~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Wednesday June 29, 2011A service of Johnston Enterprises, P & K Equipment/ P & K Wind Energy and American Farmers & Ranchers Mutual Insurance Company!
-- Obama Administation Trumpets Job Assistance Deal- Says FTAs Will Move
-- Ag Groups Want Congress and the Administration to Move the FTAs
-- Counties Across Oklahoma and Texas Named Natural Disaster Areas
-- Conservation Leaders in Oklahoma Warn Water Quality Improvments Could Be Derailed by Budget Cuts
-- Beef Researcher Pushes for Ways to Get Marbling Without Lots of Additional Fat
-- Environmental Protection Agency Releases Label for E15 Fuel Pumps
-- Vote for Leah and Beef Stroganoff Nuevo
-- 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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Obama Administation Trumpets Job Assistance Deal- Says FTAs Will Move
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~On Tuesday afternoon, Press Secretary Jay Carney made the following statement on progress on Trade Adjustment Assistance for American workers and pending free trade agreements that will support tens of thousands of American jobs.
"President Obama has fought for an ambitious trade agenda that doubles exports in five years, levels the playing field for American workers, and reflects American values. As part of that agenda, he has fought for Trade Adjustment Assistance for those American workers who lose their jobs due to increased imports or outsourcing. As a result of extensive negotiations, we now have an agreement on the underlying terms for a meaningful renewal of a strengthened TAA. The President embraces these critical elements of TAA needed to ensure that workers have the best opportunity to get good jobs that keep them in the middle class. Now it is time to move forward with TAA and with the Korea, Colombia, and Panama trade agreements, which will support tens of thousands of jobs."
This apparently is an on again- off again- on again deal worked out by the White House and Congress. Price tag seems to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars, and in our conversation last week with the Chairman of the House Ag Committee, Frank Lucas, he had said the leadership was not interested in substantial new spending of any kind- which was proving to be a problem in solving the impasse over getting this benefit extended versus allowing these Bush negotiated trade deals to move forward.
According to an
article in the Washington Times, Republican leaders are not pleased
with the announcement. "Today's action puts at risk what should be a
bipartisan job-creation exercise," Senate Republican Leader Mitch
McConnell said. "I would strongly urge the administration to rethink this
action, and urge them to send up all three pending trade agreements
without delay and without extraneous poison pills included."
Ag Groups Want Congress and the Administration to Move the FTAs
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~While the dust has not settled on this latest announcement from the White House that they will be moving all three free trade deals to Congress in July- starting the clock ticking on an up or down vote- at least a couple of ag groups fired off statements expressing support for the three trade deals, while sidestepping any comment on the Trade Assistance package demanded by the Obama Administration.
National Cattlemen's Beef Association Vice President of Government
Affairs Colin Woodall commented on news from Senate Finance Committee
Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) that the committee will hold a "mock" markup
of the draft implementing legislation for the South Korea, Colombia, and
Panama Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) this Thursday (June 30).
Likewise, the National Corn Growers Association wants FTA movement- and
applauded the announcement of the mock mark up by the Senate Finance
Committee later this week.
Counties Across Oklahoma and Texas Named Natural Disaster Areas
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The U.S. Department of Agriculture has designated 213 counties in Texas as primary natural disaster areas, as well as 15 Oklahoma counties that are contiguous to the primary counties, after one of the worst droughts in more than a century. The counties across Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana and New Mexico sustained excessive heat, high winds and wildfires that burned hundreds of thousands of acres.
The 15 counties across Oklahoma that have been named are: Beaver, Beckham, Bryan, Choctaw, Cimarron, Cotton, Ellis, Harmon, Jackson, Jefferson, Love, McCurtain, Roger Mills, Texas and Tillman counties.
"Many producers have lost their crops due to the devastation caused by
the drought and wildfires," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.
"President Obama and I want these farmers and ranchers to know that we
will support them through the recovery process and help them once again
become productive suppliers of food, fiber and fuel that keep America
prospering. This designation will help provide that support."
Conservation Leaders in Oklahoma Warn Water Quality Improvments Could Be Derailed by Budget Cuts
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Efforts underway to install water quality improvements to agriculture and other privately owned land in the North Canadian/Oklahoma River watershed will be stopped far short of their goals due to recent cuts to voluntary water quality efforts at the federal level according to Joe Parker, President of the Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts (OACD).
