~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Friday January 25, 2008!A service of Farm Credit of East Central Oklahoma, KIS Futures & Midwest Farm Shows
-- Ed Shafer Closer to Being Our Next Secretary of Agriculture.
-- Cattle on Feed Report This Afternoon- Placements the Key.
-- OSU's Bob Woods Honored by Peers as Distinguished Educator.
-- Beef Industry Officials Continue to Fret About E-Coli 0157
-- Where's all the snow gone???
-- Oklahomans Getting Ready to Head to Reno!
-- Oldest Production Sale in Oklahoma Set for February Second.
Here's your morning farm news headlines from the Director of Farm Programming for the Radio Oklahoma Network, Ron Hays. We are proud to welcome 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 website or call them at 1-800-256-2555.
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Ed Shafer Closer to Being Our Next Secretary of Agriculture.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Former North Dakota Governor Edward Schafer faced a very friendly Senate Ag Committee Thursday during his hearing to become the next U.S. Secretary of Agriculture. Schafer was accompanied by his wife, Nancy and daughter Kari. Committee Chair Tom Harkin of Iowa opened the hearing by saying - the Secretary of Agriculture touches the lives of all Americans and millions of others around the world on a daily basis. He said - each and every one of us depends on our food and agriculture system and has a vital interest in the wide range of activities at the Department of Agriculture.
Schafer enjoys bipartisan support on the panel. Saxby Chambliss Ranking Member of the Ag Committee, says - after the Senate Agriculture Committee approves Schafer for the post, the nomination will then go before the full Senate. Chambliss said he is hopeful the Senate will move to confirm him as quickly as possible.
Cattle on Feed Report This Afternoon- Placements the Key.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Placements were well above a year ago in last month's Cattle on Feed report- and it looks like a moderate increase this past December over December 2006 may be in the cards for this afternoon's report from Uncle Sam.
Pre report guesses show that the experts believe we have about one percent more cattle on feed as of January 1, 2008 compared to a year ago, while the placement numbers for this past December are expected to be up by about 2.5%. Total marketings for the month were about unchanged from a year ago- if the traders handicapping this report are right.
We have a link below detailing some of the pre report ideas that are out there on this Friday morning- and this same link will give you a recap of the report later in the afternoon on Friday- click before 2 pm for the preview and click after about 3 pm central for the recap.
OSU's Bob Woods Honored by Peers as Distinguished Educator.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service Area Agronomy Specialist Bob Woods of Muskogee was awarded the statewide organization's most prestigious field-staff honor on Jan. 22, the Distinguished Educator Award. Woods was recognized for his 32 years of outstanding service to agricultural producers in Oklahoma and surrounding states, his numerous educational and research programs providing benefits not only to farmers and ranchers but the communities and rural areas they call home.
For Craig County producer Jay Franklin, Woods' counsel given during the 27 years the two have known each other has provided Franklin Farms with "more opportunity for profit than any other source." "I've participated in many projects, having hosted variety, herbicide, tillage, crop system and soil studies under his direction," Franklin said. "Virtually all of these projects were initiated by Bob, and demanded more of his time and energy than his position required. His quest for information (about the way management recommendations perform under local growing conditions) provides tremendous value to his county educators and their clients."
Woods' work with Gra$$bak, a forage improvement program, was instrumental in helping producers address problems associated with the Oklahoma droughts of 1986 and 1998. In agricultural circles, Woods is renowned for helping beef and horse producers in Oklahoma and surrounding states successfully manage and reduce the detrimental effects of fescue endophyte problems. Stan Fimple, Ottawa County Extension director, said Woods is always ready to help wherever needed when it comes to solving row-crop concerns and issues, and has been instrumental in getting cutting- edge sensor technology developed by Oklahoma State University's Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources into the hands of local producers. "There are many outstanding educators in Extension, but none outshine Bob when it comes to career dedication and the impact he has had on Oklahoma and the nation," Fimple said.
The Distinguished Educator Award was designed to be the most prestigious title that a county Extension educator or district or state Extension specialist can obtain, said Jim Trapp, OSU Cooperative Extension associate director. "Bob's achievements over his 32 years of service to Extension and the people of Oklahoma are truly outstanding," he said. "Bob is among the elite. We expect fewer than 4 percent of our educators and specialists in the field will win this award during their career." This is the first year for the award. Trapp said Woods being named an initial recipient makes the honor even more special. Others receiving the first-time honor were Susan Murray, Southwest District 4-H specialist; Brad Tipton, Canadian County Extension director; and Ted Evicks, Pittsburg County Extension director.
