cattlemen's Association. It is very likely that after the Cattlemen's Beef Board offers their report on what all beef industry groups are thinking about changes to the checkoff- that other lawmakers will offer bills that could change the beef checkoff- this to occur after Congress reorganizes in 2009.
Seminar Two of the Oklahoma Ag Leadership Class 14 Kicks Off
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~What do Mustard Greens, Cannas, Super Hot Peppers, Wind Farms, Grapes and Cotton all have in common? They are all enterprises that will be checked out by Class 14 of the Oklahoma Ag Leadership Program over the next three days as they travel southwestern Oklahoma in their second seminar of the two year program.
The OALP is a leadership development program that has been around since the early 1980s and has been and continues to be a joint venture of the Division of Agriculture of OSU and the private sector of agricultural interests here in the state of Oklahoma.
Class 14 is just starting their almost two year program of in state seminars, travel to the East Coast to look "under the hood" at how Washington works and finally at the end of their seminar time- an international travel experience that will help put Oklahoma agriculture into a global context. I have linked the OALP website below- take a look and see how Oklahoma's rural leaders are being fine tuned for further service.
Fighting Fall Armyworms
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The latest edition of the Plant and Soil Science Department Newsletter- the PASS Newsletter- is out and it features the question of the season for wheat producers as they busily put wheat seed int he ground for the 2009 crop year. That question- "Are Fall Armyworms Ready to Pounce on Your Wheat?"
Dr. Tom Royer- Extension Entomologist writes for the newsletter "We are receiving reports of fall armyworms attacking wheat in some areas of Oklahoma. Dwayne Skidgel, extension educator Agriculture in Pawnee County reports that several fields of wheat have infestations of fall armyworms. Because we have experienced large infestations of fall armyworm in sorghum earlier this summer and have had favorable weather for population buildups (warm wet summer followed by a relatively dry September), fall armyworms could threaten fields of newly emerged wheat. It is imperative that producers check their fields often because fall armyworms can cause serious damage in a short period of time."
This newsletter gives you a lot of information on how to deal with this hungry and destructive critters- including how to scout, how to decide if you need to spray- as well as when to spray and when to give up and replant. We have the newsletter linked on our website- click below to jump to that article to read more.
This Month- Star Lake Herefords Bull and Female Sales Are Set
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~It's your chance to select some of the best Hereford genetics around for your cattle operation on Sunday, October 19 at the Star Lake Cattle Ranch in Skiatook, Oklahoma.
At 11 AM- it's the Star Lake Fall Celebration Female Sale, offering 20
fancy show heifers and over 60 pairs. These females will feature the
freshest genetics the ranch has to offer.
Montie Soules of Star Lake Herefords is proud of the lineup of the
Range ready Bulls that will be offered, and he tells us "These are the
premium genetics of the Star Lake New Hereford and they carry the right
package of economic traits to help keep you in business. Star Lake bulls
from past bull sales have performed for our customers, and these will
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Let's Check the Markets!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Overnight electronic trade in our grain, oilseed and cotton futures has been generally higher on this Wednesday morning. After rising seven cents a bushel on Tuesday, KC December wheat is up another four cents in the early morning trade to $7.16. Cotton futures were up modestly on Tuesday- and are up another 100 points this morning to 58.25 cents. Corn and Soybeans were both sharply lower again on Tuesday- after huge losses on Monday- but show some signs of recovery this morning- corn up seven cents this morning after a 25 cent drop on Tuesday and Soybeans up six cents at $10.51 after a 49 cent drop yesterday.
Crude Oil gained $4.27 on Tuesday- but has gone a little lower, dropping 26 cents to $100.39 a barrel as we write this early Wednesday morning.
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