"With a stroke of a pen the federal government was able to put in jeopardy our efforts to protect and improve the quality of Oklahoma Cities' water," Parker said. "It's just crazy that at a time when all of the country from the Chesapeake Bay to the Gulf of Mexico is facing so many water quality challenges that our political leaders in Washington would take such a drastic step. It just boggles the mind."
According to Parker, the Oklahoma Conservation Commission (Commission) has been notified that roughly 20% of the funds it receives through the Clean Water Act Section 319 program are likely to be cut this coming December. These funds are used to partner with landowners to undertake best management practices on land in priority watersheds. Also to be cut are the funds used by the Commission to monitor the water to verify whether or not reductions in pollutants such as nutrients, bacteria and sediment are taking place due to the changes on the land resulting from these management practices. Through the use of these funds the State of Oklahoma has been able to realize reductions of nutrients as high as 70% in some watersheds. With these cuts, however, many of these programs, including the work in the North Canadian/Oklahoma River watershed will come to a halt without additional funding.<
"The timing of these cuts could not be worse for the quality of the water in the North Canadian River," Parker said. "As with all of the water quality programs undertaken by the Oklahoma Conservation partnership, we have seen a great response from landowners in this watershed. Already over 20 thousand acres of crop land has been converted from conventional tillage to no-till production to control erosion and reduces run-off from farm ground, over 8 miles of stream bank has been protected by riparian buffer strips and over 500 acres of highly erodible crop land has been put back to grass. This is a great start but we need to do a lot more if we're going to avoid bacteria and nutrient problems in the Oklahoma River. If we don't see additional dollars in this effort however, this work won't get done."
Beef Researcher Pushes for Ways to Get Marbling Without Lots of Additional Fat
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We wrap up part three of our conversation with Dr. Brad Johnson, a meat scientist from Texas Tech University. Johnson continues to discuss his research on marbling and focuses on the connection between marbling and the weight of the cattle. In the U.S., cattle producers tend to focus more on muscle and marbling, however, marbling scores are independent from weight. Johnson says even if the cattle are on feed for more days, it is not going to change the marbling score dramatically.
Johnson says his long-term goal for his research on marbling is to form a type of intervention strategy much like what is used for growth enhancement. Johnson says a feed additive or an implant to give the cattle to turn on the marbling without making the cattle any fatter would be one way to fulfill this goal.
Click on the LINK below to listen to part three of our interview with Dr. Brad Johnson, as he wraps up his thoughts on marbling and his research findings. Also, you can listen to parts one and two of our interview with Dr. Johnson, where he discusses higher grades of cattle and marbling with age and breeding.
Environmental Protection Agency Releases Label for E15 Fuel Pumps
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~On Tuesday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released its label for fuel pumps dispensing E15, and final rules pertaining to the handling and storage of E15, in response to Growth Energy's Green Jobs Waiver seeking regulatory approval to move E15 into the U.S. motor fuels marketplace.
In response to the label, Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis issued the following statement:
"We appreciate EPA finally releasing this rule in response to Growth
Energy's E15 petition. This is another step in the process to get E15 into
the marketplace later this year, which will create U.S. jobs, improve the
environment and strengthen national security by displacing foreign oil."
Vote for Leah and Beef Stroganoff Nuevo
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Leah Lyon of Ada, Oklahoma has participated several times down through the years at the Oklahoma Beef Cookoff as hosted by the Oklahoma Cattlewomen- and here in 2011- she has made the cut for the National Beef Cookoff Finals.
She has one of twenty recipes that have been selected for the on-line competition. Leah's recipe is Beef Stroganoff Nuevo- and her creation is being considered in the category "Retro Recipes Revived."
According to the website- "America, your vote counts! Cast your vote
below for your favorite recipe. Your vote will be factored into the
official judges' scores, which will determine each category winner as well
as the grand prize champ."
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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 $11.86 per bushel- as of the close of business yesterday, while the 2011 New Crop contracts for Canola are now available are $11.86 per bushel- delivered to local participating elevators that are working with PCOM.
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