~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Wednesday May 5, 2010A service of Johnston Enterprises, P & K Equipment/ P & K Wind Energy and American Farmers & Ranchers Mutual Insurance Company!
-- USDA's Vilsack Says It's Time for the Difficult Conversation About Rural America's Future
-- First Day of Kansas Wheat Crop Tour Predicts Average Crop in Central Kansas- Surprising Some Crop Scouts
-- Beef Industry Succeeding in Telling Story of Responsible Antibiotic Use
-- Obama Administration Sets Date for a National Rural Summit- A Dialogue for Renewing Promise.
-- Length of Breeding Season Does Matter
-- Field Hearing in Cheyenne Hears from Colorado Dairy Producer
-- Another Day in Washington
-- 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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USDA's Vilsack Says It's Time for the Difficult Conversation About Rural America's Future
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack pushed back as he responded to those that called him out last week for not talking more about what the Administration wants to see when it comes to the Commodity Title in the next farm bill, whenever it is written. Oklahoma Congressman Frank Lucas had a lively exchange with the Secretary at the first hearing by the House Ag Committee looking ahead to the next farm bill that could be written as early as next year- if Congressional leaders decide to work on budget reconciliation.
As he met with farm broadcasters at USDA in town for the annual Washington Watch festivities, Vilsack cut off a broadcaster as he asked the question about why no details on what the Administration wants to see changed in the farm price supports- saying everybody is talking about that- he wants the focus of the conversation to instead be about the Rural Economy- which he claims has been in decline for decades because we have not had the conversation and focus this direction.
Vilsack told reporters that a direct payment of a few thousand dollars was not going to help a farmer with a couple of hundred acres of farmland stay on the farm- but that access to a good paying job with benefits near his farm would give that producer the option of staying on the land, farming part-time and being part of Rural America. Otherwise, Vilsack says the guy moves to town and demands top dollar for cash rent for his land- making it just that much more difficult for a young farmer to be able to afford to cash flow that piece of ground and get started. The property ends up being rented by a neighbor already established and getting bigger, because of the economy of scale.
You can listen to the Secretary as he lays out his case for what he says is leaving the easy conversation behind- and engaging in what he says is the hard conversation about how we stop the decline in Rural America. Click on the link below for our story on this- and the audio of his comments.
First Day of Kansas Wheat Crop Tour Predicts Average Crop in Central Kansas- Surprising Some Crop Scouts
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The average eyeball estimate of the Kansas hard red winter wheat crop was higher than what scouts calculated using the Wheat Quality Council's formula on the first day of the Hard Red Winter Wheat Crop Tour.
The Wheat Quality Council's day one average estimate was 40.7 bushels per acre, which is lower than last year's 41.3 bpa average and surprised many of the farmers, millers, agronomists and media representatives on this year's tour. It's the average yield of 213 fields across northern Kansas.
Mike Schulte of the Oklahoma Wheat Commission is on the Kansas Tour again here in 2010- and we have his first day observations. Click on the link below to hear Mike's report from Colby filed with us last night.
Beef Industry Succeeding in Telling Story of Responsible Antibiotic Use
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Today's Beef Buzz features comments from Washington with lobbyist Colin Woodall of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association and antibiotic use by animal agriculture. Woodall says the tide has turned on this issue in recent months, as the livestock industry has told its story with success to lawmakers and their staff on Capitol Hill.
Woodall said that last year, the industry was losing this battle, but that with the information campaign that was put together, they have stopped New York lawmaker Louise Slaughter from being able to advance her bill that would stop non theraputic use of antibiotics in livestock. He says the key message has been that these products are used carefully, under the direction of animal health professionals and that healthy animals result in healthy food.
Click on the link below for more on this story- and to hear Woodall explain how the industry has grabbed back the "high ground" on this issue.
Obama Administration Sets Date for a National Rural Summit- A Dialogue for Renewing Promise.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Obama Administration announced Tuesday that Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will host a National Summit of Rural America: A Dialogue for Renewing Promise. The day-long event will take place in Hillsboro, Mo., on June 3, 2010 on the campus of Jefferson College, near St. Louis, Mo. This announcement was made first to Farm Broadcasters as Vilsack met with the group involved with Washington Watch.
"This Summit will be an opportunity for rural Americans to share their vision for creating a more prosperous and promising future for rural America," said Vilsack. "The Obama Administration is committed to strengthening rural America, and now farmers, ranchers, and foresters from throughout the country can have the opportunity to engage with key policymakers and community leaders to discuss the priorities and policies necessary to keep its future bright."
Click on the link below for more details- and we have audio from our time with Secretary Vilsack as he describes what he hopes will be accomplished at this event coming June 3rd.
Length of Breeding Season Does Matter
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~OSU Mama Cow Guru Dr. Glenn Selk tells us that research shows that the length of your breeding season- the time that the bulls are in with cows- matters.
Dr. Selk says "research analysis of 394 ranch observations from the Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico SPA (standardized performance analysis) data set provided insight into the age old argument about "leaving the bull out" or having a defined breeding season. Oklahoma State University and Texas A&M Agricultural Economists published the findings of this research in 2005. They found a positive relationship between number of days of the breeding season and the production cost per hundredweight of calf weaned. Also they reported a negative relationship between number of days of the breeding season and pounds of calf weaned per cow per year. The data suggested that for each day the breeding season was lengthened, the annual cost of producing a hundred pounds of weaned calf increased by 4.7 cents and pounds of calf weaned per cow per year decreased by 0.158 pounds.
"The range of breeding seasons in the data set was from extremely short (less than one month) to 365 days or continuous presence of the bull. The trend lines that resulted from the analysis of the data give us an opportunity to evaluate the economic importance of a defined breeding season. The producer that leaves the bull out year-round (365 days) would sell 45.82 fewer pounds of calf per cow per year on the average than producers with a 75 day breeding season. That same producer would have $13.63 greater costs per hundredweight of weaned calf than the producer that used a 75 day breeding season. Length of the breeding season does matter."
Field Hearing in Cheyenne Hears from Colorado Dairy Producer
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~In testimony before the U.S. House Committee on Agriculture on Tuesday, Colorado dairy producer Les Hardesty highlighted industry efforts to develop a single national dairy policy that addresses volatility and provides stronger support for dairy farmers in times of low prices. During the field hearing in Cheyenne, Wyo., Hardesty also underscored the need for lawmakers to take action ahead of the 2012 Farm Bill.
"While I understand and appreciate the timeline you have outlined for farm bill policy development, I want to stress that the idea of waiting until 2012 to reform dairy policy leaves many of us concerned," said Hardesty, who serves on the Executive Committee for Dairy Farmers of America, Inc.'s (DFA) Board of Directors. "Dairy leaders are working hard to develop consensus within the industry yet this year. Dairy producers will be anxious for its implementation."
Hardesty described efforts by DFA, other dairy cooperatives and
industry organizations such as National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF),
who have been working together in an effort to build that consensus for
future national dairy policy that allows for growth in the industry while
addressing price volatility.
Another Day in Washington
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We spent time here in Washington on Tuesday at the USDA, as well as hearing from a variety of current and former government officials and those wanting to influence our government.
I was very impressed with Larry Elworth, who is the Ag Counselor to EPA's Lisa Jackson. He actually has a farm background and "gets it" when it comes to production agriculture. He told us that when livestock groups came in and met behind closed doors with Lisa Jackson on Monday of this week- she was really impressed as several producers shared details of the various conservation practices they have in place on their farms or ranches. Jackson heard first hand the story that Clay Pope and the Conseration folks here in Oklahoma tell regularly that voluntary cost share programs are highly successful and effective in making a positive impact on the environment. I will be sharing some of his comments on this later in the week.
Today- we are Capitol Hill bound- as we will be meeting with several of
the House and Senate Leaders in the Ag Committees- including top
Republican on the House Ag Committee, Frank Lucas of Oklahoma. I am
looking forward to introducing the Congressman to my colleagues from
around the country later this morning.
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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 $7.40 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:
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