~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Thursday May 22, 2008!A service of The Oklahoma Bioenergy Center, Farm Credit of East Central Oklahoma and American Farmers & Ranchers.
-- No Songs to be Sung by the Fat Lady Until Next Month- The Farm Bill "Do Over"
-- Wheat Harvest Crosses Red River into Oklahoma!
-- Downers Are Out
-- Improving Agriculture SHOULD be a Higher Priority- so says US Agribusiness Leader to the UN.
-- AFR's Ray Wulf Testifies Today in Opposition to Moving Animal Disease Facility Off of Plum Island.
-- Beef Up the Blood Supply- Tomorrow!!!
-- District Three Nominees Selected for Oklahoma Wheat Commission Post.
-- Checking the Markets...
Here's your morning farm news headlines from the Director of Farm Programming for the Radio Oklahoma Network, Ron Hays. We say thanks to Farm Credit of East Central Oklahoma for being a regular sponsor of our daily email update. Farm Credit of East Central Oklahoma has ten branch offices to serve your farm financing needs and is dedicated to being your first choice for farm credit. Check out their website for more information by clicking here!
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No Songs to be Sung by the Fat Lady Until Next Month- The Farm Bill "Do Over"
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~As we reported yesterday morning- the President did receive the farm bill- he did veto the bill yesterday, stating that the bill failed to offer enough program reform. And just as we also expected- the House took up the veto late Wednesday afternoon, discussed it for an hour and then easily overrode the veto by a 316 to 108 margin.
It looked like the Senate would complete the deal by sometime this morning- and we could finally call this a done deal- it sounds as easy as one, two, four! The incredible bottom line is it that kind of math that has made the House Leadership schedule yet another Farm Bill vote this morning- first thing- with yet another farm bill extension to follow the "do over" on the farm bill. It's a guess at this point- but we assume the "do over" will have to be done by the Senate as well- as someone that was assembling the bill forgot that the number three comes between two and four- as Title Three- the Trade Title- did not get included in the text of the bill that was transmitted from Congress to the White House.
Colin Peterson- Chairman of the House Ag Committee- said on the floor
yesterday that it was no big deal- it was simply a glitch- but clearly
after the lawyers have studied the deal- they have recommended restarting
the process and advancing the Conference Committee report all over again
through the Congress and hopefully get all of the pages sent to the White
House this time- so President Bush can veto he whole thing! Then there
will be another override of the President's veto but now it appears all of
this will not occur until early June- after the Memorial Day recess.
Wheat Harvest Crosses Red River into Oklahoma!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We don't know a lot of details at this point, but Mark Hodges with the Oklahoma Wheat Commission gave us a call yesterday afternoon with the word that the elevator in Walters has taken in a couple of thousand bushels of wheat here at midweek, with an outstanding test weight of 61 pounds per bushel.
This first report is a good reminder to put the word out to one and to all- whether you are an individual wheat producer, a elevator manager or employee or otherwise involved in the wheat business- we want to get those wheat harvest reports from you. We had a tremendous set of reports last year from all across the state as harvest unfolded and unfortunately turned into a major disaster for many of our wheat farmers who were unable to harvest a single bushel. Here in 2008, we are praying for a great harvest- and we look forward to having ongoing reports over the next several weeks and wheat ripens and combines roll.
The email address found at the bottom of this email is the best place to send your reports to. We will be looking for information about your harvest progress- things like what variety you have harvested, how many acres, how many bushels and other details like test weight and other quality factors. I really appreciate the many different reports that we received this last year- we won't mention names- but would like to at least mention the county and/or the community where the wheat has been cut.
Downers Are Out
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Secretary of Agriculture Ed Schafer announced this week that the Food Safety and Inspection Service will draft a proposed rule to remove the exception that allows certain injured cattle to proceed to slaughter. "USDA will begin working on a proposed rule to prohibit the slaughter of all disabled non-ambulatory cattle, also know as downer cattle," Schafer said. "In other words, I am calling for the end of the exceptions in the so called downer rule."
Currently animals that suffer an injury inside the plant after they have been inspected can go to slaughter if inspected again and passed by a veterinarian. Schafer says the ban will present a clear definition of what is and isn't allowed and he says the proposed rule won't affect that many cattle. "Last year, of the nearly 34 million cattle that were slaughtered, under 1,000 cattle that were re-inspected were actually approved by the veterinarian for slaughter," Schafer says. "This represents less than 0.003% of cattle slaughtered annually. As you can see, this number is minimal."
