~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Monday October 4, 2010A service of Johnston Enterprises, P & K Equipment/ P & K Wind Energy and American Farmers & Ranchers Mutual Insurance Company!
-- National FFA Convention Just Two Weeks Away- We Kickoff Coverage Today!
-- September 2010 Was Warmer Than Average
-- Congress Declares Victory and Heads Home to Campaign
-- Working on Better Animal Care Standards
-- Trading Volume Records Fall in Kansas City
-- Convenient Meal Options with New Beef Products
-- Three Oklahoma Projects Selected by US Agriculture Secretary for Recovery Act Money
-- 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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National FFA Convention Just Two Weeks Away- We Kickoff Coverage Today!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~It's hard to believe- but October has arrived- and young men and ladies from across Oklahoma and the US are getting ready to travel to Indianapolis, Indiana in just a couple of weeks to participate in the 83rd National Convention of the FFA. The 83rd National FFA Convention will present FFA members with a world of possibilities. Attendees will explore the many opportunities available to today's agriculture students, and learn how to tap into their own Infinite Potential. By the way, "Infinite Potential" is the theme of the 2010 event.
We begin our coverage that will last most of this month with an interview with a young man who will be representing Oklahoma's hopes for our next national officer from the state. Riley Pagett of Woodward is back for his second try for national office- we sat down and talked with Riley this past week and have our audio conversation with him available for you to hear on our website- just click on the LINK below.
We also spent time with Riley discussing ag policy issues that are top of mind this fall as he prepares to interact with the nomination committee in Indianapolis. Riley has been working since June when he was selected by a state committee to represent the state again after falling short of his goal of national office in 2009.
Our coverage of the National FFA Convention will include radio report on the Radio Oklahoma Network, updates on this daily email from Indy, lots of web stories on our website's special section for youth activities- the Blue Green Gazette, Tweets on our Twitter account, pictures that we will be posting on Flickr and even some special updates on our Facebook Fan Page. All of this coverage will be sponsored again in 2010 by the Oklahoma FFA Alumni Association and the Oklahoma FFA Association. We look forward to rubbing elbows with the nation's most outstanding young people- all wearing the distinctive Blue and Gold.
Click here for our conversation with Riley Pagett of the Woodward FFA- ready to try again for a national FFA office.
September 2010 Was Warmer Than Average
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~With thanks to Gary McManus of the Oklahoma Climatological Survey- we have details of our weather statewide during September. Gary reports that "Oklahoma's penchant for warmer-than-normal months continued during September and depending on where you live, you probably had either too much or too little rain to go with that warmth. The September statewide average temperature, as measured by Oklahoma's weather network, the Oklahoma Mesonet, was 74.5 degrees. That marks September as the 29th warmest since 1895, 2.1 degrees above normal. While the statewide average rainfall of 3.99 inches ranks as the 36th wettest on record at 0.18 inches above normal, much of the state was actually quite dry during the month."
"Very heavy rainfall from the remnants of Tropical Storm Hermine provided some rather gaudy totals in southern and east central Oklahoma. Sallisaw received over 10 inches from the storm to help it finish as the wettest spot in the state with 14.97 inches. That propelled east central Oklahoma to finish with its eighth wettest September with an average of 8.37 inches, 3.41 inches above normal. Moisture was much less plentiful in the northwestern half of the state where totals fell to less than 20 percent of normal in some locations. The Oklahoma Mesonet station at Goodwell barely wet its rain gauge with a meager 0.2 inches. Twenty-five Mesonet stations recorded less than 2 inches of rainfall for the month." Click here for a mesonet map that shows total rainfall for the month.
"The warmth during the month was much more widespread with only a small portion of northeastern Oklahoma ending up below normal. Much of the western half of the state finished 3-4 degrees above normal. The average high temperature across the state was 86.4 degrees, more than a degree above normal. The average low was more than 2 degrees above normal at 62.7 degrees. Grandfield had the highest average monthly temperature at 78 degrees while Kenton was on the cool side at 70.7 degrees. The highest temperature recorded by the Mesonet was 105 degrees at Beaver twice and once at Erick. The prize for the coldest spot in the state was won by Oilton with a chilly 36 degrees on the 27th." Gaery also provides a nifty map of average temperatures for September- click here to grab it.
Congress Declares Victory and Heads Home to Campaign
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Congress approved a continuing resolution this week to fund the government until December and then headed home to campaign for fall elections. The continuing resolution, commonly known as a CR, will fund most of the government at FY2010 levels through Dec. 3. It passed the Senate by a 69 to 30 vote and the House by a 228 to 194 vote. The list of items delayed until a lame duck session after the elections is long and includes priorities both divisive and thought to be largely bipartisan.
Items in the first category include the regular appropriations process, about which Republicans and Democrats have largely divergent views. None of the 12 appropriations bills were completed before the final day of the fiscal year, Sept. 30, which is unusual even in a period when CRs are common. There are also questions and deep divisions surrounding what to do about a number of tax priorities, including extending existing tax structures and revising estate tax law to make it less onerous in coming years.
