~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Friday February 15, 2008!A service of National Livestock Credit, KIS Futures & American Farmers and Ranchers.
-- No Farm Bill Deal This Week....
-- Vision Growth and Strength- the 2008 AFR Convention Theme.
-- M&M offer up the bad jokes- as Wheat and Peanuts and even Milk are put together for a Valentine's evening...
-- Budget Numbers in the State- What Happened????
-- Oklahoma Cattlemen's Leadership Academy Kicks Off Sunday...
-- Biotech Rising as Farmers Plant More Acres of GMO Crops...
-- Pollard Farms "Performance Genetics" Angus Bull & Commercial Female Sale is set for March 1st
Here's your morning farm news headlines from the Director of Farm Programming for the Radio Oklahoma Network, Ron Hays. We are proud to welcome KIS Futures as a regular sponsor of our daily E-Mail. KIS Futures provides Oklahoma Farmers & Ranchers with futures & options hedging services in the livestock and grain markets- Click here for their website or call them at 1-800-256-2555.
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No Farm Bill Deal This Week....
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Chairman of the Senate Ag Committee does not feel the urgency that the House Ag Leadership was speaking of earlier this week as Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa has signaled his intent to counter the framework that has been assembled by Colin Peterson and Bob Goodlatte and generally blessed by the White House.
Harkin told reporters yesterday that he does not believe that six billion over the budget baseline for a ten year period is adequate spending for the 2007- 2008 farm bill- he wants at least $9.5 billion. He did signal that specific policy issues are not yet relevant until we get to that budget number.
We reported on our website yesterday at midday that over 40 agricultural groups have sent a letter to Congressional Ag Leadership saying that the policy details are relevant- and that the cuts in the bills already crafted earlier in the process by Congress are out of line- and that the new deal- the Peterson Deal- is a bad deal because it "seriously underfunds" the Commodity Title which has already taken significant hits in this process.
Vision Growth and Strength- the 2008 AFR Convention Theme.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The 103rd annual American Farmers and Ranchers convention is now underway in downtown Oklahoma City as this century old general farm group that has served Oklahoma producers as the Oklahoma Farmers Union most of those years continues to regenerate itself into a multistate farm organization and insurance company.
When we talked with President Ray Wulf in Reno- he told us that they were on the verge of releasing details of their expanded reach into a total of 24 states that is happening because of their purchase of an existing insurance company- and that purchase will also give them a chance to expand their influence as a farm group that will be more "centrist" than other general farm groups. More details on this move to become a player in the national farm policy debate to come- perhaps out of this meeting or else in the days immediately following their annual convention. We do know that they intend to be a part of the 2008 National Farmers Union convention in Las Vegas in early March- and have participated in policy development for NFU in their Resolutions Committee.
In Oklahoma City, they work on their policy positions this morning- there are no contested elections as only incumbents filed for re-election to seats on the board that were expiring. They will be talking market outlook this afternoon with Dr. Kim Anderson and Dr. Derrell Peel on their program, as well as the future of water in our state. Tomorrow, they hear from former Texas lawmaker Charlie Stenholm as they discuss national policy issues. Congressman Dan Boren will be one of their guests Saturday evening at their annual banquet, which will wrap up their annual meeting this year, as they have no program this year that spills over into Sunday.
M&M offer up the bad jokes- as Wheat and Peanuts and even Milk are put together for a Valentine's evening...
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~It was the fifth annual Oklahoma Wheat Commission/Oklahoma Peanut Commission OSU Researcher Appreciation Dinner that was held last night in Stillwater. Mark Hodges and Mike Kubicek- the Executive Directors of the respective groups- were the emcees and offered up an array of stories and jokes as they saluted the research teams at the University and in some cases in the Ag Research Service of USDA that have worked with improving these two crops for years in the state.
Southwest Dairy Producers joined in for the evening as they helped sponsor Miss America 2007, Lauren Nelson of Lawton to come and give greetings, tell a little about her just concluded year as Miss America and even offered a bit of her vocal talent.
