~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Friday January 28, 2011A service of Johnston Enterprises, P & K Equipment/ P & K Wind Energy and American Farmers & Ranchers Mutual Insurance Company!
-- To the Surprise of Many- USDA Goes With Door Number 2- Allowing Planting of Roundup Ready Alfalfa "without restrictions"
-- Lucas (and others) Like the Vilsack Decision on Roundup Ready Alfalfa
-- Organic Supporters are Horrified Over the Vilsack Announcement
-- Higher Soybean Prices Make the Oilseed Crop Attractive as a Planting Option- Kim Anderson Talking Beans on SUNUP
-- Do You Hold Back Your Heifers and Rebuild- Or Do You Take the Money and Run?
-- 33rd Annual Western Oklahoma All-Breed Bull Sale Coming Saturday February 5
-- CRP, Landowner Field, Women in Ag and OCA on the Tube
-- 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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To the Surprise of Many- USDA Goes With Door Number 2- Allowing Planting of Roundup Ready Alfalfa "without restrictions"
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Saying that "there is no question as to the safety of Roundup Ready alfalfa," Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced Thursday that genetically modified (GM) alfalfa can be planted "without conditions." He explained USDA was determined to make the announcement as soon as possible to allow spring planting to go ahead without further uncertainty.
One option which USDA had considered last month was to allow GM plantings to go ahead but with geographic restrictions in order to protect organic and conventional alfalfa growers from having their crops affected by GM alfalfa. That option was not selected and USDA now faces the likely legal wrath of the anti- biotech and organic community almost immediately.
"After conducting a thorough and transparent examination of alfalfa through a multi-alternative environmental impact statement (EIS) and several public comment opportunities, APHIS has determined that Roundup Ready alfalfa is as safe as traditionally bred alfalfa," Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said. "All of the alfalfa production stakeholders involved in this issue have stressed their willingness to work together to find solutions. We greatly appreciate and value the work they've done so far and will continue to provide support to the wide variety of sectors that make American agriculture successful."
Click on the LINK below for more details on the USDA decision- we have an excellent audio overview with comments from several people pro and con on this decision- and also at the LINK below- there is a USDA FactSheet that has a lot of the rationale that the agency used to develop their position on genetically enhanced alfalfa.
Click here for our coveage on the web of the USDA decision on Roundup Ready Alfalfa.
Lucas (and others) Like the Vilsack Decision on Roundup Ready Alfalfa
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Both Chairmen of the Agriculture Committees in Washington are pleased with the USDA decision to allow plantings of genetically enhanced alfalfa without restrictions.
Oklahoma Congressman Frank Lucas issued a very brief statement shortly after word came from USDA on the decision. "Genetically engineered alfalfa has been subjected to an extensive multi-year review and the conclusion has always been the same: it's safe. A product that has been repeatedly found to be safe should be deregulated. I am pleased that USDA used sound science and respected the limit of its statutory authority to make this decision."
Meanwhile, the new Chairlady of the Senate Ag Committee, Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, also weighed in on the call by USDA. "I applaud the USDA's decision to deregulate Roundup Ready alfalfa, giving growers the green light to begin planting an abundant, affordable and safe crop," Stabenow said. "While I'm glad this decision was guided by sound science, I'm concerned that USDA's process creates too much uncertainty for our growers. Alfalfa was one of nearly two dozen genetically modified crops awaiting USDA evaluation and approval - a bottlenecked process that hinders growth and progress."
Click here for more from the lawmakers- as well as several farm groups applauding the USDA Decision
Organic Supporters are Horrified Over the Vilsack Announcement
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Cornucopia Institute, a think tank type group that is a supporter of organic food production, has expressed dismay over the decision to allow Round Up Ready Alfalfa to be planted this spring. The group promises legal action and calls the move by USDA a caving in to the biotech sector of agriculture.
"USDA could have maintained regulatory status over the perennial crop that is so important as forage for the livestock industry. Or they could have chosen a limited regulation strategy with bans on the planting of GE alfalfa seeds in seed growing regions to attempt to limit the contamination of alfalfa seed stock by foreign DNA from Monsanto's crop (alfalfa is pollinated by bees and other insects and has a pollination radius of five miles). Instead, the agency, under heavy pressure from the biotech sector, chose total deregulation. Over 250,000 public comments were received during the FEIS process, with the vast majority opposing deregulation."
"The Center for Food Safety, supported by The Cornucopia Institute and others, has been embroiled in a court case fighting the release of GE-alfalfa. Cornucopia is a formal plaintiff in the case. The legal matter has been on hold while the USDA completed its court-ordered EIS. Opponents of GE-alfalfa may soon determine their "choice" and resume the legal battle."
Click here for more of the response from the Cornucopia Institute on the Alfalfa Decision by USDA on Thursday afternoon.
Higher Soybean Prices Make the Oilseed Crop Attractive as a Planting Option- Kim Anderson Talking Beans on SUNUP
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~SUNUP is talking lots about soybeans this weekend- and that includes many of the comments made on the Saturday show by OSU Extension Grain Marketing Economist Dr. Kim Anderson. Anderson says that soybean stocks have gotten progressively tighter since mid 2010- and that has been reflected in a higher trend for soybean prices.
Looking to the 2011 soybean planting decisions that are now being made by US farmers- the higher prices for soybeans are battling for more acres for the oilseed- and many Oklahoma farmers are among producers all over the midwest into the south that are looking at more acres of soybeans in 2011 in response.
Anderson also talks about the rising wheat prices we have seen in
recent days- and says it seems to be a bit of "fear factor" in the recent
wheat price move- the fear being a shortage of food globally.
Click here to listen to Kim Anderson visit with Lyndall Stout of SUNUP about soybeans (and wheat)- and CHECK OUT the SUNUP lineup for this weekend.
Do You Hold Back Your Heifers and Rebuild- Or Do You Take the Money and Run?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Feeder Cattle Prices made a huge jump in the early days of 2011- and while those gains have been trimmed some this week, OSU Extension Livestock Market Economist Dr. Derrell Peel says this is not a bubble- there is something based on fundamentals that is going on.
Peel adds that we have a real hole in the number of cattle that we have right now in our US cattle herd- and that the higher prices we are seeing for stockers and yearlings is there to try to convince cattle producers that the profit potential for the beef cattle market is such that they need to hold back heifers and build the cattle herd in order to produce more beef in the years to come. The struggle for many producers is- do you take the high prices with a nice profit right now- or do you hold back those females in anticipation that you will have an expanded cattle herd and more profit opportunities in a couple of years when those heifers start dropping calves?
Derrell Peel has an interesting take on these issues- and you can hear what he has to say about all of this by clicking on the LINK below- and catching our latest Beef Buzz- as heard on great radio stations all across the region.
Click here for our Beef Buzz with Derrell Peel as we talk Feeder Cattle prices and herd rebuilding.
33rd Annual Western Oklahoma All-Breed Bull Sale Coming Saturday February 5
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Coming up Super Bowl weekend, it will be the the 33rd Annual Western Oklahoma All-Breed Bull Sale on Saturday, February 5, 2011. The sale begins at noon- and will be at the Roger Mills Ag Pavillion in Cheyenne, Oklahoma. The alternate date (in case of bad weather) is the following Saturday.
Consignors include Chania Walker, Chase Walker, Mark Bozwell, A-Cross Ranch, John Mollet, Lucas & Amy Reznhart, Carolyn and Bill Potter, SKS Angus, Jenkins Angus Farms, Price Farms, Kenny Rounds, Brandon Hickey and McEntire Red Angus.
Selling 38 head of high quality bulls from well know cattlemen in
Western Oklahoma, including Angus, Red Angus, Polled Heifer and
CRP, Landowner Field, Women in Ag and OCA on the Tube
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~There will be a CRP announcement out this afternoon as US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack goes to Omaha to Pheasant Fest to talk about the land retirement program and other conservation efforts that help wildlife. We will have coverage and details of that later today.
On Saturday, the National Wild Turkey Federation Landowner Field Day is scheduled for January 29, 2011 at the Creek County Fairgrounds, Kellyville, Oklahoma. It will run from 9am to 5pm. The cost is $15 pre-registration for adults, $10 for youth 14 and under $20 at the door, with pre-registration encouraged for planning purposes. Click here for some additional details.
A five State Women in Ag Conference will be happening out in Guymon on Saturday as well. Click here for a rundown of their program
Our Saturday morning guest on our News9 In the Field segment will be Scott Dewald of the Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association- Scott will give us a preview from an Oklahoma perspective on the upcoming Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA Trade Show next week in Denver. Our In the Field segment is seen on News9, KWTV at 6:40 AM.
To check other things going on into next week- click here for our calendar page found at www.OklahomaFarmReport.Com
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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 business yesterday, while the 2011 New Crop contracts for Canola are now available are $10.55 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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