~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Thursday October 4, 2007!A service of Cusack Meats, Farm Credit of East Central Oklahoma & Midwest Farm Shows
-- No Farm Bill Markup on Thursday- and Probably Not This Week!
-- Panhandle Farmers Are Dusting Their Wheat In
-- Wind Energy Meeting Set for Cheyenne on Friday
-- Cattle Marketing Seminar on Tap in Tulsa Town
-- Beef Recall From Topps Is a Story- but appears to be a Non Issue with a large number of consumers.
-- BQA Will Make a Return in 2008.
-- Animal Welfare Advocates Call for More Room for a Chicken to Roam- in the cage.
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!
The newest sponsor on our daily email service is Cusack Meats, and Al Cusack wants everyone to know that he APPRECIATES Oklahoma's Farmers and Ranchers! You can go to the Cusack website and select some great gift packs of meat for giving- or for yourself! And, our email this morning is also a service of Midwest Farm Shows, producer of the Tulsa Farm Show coming up December 6-8, 2007, as well as the Southern Plains Farm Show in Oklahoma City next spring. Check out details of both of these exciting shows at the official website of Midwest Farm Shows by clicking here.
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No Farm Bill Markup on Thursday- and Probably Not This Week!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The word midday Wednesday was that Iowa Senator Tom Harkin was going to call together his Committee to attempt to mark up the 2007 Farm Bill late this afternoon- about five pm Washington time.That time was selected in order to give the Senate Finance Committee enough time to deal with the proposed ag tax package crafted by Max Baucus of Montana that we linked to in yesterday's email. HOWEVER, the word last night is that the Thursday afternoon session for the Senate Ag Committee has been cancelled. No word has surfaced as to when they might meet.
There seems to be only one thing that Democrats and Republicans agree on as we move closer to working on a farm bill markup. They all say that there is a need to wait until Baucus is done in the Finance Committee before the Senate Ag Committee meets.
One interesting read that we saw Wednesday evening came from Forest Laws of the Delta Farm Press, who says that Harkin seems to be leaning toward allowing others to push their ideas through the Committee, with his idea being to find like minded Senators to ban together on the floor and cut direct payments, up the funding for conservation- especially his beloved CSP- and beat those who seem to be siding with many of the farm groups in wanting a decent farm safety net to come out of the Senate. It appears that Republican Senator Saxby Chambliss and Democrat Kent Conrad are closer on what that would look like than is Harkin. I have linked that Forest Laws article below-take a look.
Click here on one take that believes Tom Harkin will make his hardest push for what he really wants in the 2007 Farm Bill on the Senate Floor- not in his Committee.
Panhandle Farmers Are Dusting Their Wheat In
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~I got an email note from Rick Kochenower from the Oklahoma Panhandle with the request "Send Rain!!!"
Rick tells us that Cimarron County is about the only area and it is spotty where wheat is being planted into moisture. He adds that a lot of acres have been dusted in. The latest Crop Weather update that we saw come out on Monday afternoon showed that in September, both the Panhandle and the Southwest District both were very dry for the month of September versus a "normal" year. The Panhandle received 46% of normal rainfall during the month and the Southwest district of the state received 56%. Only the South Central District received a lesser percentage, at 34% of normal rain coming down on average across the district.
Back to the Panhandle- Kochenower says one bright spot being seen- irrigated wheat. "The irrigated wheat that has been planted and watered is looking good though."
Wind Energy Meeting Set for Cheyenne on Friday
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The forum on Wind Energy is NOT about about the nuts and bolts of site selection or buying the right machine or anything like that- this is a meeting all about understanding the economics of wind energy and the legalities you will have to deal with as you negotiate a lease deal with a wind energy production company.
Among the topics to be discussed willl be the impacts on the landowner of the wind energy leases you might agreee to- how that could impact oil and gas leases and some of the environmental impacts wind energy operators may face.
The Roger Mills Extension Office and several local citizens are teaming up to sponsor this event- we have a link below of the flyer that describes details of the Friday evening event.
Click here for details on that Cheyenne Wind Energy Meeting planned for this Friday evening.
Cattle Marketing Seminar on Tap in Tulsa Town
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~If you are losing sleep over the ups and downs of the cattle market, you may want to think about the Bud Williams Cattle Marketing School that will be taught by our friend Ann Barnhardt. Ann says that if "you are tired of breaking even on cattle - and feeling fortunate to have done so- and if you are you ready to control your own destiny in the cattle markets and be CONSISTENTLY PROFITABLE- then you are ready for the Bud Williams Livestock Marketing School at the Tulsa Airport Holiday Inn on November 9th and 10th.
Barnhardt says there are quite a number of things she will be teaching
those in attendance on the 9th and 10th of November- some of the concepts
covered at Bud Williams Marketing Schools include:
Ann says space is limited to 50 and a sell-out is expected, so call 1-8777994577 toll free or go their website for the Bud Williams Marketing School, which is linked below.
Click here for the Bud Williams website- then look for the "School" button in the upper right hand side of the page.
Beef Recall From Topps Is a Story- but appears to be a Non Issue with a large number of consumers.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Even as the USDA and Topps have expanded the recall of frozen hamburger patties to more than 20 million pounds of product, this story does not seem to be worrying too many consumers out across the country. Actually, I must confess that I always thought that Topps was the company that printed baseball cards before this story surfaced.
When you search for stories using the words "beef recall" you get some 1950 hits on stories that contain these words- quite a few of those have nothing to do with this current meat recall- band many of those that you do check on are stories that have the media looking for a scared consumer- and finding none.
One shopper at a Walmart in Wisconsin says the national recall doesn't worry her since she does not ever buy frozen beef patties- another reporter interviews folks at a hamburger joint in Connecticut that doesn't use frozen patties either- but rather grinds their own beef on site fresh. Other media stories that went searching for folks that actually consume the product were hard pressed to find worried consumers out across the country.
However, the recall has raised the awareness level within the industry
of the need to be very aggressive in dealing with these outbreaks when
they do occur- even as they become less frequent in recent years. At the
same time, you have groups who will seize on this story and shout as loud
as they can- Our Food Safety System is Broke and We are ALL gonna die! As
evidence of that, I have linked below the news release that has been put
out by the Consumers Union. Jean Halloran of the group is quoted as saying
"The system is broken. Recalls and inspections have failed miserably."
Click here for the news release from the Consumers Union on the current beef recall.
BQA Will Make a Return in 2008.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Beef Quality Assurance Program is designed to provide cattle producers valuable information on how to best handle, feed and care for their livestock that will result in a better product to come from those critters at the end of the beef pipeline. BQA efforts have been highly successful across the country for well over a decade- and it looks like Oklahoma is planning on a fresh push when it comes to a BQA in 2008.
The original BQA effort in Oklahoma was a cooperative effort between the Oklahoma Beef Industry Council and OSU Extension. A multipaneled exhibit was constructed- and this puppy filled a trailer that was hauled all around the state for several years.
Well, that educational effort aimed at cattle producers, large and small, gradually was phased out several years ago- but there remains a need. And the Oklahoma Beef Council has taken the lead- formed a task force of groups that have a stake in the cattle business- and is preparing with OSU and the Noble Foundation a fresh BQA effort in 2008. We talk about the need for this program in a conversation today with Heather Buckmaster of the OBC in today's Beef Buzz- we have it linked for you below- check it out!
Click here to listen to Ron and Heather talk BQA on today's Beef Buzz from the Radio Oklahoma Network!
Animal Welfare Advocates Call for More Room for a Chicken to Roam- in the cage.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~A battle is brewing in California over how much room a chicken needs to lay an egg, then flap its wings and move around. Animal welfare groups are passing petitions, hoping to collect 434-thousand signatures by next February 28th to place an initiative on the November, 2008 California ballot. The measure would require that enclosures be big enough for the animals to fully extend their wings or legs, lie down, stand up and turn around.
Farm organizations are preparing to fight the measure, which they fear will win over a sympathetic, largely urban electorate. A producer led initiative would leave egg producers' current practices in place. Farmers say the animals already are treated well, and less efficient methods would drive up the cost of eggs and other foods by anywhere from a quarter to three times the current cost.
The California initiative is part of a recent national movement by animal welfare organizations to ask voters to help decide how their food is raised. California would be the first to expand living space rights to chickens. About 95 percent of laying hens are raised in cages. California is the fifth largest egg producing state in the nation with nineteen million chickens producing about five billion eggs a year.
Here's a link to a news release from the Poultry Industry in California attempting to fight off this welfare assault.
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