~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Thursday July 10, 2008!A service of Producers Cooperative Oil Mill, Farm Credit Associations of Oklahoma and Midwest Farm Shows!
-- Critical Feed Use Program Offered to CRP Contract Holders Now on Ice
-- Third District Frank Lucas Upset with Judge's Order- Asks USDA to Expedite Legal Process.
-- Spradling Tells Congress- We Need Uniform Farm Truck Rules.
-- Back to the Future- Burton Eller to NCBA to head up their Washington Office
-- McSpadden Memorial This Saturday in Claremore
-- Winter Canola Performance Data Now Available from OSU
-- We are up and running!!!
-- Let's Check the Markets!
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Critical Feed Use Program Offered to CRP Contract Holders Now on Ice
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The National Wildlife Federation and six state affiliates have won a temporary restraining order against USDA's Conservation Reserve Program Critical Feed Use provisions. With this order stopping sign up for the program- it also instructs USDA to tell land owners that have already begun to use their CRP acres for grazing or haying- they must stop and get off that land immediately. A federal judge in Washington State Tuesday night ordered USDA to stop processing and approving additional applications and to notify farmers whose CRP contracts have already been modified that any critical feed use activity - haying or grazing - must immediately cease. Farm Service Agency Deputy Administrator John Johnson directed FSA county offices Wednesday to comply with the court ruling. Farm Service Agency Executive Director for Oklahoma, Jim Reese, gave us a heads up on the situation as this directive came out from Washington.
Rod Wanger with the Oklahoma FSA office has provided us some Oklahoma perspective- "Oklahoma producers began utilizing critical feed use acres on July 2. There are 5 other states that have a July 2 beginning date including Texas and New Mexico. Oklahoma has had 210,000 acres signed up for the program. Texas has had 583,000 acres, and New Mexico 177,000. Colorado has had 253,000 acres signed up but their date to begin activity was July 15. Oklahoma currently has 984,000 acres in CRP, so 21% of the acres had elected to do critical feed use activity. Oklahoma would rank third in the nation with the number of acres signed up for critical feed use."
The contention of the National Wildlife Federation is that USDA simply failed to do their homework when it came to the impact of this program on wildlife habitat on those acres that are under CRP contract. Julie Sibbing, a senior program manager for ag policy at the NWF, says her group got concerned over this lack of public input as this program was announced- and she believes that she group has a strong case and will prevail.
We have an audio overview with Sibbing of the National Wildlife Federation on our brand new look website- and we have a link to that story and audio below.
Third District Frank Lucas Upset with Judge's Order- Asks USDA to Expedite Legal Process.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~As word came out on Wednesday that Federal Judge John Coughenour of Seattle had issued a Temporary Restraining Order against USDA and those land owners who had signed up in good faith for the Critical Feed Use program, the lead lawmaker within the Oklahoma Congressional delegation when it comes to ag issues immediately sat up and took notice.
Congressman Frank Lucas of Oklahoma's Third Congressional District is very concerned about the cattle producers who have already turned cattle out on some of these lands- and are now being told by Uncle Sam- they get them off now or they are illegally using their CRP acreage. The sprawling district that Lucas serves has the bulk of the CRP contracted acres found in Oklahoma.
He is calling on USDA's lawyers to aggressively defend the Emergency
program- and ask the judge to speed up the restraining order process- and
allow those who are now on CRP lands to be able to convert over to the
standard emergency haying and grazing program where producers would be
forced to give up part of their rental payment. Lucas says that if you
don't have anywhere to go with these cattle- that's better than nothing.
Spradling Tells Congress- We Need Uniform Farm Truck Rules.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The President of the Oklahoma Farm Bureau, Mike Spradling, was in Washington yesterday as he testified before a Congressional subcommittee on the need for a uniform and reasonable truck weight limit for farm trucks- as well as relief from regulations that keep farmers from being able to truck their livestock or produce to the market of their choice- especially when that choice means crossing state lines. During a hearing Wednesday before the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure's Subcommittee on Highways and Transit, the Sand Springs, Okla., cattle and pecan producer testified on behalf of the American Farm Bureau Federation regarding the negative impact existing truck weight laws and regulations have on farmers and ranchers.
"Current weight limits imposed by the Safe, Accountable, Flexible and Efficient Transportation Equity Act (SAFETEA) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) burden farmers and ranchers hauling their products to market," said Spradling. "The American Farm Bureau Federation recommends changes to FMCSA's rules regarding Commercial Motor Vehicles (CMVs) that will make them more workable for some farmers and ranchers while still maintaining the safety of rural roads."
Spradling commended a member of the subcommittee, Congresswoman Mary Fallin, for her work with Congressman Dan Boren and others on HR 3098, a measure that would raise farm truck weight limits to 26,001 pounds and address some of the other uniformity issues. We have Mike's full testimony before the Committee yesterday on our brand new look website- and we have the link to that page listed below.
Back to the Future- Burton Eller to NCBA to head up their Washington Office
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) has hired J. Burton Eller Jr. to manage the association's legislative and regulatory office in Washington, D.C., a return for the senior executive of the former National Cattlemen's Association (NCA). Burton will report to CEO Terry Stokes, who served an additional role as interim head of the D.C. office during the search for a new senior vice president of government affairs. "I have seen firsthand the challenges facing cattlemen in Washington, D.C.," Stokes said. "My goal was to find someone who could step into this role without missing a beat and am confident Burton is the right man to lead NCBA government affairs as we go forward."
Eller served as senior vice president of government affairs for NCA for a decade (1981-1991) before leading NCA as executive vice president for five years (1991-1996). He was also a member of the initial industry-wide long range plan task force and the subsequent oversight committee that facilitated the formation of NCBA. He was the last Executive of the old NCA- wrapping up his time with the cattle organization as Oklahoma cattle producer Bob Drake served as the last President of the NCA.
McSpadden Memorial This Saturday in Claremore
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Services for Clem McSpadden have been set for this Saturday morning at 10:00 AM at the Clem McSpadden Bushyhead Ranch Arena, 13 mi. north of Claremore on Hwy. 66. The ranch is located on the west side of the highway.
McSpadden died earlier this week after a battle with cancer- he was 82. The family has asked that in lieu of flowers that contributions be made to the OSU Foundation and the Clem McSpadden Endowed Scholarship program.
There is an organized "tribute" to Clem that we have a link to below-
it includes Clem's "The Original Cowboy's Prayer- the entire prayer is
really fabulous- but a couple of lines stick out to me as to how Clem will
be remembered by so many- "Help us compete in life as honest as the horse
we ride and in a manner as clean and pure as the wind that blows across
this western country. So, when we make that last ride, that we know is
inevitable, to the country up there-where the grass is green and lush and
stirrup high and the water runs crystal clear and deep, You will tell us,
as we enter that Arena, our entry fees are paid."
Winter Canola Performance Data Now Available from OSU
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The data for the 2007-2008 growing season for winter canola is out from Oklahoma State University- and it shows that only the Ft. Cobb field test location came close this just concluded growing season in producing as much canola as was produced a year earlier. Other locations for production trials in the state were well short of production of one year ago.
At the Ft. Cobb test station- the top four yielding varieties were from Monsanto/DeKalb, with the best yield per acre of any of the OSU tests recorded in this data in the state produced by DeKalb CWH 683, a Roundup Ready Canola. Yield per acre for 683 was 3280 pounds per acre at Ft. Cobb.
We have this story- complete with the link to the complete test results as published by OSU- linked below.
We are up and running!!!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~As you may have noticed with the links we have provided on a couple of our stories today- we have our brand new and improved website "turned on!" Our thanks to Kansas farm wife Kris Heinz of the Wireready organization who not only rebuilt our site from the ground up- but many afternoons and evenings turned around and was driving the truck for her husband as they harvested their 2008 wheat crop.
I think you will find the new site functional with a lot of good information available with just a few clicks. It is a site that we want to be useful to you- so please give us feedback and continue to let us know about news stories in your area- calendar events for groups you are involved with- and together we will make this site the most useful agricultural location on the internet for those interested in farming and ranching in our state!
We still have more features to add- so please excuse any growing pains that may show up in a link or two not yet being operational. We'll be spotlighting some of the features we have planned and those we have in place in the days ahead in our daily email. In the meantime- let us know what you like and what you think we need to fix!
Our thanks to Midwest Farm Shows, Farm Credit Associations of Oklahoma and Producers Cooperative Oil Mill for their support of our daily Farm News Update. For your convenience, we have our sponsors' websites linked at the top of the email- check them out and let these folks know you appreciate the support of this daily email, as their sponsorship helps us keep this arriving in your inbox on a regular basis!
We also invite you to check out our website at the link below to check out an archive of these daily emails, audio reports and top farm news story links from around the globe.
Let's Check the Markets!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The OKC West livestock auction sold about 7,800 cattle on Wednesday, with prices compared to two weeks ago stronger- yearling steers up $3 to $5 per hundred, with steer and heifer calves also $3 to $5 up. Five to six hundred pound steer calves brought $114 to $127, while seven to eight weight steer yearlings came in at $111 to $114.50.
Here are some links we will leave in place on an ongoing basis- Click
on the name of the report to go to that link:
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