~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Thursday July 24, 2008!A service of Producers Cooperative Oil Mill, Farm Credit Associations of Oklahoma and Midwest Farm Shows!
-- CRP Critical Feed Use Resolution Expected Today.
-- Planning for Agro-Terrorism- Oklahoma's involved with a 13 Partnership
-- Dolly Moves Inland- With A "Slim" Chance of Helping Oklahoma Farmers and Ranchers.
-- Another Study is Out About Rising Prices For Food.
-- Final Agroterrorism Seminar Around the State is Today in El Reno.
-- Road Trip For Ag in the Classroom Wraps Up Today.
-- People To Remember- People to Congratulate.
-- Let's Check the Markets!
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CRP Critical Feed Use Resolution Expected Today.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~By noon Oklahoma time- we should know the fate of the Critical Feed Use program that was offered to CRP contract holders starting in late May of this year. The District Judge has ordered both sides of the battle to show up in his court at 9 AM Pacific time this morning- and it is expected that he will have a decision that will include 2.5 to 3 million acres being allowed to stay in the Critical Feed Use program- with a preliminary injunction on any further acres being allowed into the program.
This should allow those producers who had started using the forage in states like Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico to go back onto the land and make use of this program which could be the difference between total herd liquidation and making it through the summer and early fall in areas like Cimarron and Texas Counties in our Panhandle.
We talked with Oklahoma Congressman Frank Lucas about this situation- and he offers his perspective of how the Wildlife Federation went "judge shopping" and that if there is not a satisfactory solution offered today- he and Jerry Moran and several other lawmakers will push as hard as possible to find a legislative fix. He says the problem is that there are precious few days left in the Congressional calendar in the 110th Congress- so it would be close to impossible to find a vehicle that might leave the station and arrive as a new law this year.
We have our full conversation with Congressman Lucas on this situation- as well as his thoughts on DOHA- linked on our website. In fact, it is in our Ag Perspectives Podcast category. This is one of three audio reports that we have that you can subscribe to several ways(including through Itunes) and will be delivered straight to you when we publish a new report- which is usually most weekdays. Click to go to our interview with Congressman Lucas.
Planning for Agro-Terrorism- Oklahoma's involved with a 13 Partnership
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Multi State Partnership is a group of states that have come together to work together to get ready for a day that we hope will never come- to be ready in case an "agro-disaster" occurs. Dr. Becky Brewer- State Vet for Oklahoma- is hosting the partnership- which includes some 13 states in the middle part of the country this week in Oklahoma City. Dr. Brewer says that this group makes it easier for all of the state to get grants and funding from the Department of Homeland Security for the getting ready process in case of a foreign animal disease outbreak. She says that you have to run exercises and simulations to be able to know what has to be done to be ready.
Brewer says the ultimate goal is to have continuity of business by livestock owners as much as is possible when a disease hits- and after the disease has run its course- work with producers in recovery of our livestock businesses.
We have more on this story with Dr. Brewer- as well as our conversation with her linked on our webpage to be found at the link below- or by going to www.OklahomaFarmReport.Com.
Dolly Moves Inland- With A "Slim" Chance of Helping Oklahoma Farmers and Ranchers.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Hurricane Dolly is now a tropical storm as we write this early Thursday morning. She crawled onto land Wednesday afternoon in the Brownsville/South Padre Island Island as a borderline Category one-Category Two Hurricane and has brought with her a huge amount of rain. Rain amounts are forecast to be in the 6 to 15 inch range in the South Texas counties of Cameron, Hidalgo, and Willacy where flooding is a certainty. Some isolated spots may receive close to 20 inches of rain.
We talked Wednesday afternoon with Meterologist Gary England of News9 about the possibilities that Dolly might end up breaking through the hot dry conditions we are seeing this week in Oklahoma and paying us a visit.
Gary tells us there is a "slim" chance that could happen- and if she did show up- it will be early next week. We have our conversation with Gary linked below- jump over to our website and take a listen!
Another Study is Out About Rising Prices For Food.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~As future policy options are debated - a new study released by Farm Foundation shows it's important to understand the multiple complex factors influencing today's food prices. The study - written by Purdue University Economists Wallace Tyner, Christopher Hurt and Philip Abbott - identifies three broad sets of forces driving food price increases: global changes in production and consumption of key commodities - the depreciation of the U.S. dollar and growth in the production of biofuels.
