~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Wednesday December 23, 2009A service of Producers Cooperative Oil Mill, Midwest Farm Shows and KIS Futures!
-- Voluntary Cost Share Conservation Works- Media Shown a Water Quality Success Story Along the North Canadian River
-- OSU's Brad Morgan Amazed at Desire to Learn More About US Beef in China
-- An Oklahoma Ag Leadership Program Update
-- US Wheat Associates Working to Establish Relationship With New Buying Agency in Saudi Arabia
-- NCBA Comments on Interstate Sale of Meat Rules Being Worked on by FSIS
-- The Latest Weather- Maybe or Maybe Not on Much Snow- But Regarding the BIG Chill- A Most Definite YES.
-- Christmas Schedule
-- Let's Check the Markets!
Here's your morning farm news headlines from the Director of Farm Programming for the Radio Oklahoma Network, Ron Hays. We are proud to have KIS Futures as a regular sponsor of our daily email update. KIS Futures provides Oklahoma Farmers & Ranchers with futures & options hedging services in the livestock and grain markets- Click here for the free market quote page they provide us for our website or call them at 1-800-256-2555.
We are also excited to have as one of our sponsors for the daily email
Producers Cooperative Oil Mill, with 64 years of progress through
producer ownership. Call Brandon Winters at 405-232-7555 for more
information on the oilseed crops they handle, including sunflowers and
canola- and remember they post closing market prices for canola and
sunflowers on the PCOM
website- go there by clicking here.
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Voluntary Cost Share Conservation Works- Media Shown a Water Quality Success Story Along the North Canadian River
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The farmers and ranchers of the North Canadian River Watershed today celebrated changes they have made to ensure the Oklahoma City metro area's primary source of water is protected from contamination from agricultural runoff. "We're commemorating the conversion of more than 20,000 acres of cropland to no-till practice and the protection of the first eight miles of stream bank protected by riparian buffer strips," said Clay Pope, Executive Director of the Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts. "More than 500 acres of high erodible cropland has also been converted to pasture to further protect the water from contamination."
The results of these conservation efforts- Christmas has come early to the citizens of central Oklahoma in the form of the work being done by farmers and ranchers to protect the quality of the water in the North Canadian River, a primary source of drinking water for Oklahoma City, according to Trey Lam, President of the Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts. "The Agriculture producers and other landowners in the North Canadian River Watershed should be commended for the outstanding work they are doing to protect this vital watershed," Lam said. "Because of their good efforts, the folks downstream will see cleaner water flowing into Lake Overholser, one of Oklahoma City's primary sources of drinking water."
All of these practices were undertaken through voluntary, locally-led conservation initiatives including state conservation cost-share programs, USDA Farm Bill conservation programs and Clean Water Act section 319 water quality initiatives managed by the Oklahoma Conservation Commission in partnership with local Conservation Districts and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).
Click on the link below to read more about this water quality success story- and you can also listen to our conversation with Clay Pope about this Section 319 program- and how it is one of many such programs that has seen success across the state. Pope says of the many 319 programs that have been offered- there has never been a case in Oklahoma where we have had more money than producers who wanted to cost share and help in these environmentally positive efforts.
OSU's Brad Morgan Amazed at Desire to Learn More About US Beef in China
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~There is no question that China's beef sector is attracting the interest of investors and world beef exporters. After decades of low prices, Chinese live cattle prices of roughly $1 per pound are higher than those of even the United States. China's appetite for beef is growing at a long-term trend rate that is unparalleled by any other major consuming market. That is one reason that Oklahoma State University's Dr. Brad Morgan, department of animal science meat scientist, recently traveled to all-corners of China and talked to several purchasing groups regarding the usefulness, high quality and safety associated with the current U.S. beef offering. (Pictured are beef buyers from COFCO. COFCO is China's leading oil and food importer and exporter and one of the largest food manufacturers in China.
"China's foodservice and restaurant sectors have expanded at a rate double than that of its already torrid GDP growth," Morgan said. "One can find a plethora of new beef-focused restaurants, ranging from hot pot and Korean barbecue restaurants to the golden arches of McDonalds in primary cities like Beijing and Shanghai, which have 18 million people each, as well as smaller secondary cities as well."
While in China, Morgan, with the cooperation of the U.S. Meat Export
Federation, conducted a series of one-day workshops with several of the
largest Chinese food importing and processing businesses that are
beginning to utilize U.S. beef items into their operations.
An Oklahoma Ag Leadership Program Update
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The current class of the Oklahoma Ag Leadership Program is down to just one event before graduation from the program next April. That one event is a big one, as they are preparing for their international seminar in Spain and Morocco in February.
Meanwhile, we got an email from program director Dr. Joe Williams yesterday- and he's very proud of class 14 and how several have already stepped up to the plate while in the program to new levels of leadership. Joe writes "the program continues to produce emerging agricultural leaders that represent our nation, Oklahoma, this program and our agriculture industry very well. Three Class XIV members are currently serving on national boards. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack appointed Annette Riherd, Oolagah, to serve as a member on the National Organic Standards Board. The Secretary also appointed Ryan Luter, Morrison, to serve on the USDA Advisory Committee to Secretary of Agriculture on Beginning Farmers and Ranchers. Brandon Winters of Oklahoma City, is a delegate (director) for the Cottonseed Processors subgroup of the National Cotton Council of America."
