~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Thursday March 26, 2009A service of Johnston Enterprises, KIS Futures and American Farmers & Ranchers Mutual Insurance Company!
-- Dale Wooderson named Top Landowner of the Year by Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts
-- House Ag Committee Ranking Member Frank Lucas Writes Tom Vilsack About Information from the IRS that USDA Wants
-- Canadian Pigs Face Uncertain Valuation as Early as Next Month
-- Speaking of the Hog Business- Roy Lee Lindsey Tells Us He Has an Abundance of Issues on His Plate
-- Flood Control Dams in Oklahoma Should Receive Accelerated Monies From Uncle Same for Rehabilitation
-- Obama Budget Director Confident that the Adminstration Will Get Cuts in Farm Subsidies
-- Oklahoma Grain and Stocker Producers Meet This Evening in Enid
-- 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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Dale Wooderson named Top Landowner of the Year by Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~During the Conservation Day celebration at the State Capitol on Wednesday, Dale Wooderson of Blackwell, Okla., received the Outstanding Landowner/Cooperator Award from the Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts, cosponsored by the Nature Conservancy of Oklahoma.
He and his son operate a farm of 4,000 acres near Blackwell, and are all no-till. He says the results have been significant- reduced fuel consumption, conserved soil moisture, increased yields and reduced soil erosion from wind and water. Wooderson also dedicates a portion of his acres to wildlife habitat and seen increases in quail and pheasant populations as a result.
We talked with Dale after the awards ceremony- and we have that conversation on our website- the link is below. Take a listen to his story of conservation.
House Ag Committee Ranking Member Frank Lucas Writes Tom Vilsack About Information from the IRS that USDA Wants
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Ranking Member Frank Lucas along with eight of his Republican colleagues on the Agriculture committee sent a critical letter to Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, asking him to rethink USDA's recent announcement that the department will require all farmers to sign a form, which grants the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) the authority to provide income information to USDA for verification purposes. Failure to comply with this new requirement will make the producer ineligible for program benefits.
The letter says in part "Mr. Secretary, those of us responsible for the 2008 farm bill, from which you say this authority flows, did not anticipate farmers signing away their right to keep their tax information confidential while we debated section 1604(d)(1). If we wanted the IRS to share farmer tax information we would have explicitly said so. We did not."
The letter adds that farmers and the USDA have a mechanism that will provide a signed affidavit from farmers regarding income levels without having to turn over the access of all IRS data to the USDA. We have the release from the House Ag Committee's Minority office on this subject- as well as the text of the letter. Click on the story link below for more on this protest.
Canadian Pigs Face Uncertain Valuation as Early as Next Month
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Next month, some U.S. pork packers, including Smithfield Foods, the nation's largest hog producer and processor, will begin to process only U.S. born and raised hogs. This has left many U.S. swine producers that collectively purchase hundreds of thousands of feeder pigs from Canada wondering where and at what prices they will be able to sell the grown hogs.
Some producers are concerned that the cash market will split, with discounts applied to Canadian hogs. They also question whether USDA market reports will reflect any price differences between Canadian-origin hogs and U.S. born and raised animals. The blame for this market split is being place squarely on the Mandatory Country of Origin Labeling Law.
Private analyst Bob Brown, who lives in Edmond in Central Oklahoma, thinks the discontinuation of some plants accepting Canadian hogs will roil the market for a while - but after two weeks or so we will likely not hear about it much. Some analysts and livestock dealers do believe that if a two-tiered cash hog market does develop; lower prices paid for Canadian-born hogs could drag down the average price for all hogs.
Speaking of the Hog Business- Roy Lee Lindsey Tells Us He Has an Abundance of Issues on His Plate
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The US Pork Industry has challenges coming at it from every direction- and the CEO of the Oklahoma Pork Council, Roy Lee Lindsey, Jr., spent some time with us during the recent Oklahoma Youth Expo during a break from his duties as the Hog Division Superintendent to talk about things like the challenge of HSUS, the challenge of the EPA taking dead aim at greenhouse gases and wanting to measure animal agriculture, the ethanol blend mandate, antibiotics for animals and more.
Our conversation is a Podcast that we have on our website, a part of our series that we call Ag Perspectives. It is one of three regular Podcasts that we originate and that you can subscribe to. Or, you can simply check our website from time to time to see the latest Podcasts that we have placed oon the page called Listen to Ron. The button to that page is on the left hand column of any of our pages found on www.OklahomaFarmReport.Com.
If you are involved in animal agriculture, carve out a few minutes and take a listen to this conversation that we had with Roy Lee Lindsey. It will offer you perspective of where animal agriculture stands here in 2009 looking forward.
Flood Control Dams in Oklahoma Should Receive Accelerated Monies From Uncle Same for Rehabilitation
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma Conservation Officials are expecting from ten to fifteen million dollars from the Economic Stimulus law to be available for flood control structure rehabilitation within the next year. These are monies that were expected to flow into Oklahoma over a three year period- but will be front loaded because of the plan passed by the Democratic majority in Congress and signed into law by President Obama.
Mike Thralls of the Oklahoma Conservation Commission and Clay Pope of the Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts indicate that they expect an announcement in the near future about money being allocated to Oklahoma for new flood control structures to be built as well. There is a total of $145 million allocated in the Stimulus package nationally for those efforts- and Oklahoma has some 300 sites that need such structures- waiting on federal money to do the project.
Thralls and Pope also talked about state conservation monies and the hope that a bond package can be passed again in the legislature this session that will authorize a bond offering for conservation practices that will total twenty five million dollars. Senate Bill 38 has passed the Oklahoma Senate, and will be heard in the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Natural Resources this coming Monday.
Obama Budget Director Confident that the Adminstration Will Get Cuts in Farm Subsidies
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~House and Senate lawmakers and farm groups have opposed the President's proposal to cap farm subsidies at 250-thousand dollars a year. Speaking with reporters yesterday morning, Peter Orszag, Director of the Office of Management and Budget, said he believes Congress will find a way to - reduce agricultural subsidies, especially for large corporate - large farms, while protecting small and family farms.
The Director indicated that capping subsidies is just one way to get at this issue. He said - "we will be working with not only Senator Conrad, but also Chairman Peterson and others to fashion legislation that saves money on agricultural subsidies, especially to large farms."
Oklahoma Grain and Stocker Producers Meet This Evening in Enid
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Larry Sanders, an ag economist at Oklahoma State University, will give an update on the current farm bill and the future direction of farm policy at the Oklahoma Grain and Stocker Producers annual meeting Thursday, March 26. The evening event will be held in the auditorium of Autry Technology Center, 1201 W. Willow, in Enid, Okla., starting with a meal served at 5:30 p.m.
According to Mike Woods, head of OSU's department of agricultural economics, Sanders has been the lead coordinator of new farm bill education programs on every farm bill since 1985.
At the meeting, OG&SP will also offer updates on specific federal and state legislation of interest to agricultural producers as well as conduct annual association business. Anyone involved in the agriculture industry is welcome to attend. "People don't always recognize how much change is happening with the new farm bill," says Dean Keiffer, OG&SP president from Helena. "Signup deadlines have been extended because the laws have been slow to be written and released. This is a chance for producers to get caught up on the latest details and ask any questions they have about current ag issues."
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Let's Check the Markets!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Very light numbers were recorded this week at the Southern Oklahoma Livestock Market in Ada- with only 755 head of cattle sold. Steers and heifers steady to $1.00 higher. Click here for the complete report from Ada for their last sale in the month of March.
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