~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Wednesday September 21, 2011A service of Johnston Enterprises, P & K Equipment/ P & K Wind Energy and American Farmers & Ranchers Mutual Insurance Company!
-- Survey Shows Extent of Drought Impact on Southern Plains Producers
-- Senate Moves One Step Closer to Finalizing Free Trade Agreements
-- USMEF Study Finds Favorable Returns on Market Development Programs
-- Dairy Industry Spreads the Word at Ice Cream Contest
-- Conservation Groups Call on Congress for Support in 2012 Farm Bill
-- Soybean Farmers Score Big in New Football Season
-- Polly Ruhland Drops Interim From Her Title as CEO of the Cattlemen's Beef Board
-- If You Are Not Getting the Email Every Day- Read This
-- 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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Survey Shows Extent of Drought Impact on Southern Plains Producers
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The worst 1-year drought on record is affecting ranchers in the Southwest, however a recent survey conducted by the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) shows TSCRA members are actively implementing a variety of strategies to adapt to the current climate.
According to TSCRA's Drought Impact Survey, 84 percent of respondents indicate they have reduced their herd size from their 3-year average. Herds were reduced by an average 38 percent.
In talking with TSCRA officials, most of the surveys returned were from their Texas members- but the survey also reflects some input from Oklahoma ranchers who belong to the organization as well.
The survey indicates that individual herds were reduced through livestock market sales, early placement into feedyards, moving cattle to unused pastures or dry lots, or sending older cows to harvest.
"These numbers indicate that the drought is certainly taking its toll on ranchers, but they also indicate that the industry is adapting to the weather," said Joe Parker, President of the TSCRA. "If there is a silver lining to the drought, it may be that this has allowed us to see just how diverse the beef industry truly is."
Senate Moves One Step Closer to Finalizing Free Trade Agreements
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Monday evening, Sept. 19, 2011, the U.S. Senate voted 84 to 8 to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed with the U.S. Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) legislation. According to National Cattlemen's Beef Association Manager of Legislative Affairs Kent Bacus, the Senate took the first step necessary toward passing pending Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with Colombia, Panama and South Korea.
"This procedural vote was a critical step toward ending the multi-year delay on passing pending trade pacts that would stimulate the economy and create jobs," said Bacus. "This legislation is one of the many requirements President Obama has demanded before he will send the agreements to Congress."
Bacus said the Senate is likely to consider many amendments to the GSP legislation. Bacus expects the legislation to eventually pass and then go before the U.S. House of Representatives for a vote. He said the president likely will delay sending the trade agreements to Congress until the House passes the GSP bill. As far as predicting a timeline for the FTAs, Bacus said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) "holds the cards."
"Sen. Reid holds the cards regarding how much time will be spent on the GSP bill. He has the ability to tie this up as long as he wants but there's also a chance we could see the bill move quickly. Much of that will hinge on how many amendments he allows," said Bacus. "There is enormous pressure on Sen. Reid to keep this under control."
USMEF Study Finds Favorable Returns on Market Development Programs
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~U.S. beef, pork, corn and soybean producers are receiving a solid return on their checkoff investments in the U.S. Meat Export Federation's (USMEF) export market development programs, according to a study completed recently by Dr. Harry Kaiser, the Gellert Family Professor of Applied Economics and Management at Cornell University and director of the Cornell Commodity Promotion Research Program.
In fact, every industry dollar invested in these programs over the past 10 years returned an average of $15 in net revenue for the pork industry and $8 to the beef industry.
"An Economic Analysis of the U.S. Meat Export Federation's Export Market Development Programs" was commissioned by USMEF to quantify the returns that the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) and the beef, pork, corn and soybean checkoff programs receive from their investments in USMEF's export market development programs. The independent study was funded by the USDA and Dr. Kaiser was chosen from several researchers who proposed to do the research.
"It is clear that U.S. beef and pork export market development and promotion programs have had a significant and positive impact on meat export net revenue," said Dr. Kaiser.
Dairy Industry Spreads the Word at Ice Cream Contest
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~With the Oklahoma State Fair well underway, the annual Cow-to-Cone Ice Cream Contest, sponsored by Dairy MAX, was held this past weekend. Eugene Corley, a dairy farmer and producer from Tuttle, Okla., served as a judge for this tasty contest. However, this contest serves as more than a chance to sample some delicious ice cream; it is also a chance to talk about the dairy industry.
