~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Thursday, August 4, 2011A service of Johnston Enterprises, P & K Equipment/ P & K Wind Energy and American Farmers & Ranchers Mutual Insurance Company!
-- Governor Mary Fallin Extends Oklahoma Burn Ban to All 77 Counties
-- Lotsa Heat- and a Touch of Rain
-- NCBA Lobbyist Relieved Congress Has Headed Home for August Recess
-- Oklahoma House and Senate Members Named to Joint Legislative Water Committee
-- Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Tells Scientists and Researchers: 'Safe Food is a National Priority'
-- Cattlemen's Beef Board Elects New Officers and Plans to Move Forward in Upcoming Year
-- Cattle Industry Summer Conference Winding Down Today
-- 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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Governor Mary Fallin Extends Oklahoma Burn Ban to All 77 Counties
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Governor Mary Fallin today expanded the ban on outdoor burning to all of Oklahoma's 77 counties. The Executive Proclamation expands the 45-county burn ban that was put in place on July 14, as the extreme to excessive drought conditions continue to worsen.
"We have just experienced the hottest July on record," Fallin said. "The predictions of unrelenting extreme heat with no relief in sight make the statewide burn ban necessary."
Oklahoma Forestry Services, a division of the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, report increased fire activity across the state. Firefighter fatigue is a growing concern.
Gas and charcoal grilling is allowed provided that it is over a nonflammable surface and at least five feet from flammable vegetation. Unlawful activities under the ban include campfires, bonfires, fireworks and setting fire to trash, grass, woods or other materials outdoors.
Lotsa Heat- and a Touch of Rain
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The northern tier of Oklahoma counties got some welcome rainfall on Wednesday- but it was a very limited amount in most locales. The Mesonet this morning showing most of the stations got less then a tenth of an inch- but Harper County got about a half inch and Minco in Canadian County actually got .81 inches of rain yesterday afternoon. Click here for the live Mesonet rainfall map that shows the amount of precipitation over the last 24 hours.
Not including yesterday- those numbers are still being tallied- the National Climatic Data Center reports that 174 high temperature records have been either tied or broken across Oklahoma in recent days. These records are based on the historical daily observations archived in NCDC's Cooperative Summary of the Day data set and preliminary reports from Cooperative Observers and First Order National Weather Service stations, and as such are subject to change. All stations have a Period of Record of at least 30 years. Gary McManus, Associate State Climatologist with the Oklahoma Climatological Survey says that with numerous Wednesday highs that were triple digits and into the low teens- a lot more records were smashed yesterday.
We did hear from our News on Six weather folks- Tulsa just missed their all time high temperature on Wednesday- with lots of readings in the Tulsa area hitting 113 and 114 degrees. Click on the LINK below for our weather page on our website- you can then select more weather info from either News9 with Gary England and his crew- News on 6 with Travis Meyer and company- the Oklahoma Mesonet and the National Weather Service link to pull up any forecast and forecast discussion anywhere in the country.
NCBA Lobbyist Relieved Congress Has Headed Home for August Recess
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~"It was a disaster." This was the description of the debt ceiling-deficit reduction debate that was held over the past several weeks leading up to a possible government default on Tuesday of this week by Colin Woodall, lead lobbyist for the National Cattlemen's Beef Association. Woodall, who works out of the NCBA Washington office, went through a laundry list of issues that face the US Cattle industry today in Washington.
Among the issues we visited with Woodall about:
Click on the LINK below to hear our full conversation with Colin Woodall of the NCBA on these issues.
Oklahoma House and Senate Members Named to Joint Legislative Water Committee
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Legislative leaders on Wednesday announced full membership of the Joint Legislative Water Committee, which will work on long-range water policy recommendations for Oklahoma. Very important for rural Oklahoma- Phil Richardson of Minco has been named one of the Co-Chairs.
The Water Committee will begin meeting Aug. 17, when it will start studying the Oklahoma Comprehensive Water Plan and collecting input from a wide variety of other sources and stakeholders as it explores what Oklahoma needs to do to meet its water needs in the next 50 years.
"Oklahoma's future prosperity is absolutely dependent on water. Water policy affects all parts of the state, so we assembled this committee in a way that ensures all voices are heard," said House Speaker Kris Steele. "Taking action today to provide tomorrow's Oklahomans with the water they need is an awesome responsibility that our entire state must confront together. This committee is serious about providing the bold leadership Oklahoma needs on this issue."
Steele, R-Shawnee, and Senate President Pro Tem Brian Bingman in June announced the formation of the Water Committee and pledged to make water policy a top legislative priority during the interim, next session and beyond. By design, the 16-member committee is bipartisan and geographically diverse.
Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Tells Scientists and Researchers: 'Safe Food is a National Priority'
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack spoke today at the annual conference of the International Association for Food Protection about the U.S. Department of Agriculture's ongoing efforts to safeguard American consumers from foodborne illnesses. Recent actions taken by USDA to strengthen industry safeguards are aimed at improving the safety of the food Americans serve their families.
"With more than 330 billion meals served to Americans each year, the scale of the challenge to ensure safe food is enormous, but ensuring the safety of our food is USDA's top priority," said Vilsack. "Today, USDA and our federal partners are collaborating more than ever before to improve and modernize the food safety system based on prevention. It is our duty to make sure that producers provide safe food, that consumers and others have the tools necessary to get safe food to their families, and that we're supporting the research and education needed to ensure advancements in the safety of our food."
Foodborne illness, or food poisoning, is a serious public health threat in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that approximately 1 in 6 Americans-48 million people-suffer from foodborne illness each year, resulting in approximately 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths annually.
In December 2010, the Department banned the slaughter of non-ambulatory cattle for use in human food, and initiated hands-on, practical training on humane handling. In addition, in late June, USDA joined the Ad Council, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the CDC to debut Food Safe Families, the first joint public service campaign to help families prevent foodborne illnesses in the home. This campaign reminds Americans to clean kitchen surfaces, utensils and hands while preparing food; separate raw meats from other foods by using different cutting boards; cook foods to the correct temperatures; and, chill raw and prepared foods promptly.
Cattlemen's Beef Board Elects New Officers and Plans to Move Forward in Upcoming Year
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Cattlemen's Beef Board has had a rough couple of months in the first half of 2011, with the resignation of Tom Ramey, CEO of the Cattlemen's Beef Board, and then the resignation of Chairman Tom Jones. But Weldon Wynn, newly elected Vice-Chairman of the CBB says he feels good about where the CBB is at right now.
This week, the Cattlemen's Beef Board voted unanimously to elect Wesley Grau of New Mexico to finish out the year as chairman of the national board. Formerly vice chairman of the Board, Grau had been serving as acting chairman since the resignation of former chairman Tom Jones about a month ago.
As Grau's election to chairman created a vacancy in the vice chairman seat, to which Board members voted unanimously to elect Weldon Wynn of Arkansas. Again, since Wynn had been serving as secretary/treasurer this year, his election to vice chairman created a vacancy in the secretary/treasurer seat, to which Board members elected Roger West of Florida.
Wynn believes the upcoming year for the CBB will be good with a new direction and the board will have a working relationship with their contractors and continue to move forward. Wynn also says the recent vote on the Roles and Responsibilities by the board was something that needed to be done, and while there was one change that was controversial concerning committees, all was resolved
Click on the LINK below to hear more from Weldon Wynn on the future of the CBB and what to expect this upcoming year concerning the beef checkoff.
Cattle Industry Summer Conference Winding Down Today
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The last item on the agenda for this mid year conference at the Gaylord Palms is the board of directors meeting for the NCBA and the CBB. Based on the earlier meetings- mainly held on Wednesday- there will be little fresh business for the board members to address- and it may be a shor and sweet event.
In the Beef Board session of Wednesday morning- the members did easily approve the revised Roles and Responsibilities document that started out early in the year as an assault on the status quo- but ended up affirming the current working relationship of the CBB and the Federation of State Beef Councils. It also seemed to encourage not just the NCBA- but all policy groups to offer input into the direction of Beef Checkoff expendictures. The Beef Board did reject a By Laws change by a single vote that would have changed the selection of the Nominating Committee from being controlled by just the Chairman and shifted it to a selection process made by the entire board. That plan needed a 2/3 majority and failed by a single vote- it had lots of Oklahoma fingerprints on it- the Board did establish a Committee to look at the selection process and propose changes when the full board meets again in early 2012.
Meanwhile, the most interesting beef checkoiff news that we have seen actually comes from the Organization of Competitive Markets- a populist group that has been very critical of the relationship of the CBB and the NCBA. OCM will be holding their annual meeting next Friday in Kansas City- and former Chairman of the CBB, Tom Jones, is on their agenda. What he has to say in this public setting next Friday could be very revealing in the process that led to his decision to resign from the Chairmanship and the Beef Board itself. Click here for the OCM website and more on their meeting next week.
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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 $12.83 per bushel- as of the close of trade Wednesday, while the 2012 New Crop contracts for Canola are now available are $12.88 per bushel- delivered to local participating elevators that are working with PCOM.
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