Beef Industry Officials Continue to Fret About E-Coli 0157
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Speakers at a briefing in Washington, D.C., hosted by the American Meat Institute Foundation and the National Meat Association, confronted the challenge E.Coli 0157:H7 poses to the beef industry. American Meat Institute President and CEO J. Patrick Boyle said progress has been made over the last two decades in enhancing beef safety, but acknowledged that trends in 2007 gave the beef industry pause. During 2007 there was a - slight up-tick in E. coli 0157 in ground beef.
USDA Under Secretary for Food Safety Dr. Richard Raymond said USDA is redoubling efforts to ensure meat safety - including enhanced sampling programs and a new more sensitive test method to detect E. coli. Raymond defended the department's use of "Public Health Alerts" to convey information when insufficient details are known to recommend recalling a specific product. He acknowledged that these alerts have been controversial, but he indicated the industry can expect them to be used periodically going forward.
What lies down the road for the industry? Dr. Guy Lonergan, highlighted very promising pre-harvest technologies, and representatives of USDA and FDA gave an overview of the approval and licensing procedures for drugs and vaccines. These procedures are a major hurdle in rapid implementation of pre-harvest technologies. But for now, National Cattlemen's Beef Association Vice President of Issues Management Rick McCarty says NCBA data indicate that despite federal and industry recommendations only 17 percent of consumers use instant-read thermometers to validate cooking temperatures. Most use visual clues to determine doneness, despite the fact they are not accurate indicators of doneness.
Where's all the snow gone???
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~That's the topic of one of the articles from the latest newsletter from the folks who put together the Oklahoma Mesonet- their electronic publication called "Agweather." Gary McManus, Assistant State Climatologist says that the huge ice storm in December could have produced a lot of snow if it had been a little colder in the upper atmosphere. Otherwise, the most snow seen in Oklahoma this winter has been just six inches in a couple of Central Oklahoma locations.
McManus writes "Oklahoma winters have become warmer and wetter over the past couple of decades, so it is certainly feasible that some of the big snows of our childhoods have simply become big ice storms due to that added warmth. While we cannot say definitively that this is due to global warming, it seems reasonable that these are the types of weather patterns we should see in a warming world. It is good to remember that even in a climate influenced by global warming, natural variability will still have a part to play. We will still have warm years and cold years, wet and dry."
And he adds "With the extended forecasts being influenced by a La Nina
pattern, Oklahoma should experience warmer and drier weather for the next
couple of months and possibly beyond, but those forecasts are certainly
not a guarantee. All it takes is one or two good storms to turn a warm and
dry forecast into a failed forecast. We would all agree, however, that
snow would be a more welcome visitor than ice."
Oklahomans Getting Ready to Head to Reno!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Executive Director of the Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association, Scott Dewald, tells us that about 125 OKlahomans will be in attendance in about 10 days at the 2008 Cattle Industry Convention and Trade Show being held in Reno, Nevada.
Several issues are on the list of topics important to the Oklahoma cattle industry, including the high price of feed, commercial truck regulations being forced on farmers and ranchers, the beef checkoff and foreign markets.
You can hear our conversation with Scott Dewald on our Bovine Blog page on our website, WWW.OklahomaFarmReport.Com. We have a link to all of our 2007 Convention coverage from Nashville on that page- and our first entry for the 2008 Convention is our Scott Dewald conversation. The page is linked below- so check back from time to time as we begin ramping up our coverage leading up to our traveling to Reno.
Oldest Production Sale in Oklahoma Set for February Second.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Messner Ranch has a proud history at their location near the town with the coolest name in the state- Slapout, Oklahoma! Van Messner is proud that his annual production sale is the oldest purebred auction offering of bulls in the state- and he has done a good job of changing with the times which has allowed him to continuously update his production practices in order to offer herd bull prospects that keep up with the changing cattle business.
Here in 2008, Van will be offering 75 Hereford and 50 Angus Bulls- complete with EPD data. They also plan on selling a selection of 60 spring calving females as well.
The sale will be at the Messner Ranch near Slapout- and you can get more information by taking a look on the back cover of the current Oklahoma Cowman magazine at their ad- or call Van Messner at 580-837- 5532. The sale is set for Saturday, February second.
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