Corley says the contest is a good way to get the word out about the industry and of course, ice cream is one of the best product they put out. And there are a lot of changes within the industry that many people are not aware of. Corley says there have been many changes because of the technology developed since they first started milking.
Of course, they began with milking by hand and they have now changed to
using milking machines says Corley.
Click on the LINK below to hear more from Eugene Corley on the Cow-to-Cone Ice Cream Contest and how it is used to talk about the dairy industry in Oklahoma, as well as the impact of the 2011 drought on dairy producers.
Conservation Groups Call on Congress for Support in 2012 Farm Bill
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) and other members of the Forests in the Farm Bill Coalition (FIFB) sent a letter to members of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees offering recommendations for the 2012 Farm Bill. Signed by 70 groups representing conservationists, forest owners, hunters, anglers, forest-product manufacturers, and natural resource professionals, the letter urges Congress to pass a Farm Bill that enables forest conservation on private forests and surrounding rural landscapes, while supporting the creation and maintenance of forest-dependent rural jobs and strong rural economies in forest communities.
"Forests play a critical role in providing clean air, clean water and healthy habitat across the nation," NACD President Gene Schmidt said. "It's important that forest landowners are able to participate in Farm Bill conservation programs and receive the technical assistance necessary to implement on-the-ground conservation practices to ensure the sustainability of America's forests and other natural resources."
Specifically, the groups are calling for a Farm Bill which: (1) includes strong provisions for forests in conservation Programs, (2) strengthens forestry outreach, education, research, and inventory programs, (3) combats forest-related invasive species, and (4) improves forest market opportunities.
The nation's private forests, which make up more than two-thirds of all U.S. forests, supply Americans with clean water and clean air, fish and wildlife habitat, recreational opportunities, and forest products. They are also a key component of our rural landscapes, stimulating healthy communities and economies, and supporting well-paying jobs in rural America. However, our forests continue to face a number of challenges threatening their long-term sustainability, including development, Invasive species, insects, diseases and wildfires.
Soybean Farmers Score Big in New Football Season
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~U.S. soybean farmers - especially those in Kansas - are undoubtedly especially proud this season of the Kansas State University (KSU) Wildcats - or, more specifically, their stadium playing field.
KSU recently installed AstroTurf GameDay Grass at Bill Snyder Family Stadium in Manhattan. AstroTurf products include a soy-based backing called BioCel, from Universal Textile Technologies. BioCel uses soy-based-polyol technology developed with support from the soybean checkoff.
"We love seeing our U.S. soy on the football field," says USB New Uses program Chair Bob Haselwood, who farms about 65 miles east of Manhattan in Berryton. "The number one user of our soybeans is the animal ag sector, which uses 98 percent of our soybean meal. But soybean oil is used in a lot of things people aren't aware of, such as paint, cleaners and turf, and the list goes on and on."
The sustainability of U.S. soy proves to be one important reason behind its increasing popularity in new, industrial uses. More often than ever, builders and other industrial customers choose soy-based products over those made with petroleum-based chemicals.
Polly Ruhland Drops Interim From Her Title as CEO of the Cattlemen's Beef Board
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Polly Ruhland is the new Chief Executive Officer of the Cattlemen's Beef Board, as hired on Tuesday by the Beef Board Executive Committee. Ruhland has been serving as the interim CEO since June 28, and the chairman of the Executive Committee in charge of hiring her said she more than proved herself in her three months in that position. She replaced Tom Ramey, who resigned under fire after being reprimanded by the Board for unauthorized activity.
"The opportunity to serve farmers and ranchers in this way is an unparalleled honor," Ruhland said. "I am committed to working every hour of every day to promote beef through the unique cooperation and coordination offered by the Beef Checkoff Program."
Earlier in the year as she served as Interim CEO, we talked with her during Summer Cattle Industry Conference in Florida- and her comments with us make up today's Beef Buzz- to give you a feel of her sense of direction for the dollar a head beef checkoff. You can hear that conversation with Polly by clicking on the LINK below.
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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 $12.65 per bushel- as of the close of business yesterday, while the 2012 New Crop contracts for Canola are now available are $12.71 per bushel- delivered to local participating elevators that are working with PCOM.
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