~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Thursday March 27, 2008!A service of the Southern Plains Farm Show, American Farmers & Ranchers and Midwest Farm Shows
-- Condi Rice Calls On South Korea To Bring Back US Beef!
-- Above Ground Fuel Tanks Grandfathered by Corporation Commission- State Rep. Richardson Hails Decision!
-- Oklahoma Ag Day Set for Next Week- Later than Normal...
-- Packer Ban on Livestock Ownership Will Not Hurt Value Added Beef Alliances- So Says Bill Bullard...
-- Disease Pressure Remains Low in Oklahoma Wheat Fields- So Says Bob Hunger of OSU.
-- AFR Interested in How Stacking Traits Can Help Lower Insurance Risks.
-- Superior Deadline Tomorrow- OBI Bull Test Sale Today!
Here's your morning farm news headlines from the Director of Farm Programming for the Radio Oklahoma Network, Ron Hays. We are proud to have KIS Futures as a 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 "new look" website or call them at 1-800-256-2555.
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Condi Rice Calls On South Korea To Bring Back US Beef!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice urged South Korea to lift import restrictions on US beef to help facilitate a free trade agreement signed by the two allies.
'The United States believes that our beef is safe and that the markets ought to be open to it all around the world,' Rice told reporters with her South Korean counterpart Yu Myung-Hwan at her side after extensive talks in Washington. 'And this has been a trade issue and we are very desirous of having beef accepted in markets, as should be the case, given its safety and our adherence to international standards concerning beef production and shipment,' she said.
The Korean Foreign Minister indicated that he hoped that the beef dispute would be resolved as quickly as possible by technical experts. The US is currently shut totally out of what was once our third largest beef export customer in the world because of a dispute that Korea claims is a food safety issue following the discovery five years ago of a single case of BSE in the US. The US beef industry calls the continued blockage of shipments unjustified and a trade barrier designed to win favor with South Korean farmers, who have flexed their political muscle as hard as they can on this issue.
Above Ground Fuel Tanks Grandfathered by Corporation Commission- State Rep. Richardson Hails Decision!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~State Rep. Phil Richardson said Oklahoma rural mom and pop gas stations and fuel suppliers will be saved thanks to a ruling by the Oklahoma Corporation Commission. Last session, Richardson filed House Bill 1916, which kept the OCC from shutting down Aboveground Storage Tanks for fuel that were not in compliance with the new OCC standards, which would make many businesses have to close who had ASTs that were installed before the current standards.
"House Bill 1916 required the Commission to write tank rules that were no more stringent that the Environmental Protection Agency's rules on Aboveground Storage Tanks, which protected the ASTs that would otherwise be shutdown," said Richardson, R-Minco. "The co-ops and the mom and pop fuel suppliers would be the ones to have to shut down because replacing their tanks would cost tens of thousands of dollars and leave many communities without a local fuel supplier hurting our farmers, schools, and even firefighters." On March 12, the OCC held a hearing to review the AST rules and hear from representatives on both sides of the issue including representatives from the Oklahoma Farm Bureau, the Oklahoma State School Board Association and the Oklahoma Agricultural Cooperative Council-all in support of keeping open the ASTs.
After hearing from all parties, the OCC passed new rules with no amendments that would have weakened House Bill 1916. "Oklahoma needs these tanks to fuel our rural fire stations so communities can be safe and firefighters can reach an emergency situation without first having to drive miles to refuel. They provide fuel for our rural schools so buses can transport our kids and for our farmers so they can power their farm equipment so Oklahomans can eat and have jobs," said Richardson. "This was a win-win situation for all and I commend the Oklahoma Corporation Commission for their decision."
Oklahoma Ag Day Set for Next Week- Later than Normal...
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~My calendar is all mixed up- Easter was about as early as it can be here in 2008- while the Oklahoma Ag Day Celebration is a couple of weeks later than normal, putting it after Easter this year. While the National Ag Day celebration is always tied to the first official day of spring- March 21- the Oklahoma celebration is usually lined up on a Wednesday to make sure that the celebration will include a couple of events with state lawmakers.
This year, the State Ag Day celebration is set for this coming Wednesday, with at least three "big" events planned. The first is the presentation of the "Ag in the Classroom" contest awards(you can see who has won by going to the link below and the ODAFF website); the second is the presentation of the Oklahoma Beef Backer Award for 2008, and the third event to be held after lunch on Wednesday is the presentation of the Ag Hall of Fame Award for 2008 as the state inducts the newest member of this prestigious group into the Oklahoma Ag Hall of Fame.
