~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Friday May 22, 2009A service of Johnston Enterprises, American Farmers & Ranchers and Midwest Farm Shows!
-- 2009 Oklahoma Wheat Harvest has Begun in Jackson County
-- SB452 Passes Legislature and Signed into Law by Governor Henry
-- In Washington, House Ag Committee Wrestles With Low Carbon Fuel Standards
-- Top Ranch Lady Says We Gotta Have Animal ID Traceback- But Concerns Gotta Be Addressed
-- Feedback from YOU on Animal ID
-- Tomorrow is a SUNUP kind of Day- A Kim Anderson Preview Today Right Here!
-- Opposition to Waxman Markey Climate Change Proposal Growing in Farm Country
-- Looking at our Agricultural 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 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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NOTE: Our next Email will be next Tuesday- we will have reports on our radio stations around the state on the Radio Oklahoma Network that will recap the Friday markets and offer a farm news update- but we will take a holiday on the email and return after the three day weekend. For any late breaking farm news- be sure and be check our website over the weekend from time to time.
2009 Oklahoma Wheat Harvest has Begun in Jackson County
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Wheat Harvest in far southwest Oklahoma has begun. Mike Schulte of the Oklahoma Wheat Commission tells us in a Thursday afternoon email that he has "just talked with Barney Tramill with the Farmers Coop Association in Eldorado, he told me they took in their first load of wheat last night and this morning from one field. The variety was Jagger wheat, test weight was 61.7 pounds, the wheat was grading out as a number one. The quality looked to be good but the bushel amount per acre was a disappointment. They were thinking it was making anywhere from 5 to 10 bushels per acre."
Schulte adds that Tramill had indicated that "this happened to be an early field and he thought harvest was about 3 to 4 days away in most places in that part of the world." So, if the weather stays dry, we could see combines rolling in wheat fields in southwest Oklahoma by the latter part of the Memorial Day weekend.
We have a quick interview that we did with Mike Schulte about this on our website- and he also gives us an update on where Texas wheat officials are saying they are with harvest just across the Red River in north Texas. Click on the link below to get to those audio comments.
SB452 Passes Legislature and Signed into Law by Governor Henry
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~It turned out to be quite a protracted battle, but Senate Bill 452 finally made it through the legislative process- and was signed into law on Thursday by Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry. Scott Dewald of the Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association says his group is pleased with the efforts put forward that reverses some negative actions taken by the Legislature one year ago.
Dewald tells us that "The final version of the bill, which passed out of the Senate last Thursday, simply replaced the bill's prior language with language that reduces the punishment for practicing veterinary medicine without a license from a felony to a misdemeanor.
"This bill has been called a lot of things. The teeth floating bill, the vet bill, as well as the animal husbandry bill. The bottom line is we believe our members should be allowed the freedom to determine what is best for their animals. If they wish to have someone pregnancy check their cows with an ultra-sound machine they should be able to do so without fear of the ultra sounder being arrested as a felon."
In Washington, House Ag Committee Wrestles With Low Carbon Fuel Standards
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~On Thursday, the House Agriculture Committee held a hearing to review proposals to implement low carbon fuel standards and efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions on state and federal levels.
The Agriculture Committee heard testimony from representatives of four renewable fuel companies and organizations who expressed serious concerns about provisions in proposed low carbon fuel standards that put U.S. biofuel producers at a disadvantage.
One of the lawmakers who questioned the panel was the ranking minority member of the House Ag Committee, Congressman Frank Lucas of Oklahoma. He asked the panel members about their thoughts on how we meet the numbers in the renewable Fuel Standard if the indirect land cost issue knocks out ethanol from the biofuel mix. We have that give and take audio on our webstory at the link below- click and jump there to hear their comments.
Top Ranch Lady Says We Gotta Have Animal ID Traceback- But Concerns Gotta Be Addressed
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Rancher Missy Bonds may well run more cattle in a year than all of the small operators put together that offered their opinions on the value or lack of value of the National Animal ID System during the Listening Session held by the USDA in Austin this week. Bonds, who's family is one of the premiere operators in the state of Texas, testified herself as a representative of the Texas and Southwest Cattle Raisers and as the Chairman of their Market Committee.
We feature her testimony on today's Beef Buzz, and she told the USDA while she understands the value of Animal ID, there are still unresolved concerns that have been a part of the Animal ID debate since the inception of the current program back during the Bush Administration, after the US saw the damage done to the United Kingdom livestock industry because of problems of a rapid traceback system.
Bonds has three concerns that she says has to be solved before she or the TSCRA will support a mandatory animal ID program. She's got some great points on cost, confidentiality and the ability to keep commerce flowing. Click on the link below to hear her arguments in Austin from earlier this week.
Feedback from YOU on Animal ID
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~One of our regular email readers dropped us a quick note and said he "would be interested knowing how your readers feel about the satanic NAIS." (his words- I swear) I suspect that the comments that we shared on Thursday from the Austin listening session on Animal ID stirred a lot of you up in one direction or another. One Oklahoma beef industry leader that was in the room on Wednesday at the Austin happening told us that it was amazing how emotional this issue is- and that it really opened their eyes up to how tough or an issue Animal ID really is from a regulator's pouitn of view. No matter what you do- it's awfully hard to win.
We did get one email talking about some thoughts on animal ID on Thursday. It says "I find it interesting that, in your report on the meeting at Austin, the small producers and their no-livestock friends agree whole-heartedly with the ranchers, especially the larger ones, here in Pushmataha County and across the southeast corner of Oklahoma. From your report, the majority of the opposition would be considered liberal in politics and do not depend on agriculture for their livelihood. The vast majority of ranchers in Little Dixie, despite being registered as Democrats, are extremely conservative and depend on livestock for a significant portion if not all of their income. Most of these life-long livestock producers doubt that the information will be kept confidential. They also are suspicious that they will be blamed for drug residues that they did not cause. And they have a valid point when they state that a program similar to the old Brucellosis identification could be put in place at lower cost. This would be triggered at the marketing point."
So, what do you think? Drop me an email today or this weekend with your thoughts about animal ID- we'll share what we hear from your perspective on this topic. Go to the email link at the bottom of today's report and let me hear from you!
Tomorrow is a SUNUP kind of Day- A Kim Anderson Preview Today Right Here!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We have details on our website- at the link below- on this week's SUNUP show, including early bonus audio of Kim Anderson's segment from tomorrow's show. OSU Grain Marketing Economist Dr. Kim Anderson has been working with grain elevator employees around the state in recent days to help bring them up to speed on how to accurately grade grain and oilseeds as farmers deliver their crops to the elevator, starting with wheat in the next few days.
Dr. Anderson says that it is vital to farmers that elevator operators and their employees understand the grading system and judge the grain they receive correctly- it can make a major difference in how much a farmer receives for their crop. You can hear Kim's comments as he talks with Clinton Griffiths of SUNUP for this Saturday morning by clicking on the link below.
Opposition to Waxman Markey Climate Change Proposal Growing in Farm Country
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~A growing list of agriculture groups have sent letters to Congress expressing opposition to or serious concerns about the Waxman/Markey climate change and energy legislation (H.R. 2454). And, according to a New York Times article today, no large agriculture industry groups have endorsed the bill.
The bill is being considered by the House Energy and Commerce Committee. It has been referred to eight other committees for review and consideration, including the Agriculture Committee.
We have a list of groups that have currently sent letters to Congress opposing HR 2454- and a link to several of the letters as well. Among the letters we have copies of that you can see on line is the one from the American Farm Bureau, as well as the letter coming from Terry Detrick and Oklahoma based American Farmers & Ranchers.
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Looking at our Agricultural Markets...
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Cash Cattle Trade trade did develop on Thursday, with over 30,000 head of cattle in Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico feedlots selling for $85, steady with the bulk of the sales of last week- feedlots had hoped for another dollar on the market before Memorial Day- but the wholesale beef market slipped much of the week and there was little incentive for the packers to offer more than steady money. Here is the Daily Volume and Price Summary from the Texas Cattle Feeders Association- which gives details of those Thursday sales.
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