~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Thursday February 22, 2007!A service of Midwest Farm Shows
-- Manure Measure Moving- Passing the Senate Rules Committee.
-- Cotton Council Decides to Go Public.
-- Beef Business has Three Things to Deal with- so says Mark Thomas of NCBA
-- OxFam Coming to Oklahoma!
-- Wanna be a Low Cost Cow Calf Operator?
-- US to South Korea- Let's talk!
-- Express Ranches invite you to their Spring Bull Sale March first and second!
Here's your morning farm news headlines from the Director of Farm Programming for the Radio Oklahoma Network, Ron Hays. Our email this morning is a service of Midwest Farm Shows, featuring the Southern Plains Farm Show in Oklahoma City April 19-21, 2007, as well as the Tulsa Farm Show held each December. Check out details of both of these exciting shows at the official website of Midwest Farm Shows by clicking here.
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Manure Measure Moving- Passing the Senate Rules Committee.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~In 2006, the so called Manure definition bill failed to receive any consideration in the Democratically controlled State Senate- but with the Senate deadlocked 24 to 24, it appears that there is hope we might see this measure have a chance of success.
Hurdle number one was the Rules Committee- and Senate Bill 709, authored by Ron Justice of Chickasha, passed out of the Committee yesterday, and now could be considered by the full Senate. Senator Justice was delighted with the passage out of the Rules Committee, saying this is a must pass measure to protect the livestock industry in Oklahoma and across the country. “There is a real concern among the agriculture community that animal waste could be lumped in with nuclear waste. If that happened it would be devastating to the state and the industry,” said Justice, R-Chickasha. “I know that in the rural areas when you’re hauling livestock there are times when the manure spills out. We certainly don’t want too see having to rope off those areas and coming in to treat that material as hazardous. This is a practical thing – it’s just something we need to clear up before people misunderstand and misidentify.”
Critics of the measure say that it's not the manure itself that concerns them as much as any material mixed with the manure that could pose a hazard to the safety of our water supplies here in the state. The House approved a similar measure in 2006- and is likely to do the same in 2007- so passage in the full Senate now will be key to those that support this clarification of what manure is (or isn't).
Cotton Council Decides to Go Public.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~It has been acknowledged by many for decades about the power of "King Cotton" in Washington. However, the winds of change have been blowing, especially since the WTO ruling against the U.S. Cotton subsidy program- brought by Brazil- has caused a roll back in some elements of the program. That included the ending of the "Step 2" export subsidy altogether.
Meanwhile, you have the Europeans stirring the pot by encouraging several west African countries to sit up and howl over the evil US cotton subsidies that keep their poor cotton farmers in a death grip. Add the nation of India who has joined with the Brazilians demanding special attention to be given to cotton in the Doha Round of talks- and you have the equivalent of a tsunami bearing down on U.S. cotton interests here as we approach the writing of the 2007 farm bill as well as a possible breakthrough in the Doha round of talks.
There are rumblings inside the Washington beltway and beyond that the Bush Administration may be willing to throw cotton interests "under the bus" in the international negotiations- and Pascal Lamy of the WTO has called for a special two day session in March to specifically talk cotton issues as it relates to the Doha round. With all of that swirling around- it now appears that the National Cotton Council has decided there is no more benefit from working under the radar and plan to bring their side of the story to national farm media this morning in a news teleconference. NCC's media alert for the briefing says it's "regarding the separate treatment that cotton is receiving in World Trade Organization negotiations."
Beef Business has Three Things to Deal with- so says Mark Thomas of NCBA
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Mark Thomas continues to be our guest on our daily Beef Buzz, heard on many of our stations across the Radio Oklahoma Network- and available to be heard 24/7 on our website at www.oklahomafarmreport.com. We talk with the Vice President of Global Marketing for the cattle industry about what we need to be paying attention to over the next five years that will shape our industry and our ability to survive.
We have linked today's show below if you care to take a listen. Thomas says issue number one is the absolute need to get our beef export markets restored. While the drought of 2006 slowed expansion in the cattle herd down, bigger numbers are coming and we have to have a place for those extra pounds to go- which means we have to work through the issues with South Korea and Japan- however frustrating it may be.
Thomas says that the beef industry also needs to "redouble our efforts" in new product development- especially when it comes to finding new uses for the top bottom and round parts of the beef carcass. Finally, Thomas says the beef industry must stay AHEAD of the curve when it comes to where the health and wellness trend is going with consumers. Thomas says it would be a disaster to get blind sided again like the industry was in 1976 when the Senate Select Committee issued a negative report on the healthfulness of red meat. Thomas says the beef industry was asleep at the switch then- and we can't allow that to happen again.
Click here to listen to Ron and Mark Thomas on today's Beef Buzz.
OxFam Coming to Oklahoma!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Oklahoma Conference of Churches, Bread for the World and the liberal Cooperating Baptist Fellowship (CBF) are co-sponsoring an Oklahoma Hunger Summit" on Saturday March 10 at First Baptist Church in downtown Oklahoma City. Partners on this summit will include OxFam America, the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma as well as the Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture.
The theme of the conference is "A Place at the Table for All" and the meeting will be keynoted by Governor Brad Henry. The Kerr Center will be featuring their centennial book "Closer to Home: Healthier Food, Farms and Families in Oklahoma" at one of the workshops scheduled that day.
Other workshops will be very activist oriented as at least two of the groups involved in the conference are strongly opposed to current farm policy and want radical change in the 2007 farm bill. Dr. Jim McDonald of Bread for the World will be a featured speaker as he will advocate "The Seeds of Change in 2007: Why the Farm Bill Matters to People of Conscience." OxFam, who has demanded the dismantling of the US farm program to benefit poor farmers in the third world, will offer a workshop "about ways to fight global hunger through trade and agriculture reform." Call the Oklahoma Conference of Churches for more information at 405-525-2928.
Wanna be a Low Cost Cow Calf Operator?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~As we were looking through the Kerr Center web site for more info on the Oklahoma Hunger Summit, we came across a link to a holistic concept in being a low cost cattle producer. Please note that I know nothing about this gentleman- but I will assume he has some credibility based on the fact that the "school" he is hosting in early March will be at the USDA Grazinglands Research Facility at Ft. Reno.
Take a look at the link below- and it may hold some interest to you or someone you know. The meeting dates are March 6-9 at the USDA research center in Ft. Reno.
Click here for info on a Low Cost Cattle Producer workshop coming to Oklahoma March 6th
US to South Korea- Let's talk!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~As U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab indicated during a recent trade hearing - time is running out for a U.S.-South Korea Free Trade Agreement. Noting that a deal must be reached by the end of March to get an agreement to Congress before expiration of Trade Promotion Authority - the U.S. has suggested an early March meeting to discuss the agriculture sector with South Korea.
Agriculture has been one of the toughest sectors to negotiate between the two countries - especially due to the intense opposition of South Korean farmers to market liberalization. But the U.S. has suggested a high-level meeting for March 5th or 6th during the eighth round of trade talks between the two countries. And according to the Deputy Minister at the Agriculture Ministry - South Korea ag officials are considering it.
Of course the real fly in the ointment is the unwillingness of South Korea to lift the ban on U.S. beef. And several farm state Senators are saying "If you don't take our beef- forget your FTA with the USA." Senator Pat Roberts of Kansas is never one to mince words- and he says the Koreans are hiding behind "false barriers and fake science" in their attempts to protect their own beef producers from less expensive U.S. beef.
Express Ranches invite you to their Spring Bull Sale March first and second!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Express Ranches in Yukon have one of their biggest bull offerings of the year about ready to sell- and they will be offering a total of 500 Limousin and Angus Bulls over a two day period March first and Second at the Ranch just north of Yukon, Oklahoma. This will be their 13th annual spring bull sale!
The sale Schedule includes:
You can attend live- or the auction will be available through liveauction.tv on the Internet. We have a link below that takes you to the Express web site to tell you more about the spring bull sale- and it you go to the sale catalog that is available on line- you can get full information on how to register to be a buyer on the world wide web on sale day.
Click here for the Express Ranches web site to learn more about their 2007 Spring Bull Sale.
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