From: Ron Hays []
Sent: Thursday, August 23, 2007 23:27
Subject: Oklahoma's Farm News Update
Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Friday August 24, 2007!
A service of Farm Credit of East Central Oklahoma, American Farmers and Ranchers & Midwest Farm Shows
-- Korea Agrees to Start Inspecting Our Beef Again- with a few strings.
-- Brazil seems to want it both ways on cotton case!
-- Hassled Heifers Equals Tougher Beef???
-- Farms and Ranches Should NOT Get Bigger- So Say the Idealists.
-- Congrats to Wheat Show Winners Including 4-H Champ Shelby Brewer and FFA Champ Jared Yost!
-- Harvest Note From Garfield County- Corn Looking Mighty Fine!

Howdy Neighbors!

Here's your morning farm news headlines from the Director of Farm Programming for the Radio Oklahoma Network, Ron Hays. We are proud to welcome Farm Credit of East Central Oklahoma as a regular sponsor of our daily email update. Farm Credit of East Central Oklahoma has ten branch offices to serve your farm financing needs and is dedicated to being your first choice for farm credit. Check out their website for more information by clicking here!

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Korea Agrees to Start Inspecting Our Beef Again- with a few strings.
South Korea will resume quarantine inspections on U.S. beef after effectively halting imports early this month, a government official said Friday in Seoul. The decision comes after the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry carefully examined a formal explanation sent by Washington on the shipments of cow backbones and ribs that were found last month.

"The ban will be maintained on the four beef processing centers that shipped ribs, while Seoul will not halt all future imports from the one that shipped the backbones," said Lee Sang-kil, head of the ministry's livestock bureau. The decision is expected to allow progress to be made on negotiations aimed at revising South Korea's sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) arrangements that prohibit bone-in beef, such as ribs and backbones from being imported.

Dr. Chuck Lambert has been the lead negotiator for the United States in getting the South Koreans to start inspecting our boxes of beef once again- and he indicated to reporters in the last day or so that he expected the South Koreans to begin inspecting our beef again, under the condition that any other plant that ships any boxes of beef with bones in them will be suspended from shipping additional beef to Korea- and won't be reinstated until new protocols are put in place. Of course, the protocols that the US continues to demand is that South Korea recognize and conform to the OIE International Animal Health Organization ruling that the US is a "controlled risk" country and that beef from any age animal- bone in as well as boneless is safe from a BSE point of view.

Brazil seems to want it both ways on cotton case!
While Brazilian officials were in Geneva arguing that U.S. subsidies were depressing world cotton prices, the Brazilian government was busy selling government-held cotton stocks on the Brazilian market in order to lower internal Brazilian cotton prices according to USDA reports. "The actions of Brazil's own government in April and May of 2007, when it sold nearly two-thirds of its government held cotton stocks to drive down prices are clearly incompatible with Brazil's contemporaneous arguments that the United States was suppressing world cotton prices," National Cotton Council Consultant Bill Gillon said at a joint meeting of the American Cotton Producers and Cotton Foundation. "The Brazilian government was arguing (and the WTO Panel apparently agreed) that the U.S. cotton program was causing price suppression in the world market, even though the Brazilian government was taking action to drive down domestic cotton prices. Brazil's words to the WTO were blatantly inconsistent with Brazil's own actions at the time."

Gillon reiterated earlier statements by the NCC that there is little proof the U.S. cotton program currently is causing price suppression in the world cotton market. "Since the United States eliminated its step 2 program, U.S. cotton exports declined significantly, U.S. acreage dropped 28 percent and production is expected to decline by 20 percent or more for 2007," Gillon notes. "Cotton production and exports are dramatically up in India and Brazil's production has also risen since the first Panel decision and world cotton prices are up."

He stated that while the U.S. did not alter all aspects of its cotton program after the first Panel decision, "the measure of this type of proceeding is not whether the U.S. changed all of its programs, but whether the changes it did make were enough to ensure the program was not causing significant price suppression in world markets. Clearly, with U.S. production down and the rest of the world producing at a record pace, the U.S. program is not causing anyone injury." Gillon adds "In order for the U.S. to be able to take rational policy steps to adjust to WTO decisions, it must have a clear description of what it is doing wrong," he said. "So far, while maintaining that the U.S. is causing significant price suppression, no WTO Panel has told us what 'significant' means. This Panel had strong evidence before it tending to show that the U.S. program (even before parts of it were eliminated) could have had no more than a two or three percent impact on world prices. If the Panel did not discredit that evidence, we may have a decision by the WTO that a two or three percent movement in prices is 'significant,' which seems to fly in the face of common sense."

Hassled Heifers Equals Tougher Beef???
The guys that are reading this today would likely agree with me that sometimes our wives can really get sensitive- and that can make things a lot tougher for us. I have heard that blamed on hormones. Well, there has been research done that suggests that lady cattle, in this case, heifers, may have some of those same hormones going for them- and if they feel hassled, it can result in a tougher carcass if that heifer is ending for the packing plant!

