~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Tuesday August 4, 2009A service of Johnston Enterprises, P & K Equipment/ P & K Wind Energy and American Farmers & Ranchers Mutual Insurance Company!
-- OFB President Mike Spradling Says Water Issues Will Be Near the Top of the List of Topics to Discuss at Farm Bureau August Area Meetings
-- Pitchfork Politics- the Story of the Agracrats.
-- The Week of Rain- A Look at the Latest Oklahoma Crop Weather Update
-- Tyson Has Strong Third Quarter- Poultry Leads the Way
-- Vets Issue Flu Recommendations
-- North American Limousin Hall of Fame Inducts Ken Holloway
-- One of these days- we will wake up to reports of an animal disease outbreak
-- 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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OFB President Mike Spradling Says Water Issues Will Be Near the Top of the List of Topics to Discuss at Farm Bureau August Area Meetings
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Oklahoma Farm Bureau has a long process that begins this month to set policy for the general farm organization. The "headwaters" of policy for them are the annual August Area Meetings that they hold across the state. Mike Spradling, President of the OFB, says that these meetings are the beginning of the grassroots path to setting OFB policy for the next year, and he says that every member is encouraged to attend the meeting in their area to offer their input.
OFB President Mike Spradling expects a whole host of state and national issues to be on the minds of Farm Bureau members across the state- but he says close to the top will be water. With the Comprehensive Water Planning Process underway, there are Farm Bureau members that have taken part from every corner of the state. Spradling says that while the needs of the west are different from those of Eastern Oklahoma, there are some basic property rights principles that the organization has stood for- and will likely be a part of our water issue policies that the group develops or updates this year.
The big national issues of cap and trade as well as food safety and clean water regulations also are top of mind for the group- and will receive a good bit of attention by the group. We talked with Mike Spradling about these meetings and some of the issues that may well surface- you can hear that conversation by clicking on the link below- we also have a full listing of the meetings at that link and the meetings-one by one are a part of the large number of events we have in our August calendar this month on the website.
The first of the August Area Meetings is tonight in El Reno at the Canadian County Farm Bureau office. All of the meetings start at 6 PM- with just a couple of exceptions for a few middle of the day events.
Pitchfork Politics- the Story of the Agracrats.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~It's a most interesting opinion piece that has surfaced from yesterday from the Washington Post on the role of rural Democrats that have proven to be a challenge to the very liberal Democratic leadership in Congress. Dan Morgan of the Post writes that the Climate change debate in the House proved that rural interests can move the politcial needle at the Capitol when they choose to do so. "It was a striking demonstration of agricultural interests stamping their imprint on key parts of the Democratic program. That may come as a surprise to those who thought the "farm bloc" disappeared sometime around the end of the Eisenhower administration. In fact, its clout has been reshaping -- and in some cases halting -- the ambitious agenda of President Obama and Speaker Nancy Pelosi."
Morgan talks about the Climate Change debate, as well as several other
pieces of legislation that rural Democrats are passionate about. And he
paints a word picture of the man he calls the Head Agracrat- House Ag
Committee Chairman Collin Peterson. "As head Agracrat in the House,
Peterson has cast himself as a mediator, rewriting legislation to bring
rural lawmakers on board. While many liberals smart at his activism,
Pelosi has praised him publicly for helping pass the climate bill. And
more accommodations may be coming on immigration and the administration's
plan to help African farmers grow more food.
We have the full article linked below- makes for interesting reading- especially for those of us that live in perhaps the reddest state in the union- based on the 2008 elections.
The Week of Rain- A Look at the Latest Oklahoma Crop Weather Update
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma was hit by a string of thunderstorms this past week bringing beneficial precipitation to many areas and cooler temperatures Statewide. All nine districts received measurable rainfall, with four of the districts receiving one inch or more. Even the Panhandle received enough rain to turn rangeland from brown to green. Some areas of the state missed the isolated rainfall and thus are still waiting for their dose of moisture. Both topsoil and subsoil moisture conditions improved significantly from the previous week, as both rated mostly in the adequate to short range.
For our row crops- "Rains and cooler temperatures have had a positive impact on summer crops. Conditions for all row crops improved from the previous week, most notably corn and sorghum. Corn silking is winding down at 93 percent, four points ahead of last year but three points behind the five-year average. Seventy-one percent of the corn crop had reached the dough stage by Sunday, an increase of 27 points from the prior week and five points ahead of normal. Ninety-six percent of the State's sorghum crop had emerged by week's end, equal to the five-year average. Sorghum headed increased 12 points to reach 31 percent complete, six points behind normal. A small portion of the State's sorghum crop was coloring by week's end. Sixty-five percent of the State's soybeans had reached the blooming stage of development, seven points ahead of the five-year average. Twenty-seven percent of the soybean crop had begun setting pods, eight points ahead of last year but four points behind normal. Peanuts pegging was at 88 percent complete, while peanuts setting pods reached 34 percent, both well behind normal. Cotton squaring jumped 20 points to reach 88 percent, three points ahead of the five-year average. Thirty-nine percent of the cotton crop had begun setting bolls, up 23 points from the prior week but four points behind normal."
Pastures have responded well to the wet weather as conditions improved in most areas, rating mostly in the good to fair range for the State. And livestock have enjoyed the cooler temperatures that we saw last week- reducing stress for at least a few days. Click on the link below and you can review the full two page report- including the crop by crop ratings as of the beginning of this month.
Tyson Has Strong Third Quarter- Poultry Leads the Way
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~A profitable third quarter for Tyson Foods, thanks largely to a strong performance in its chicken business, had company executives smiling Monday, but they are more sober about market dynamics going forward- saying the current quarter is challenging. Profits grew even as sales fell. We have an audio report on their third quarter report with Stewart Doan- click on the Listen Bar below for that report. Tyson said operational improvements are paying off as third-quarter results showed profitability in chicken, beef and pork, led by the poultry division.
The Springdale, Ark.-based firm reported a profit of $134 million, or 35 cents per diluted share, compared with a profit of $9 million, or 3 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter. The results beat the estimates of Wall Street analysts, who, on average, expected a profit of 22 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters. Sales fell 2.8 percent to $6.66 billion.
The Poultry segment of their business took centerstage in the third
quarter. Operating income was $143 million, compared with a loss of $30
million in the year-ago period. Company officials said a 5 percent
increase in sales volume and higher average sales prices helped sales and
operating results. The sales volume increase stemmed from inventory
reductions and sales volume from recent acquisitions. A $91 million
decrease in grain costs also benefitted the unit, the company said.
Vets Issue Flu Recommendations
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~In order to protect both human health and the food supply - the American Association of Swine Veterinarians is strongly advising all personnel working in the pork production industry be vaccinated against seasonal influenza annually and against any novel human influenza A viruses as they emerge. The organization also recommends that all personnel associated with pork production and harvest intensify basic hygiene and biosecurity practices.
The AASV says control of influenza in the swine herd has been less flexible. Vaccination with currently approved vaccines should continue to be used to control clinical signs of disease due to swine influenza virus as recommended on each product's label. The organization says vaccination of swine against the pandemic H1N1 2009 influenza virus should be implemented if scientific evidence demonstrates that vaccination reduces virus shedding and the risk of transmission to pork production personnel.
The American Association of Swine Veterinarians also recommends the development of a system modeled on the WHO system for strain selection that facilitates the production of national or regional influenza vaccines for swine. Also recommended is that pork producers cooperate fully and actively participate in the development and implementation of surveillance programs established by federal, state and local governmen
North American Limousin Hall of Fame Inducts Ken Holloway
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The North American Limousin Hall of Fame inducted Ken Holloway, Chattanooga, Okla., in a special ceremony in conjunction with the National Junior Limousin Show and Congress (NJLSC) and the All-American Limousin Futurity (AALF) in Amarillo, Texas. The honor recognized Holloway's leadership in improving and merchandising the Limousin breed. His friends Bret Begert, Allison, Texas; Bruce Brooks, Marietta, Okla.; Gail Ratliff, Westphalia, Kan.; Mark Smith, Ankeny, Iowa; and Dan Wedman, Calumet, Okla., led the tribute.
From the breed's beginnings in North America to today, Holloway's "colorful character and deep-rooted, unyielding, selfless passion for the cattle make it long overdue that he be recognized with this highest honor," wrote Wendell Geeslin of Colorado and Bruce Lawrence of Texas, co-chairmen of the Hall of Fame nomination committee, in announcing the selection earlier this summer.
Holloway graduated in 1966 from Oklahoma State University, where he majored in animal husbandry and competed on the livestock-judging team. He then was a field representative for the American Shorthorn Association for three years and the livestock industry coordinator for the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture for two years. He formed his sales-management and marketing firm, American Cattle Services (ACS), in 1971. ACS has managed the AALF (formerly the World Limousin Futurity) since its inception in 1974. Additionally, Holloway and his wife, Sue Ann, started their own Limousin herd, Coyote Hills Ranch, in 1971.
His greatest gift to production agriculture possibly is his willingness to share his knowledge and teach anyone willing to learn," said Kyle Haley, editor of the Limousin World magazine.
One of these days- we will wake up to reports of an animal disease outbreak
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~One of these days- we will have a serious animal disease outbreak in the United States- and Bob Drake says that the livestock industry has to stay at the table and work with government to develop a workable traceback system that is there in the drawer, ready to be used when that animal disease outbreak comes.
We continue our conversation today on the Beef Buzz with Bob Drake, who is a board member of the Oklahoma Farm Bureau and was the last President of the old National Cattlemen's Association before it merged and became today's NCBA. Drake worries that the USDA Listening Sessions may have backfired on Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack, who Drake says was "looking for positive feedback and didn't get it" regarding a mandatory approach to animal ID.
You can hear this part of our conversation with Bob Drake by clicking on the link below for our Tuesday Beef Buzz. And we remind you that the Beef Buzz is heard regularly on a number of great radio stations across the state that are a part of the Radio Oklahoma Network. In addition, we have hundreds of previous Beef Buzzes archived and available for you to listen to on our website- just go to WWW.OlahomaFarmReport and click on the Beef Buzz button on any page- the button is found on that left hand column with a whole host of selections. It's a real treasure chest of where our beef industry has been over the last few years.
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Let's Check the Markets!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~There was an estimated run of 8200 cattle at the Oklahoma National Stockyards on Monday, with yearlings steady and calves a little higher than last week. The market news reporter, Jerry Alexander, and his team wrote in their report "Demand very good for feeder cattle and calves. Corn futures sharply higher today as rainy weather and below normal summer temps in the Midwest has slowed corn growth by about 10 days. Showers moved thru central Oklahoma leaving some much needed moisture for area hay and grass pastures. Overall quality improved from last week." Click here for a look at the actual prices reported at the OKC market for their Monday sale.
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