Speaking of OALP- Alums- I have a friendly reminder that there are only a few days left to get your expression of financial support in for 2009. I understand that we are closing in on making the Noble Foundation Challenge for the year- but your support is needed to close the deal. That means a dollar given becomes two dollars to the program- and that's vital in helping fund the continuation of this very important leadership development effort. Those investments need to be sent to the OSU Foundation before December 31 to be counted against this year's Noble Grant Challenge.
US Wheat Associates Working to Establish Relationship With New Buying Agency in Saudi Arabia
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) recently conducted a seminar in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, to introduce U.S. wheat and the U.S. marketing system to the Saudi Arabian wheat buying organization, Grain Silos and Flour Mills Organization (GSFMO). Conducted in cooperation with local USDA/Foreign Agricultural Service and State Department officials, the seminar was the first ever held exclusively with this new international wheat buyer, and was designed to build confidence in U.S. wheat crop quality, handling, and commercial reliability. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has decided to end domestic wheat production by 2016 and may eventually need to import more than 2.5 million metric tons (91 million bushels) of wheat per year.
"Competition for this market is intense," said Dick Prior, USW Regional VP, Cairo, Egypt. "The Canadian Wheat Board monopoly is allowing select traders to offer comparable quality Canadian wheat at delivered prices well below what our exporters can offer so establishing the value of U.S. wheat with GSFMO is critical." Saudi Arabia purchased almost 60,000 metric tons (2.2 million bushels) of U.S. hard red winter wheat in marketing year 2008-2009 (June-May).
Click on the link below for more on this effort being made by US Wheat Associates to establish a relationship with the Saudis as the US hopes to land a major share of their wheat business in the days ahead.
NCBA Comments on Interstate Sale of Meat Rules Being Worked on by FSIS
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) submitted comments yesterday to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) regarding a proposed rule to allow the interstate shipping of certain meat and poultry products. The proposal would establish a new cooperative state program-as directed under section 11015 of the 2008 Farm Bill-to permit the sale and shipment of meat across state lines. The program will help small establishments grow their businesses and open up new opportunities for cattle producers to do business at the local level. Currently, meat processors operating under cooperative state inspection programs are prohibited from selling their products out of state.
"This program is a great opportunity to grow local demand for beef and increase competition," said Kristina Butts, director, legislative affairs. "NCBA fought for this provision in the 2008 Farm Bill and we're pleased that USDA is finally working towards its implementation."
While NCBA is pleased with the spirit of the program, it is asking FSIS
to clarify guidance for establishments in states which potentially become
ineligible to participate. The proposed rule states that once an
establishment applies to participate, it would have to transition and
become federally inspected if it were ever deselected from the program.
It's unclear what would happen to establishments participating in the
voluntary program in the event its respective state was to become
ineligible to participate.
The Latest Weather- Maybe or Maybe Not on Much Snow- But Regarding the BIG Chill- A Most Definite YES.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The computer models keep shifting around on exactly how much rain or snow may fall across Oklahoma as we approach Christmas Eve and even Christmas Day. There could be several inches of the white stuff, especially in northern parts of the state- or a significant part of the state could end up with smaller totals than earlier thought. The National Weather Service says the dynamics of this storm bearing down on us keeps moving.
However- one thing that seems to be set in stone by Friday- it's gonna
be COLD baby! The special weather statement out of the Norman NWS office
offers the following- and they are serious since they send this out all in
CAPS- "HAZARDOUS WINTER WEATHER WILL PERSIST EVEN AFTER THE PRECIPITATION
ENDS. A LARGE MASS OF ARCTIC AIR, THE COLDEST YET THIS SEASON. WILL
OVERSPREAD ALL OF OKLAHOMA AND WESTERN NORTH TEXAS. WIND CHILL
TEMPERATURES MAY BECOME DANGEROUSLY LOW, ESPECIALLY THURSDAY NIGHT AND
FRIDAY. AIR TEMPERATURES ACROSS NORTHERN OKLAHOMA COULD REMAIN NEAR OR
BELOW FREEZING FOR AS LONG AS THREE OR FOUR DAYS."
Speaking of trying to forecast winter weather- the folks at the Mesonet have their latest newsletter out- and the lead article is very fitting, as they talk about the difficulty of forecasting winter weather. Click on the link below and you can read more from Laura Martin and the Mesonet crew in their December Newsletter.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Virtually all auction barns are done with their livestock auction sales for 2009- the next auctions that will be held are likely to be the week of January 4, 2010. We would suggest that you contact the barn you do business with to determine their schedule.
Our ag futures markets operate a full trading day on this Wednesday- will trade a half day on Christmas Eve and then will be totally closed come this Friday, December 25th for Christmas.
Likewise, we will have a "lite" email on Thursday for Christmas Eve and
then will skip Friday- we will return on Monday for the last few updates
of the old year.
Our thanks to Midwest Farms Shows, PCOM, P & K Equipment/ P & K Wind Energy, Johnston Enterprises, AFR and KIS Futures for their support of our daily Farm News Update. For your convenience, we have our sponsors' websites linked here- just click on their name to jump to their website- check their sites 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!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We've had requests to include Canola prices for your convenience here- and we will be doing so on a regular basis. Current cash price for Canola is $7.50 per bushel, while the 2010 New Crop contracts for Canola are now available are $7.70 per bushel- delivered to local participating elevators that are working with PCOM.
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:
God Bless! You can reach us at the following: