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|Oklahoma's Latest Farm and Ranch News
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON
Monday, October 21, 2019
By 2050, the world population will reach an estimated 9 billion people, creating demand for protein that is much higher than it is today. To nourish society as a whole, it will be imperative for producers of plant protein to work in concert with the animal agriculture sector to ensure global food security and a reliable supply of high-quality protein.
Last week this issue was addressed at the Borlaug Dialogue International Symposium, as part of the World Food Prize. Among those organizations involved in the discussion, the United Soybean Board (USB) joined the American Soybean Association (ASA), Iowa Soybean Association and World Initiative for Soy in Human Health (WISHH) in relaying U.S. Soy's commitment to global food security.
"In the grand scheme of things, when all proteins are part of a balanced diet and work collaboratively to nourish the world, everyone wins," says Polly Ruhland, CEO of the United Soybean Board. "Collaboration between animal- and plant-based proteins bolsters our ability to serve our shared global protein market. Together we can answer the many critical challenges facing our world: nourished versus malnourished, environmental improvement versus degradation, confident customers versus doubtful ones."
Ruhland asserts that U.S. soy will be pivotal in successfully fulfilling the world's protein needs as a source of necessary nutritional requirements in the human diet, and as a high-quality animal feed.
As a pledge of stewardship to the air, water and soil, farmers representing the United Soybean Board, American Soybean Association and U.S. Soybean Export Council committed to goals for improvements on four key metrics between 2000 and 2025. These goals include a reduction in soil erosion by 25%, as noted in the Soybean Sustainability Assurance Protocol, in addition to improvements related to greenhouse gas emissions, land use and energy use.
Click here to read more about the commitments made this past week by the US soy industry and the role in which it will play in the future to sustain the world's protein demands.
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According to Noble's Hugh Aljoe, director of producer relations, the old adage, "We are never more than three weeks away from a drought," is not as scary if you've taken a responsible approach to your property's management. The observable variance, he contends, is often the results in differences of "effective" rainfall.
Aljoe explains what he deems as "effective rainfall" as the moisture that infiltrates into the soil following a rainfall event. Total rainfall is what fell on a property; effective rainfall is what went into the soil.
"Too often, much of the rain from a good rainfall event ends up running off the area it fell upon and traveling off the property and downstream," he writes. "The more total rainfall becomes effective rainfall, the greater the potential for forage and subsequently livestock production and the greater the resiliency of the pastures to withstand short- and longer-term drought conditions."
The secret to enhancing how much rainfall on your property becomes effective or not, is how you build up the organic matter in your soil to capture more water. Aljoe boils this secret down to five key areas that any land manager can incorporate into their operation to get the most out of rain events when they occur. These key points include:
1. Keep the soil covered
2. Optimize soil disturbance
3. Keep a growing root in the soil
4. Increase plant diversity
5. Incorporate grazing livestock
Read more about how you can incorporate Aljoe's tips on your own property by clicking here.
Dr. Janeen Salak-Johnson currently serves as part of the Oklahoma State University Animal Science faculty as the Temple Grandin Professorship in Animal Behavior and Well-being. She believes it is important for beef industry stakeholders to understand there are those folks out there that will never be satisfied with what we're doing when it comes to animal wellbeing. At the same time, though, she says those in the industry must also understand and address the concerns of the consumer and not be bullheaded when it comes to discussing how they handle animal welfare issues.
"We have to recognize what they think is important is not what's important to the consumer," she said. "I don't like people telling me how to do research, so I get that part of it. But we also have to be conscientious that what is important to us may not necessarily be important to others. We still do need to improve on some of the painful management practices so that the consumer knows these animals had a good quality of life up until the end of their life."
The key to this problem, she says, is striking the right balance among all stakeholders involved. This means, finding ways to balance both producers' concerns and what Salak-Johnson refers to as "societal concerns." In addition, balance must be achieved in regard to what is ethical as well as what is ultimately practical - which she contends can be accomplished through sound science and seasoned expertise.
Listen to Salak-Johnson and I discuss why the beef industry needs to be proactive in addressing consumers' interest in animal welfare, on Friday's Beef Buzz - click here.
South Dakota cattle producer Todd Wilkinson told a U.S. Senate subcommittee last Thursday that contrary to the claims of some environmental and anti-animal-agriculture activists, "American beef production and consumption is a climate change solution."
Wilkinson explained that the practice of grazing naturally sequesters carbon, promotes deep root systems in prairie grasses, and improves soil health which in turn- improves the soil's retention of water, its sequestration of even more carbon, and increases the resiliency of our ranches.
