From: Ron Hays []
Sent: Wednesday, December 05, 2007 06:36
Subject: Oklahoma's Farm News Update
Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Wednesday December 5, 2007!
A service of Cusack Meats, American Farmers and Ranchers & Midwest Farm Shows
-- Peru Free Trade Deal Easily Passes Senate 77-18!
-- Conner Names Travis Jett & Ryan Luter to Beginning Farmer Committee
-- Can the Farm Bill Get Back on Track???
-- Tulsa Farm Show Kicks off Thursday.
-- Melons and Squash and Cucumbers- Oh My!
-- The 200,000 Pound Success Story!!!
-- Monsanto Joins the Chicago Climate Exchange- Promises to Urge Farmers to Consider No Till.

Howdy Neighbors!

Here's your morning farm news headlines from the Director of Farm Programming for the Radio Oklahoma Network, Ron Hays. One of our sponsors on this 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!

We also welcome American Farmers and Ranchers Mutual Insurance Company as a regular sponsor of our daily update- click here to go to their NEW AFR web site to learn more about their efforts to serve rural America!
And our email this morning is also a service of Midwest Farm Shows, producer of the Tulsa Farm Show coming up THIS WEEK- 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.

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.

Peru Free Trade Deal Easily Passes Senate 77-18!
The U.S. Senate has passed the Peru Free Trade Agreement by a vote of 77 to 18. The legislation now goes to the President for his signature. Prior to the vote, Senator Chuck Grassley said - this day is long overdue. The Senator from Iowa said - these agreements serve to advance our national interests. They foster transparency and increased respect for the rule of law in international business transactions. Acting Agriculture Secretary Chuck Conner said this agreement - will allow our two countries to begin implementing and fulfilling two-way market access for our agricultural goods. Conner added - U.S. agriculture has been a staunch supporter of the Peru Trade Promotion Agreement because it creates new opportunities for U.S. products that currently face high tariffs to enter the Peruvian market.

There was no bigger supporter of the Peru Free Trade Agreement than the National Pork Producers Council. NPPC led a coalition of agricultural organizations in support of the agreement. NPPC called its passage - a major victory for U.S. pork producers. NPPC President Jill Appell, a pork producer from Altona, Illinois, says - U.S. pork producers will now gain access to 28 million new customers and see their profits rise.

The American Farm Bureau Federation was also a staunch supporter of the Peru FTA. Farm Bureau President Bob Stallman says the agreement - is estimated to increase U.S agricultural trade by 705 million dollars per year after full implementation. Stallman believes the Peru Free Trade Agreement will benefit - all U.S. agriculture with gains to be spread across all sectors-from livestock to fiber, grains and oilseeds to fruits and vegetables.
The only ag group that came out expressing disappointment with the Free Trade vote was R-Calf as they blasted the deal as being bad for cattlemen. NCBA , in contrast, hailed the agreement and called on Congress to step up quickly and also approve the Columbia FTA.

Conner Names Travis Jett & Ryan Luter to Beginning Farmer Committee
Acting Agriculture Secretary Chuck Conner today appointed 20 members- 2 of them from Oklahoma- to serve on the Advisory Committee on Beginning Farmers and Ranchers. Seven of the appointments are new; the other 13 are reappointments. This committee identifies ways to increase participation between federal and state programs to provide joint financing for beginning producers. Committee members also suggest agricultural opportunities that will help beginning farmers and ranchers.

"I was pleased to meet with committee members in July, and I appreciate their work to strengthen support of beginning farmers and ranchers," said Conner. "As the Administration's proposals for the 2007 Farm Bill demonstrate, helping beginning farmers and ranchers is a priority. I look forward to working together with this diverse, skilled team to build a strong future for our next generation of farmers and ranchers."

The two Oklahomans that are now a part of this advisory committee include past National FFA President Travis Jett of Laverne, Oklahoma- who is in his senior year at Oklahoma State University. Travis was the first speaker at the Administration's Farm Bill Forum in Oklahoma City held a couple of years ago that was hosted by Chuck Conner-we ere the emcee- Travis made a favorable impression it seems as he talked about the challenges of beginning farmers as he spoke on behalf of the Oklahoma FFA. The other Oklahoman that is on this Advisory Committee is Ryan Luter of Morrison: Luter is a farmer and an Assistant Vice President at BancFirst Corporation here in the state.

Can the Farm Bill Get Back on Track???
We heard from one of most respected farm lobbyists inside the Washington beltway that progress is being made on sorting through the amendments and getting to a point where the farm bill debate and votes can begin to happen- that actual floor work could be seen this coming week.

Just about everyone in the farm, ranch and agribusiness community agree- let's get something out of the Senate so we can get to the Conference Committee- Larry Combest, the former Chairman of the House Ag Committee when the 2002 law was written told rice producers this week at a meeting in Florida that "as Congressman Jamie Whitten always liked to say- you pass bills on the floor- you write law in the Conference Committee." Of course, Congressman Whitten was the long time chairman of the House Ag Appropriations Agriculture Subcommittee for many many years- and was often called the "de facto" Secretary of Agriculture.

Speaking of Combest, we have some of his remarks from that USA Rice Conference in Florida to share with you- we have them linked on our Farm Bill page on WWW.OklahomaFarmReport.Com. Go to the link below and look for the audio link on our entry for December 5.
These comments are courtesy of one of our good friends and colleagues Stewart Doan, who is one of the newest "alums" from the world's largest radio station owner as well as a fellow Kentuckian- we'll look forward to working a lot closer with Stewart in the days ahead as he is one of the most knowledgable farm broadcast journalists in the country.

Click here to jump to our Farm Bill webpage and then link to the audio with Larry Combest with a status report on the 2007 Farm Bill debate.

Tulsa Farm Show Kicks off Thursday.
We look forward to seeing many of you at the 2007 Tulsa Farm Show- we will have a booth once again here for this year's show- and we will be signing up new folks for the daily email service- and will be giving away some gift cards to both those folks as well as to any of you that stop and sign up at our booth- both current subscribers to our email as well as new folks that sign up will be eligible to win!!!

One of the new events for 2007 will be a private treaty bull sale that the Oklahoma Simmental- Simbrah Association is holding. This will be the first effort to expand down the ramp in the lower section of the huge Quik Trip Center(that's the new name of the building that the show has been in all 14 years). Our friend Kurt Hamburger is helping manage this sale- and you can contact him by calling 580-772-4156.

To check out the schedule of events that surround the show here in 2007- you can go to their website that we have linked below- and be sure and stop by and register to win and say howdy!

Click here for the 2007 Tulsa Farm Show website!

Melons and Squash and Cucumbers- Oh My!
Farmers and gardeners who want to learn more about squash, watermelon, specialty melons, and cucumbers are invited to attend the 2007 Oklahoma Cucurbit Meeting, Thursday, December 13, from 9 to 3 at the Grady County Fairgrounds on highway 62 in Chickasha. The free meeting includes lunch. The meeting organizers ask that those who plan to attend contact the Grady County Extension Office at 405.224.2216 for meal planning purposes. Researchers and specialists from OSU, USDA, and other institutions will talk about the production, benefits and marketing of these popular crops.

The meeting will focus on the Oklahoma Farm-to- School program, which is developing links between local produce growers and school food service programs. Farm-to-School Program Administrator, Chris Kirby, will be on hand to give an update on the program. The information will be of interest to both small and large-scale growers and marketers, says Dr. Jim Shrefler of OSU. A special guest speaker, Dr. Fred Schneider, Professor Emeritus, University of North Dakota, will make a presentation on his work on cucurbit crops used by Native Americans and the preservation of these crop resources.

Other speakers will present information on the 2007 Oklahoma specialty melon trials, an update on the health benefits of cucurbit crops, vegetable production systems for Farm-to School growers, and an overview of cucurbit vegetable disease management research that is underway in Oklahoma. Food safety, a great concern to all, will be addressed by Dr. William McGlynn of OSU, who will discuss what growers can do to ensure that their produce will be safe for their customers. Finally, Dr. Merritt Taylor, Center Director of the Wes Watkins Agricultural Research and Extension Center, will discuss some of the topics that a grower should be aware of when hiring labor for the farm. For more information ont he meeting, contact Dr. Jim Shrefler at 580.889.7343. We also have a link to a news release from the Kerr Center that gives you a little more information.

Click here for details on the 2007 Cucurbit Conference in Chickasha next week.

The 200,000 Pound Success Story!!!
We got an email a couple of days ago from Charles Luper of OSU Extension who has helped coordinate the 2007 series of Pesticide Disposal Days at several locations around the state. Charles tells us that the first year for this joint effort of OSU, the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture and the Oklahoma Agribusiness Retailers(they helped sponsor the program) was an outstanding success.

Charles writes "Thank you for your support in helping promote the Unwanted Pesticide Disposal collections around the state the past year. The collections have been very successful and I would be safe to say probably have exceeded most everyone's expectations. I wanted to share the results with you of each collection and the total amount collected."

  • Altus December 2006 61,920 pounds
  • Drummond February 2007 40,148 pounds
  • Webbers Falls February 2007 22,184 pounds
  • Durant April 2007 9,947 pounds
  • Miami April 2007 5,224 pounds
  • Clinton November 2007 51,827 pounds
  • Hooker November 2007 16,176 pounds

Charles says the effort will continue in 2008 and expresses the hope that the success of the program can continue.

Monsanto Joins the Chicago Climate Exchange- Promises to Urge Farmers to Consider No Till.
Monsanto Company Tuesday announced that it has joined the Chicago Climate Exchange® (CCX), North America's only voluntary, legally-binding greenhouse gas emissions reduction, registry and trading program. As part of its agreement, the company will, by 2010, reduce its own direct carbon emissions from major U.S. operations by 6 percent below its 2000 levels or purchase carbon emission offsets as specified in the CCX contract.

The company said it would also work with farmer groups to discuss reducing carbon dioxide in the air by practicing no-till agriculture, which involves minimal plowing of farmland. This practice sequesters carbon in the soil rather than releasing it into the air in the form of carbon dioxide.

"Our commitment to reducing greenhouse gas in the air extends beyond our own manufacturing footprint," said Jerry Steiner, executive vice president at Monsanto. He said the company's Roundup Ready® crops result in significantly better weed control and have been a major reason for the growing practice of no-till agriculture and its carbon dioxide reduction benefits. By using no-till practices, farmers can benefit financially by selling carbon offsets to other business enterprises through CCX. "This concept can be a key part of efforts to reduce greenhouse gas in the air," he said.

"This concept can be a key part of efforts to reduce greenhouse gas in the air," he said. "Growers have said the Roundup Ready® weed control system is the primary reason they can plant more crops with no-till," he said. "No-till cropping has grown to more than 62 million acres in the U.S. alone." Globally, studies have shown that no-till practices in 2005 reduced carbon dioxide releases from agriculture by an amount equal to the emissions from about four million cars.

Click here to check out the Monsanto news release- and more on their Greenhouse Gas Plan.

Our thanks to Midwest Farm Shows, American Farmers and Ranchers Mutual Insurance and Cusack Meatsfor 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!

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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