~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Monday August 3, 2009A service of Producers Cooperative Oil Mill, Midwest Farm Shows and KIS Futures!
-- Congressman Frank Lucas catches us up on Food Safety Bill Aftermath
-- Animal ID Decisions Still Forthcoming- Secretary Vilsack has to deal with the "Black Helicopters"
-- Unbelievable! Oklahoma FFA Scores More Proficiency Finalists in 2009 than 2008.
-- Democratic Concept Paper Unveiled on Market Reform- Congressman Lucas Hopes for Open Dialogue to Develop Final Bill
-- It Pays to Pre-Condition Calves!
-- Obama Administration Announces Three Month Bump in Dairy Price Supports
-- OSU's Krehbiel initial recipient of Dennis and Marta White Endowed Chair
-- 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.
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Congressman Frank Lucas catches us up on Food Safety Bill Aftermath
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~On Friday morning, we caught up with the Congressman from the Third District of Oklahoma, Republican Frank Lucas. Mr. Lucas is the Ranking Member of the House Ag Committee, and we talked with him as the House prepared to leave Washington for a month long recess- or "work period."
We discuss the Food Safety Bill that Lucas actively opposed on grounds that it should have been vetted by the House Ag Committee as well as the Commerce and Energy Committee that is chaired by Henry Waxman of California. Lucas calls this measure a huge tax increase on the food industry, with revenue to mount into the hundreds of millions of dollars for the FDA to spend to build their kingdom. He also considers it a move by Waxman and his committee to make FDA the dominant agency on food safety issues in this country- where that role has been shared in the past with USDA.
We also spent time talking with Congressman Lucas about the rift that has opened up between Democrats and Republicans- and if and how that can be repaired. Lucas believes it will work out- and says the chance to begin that "coming together" is in the Derivatives legislation that is likely to be worked on after the August recess.
You can hear our complete conversation with Congressman Lucas- just go to the link below and it will fly you through cyberspace to our Ag Perspectives Podcast with the Congressman.
Animal ID Decisions Still Forthcoming- Secretary Vilsack has to deal with the "Black Helicopters"
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~There remain more questions than answers about the future of the National Animal ID System- and cattle producer Bob Drake believes that it may take an animal disease outbreak to bring about a usable animal ID traceback. He says that when that happens, the industry may well lose control of deciding how the program will look. Drake says it is unfortunate that people who appeared at these listening sessions were more worried about "black helicopters" than getting a plan in place to have disease traceback ready when we need it.
Drake testified on behalf of the Oklahoma Farm Bureau at one of those Animal ID Listening Sessions sponsored by USDA earlier this summer. At several of those sessions, including the one that Drake spoke at- the rhetoric got "out of hand" in relationship to being a constructive dialogue about Animal ID. Drake says that the USDA Secretary is left with a real problem in taking the testimony offered and lining it up with the reality that animal traceback will likely one day be needed due to some sort of animal disease outbreak.
You can hear Drake's comments to us on his testimony from earlier in the summer on the Animal ID questions- he spoke at one of the sessions that were held in Colorado. Click on the link below for our Monday Beef Buzz- and remember that our Beef Buzz shows are heard on great radio stations on the Radio Oklahoma Network all across the state.
Unbelievable! Oklahoma FFA Scores More Proficiency Finalists in 2009 than 2008.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~As we hit the month of August, it's time to start thinking about the 2009 National FFA Convention- and we already have two high interest stories bubbling up for the gathering this year in Indy. About a week ago, we got word that Don Slade Nightengale of the Cordell FFA Chapter has been named one of four national Star Farmer Finalists for 2009. He will compete against three other Star Farmer Candidates in October in Indianapolis- District Stars that come from Kansas, Kentucky and Wisconsin. The full list of Star Finalists in the four categories that the Stars competition now operates can be seen by clicking here.
Even more amazing is the word we got from Kent Boggs on Saturday. Mr. Boggs tells us that Oklahoma has 27 National Finalists in the Proficiency Award Competition here in 2009. Last year, Oklahoma had the most in the nation of any state with 21- and the 27 easily leads all other FFA State Associations in 2009. Wisconsin has 20 National Finalists, California 15; Georgia 14; Kansas 13; Illinois 12 and Texas 7. Mulhall-Orlando has three national finalists, while the Lomega and Burlington FFA Chapters each have two National Finalists. We have the complete list of young people who will be going to Indy to represent Oklahoma as National Finalists on our website- click on the link below to check it out.
Other early indicators of the success that will be celebrated by
Oklahoma FFA come October- In 2008, Oklahoma had 19 of 36 chapters receive
a Three-Star National Chapter Award ranking. This year Oklahoma leads the
nation with 33 of 36 chapters receiving a Three-Star ranking. In
comparison, Ohio claims 27; Wisconsin 24; Georgia 23; Florida 21 and Texas
By the way, we have sponsorship opportunities open for our coverage on radio, here in the Email and especially on the web for our National FFA Convention coverage. It was one of the highest viewed (in the number of page-views) events we covered in 2008- and I would anticipate even stronger interest for this fall. Drop me an email if you have interest in supporting our coverage from this and other youth related events.
Democratic Concept Paper Unveiled on Market Reform- Congressman Lucas Hopes for Open Dialogue to Develop Final Bill
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Chairmen of the House Financial Services and Agriculture Committees have released a concept paper to guide the development of legislation to regulate derivatives. Ag Chair Collin Peterson says he's pleased he and Financial Services Chair Barney Frank were able to come to agreement on several principles with regard to OTC derivatives reform. He says they've come up with a responsible approach that bridges the differences between those looking to completely eliminate the over-the-counter market and those who believe greater transparency is all that is needed. He says neither of those approaches is a real solution - but what he and Frank have developed is.
According to Frank - the fundamental purpose is to improve the regulation of derivatives so they continue to perform their important market function - but are less likely to contribute to a kind of irresponsibility that can cause a crisis. He says banning or severely diminishing them as an economic instrument is not a desired outcome - noting the Ag Committee represents end users for whom they are very important and the Financial Services Committee deals with a lot of financial institutions.
Meanwhile, the top Republican on the House Ag Committee, Oklahoma lawmaker Frank Lucas talked to us late Friday morning- and gave us his take on the reform being proposed by Congressman Frank and Peterson. We have the Concept paper linked as a part of our story linked below- as well as the audio from the question we posed to Congressman Lucas on his take of this deal.
It Pays to Pre-Condition Calves!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~A study of prices received on calves sold through seven video auction sales in 2008 reveals that cattle producers received the highest premiums since 1995 on VAC45 and VAC PreCon calves, and the second highest premium on VAC34 calves. Fourteen years of Pfizer Animal Health price data shows an increasing value for preconditioned calves. VAC45 calves earned $8.20/cwt premium, VAC PreCon calves earned $9.36/cwt premium and VAC34 calves earned a $3.57/cwt premium over similar non- weaned, non-viral vaccinated calves.
The VAC45 premium equates to $45.10 more per head for a 550-pound calf, while 550-pound VAC34 calves would be worth $19.63 per head more than non-weaned, non-viral vaccinated calves. As a comparison, the same 550-pound calf that is age and source verified would earn $11.77 per head premium and one that is owner certified natural would only earn a $4.62 per head premium.
"Quality continues to earn premiums," said Richard Stober, Superior Livestock Auction general manager. "A recognized, quality program like SelectVAC, with established animal health products, translates to higher prices at sale time. The value to buyers shows in the premiums they are willing to pay for the SelectVAC calves." Click on our link below to jump to the SelectVAC website, which has more on this study and details about this one of many choices that is out there for you to consider as a part of your Value Added beef cattle operation.
Obama Administration Announces Three Month Bump in Dairy Price Supports
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Obama Administration has responded to requests to improve the income level of our nation's dairy farmers. On Friday, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the amount paid for dairy products through the Dairy Product Price Support Program will be increased for the next three months. USDA estimates show that these increases, which will be in place from August 2009 through October 2009, will increase dairy farmers' revenue by 243-million dollars.
The increase will raise the price paid for nonfat dry milk from 80 cents per pound to 92 cents per pound, the price paid for cheddar blocks from $1.13 per pound to $1.31 per pound, and the price of cheddar barrels from $1.10 per pound to $1.28 per pound. Also, the government will purchase an additional 150 million pounds of non-fat dry milk and an additional 75 million pounds of cheese.
Jerry Kozak, President and CEO of the National Milk Producers
federation says Agriculture Secretary Vilsack has used the tools at his
disposal - to raise farm-level milk prices at a critical time, and is yet
another important effort the agency has made to help dairy farmers survive
the worst recession in their lifetimes. The new levels, which will be
imposed as of August 1st and expire after October 31st, are higher than
those requested by NMPF on June 26th.
OSU's Krehbiel initial recipient of Dennis and Marta White Endowed Chair
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Clint Krehbiel, an Oklahoma State University animal scientist who is always quick to acknowledge his research collaborators, was awarded a singular and prestigious honor late in July, being named the first recipient of the newly created Dennis and Marta White Endowed Chair in Animal Science. "Dr. Krehbiel's research program is one of the crown jewels of OSU's Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources," said Ron Kensinger, head of the department of animal science. "Everyone in DASNR is most grateful for the generosity of Dennis and Marta White in establishing this chair. Dr. White is an OSU animal science alumnus and currently serves on the OSU Foundation board. He and Marta truly understand the value of giving back to the university."
The Ninnekah-based ranchers created the endowed chair as a way to foster research that will ultimately result in new practices aimed at improving cattle nutrition and health, the very areas for which Krehbiel is renowned in both academia and industry. "Immune response and morbidity issues relative to cattle growth and carcass quality affect every level of the beef industry, from the producer to the packer, all the way to the consumer as end-user," Krehbiel said. For example, a relatively recent development of Krehbiel's research shows cattle that have three or more bouts of disease produce lower-quality meat. Thus, health issues on the farm or at the feedlot can have a direct relationship to the product purchased in the store. Everybody in the food chain loses dollar value.
Krehbiel said his current research into bovine respiratory disease is a fun challenge, not only because of its economic importance to the beef industry and consumers but also the opportunity it provides to collaborate with other researchers, each of whom provides key expertise in advancing scientific understanding. "Our OSU team consists of experts in animal science, veterinary clinical sciences, veterinary pathobiology, molecular genetics, bacteriology, anatomical pathology, entomology and plant pathology, food science and agricultural economics," he said.
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Let's Check the Markets!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~A total run of 5,820 showed up at the Woodward Livestock Auction on Friday, the final day of the month of July. Yearling steers were steady to $2 lower, while yearling heifers and all of the calves were called steady. Five to six hundred pound steer calves sold from $107 to $113.50, while seven to eight hundred pound steer yearlings cleared from $101 to $104.75. Click here for the full rundown of prices paid on Friday at the Woodward Livestock auction- that report should be up and available by around 8 AM central on Monday morning.
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