~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Monday January 28, 2008!A service of Farm Credit of East Central Oklahoma, American Farmers and Ranchers & Midwest Farm Shows
-- NFU's Tom Buis Calls Extension Impossible- is willing to settle for Permanent Law if Congress and the President Remain at Odds!
-- AFR's Terry Detrick Agrees with Buis on Permanent Law Option...
-- Ag Groups Meet in Preparation for New Legislative Session.
-- OACD's Clay Pope a Guest of Ron In The Field this past Saturday.
-- Cattle on Feed Numbers a Record as we Start 2008.
-- Cooper Newcomb of Elk City Comes Up With a $30,000 Payday at the National Western!
-- Looking for Better Year-Round Forage in Woodward.
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NFU's Tom Buis Calls Extension Impossible- is willing to settle for Permanent Law if Congress and the President Remain at Odds!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The President of the National Farmers Union, Tom Buis, met with reporters via teleconference this past Friday midday- saying his board had met via their own teleconference the previous day and had decided that the concept brought up a few days earlier by House Ag Committee Chairman Colin Peterson that allowing Permanent 1949 Farm Law to take effect would not be the end of the world for farmers of the major program crops.
Buis told reporters that first of all, NFU wants a successful farm bill saying, "we want a new farm bill written and written soon." However, he was quick to criticize the administration for not being willing to negotiate on their two issues of budget overruns and a means test of what most everyone engaged in the farm bill debate considers to be a very low figure of $200,000 AGI.
Buis says the administration is saber rattling- but that if they don't
blink and the impasse continues, NFU sees no possible way to get a one or
two year extension passed- they are fearful that too many of the special
interest groups would simply raid the existing law through amendments on
the floor and the safety net would be further decimated. So, the idea of
allowing Permanent Law to kick in is a viable option, according to
AFR's Terry Detrick Agrees with Buis on Permanent Law Option...
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We caught up with Terry Detrick, Vice President of the American Farmers and Ranchers late on Friday afternoon- and he offered support of the NFU position, calling the concept of considering Permanent Law a viable option an AFR position. He says that he and Francie Tolle represented Oklahoma and AFR on the NFU Conference Call of their board this past week- and that they helped formulate that position being taken by the NFU.
Detrick, a wheat producers from Ames, expressed some misgivings over the possible loss of the Direct Payment, the only safety net available to wheat producers the last several years under the 2002 farm law. However, he tells us that if you couple the non recourse loan of more than eight dollars a bushel with a good crop insurance policy, it looks like most wheat producers have an opportunity to put together a reasonable safety net for this crop year.
On a side note, Terry responded to a question we had about one of the "positioning statements" we had seen on a recent news release from the group. The group is now talking about representing the interests of farmers in 24 states. He tells us that they will be releasing the list of states they will be serving very soon once the state regulators in each of those states sign off on the purchase of an insurance company that AFR has bought in recent months which has done business in almost two dozen states. Terry says they will be selling insurance policies under the AFR windmill brand, but at the same time, will be working to build a farm organization relationship with farmers and ranchers in those states in their efforts to become a larger middle of the road voice for agriculture.
Ag Groups Meet in Preparation for New Legislative Session.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~It was a meeting of more than three hours this past Friday of the state's farm and rural related organizations- this meeting in advance of the state legislative session that begins in a matter of just a few more days. Over the last several years, these groups have come together almost weekly- meeting with State Secretary of Agriculture Terry Peach to share ideas and come up with a common ground for the ag groups to stand on.
We sat down Friday afternoon and talked with Steve Thompson, the Associated Commissioner of the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, about the Friday session. He tells us that several key subjects are once again on the minds of those that gathered. OSU Dean of Agriculture Dr. Robert Whitson was in attendance as he talked of the continuing drive to better fund the research and extension functions of the OSU Division of Agriculture.
Thompson said the groups also talked issues like water, immigration and conservation needs as well. And, they discussed how to support the ODA in getting the expenditures needed to buy equipment for the state of the art lab being built adjacent to the triangle building that is the agriculture facility on the grounds of state capitol- just north of the Capitol Building itself. We have the audio conversation that we recorded with Steve Thompson linked below- take a listen and get up to speed on what is on the mind of the "ag coalition" as we soon start the 2008 legislative session.
OACD's Clay Pope a Guest of Ron In The Field this past Saturday.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We talked about the conservation priorities of 2008 as the Oklahoma Legislative session got ready to kick off. Clay pointed out that 2007 was one of the wettest years on record across the state, while 2006 was one of the driest- and that both of them helped prove the value of the conservation infrastructure built up over the years in Oklahoma.
Two years ago, as the soil became drier and drier, there was no equivalent of the Dust Bowl reenacted because of better frming practices that helped most of our soil stay in place. In 2007, the heavy rains begat floods and strained the flood control structures that have been in place for decades in many locations- those structures held but 2008 finds the conservation community calling on the state legislature to get serious about repairs to keep the safety net in place.
Clay Pope discussed these priorities with us and our Saturday morning TV audience on KWTV News9. If you missed our visit with him, you can take a look at it via the link below as we have a video posted on our website, www.OklahomaFarmReport.Com. Take a look!
Cattle on Feed Numbers a Record as we Start 2008.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Friday afternoon Cattle on Feed report showed that we have one percent more cattle on feed as of January 1, 2008 than a year ago, with the 12.1 million head- the largest number of cattle in feedlots for the start of a year since the current series of data began in 1996.
The report was friendly in that the placements into feedlots were under what the experts were anticipating, while the marketings were a little above the trade estimates.
We talked about the USDA Cattle on Feed report from Friday afternoon on our Monday morning Beef Buzz, heard on great radio stations around the state on the Radio Oklahoma Network. We have many of our Beef Buzz reports from this past year and a half on our web site, www.OklahomaFarmReport.Com. GO there and click on the Beef Buzz button to see the full listing of subjects.
Cooper Newcomb of Elk City Comes Up With a $30,000 Payday at the National Western!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Lots of excitement at the Friday night Sale of Champions at the National Western Stock Show in Denver that helped wrap up the 2008 event. The Grand Champion Steer was shown by a young man from South Dakota, who saw his animal bid up to $110,000!
For Oklahoma Youth, top honors was claimed by the owner of "Pop Rocks"- the lamb that claimed the Grand Championship of the Market Lamb show in Denver. Cooper Newcomb of Elk City showed this Grand Champion and he received a bid of $30,000 for his top lamb. Ten percent of that money is deducted from the proceeds that Cooper receives to go into a scholarship fund for students in Colorado and Wyoming, but still a pretty good payday for the young man from Elk City. He also did a good job in the Showmanship competition, as the Reserve Intermediate Showman- just behind Heather Glass of Elgin who won the top showmanship honors in that intermediate class of 13 to 16 year old exhibitors.
Oklahomans took three of the nine steer classes in the junior show this past week, including first place finishes in their classes by Corbin Wilkins of Bluejacket, Ky Stierwalt of Leedey and Colton Wynne of Newcastle.
Looking for Better Year-Round Forage in Woodward.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~A herd of hungry cattle isn't a pretty sight. So scientists with the Agricultural Research Service in Woodward are developing forage grasses that provide nutritious forage to livestock in the southern Great Plains throughout the year.
ARS rangeland scientist Phillip Sims, agronomist Tim Springer and plant geneticist Jason Goldman work at the ARS Southern Plains Range Research Station (SPRRS), Woodward, Okla. Research at Woodward revolves around three grasses native to the southern Plains-Texas bluegrass, eastern gamagrass and sand bluestem.
In 2005, the Woodward station released an important new eastern
gamagrass called "Verl." It was the first gamagrass release that had been
selected from a hybrid breeding program. In field trials, Verl equaled or
surpassed standards set by "Pete," a highly productive gamagrass released
in 1988. Springer was a driving force behind a new sand bluestem variety
called "Chet." This grass has a forage dry matter yield almost 9 percent
greater than that of "Woodward," a key sand bluestem variety developed
during the 1950s.
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