~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Monday February 26, 2007!A service of Midwest Farm Shows
-- State Conservation District Meeting is Underway at the Biltmore.
-- First time in 16 months- FEWER cattle in feedlots than a year ago!
-- OSU Wheat Breeder details the priorities for the wheat industry at Wheat Quality Council meeting.
-- The Week Ahead- Peanuts, OCA Meetings, Commodity Classic and National Farmers Union Convention!
-- Veg Activist says "the best way to reduce global warming in our lifetimes is to reduce or eliminate our consumption of animal products."
-- Beef Industry Fires back on Global Warming- saying it's the Cars not the Cows.
-- Thanks for your support- Help keep us in the know!
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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State Conservation District Meeting is Underway at the Biltmore.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Representatives from Conservation Districts all over the state are converging on Oklahoma City for their 69th annual meeting- with a busy agenda today and tomorrow.
We caught up with Clay Pope, Executive Director of the Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts and he says they are excited about the opportunities that are greater than ever to help be a bridge between urbanites and the farmers and ranchers who control much of the private land here in our state in rural areas. He says that the model of cooperation instead of coercion has worked for decades and is still very effective today in conservation work. He points to one of the sub watershed areas that leads into the Illinois River where conservation efforts have reduced the phosphorus load by some 60% in a fairly short amount of time.
We also talked about the hope of the conservation community to get additional dollars from the state to match with available Federal dollars to increase the cost share projects that can be done in several key eastern Oklahoma watersheds, as well as battling invasive species of cedar trees that suck up water like crazy. You can hear our conversation with Clay if you would like by clicking on the link below.
Click here to listen to Ron visit with Clay Pope of the OACD.
First time in 16 months- FEWER cattle in feedlots than a year ago!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Cattle marketings were good during the month of January while feedlots were reluctant or unable to bring in new cattle because of harsh weather and muddy cattle pens. The total number of cattle in US feedlots came in three percent under a year ago- the first time we have been under year ago levels in 16 months.
Marketings were up two percent from last January- while placements of cattle into feedyards was down a whopping 23%. Here in the southern Great Plains- the placement slowdown was even more pronounced. Oklahoma placements were down that 23% number that was the same as the national estimate- while Kansas was off 36% on placements into feedlots in that state- and Texas was off a huge 37% this January versus last January.
Current futures prices may limit any gains in the nearby contracts, as April Live Cattle futures settled Friday at 94.17, a three dollar premium over the cash trade that occurred in the Plains states on Friday afternoon after the report was released. Deferred contracts are likely to benefit today from the report- and could get support for several days from the idea we have finally turned the corner and are under year ago feedlot numbers.
OSU Wheat Breeder details the priorities for the wheat industry at Wheat Quality Council meeting.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Wheat Quality Council met in Kansas City this week to discuss quality testing results on upcoming varieties. This included setting standards for Hard White Wheat- which is slowly gaining acceptance in portions of the Hard Red Winter wheat belt.
Dr. Brett Carver, a wheat breeder from Oklahoma State University,
presented the research priorities for the National Wheat Improvement
Committee (NWIC) at the meeting. Three primary priorities include:
The Wheat Quality Council is a group of primarily flour millers and plant breeders (both public and private) and other interested parties, including wheat commissions, USW and NAWG, who collaborate to make sure that new wheat varieties meet or exceed quality standards. The Oklahoma Wheat Commission has been an active supporter of this quality based effort.
The Week Ahead- Peanuts, OCA Meetings, Commodity Classic and National Farmers Union Convention!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The second and final pre season Peanut grower meeting for southwestern Oklahoma is planned for Wednesday evening at the Caddo-Kiowa Technology Center in Ft. Cobb- beginning at 6:30 pm. Supper is being provided to area growers free of charge- there's no registration fee and there will be lots of good information about the economics of producing peanuts in today's world and under the current farm program- and there will be recommendations when it comes to varieties and other decisions to be made for the 2007 growing season.
