~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Tuesday December 22, 2009A service of Johnston Enterprises, P & K Equipment/ P & K Wind Energy and American Farmers & Ranchers Mutual Insurance Company!
-- Western Oklahoma Schools Awarded USDA Grant for Technology
-- Francie Says SURE Signup is Near
-- Phil Seng Comes Home Upbeat About South Korean Market for US Beef and Pork
-- Sesame Harvest Update
-- Gearing Up for the Safety Net Debate in the Next Farm Bill
-- At a 100 Calories- Even Better than Oreos- The Flat Iron Steak!
-- National Corn Growers Association Begins Podcast Series
-- 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 pleased to have American Farmers & Ranchers Mutual Insurance Company as a regular sponsor of our daily update- click here to go to their AFR web site to learn more about their efforts to serve rural America!
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Western Oklahoma Schools Awarded USDA Grant for Technology
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Ryan McMullen, State Director for USDA Rural Development announced that U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is awarding $2,749,779 to Oklahoma projects that will increase educational opportunities and medical services in rural areas. The awards are being provided through USDA Rural Development's Distance Learning/Telemedicine Program.
Lomega Public Schools submitted one of the successful applications claiming $487,864. This grant will be used to link learning labs in eight school districts stretching across Central and Western Oklahoma. The project will make investments in network infrastructure and replace obsolete equipment. A high capacity server will also be added to allow the storage of course materials and lectures. Schools can access the files on the server and rebroadcast them at times that compliment their varying course schedules. In addition to sharing limited resources to meet K-12 core curriculum requirements, the new equipment will enable High-Definition broadcasts of concurrent courses available through Redlands Community College and Northern Oklahoma College for college bound students while also transmitting coursework and lectures available through Chisholm Trail Technology Center.
Lomega Public School Superintendent, Steve Mendell, was very excited to learn their application was selected in this highly-competitive process, "As budgets tighten, working in consortiums makes good sense. We can share teachers which will insure that each school can offer a complete curriculum. We can offer concurrent enrollment for college-bound students. And, we can share information such as fieldtrips which can now be captured in video and rebroadcast, this federal grant is a very big deal to us."
We have more on this grant for rural schools in Western Oklahoma- as well as details on another USDA rural development grant to St. Anthony's Hospital that will be working with several western Oklahoma hospitals in rural communities. Click on the link below to learn more about both of these programs.
Francie Says SURE Signup is Near
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Francie Tolle, State FSA Director, dropped us a note on a couple of FSA programs- including the latest on SURE. Francie tells us "there seems to be some miscommunication or misunderstanding on the timing of SURE payments. Although SURE is running about a month or two behind now, producers need to understand that due to the way the legislation was written, SURE will not and cannot be an immediate pay out.
"A very important issue in the delay of the SURE program is that the
legislation (2008 Farm Bill) required a national average market price for
determining revenue losses. The marketing year average price is calculated
at the end of the marketing year based on 12 months of price information,
therefore FSA cannot begin administering SURE until at least a year after
all crops are harvested and the market price can be determined. For 2008
the earliest FSA could have administered the program would have been
November of 2009. Accordingly, in regard to 2009 disasters, because of the
way the legislation is written, this means we cannot begin SURE payments
until fall 2010.
Tolle also gave us a quick update on the impact of the DELAP Dairy Assistance program for dairy farmers in the state of Oklahoma. She tells us that FSA has paid out $1,219,744 to help Dairy Producers throughout 44 counties in Oklahoma under this program.
Phil Seng Comes Home Upbeat About South Korean Market for US Beef and Pork
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~U.S. Meat Export Federation President and CEO Philip Seng has just returned from South Korea, where he had the opportunity to observe the impact of recently intensified marketing campaigns for U.S. beef and pork. Seng sums up what he saw while in South Korea with us on today's Beef Buzz.
Earlier this month, USMEF-Korea unveiled a multimedia advertising campaign designed to raise the visibility of U.S. beef among Korean consumers and counteract persistent negative images that have lingered since U.S. beef reentered the market in mid-2008.
Seng also offers a report about more US pork moving into Korea- and for
cattle producers- it's good news to see improving pork exports- easing
some of the total meat tonnage in this country. The mountain of pork that
built up with the H1N1 problems of earlier this year has not only kept hog
producers swimming in red ink (with some drowning), but it also has kept a
ceiling on beef price prospects for a lot of 2009.
Sesame Harvest Update
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~A spring planted alternative crop for western Oklahoma that seems to have gained traction over the last couple of years is Sesame. Danny Peeper worked for several years with Wheeler Brothers- but has now moved on to work with the major contractor of Sesame in the southern plains- Sesaco.
Danny dropped us an email and gave us an update this week about the wrapup of Sesame harvest. "Harvest has been delayed this year due to weather conditions, however, it is nearing completion now. Despite the prolonged drought and exceptional heat we experienced in Oklahoma last summer, the sesame is yielding quite well. The majority of fields are coming in between 700 and 900 pounds per acre, with many growers yielding over 1000 pounds. A new dryland record has been set with one grower in Oklahoma this year making 1620 pounds!
"The quality of the crop has been excellent, and the shatter resistance has proven itself very well with the crop standing in the field for over 6 weeks in some cases waiting to be harvested with basically no seed loss. We will be releasing a couple new varieties next year that also displayed some very promising results in seed increase fields."
Gearing Up for the Safety Net Debate in the Next Farm Bill
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Our morning farm news for this Tuesday morning features comments from USDA Undersecretary Jim Miller, who spoke a few days back at the USA Rice Outlook Conference. One of the topics he mentioned in his Q&A with those at that conference in New Orleans was the soon to come debate on the 2012 Farm Bill. (Congressman Lucas and others have called it the 2013 Farm Bill- take your pick)
Miller says that while the Administration supports a farm safety net, the two pots of money that are easily seen by non farm interests going to farmers will likely coveted by lawmakers who have pet projects and need bucks to make them reality. Miller says that those pots of money are the Direct Payments and the Crop Insurance subsidies.
He does not think that either Congress or the Obama Administration is interested in extending the Status Quo- and hopes that folks that are impacted by farm policy will come to the table and start looking at creative ideas that can preserve and even enhance the current safety net in place. You can click on the link below and listen to our Tuesday morning farm news- the link takes you to our "Listen to Ron" page on the website- and from there, just click on the top Listen bar for our Morning Farm and Ranch News.
At a 100 Calories- Even Better than Oreos- The Flat Iron Steak!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Forget the 100 Calorie package of Oreos- what about a nice tender juicy steak? Oklahoma City based Chef's Requested Foods has been testing a portioned controlled Flat Iron Steak for the retail market much of 2009- and they have now moved from just test markets to marketing their "100 Calorie Steak" nationally.
Their website says of this Flat Iron product "These tender, juicy steaks are trimmed and portioned to provide only 100 calories per steak, 3.5 grams of fat and 17 grams of protein qualifying the product to bear the mark of the American Heart Association. It is no longer difficult to find healthy lean meats in your grocer's meat department because these steaks are consistently lean cuts of USDA Choice Beef with an exact portion size that fits your healthy lifestyle."
We have more details of this 100 Calorie Packaging of one of the first generation Value Cuts coming from the Chuck and Round of the beef carcass. Click on the link below to learn more.
National Corn Growers Association Begins Podcast Series
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The National Corn Growers Association has posted to its web site its first podcast in what will be an ongoing series. This series, called ' Off the Cob", will feature interviews with grower-leaders on hot topics in agriculture and will expand media options for those wishing to further their knowledge of the industry.
The first piece looks at the history and future of the maize genome sequencing project with former Research and Business Development Action Team Chair Pam Johnson, a grower from Floyd, Iowa. Johnson shares the unique perspective that she gained on the project while working tirelessly to help NCGA find the funding necessary to complete the monumental collaborative effort.
NCGA Grower Services Action Team chair Tim Dolan points out - the Corn Board listed communications as one of its top five priorities for 2010. This decision gave us the responsibility of both improving and broadening our communications activities through the development and implementation of ideas such as 'Off the Cob'."
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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 $7.60 per bushel, while the 2010 New Crop contracts for Canola are now available are $7.75 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: