~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Thursday April 28, 2011A service of Johnston Enterprises, P & K Equipment/ P & K Wind Energy and American Farmers & Ranchers Mutual Insurance Company!
-- Fresh Guidance on Clean Water Act- A Clarification or a Power Grab?
-- So Called "Eastern Livestock" Bill Signed Into Law by Governor Fallin
-- 60th National Land and Range Judging Contest Set for Next Week in Central Oklahoma
-- First Senate Farm Bill Field Hearing Rescheduled
-- New York Times Takes Aim at States Wanting to Making Undercover Video by Animal Rights Activists a Crime
-- Back to the Basics- Noble Foundation Style- Two Sessions Planned Next Week
-- Express Ranches Ready for their Grass Time Sale Tomorrow in Yukon
-- 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!
It is also great to have as an annual sponsor on our daily email
Johnston Enterprises- proud to be serving agriculture across
Oklahoma and around the world since 1893. One of the great success stories
of the Johnston brand is Wrangler Bermudagrass- the most widely planted
true cold-tolerant seeded forage bermudagrass in the United States. For
more on Johnston Enterprises- click
here for their brand new website!
We invite you to listen to us on great radio stations across the
region on the Radio Oklahoma Network weekdays- if you missed this
morning's Farm News - or you are in an area where you can't hear it- click
here for this morning's Farm news from Ron Hays on RON.
Fresh Guidance on Clean Water Act- A Clarification or a Power Grab?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Obama Administration issued a draft guidance that seeks to clarify exactly which waterways, water bodies and wetlands are covered by the Clean Water Act (CWA). The proposal would expand the number of aquatic areas subject to CWA regulation.
"You cannot protect a navigable waterway if all the tributaries to that
waterway are unprotected," said Lisa Jackson, administrator of the
Environmental Protection Agency. "The question becomes how far upstream is
"We are very encouraged to see the release of this draft guidance and support the agencies' efforts to restore CWA protections," said Dale Hall, Ducks Unlimited CEO. "While we have not thoroughly analyzed it, we are hopeful the draft guidance will go a long way toward reducing confusion about Clean Water Act administration. Administrative guidance is needed in order to restore protections to many wetlands." These wetland areas include prairie potholes, which are important for maintaining waterfowl populations and the traditions associated with them throughout North America.
The Chairman of the House Ag Committe, Oklahoma Congressman Frank Lucas says that "This guidance builds a foundation for the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers to regulate essentially any body of water, such as a farm pond or even a ditch." He adds that "Once again the EPA is trying to broaden its jurisdiction without authority to do so. Changes to the regulatory scheme of the Clean Water Act should be done through notice and rule-making or legislative action. Issuing a guidance document is informal and ambiguous. If this is important to the administration, I urge it to reconsider this approach and move forward with a transparent rule-making process."
Click here for more of the Obama Plan for Clean Waters in the US
So Called "Eastern Livestock" Bill Signed Into Law by Governor Fallin
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~On Tuesday of this week, Governor Mary Fallin signed SB 530 into law. The purpose of this bill is ensure producers selling livestock retain a security interest in the livestock until the sale proceeds from the sale clear the bank. Some people had dubbed this measure unofficially "the Eastern Livestock bill" because of the problems that individual cattle producers have had since last fall when Eastern Livestock saw their bank freeze their assets and force them to bankruptcy. When those funds were grabbed by Fifth Third Bank, $130 million in hot checks were left in the hands of cattle producers who got a check for their cattle and no cash to make the check good. This bill will NOT help those who were hurt by the Eastern Livestock situation- but will help cattle producers from being the big losers in future hot check schemes.
The measure grants every livestock owner a lien in all livestock for any unpaid portion of the livestock in order to secure the obligations of the first person that purchases livestock, either directly or through a sales agent, under an agreement to sell. The owner's lien attaches and is perfected immediately to all livestock and continues uninterrupted in all livestock and proceeds. The lien exists until the full amount of the sales price has been received and is not dependent on possession of livestock. Any security interest or mortgage lien of the owner's lender will attach to the livestock owner's right to the owner's lien.
We talked on Wednesday afternoon with the Executive Director of the Oklahoma Catttlemen's Association, Scott Dewald, about why SB 530 is an important piece of legislation for his cattle producers. Click on the LINK below for our story where you can hear Scott's comments. SB 530 will become effective on November 1, 2011.
Click here for more on the passage and signing into law of SB 530.
60th National Land and Range Judging Contest Set for Next Week in Central Oklahoma
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Approximately 1,000 teenagers and adults - members of FFA and 4-H Chapters from throughout the United States and their parents, coaches and teachers - will come to Oklahoma City next week, as they have the first week of May for six decades, to compete in a national educational competition.
The National Land and Range Judging Contest, a three-day event that stresses soil and plant science, land management and conservation, marks its 60th anniversary beginning on Tuesday, May 3. After two days of opportunity to visit practice sites, the event will culminate on Thursday, May 5, with the contest at a site whose location is kept secret until that morning, followed in the evening by an awards banquet at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. In commemoration of the contest's 60th anniversary, Gov. Mary Fallin has issued a Governor's Proclamation designating May 5 as "Land and Range Judging Contest Day in Oklahoma."
The Land Judging contestants qualify for the national event by placing among the top five teams at contests in their home states, according to contest cochairman Joe Parker. Parker is president of the Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts, one of the contest's principal sponsors. He says the teens match their skills in judging the adaptability of the land for various purposes including farming, range management and home development. He notes the skills the teens apply at the contest involve principles they can apply in career fields like environmental and agricultural management, natural resource conservation, homebuilding and construction.
Click here to learn more about the 2011 Contest to be held in the Oklahoma City area for the 60th Year.
First Senate Farm Bill Field Hearing Rescheduled
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Senate Ag Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow has announced that the first Farm Bill field hearing is now slated for May 31st at Michigan State University in East Lansing. The hearing was initially set for April 9th. Stabenow says the session will focus on the upcoming reauthorization of the Farm Bill - examining agriculture, energy, conservation, rural development, research, forestry and nutrition policies. The witness list has not been announced.
Senator Stabenow has indicated that she wants to jump start the writing of new farm policy earlier than House Ag Committee Chairman Frank Lucas has signaled. Lucas told us this week that was fine with him if she would like to do hearings this year and mark up legislation as early as late this fall.
Lucas holds a key card- in that he will be the Conference Committee Chairman for the 2012 Farm Bill- giving him a lot of say so over how the Conference between the House and Senate will be run once both bodies pass their versions of farm policy. Lucas remains convinced the optimum time for that to happen is next summer- coming up with a product to put in front of the President just ahead of the August 2012 recess.
Click here for the Senate Ag Committee Website to get some insight about the Committee that Mrs. Stabenow commands.
New York Times Takes Aim at States Wanting to Making Undercover Video by Animal Rights Activists a Crime
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~In an editorial that ran on Tuesday, The New York Times sharply criticized bills under consideration in three states that would render illegal the practice of surreptitiously video recording on farms, feed yards, processors or other places where livestock are handled.
In the three-paragraph editorial titled, "Hiding the truth about factory farms," the editorial board wrote that the food supply chain wants to keep its business "behind closed doors."
"The legislation has only one purpose: to hide factory-farming
conditions from a public that is beginning to think seriously about animal
rights and the way food is produced," the editorial said.
"Nearly every major improvement in the welfare of agricultural animals, as well as some notable improvements in food safety, has come about because someone exposed the conditions in which they live and die," the editorial concluded.
Click here for a related Blog that can be found on the New York Times website by Mark Bittman comparing cattleman Kirk Espenson acts to war crimes.
Back to the Basics- Noble Foundation Style- Two Sessions Planned Next Week
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation will team with the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension and Texas AgriLife Extension Service to host two Basic AG Spring Management seminars next week that will assist new producers preparing their operations for the summer months.
The seminars will offer similar information to producers throughout southern Oklahoma and northern Texas. The first seminar is scheduled for Tuesday, May 3, at the Blanchard Public Library, located at 205 NE 10th St. in Blanchard, Okla. The second seminar will be on Thursday, May 5, at Landmark Bank, located at 1110 E. California St. in Gainesville, Texas. Both seminars will take place from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on their respective evenings.
During the seminar, participants will learn how to control sandbur and
other spring weeds, understand and fertilize according to a soil test
analysis, and properly conduct a meaningful fisheries survey on a
The Noble Foundation's Basic AG is an educational program to benefit those just entering the agriculture industry or who have limited experience. The series provides practical, foundational knowledge that can be used in everyday operations. The events offer information and provide new tools to achieve specific agriculture-related goals, as well as the occasional hands-on experience.
Click here for more details about either of these locations- the link goes straight to the Noble Foundation site and gives you a chance to register.
Express Ranches Ready for their Grass Time Sale Tomorrow in Yukon
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Express Ranches Grass Time Sale will be held Friday, April 29, 2010 at the ranch, Yukon, Oklahoma.
The sale will begin at noon, selling 750 head including:
125 Angus Bulls
150 Spring-Calving Registered Angus Females
50 Fall Calving Bred Heifers
50 Yearling Angus Heifers Carrying AI Service
50 Spring and Fall Calving Lim-Flex & Limousin Females
150 Angus & Limousin Show Heifers
100 Commercial Fall Bred Heifers from the Historic 6666 Ranch
Bob Funk and Jarold Callahan write in the Grass Time Catalog that their goal at Express Ranches is to "blend technology with common sense to supply you, our customer, with the best cattle we can produce." They add that this set of cattle will help producers make real improvements in their beef cattle herds to make them more profitable in the future.
You can call Express Ranches at 1-800-664-3977 for more information or click on the LINK below to jump to our calendar listing for this upcoming sale from Express.
Click here for more on the Grasstime Sale coming from Express Ranches on Friday, April 29, 2011
Our thanks to Midwest Farms Shows, PCOM, P & K Equipment/ P & K Wind Energy, Johnston Enterprises, American Farmers & Ranchers and KIS Futures for their support of our daily Farm News Update. For your convenience, we have our sponsors' websites linked here- just click on their name to jump to their website- check their sites out and let these folks know you appreciate the support of this daily email, as their sponsorship helps us keep this arriving in your inbox on a regular basis- FREE!
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 $11.11 per bushel- as of the close of trade Wednesday, while the 2011 New Crop contracts for Canola are now available are $11.30 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:
God Bless! You can reach us at the following: