~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Wednesday October 17, 2007!A service of Farm Credit of East Central Oklahoma, American Farmers and Ranchers & Midwest Farm Shows
-- Cellulosic Ethanol Will be Viable- Not IF but WHEN is the Unknown.
-- Lots of Activity "Behind the Scenes" for Biofuels- Especially Cellulosic Efforts.
-- $275,000 Payday for the Illinois River!
-- Senate Ag Committee Sources Say We have a Funding Deal!
-- Oklahoma Farm Bureau Plans Big Food Drive Competition During State Convention.
-- Central Oklahoma Cattle Conference Coming Next Thursday in Chandler
-- The Name is Out- and we say Congrats to Dr. Ron Kensinger- incoming Dean of Animal Science at Oklahoma State University!
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Cellulosic Ethanol Will be Viable- Not IF but WHEN is the Unknown.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Attendees at the second annual Oklahoma Biofuels Conference heard from the Governor and a whole host of experts talking the promise of biofuels. And yes, when we asked several of those experts about the future of ethanol from cellulose- the answer was a resounding "WHEN" to the question- since we currently have no commercially viable cellulosic Ethanol production in place here in the United States- is that reality still an "If" or is it just "when?"
Dr. Lance Lobbin of OU says there are "lots of options to be looked at" when it comes to Lignocellulose conversion. Two technologies that are being sorted out by the brand new Oklahoma Bioenergy Center include gasification and Fast Pryolysis- the conversion of Lignos to bio-oil.
One of the panelists for the opening session was Dr. Ray Huhnke of Oklahoma State University- and we talked with Dr. Huhnke about the BioEnergy Center, work going on at OSU, the possibilities of Sweet Sorghum and more- and you can click on the link below and take a listen to our conversation with this key player in the Biofuels movement both nationally and here in Oklahoma.
Lots of Activity "Behind the Scenes" for Biofuels- Especially Cellulosic Efforts.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Noble Foundation VP and General Counsel Steve Rhines was also one of the panelists looking at the progress over the past year as the Oklahoma Bioenergy Center has cranked up. He agrees that Cellulosic Ethanol production is coming- and that he believes it will be a dynamic force for good when it comes to the economic well being of farmers and ranchers.
Rhines thinks we will start seeing cellulosic ethanol plants start to pop up across the countryside in the next five years- and that we will be able to address the many questions facing the as of yet immature business.
We also sat down with Steve Rhines and want to share his comments with you as well- he gives a private perspective in this Bioenergy Center that is coming together that could land Oklahoma into one of the "sweet spots" when it comes to this next phase of ethanol production.
$275,000 Payday for the Illinois River!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Members of the poultry industry presented a $275,000 check to the Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Commission (OSRC) yesterday during the OSRC's monthly meeting at the National Guard Armory in Tahlequah. This gift is part of a $1.1 million donation pledged to the OSRC in 2005 to be paid over four years. In 2005, the OSRC requested funds from various governmental agencies, corporations and municipalities to preserve and protect the Illinois River Watershed. The poultry companies were the first to respond.
"We are happy that we can help improve the Illinois River," Jackie Cunningham, Director of Community Relations for the Poultry Community Council, said. "We care about this river, and we care about keeping it clean. We're glad to support the OSRC's efforts through this gift."
The poultry companies are also pleased to report that numerous poultry
farmers have decided to export poultry litter from the watershed in the
past two years. In addition, the number of poultry farms operating in the
watershed continues to decline. There are currently 1,660 active poultry
houses in the Illinois River Watershed, which is down from 1,942 houses
two years ago. The decrease in active houses by 282 significantly reduces
the amount of litter produced in the watershed.
Senate Ag Committee Sources Say We have a Funding Deal!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Few details are available- but Senate Ag Committee aides claim there has been a breakthrough and that we have a budget deal on a Farm Bill which should pass muster next week when the Committee meets to "Mark Up" their version of farm policy. Senators that apparently have agreed to a deal include the Chairman, Tom Harkin of Iowa as well as key challengers Kent Conrad of North Dakota- the Chairman of the Budget Committee and top Republican on the Committee, Saxby Chambliss of Georgia.
One detail that has come out is the fact that a small reduction in the amount of Direct Payments will be used to pay for some of the other goodies packaged together- but that the wheat reduction may be small or non existent as Senators have acknowledged that the commodities need some rebalancing which includes a better support for wheat.
The hope is still to start next Wednesday with markup and there are signs that most of the deals will be cut by then and that the open meeting will be window dressing. Can you say "Smoke filled back room deal?"
Oklahoma Farm Bureau Plans Big Food Drive Competition During State Convention.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's farmers and ranchers are launching a major campaign to stop hunger in the state because "no one should go to bed hungry in a land blessed with agriculture abundance," said Steve Kouplen, Oklahoma Farm Bureau president. The "Farmers Fighting Hunger" campaign is in cooperation with the Regional Food Banks of Oklahoma. Farm Bureau members are collecting donations that will be gathered during their annual convention Nov. 9-11 in Oklahoma City.
To help bring some energy and offer some incentives during the campaign, Farm Bureau has set up a competition to see which county group can bring in the most donations. The winner receives a trip for two to Washington, D.C., next spring. Here's how it works: For every can or dollar donated, Farm Bureau will award the county one point. A running tally will be kept throughout the convention, and the winning county will be announced at the closing session Nov. 11.
All food collected by the state organization will be turned over to the two Regional Food Banks that serve most of the state. In fact, the Regional Food Banks in Oklahoma City and Tulsa distribute food to all 77 Oklahoma counties. For more information about the Regional Food Bank, click here. And for more information about the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma, here's a link to their website.
Central Oklahoma Cattle Conference Coming Next Thursday in Chandler
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~"Adding Value to Market Cattle" is the theme of this Conference planned for the Lincoln County Agri-Civic Center in Chandler on Thursday, October 25. OSU Specialists Dr. Glenn Selk and Dr. David Lahman will be guest speakers at the event, as will order buyer Jim Loftin from Talequah, who will talk about "evaluating Feeder Cattle and Cull Cows from a Buyers Perspective."
If you want more information, you can call the Lincoln County extension office- Mick Jones is the Agent there in Lincoln County- and get more information at 405- 258-0560.
We also have details on the event on our Calendar page of WWW.OklahomaFarmReport.Com- click on the Calendar page link below to check out this and several other events planned over the next four weeks.
The Name is Out- and we say Congrats to Dr. Ron Kensinger- incoming Dean of Animal Science at Oklahoma State University!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We had mentioned a couple of weeks ago that the new head of the Animal Science Department had been selected and we had been asked to hold back on talking about specifics on the candidate until he was blessed by the OSU Board of Regents. That Regents' blessing will not come until next week when they meet in the Panhandle.
Well, the name of Dr. Ron Kensinger showed up in the most recent issue of the Oklahoma Cowman- so with the cat out of the bag- we say congrats to OSU on obtaining a top drawer candidate to take on the position held so very well by Dr. Don Wagner, who postponed his retirement by about a year to allow OSU to continue their search for the right person for the job.
Dr. Ron Kensinger got his degrees at the University of Illinois and the University of Florida- and has been on staff at Penn State University since 1982. He has done research and work with all major species- but his work has especially focused on dairy. Ron has received a solid "thumbs up" from several folks I have talked to within the industry that were a part of vetting him for this position. Dr. Kensinger will be starting his new position January 2, 2008.
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