~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Monday May 18, 2009A service of Producers Cooperative Oil Mill, Midwest Farm Shows and Johnston Enterprises!
-- Lucas Reacts to the Waxman/Markey Climate Change & Energy Bill Being Introduced
-- OSU Offering Two New Hard Red Winter Wheat Varieties This Fall
-- Which Congressman in Oklahoma Represents the Most Farmers in Washington?
-- Farmers Grain of Pond Creek Pulls Together $75,000 for Scholarship Fund
-- Congrats to Paul F. Engler And W.D. Farr- Feedlot Legends and Now Hall of Famers
-- Oklahoma Republican Legislature and Democratic Governor Cut Budget Deal
-- 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. It is wonderful to have as a regular sponsor on our daily email Johnston Enterprises- proud to be serving agriculture across Oklahoma and around the world since 1893. For more on Johnston Enterprises- click here for their website!
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Lucas Reacts to the Waxman/Markey Climate Change & Energy Bill Being Introduced
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~On Friday afternoon, Ranking Member Frank Lucas issued the following statement on the introduction of The American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (H.R. 2454). "Cap and trade is nothing more than a national energy tax, and the effects will be far reaching to businesses, consumers, and even more so to farmers and ranchers. Whether it's the fuel in the tractor, the fertilizer for the crops, or the delivery of food to the grocery store, agriculture uses a great deal of energy throughout production. The national energy tax included in this legislation would be devastating to our farmers and ranchers.
"My initial review of the bill is that it is almost 1,000 pages and mentions 'agriculture' a total of six times -- three times about a report prepared by the EPA every four years and three times about a new program for the federal government to purchase private land for conservation purposes. It appears that in return for drastically higher input prices our farmers and ranchers will get a report every four years and a new federal program to purchase private property.
"It is imperative that Congress conduct hearings and study this legislation and its implications for production agriculture carefully. There is too much at stake to simply rush a national energy tax through Congress," said Ranking Member Frank Lucas.
For some background on what the Congressman from Roger Mills County thinks about the moves by the Democrats regarding Climate Change legislation, click on the link below to listen to the comments he offered to a group of Canadian County wheat farmers last Monday during that county's wheat plot field tour.
OSU Offering Two New Hard Red Winter Wheat Varieties This Fall
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~With two new wheat varieties becoming available this fall, OSU Wheat Breeder Dr. Brett Carver says that he is excited about the choices that wheat farmers have this summer as they prepare to plant wheat for the 2010 harvest this fall. At the same time, that excitement is tempered by the reality of the the worse wheat crop in fifty years for Oklahoma wheat farmers, as producers have battled Mother Nature on several fronts as the list of problems associated with the 2009 wheat crop mount.
We talk with Brett Carver about those new varieties that are coming as of this fall- Billings and Pete. And we talk about where wheat breeding stands today- as well as where it is headed in the years to come with Dr. Carver, considered to be one of the leading wheat breeders in the world.
Click on the link below for our feature webstory with one of the leading wheat breeders in this country, not to mention worldwide, Dr. Brett Carver.
Which Congressman in Oklahoma Represents the Most Farmers in Washington?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~If you answered Frank Lucas, who serves on the House Ag Committee, is the top Republican on that Committee and represents the Third Congressional District- you would be Wrong. That honor actually goes to Second District Congressman Dan Boren, whose eastern Oklahoma district has about 1,700 more farms than the Third District (49282 versus 47,567), altho they are much smaller on average than the size of the farms in the Third District- 260 acres on average in Boren's District versus an average size of 626 acres in the Third District.
The Third District is a lot larger if you measure it by the amount of gross receipts- $3.24 billion versus $1.735 Billion for the Second District. Representative Tom Cole of the Fourth District has the next most land mass in his south central Oklahoma after District Three and Two and this district has 22,730 farms
District One is the district represented by John Sullivan, and this Tulsa area metro district has just over five thousand farms and $86.5 million farm sales, while the Fifth District of Oklahoma is the land of Mary Fallin, complete with just over six thousand farms and annual farm product sales of $80.8 million dollars. Click on the name of each Congressman for their District Ag Census Profile- or click on the link below and jump to the NASS page to check out other Districts that you have interest in.
