~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Thursday July 31, 2008!A service of American Farmers & Ranchers, KIS Futures & Johnston Enterprises!
-- Rural Electric Needs for the Future Examined by House Ag Subcommittee
-- Nitrogen Sensing Creating Lots of Interest as Fertilizer Costs Rise
-- Uncle Sam Delivers Watershed Repair Help for Oklahoma.
-- Get Beef Buzzed with Phil Seng!
-- Bayer Crop Science Official Sees Challenging Yet Bright Future Ahead for Crop Agriculture.
-- USDA Renews Funding on PRRS Research for the Swine Industry.
-- Oklahoma Cattlemen Gather Today Through Saturday in Midwest City
-- Looking at our Agricultural Markets...
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Rural Electric Needs for the Future Examined by House Ag Subcommittee
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Wednesday, the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Conservation, Credit, Energy, and Research held a hearing to review the reliability of electricity in rural America. Congressman Tim Holden of Pennsylvania, the Chairman of the Subcommittee, pointed out that - our energy demands are at a critical point, and we must explore every opportunity to develop a strong, reliable infrastructure.
Oklahoma Representative Frank Lucas, the Ranking Republican on the Committee, said - maintaining reliable and affordable electricity in our rural areas must remain a focus for this committee. He promoted the - expansion of traditional forms of energy, such as oil, coal, and natural gas alongside development of alternative and renewable sources.
One of the witnesses that appeared before Congressman Lucas and the
Committee was Lucas' predecessor, Glenn English, who served what is now
the Third District of Oklahoma back when that area was generally the sixth
district. When English left Congress- he became the CEO of the National
Rural Electric Cooperatives- and is still in that role even today. As the
top hired hand of the NRECA- English spokes of what he called a "daunting
energy challenge." He told the Subcommittee "The nation is facing an
unparalleled energy crisis and lacks a national policy to handle the
problems of electricity capacity, reliability and rising prices. While it
is important to find solutions to global climate change, it is equally
critical to establish policies that will ensure there is enough
electricity to assure consumers have a secure and affordable energy
Nitrogen Sensing Creating Lots of Interest as Fertilizer Costs Rise
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~One of the speakers at the 5th Annual Wheat Technology Meeting being held in Oklahoma City on this Wednesday was Brian Arnall, who has worked for more than six years on sensor technology at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater.
Arnall tells us that as the price of nitrogen has gone higher- the interest in the various levels of sensor technology has moved higher and higher.In fact, the tipping point was when nitrogen went above fifty cents a pound- interest has skyrocketed since that time.
His advice to producers is to- at very least- plant a nitrogen rich
strip in your fields that will help monitor the amount of nitrogen
available in that field. We talked with Brian about that- and other ways
that farmers can cash in with these advances made in this field by OSU. We
have our conversation with Brian on our website- and the link to that
story is below- check it out.
Uncle Sam Delivers Watershed Repair Help for Oklahoma.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma State Conservationist Ron Hilliard announced that Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer made available $390 million through the Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) program, of which $16 million will be made available for Oklahoma communities to cope with the aftermath of floods and ice storms. These funds will be used on approved EWP projects in thirty-two (32) counties in Oklahoma.
"USDA employees work shoulder to shoulder with their neighbors at the outset of these emergencies, and remain involved as a member of these communities," said Schafer. "I'm proud that we follow up with emergency support to recover an area's damaged watersheds and remove hazards to life and property."
The $390 million is included in a $162 billion supplemental spending bill that helps the Midwest states with areas ravaged by recent flooding. However, it also provides funding to cover about $140 million in EWP projects from earlier natural disasters, such as tornadoes and wildfires. The EWP Program is designed to help non federal units of government remove erosion based threats to life and property caused by natural disaster events.
In Oklahoma there are five events that qualify for EWP assistance with a total estimated cost of $16 million. Those events occurred in June and July 2007, August 2007, December 2007, March 18, 2008, and on April 10, 2008. EWP Project sponsors have already submitted their requests for assistance.
Get Beef Buzzed with Phil Seng!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Over the last three days- we have had a running conversation with Phil Seng of the US Meat Export Federation about his perspective of the progress we have been able to make in several important Asian markets for US beef. On Tuesday- it was South Korea, Wednesday Japan and today, we focus on China and Vietnam.
Seng says China does not understand why their proposal to open their market to US beef some time back was rejected by US negotiators- as they claim it was the said as the deal we ended up cutting with South Korea this spring. US Beef is getting into China apparently- as some of the beef flowing into Vietnam as well as Hong Kong is ending up in the PRC. Seng points to China as another example of where we are simply asking too much of many of these Asian nations to accept an all or nothing decision regarding US beef. He advocates allowing the Asian countries get back to taking our beef in a step by step manner.
The Beef Buzz is heard on great radio stations around the state on the Radio Oklahoma Network- and we have the shows available to hear on our website as well on the Beef Buzz page. We have that page linked below- you can click and listen to any of our segments with Phil Seng- as well as review many other previous Buzzes- it's your choice.
Bayer Crop Science Official Sees Challenging Yet Bright Future Ahead for Crop Agriculture.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We covered the 5th Annual Wheat Technology Conference hosted by Bayer Crop Science in downtown Oklahoma City on Wednesday- and the leadoff speaker was one of the visionaries for the company here in North America- Al Luke.
Luke spoke with us after his presentation- and told us the stars have lined up to really present US farmers with tremendous challenges as well as opportunities that present us with a playing field unlike any we have ever seen before in this industry. The Energy crisis, higher input costs, concern about the environment, volatile crop prices and the higher level of those prices have all combined to make us consider fresh strategies.
I thought is was really interesting that Bayer admitted being caught
"flat footed" when it came to the run higher of grain and oilseed prices
that occurred earlier this year- saying that while they expected stronger
prices- the levels jumped so much that it caused the interest and demand
in especially their fungicide products to rocket higher- as it was
perceived as a final way to maximize production output.
USDA Renews Funding on PRRS Research for the Swine Industry.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~USDA is renewing its funding of the Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome or PRRS Coordinated Agricultural Project. The USDA will invest 4.8-million dollars over the next four years to reduce the animal and economic losses associated with the disease. The program was originally funded in 2004 and led by the University of Minnesota.
The program brought together a community of scientists, veterinarians, pork producers, and representatives of industry to develop innovative strategies to lessen the impact of PRRS and work toward the virus' eradication. The program is now led by Bob Rowland of Kansas State University.
Some of the successes of the effort include the development of vaccines; understanding how the virus spreads and the development of successful biosecurity practices to control infection and reinfection. Recent findings now provide guidelines for maintenance of PRRS-free herds without the use of vaccination.
Oklahoma Cattlemen Gather Today Through Saturday in Midwest City
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~It's a return to the Reed Center right off I-40 in Midwest City for the 2008 renewal of the OCA Convention and Trade Show. There's more room for the Trade Show this year- and with a great program lined up- it will be the place to be if you are a part of the beef cattle business in Oklahoma. We will be offering coverage of the meeting on our radio reports, here on the email and on our website on our special Cattle Industry Insights Section- our event coverage a service in part of Hudson Livestock Supplements.
The 2008 edition of Cattleman's College as planned by the OSU Animal Science Department will attempt to answer the question "Where are we and what can we do now?" Convention goers will also hear from the Dean of the Division of Agriculture, Dr. Robert Whitson and the 2008 beef economist that will offer a market outlook on Saturday morning is Dr. David Anderson of Texas A&M.
Click below to get to our calendar item on this year's event- which will give you the chance to link to the full agenda and more on this year's cattle gathering.
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Looking at our Agricultural Markets...
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