"Methane emissions from cattle are part of the natural methane cycle," Wilkinson said. "Within 10 years, more than 90 percent of that methane combines with oxygen in the atmosphere and converts to CO2. Methane has no long-term impact on climate when emissions and oxidation are in balance. And this balance has been maintained for centuries.
"Climate policies that unfairly target cattle producers fail to recognize the positive role of cattle and beef in a healthy, sustainable food system," he continued. "Rather than adopting misguided policies that threaten the viability of farmers and ranchers, we want to shift the conversation."
To read Wilkinson's complete testimony- click or tap here.
The vision of the Oklahoma Beef Council is to be a positive difference for Oklahoma's farming and ranching families and the greater beef community and its mission is to enhance beef demand by strengthening consumer trust and exceeding consumer expectations. To learn more, visit www.oklabeef.org. Also, don't forget to like its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/oklabeef for stories on Oklahoma's ranching families and great beef recipes.
Behind the theme "Banking More Profits with No-Till," the National No-Tillage Conference (NNTC) returns to St. Louis in January with an agenda packed with in-depth sessions on every facet of successful no-till systems.
The world's largest and longest-running gathering of no-tillers will feature more than 30 speakers and 100 total learning sessions offering practical, time-tested information on dynamic no-tiller planting systems, timely crop protection strategies, cost-saving precision technology and more.
The conference will be held Jan. 7-10, 2020 at the newly renovated and refurbished Union Station Hotel in downtown St. Louis. NNTC 2020 will include 13 inspiring general sessions, 23 intensive classrooms and 76 focused roundtable discussions for customized no-till learning.
Presentations from several successful no-tillers will highlight the 4-day event, including Roberto Peiretti from Argentina, Jason Mauck from Gaston, Ind., Paul Overby of Wolford, N.D., Jeff Martin of Mt. Pulaski, Ill., Mitchell Hora of Washington, Iowa and Marion Calmer from Alpha, Ill.
World renowned molecular biologist David Johnson, research scientist Mike Bredeson of the Ecdysis Foundation; agriculture consultant, futurist and entrepreneur Robert Saik; and veteran no-till nutrient management expert Ray Ward will also cover topics that are vitally important to no-tillers.
Additionally, workshops covering soil biology and raising hemp as a specialty crop will kick off this year's conference.
You can find more information on the rest of the speaker lineup, the conference schedule, registration details and the host hotel on our website.
OSU Beef Industry Conference and companion field day will be held Thursday, October 24 & Friday, October 25th at OSU Conoco-Phillips Alumni Center in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Those attending will be privy to key updates relative to beef production practices and market outlooks.
"The annual conference has been a convenient way for state and regional beef producers to hear cutting-edge information from and interact with leading experts from across the country, all in a single setting," said Paul Beck, holder of the OSU Dennis and Marta White Endowed Chair in Animal Science for the university's Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources.
Cost is now $100 per participant. Registration information is available online through the OSU Beef Extension by clicking or tapping here.
| What Others Are Saying- It's Getting More and More Expensive to Bring Home the Bacon
An article from Bloomberg caught my eye as we were prepping for our morning farm news on the Radio Network- and putting a final blessing on this email- Bloomberg has an extensive look at the supply shortfall of pork that has gathered momentum as summer ended and fall leaped onto the global stage- and it's all about African Swine Fever.
Bloomberg says China has lost millions of hogs from their national herd- as we have been reporting for months now- and they write " The pork wholesale spot price jumped 16% to 42.46 yuan a kilogram ($2.72 a pound) in the week ending Oct. 11, the biggest gain in at least 13 years. It's more than doubled since China reported its first African swine fever cases in early August 2018.
"Prices will remain high for at least the next three months in the lead up to the Lunar New Year on Jan. 25, a peak time for pork consumption in China, Vietnam and other countries that celebrate the festival. Retailers will have "no choice" but to pass on at least some of the extra cost to consumers."
In what they say is a "Hog Apocalypse," perhaps the most ominous thing they write is at the end of their article where they mention that "African swine fever, which kills most pigs in a week but isn't known to harm humans, has had a greater impact in China than in any country or previous outbreak, and the disease there is now considered endemic, or generally present, according to the USDA."
That means it is going to be extremely hard for China and other countries that have the disease(Vietnam, for example) to rebuild their herds- the disease can hang around and reinfect the new population.
Read the full article this morning by clicking or tapping here- it matters to to farmers and ranchers alike- not just those who happen to be in the pork business
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