"Allowing the current rule to remain in force could ultimately undermine the confidence of U.S. consumers and foreign customers, in markets that are proving difficult to reopen in the first place," says American Meat Institute President J. Patrick Boyle. "We appreciate the Department's prompt response and timely action." The Human Society of the United States commended USDA for the move, but voiced concerns about the timeline for implementation. The rule is in the proposal stage and will be subject to a lengthy comment period.
Improving Agriculture SHOULD be a Higher Priority- so says US Agribusiness Leader to the UN.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~DuPont Group Vice President James C. Borel told a special United Nations meeting on the global food crisis in New York that providing farmers in developing countries access to improved agricultural technologies and farming techniques is critical in addressing the global food crisis. Speaking on behalf of the private sector for the International Chamber of Commerce, Borel gave the U.N. Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) business and industry's perspective on immediate and long-term solutions to the food crisis.
"Agriculture must be higher on our agenda in a world of increasing food demands and shrinking resources," he said. "Farmers and agri-businesses are the engines that will enable increases in productivity. "I assure you that the private sector and the 1.3 billion farmers around the world are eager to help and are committed to being a part of the solution."
He outlined four long-term solutions that business and industry
believes would increase productivity and help alleviate poverty and
AFR's Ray Wulf Testifies Today in Opposition to Moving Animal Disease Facility Off of Plum Island.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The President and CEO of the American Farmers & Ranchers, Ray Wulf, is on Capital Hill today- to offer testimony on behalf of his group in opposing the removal of the Animal Disease Research Facility that now rests on Plum Island, off Long Island, New York.
Wulf is appearing before the House Energy and Commerce Oversight Subcommittee this morning at 9:00 AM central. Wulf intends to tell the committee that AFR is opposed to moving the Plum Island facility from its current location unless the new location is sufficiently isolated from the animal population of this country.
AFR is also not convinced that the US Government is really ready to contain a FMD outbreak if one should occur- they say there are simply too many variables that can't be planned for. Wulf, in his concluding remarks prepared for the committee- says that "AFR strongly supports full funding for the research performed at Plum Island, including research on foot-and-mouth disease. In addition AFR fully supports funding to update research facilities to the highest standards. However, AFR believes the U.S. should not risk bringing highly contagious animal disease research to the mainland with so many variables that could wreak havoc on the U.S. livestock industry, communities, the U.S. and global economy."
Beef Up the Blood Supply- Tomorrow!!!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's beef producers and the Oklahoma Blood Institute are looking to round up blood donors since donations typically drop before holidays. The OBI is hoping for a herd of donors at locations around the state on Friday, May 23 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. All donors can step up to the chuck wagon for a free all beef hot dog lunch and a chance to win a free "beef basket." In addition to the free beef lunch courtesy of Bar-S-Foods, Sysco and Sara Lee, donors will receive a free "Beef up the Blood Supply" t-shirt.
The Blood Institute reminds everyone that each time you donate blood you receive vital health checks at no cost including pulse rate, blood pressure, body temperature and anemia (iron level). The Beef Council wants everyone that beef is one of nature's best sources of iron for the diet. Beef is also an excellent source of protein, zinc, vitamin B12, selenium and phosphorus, and is a good source of niacin, Vitamin B6 and riboflavin.
The Oklahoma Blood Institute and the the Oklahoma Beef Council will be teaming up in this "Beef Up the Beef Supply" at ten difference locations of the Blood Institute around the state. We have a link below for more info- check it out
District Three Nominees Selected for Oklahoma Wheat Commission Post.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Yesterday in Kingfisher, an election was held for a full term on the Oklahoma Wheat Commission for District Three, a position that is currently held by Tom Glazier of Loyal. Glazier was one of the three wheat producers that was selected to have his name forwarded to Governor Brad Henry. Henry's staff will consider the names submitted and we would expect a final name to be announced in July.
Besides Tom Glazier who was nominated for another term on the OWC Board, you have Danny Geis of Loyal and Keith Griffith of Rocky who also will have their names submitted to the Governor for his consideration.
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Checking the Markets...
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