~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Thursday March 5, 2009A service of Johnston Enterprises, KIS Futures and American Farmers & Ranchers Mutual Insurance Company!
-- Obama's Attack on Farm Safety Net Continues- Led by USDA S
-- E15 Could Provide Billions of Dollars of Economic Stimulus
-- News Wars- Barbs Traded Between Lawmakers and the Attorney General's Office
-- Puppy Mill Bill Passes Oklahoma House
-- Eskimo Joe's Unveiling 4-H Shirt This Week
-- One Ag Economist Says It's Time to be Conservative and Defensive
-- Listen to Ron and Ed on Great Plains Country- KTJS in Hobart
-- 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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Obama's Attack on Farm Safety Net Continues- Led by USDA S
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack made a guest appearance at the daily White House press briefing Wednesday and was asked if the Obama Administration's farm subsidy-cutting plans would go beyond the proposed three-year phase-out of direct payments to "wealthy" farmers announced by the President last week. The Secretary says child nutrition is a high priority for him- so he intends to pursue the cuts outlined by the Obama Administration, which he calls difficult choices that have been made and need to be implemented.
Vilsack claims that it is also important to him that an "appropriate safety net" be maintained for production agriculture- and says he gets letters almost every day from farm groups urging the Administration to keep a safety net.
We have more on this story as the farm groups that have representatives in Washington begin to meet with the Obama Administration and attempt to get their arms around the proposals being floated in the Fiscal Year 2010 Administration budget. Click on the link below for the story and an audio overview of comments from both the Administration, Congress and the farm groups.
E15 Could Provide Billions of Dollars of Economic Stimulus
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~A new study released yesterday concludes that increasing the blend of ethanol in the U.S. gasoline supply from 10 to 15 percent could boost job creation and economic growth. The study was commissioned by Growth Energy and conducted by researchers from North Dakota State University (NDSU). Nancy Hodur, NDSU researcher with the Department of Agribusiness and Applied Economics, says there would be substantial economic and employment impacts associated with the expansion of the ethanol industry if the blend rate were increased.
"We estimated that annual direct economic impacts would be $9.6 billion and the total direct and secondary impacts would be $24.4 billion and that level of economic activity would support 136,000 jobs," said Hodur. Those impacts were based on the multiplier effect of adding another 60 ethanol plants nationwide.
Former Congressman and Growth Energy board member Jim Nussle says the study supports the economic need to increase the ethanol blend level, which he says was arbitrarily set 30 years ago at ten percent. "These figures really are dramatic and they prove that when we want we can create these desperately needed jobs," said Nussle. "The federal government can act right now to increase the amount of ethanol blends in the nation's fuel supply without having to dip into another stimulus package or create another bill."
Nussle says the Environmental Protection Agency has the authority to increase the blend level through the rule-making process and while it could theoretically be done quickly the former congressman refused to speculate on how long it might take EPA to take such an action.
News Wars- Barbs Traded Between Lawmakers and the Attorney General's Office
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~A news release issued this week by the Chairman of the House Ag Committee, Don Armes of Faxon, and State Rep Doug Cox of Grove has been responded to through the news media by Charlie Price of the Attorney General's office. Armes and Cox, both Republicans, are charging that Democrat Drew Edmondson "as wasted millions of taxpayer dollars on frivolous litigation" while Price has fired back in a Tulsa World story that the lawmakers are "spouting the poultry company line and guilty of numerous inaccuracies."
The latest chapter of the story begins with the news release: "State Reps. Don Armes and Doug Cox said Edmondson's recent announcement that he was re-testing water wells in the Locust Grove area for bacteria show that Edmondson is "lacking evidence in support of his long-running lawsuit against the poultry industry and the use of poultry litter as a fertilizer on farmland." "After three years of litigation and reportedly spending $25 million on experts, Mister Edmondson has failed to come up with any evidence that poultry producers are violating state environmental regulations," said Armes, a Faxon Republican who chairs the House Agriculture & Rural Development Committee. "He has not provided the court with any evidence that anyone's health has been affected by the use of poultry litter on farmland in the Illinois River Watershed."
The Tulsa World Story offers this from the AG's point of view. "Price
said Edmondson sticks by his earlier statement concerning the Locust Grove
well, despite Cox and Armes' claim that it has been ruled out as a source
of the illness.
Back to the News Release- Chairman Armes says that the time for grandstanding by Edmondson is over. "The Attorney General's job is to enforce the laws," Armes said. "He should leave the regulation of agriculture and public health to the experts. While it appears our Attorney General does not want the poultry industry to operate in Oklahoma and contribute jobs to our economy, others in state government appreciate the contributions of these hard working men and women."
Puppy Mill Bill Passes Oklahoma House
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Legislation that would regulate dog breeders and target individuals engaged in animal cruelty has passed the Oklahoma House of Representatives. House Bill 1332, by state Rep. Lee Denney, directs the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food, and Forestry to license and regulate individuals, shelters, or businesses that acquire or sell 35 or more domestic dogs and cats within the state of Oklahoma in a year.
"This legislation simply establishes common-sense standards in Oklahoma that will allow legitimate breeders to continue their operations while weeding out those who mistreat animals," said Denney, a Cushing Republican and veterinarian. "For too long, Oklahoma's lax regulation had fostered an environment where unlicensed dog breeders know they won't face serious penalties until they have completely crossed the line into outright cruelty. This bill brings some sanity to the system."
Under the bill, the Department of Agriculture would be allowed to
conduct regular inspections to ensure animal abuse is not occurring. The
inspections would ensure animals are kept in clean cages and fed
Eskimo Joe's Unveiling 4-H Shirt This Week
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Oklahoma 4-H Foundation is excited about a new fun way to promote the organization here in the state of Oklahoma. Foundation officials dropped us an email earlier this week that "We are excited to reveal the new Eskimo Joe's shirt for their partnership project for 4-H. We anticipate this being a very popular item which will market the 4-H program, celebrating our heritage and communicating our newest project areas."
"We will have a release party on March 6 from 6-9 at Joe's in Stillwater, just to let folks come and fellowship and to make their first purchases of the shirt. The shirt will also be available on line and in Joe's stores soon."
This shirt is a part of the Oklahoma 4-H Centennial celebration effort. Oklahoma 4-H is in it's 100th year here in 2009- and stronger and better than ever.
One Ag Economist Says It's Time to be Conservative and Defensive
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The extreme uncertainty of the moment implies that pork producers, like all of agriculture, should be conservative and defensive. Those are the thoughts of Purdue University's Chris Hurt. The Extension marketing specialist says - perhaps management decisions in 2009 should be focused on increasing odds of survival, rather than looking for big opportunities.
Patience could be about to pay off. Hurt believes, pork producers - may be on the verge of returning to profitability. Losses date back to October 2007. Hurt says, in response to concerns of slowing world economic activity - hog prices are expected to rise seasonally in coming months - as feed costs continue to drop. Hurt points to average live-hog prices around 47.50 per hundredweight, but expected production costs near 45.50, which would provide a modest profit.
Hurt predicts that hog prices will not see much enhancement this year due to reductions in demand, particularly export demand. USDA expects a 14 percent drop. Domestic pork production is also expected to drop - maybe one or two percent this year. This indicates pork supplies available to U.S. consumers will rise modestly for the year. Pork available per person is expected to rise by as much as 6 percent in the second quarter.
Listen to Ron and Ed on Great Plains Country- KTJS in Hobart
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We are mighty proud of all of our stations on the Radio Oklahoma Network- and we especially are pleased to tell you more about one of our anchor stations in southwest Oklahoma- KTJS AM at 1420 on the dial out of Hobart. This station has been serving the local community for decades- and they continue to do so with news, weather, sports and agricultural reports from the Radio Oklahoma Network.
RON is now the exclusive network provider of farm and ranch news to KTJS- and you can hear our reports from 6:30 AM in the morning through 5:30 PM in the evening. Click on the link below and check out the times and the programs aired at those times on KTJS in Hobart. AND- look for the Radio Affiliates button on the left hand side of all of our webpages. Click on that button and you can see our listing of stations all across the state that carry RON ag programming. We have several more stations to add with their own personal page, complete with links to that station's websites, a look at their coverage map and other details about their partnership with the Radio Oklahoma Network.
If you don't see a station close to you- call your local radio station and ask them to consider using Ron Hays and Ed Richards for their daily agricultural updates. Tell them to get Ron on RON.
Our thanks to KIS Futures, Johnston Enterprises and AFR 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!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~OKC West in El Reno had a huge run at their cattle auction yesterday- with 9,044 being sold- that's almost four thousand more than their trade of a week earlier. The big run saw yearling prices retreat by one to two dollars per hundred, while stockers and calves were steady to two dollars higher. Five to six hundred pound steers cleared from $103.50 to $114, while seven to eight hundred pound steers brought $86.50 to $93- with one lot of 700 pound steers sold for $98. Click here for the entire OKC West report from USDA and their market reporter Tina Colby.
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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