The latter category of more bipartisan measures is thought to include
food safety legislation, which has been long-pending, and a bill to
reauthorize childhood nutrition programs, which hit a snag when the two
chambers couldn't agree on spending offsets.
Working on Better Animal Care Standards
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~At the end of this past week- we had a two part Beef Buzz with Dr. Dan Thomson of Kansas State University- day one focused on the reality of producing beef for "first world countries" and day two provided an update on where we are with a North American Animal Standards Board.
The first of these shows was about producing beef for "first world countries" who are full of affluent people who have the luxury of not being hungry and not having to worry if they will have enough to eat next year or next week. When a country is prosperous- compared to a third world country- it opens consumers up to listening to the message of anti- meat groups like HSUS who want to end animal agriculture in the US.
The second show focused on the idea of a North American Beef Standards Board- which would coordinate research of ways to improve cattle handling and well being- would help with training of beef producers and would provide transparency to those outside of the beef business about what we are doing to make sure animals are being treated well. Click on the links above here in the story for either day one or day two to hear our conversation with Dan Thomson on how we best position the beef and dairy industry to withstand assaults on animal welfare by groups like PETA and HSUS.
Trading Volume Records Fall in Kansas City
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Kansas City Board of Trade has set new monthly volume records for the exchange as a whole and the Hard Red Winter wheat futures contract for the month of September.
KCBT exchange volume traded during the month of September totaled 470,522 contracts, breaking the previous September volume record of 393,387 contracts set in 2007 by 19.6 percent. HRW wheat futures trading volume in September amounted to 453,084 contracts, breaking the previous September volume record of 345,462 contracts set in 2007 by 31.2 percent.
Exchange trading volume was 44 percent higher than in September 2009, while HRW wheat futures volume was 44.1 percent higher for the same time period. HRW wheat options volume increased 42 percent compared to September 2009 and 34.4 percent compared to last month.
Open interest in the HRW wheat futures continues to post large gains and set several new all-time records earlier this month, culminating in a record 218,321 contracts outstanding on September 27. At month's end, wheat futures open interest was 75.2 percent higher than at the end of September 2009 and 5.5 percent higher than at the end of last month. Wheat options open interest showed gains of 60.3 percent compared to the end of September 2009 and 70.3 percent compared to the end of last month. Open interest measures the number of open trading positions in a market. Each KCBT wheat futures contract represents 5,000 bushels of wheat.
Click here for the official website for the Kansas City Board of Trade and more on services they offer.
Convenient Meal Options with New Beef Products
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The beef industry has worked hard in recent years to get more products in the store that meet customers' needs for a grab-and-go meal. According to a research study funded by the beef checkoff and conducted by Mintel International Group, the number of new products that include beef are increasing.
Beef products launched as the center of the plate protein increased 31 percent from 2004 to 2008. Launches in 2009 slowed to below the 2008 launch rate, attributed to the impact of the financial downturn. Beef had more product launches than chicken, pork and turkey from 2004 to the first five months of 2009. In 2008, there were 130 beef product launches, 96 chicken, 92 pork and 36 turkey.
Top flavors of products launched are beef flavor, beef and teriyaki,
beef and vegetable and teriyaki. Others include beef and cayenne pepper,
beef and chicken and pork, marinara and pepperoni, mushroom and wine, and
beef and pepper and smoke.
Some of the concepts that have not yet made it to the market are fascinating- things like Popcorn Beef, Taco on a Stick, Crispy Shredded Beef and Meatball Surprises. You can read up on these beef ideas and a lot more by going to the LINK below- it's a whole list of beef product concepts that the BIG group has dreamed up- hoping one or more will score BIG with consumers and help move a lot of pounds of beef.
Click here for the current list of beef concept ideas- courtesy of the Beef Checkoff and the Beef Innovations Group
Three Oklahoma Projects Selected by US Agriculture Secretary for Recovery Act Money
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Rural Oklahoma communities, including several communities in Southeast Oklahoma, will be creating jobs and improving essential infrastructure, with the bucks made available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. On Friday, Ryan McMullen, State Director for USDA Rural Development, confirmed that three more Oklahoma projects have been selected to receive Recovery Act funds through USDA Rural Development's Community Facilities program. US Agriculture Secretary, Tom Vilsack, announced $196.6 million in Recovery Act projects in 42 states. McMullen reported that projects in the City of Stigler, the City of Antlers, and through INCA Community Services were selected by the Secretary to receive awards.
According to McMullen, the Secretary has approved $100,000 for the City of Stigler to relocate and renovate their library. The building which currently houses the library was built in 1964 and has major mold issues rendering it not useable as a library. After assessing several options, the City has decided to convert their community center into a library. In addition to traditional reading materials, the new library will add an education room and computers with internet access to serve this small community which, until now, had limited access to these types of resources.
Additionally, the Town of Antlers will receive $83,179 in Recovery Act
funds, which they will match with $28,250, to construct an airport
terminal. The airport is currently used for business and private travel
and often helps the forestry industry to meet their aerial spraying needs.
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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 $8.00 per bushel- as of the close of business yesterday, while the 2011 New Crop contracts for Canola are now available are $8.70 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:
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