~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Monday April 16, 2007!A service of Midwest Farm Shows
-- Farm Groups and Lawmakers celebrate SB709 passed out of the House- Heading for Brad Henry's Desk.
-- If you have Oklahoma Farmers Union insurance- you'll be getting a letter this week.
-- Regarding the Freeze of April 7-9- did we dodge a bullet on the 2007 wheat crop?
-- Blood Pressure Alert for Wheat Producers- Tom Harkin wants your Direct Payments for his pet projects!
-- A busy week in Oklahoma if you are involved in Agriculture!
-- Did I Mention a FREE Breakfast????
-- Everybody got in on this last rain making system!
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.
Farm Groups and Lawmakers celebrate SB709 passed out of the House- Heading for Brad Henry's Desk.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~It was a slam dunk vote in the Oklahoma House as by a 85 to 14 margin, the House approved SB 709, which declares that manure is NOT a hazardous waste. We were in Elk City Saturday morning for the annual Eggs and Issues breakfast- and that was one of the things that was being celebrated by the lawmakers present as well as by the sponsor of the breakfast, Oklahoma Farmers Union and their President Ray Wulf.
We talked with State Senator Mike Schulz of Altus about the measure, that he helped get jump started earlier in the session by spending one of his "silver bullets" in the Senate Rules Committee to get it heard. Schulz says minor changes in the language while the Senate worked on the issue got the blessing of State Attorney General Drew Edmondson, who up to that point, had worked overtime to get the measure killed. Schulz called it a "common sense" measure that gained broad bi-partisan support in first the Senate and now in the House.
We talked with Senator Schulz about this measure as well as some additional legislation that he is working on in the remaining days of the state legislature- and we have that conversation linked for you to listen to below.
If you have Oklahoma Farmers Union insurance- you'll be getting a letter this week.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~A letter being sent by the Oklahoma Farmers Union Mutual Insurance Company is going out today that will inform holders of their insurance policies that the name of the company is changing right away. The new name that we have talked about for awhile is the American Farmers and Ranchers Mutual Insurance Company- at least for those who hold a policy in Oklahoma. The farm organization name will stay the same- and President Ray Wulf says everybody that you have dealt with last week is still around this week- the name is changed- but everything else stays the same.
The Mutual Insurance Company approved the name change in February and it had first been expected to be a phased in changeover of the name here in the state. But the Insurance Commission quickly okayed all the changes- and some legal considerations speeded up the timeline for the name change roll out.
Wulf says that they are very excited about the chance to spread the risk of this Oklahoma based company to other states in our immediate region- as well as further away as well- as that will allow them to provide better service here at home. We talked with Ray about the changing of the name during the Eggs and Issues breakfast in Elk City- and you can hear his comments on that subject by linking on below.
Regarding the Freeze of April 7-9- did we dodge a bullet on the 2007 wheat crop?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma State University's State Wheat Specialist Dr. Jeff Edwards believes that most of the wheat acres growing across our state in 2007 avoided the worst of the problems a couple of weekends ago from temperatures that went below the freezing mark and stayed there.
Dr. Edwards says the best looking wheat in the state in 2007 is the southwestern quarter of the state- and that wheat pretty well missed the freeze. North of I-40, we start to see fields that have had some freeze damage around Stillwater back west to Kingfisher and northward into the Enid area.
The big problem from the freeze may have occurred in the northern tier of counties from Alfalfa County eastward to Ottawa County. Edwards tells us that he will be working with folks out in the field in these areas to begin real determinations about how much production potential may have been lost from this late season hard freeze. We talked with Dr. Edwards in his office on Friday afternoon while we were in Stillwater- and you can hear his comments by clicking on the link below.
Blood Pressure Alert for Wheat Producers- Tom Harkin wants your Direct Payments for his pet projects!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The National Association of Wheat Growers has been pushing for a higher direct payment in the Commodity Title to be developed for the 2007 Farm Bill. Now, a real challenge to that is surfacing from the Chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, Tom Harkin of Iowa. It's not likely that his suggestions made over this past weekend will find any immediate traction- but it shows that anytime you have a pot of money sitting around in an existing piece of legislation that there are folks always around that have "better" ways to spend it.
Senator Harkin's comments came during a Farm Bill Hearing that he and Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska were holding in Council Bluffs, Iowa on Saturday. Harkin's corn farmers in Iowa have had good crops and excellent cash flow with the biofuels demand putting its mark on the corn market- so Harkin raises the question would it be better to a take some of those direct payments or maybe even all of them and spend that money on Conservation, Rural Development or other projects and areas that are calling for funding that otherwise may not be there.
In the case of the Wheat Growers, it is their contention that the direct payment has been about all the benefit that many wheat producers have received. With drought wiping out the wheat crop this past year in the southern plains, wheat producers had no crop to sell thus received no LDP payments and the higher market price wiped out any chance for a countercyclical payment. Harkin questioned how long we could continue with the Direct Payments because of WTO challenges- but that flies in the face of the claims made by those who understand "Green Box" versus "Amber Box" classifications under WTO- I have always heard that the direct decoupled payment is "Green Box" and is the least likely challenge point of our current farm program.
A busy week in Oklahoma if you are involved in Agriculture!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~There are a bunch of events planned over the next week that we have linked on our Calendar page of WWW.OklahomaFarmReport.Com- and we invite you to go and check the various events out. Some of the big events include the Southern Plains Farm Show this Thursday through Saturday in Oklahoma City, the Oklahoma Beef Conference planned for Stillwater on Thursday and Friday, the Oklahoma Sustainable Ag Conference being held in Norman at the end of the week and several winter canola field days being planned in southwestern Oklahoma.
We have the direct link to our Calendar page for our website linked below- go and check all the latest events out. And remember to get me reminders of what is going on with your group or organization or commodity- we will share that with everybody!
Did I Mention a FREE Breakfast????
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Come join us this Thursday for the opening day of the Southern Plains Farm Show as the Radio Oklahoma Network and Midwest Farm Shows invite one and all to the Farmer Appreciation Breakfast that will help kick off the three day show.
Our breakfast will be at the brand spanking NEW Cafe at the front of Barn Three on Gordon Cooper Blvd in the State Fair Park. We have been working with the folks who are in the process of opening up this brand new venue at the Fairgrounds and it is nothing short of fabulous. They have just opened this past week in time for the Centennial Horse Show- and you will be impressed!
We will be serving breakfast from 8 am till 10 am on Thursday morning- so come in, enjoy a great breakfast and then begin walking through all the buildings and outdoor exhibits that will make up the 2007 Southern Plains Farm Show. Helping us make this breakfast possible are several sponsors, including the Oklahoma Beef Council, the High Plains Journal, Wilson Equipment, Sooner Distributors, American Farmers and Ranchers Insurance and Oklahoma Farmers Union. Come say Howdy next Thursday morning!!!
Everybody got in on this last rain making system!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~It appears that every single Mesonet location across the state reported at least some precipitation from the end of this past week into Saturday. Some of the smaller amounts included Waurika with .34 inches of rainfall and Acme (in southern Grady County) with .43 inches of the wet stuff.
The heaviest total that is reported on the Mesonet seems to be Hinton, which has received just over three inches of rainfall.
More rain could develop late tonight into Tuesday and yet another system or two may roll through Oklahoma between now and the weekend. What a difference a year makes- we will get the latest soil moisture profile readings from the weekly ag crop weather update this afternoon- and it should be almost a 100% report of adequate to surplus topsoil moisture reading- the first time for that in several years.
Our thanks to Midwest Farm Shows for their support of our daily Farm News Update. Go to their website at the link at the top of today's email for more information on either the Tulsa Farm Show or the Southern Plains Farm Show.
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