We did have a chance to visit with a variety of folks over the course of the afternoon and evening that we spent in Stillwater- and one of those was peanut and cotton farmer Joe D White of Tillman County- who is Vice Chairman of the Oklahoma Peanut Commission. You can hear our conversation with this producer who gives us an overview of his operation and how he has worked through the changes in the peanut industry- it was interesting that Mike Kubicek mentioned to me that this past year that Beckham County became the largest producing county, with long time leader Caddo County now number two. Disease and policy have caused this crop to really change a lot over the last decade- we will hear more about with Mike Kubicek when we share our conversation with him the first of the week- but this morning- click below and get a farmer's perspective on Oklahoma goobers.
Budget Numbers in the State- What Happened????
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Projected budget numbers for the state of Oklahoma have fallen like a Sumo wrestler taking a dive, and while just a few days ago, we apparently had more money to spend than a year ago in the state legislature- it now appears that we have fewer dollars- and a hundred million fewer dollars than one year ago for state spending. A final "official" number will be certified this coming week- but the tea leaves clearly are pointing at this lower figure, which really blows up a lot of plans for 2008 in the Legislature.
In talking with several ag and rural lobbyists this week, there is concern about getting money in some additional areas that had been identified early on as priorities by the Ag Groups that meet regularly. Money for lab equipment for the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture Lab now under construction as well as more money for catching up the Division of Agriculture at OSU with other Land Grants in the region may face a steeper hill to climb with these numbers being unveiled.
Corporate Income Tax is down 64% from $15.5 Million to $9.3 Million (this was projected to be $101.8 million for the year) , January collections were down 6.7%, Personal income tax collections totaled $249.9 million for the month, falling short of the prior year by $24.2 million or 8.8%. According to Scott Meacham, State Treasurer, "A slowed down Oklahoma economy along with record tax cuts the past three years are the main factors for the reduction in money available."
Oklahoma Cattlemen's Leadership Academy Kicks Off Sunday...
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Academy is an expanded version of the successful OCA Young Cattlemen's Leadership Conference (YCLC). The Academy incorporates our existing focus on state and federal Legislative and Regulatory issues with enhanced beef production and processing related educational opportunities. Initial plans are for the year-long Academy to consist of five sessions.
The group will gather for the first time this Sunday and they will have activities at the State Capitol, opportunities to meet House and Senate members, tours of the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture Food and Forestry, and the opportunity to participate in the quarterly OCA Board of Directors meeting.
Other sessions later in the year will include a tour of feedlot country and participation in the Oklahoma Beef Quality Summit next fall. We have a flyer that tells a little more about the Leadership development effort- and have that linked for you below.
Biotech Rising as Farmers Plant More Acres of GMO Crops...
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~A report released this week shows genetically engineered agriculture is spreading worldwide - but the biggest growth in 2007 came in the developing world. Farmers in 12 developing countries planted biotech crops last year. For the first time - the developing countries growing biotech crops outnumbered the industrialized countries where biotech crops were grown.
According to the report - released by the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications - genetically altered soybeans, corn, cotton and other crops were planted on 282.3-million acres in 2007 - an increase of about 12-percent from the previous year. That - according to the report's primary author - reduced pesticide spraying and increased yields brought the price of production down in a significant and sustainable way.
U.S. farms did continue to lead the way - with more than 142-million
acres planted to biotech crops. The report shows the planting of biotech
corn increased by 40-percent from 2006 to nearly 20-million acres.
Argentina led developing countries with 47.2-million acres of biotech
corn, soy and cotton. Brazil was second - planting just over 37-million
acres of biotech cotton and soy.
Pollard Farms "Performance Genetics" Angus Bull & Commercial Female Sale is set for March 1st
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The ninth annual Pollard Farms Bull and Commercial Female Sale will be held at the ranch near Waukomis Oklahoma on March 1st at 12:30 pm.
This year's offering includes 120 service age bulls. These bulls will range in age from yearlings to 4-year- old bulls. Additionally, 100 commercial bred heifers will sell. 70 of these females will begin calving March 10th, with the balance calving this fall.
For details contact the Pollard Farms crew at (580) 758-1464 or view the catalog online by fo9llowing the link we have for you below.
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