From: Ron Hays []
Sent: Tuesday, April 24, 2007 06:50
Subject: Oklahoma's Farm News Update
Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Tuesday April 24, 2007!
A service of Midwest Farm Shows
-- Johanns and the Japanese doing the "First Step"
-- USDA's Number Two Man brings a smile and the Federal Checkbook to Oklahoma on Monday- providing $16 million in CREP monies.
-- A quick visit with Chuck Connor
-- Oklahoma Farm Bureau Commodity Conference Planned for a week from today- May First.
-- Speaking of Farm Bureau- AFBF has their Farm Bill Proposal circulating on the Hill.
-- Latest Crop Weather Update is Out- Oklahoma in pretty good shape- Kansas is NOT!
-- Severe Weather May Rumble Balance of the Week- and Hail is a Major Concern!

Howdy Neighbors!

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 just concluded Southern Plains Farm Show in Oklahoma City, 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.

If you have received this by someone forwarding it to you, you are welcome to subscribe and get this weekday update sent to you directly by clicking here.

Johanns and the Japanese doing the "First Step"
If the Secretary of Agriculture was from Oklahoma or Texas- he would probably be doing the "Two Step"- but coming from Iowa and Nebraska- all he was able to manage last night were a couple of "First Steps" with his Japanese counterpart as he issued a Monday evening statement simply says that we are going to allow the Japanese to look at our beef plants again, "verify" that we are doing all that was agreed to- and then they will consider stopping the costly and time consuming process of inspecting every box of beef that we ship to them. This does not address the age of our beef- we are still far from getting the Japanese from stepping up to the plate on that issue- but it is what it is- a "first step." The following is the full statement from Secretary Johanns issued by USDA Monday evening.

"The United States and Japan have agreed on two important first steps in our effort to expand U.S. beef trade with Japan. I have approved Japan's request to conduct additional audits of U.S. beef processing plants. I have invited Japan to begin the audits as soon as arrangements can be made. This is part of Japan's verification that our process will provide them with safe beef products. In response, once the verification process is complete, Japan will discontinue its requirement of inspecting 100 percent of the boxes of beef shipped from U.S. plants.

"I have talked with my Japanese counterpart, Minister Matsuoka, in recent days to exchange views on resolving the beef trade issue. I appreciate the open lines of communication between us and I look forward to working through the audits and transitioning to more reasonable inspection standards for U.S. beef in Japan. The United States expects Japan, as well as all of our trading partners, to implement import requirements for U.S. beef and beef products as soon as possible that are based on science and consistent with international guidelines, including those of the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE)."

Clcik here for today's Beef Buzz with Jay Truitt as we talk Japan as well as the UpComing OIE Ruling.

USDA's Number Two Man brings a smile and the Federal Checkbook to Oklahoma on Monday- providing $16 million in CREP monies.
For the first time in a decade of this program's life, Oklahoma will have a chance to tap into the Federal Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program- receiving a four to one federal dollar match for riparian conservation work on some 370 miles of streamside in two identified watersheds in northeastern Oklahoma. Those watersheds are the Illinois River watershed and the Eucha/Spavinaw watershed and lie primarily in three northeastern Oklahoma counties.

Connor was greeted by Governor Brad Henry in the Blue Room at the State Capitol. "It is a historic day for Oklahoma to be awarded this Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program as we begin our second century of statehood," Gov. Henry said. "Soil conservation was born in Oklahoma. The partnership between private landowners and our conservation districts has demonstrated that voluntary, locally- driven conservation can successfully address significant environmental issues like the Dust Bowl and now water quality," Gov. Henry said. "With the establishment of this Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program, we reaffirm our state's commitment to assist private landowners to practice conservation on Oklahoma's working lands for the next 100 years," Henry said.

Of course the contracts are not that long- they will be for 15 years and will receive a package of benefits that will include initial monies to help with the installation of an alternative water supply for livestock, fencing, grass planting, stream crossings and winter feeding facilities. The landowner will also receive an annual rental payment for the fifteen life of the contract that is based on the average area rental rate, a signing bonus payment and an annual practice maintenance payment.

Click here to review the full USDA Fact Sheet on this CREP for Oklahoma!

A quick visit with Chuck Connor
We were able to get a couple of minutes with Deputy Secretary Chuck Connor yesterday after the ceremony was over at the State Capitol.

We talked with Connor about the CREP Program- but also about Conservation programs being promoted by USDA as well as the farm bill language timeline that USDA is working under.

You can hear our exclusive time with Secretary Connor by clicking below.

Click here to listen to Ron visit with USDA's Chuck Connor.

Oklahoma Farm Bureau Commodity Conference Planned for a week from today- May First.
Oklahoma Farm Bureau's 2007 Commodity Committees Conference will be held Tuesday, May 1 from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Marriott Hotel on Northwest Expressway in Oklahoma City.

