~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Friday September 25, 2009A service of Johnston Enterprises, P & K Equipment/ P & K Wind Energy and American Farmers & Ranchers Mutual Insurance Company!
-- National Cattlemen Say as Many as 150 Feedlots Will Have to Report GreenHouse Gas Emissions Under New EPA Rules
-- Wheat Stocks Continue to Depress Wheat Price Potential
-- State Agencies Paint Dire Circumstances in State Question 744 Passes
-- R-Calf Urges Justice Department to Block JBS/Pilgrim's Pride Merger
-- USDA Hands Out $8 Million in Grants to Entice Rural Economic Development
-- Oologah Woman Named to National Organic Standards Board
-- Ericka McPherson Moves Within Oklahoma Farm Bureau Staff Hierarchy
-- 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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National Cattlemen Say as Many as 150 Feedlots Will Have to Report GreenHouse Gas Emissions Under New EPA Rules
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The National Cattlemen's Beef Association is not thrilled that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a final rule on Tuesday to require livestock operations that emit 25,000 tons or more of greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) per year from their manure management systems to report those emissions as part of a mandatory greenhouse gas registry. The new rule will affect beef cattle operations that have 29,300 or more head of cattle, about 150- 180 cattle operations nationwide -a much larger number than the 11 operations EPA originally projected to be covered under the proposed rule released in April. NCBA sent comments to EPA in June in opposition to the proposed rule.
According to the EPA's Inventory of Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2007 released on April 15, 2009, GHGs from all livestock manure management systems in the U.S. account for less than 1% (.8%) of all U.S. GHG emissions, and manure management systems from the beef sector emit only .12% of total emissions. NCBA contends that as such a minor emitter, this type of reporting by the livestock sector will not provide data that is useful in addressing EPA's long-term goal of reducing major sources of GHG emissions, and it would be a significant financial and administrative burden on cattle operations. Instead of being regulated, agriculture should be considered a solution to the climate change problem by providing important sources of offsets such as soil carbon sequestration and renewable energy.
The general cattle organization says in their weekly newsletter from Washington that "The efficiencies found in cattle feeding are critical to providing a nutritious and affordable food supply. Emissions from beef manure management systems are purely natural, and in no way should be compared to emissions from cars or factories. This is not factory farming; this is efficient food production that enables our nation to feed itself and the rest of the world. It is unfortunate that the Federal government has chosen to cause additional financial hardship to America's farmers during these difficult economic times.
"NCBA supports efforts by our land grant universities to gather data to accurately measure livestock emissions and develop best management practices to mitigate them."
Wheat Stocks Continue to Depress Wheat Price Potential
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Wheat Stocks have grown significantly on a global basis- farmers have grown good sized crops in most locations the last couple of years- and that has allowed wheat stocks to grow- and Dr. Kim Anderson of OSU says that means less of a chance for wheat prices to rebound this fall. Both domestic stocks and global stocks are up substantially from two years ago- so little relief for wheat prices are in sight.
Dr. Anderson's comments are a part of this Saturday's SUNUP program on the OETA network. SUNUP, of course, is produced by OSU Ag Communications and is hosted by Clinton Griffiths. Griffiths talks with Dr. Anderson about current grain market strategy- and you can hear that conversation by clicking on our link below.
Also at that link- we have the rundown for this weekend's SUNUP- which by the way is the 52nd show for Clinton and crew. They will actually celebrate their one year anniversary on SUNUP next weekend- as they have now have one full year under their belts since returning to the airwaves on a weekly basis on OETA.
State Agencies Paint Dire Circumstances in State Question 744 Passes
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~If State Question 744 is approved by the voters next fall, planned roads and bridges wouldn't be built, thousands of prisoners would have to be released, mentally ill Oklahomans would be left without care leaving them destined for the streets or prison, thousands would be dropped from the Medicaid rolls and several health services would be eliminated, fewer state troopers would protect Oklahoma streets, more children and senior citizens would be cut out of state care and college tuition would increase across the state, House members were told by agency directors at an interim study on Thursday.
The Head Man for Higher Education in the state is Glen Johnson- and he says that worse case scenario might by a 33% increase in the cost of tuition if State Question 744 is passed- providing a flood of new money for common education while funds for higher education would be subject to big cuts.
The final witness before lawmakers in this interim study session was Joel Robison, associate executive director at the Oklahoma Education Association. He concluded the interim study by saying the assumption that budget cuts to other state agencies will be needed to pay for SQ 744 is unfounded. OEA believes that the money for 744 would come from revenue growth within the state- and that other agencies would not be impacted.
R-Calf Urges Justice Department to Block JBS/Pilgrim's Pride Merger
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~In an effort to protect and preserve a competitive market for independent U.S. cattle producers, R-CALF USA this week sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Justice requesting that it block the proposed merger of Brazilian-owned JBS S.A. (JBS) and Pilgrim's Pride Corporation (Pilgrim's Pride).
"The demand and price for cattle is influenced by the supply and price of competing proteins such as pork and poultry, and prices received by R-CALF USA members for their cattle are particularly susceptible to increased poultry supplies," said R-CALF USA CEO Bill Bullard. "We estimate that JBS' share of fed cattle packing capacity in the U.S. is now over 25 percent, and with the acquisition of the vertically integrated Pilgrim's Pride - which controls over 20 percent of U.S. poultry production - JBS could further manipulate the competing protein market in the United States."
Bullard adds that "JBS and Pilgrim's Pride are currently fierce competitors in the meat protein market, and a merger between the two would most definitely reduce competition and result in the exploitation of both producers and consumers. We urge the U.S. Department of Justice to vigorously investigate the antitrust and anticompetitive aspects of this proposal and take all necessary enforcement action to prevent its consummation."
USDA Hands Out $8 Million in Grants to Entice Rural Economic Development
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma got a small share of the $8 million that was handed out by USDA and announced yesterday by Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack. A total of 58 recipients split up the grants- and one of those is from Oklahoma.
The funds are being provided through the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG) program, which finance development of small and emerging rural business. The grants may be used for project planning, land acquisition and development, transportation and infrastructure improvements; renovation or construction, equipment purchases, establishment of working capital or revolving loan funds, adult job training and technical assistance.
From Oklahoma- the Ada Industrial Development Corporation has received a grant for $500,000. You can click on the link below for a full look at the details of this announcement from USDA.
Oologah Woman Named to National Organic Standards Board
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the appointment of five new members to the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB), bringing new vision, further diversity, and additional experience to the organization. The appointees will serve terms beginning Jan. 24, 2010, and ending Jan. 24, 2015.
One of the five new appointees is from Oklahoma. Annette Riherd,
is an organic fruit and vegetable farmer from Oologah, Okla., who is also
an advocate for buy fresh/buy local and organic and direct marketing.
Others who have been appointed with Annette include Joe Dickson, an
organic retailer from Austin, Texas, who is currently Certification
Director of Whole Foods;
USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service oversees the National Organic Program (NOP) and the NOSB. The NOSB includes four producers, two handlers, one retailer, three environmentalists, three consumers, one scientist and one certifying agent. The Board is authorized by the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 and makes recommendations to the Secretary of Agriculture regarding the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances for organic operations. The NOSB also may provide advice on other aspects of the organic program.
Ericka McPherson Moves Within Oklahoma Farm Bureau Staff Hierarchy
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Ericka McPherson has been named assistant general counsel for Oklahoma Farm Bureau and affiliated companies. McPherson will assist the general counsel's office on regulatory and legal matters impacting the corporate family, said Monica Wilke, OFB executive director. "She has a keen legal mind and acutely understands our needs," Wilke said.
McPherson started her Farm Bureau career as an attorney with the OFB Legal Foundation. She has worked on both state and national Farm Bureau issues and most recently served as OFB's director of national affairs.
McPherson has done an especially good job in working with lawmakers from both Oklahoma and several other states in the effort to move the Truck Weight Issue forward. She met with lawmakers and staff members on multiple occasions to raise the awareness of this ongoing fight to raise farm truck weight limits at the federal level.
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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 $7.10 per bushel, while the 2010 New Crop contracts for Canola are now available are $7.30 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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