~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Wednesday July 27, 2011A service of Johnston Enterprises, P & K Equipment/ P & K Wind Energy and American Farmers & Ranchers Mutual Insurance Company!
-- American Farm Bureau Federation says Rising Farm Production Costs a Concern
-- U.S. Beef Exports with Hong Kong Booming Despite Restrictions
-- Burlington FFA Member Named Finalist in Star in Agricultural Placement Award
-- AGROTAIN International Sells Assets to Koch Agronomic Services
-- Keepseagle Settlement Filing Opened for Native American Farmers and Ranchers
-- Coming to a Breakfast Table Near You- Potter Premium Sausage
-- N-Rich Strip Nitrogen to be Featured at Oklahoma Farm Bureau Production Advantage Workshop
-- 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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American Farm Bureau Federation says Rising Farm Production Costs a Concern
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~While farmers are benefiting from positive commodity prices, rising production costs remain a concern, according to economists with the American Farm Bureau Federation.
"These are encouraging times for the U.S. farm economy," said AFBF Chief Economist Bob Young. "Higher prices for corn, cotton, wheat and soybeans are helping farmers, but higher energy prices are impacting profit margins. It's important to remember that farming is still a very capital intensive occupation and that high input costs affect the bottom line, even in good times."
AFBF economist Matt Erickson outlined the impact of high energy prices on farmers in a new white paper "Cost-of-Production Report: the Rising Costs of Inputs." High oil prices will drive up the cost of production of corn, soybeans, wheat, rice and cotton in 2011, according to Erickson. Higher fertilizer prices are also impacting net farm income.
"The effects of higher oil prices are reducing profits to the agricultural sector," Erickson said. "From seed to fertilizer, each commodity is projected to experience higher yearly production costs from 2010 to 2011."
U.S. Beef Exports with Hong Kong Booming Despite Restrictions
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~U.S. beef exports have always held strong with countries in the Asia Pacific region marketplace, with countries like Japan and South Korea. But Hong Kong is beginning to challenge these countries with the demand for U.S. beef growing more and more. Joel Haggard, U.S. Meat Export Federation senior vice president for the Asia Pacific region says the booming economy and strong demand for beef in Hong Kong has provided an increase in sales.
Haggard says the Hong Kong area has become a mainland shopping destination for many tourists and it is causing an increase in beef products from the influx in tourists. The Hong Kong and U.S. beef trade market has a very encouraging profile with a large range of cuts, with both the traders and the restaurants making a profit, says Haggard.
The biggest frustration with the current trade situation between the U.S. and Hong Kong is that the U.S. lacks access for bone-in cuts, offal and all beef products from cattle 30 months of age or older, which Canada does have access to. Haggard says the removal of these restrictions would allow for even more growth.
Click on the LINK below to hear more from Joel Haggard with the USMEF about the current and potential situation between the U.S. and Hong Kong beef marketplace. Haggard is our guest on our regular radio feature, the Beef Buzz, which is heard on great radio stations across the region- and we have previous Beef Buzz shows on our website- just click on the Beef Buzz button on the left hand side of any page found on our website, www.OklahomaFarmReport.Com.
Burlington FFA Member Named Finalist in Star in Agricultural Placement Award
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The National FFA Organization has selected 16 finalists, including one from Oklahoma, for the organization's top awards: American Star Farmer, American Star in Agribusiness, American Star in Agricultural Placement and American Star in Agriscience. Seth Hankey of Burlington, Oklahoma, and the Burlington FFA Chapter was selected as a finalist for the Star in Agricultural Placement award.
These star awards recognize students who have developed outstanding agricultural skill and competency through their career development programs, demonstrated outstanding management skills, earned the American FFA Degree-the organization's highest level of accomplishment-and met other agricultural education, scholarship and leadership requirements.
Each star finalist receives $2,000 from the National FFA Foundation and earns the opportunity to participate in an international experience tour to Costa Rica. A panel of judges will interview the finalists and select one winner for each award at the 84th National FFA Convention, October 19-22, in Indianapolis, In. Winners will receive an additional $2,000 award.
Hankey is the latest Star Finalist that has called Oklahoma home. In recent years, Oklahoma has had one or more Star finalists and have brought home the Star multiple times- including in 2010 when Rusty Kenner of Cheyenne was named the Star in Agribusiness. Click here to relive that victory for Oklahoma FFA- and remember that we will be covering the 2011 National Convention this coming October from before the opening gavel that will be brought down by National President Riley Pagett of Woodward to the final gavel on Saturday afternoon after new national officers are announced.
AGROTAIN International Sells Assets to Koch Agronomic Services
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~AGROTAIN International announced today that it has signed a definitive agreement to sell its assets to Koch Agronomic Services, LLC, a subsidiary of Koch Fertilizer, LLC. The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and certain other closing conditions. The deal is expected to close in the third quarter.
"The AGROTAIN business has experienced great success and such rapid growth that additional resources are needed to meet demand," said Mike Stegmann, president of AGROTAIN International. "As Koch has a strong presence in the fertilizer business, they approached us about possibly working together. We saw how their resources could help bolster our position as a market leader in the enhanced efficiency fertilizer business and it evolved into an offer to purchase."
"AGROTAIN International is an outstanding company with a long history of providing value-added products and a dedicated, customer-focused workforce," said Steve Packebush, president of Koch Fertilizer. "The organization truly has an entrepreneurial spirit that lends itself well to take advantage of significant growth opportunities within the enhanced efficiency fertilizer market."
Packebush added, "Koch Agronomic Services' vision is to bring enhanced efficiency fertilizers and value-added technologies to the marketplace. By combining the assets, products, research capabilities and global footprint of Koch Fertilizer and Koch Agronomic Services with AGROTAIN International, I believe we will offer our customers the most comprehensive portfolio of value-added products on the market today."
Keepseagle Settlement Filing Opened for Native American Farmers and Ranchers
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Janie Hipp, Senior Adviser to Secretary Vilsack for Tribal Relations today reminded Native American farmers and ranchers that the period to file a claim in the Keepseagle class action settlement has opened.
"Now that the claims process is open, Native American farmers and ranchers who believe they are entitled to funds under the Keepseagle settlement must file a claim within 180 days in order to have a chance to receive a cash payment or loan forgiveness," said Ms. Hipp.
"Tribal leaders may want to consider advising Tribal members of the requirement to obtain and submit a completed claims package if they wish to participate in the Keepseagle claims process."
Keepseagle v. Vilsack was a lawsuit alleging that USDA discriminated
against Native American farmers and ranchers in the way it operated its
farm loan program. The lawsuit was settled late last year and the
settlement has been approved by the court.
Coming to a Breakfast Table Near You- Potter Premium Sausage
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~JC Potter and Williams Sausage Co., both of whom have been producers of premium quality food products for over 50 years, are joining forces and on Tuesday announced the formation of a joint venture. Upon the closing of the agreement, Williams and Potter will each acquire a 50% interest in the joint venture which will be called Potter Premium Sausage, LLC. The companies have already committed over $15 million in capital investments in order to improve and expand their sausage and sandwich production capabilities.
"Their high-quality products, world class manufacturing facility and family values makes Williams Sausage a perfect partner for JC Potter" said Tom Dalton, CEO of JC Potter Sausage Company. "For the past half a century, the folks at JC Potter have taken great pride in providing our customers and consumers with high-quality, delicious products. We are confident this joint venture will provide our customers with the promise and potential for many exciting growth initiatives in the future. The partnership will create a deeper talent pool that will improve existing products and enhance new product development to accelerate growth at both companies."
Roger Williams, President of Williams Sausage Co. said "We share similar priorities and cultures which focus on food safety and quality, customer service and improving our productivity, which will naturally lead us to more growth. This joint venture is an important step in our strategy to accelerate growth in our core geographic areas. We are excited about the opportunity to work with the team at JC Potter to achieve additional growth with a highly recognized brand which has a well deserved reputation for quality and service amongst its' customers."
N-Rich Strip Nitrogen to be Featured at Oklahoma Farm Bureau Production Advantage Workshop
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Farm Bureau members wanting to learn about new technology are invited to attend the Production Advantage workshop, July 28-29, OFB office, 2501 N. Stiles, Oklahoma City. The workshop will focus on a variety of topics but one in particular will be the use of N-Rich Strip nitrogen application.
This type of nitrogen application was developed at Oklahoma State University and consists of applying a strip of nitrogen to a test plot and then returning after some time to detect the soil nitrogen levels using a sensor. Dr. Brian Arnall, Oklahoma State University Assistant Professor of Precision Nutrient Management says the N-Rich Strip application is becoming more and more popular as companies develop less expensive and more producer-friendly options for customers.
Producers that are interested in using N-Rich Strip technology can also receive assistance from the Natural Resources Conservation Service's EQIP program to being the nitrogen application process. Arnall says the use of the nitrogen application through N-Rich Strips has proven to be beneficial.
"We want to show how new technology can be used to improve production,"
said Burton Harmon, OFB field services representative and workshop
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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 $12.99 per bushel- as of the close of business yesterday, while the 2012 New Crop contracts for Canola are now available are $12.94 per bushel- delivered to local participating elevators that are working with PCOM.
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