~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Thursday February 4, 2010A service of Johnston Enterprises, P & K Equipment/ P & K Wind Energy and American Farmers & Ranchers Mutual Insurance Company!
-- President Obama Tosses Out Multiple Levels of a Green Energy Plan- Including a New Renewable Fuels Standard
-- Ag and Biofuel Groups Generally Offer Praise for Review of Grain Based Ethanol by Obama Team
-- Oklahoma Congressman Talks Ag Budget Issues and More with RON
-- CBS Postpones Antibiotics Use in Animal Agriculture Feature
-- Secretary Tom Vilsack Thinks US and Afgani Farm Community Has Hand Out for More
-- Oklahoma Farm Bureau launches Ad campaign
-- Messner Ranch Annual Production Sale Happening this Saturday
-- 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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President Obama Tosses Out Multiple Levels of a Green Energy Plan- Including a New Renewable Fuels Standard
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~President Obama told reporters in a energy briefing on Wednesday that reducing our dependence on foreign oil is still the right thing to do for our security. Therefore, the President is not giving up on a comprehensive energy and climate bill. Mr. Obama says it will make clean energy the profitable kind of energy. He claims that the decision by other nations to do this is already giving their businesses a leg up on developing clean energy jobs and technologies.
The President focused on three measures to boost biofuels production and reduce our dependence on foreign oil. First, EPA has issued a final rule to implement the renewable fuels standard of 36 billion gallons by 2022. Also, USDA has proposed a rule on the Biomass Crop Assistance Program that would provide financing to increase the conversion of biomass to bioenergy. And the President's Biofuels Interagency Working Group has released its first report which lays out a strategy to advance the development and commercialization of a sustainable biofuels industry.
EPA's final rule for implementation of the expanded Renewable Fuels
Standard, among other provisions, sets mandatory blend levels for
renewable fuels while implementing a framework for carbon emissions
calculations that will be the basis for future carbon reductions from
Meanwhile, also on Wednesday afternoon, USDA has issued a proposed rule for the new Biomass Crop Assistance Program. Authorized by the Farm Bill, the rule is designed to ensure that a sufficiently large base of new, non-food, non-feed biomass crops is established in anticipation of future demand for renewable energy consumption. (guess you could call this the "Switchgrass Incentive Program.") The department says BCAP is intended to reduce the financial risk for farmers, ranchers and forest landowners by providing incentive payments to those who invest in the production, harvest, storage and transportation of new first-generation energy crops that displace hydrocarbon-based materials now used for heat, power and vehicle fuel.
Ag and Biofuel Groups Generally Offer Praise for Review of Grain Based Ethanol by Obama Team
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The first reactions are in- and are mostly good for the Presidential plans concerning biofuels in the years ahead. Tom Buis with Growth Energy was pleased with what he saw, saying "Growth Energy commends the Obama White House and EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson for recognizing the value of domestic ethanol both as a low-carbon fuel and as a U.S. jobs creator. The expanded Renewable Fuels Standard released today rightly puts an emphasis on America's growth energy – ethanol – and that in turn will help our economic recovery, strengthen our national security and clean our skies."
The National Corn Growers Association also weighed in and their President, Daren Ihnen said “We're pleased the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recognizes that corn ethanol provides a distinct advantage over conventional gasoline when it comes to greenhouse gas emissions, with a reduction of more than 21 percent in some cases." The NCGA was less than thrilled with the clinging by the EPA to the concept of the international land use charge against grain based ethanol.
Bob Stallman of the American Farm Bureau said that his group is wanting to review all the details before passing judgment, adding “We will be analyzing the rule in its entirety, but we are optimistic about the overall direction of support it offers renewable fuels."
Oklahoma Congressman Talks Ag Budget Issues and More with RON
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The top Republican of the House Ag Committee, Congressman Frank Lucas of the Third District of Oklahoma says he is amazed that the President and his team forgot the response of Congress one year ago when they proposed in their first budget to drastically reduce farm program and conservation program outlays.
Earlier this week, the President rolled out big cuts for these same programs- and Congressman Lucas says these proposals again face strong opposition on both sides of the aisle, especially in an election year
We talked budget and more with the Congressman from Roger Mills County. You can hear our full conversation by clicking on the link below- we have it both in our agricultural news listing as well as an Ag Perspectives Podcast that is a part of the set of programs we offer via Itunes.
CBS Postpones Antibiotics Use in Animal Agriculture Feature
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~It appears that the CBS Evening News has pushed back to early next week the two part feature to be hosted by Katie Couric on antibiotics use in animal agriculture. According to a story on the Drovers Journal website, "Baring major breaking news that would delay the reports, the series is scheduled for evening news broadcasts next week, possibly Feb. 9 and 10."
The reports are expected to feature Couric and will look at both meat and poultry production. A CBS production crew has filmed organic and conventional pork production systems, as well as a Pennsylvania organic turkey grower among other entities. The National Pork Board provided Liz Wagstrom, assistant vice president of science and technology for the Pork Checkoff to speak on behalf of the pork industry. CBS interviewed Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.), who has a bill pending in the U.S. House to control antimicrobial use in food-animal production. (We did a story last week on the cattle industry's take on those efforts- click here to jump there and hear from Colin Woodall on Congresswoman Slaughter.) Also in the mix is likely to be Ellen Silbergreld, of John Hopkins University's Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Center for a Livable Future. Silbergeld has been a vocal opponent of modern poultry and livestock production practices.
The National Pork Producers Council is anticipating that the reports will be highly critical of animal agriculture and use of antibiotics by producers for their animals. Click on the link below for that Drovers story on the expectations of the industry regarding the story when it finally airs.
Secretary Tom Vilsack Thinks US and Afgani Farm Community Has Hand Out for More
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack talked with the media on Wednesday about efforts by the US government to assist Afghanistan farmers- relating his experiences after a recent trip to the troubled country.
The State Department, the Department of Agriculture, and several other agencies are working in close coordination under the U.S. Government Agriculture Assistance Strategy for Afghanistan – the framework for advancing this effort.
However, Vilsack seems to have a limited regard for the farmers in that country-as well as farmers back home here in the United States. He spoke of farmers who told the US leader that the US government has not done enough to help them- and the Secretary spoke of having to correct them by showing them great support that is right in the neighborhood. He compared the farmers of Afghanistan with those in the US- saying you have to "sometimes have to point things out to folks."
Click on the link below for more on this story and a chance to hear the Secretary and his comparison of how he thinks farmers act toward government in Afganistan as well as in the US.
Oklahoma Farm Bureau launches Ad campaign
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The sacrifices made by farmers and ranchers as they struggle through ice, rain, snow, 100 degree temperatures , floods and drought are highlighted in a new advertising campaign for the Oklahoma Farm Bureau.
“We want everyone to understand the tremendous effort our producers extend every day to provide a safe, abundant food supply,” said Mike Spradling, OFB president. “We're excited about promoting the solid image of our producers. They truly work hard and deeply care for their livestock.” Spradling's comments are echoed in the ad campaign's theme: “Oklahoma Farm Bureau: Feeding and clothing the world, one farmer at a time.”
We are so very proud to be a part of the radio campaign that kicked off this week on the Radio Oklahoma Network. The radio announcements will be running several times on our 39 radio stations all across the state of Oklahoma (as well as stations just over the border in Missouri, Texas and New Mexico.) Click on the link below for the announcement that is being heard statewide.
Messner Ranch Annual Production Sale Happening this Saturday
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Messner Ranch 2010 Bull Sale, Oklahoma's Oldest Annual Production Sale, is scheduled for Saturday, February 6, 2010, 12:30 p.m. at the Ranch, 6 miles south and 11 west of Laverne, Oklahoma.
The Messner Family will be selling 80 Hereford and 55 Angus bulls, 70 spring calving bred Herefords and Angus heifers with many of those to calve before sale day. EPD information is available, and Van tells us that they believe that the animals they will be selling this Saturday will work well in the cattle herds across the Southern Plains.
The Messners would love to have you join them on sale day- but if you can't, they will have their auction on DV Auctions, an internet based service where you can watch the sale real time and bid as well, real time. Click on the link below for our Calendar listing and it will take you to the DV website. From the there, click on the selection "Production Sales" and scroll down to the Messner listing on February 6th.
Our thanks to Midwest Farms Shows, PCOM, P & K Equipment/ P & K Wind Energy, Johnston Enterprises, AFR and KIS Futures for their support of our daily Farm News Update. For your convenience, we have our sponsors' websites linked here- just click on their name to jump to their website- check their sites 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!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The OKC West Market in El Reno had just 729 head of cattle on Wednesday- Tina with USDA Market news offers these thoughts about the light numbers of cattle and current conditions- "No comparison due to lack of a significant quantity of any one grade of cattle. The winter storm from last weekend has made travel to and from pastures almost impossible first with ice and snow and now with mud. Demand good for the limited supply of feeder cattle and calves. Quality mostly plain." Click here for the complete OKC West Cattle report with what sales they have to actually report.
Current cash price for Canola is $7.20 per bushel, while the 2010 New Crop contracts for Canola are now available are $7.40 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:
God Bless! You can reach us at the following: