~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Friday, August 5, 2011A service of Producers Cooperative Oil Mill, Midwest Farm Shows and KIS Futures!
-- Veteran Cattle Industry Leader Calls Summer Meeting a Success- and Cattle Leaders Hear the Beef Checkoff History from One Who Has Witnessed All of It Firsthand
-- Be Concerned- We Are Now Officially on La Nina Watch
-- Federation of State Beef Councils Takes to the Web to Help Promote Beef Consumption
-- Soil Testing Being Used to Determine Sulfur Needs for Winter Canola
-- Oklahoma Food Safety Task Force Develops Plan for Food Emergencies
-- U.S. Senators Urge USDA for Action on Restrictions on U.S. Beef Imports by China and Japan
-- Oklahoma Pork Council Coordinates Pork Donations to the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma
-- 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 proud to have KIS Futures as a regular sponsor of our daily email update. KIS Futures provides Oklahoma Farmers & Ranchers with futures & options hedging services in the livestock and grain markets- Click here for the free market quote page they provide us for our website or call them at 1-800-256-2555- and their IPHONE App, which provides all electronic futures quotes is available at the App Store- click here for the KIS Futures App for your Iphone.
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information on the oilseed crops they handle, including sunflowers and
canola- and remember they post closing market prices for canola and
sunflowers on the PCOM
website- go there by clicking here.
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Veteran Cattle Industry Leader Calls Summer Meeting a Success- and Cattle Leaders Hear the Beef Checkoff History from One Who Has Witnessed All of It Firsthand
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~He was the President of the National Cattlemen's Association the year that the group merged with the Beef Industry Council of the old National Livestock and Meat Board- Bob Drake of Davis, Oklahoma has served the beef industry in a lot of capacities- and has been vocal in recent meetings about the disagreements that sprang up between the leadership of the Cattlemen's Beef Board and the National Cattlemen's Beef Association. But Drake gives high marks to all parties here in Orlando at the 2011 Summer Industry Cattle Conference. The tensions seen earlier in 2011 at the winter meetings held in Denver as well as last summer's midyear meetings- also in Denver- have disappeared and Bob Drake calls that great news for the cattle industry.
Drake, a member of the Cattlemen's Beef Board, calls on everyone in the cattle business to give this new found spirit of cooperation a chance to work. He fears the alternative could be loss of the dollar a head beef checkoff.
We talked with Drake as the wrapup session of the summer conference was getting underway in Orlando- click here to hear our conversation with Bob Drake.
During that closing business session of the CBB full board and the NCBA Board of Directors- Wayne Watkinson, legal Counsel for the Cattlemen's Beef Board since the inception of the Beef Checkoff- gave an amazing history of the Beef Checkoff- we captured the audio of it- and you can click on the LINK below to jump to our webstory that has the audio for you to hear- a key takeaway from Watkinson was that the Beef Checkoff is a valuable industry asset- he warned cattle producers- don't do anything stupid and lose the checkoff- he believes you could never get it back in place if you lost it.
Click here to hear the History of the Beef Checkoff- as told on Thursday by Wayne Watkinson.
Be Concerned- We Are Now Officially on La Nina Watch
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Almost two thirds of Oklahoma is now in the worst category for drought conditions- "D4" or Exceptional Drought. That's up by about 12 percentage points from one week ago- as the hot dry summer conditions are quickly pushing the drought conditions further east. A total of 88% of the state is now in the extreme or exceptional drought category- and with most of August still in front of us- that number could come closer and closer to 100% before Labor Day.
While the latest Drought Monitor numbers are worrisome- the bigger worry clearly comes from the Climate Prediction Center of the National Weather Service- which has now put all of us on La Nina watch. This means that conditions are favorable for a La Nina to redevelop over the next six months.
According to Gary McManus with the Oklahoma Climatological Survey- "La
Niña CAN (not DOES) mean a warmer and drier than normal winter in Oklahoma
with a jet stream/storm track pushed farther to the north."
Click here to see the latest Drought Monitor Update- plus details of the La Nina Watch issued by the Climate Prediction Center
Federation of State Beef Councils Takes to the Web to Help Promote Beef Consumption
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Even with the popularity of the Internet and computer communications, recipe brochures, flyers and other handouts are a key tool in promoting beef locally across the country. Through the state services team at the Federation of State Beef Councils, those types of materials are being created and delivered every day.
"We're continually working with state beef councils to provide them with the kinds of materials they need, especially ones they use in face-to-face encounters with consumers," according to Don Waite, senior director of Federation State Services at the National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA).
He says tradeshows, fairs and supermarket promotions are just a few of the kinds of consumer events state council staffs participate in that require these kinds of handouts. Some handouts are brochures that contain Beef Checkoff-funded recipes developed in the NCBA Culinary Innovations Center. Others feature nutrition information, also made possible through the Beef Checkoff Program.
Many of the materials can be customized with contact information for the state council. All are provided at nominal or no charge to state councils, thanks to their investment in Beef Checkoff and Federation efforts. They are available to state councils, retailers, consumers and other groups through a web-based store for materials.
Click here to learn more on the materials available through the Federation's website
Soil Testing Being Used to Determine Sulfur Needs for Winter Canola
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Sulfur (S) is considered the fourth most important plant nutrient. Its deficiency in canola has been reported in Canada and some parts of the United States due to:
-Environmental laws restricting sulfur dioxide emissions from industrial sources;
-The use of more concentrated fertilizers that do not contain sulfur impurities;
-Increases in yields resulting from genetic and technological advances;
-Decreases in pesticide and fungicides containing sulfur.
Some field studies have shown an increase in crop quality and yield following S fertilization. However, most of these studies were conducted in Canada and northeastern United States where deposition of S in rainfall is considerably lower than other parts of North America. The mineralization of soil S also occurs at a slower rate in the north due to low temperatures affecting the amount of plant-available inorganic sulfur supply. Nevertheless, producers are being encouraged to fertilize with sulfur regardless of soil test results and geographic locations, which may not be economically sound because many soils in our state are able to supply needed S despite the reduced input and increased demand.
A typical soil test is taken at a depth of 0-6 inches; however, canola is capable of using sulfur at a much deeper depth. Therefore, a surface soil test (0-6") may not adequately serve as an accurate measurement and may underestimate soil S supply. A subsoil sulfate-sulfur (SO4-S) test (6-18") is needed to better assess soil S supply for canola production and to make more appropriate fertilizer decisions. Unnecessary increases in soil S does not lead to higher yields or higher oil content (as shown by our 2-year experiment) and may reduce seedling emergence if too much S is placed in the seed row. Extra sulfur may also add acidity to the soil and lower soil pH.
Click here for more data on suflur needs in soil for winter canola
Oklahoma Food Safety Task Force Develops Plan for Food Emergencies
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Oklahoma Food Safety Task Force met at Oklahoma State University's Robert M. Kerr Food & Agricultural Products Center on July 21 to discuss coordinating a plan should a food emergency be experienced.
"The purpose of the meeting was to put more structure to the task force," said Mike Talkington, DVM and director of laboratory services for the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry. "The meeting accomplished what it needed to, and I'm going to take all the information and give it to the 10-member coordinating committee of the Oklahoma Food Safety Task Force, which consists of regulatory, industry and federal representatives."
The task force was created to foster communication, cooperation and collaboration of effort related to food safety in Oklahoma spanning the horizon from production, processing, distribution, retail and food service sales, and home consumption of the food supply.
In 2009, the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture Food and Forestry
received a 5-year $5,000 grant from the Food and Drug Administration to
fund the Oklahoma Food Safety Task Force.
Click here for additional information from the Oklahoma Safety Task Force
U.S. Senators Urge USDA for Action on Restrictions on U.S. Beef Imports by China and Japan
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Chairwoman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, and Senator Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), the committee's Ranking Member, today urged U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to work closely together in addressing barriers imposed by China and Japan regarding U.S. beef imports, in a joint letter signed by 39 Senate colleagues. The letter also follows up on and welcomes a pledge made by Ambassador Demetrios Marantis to meet with China and Japan to discuss the restrictions.
"We believe continuous high-level engagement by USTR and USDA is critical to making progress towards ending China and Japan's unscientific restrictions to U.S. beef products," the letter states. "To maintain and expand the global market for U.S. beef, there must now be stronger, sustained outreach to China, Japan, and other countries that continue to limit access to our beef."
The U.S. adopted extraordinarily rigorous safeguards against bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), after an occurrence of BSE was discovered in 2003. Despite the conclusion by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) that U.S. beef of all ages is safe, Japan still maintains an unscientific ban on U.S. beef over 20 months of age. As a result, U.S. beef exports to Japan remain nearly $1 billion below their pre-2003 levels. Similarly, China has been the fastest growing market for U.S. exports overall during the last decade but remains the only major market completely closed to U.S. beef due to BSE.
"We commend the Administration's engagement earlier this year with China on greater market access for U.S. beef," the letter states. "There now needs to be immediate follow up to these discussions in order to demonstrate the U.S. commitment to eliminate unscientific trade barriers to U.S. beef exports."
Click here to read the full text copy of the letter sent to the USTR and the USDA
Oklahoma Pork Council Coordinates Pork Donations to the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~As an on-going part of their commitment to their communities, the OPC Board of Directors has elected to make a product donation to the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma. OPC is investing $5,000 to be used to purchase trimmings that will be processed into pork sausage by Blue and Gold Sausage. Blue and Gold is donating the seasonings, packaging and processing to convert our money into sausage.
In addition to OPC's contribution, Seaboard Foods is adding $1,000 worth of trimmings to the donation, plus 260 gift packages containing 1 pork tenderloin, 1 package of bacon, and 1 turkey breast.
When the total donation to the Food Bank is completely added up, there will be approximately 6,500 pounds of sausage. Combine this with the gift packaged items Seaboard has donated and there will be enough donated meat to reach more than 3,300 Oklahoma families.
There is still an opportunity for you to participate in this effort as well. The easiest way for you to participate is to pledge dollars to the effort and Blue and Gold will purchase additional trimmings and make more sausage. Click on the LINK below to learn more about this effort by the Pork Council- and how you can get involved.
Click here for more on the OPC plan to aid the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma.
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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 $12.59 per bushel, while the 2012 New Crop contracts for Canola are now available are $12.63 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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