The authors do not try to calculate the percentage of price changes attributable to the different causes. In fact - Tyner says they think it would be impossible to do so. But they do look at the relationship of the different forces. For instance - the link between the decline of the dollar and commodity prices - as well as oil prices. Then there's the issue of supply and demand. The study highlights how demand for agricultural commodities has increased as the growth in productivity has slowed - the impact of which - is clear. The impact of increased speculative activity - on the other hand - is not clear. The authors state that - based on existing research - it's impossible to say whether price levels have been influenced by speculative activity.
For policy makers - the authors say the challenge is to find policy
options that deal with the short-term effects of rising food prices
without creating a new set of long- term problems.
Final Agroterrorism Seminar Around the State is Today in El Reno.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~OSU Extension and the Oklahoma Department of Food and Forestry have been conducting seminars statewide to provide information for Ag Producers that will minimize agro-terrorism impacts. The final two meetings will be held today in El Reno- these meetings have been happening all around Oklahoma for the last several months. The afternoon meeting from 1:30 to 3:30 is designed for community leaders, first responders and others who might be involved in developing a first-response plan. An evening meeting on July 24th from 6:30- 8:30 PM is for livestock producers. The main focus of both seminars is awareness of: could it happen here, how individuals, communities and our entire state would be affected, and the consequences of not being proactive in our approach to agro-terrorism.
Agro-terrorism implies deliberate attacks with a variety of bacteria, viruses, and fungi on commercial crops or livestock populations, either to target livestock specifically or as a vehicle to attack humans through the food supply. America's agriculture industry is perilously vulnerable to attack by foreign livestock viruses being unleashed by terrorist elements.
Presentations will cover Foreign Animal Diseases (FAD), Economic Impacts of FAD, FMD control/eradication, social impacts of FMD, agro- terrorist threats and emergency planning. In the event of the 'unthinkable' this will be two hours well spent. The meeting in the El Reno area will be at the Canadian Valley Technology Center, 6505 East Hwy 66, which is located North of OKC West Livestock Auction. Call the Canadian County Extension office at 405-262- 0155 if you have any questions.
Road Trip For Ag in the Classroom Wraps Up Today.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We have heard from a couple of our Oklahoma Ag in the Classroom Coordinators thus far as they have described for us the annual three day field trip taken by a group of elementary educators. Today, Mary Ann Kesley with the program offers us a picture of these teachers will be seeing and doing to learn more about Oklahoma agriculture.
Mary Ann writes "The last day of On the Road with Ag in the Classroom begins in Lawton with a tour of Dream Valley Farms. At Chisholm Trail Heritage Center in Duncan, where the aroma of morning coffee teases the senses, teachers will watch the wide- screen images of cowboys gathering for breakfast. As the scene shifts to a sea of cattle, the air will thicken with the smell of dust and the rumble of thunder. Lightening will sear the sky. Cattle panic. They will feel the rain on their faces - only a few sprinkles, but enough to put them alongside the riders trying vainly to hold back a stampede.
"The final stop on the tour will be a visit with Oklahoma's own, Una Belle Townsend, author of "Grady's in the Silo" and a presentation by Sue Kirk, Oklahoma's Ag in the Classroom Teacher of the Year. The teachers are going home prepared to use Ag in the Classroom lessons and resources at their schools. They will also take home a loaf of freshly baked bread, courtesy of the Oklahoma Wheat Commission. This 3-day educational workshop is sponsored by funds provided by the Oklahoma Beef Council and the dollar a head Beef Checkoff.
People To Remember- People to Congratulate.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Dr. Brian Espe, former USDA Area Vet in Charge in Oklahoma, passed away early on July 23rd. He was retired from USDA and living in Bella Vista, Arkansas. Dr. Espe is perhaps best remembered as the subject of a dramatic rescue from the Federal Office Building in Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995 on the day of the bombing that killed 168. Espe survived and here is a recollection of it from the CNN archives.
Some happier news courtesy of Mike Kubicek of the Oklahoma Peanut Commission- Mike tells us that this past week's APRES Peanut meeting in Oklahoma City was a success and spotlights two folks in particular- "Shannon Stoup (grew up in Beckham Co) wins $1,000 for herself and a matching amount for Oklahoma State University by winning the prestigious George Washington Carver Award. Dr Kelly Chenault (USDA/ARS peanut breeder) from The Center for Peanut Improvement in Stillwater was installed as the Society's President for 2008-2009."
At the regular Oklahoma Wheat Commission Board meeting held on
Wednesday, the annual reorganization of the Wheat Commission took place,
with the following Commissioners holding officer slots for the coming
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Let's Check the Markets!
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