It looks like a really good morning program for this year's event- featuring Steve Kopperud, a private consultant in Washington that has an excellent handle on the Animal Welfare craziness in this day and age- his title is a little unsettling, "Why are we losing the battle?" It's not if we are losing ground- but rather that we losing the battle- Kopperud will provide some insight on our best response at this point in the battle.

Also on the program next Tuesday morning is Dr. Michael Dicks of Oklahoma State who will provide his latest ideas on where we stand with the 2007 Farm Bill development. Dr. Dicks has the ear of some of the key policy wonks inside the Washington Beltway- and he is always a good speaker to tune into. For details, you can contact or you can follow the link we have provided below.

Click here for more information on the 2007 Commodity Committee Conference of OFB.

Speaking of Farm Bureau- AFBF has their Farm Bill Proposal circulating on the Hill.
American Farm Bureau's Bob Stallman met with reporters yesterday via a teleconference and unveiled the AFBF Farm Bill proposal. "America's food supply is secure thanks to our productive farmers and ranchers and the support they receive from the farm bill to even out the ups and downs inherent in agriculture," said American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman. "The Farm Bureau proposal would continue that support in a balanced way, within the budget constraints we face and consistent with our international trade commitments," Stallman said.

As opposed to a number of commodity-specific proposals that have been presented thus far, without acknowledging the impact they would have on the whole of American agriculture, the Farm Bureau proposal recognizes that Congress must develop a new farm bill that works for all farmers. "Farm Bureau members produce everything from apples to wheat," said Stallman. "Our proposal reflects that agricultural diversity and balances the needs of all farmers and ranchers."

Highlights of the recommendations include:
Support for maintaining the baseline funding for the commodity title ($7 billion per year) and conservation title ($4.4 billion per year), rather than transferring funding from one title to another. These baselines already include sizable cuts from the 2002 farm bill funding level.
Support for eliminating the fruit and vegetable planting prohibition and for $250 million per year in conservation program funding for specialty crop growers.
Support for a revenue-based counter-cyclical safety net program to protect against both low prices and low yields and provide payments to farmers when they need them most.
Support for a standing catastrophic assistance program that is integrated with a re-rated crop insurance program. Crop insurance coverage would be reduced from the current coverage level because the new standing catastrophic assistance program would cover 50 percent of losses.
Support for retention of non-environmentally sensitive land in the Conservation Reserve Program and allowing the production of energy crops on that land. Those contract holders would be required to produce a cellulosic ethanol feedstock cover crop.
Opposition to any changes in farm bill payment limitations and income means-testing.

You can see more of the AFBF proposal by clicking here!

Latest Crop Weather Update is Out- Oklahoma in pretty good shape- Kansas is NOT!
A year ago- we were drying up and blowing away in Oklahoma with topsoil moisture supplies rated 95% short to very short- this week we are totally flipped to 94% adequate to surplus! Subsoil moisture is in much better shape than a year ago as well with a rating of 71% adequate to surplus.

The Oklahoma wheat crop shows only limited freeze damage at this juncture- rated at 75% good to excellent- compared to last year's 71% poor to very poor. The cooler weather is starting to slow down the development of the crop as 45% is now headed- even with the five year average. Two thirds of the state's corn crop is now planted- and gain sorghum. soybeans and peanuts are now being planted as well.

Perhaps the real story is just to our north- as the Kansas wheat crop is GOING DOWN FAST! A week ago, the poor to very poor rating was 27%- this week it stands at 41% poor to very poor.with most of that increase a fall from the "fair" category. Thirty four percent of their crop is rated good to excellent. Over half of the wheat in Kansas is said to have suffered moderate or severe freeze damage.

Click here for the latest Crop Weather Update for Oklahoma.

Severe Weather May Rumble Balance of the Week- and Hail is a Major Concern!
The current forecast includes all the key words- rain, hail, tornadoes, wind- all the words that make up the spring storm season in our part of the world. The latest National Weather Service Hazardous Weather Statement says that we could see thunderstorms begin to fire up after 1 pm today and go past midnight.

Keep in touch on the weather today- because it could be a wild ride in some areas before the night is done- and that includes checking in with Gary England and his team at News9 in Central and Western Oklahoma- and Travis Meyer and his crew at the News on 6 for Eastern Oklahoma- we have their web sites linked on our weather page at WWW.OklahomaFarmReport.Com.

Below we have the latest National Weather Service Hazardous Weather Statement Issued at 6:15 am this morning- it will likely be updated around midday. My advice is to stay with Gary and Travis and their folks- they are all pros and they will keep you advised!

Click here for the latest Hazardous Weather Statement from the Norman NWS Office.

Our thanks to Midwest Farm Shows for their support of our daily Farm News Update. Go to their website at the link at the top of today's email for more information on either the Tulsa Farm Show or the Southern Plains Farm Show.

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.

Click here to check out WWW.OklahomaFarmReport.Com

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