~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Tuesday March 27, 2007!A service of Midwest Farm Shows
-- The "M" Word never came up- but the SB709 did and quickly passed the House Ag Committee.
-- What about the stretch run in the Oklahoma Legislature?
-- Wheat Crop Condition improves- as does soil moisture!
-- National Integrated Pest Management Conference for stored commodities comes to Oklahoma next month!
-- The Drake Report- catching up with Bob Drake between meetings
-- CBB's new COO joins us for the Beef Buzz!
-- NCBA meets and may get time with the President- State Ag Education top spot to be decided this week AND TSCRA gets new Top Hired Hand!
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.
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The "M" Word never came up- but the SB709 did and quickly passed the House Ag Committee.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~There were several items of business on the Monday morning agenda of the Oklahoma House Ag Committee, and all items were passed out of Committee with a "do pass" recommendation. There was the Feral Swine measure that would make it easier to control wild hogs- which interestingly enough the representative from the Oklahoma Wildlife Department says are not considered wildlife at all. However, the bill that most ag interests were especially interested in was SB 709. This is the proposal that contains compromise language that declares that animal manure is NOT a hazardous waste.
SB 709 has already cleared the Senate, has the blessing of the Governor's office (as well as the Attorney General's office) and seems to be well on its way to passage. The next hurdle was really no hurdle at all- as the House Ag Committee waited for State Representative Terry Hyman to come in from another meeting, begin to present the measure, interrupted him with a "do pass" motion, the second came, no debate was offered and all voted aye. It happened as fast as a well executed double play in baseball.
The measure now goes to the full Natural Resources Committee on Wednesday (tomorrow)- the body chaired by Dale Dewitt of Braman- and it is highly likely that it will jump through that hoop easily as well. Consideration on the House Floor could come as early as next week- there will be discussion there no doubt- but it is expected to pass and be sent on to Brad Henry for his expected signature. All of the major ag groups that have an interest in livestock were in the committee room as Don Armes declared the measure passed- and were pleased that this next step for this measure can be checked off as complete.
What about the stretch run in the Oklahoma Legislature?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We asked Lori Peterson, lead lobbyist for the Oklahoma Farm Bureau about the measures she continues to watch as the 2007 session continues to wind down- and she led off with the manure definition measure as one they hope can be put in the "victory" column very soon. (Of course we sat down and chatted right after the House Committee vote).
We also talked taxes, property rights, trespass, water and the Budget deal as they relate back to agricultural and rural interests- and you can hear Lori's comments by going to our audio link below.
Wheat Crop Condition improves- as does soil moisture!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The 2007 Oklahoma HRW crop is looking mighty good- and if the three or four north central Oklahoma counties that have traditionally been some of our biggest producing counties had been blessed with a better fall growing season- we might be talking about bouncing back and having an exceptional wheat crop this June. Still, it is truly remarkable how much better the crop condition is as we approach the end of March versus this point a year ago. In 2006, we were facing 65% of the Oklahoma wheat crop in poor to very poor condition- this week in 2007, we have a crop rated in 67% good to excellent condition! The improvement from last week is five percentage points- so the recent rains have helped.
Both the Texas and Kansas wheat crops are also in the total turnaround mode from a year ago- with the Texas crop rated this week at 58% good to excellent and the Kansas crop at 72% good to excellent.
Both topsoil and subsoil moisture ratings got wetter by six percentage points compared to a week ago- and both ratings are far better than at this point in 2006. Pasture ratings in the state are also improving- but it remains a slow process. Still, a week ago the pasture and range conditions were still at 54% poor to very poor- this week they are 44% poor to very poor-. You can check the full report for this week for Oklahoma by clicking below.
National Integrated Pest Management Conference for stored commodities comes to Oklahoma next month!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The VIIth National Stored Product Integrated Pest Management Training Conference will be held April 18-20 in Stillwater. The conference will include both classroom and hands-on training sessions to provide the latest information, current practices, and special issues related to integrated pest management (IPM) in stored products, including bulk raw commodities, processed foods, and associated enterprises. The first day will consist of three plenary lectures in the morning covering food safety and bio-security; organically compliant methods; and managing molds, mycotoxins, and allergens in grain and food. The afternoon will be classroom sessions followed by an evening banquet, all held at the Wes Watkins Center on campus. On Thursday and Friday, hands-on training sessions will be held at the Stored Products Research and Education Center (SPREC) west of campus. With 58 grain bins onsite, SPREC will provide an optimal venue for learning about IPM.
Topics covered will include empty-bin sprays; grain protectants; fumigation of commodities and structures; physical controls for insects; sampling and trapping insect pests; vertebrate pest management; inspection, sanitation, and exclusion; aeration and temperature management; and personal protective equipment. The event will conclude at noon on Friday. The registration fee is $295 before April 6 with an increase to $400 after that date. For more information click on the link we have provided below or call Edmond Bonjour at 405-744-5099.
The Drake Report- catching up with Bob Drake between meetings
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We caught up with Bob Drake of Davis yesterday morning as he was stopping in Oklahoma City from being in Ft. Worth at the TSCRA annual meeting and heading on to Washington to be with the Oklahoma Farm Bureau during their annual Legisative Trek to our nation's Capitol.
Drake is a long time member and Board Member of the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers- and we talked with him about the drop in membership for TSCRA in Oklahoma. He called it a chicken and egg scenario-as the main service that TSCRA offers in our state is cattle theft investigation services. Membership has been down- so TSCRA has not been able to keep the positions for Investigators filled in Oklahoma and it becomes a vicious cycle. Drake is hopeful that this can be addressed and that we can see these services maintained- as he says the very best theft precention and investigation services in the country has been offered by the TSCRA down through the years.
We also talked with Bob about the priorities as Oklahoma Farm Bureau members meet with the Oklahoma Congressional delegation, primarily today in Washington. He says obviously the top priority is "farm bill" and then comes several other issues, including the federal fight to define Manure as not a hazardous waste under the Superfund Rules. You can hear Bob's comments on both of thesestops on his itinerary this week by going to the link below.
CBB's new COO joins us for the Beef Buzz!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Tom Ramey has been named the new Chief Operating Officer of the Cattlemen's Beef Board- a move that surprised some in the cattle business- but a move that means in all likelihood a signal of steady as she goes when it comes to the current direction of the Beef Checkoff organization. Ramey has been with the CBB for 13 years- and currently serves as the Chief Financial Officer. He will be taking over from Monte Reese, who will be stepping down at the end of April after 18 years on the job. Of course, Reese is a native Oklahoman, growing up in the Mooreland area, serving as a state FFA officer, working under Russell Pierson at WKY Radio and TV, then on the Farm Credit system before he landed with the CBB in the early days of the program.
We are pleased to have on our Beef Buzz for this Tuesday Ramey, who takes over for Monte in just a little over 30 days- and we share with our listeners on the Radio Oklahoma Network a taste of what Ramey is thinking about as he takes on this additional duties in the days to come.
You can go to the link below to listen to today's Beef Buzz, featuring Tom Ramey- and you can review a variety of features that we have reported on RON from the beef industry by going to our web site, www.OklahomaFarmReport.Com, and checking out Beef Buzzes all the way back to last fall.
NCBA meets and may get time with the President- State Ag Education top spot to be decided this week AND TSCRA gets new Top Hired Hand!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The spring board of Director's Meeting of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association is happening this week in Washington- in fact they get going today- and we hear from former NCA President Bob Drake that they seem to be on the list to meet with President Bush on Wednesday. It looks like a couple of Oklahomans will be there at the Spring meeting after all- including Drake who is also up in Washington for the Oklahoma Farm Bureau Legislative trip as well as Jason Hitch out of Guymon.
While in Stillwater yesterday interviewing the District FFA Stars who were being judged for statewide honors that will be announced next month at the State FFA Convention in Oklahoma City, we were told four finalists have been identified for the position being vacated by Eddie Smith, who will retire from his role as the leader in the Ag Education efforts in the state at the end of April. They hope to name a successor to Mr. Smith, who also serves as the the state FFA Advisor, in the near future.
Eldon White has been Executive Director for the National Agri Marketing Association for the last several years- but he has a ranch background and he has been persuaded to leave Kansas City and head south to Ft. Worth and take on the job of Executive Vice President of the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers. The announcement was made during the group's annual meeting in Ft. Worth this week- Eldon will be taking on his new duties in early May.
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