In addition, next Thursday, First Lady Kim Henry will present the Governor's Proclamation to the Made in Oklahoma Coalition that April is Made in Oklahoma Month.
Packer Ban on Livestock Ownership Will Not Hurt Value Added Beef Alliances- So Says Bill Bullard...
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We got reaction from the Clem Ward interview that we did earlier this week about the impact on the beef industry if the so called Packer Ban on Livestock Ownership was allowed to be included in the final farm bill proposal.
One group that has been very consistent in their position against anything that might be considered advantageous to meat packers is R-Calf USA, and their Chief Executive Officer, Bill Bullard, talked with us after hearing our Clem Ward story. Bullard wanted to clarify that while R-Calf would love to see the government demand more transparency in all cattle contracts- the ban on livestock ownership by packers in the Senate Farm Bill does not in any form or fashion hinder the current alliances or other value added programs, as long as cattle producers maintain ownership of the cattle until they go to the packing plant.
Bullard's comments make up today's Beef Buzz, heard on the Radio Oklahoma Network- and archived on our website on the Beef Buzz page. We have linked today's Beef Buzz with Bill Bullard below- take a listen.
Disease Pressure Remains Low in Oklahoma Wheat Fields- So Says Bob Hunger of OSU.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Here's the latest word from OSU Plant Pathologist Dr. Bob Hunger as he continues to check on wheat fields around the state- "Foliar diseases in Oklahoma are still at a low level. I did not see any rust or powdery mildew in plots located near Stillwater over the last two days, and I have heard only reports of some tan spot/septoria from other areas of the state. Wheat soilborne mosaic and wheat spindle streak mosaic are being expressed in my disease screening nursery, but with temperatures approaching 80 F in the day and mid 50s at night both of these virus diseases will begin to wane (especially the spindle streak). Barley yellow dwarf is probably the most obvious disease around Stillwater, with the greatest incidence in early (early to mid September) planted wheat."
Dr. Hunger says that reports from other states show little evidence of a huge outbreak of foliar diseases at this point in 2008. One report that he did have came from Texas A&M in the latter part of March- it says "During the fourth week in March in College Station plots, leaf rust severities ranged from 30% on TAM 110 to traces on Fuller."
Oklahoma Wheat Commission Executive Director Mark Hodges was out scouting wheat fields yesterday- and we hope to get his take on wheat conditions for our email and radio reports for Friday morning.
AFR Interested in How Stacking Traits Can Help Lower Insurance Risks.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Last fall the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC) Board of Directors approved a Biotech Yield Endorsement (BYE) pilot program. The program will offer crop insurance premium reductions for farmers that plant corn with specific triple-stacked genetics. Ray L. Wulf, President & CEO of American Farmers & Ranchers (AFR) stated, "this pilot program is of great interest to us because the pilot program covers states that we have recently expanded into. Furthermore it has the potential to benefit farmers in all 24 states where we have a presence." The pilot program area includes all counties in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa and Minnesota.
The Monsanto Company and Western Agricultural Insurance Company were co-submitters of the pilot BYE program. Monsanto has demonstrated that its specific triple-stack genetic traits, when used in combination, provide lower yield risk as compared to non-traited hybrids. Currently Monsanto is the only seed organization to have made a submission for the pilot program. However, over 250 companies currently license Monsanto's triple-stack technology. Any approved insurance provider can provide, or partner with a private entity to provide a submission for the premium rate reduction to receive consideration by the FCIC Board.
"With the new seed technology that we are seeing in agriculture it makes sense to evaluate how the technology decreases risk and furthermore evaluate the benefits farmers can receive through decreased crop insurance premiums," said Wulf. The premium reductions are expected to be around 20 percent for those that purchase coverage levels of 70 to 75 percent. While this pilot program does not include Oklahoma, American Farmers & Ranchers thinks that if all goes well, Oklahoma farmers could benefit from this concept in the next couple of years.
Superior Deadline Tomorrow- OBI Bull Test Sale Today!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The deadline to be in the catalog supplement for next week's Superior Video Auction that will be held April 3 and 4 in Ft. Worth, Texas is tomorrow, Friday March 28. For more information about getting cattle consigned in this next Superior Video Auction, contact Ralph Wade at 405-574-6000 or David Belew at 580-695-2855.
A final reminder on the OBI Bull Test Sale- 144 Bulls are scheduled to be sold starting at 1:00 PM in the 35th year for the Oklahoma State University sponsored bull test. OBI is the second largest performance bull testing station in the U.S. The station is located between I-35 and Stillwater on State Highway 51.
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