~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Tuesday July 28, 2009A service of Producers Cooperative Oil Mill, Midwest Farm Shows and KIS Futures!
-- House Democrats May Try to Force Through Food Safety Legislation on the Floor Today
-- Celebration of AJ Smith's Life Set for Thursday at 2 PM- What's Your memory of AJ?
-- Latest Crop Weather Update- Cooler Temperatures Bring Relief
-- Rain Arrives- It's a Good Thing
-- National Lab to Research Contagious Animal Diseases Remains a Hot Potato
-- Kansas Congressional Delegation Fires Back
-- Specialty Crop Grant Money Available from Uncle Sam
-- 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 proud to have KIS Futures as a regular sponsor of our daily email update. KIS Futures provides Oklahoma Farmers & Ranchers with futures & options hedging services in the livestock and grain markets- Click here for the free market quote page they provide us for our website or call them at 1-800-256-2555.
We are also excited to have as one of our sponsors for the daily email
Producers Cooperative Oil Mill, with 64 years of progress through
producer ownership. Call Brandon Winters at 405-232-7555 for more
information on the oilseed crops they handle, including sunflowers and
canola- and remember they post closing market prices for canola and
sunflowers on the PCOM
website- go there by clicking here.
If you have received this by someone forwarding it to you, you are welcome to subscribe and get this weekday update sent to you directly by clicking here.
House Democrats May Try to Force Through Food Safety Legislation on the Floor Today
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Ranking Member Frank Lucas sent a letter on Monday to his colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives urging them to not rush the Dingell-Waxman bill, H.R. 2749, through Congress. The bill is scheduled to be considered by the full House as early as today under suspension of the rules. This means that debate on this bill will be limited to twenty minutes, and there will be no opportunity to offer amendments.
In the letter to his fellow members of the House, Congressman Lucas wrote "Our nation has the safest food supply in the world. Even so, we must continually examine our food production and regulatory system, and move forward with changes that improve food safety. But to do so without thoughtful and careful deliberation is simply irresponsible. H.R. 2749 is the result of a flawed and incomplete process. It will lead to huge regulatory burdens on our nation's farmers and ranchers, and it contains very little that will actually contribute to the goal of safer food.
"During a recent Committee hearing on the general topic of food safety, not a single producer witness would support this bill in its current form. Now Members of the House are being asked to vote on this bill without consideration, debate, or the opportunity to improve it. Worst yet, we haven't even seen the bill and we can't even obtain a copy of it.
"For these reasons, I urge my colleagues to vote against rushing H.R. 2749 through Congress. I urge my colleagues to vote against H.R. 2749. Our nation's farmers, ranchers, packers, processors, retailers, and consumers deserve better."
Celebration of AJ Smith's Life Set for Thursday at 2 PM- What's Your memory of AJ?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Memorial Services are planned for AJ Smith, the longtime Editor of the Oklahoma Cowman Magazine, this coming Thursday afternoon at 2 PM at Express Ranches in Yukon. The public Memorial and celebration of his life will be held at the Express Show and Sale Barn facility. For more information please contact the OCA at (405) 235-4391.
We have the full "obit" about A.J. linked below as found on our website. But, we would love to hear from you about your recollections of A.J. of this wonderful gentleman. Drop us an email and we will share thoughts from you tomorrow and Thursday as we lead up to the Memorial service planned that afternoon.
The OCA's website is also accepting comments about A.J. and we thought we might share a couple from them with you this morning. One comes from Sandy Blankinship, who writes "We will miss his heart warming smile and the energy and excitement he could bring to the cattle sale ring." And then there came a comment from Texas and Anita Braddock from the magazine of the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers. Anita writes "A.J. always had time to teach and talk to me about our shared industry and customer base. Thank you for being one of my mentors." Drop me an email and we will look forward to your thoughts about AJ Smith.
Latest Crop Weather Update- Cooler Temperatures Bring Relief
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Cooler temperatures and isolated rainfall brought some relief to drought-stricken Oklahoma during the past week. The weekend heated back up as eight of the nine districts reached triple-digit highs on Saturday, but again cooled off with scattered showers. The report was already in the pipeline before the significant rains came to parts of Oklahoma on Monday.
As we take a look at the updsate on row crop conditions- "A break from the triple-digit temperatures along with light rainfall has helped summer crops, although most of the State is still in need of a good heavy rain. Ninety percent of the State's corn crop was silking by week's end, up 24 percentage points from last week and equal to the five-year average. Forty-four percent of the corn crop had reached the dough stage of development by Sunday, equal to last year but eight points behind normal. Sorghum emerged reached 89 percent, a 12 point jump from last week but five points behind the five-year average. Sorghum headed reached 19 percent, six points behind the previous year and nine points behind normal. By week's end, over half of the State's soybeans had reached the blooming stage of development, one percentage point ahead of the five-year average. Twelve percent of the soybean crop began setting pods, one point ahead of last year but 11 points behind normal. Peanuts pegging was at 74 percent complete, while peanuts setting pods reached 18 percent, 41 points behind normal. Two-thirds of the State's cotton crop was squaring by week's end, ten points behind the five-year average, while 16 percent of the crop began setting bolls, 11 points behind normal."
Looking at what was reported for our hay producers- "Producers
continued to cut and bale hay. More rainfall is needed to improve yields
which have been running well below normal. Conditions for both alfalfa and
other hay were rated mostly in the good to fair range. As of Sunday, third
cuttings of alfalfa were 74 percent complete, four points behind normal. A
small portion of the State's alfalfa received a fourth cutting by week's
end. First cuttings of other hay reached 88 percent complete while
producers made a second cutting on 18 percent of the other hay acres, an
eight point jump from last week but three points behind normal."
Rain Arrives- It's a Good Thing
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Checking the Oklahoma Mesonet, rain across Oklahoma on Monday fell mostly in the southern half of the state. Heaviest amounts fell in southeastern counties, where we saw over three inches of rain at the extreme. Mutliple locations came up with about an inch or so of the wet stuff, from the Poteau area to McClain County to Tillman County up to Beckham County and even in portions of Texas County in the Panhandle.
The cooler temps and fairly widespread rain was a welcome July visitor to those farms and ranches where it showed up. We have a precipitation map of rainfall over the last two days that reflects these totals and gives you a feel of who got what.
Click on the link below to take a look at that precipitation map- and remember to check the Mesonet on a regular basis for real time temperatures and precipitation and more on a localized basis across the state.
National Lab to Research Contagious Animal Diseases Remains a Hot Potato
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Do you remember the controversy that swirled around Oklahoma when there was talk of making a pitch for what is now known as the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility- an animal disease research lab that is currently planned to be built adjacent to Kansas State University in Manhattan, Ks? I remember several groups expressing misgivings, but it seemed like Ray Wulf and Terry Detrick of what was then the Oklahoma Farmers Union and is now the American Farmers & Ranchers raised lots of red flags about the dangers of having such a facility right in the heart of Oklahoma cattle country. The possible Oklahoma location talked about was Ft. Reno, but that site did not make the list of finalists.
Several other locations that really wanted this dangerous lab in their location were very upset with the selection of Kansas- especially the folks down in the San Antonio area of Texas. Well now, a report that has been generated by the GAO is very damning to the selection process used by the Department of Homeland Security. The GAO says that the DHS did a review that was too limited and inadequate to decide that any mainland labs were safe.
A Washington Post article from yesterday quotes folks from Texas as saying that the Kansas site is in "Tornado Alley" and that a major storm could cause huge problems in releasing infectious diseases that have never run loose in the United States ever before. We have a link below to the Post story, which focuses on the politics of the selection and charges that the Homeland Security folks downplayed risks by not including a worse case scenario in their modeling.
Kansas Congressional Delegation Fires Back
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Lawmakers from Kansas were quick to respond to the Post story. U.S. Senators Sam Brownback and Pat Roberts along with Representatives Lynn Jenkins, Jerry Moran, and Todd Tiahrt says the story was factually incorrect. In a prepared statement the delegation wrote - building a new, state of the art facility in Kansas is significantly safer than using the current deteriorating and limited facility. They point out that level four bio-security research on human pathogens is already conducted in several other locations in the continental United States.
They called arguments about tornados disingenuous. They pointed out - the county in Texas that competed for the lab has more than double the tornado touchdowns than Riley County, Kansas; and Texas is the number one state for tornadoes and number two for hurricanes. They said, - Manhattan, Kansas, is the center of the plant and animal research worldwide with the expertise and experience to be the best and safest research lab in the world. The Post reports, - a Texas consortium that hoped to lure the DHS facility to San Antonio argues that the agency has wasted millions of dollars trying to justify its choice, and said the GAO's findings show that the selection method was - preposterous. The Kansas lawmakers say - Texas politics should not interfere with the ability of the United States to aggressively protect plant and animal health.
The new National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility will be dedicated to researching the biological threats of foreign animal diseases and diseases transferred from animals to humans. It is estimated that over a twenty year period, NBAF would have a 3.5-billion dollar impact on the Kansas economy. The proposed site would be a 451-million dollar, 500-thousand square foot building and will create as many as 500 high-paying, scientific federal jobs in the state of Kansas and will bring additional jobs in research partnerships to the state.
Specialty Crop Grant Money Available from Uncle Sam
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~There are hoops to jump through, but USDA has issued block grants to the states that means for specialty crop producers more than $160,000 in funds for Oklahoma this year. Deadline for applications is August 10.
"We're really excited about the possibilities this grant program can provide to not only enhance our specialty crop industries but to promote better nutrition and health as well," said Secretary of Agriculture, Terry Peach. "Our plasticulture program, farmers market promotions and the Farm to School program are all examples of how specialty crops benefit our state and this is a great opportunity to expand in this area."
We have more details on our website, along with the links to the "extensive" guidelines and forms to be filled out. Click ont he link below and take a look- these monies are available to what you might call traditional crops, but to a wide variety of fruits, veggies, herbs and even cut flowers.
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!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The estimate at the Oklahoma National Stockyards on Monday was 9,400 head- with yearlings called steady to $2 lower. Our market reporters in Oklahoma City tell us "Quality less attractive than last week. Several cattle available from the east and many of these crossbreds. Conditions in buyers favor and cattle in thin to moderate flesh with average weigh- ups." Click here for the complete rundown of the OKC market as reported by the USDA market news office.
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:
God Bless! You can reach us at the following: