~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Monday December 28, 2009A service of Johnston Enterprises, P & K Equipment/ P & K Wind Energy and American Farmers & Ranchers Mutual Insurance Company!
-- SURE Signup Begins at FSA Offices January 4 for 2008 Losses
-- NCBA Files Appeal of EPA's "Endangerment Finding" Rule
-- Including DNA Information in EPDs May Allow Producers to Select Animals Truly Superior at a Younger Age
-- Oklahoma Firm Recalls 248,000 lbs. of beef on E. coli concerns
-- The Biggest Biotech Stories of 2009- Borlaug, Chinese GM Rice and the Corn Genome
-- Oklahoma Department of Ag Employees Facing Three Days of Furlough in January
-- Let's Check the Markets!
Here's your morning farm news headlines from the Director of Farm Programming for the Radio Oklahoma Network, Ron Hays. We are pleased to have American Farmers & Ranchers Mutual Insurance Company as a regular sponsor of our daily update- click here to go to their AFR web site to learn more about their efforts to serve rural America!
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SURE Signup Begins at FSA Offices January 4 for 2008 Losses
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced on Christmas Eve that USDA has implemented the new Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments program (SURE) in accordance with the 2008 Farm Bill. Vilsack also encouraged producers to visit their USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) county office beginning on January 4, 2010, to participate in the program if they suffered crop production losses during the 2008 crop year. It is our understanding that signup for 2009 losses will follow in the near future- altho payments for 2009 will not occur for quite some time.
"This program is an important component of the farm safety net and will provide financial assistance to producers who have suffered crop losses due to natural disasters," said Vilsack. "Producers will receive payments beginning in January, in time to help them with planning for next year's crop."
SURE provides crop disaster assistance payments to eligible producers on farms that have incurred crop production or crop quality losses. The program takes into consideration crop losses on all crops grown by a producer nationwide. SURE provides assistance in an amount equal to 60 percent of the difference between the SURE farm guarantee and total farm revenue. The farm guarantee is based on the amount of crop insurance and Non-insured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) coverage on the farm. Total farm revenue takes into account the actual value of production on the farm as well as insurance indemnities and certain farm program payments.
In touching base with Francie Tolle, Oklahoma State FSA Director, there
has been a lot of training for SURE- and she believes that county offices
will be ready to handle signup come next Monday. She adds that it is a
very complicated program and the big difference that farmers will have to
understand that any payments for loss will be based off of your whole farm
NCBA Files Appeal of EPA's "Endangerment Finding" Rule
The National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) filed a petition
yesterday in the DC Circuit Court of Appeals challenging the Environmental
Protection Agency's (EPA) recent greenhouse gas (GHG) "endangerment
finding" rule. "EPA's finding is not based on a rigorous scientific
analysis; yet it would trigger a cascade of future greenhouse gas
regulations with sweeping impacts across the entire U.S. economy," said
Tamara Thies, chief environmental counsel. "Why the Administration decided
to move forward on this type of rule when there's so much uncertainty
surrounding humans' contribution to climate change is perplexing," Thies
Under the rule, EPA defined air pollution to include six greenhouse
gases, and stated that manmade greenhouse gases endanger public health and
Including DNA Information in EPDs May Allow Producers to Select Animals Truly Superior at a Younger Age
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Since the late 1970s, expected progeny differences (EPDs) have changed the way beef producers make selection and mating decisions. Dr. Matt Spangler, assistant professor and beef genetics extension specialist, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, says the introduction of EPDs empowered producers to make better decisions, leading to faster genetic progress.
"The accuracies associated with EPDs increase as more information becomes available," he says. "The first EPD calculations for a young animal are an estimate based on its parents' pedigree index values and possibly some of its own performance data. For this reason, the accuracies are low until an animal has recorded progeny data, which may never happen in a commercial setting."
One of the exciting advances for the beef industry is the addition of
DNA data for use in the EPD calculation. Dr. Spangler says "DNA technology
has the potential to supply us with information early in the animal's life
that can help increase the accuracy of its EPDs. If the EPD accuracies are
increased on a young animal, producers have the ability to make decisions
about that animal with more confidence."
Oklahoma Firm Recalls 248,000 lbs. of beef on E. coli concerns
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~National Steak and Poultry is recalling about 248,000 pounds of beef products that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7, the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service announced on Christmas Eve. The extensive list of products made by the Owasso, Okla. establishment and the labels under which they were sold is available by clicking on the link below.
Each package bears a label with the establishment number "EST. 6010T" inside the USDA mark of inspection and packaging dates of "10/12/2009," "10/13/2009," "10/14/2009," or "10/21/2009." These products were shipped to restaurants nationwide. There are 21 products that USDA identifies in their release on the FSIS website.
FSIS became aware of the problem during the course of an investigation of a cluster of E. coli O157:H7 illnesses. Working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state health and agriculture departments, FSIS determined that there is an association between non-intact steaks (blade tenderized prior to further processing) and illnesses in Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, South Dakota and Washington. FSIS is continuing to work with the CDC and affected state public health partners on the investigation.
On the National Steak website, the following statement addresses this situation and explains that they have undertaken this voluntary recall. "We take the safety and wholesomeness of our products very seriously and that's why we are working with the USDA to conduct this recall. This is the first recall in our company's nearly 30-year history. Given our long history of focusing on product safety and our standards of excellence, we will error on the side of being cautious with this recall. If you have any questions please contact the National Steak and Poultry hotline #1-866-439-7348."
The Biggest Biotech Stories of 2009- Borlaug, Chinese GM Rice and the Corn Genome
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Council for Biotechnology Information (CBI) experts have selected three 2009 stories that have stood out in terms of their significance and impact on the future of agricultural biotechnology worldwide. We have details of these stories on our website- click on the link below to read all about them.
One of the stories that the biotech folks think is noteworthy is the legacy left behind after the death in 2009 of Norman Borlaug. Dr. Borlaug's advances in plant breeding, which allowed countries like Mexico and India to become food self-sufficient and as a result, saved one billion lives. He truly was the father of the Green Revolution on a global basis.
Other CBI experts suggested that the mapping of the corn genome
qualifies as the biggest ag biotech story of the year because of what can
be achieved when we understand the genome sequence of this hugely
important crop. Dr. Larry Heatherly of the University of Tennessee chose
the mapping of the corn genome as the story of the year because "this
achievement will lead to new/improved quality traits, enhanced genetic
pest resistance, and increased production with fewer inputs resulting in
lower cost of production and a more sustainable economic production
Oklahoma Department of Ag Employees Facing Three Days of Furlough in January
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We talked just before Christmas with Secretary of Agriculture Terry Peach about the continuing budget shortfall that the state of Oklahoma is facing- and Secretary Peach says that most Oklahoma Department of Ag employees will be furloughed three days during the month of January. He says depending on what the Legislature does in either a Special Session or early in the regular session after February first, that level of furloughs could be a regular monthly fixture through June.
Certain critical employees, for example meat inspectors, will not be furloughed in order to continue to offer food safety services for the public.
Secretary Peach says that the amount of work will remain the same- but
that it just will have to covered with three fewer work days over the
course of the month of January.
Our thanks to Midwest Farms Shows, PCOM, P & K Equipment/ P & K Wind Energy, Johnston Enterprises, AFR and KIS Futures for their support of our daily Farm News Update. For your convenience, we have our sponsors' websites linked here- just click on their name to jump to their website- check their sites out and let these folks know you appreciate the support of this daily email, as their sponsorship helps us keep this arriving in your inbox on a regular basis!
We also invite you to check out our website at the link below to check out an archive of these daily emails, audio reports and top farm news story links from around the globe.
Let's Check the Markets!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We've had requests to include Canola prices for your convenience here- and we will be doing so on a regular basis. Current cash price for Canola is $7.60 per bushel, while the 2010 New Crop contracts for Canola are now available are $7.80 per bushel- delivered to local participating elevators that are working with PCOM.
Here are some links we will leave in place on an ongoing basis- Click
on the name of the report to go to that link:
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