OCA's District meetings continue tonight, Tuesday night and Thursday evening- all starting at 6:30 with a supper sponsored by Pfizer Animal Health. Tonight the OCA folks roll into McAlester at the Southeast Expo Center, tomorrow evening the event is in Sulphur at the Murray County Fairgrounds and Thursday, they wrap up their District meetings in Woodward County at the Woodward County Fairgrounds. Contact OCA for last minute info at 405-235-4391.
We head out Tuesday for events surrounding the annual Commodity
Classic- with this year's Classic offering a new twist- the inclusion of
the National Association of Wheat Growers as sponsors along with the
American Soybean Association and the National Corn Growers Association.
Several Oklahomans will be there-especially representing wheat and soybean
interests. This year's Commodity Classic will be in Tampa, Florida- which
leads us to our final stop of the week- the National Farmers Union.
Veg Activist says "the best way to reduce global warming in our lifetimes is to reduce or eliminate our consumption of animal products."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~That's one of the quotes from an article this past week in the Christian Science Monitor, as they promote the idea that livestock are a major cause of global warming- with the logic being advanced that because livestock let fly with methane emissions, as well as nitrous oxide- they are more dangerous to the well being of the planet than are cars.
These arguments have been kicked around quite a bit over the last several years- but now the activists have a recent United Nations FAO study that concludes that when you add the emissions of the livestock as well as the energy it takes to produce and process their carcasses into meat- the livestock sector of global agriculture is a real threat to the environment. The CS article also quotes the senior author of the study, Henning Steinfeld, "Livestock are one of the most significant contributors to today's most serious environmental problems." And they offer a call to action for the general public- eat less meat. They cite yet another study from the University of Chicago who says that "If you simply cut down from two burgers a week to one, you've already made a substantial difference."
These charges regarding global warming being caused by bovines and other livestock are not new- but the agenda driven activists are getting more frantic in their calls for people to be vegans. I was surprised as I spent some time over the weekend looking at the beef industry's web sites- and there is not a single place I can find that specifically comes up as a fact sheet or link that addresses specifically global warming and cows. I did touch base with Heather Buckmaster, Oklahoma Beef Council's Executive Director and the response she was able to find for us from NCBA follows in the next story. Still, I think maybe some "Issues Management" attention is in order as this sure seems like a major battleground since the average American is being pitched to consider- well, I won't get rid of my SUV for a Hybrid- but I can cut back on those burgers and help save us from global warming!
Click here to review the article from the Christian Science Monitor that assaults the Livestock Industry as the big bad Global Warmer.
Beef Industry Fires back on Global Warming- saying it's the Cars not the Cows.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~I asked Heather Buckmaster of the OBC what the beef industry has on file that responds to these current attacks on the beef industry. She found a NCBA statement that responds to the UN study and refutes that the cattle industry has a major role to play in the global warming debate.
NCBA says "A comparison of U.S. livestock production with the worldwide statistics provided in the United Nations’ (U.N.) report shows that the United States is significantly ahead of the world in managing livestock production in an environmentally friendly manner. Grazing cattle is a good use of land not suitable for growing crops and actually offers benefits in battling erosion, invasive plant species and wildfires. The United States Department of Agriculture classifies about 1.2 billion acres of U.S. land as agricultural land. More than half the agricultural land in the United States is unsuitable for crop production. Grazing animals on this land more than doubles the land area that can be used to produce food in this country.
“In addition, animal agriculture in the United States accounts for only a small fraction of total greenhouse gasses (GHG).1 According to Environmental Protection Agency data, production of food animals contributes to less than 2.4 percent of total GHG emissions (measured in CO2 equivalents) in the United States. In comparison, fossil fuel combustion contributes to approximately 80 percent of all U.S. GHG emissions (measured in CO2 equivalents). America’s beef producers pride themselves on their environmental stewardship. The land is not only the livelihood of America’s beef producers but also will be the legacy left to future generations. For years, beef producers have followed best practices for maintaining water, soil and air. As stewards of the land and members of local communities, beef producers take steps every day to responsibly maintain the environment where we work and live. "
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