~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Thursday January 6, 2011A service of Johnston Enterprises, P & K Equipment/ P & K Wind Energy and American Farmers & Ranchers Mutual Insurance Company!
-- Drought Tolerance Becomes Reality for Corn Producers
-- House Ag Committee Website Now Reflects Republican Majority
-- Wind Turbines May be Helping Crops in the Fields Surrounding Them
-- CoBank and US AgBank in Due Diligence for Completion in 2011 of Merger
-- Sallisaw Police Officer Arrested and Charged with Cattle Rustling
-- Farm Bureau Marketbasket Survey of Food Items Up Slightly as 2010 Ended
-- 2011 Oklahoma Beef Cook-Off Set for January 22 in Oklahoma City
-- 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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Drought Tolerance Becomes Reality for Corn Producers
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~DuPont business Pioneer Hi-Bred has launched a new generation of corn hybrids developed and tested to help deliver a yield advantage in water-limited environments, allowing growers to minimize risk and maximize productivity. These hybrids will be offered to growers under the Optimum® AQUAmax brand name. Pioneer held a news teleconference call with farm journalists that we participated in yesterday- with some details about the new technology they have used to make this announcement possible.
The key for this breakthrough was the ability to take a lot of computing power and sort through the corn genome- pulling out what they called native traits that show the ability to grow and produce corn with less water. Pioneer calls their computer system that they used to push this direction their "Accelerated Yield technology" system.
It appears that Pioneer has taken some current Hybrid lines and added
the drought tolerance onto them- using conventional Hybrid breeding
techniques. These are not GMOs so no regulatory approval was needed to add
these lines to their portfolio.
Click on the LINK below to read more and to listen to our audio overview of the teleconference that we were a part of with Pioneer researchers. It seems to me that the importance of this announcement is not so much these five new Hybrid lines for 2011 as much as the breakthrough of starting down the road of figuring out how to grow as much or more with fewer gallons of water.
Click here for more on the new Drought Tolerant Corn Hybrids Unveiled by Pioneer Hi Bred on Wednedsday.
House Ag Committee Website Now Reflects Republican Majority
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~As the 112th Congress gets underway- the Republican majority means that little things like how websites look are changing for the US House. In the case of the House Ag Committee, it means that the picture of new Ag Committee Chairman Frank Lucas of Oklahoma is seen in the top masthead of the website.
As they get organized- they have lots of videos of Lucas over the last year offering what was then the minority viewpoint on agricultural and regulatory issues and more. It also has a lot of audio on the site of Congressman Lucas- including many of the interviews that we have done over the past year with the Congressman. Click here for the audio archives and scroll down to the heading "Radio Interviews."
Lucas and his staff have listed several "Key Issues" that are seen and can be clicked on for more information from a GOP point of view. The four issues they have listed on the front page of the website include Cap and Trade, Spray Drift, Farm Bill and Rural America. The top two issues listed are things that the Congressman has indicated to us privately and has said in public that he wants to look at closely early in 2011- as he plans oversight hearings of the EPA- as well as USDA before too many weeks pass.
Click here to jump to the new website of the House Ag Committee with Congressman Frank Lucas all over it.
Wind Turbines May be Helping Crops in the Fields Surrounding Them
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Wind turbines in Midwestern farm fields may be doing more than churning out electricity. The giant turbine blades that generate renewable energy might also help corn and soybean crops stay cooler and drier, help them fend off fungal infestations and improve their ability to extract growth-enhancing carbon dioxide from the air and soil.
The preliminary findings of a months-long study that examines how wind
turbines on farmlands interact with surrounding crops were presented at
the end of December at the annual fall meeting of the American Geophysical
Union in San Francisco.
Click on our LINK below to read more about this interesting concept that wind turbines stir the air downwind as much as a quarter of a mile and moderate hot and cold air for crops and pastures in that zone. We have a YouTube video that is a part of this story on our website as well- you'll see it if you go to our webstory that we have linked.
Click here to read more- and to see the video as well- of how wind turbines may be impacting crops that surround them.
CoBank and US AgBank in Due Diligence for Completion in 2011 of Merger
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~If regulators and shareholders approve a proposed merger of Denver-based CoBank and U.S. AgBank of Wichita, Kansas, the Farm Credit System will be shrunk to four regional and national banks. The other three wholesale banks are based in St. Paul, Minnesota, Columbia, South Carolina, and Austin, Texas. As of today there are only 92 lending associations across the nation. That compares to more than 1,000 that dotted the country-side during the late 1980s.
The combined bank would serve as a wholesale provider of financing to Farm Credit associations that provide credit and financial services to tens of thousands of farmers, ranchers and other rural borrowers in 23 states. It would also serve as a direct lender to agricultural cooperatives and rural electric, water and communications service providers throughout the country. Oklahoma is currently served by the US Ag Bank in Wichita.
The merged bank would continue to do business under the CoBank name and
be headquartered outside of Denver, Colorado, but it would maintain U.S.
AgBank's existing presence and operations in Wichita, Kansas, and
Read more about the proposed merger of CoBank and US AgBank.
Sallisaw Police Officer Arrested and Charged with Cattle Rustling
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food, and Forestry Investigative Services Division in conjunction with the Sequoyah County Sheriff's Department began an investigation on December 14, 2010 of cattle stolen from a Sequoyah County Rancher. This investigation led to the finding that a total of 178 cattle were stolen over a three year period. The investigators found all the cattle were sold in the suspects' name at multiple locations.
On Wednesday January 5, 2011 WENDEL HUGHES was arrested for the thefts and was charged with 31 counts of Larceny of Livestock. Wendel Hughes is currently employed as a Police Officer with the Sallisaw Police Department, and has been employed in that capacity for eight years.
For additional information contact Col. Mike Grimes, Chief Agent, Investigative Services, Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, at 405 522-6102 or 405 641-6860.
Click here for more on the Investigative services unit of the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture
Farm Bureau Marketbasket Survey of Food Items Up Slightly as 2010 Ended
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Retail food prices at the supermarket increased slightly during the fourth quarter of 2010, according to the latest American Farm Bureau Federation Marketbasket Survey.
The informal survey shows the total cost of 16 food items that can be used to prepare one or more meals was $46.97, up 80 cents or about 2 percent compared to the third quarter of 2010. Of the 16 items surveyed, nine increased, six decreased and one remained the same in average price compared to the prior quarter. The total average price for the 16 items was up $4.07 (about 10 percent) compared to one year ago.
Bacon, eggs, whole milk, sliced deli ham and bread increased the most
in dollar value compared to the third quarter.
Six foods decreased slightly in price compared to the prior quarter: boneless chicken breasts, down 34 cents to $3.10 per pound; flour, down 16 cents to $1.99 for a 5-pound bag; Russet potatoes, down 13 cents to $2.50 for a 5-pound bag; ground chuck, down 10 cents to $2.83 per pound; and bagged salad, down 6 cents to $2.69 per pound.
Click here to read more about the survey with more details about price movement of these retail items in 2010.
2011 Oklahoma Beef Cook-Off Set for January 22 in Oklahoma City
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~It's time again for Oklahoma's premier beef cooking extravaganza, the 2011 Oklahoma Beef Cook-Off, during the Oklahoma City Home and Garden Show January 21-23 2010, at the Oklahoma State Fair Park in the Carriage Hall.
On Saturday, January 22, eight finalists from across the state will compete in the bi-annual Oklahoma Beef Cook-Off. The recipes focus on America's passion for beef and special times spent with family over beef dishes. The categories are: A World of Beef - Beef Entrée; Small Plates, Big Tastes - Beef Appetizers; Kid Pleasers - Beef dish prepared by a child/parent or legal guardian team. The winner of each category will win a cash prize, and the overall winner will win a grand prize of $1,000. "The Oklahoma Beef Cook-Off gives participants the opportunity to show-off their cooking talents and earn cash prizes while providing us with a means to promote the many positive aspects of beef and the industry we so passionately support," said Jolene Tuxhorn, Oklahoma CattleWomen member and Beef Cook-off Chairman. "The event is a tremendous win-win for all of us involved."
That Sunday of the show will be an Iron Chef Beef Competition. Read more about it by clicking on our LINK below- all of these beef cooking events that will be held at the Home and Garden Show being coordinated by the Oklahoma Cattlewomen and sponsored by the Oklahoma Beef Council using beef checkoff dollars.
Click here for more on the Beef Cook Off and the Iron Chef Beef Competition coming to Oklahoma City later in January.
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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 $10.00 per bushel- as of the close of trade Wednesday, while the 2011 New Crop contracts for Canola are now available are $10.60 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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