~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Monday January 29, 2007!A service of Midwest Farm Shows
-- Leave the Dollar Beef Checkoff at a Buck- and oh by the way, let's promote just U.S. Beef!
-- The Average Beef Producer- a 61 year old male!
-- Record number of cattle in feedlots for a January first!
-- Wheat Growers Board met this past week in DC- wants full CSP- as long as the money doesn't come from Farm Subsidy pot!
-- PETA playing Chicken with Sonic!
-- Tis the season for signup in the spring Beef Quality Summit!
-- WTO Talks to Restart.
Here's your morning farm news headlines from the Director of Farm Programming for the Radio Oklahoma Network, Ron Hays. Our email this morning is a service of Midwest Farm Shows, featuring the Southern Plains Farm Show in Oklahoma City April 19-21, 2007, as well as the Tulsa Farm Show held each December. Check out details of both of these exciting shows at the official website of Midwest Farm Shows by clicking here.
If you have received this by someone forwarding it to you, you are welcome to subscribe and get this weekday update sent to you directly by clicking here.
Leave the Dollar Beef Checkoff at a Buck- and oh by the way, let's promote just U.S. Beef!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~When the Dollar per head beef checkoff was declared constitutional, the Livestock Marketing Association had little standing in their legal action against the USDA which was initially an effort to force a referendum by the government. The agreed to end their legal action against USDA, but USDA did agree to conduct an extensive survey of cattle producers about the feelings of those producers about the beef checkoff.
The survey of just over 8,000 cattle producers from across the country validated the smaller samples of producers that the Cattlemen's Beef Board has taken over several years that has shown support for the checkoff at 65% to 72%- as the larger survey actually came in at the high end of those numbers.
A strong majority of the producers sampled say leave the checkoff alone at a dollar per transaction. They also strongly said they wanted to find a way for the checkoff to promote U.S. beef domestically- even if that means the checkoff loses money from imported beef that now pays. A majority of those who were polled also expressed liking the idea of a periodic vote on the checkoff. Jay O'Brien of Texas, the current chairman of the Cattlemen's Beef Promotion board, pointed out that most of the possible changes that were liked by many cattle producers can only be done by changing the law that established the Checkoff in the 1980s. O'Brien did say that they believe that the survey shows the need for further Producer Communications to really explain how the checkoff is being spent to help improve demand for beef.
The Average Beef Producer- a 61 year old male!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Gallup Organization was retained by USDA to do the Beef Checkoff survey- and they collected information on the random sample of beef cattle producers they surveyed. They collected almost a million names of cattlemen across the United States and used that as their universe.
In their news briefing on Friday, the Gallup representatives told us a little about the demographics of the cattle producers they surveyed- and it matches what we know about agriculture today- but it is really is a little scary about who will be farming and ranching in the years ahead.
The average age of the producers they interviewed is 61. Only 4% of those sampled were under the age of 40. Ninety percent of the survey was male.
Record number of cattle in feedlots for a January first!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~There are two percent more cattle in the nation's feedlots as of January 1, 2007 compared to exactly twelve months ago. That is slightly above what traders surveyed expected. The number of cattle placed into feedlots in December was down nine percent from a year ago- and that was a couple of percentage points higher than expected- while the cattle marketing figure was five percent less than last year- in line with what traders were expecting.
The marketing number was most depressed in the southern plains- here in Oklahoma, Kansas and Texas. Oklahoma marketings were off 26% from a year ago, Texas off 18% and Kansas down 10%.
Linked below is the conversation we had with Dr. Derrell Peel of Oklahoma State University about this report- and where he sees cattle prices heading as we travel through 2007.
Wheat Growers Board met this past week in DC- wants full CSP- as long as the money doesn't come from Farm Subsidy pot!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Several interesting reports came out of the Wheat Growers Board of Directors meeting this past week- including an effort to move toward biotech wheat. The Joint Biotechnology Committee, which includes members from both USW and NAWG, recommended two resolutions to the Board, which it approved. The first encouraged dialogue between American and Australian and Canadian wheat growers regarding the development of a timeline for the release and commercialization of biotech wheat, while the second asked that USW and NAWG identify trait developers and initiate a dialogue to encourage the research, development and commercialization of biotech wheat.
The Domestic Policy Committee reported to the Board that it was establishing a subcommittee to examine the idea of a permanent disaster program, which the Committee feels it could support depending on the source of funding.
The Environmental Policy Committee recommended that the Board support a robust biomass production pilot program in the 2007 Farm Bill, provided funding doesn’t come from commodity title spending. The Committee also recommended NAWG support legislative action for an ambient air quality exception for agriculture and that NAWG support the implementation and full funding of CSP, as long as it doesn’t use funds from the commodity title. The Board approved all of these recommendations.
PETA playing Chicken with Sonic!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Daily Oklahoman is reporting that PETA, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, are planning on showing up at the annual meeting of the Sonic Corporation this week and want to raise a stink about current slaughter practices that poultry suppliers of Sonic use that PETA describes as one that causes excruciating deaths.
PETA believes they have the right to make these demands at the stockholders meeting by virtue of buying 150 shares of stock. They want the Sonic board to demand that poultry suppliers start using a procedure known as "controlled atmosphere killing."
PETA is targeting not just Sonic, but McDonalds, KFC and Wendy's as well. PETA claims that Controlled Atmosphere killing is more humane, while a study done for McDonalds in 2005 says the method of killing birds that PETA is demanding is still in its early stages of commercial development and that it is too early to make any commitments to it at this time.
Tis the season for signup in the spring Beef Quality Summit!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The dates for the spring edition of the Oklahoma Beef Quality Summit have been set as March 5-7 and March 7-9 on campus in Stillwater of Oklahoma State University.
Slots are filling up for these two sessions- free to Oklahoma cattle producers with a small charge to those in allied industries that wish to participate. Producers are responsible for lodging in Stillwater for the event. If you wish to find out more about the Beef Quality Summit, go to the link we have below which will tell you details about the two and a half day program.
If you want to call and reserve your spot, call the Oklahoma Beef Council at 1-800-235-5403 and they will be happy to sign you up!
WTO Talks to Restart.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~On Saturday, Ministers of some of the major Economic powers agreed to restart the WTO talks, after they were suspended six months ago because of deep divisions. British Prime Minister Tony Blair is optimistic about a Doha deal- saying that a deal is now "more likely than not."
EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson says that he thinks "we are back in business." These statements about restarting the global trade talks all were coming out of the World Economic Forum being held in Davos, Switzerland.
The U.S. Trade Representative,Susan Schwab, calls these developments optimistic but yet she says we must approach another round of talks with realism. The Brazilian Foreign Minister, Celso Amorim, told journalists in Davos that he thinks that the EU and the United States may be more willing to make bigger moves on reforming farm subsidies. Amorim thinks that by late March or early April, we may see a serious breakthrough in the Doha Round, the talks that began in 2001.
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