~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Tuesday February 24, 2009A service of Producers Cooperative Oil Mill, Midwest Farm Shows and KIS Futures!
-- Organic Interests Are Giddy as Obama Names the Number Two Person at USDA
-- Wheat Seed Industry Needs Farmer Support
-- Cotton Variety Trials Detailed for Southwest Oklahoma
-- Dairy MAX Helps Pizza Chain Mooove Pizzas with 40% More Cheese
-- Kurt Arkinson Honored as NRCS Conservationist of the Year at OACD Meeting
-- The Obama Deficit Reduction Plan- Cut AgriBusiness Out of the Federal Budget
-- Wanna Listen to Us in North Central Oklahoma? Check out WBBZ Radio in Ponca City!
-- 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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Organic Interests Are Giddy as Obama Names the Number Two Person at USDA
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~That person is Kathleen Merrigan, a Professor at Tufts University and a former administrator during the Clinton years at USDA.
As we mentioned, the organic community is crying for joy. Tom Philpott is an activist blogger at a site called "Grist" and he writes about the word coming from the White House about Dr. Merrigan "In the sustainable-ag community, the reaction has been near euphoric. Merrigan has made the "sustainable dozen" list of deputy secretary candidates put forward by Iowa-based Food Democracy Now. The activist chef Dan Barber, of Blue Hill and Blue Hill at Stone Barns, described Merrigan like this in an email to me: "Kathleen's incredible, She's smart, dedicated, and ferocious. We couldn't have a better advocate I don't think. Very big news."
It is most certainty a major contrast to the previous Deputy, Chuck Conner, who clearly was very comfortable around production agricultural interests, even when he was not always advocating policies that pleased some of the farm groups. We now have someone who will help shape the USDA who is radically different than Conner and seems to point out where Obama is taking the issue of food policy for the next four years or more.
We have the bio released by the White House on Monday afternoon on our website- click on the link below to read up on the soon to be number two official at the USDA.
Wheat Seed Industry Needs Farmer Support
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Later this morning, there will be a really interesting Seminar at the Express Events Center in Northwest Oklahoma City. The Seminar, being put on by several groups and sponsored by Agri-Pro is focused on a discussion of why the Oklahoma wheat industry needs to embrace certified wheat seed, encouraging wheat producers to invest in their own future by the purchase of such seed.
One of the speakers is Daryl Strouts, Executive Director of the Kansas Wheat Alliance, an entity that has been around for about a year and has caused quite a stir in going after seed dealers who have been illegally selling Kansas State University seed varieties. Strouts says they used some of these publicly settled cases where they demanded to be allowed to name names and amounts of the settlement in order to get the attention of those who might be selling or buying one of their varieties without proper licensing. He says, counting a couple of recent settlements where he is still waiting on the check to come in, there has been over a $100,000 worth of settlements made with seed dealers. A couple of those worth more than $50,000 were with Oklahoma producers.
We talked with Daryl on Monday evening in advance of this Tuesday seminar where he will be speaking about where wheat breeding research will be coming from in future years- and you can hear our conversation with him by going to our story on our website linked below.
Cotton Variety Trials Detailed for Southwest Oklahoma
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Vic Schoonover provides us with a rundown of the 2008 cotton variety trials that were conducted by OSU and cooperating farmers in several locations in the southwestern quadrant of the state. During the 2008 cotton season, cotton variety trials were held in Jackson, Tillman, Washita, Beckham and Custer Counties.
Dr. J.C. Banks of OSU helped manage the trials in 2008. When averaged
to see what varieties yielded best in the dryland trials in all counties,
FM 1740 B2F was first and ST 5458 B2F ranked second.
We have more details on these trials in the story on our website- and yes, you guessed it, it's linked below. Check it out!
Dairy MAX Helps Pizza Chain Mooove Pizzas with 40% More Cheese
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~It's another effort to move more dairy products that the dairy checkoff is involved in. This time around, Dairy Max has had a hand in working with Dominos and a set of pizza choices they are calling the American Legends.