Farmers Grain of Pond Creek Pulls Together $75,000 for Scholarship Fund
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~An Oklahoma State University student's dream of earning a college degree is one step closer to reality, thanks to a $75,000 endowment from Farmers Grain Company of Pond Creek. "We feel the endowment is a positive way that Farmers Grain can support our members and their families; as a co-op, we believe in doing what we can to help our members meet their goals," said Danny Halcomb, president of Farmers Grain Company.
To be eligible for the scholarship, the OSU student must be a member of Farmers Grain Company or have a parent or grandparent who is a member of the marketing and farm supply cooperative. Halcomb added that it is hoped many of the recipients will return to their rural roots after graduation, bringing with them cutting-edge knowledge and skills vital to strengthening and revitalizing local communities.
We have more on this story on our website- click on the link below for learn more about this expected scholarship- which should be available within the next couple of years.
Congrats to Paul F. Engler And W.D. Farr- Feedlot Legends and Now Hall of Famers
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Former Texas Cattle Feeders Board Chairman Paul F. Engler And W.D. Farr of Colroado have been named as the first two inductees in the newly established Cattle Feeders Hall of Fame. Engler, 79, is a long-time TCFA member whose service includes chairing the TCFA Board of Directors in 2002. He is most recognized as founder and chairman of Cactus Feeders, the largest privately owned fed cattle producer in the United States. Farr, who passed away in 2007 at age 97, was considered by many to be the pioneer of Colorado agriculture because of his innovative work in cattle feeder business management and environmental stewardship.
"Engler and Farr exemplify why the Cattle Feeders Hall of Fame was established: To celebrate the rich traditions of the cattle feeding industry and recognize those who have devoted their careers to preserving its mission and improving production practices," said Betty Jo Gigot, nominating committee chair. "It's a privilege to give the very first Hall of Fame awards to two gentlemen whose leadership and vision has fueled inspiration and innovation that is still being carried out today."
Engler and Farr were chosen by fellow cattle feeders for the honor. They were among a group of 12 distinguished individuals nominated by members of the cattle feeding industry.
Oklahoma Republican Legislature and Democratic Governor Cut Budget Deal
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Gov. Brad Henry, House Speaker Chris Benge and Senate President Pro Tempore Glenn Coffee announced a budget agreement on Friday afternoon that protects the four core functions of government, including education, health care, public safety and transportation. Those four areas are at least held harmless in this agreement, all while not tapping the state's Rainy Day fund, leaving about $600 million in place for future needs if necessary.
Governor Henry told reporters late Friday that ""Because of the uncertain economic conditions and projected decline in state revenues, this was a very challenging budget process that required many difficult decisions. With the help of stimulus funds, we were able to protect a number of priority areas, including education, health care, transportation and public safety, but we were also forced to cut many worthy agencies and programs in order to live within our means and balance the state budget. Obviously, we would have liked to do more to shield services from cutbacks, but the budget reality just would not allow it. I look forward to working with legislative leaders to enact this budget and adjourn the legislative session in an orderly manner," Henry concluded.
While those four key areas will not face cuts, the rest of the state's agencies are facing a seven percent cut on an across the board basis. Common and higher education see about a 2 percent increase compared to last fiscal year, which should prevent the need for increased tuition. Transportation and Health Care also see increases over last year's budget, and Corrections, Veterans Affairs and Career Tech are all held harmless under the deal.
The legislature will be going almost non stop all week long on hearing budget bills, as the Courts have prevented Oklahoma lawmakers from submitting a unified budget as a package- it has to be broken down agency by agency and it will take dozens of hours to go through the procedure of calling each bill up- and getting a recorded vote. The hope is to be done by Friday evening so the 2009 State Legislature can declare victory and go home.
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Let's Check the Markets!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Woodward Livestock had just over 5,500 head of cattle on Friday- and prices were about steady. The five weight steers brought from $114 to $124.50, while seven hundred to eight hundred steer yearlings cleared from $98 to $105. For the complete rundown from Jerry Nine and the Woodward market from last Friday, click here for the full report- it should be up and available a little after 8 AM central time at this link.
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on the name of the report to go to that link:
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