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Oklahoma's Latest Farm and Ranch News
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON
Wednesday, December 2, 2015
USDA Begins 49th Enrollment Period for the Conservation
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack
Tuesday reminded farmers and ranchers that the next general
enrollment period for the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) begins
Dec. 1, 2015, and ends on Feb. 26, 2016. December 2015 also marks the
30th anniversary of CRP, a federally funded program that assists
agricultural producers with the cost of restoring, enhancing and
protecting certain grasses, shrubs and trees to improve water
quality, prevent soil erosion and reduce loss of wildlife habitat.
As of September 2015, 24.2 million acres were enrolled in CRP. CRP
also is protecting more than 170,000 stream miles with riparian
forest and grass buffers, enough to go around the world 7 times. For
an interactive tour of CRP success stories from across the U.S.,
or follow on Twitter at #CRPis30.
"Over the past 30 years, farmers, ranchers, conservationists,
hunters, fishermen and other outdoor enthusiasts have made CRP one of
the most successful conservation programs in the history of the
country," said Vilsack. "Today, CRP continues to make major
environmental improvements to water and air quality. This is another
longstanding example of how agricultural production can work hand in
hand with efforts to improve the environment and increase wildlife
Participants in CRP establish long-term, resource-conserving plant
species, such as approved grasses or trees (known as
"covers") to control soil erosion, improve water quality
and develop wildlife habitat on marginally productive agricultural
lands. In return, FSA provides participants with rental payments and
cost-share assistance. At times when commodity prices are low,
enrolling sensitive lands in CRP can be especially attractive to
farmers and ranchers, as it softens the economic hardship for
landowners at the same time that it provides ecological benefits.
Contract duration is between 10 and 15 years. The long-term goal of
the program is to re-establish native plant species on marginal
agricultural lands for the primary purpose of preventing soil erosion
and improving water quality and related benefits of reducing loss of
Contracts on 1.64 million acres of CRP are set to expire on Sept. 30,
2016. Producers with expiring contracts or producers with
environmentally sensitive land are encouraged to evaluate their
options under CRP. Click
here to read more about the accomplishments of CRP since 1985.
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Researcher Studies Cover Crop Effects on Winter Pasture
researchers are studying how cover crops could be part of a
year-round grazing system that provides economic and environmental
benefits to farmers and ranchers.
Noble Foundation research agronomist James Rogers, Ph.D., received a
three-year, $155,975 conservation innovation grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture
Natural Resources Conservation Service to conduct the
research. The grant will support Rogers in determining how much
moisture is used and/or conserved by summer cover crops and how those
crops impact production of grasses and legumes consumed by livestock
(commonly called forages) during the winter months.
Moisture is a key component of crop and forage production. Sufficient
moisture levels boost pasture quantity and provide benefits to soil,
which ultimately helps farmers and ranchers. "We need to
determine whether the cover crops take moisture away from or preserve
moisture for winter pasture," Rogers said. "Preserving
moisture will allow for earlier fall production. However, if the cover
crops use up the moisture, winter pasture production is
here to read more about Noble Foundation's Forage 365 initiative.
Sorghum Checkoff Working
to Build Demand for Crop from Multiple Sources
Sorghum is back on the rise. Sorghum has become a high
demand commodity. With softer prices this year, that's brought back demand
for sorghum for ethanol and for livestock feed. New demand is also
coming from today's consumer. Demand for sorghum for the domestic
human food market has increased by three million bushels this year. Sorghum Checkoff
Vice Chairman Adam
Baldwin of McPherson, Kansas said in being gluten
free and an ancient grain - more consumers are turning to sorghum.
The industry is also seeing new demand for sorghum to make pet
"We hope that as people realize the health benefits of sorghum,
they'll translate that into maybe desiring that to give their pets
and we can expand into that pet food market as well," Baldwin
U.S. sorghum exports have also remained strong in 2015. Baldwin said
China will continue to be a market driver this year. Mexico has come
back into the market as well as Central and South America. Increased
global demand for sorghum has boosted acres by 24 percent nationally.
Oklahoma has also become the third largest sorghum producing state in
the nation. With ideal growing conditions U.S. farmers had record
sorghum production this year.
Our Leslie Smith
caught up with Baldwin at the National Association of Farm
Broadcasting Convention in Kansas City. Click
or tap here to hear the full interview as he talks about the
efforts of the sorghum checkoff, plus how his 2015 sorghum crop
Shows 80 Percent of Americans Believe Chicken Contains Added Hormones
Chicken Council (NCC) Tuesday released new national
survey findings on consumers' perceptions about chicken production,
revealing that nearly 80 percent of Americans mistakenly believe that
chicken contains added hormones or steroids, when in fact no chicken
sold or raised in the U.S. is given hormones or steroids.
In some cases, consumers aren't able to easily access facts on
chicken production. According to the survey, 68 percent of Americans
believe that the media portrays the care of chicken negatively,
highlighting the need for chicken producers to engage in more
conversations with consumers about where their chicken comes from.
The survey uncovered many concerning assumptions about the care and
safety of chicken, including:
MISPERCEPTION #1 - A majority (78 percent) believe chickens are
THE REALITY - There are no genetically modified chickens. Over the
years, chickens with the healthiest growth and size have been
selected for breeding - and are fed, housed and raised well. The
result is a larger, healthier bird.
MISPERCEPTION #2 - A majority (77 percent) believe chicken contains
added hormones or steroids.
THE REALITY - No chicken sold or raised in the U.S. is given hormones
or steroids. In fact, the USDA has banned all hormones and steroids
in poultry since the 1950s. Good breeding, proper nutrition, care by
a veterinarian and better living conditions all contribute to the
healthier growth of birds.
here to read more about other
consumer perceptions about chicken production.
is our longest running sponsor of the daily email- and they
are excited about next week's 22nd annual Tulsa Farm Show!
The 22nd Annual Tulsa Farm Show
will be held December
10 - 12, 2015. Contact Ron Bormaster
at (507) 437-7969 for more details about the Tulsa Farm Show!
Click here for the
website for the show to learn more.
Merck Animal Health
Launches "Creating Connections" to Help Cattlemen With
A new program, Creating
Connections, is helping cattle-handlers around the
world learn how to use the right body language to communicate more
effectively with their herds. Merck Animal Health Spokesperson Dr. Justin Welsh
said the program specializes in "low-stress animal
handling" and stockmanship. He said Merck created this
initiative to help producers and the end-users of their animal health
care products do a better job in handling and creating a better environment
for the animals.
Health has made "Creating Connections"
available to producers. This is a growing web-based training
resource. Welsh said the information can be found at creatingconnections.info.
After producers log into the webpage, they get access to training
modules. Welsh said there are modules on acclamation or receiving new
cattle into a feedlot and stockmanship. Each module is a one to one
and half hour session that is divided into five or six smaller
sessions. At the end of the module, there is a quiz for participants.
Welsh said employers can use these modules to train their animal care
In the future, additional modules will be made available on
horsemanship, chute safety, transportation and hospital pen
management. Welsh said this program aims to help producer's use
resources more efficiently.
I featured Dr. Welsh on our daily Beef Buzz- as heard on great radio
stations around the region that are a part of the Radio Oklahoma Ag
or tap here to listen to today's Beef Buzz.
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Crop Insurance Deal
Inserted Into Transportation Bill
The budget bill passed last month contained $3 billion
in cuts to the crop insurance program, with promises to fix the cut
in passage later this year. Tuesday the negotiated text of the
long-term highway bill included language to restore the crop
insurance cuts, gaining praise from agricultural interests.
Both the House and Senate Ag Committee Chairs cheered
the deal that restores the funding for the Crop Insurance
Chair of the House Ag Committee praised House leaders for keeping their earlier promises-
""I strongly commend House Speaker Paul Ryan and Majority
Leader Kevin McCarthy for their leadership in ensuring that crop
insurance continues to be available, affordable, and accessible to
America's farmers and ranchers.
"By including language in the Highway Bill conference report to
fully repeal a provision that was designed to kill crop insurance,
the Speaker and the Majority Leader are working to keep their promise
to me and to all of rural America. I also commend Transportation
Committee Chairman Bill Shuster for agreeing to include this time
sensitive repeal in the Highway Bill conference report. I hope my
colleagues in Congress will lend their strong support in ensuring
that the Highway Bill conference report is enacted into law and that
crop insurance is saved."
Roberts- Chair of the Senate Ag Committee, also gave
two thumbs up to the deal. "I appreciate the dedication to
America's farmers shown by our leadership today in ensuring crop
insurance remains the number one tool in our producers' risk
management tool box. I thank Leader McConnell, Senator Cornyn,
Senator Thune, Senator Inhofe, House leadership and Agriculture
Committee Chairman Conaway. I have worked my entire career to
build crop insurance as a public-private partnership that best
protects producers and taxpayers. My goal was to nip crop insurance
cuts in the bud before cuts took effect to harm farmers, and I'm
proud to say we're one big step closer."
This N That - Small Grain
Field Days, Big Iron Wednesday and a Week Away from Tulsa Farm
Today and tomorrow- the Noble Foundation
has a total of three small grain for forage field days planned-
showing off several of their varieties that have been bred for cattle
producers to use in a fall-winter grazing program.
The goal of the small grains breeding program at the
Noble Foundation is to develop cultivars with improved forage
qualities, better fall production, improved ability to recover after
grazing and better overall forage yields.
The Noble folks will be showcasing five of the new small grain
varieties, selected for increased early season forage yields,
recently released by the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation. Varieties
include NF101 wheat, NF201 triticale, Maton II rye, Heavy Grazer II
oat and NF402 oat.
Apache and Chicksaha are where the field day programs are being
planned- Cookietown today and the others tomorrow- details for the
Cookietown event are available
here. Check our calendar by clicking here
for info for tomorrow's events.
It's Wednesday- and that means the Big Iron folks
will be busy closing out this week's auction items - all 457
items consigned. Bidding will start at 10 AM central
Click Here for the complete rundown
of what is being sold on this no reserve online sale this week.
If you'd like more information on buying and selling
with Big Iron, call District Manager Mike Wolfe at 580-320-2718 and he
can give you the full scoop. You can also reach Mike via email
by clicking or tapping here.
A week from tomorrow will be the start of the 22nd annual Tulsa Farm Show-
and it promises to be the biggest one yet. 370 exhibitors will
be featured at the 2015 show- as more and more things are being added
this year to the lower level of Expo Square and the River Spirit Expo
As it is every year- admission and parking remain
Next Thursday and Friday- show hours are 9 AM to 5 PM-
Saturday, December 12- hours are from 9 AM to 4 PM.
thanks to Midwest Farms Shows , P & K Equipment, American Farmers
& Ranchers, KIS Futures, CROPLAN
by Winfield, Stillwater Milling Company, Farm Assure, Pioneer Cellular, National Livestock
Credit Corporation and the Oklahoma Cattlemen's
Association for their support of our daily Farm News Update.
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