Susan Allen with Dairy Max tells us that America's dairy producers, through their investment in the dairy checkoff through Dairy MAX and DMI are working with industry to reinvigorate the pizza category with innovative offerings featuring a wider variety of cheese flavors. She adds "We know that flavorful cheese is a key factor for consumers when choosing their pizzas - 76% say the flavor of the cheese is "very important" in judging a good pizza."
One fourth of the cheese produced in this country goes into pizza- an amazing statistic. And we have more on this effort of the dairy industry to moove more product by selling cheese loaded pizzas at the link below- including our visit with Susan about these Dairy Max efforts.
Kurt Arkinson Honored as NRCS Conservationist of the Year at OACD Meeting
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Assistant State Forester, Kurt Atkinson, was named the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service Conservationist of the Year Sunday at the annual Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts meeting in Oklahoma City.
"We were thrilled when we learned Kurt was receiving this award," said State Forester, John Burwell of the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food, and Forestry. "He has worked very hard with NRCS to form a strong and effective partnership for improved conservation and deserved this recognition." This partnership resulted in an agreement to set aside funding for forestry practices under the NRCS Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), a first for the state, he said.
"Kurt also contributed significantly to the project that the Oklahoma
NRCS submitted under the Healthy Forest Reserve Program," Burwell added.
"There were only four in the nation approved for funding and the one Kurt
helped develop was one of those four." The HFRP is designed to promote the
recovery of threatened or endangered species, improve biodiversity and
enhance carbon sequestration.
Oklahoma's Secretary of Agriculture, Terry Peach, said he is glad to see an employee of ODAFF receive this kind of recognition. "I think this is indicative of the high quality of our employees and the dedication they have to serving the state of Oklahoma," he said. "Whether its conservation efforts, food safety, or responding to crisis such as disease outbreaks or wildfires, our staff do an outstanding job and deserve recognition."
The Obama Deficit Reduction Plan- Cut AgriBusiness Out of the Federal Budget
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~President Obama opened a White House Fiscal Summit Monday by pledging to cut the federal deficit in half over the next four years. The President praised USDA for rooting out wasteful spending and delivering its programs and services in a more efficient manner and then promised to "end the payments to agribusiness that don't need them."
We have the audio of his comments that zero in on his desire to cut back on spending just days after signing a massive "stimulus" bill that will approach a trillion dollars in spending if it is all handed out. That audio is in our webstory linked below.
Wanna Listen to Us in North Central Oklahoma? Check out WBBZ Radio in Ponca City!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We are proud of our many radio station partners all across the state- and that includes one of the oldest radio stations in the state, WBBZ Radio at 1230 on the AM dial. They serve Kay and Grant and Noble Counties with a full service format- and includes reports several times a day from the Radio Oklahoma Network.
They offer to their listeners five of our RON reports daily, including our midday ag markets at 12:35 pm, that includes our Stocker Feeder Review as well as a complete rundown of the midday ag futures trade. This six minute update will really catch you up on how that day's markets are unfolding.
You can see a rundown of the other shows that WBBZ carries on the link below- and it will also carry you to a map that shows you where their signal carries our reports across the top of the state. And you can go to our website and click on the button on the left hand side of the page called RON Radio Affiliates for more information on a station close to you.
Our thanks to Midwest Farm Shows, Producers Cooperative Oil Mill and KIS Futures for their support of our daily Farm News Update. For your convenience, we have our sponsors' websites linked at the top of the email- check them 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!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~It does not happen very often, but Monday afternoon we saw Select beef priced at a nine cent premium over Choice beef. The daily cutout that USDA figures now has a typical steer carcass worth $133.74 while select carcasses stand at $133.83. The experts say the current narrow range will turn back around to Choice enjoying a premium once we get to the grilling season across the country.
Meanwhile, it was not a pretty picture, price wise, for the cattle owners selling at the Oklahoma National Stockyards in Oklahoma City on Monday- 8,500 was the estimate and prices were off $4 to $8 with late trade mostly down $6 to $8 per hundred weight. We have the full report from the Oklahoma City market for you by clicking here.
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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