Tenderness, the gold standard for beef products, is a complex trait influenced by a variety of factors, many of which can be managed to reduce the incidence of tenderness problems in the final product. One inherent tenderness variation often overlooked in pre- harvest management plans, however, is sex classification, according to a new beef checkoff- funded report. Young, grain-fed steers and heifers make up 80 percent of cattle processed each year in federally inspected U.S. beef plants. Steers comprise about one-half of the total federally inspected harvest, while heifers represent about 30 percent of the slaughter mix.

Heifers typically outperform steers in marbling and USDA quality grade, but product tenderness usually favors steers, according to Pre-Harvest Factors Affecting Beef Tenderness in Heifers, a beef checkoff- funded report by Colorado State University meat scientists J.D. Tatum, Ph.D., S.L. Gruber and B.A. Schneider.
The question is, why? Well, according to the research, there are several identified factors that could account for the difference: (1) Differences between heifers and steers in levels of enzymes that break down bovine proteins and "age" beef and (2) The effect of estrogen on heifers, making them generally more excitable and susceptible to pre-harvest stress. Evidence also suggests that intact heifers have higher hormone levels compared to steers and spayed heifers, resulting in tougher beef from the intact animal. Other studies, however, have suggested that spaying has little effect on heifer beef tenderness. Management techniques include estrus suppression, non-aggressive handling and careful use of finishing implants, if these products are used. We have a link below that gives us more information on this study- I guess you could say the old Otis Redding song from years ago makes sense in handling your critters(Especially those heifers) as they head to market- "Try a Little Tenderness!"

Click here for the Study on the Sex impact of Beef Tenderness!

Farms and Ranches Should NOT Get Bigger- So Say the Idealists.
Getting bigger and more efficient is considered "bad" in the opinion of the animal rights and welfare groups of this country- so says Kay Johnson, the Executive Director of the Animal Agriculture Alliance.

Johnson tells us that livestock producers need to get involved in telling their story to the public and to policy makers in order to counteract the giant welfare groups that hope to eliminate animal agriculture as we know it.

You can hear our conversation with Kay Johnson on this subject by listening to today's Beef Buzz on the Radio Oklahoma Network- or you can also click below to take a listen at your convenience.

Click here to check out the Friday Beef Buzz with Ron and Kay as they discuss a battle plan to use against the big Animal Welfare groups!

Congrats to Wheat Show Winners Including 4-H Champ Shelby Brewer and FFA Champ Jared Yost!
The winners of the 2007 Oklahoma 4-H and FFA Wheat Show were honored at the Phillips Pavilion at the Governor's Mansion in Oklahoma City last night. At the top of the list of winners was Shelby Brewer from the Dover 4-H Club, who won in the 4-H Division and was the Overall Grand Champion as well with her entry of Overley. Shelby has won before and has hit the maximum limit of scholarship money she can win in this competition of $6,000 in the 4-H Division.

First overall in the FFA Division was Jared Yost of the Lomega FFA Chapter, taking top FFA honors for his entry of G1878. With a two thousand dollar scholarship, Jared also maxed out at the $6,000 level in his 4-H/FFA career in the state wheat show in scholarship monies.

The rest of the top five 4-H entries include Cali Glazier of the Lomega 4-H Club in 2nd Place with her entry of Overley; Third Place in 4-H was claimed by Kristi Burghardt of the Hitchcock 4-H Club- also with with an entry of Overley; Fourth place in 4-H awarded to Coy Fischer from the Guymon 4-H club for an entry of Jagalene and finally fifth place in 4-H earned also by Coy Fischer for an entry of Platte White Wheat. The top three prize winners receive a $2000 scholarship while fourth and fifth each are paid a $1000 scholarship.

FFA winners included second place in the FFA Division claimed by Dalton Brewer of Dover FFA with an entry of G1878; Third place earned by Camra Fischer of the Guymon FFA with white wheat entry, Platte; Fourth Place in FFA awarded to Kassidy Nelson of the Okeene FFA for her Overley variety entry- and finally Fifth Place for FFA given to Cody Glazier for an entry of OK Bullet.

Harvest Note From Garfield County- Corn Looking Mighty Fine!
James Wuerflein emails us this week about corn harvest in the zone just north of the storms we experienced last weekend. James reports "Ron, I have talked with some who are harvesting corn in Garfield county and they tell me it is making from 100- 140 bushels per acre. The quality has been excellent. If they had known that it would rain so much and be 80-85 degrees all through May and June they would have planted thicker and used more nitrogen."

.If only our weather forecasters could have predicted these conditions- Oklahoma might have looked a little like Iowa this summer!

By the way, others who are harvesting corn- give us an update and we will share that as well!

Our thanks to Midwest Farm Shows, American Farmers and Ranchers Mutual Insurance and Farm Credit of East Central Oklahoma for their support of our daily Farm News Update. For your convenience, we have our sponsors' websites linked at the top of the email- check them 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!

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