~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Friday August 8, 2008!A service of American Farmers & Ranchers, Johnston Enterprises and National Livestock Credit!
-- Denied! EPA Says No to Texas on a Waiver of the RFS
-- TCFA and other Livestock Groups Unhappy with EPA Decision
-- More Waiver Decision React- Farm Bureau and Farmers Union Agree- a Good Decision for Renewable Fuels.
-- OSU-OKC Hopes to Educate the Wind Techs for the Great Plains Wind Farms of today- and tomorrow.
-- USDA Confirms that Farm Input Costs Rising Rapidly- Up 9% in the Last Year
-- Podcasts One of the New Features Available from RON
-- The Busy Calendar Continues Next Week.
-- Looking at our Agricultural Markets...
Here's your morning farm news headlines from the Director of Farm Programming for the Radio Oklahoma Network, Ron Hays. We are proud to have National Livestock Credit Corporation as a regular sponsor of our daily email update. National Livestock Credit Corporation works diligently to provide unsurpassed service to their customers in the area of livestock financing. Check out the National Livestock Family of Services website by clicking here.
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Denied! EPA Says No to Texas on a Waiver of the RFS
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The EPA has denied the waiver request of the State of Texas to halve the Renewal Fuel Standard for 2008 and 2009. EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson says the RFS levels of biofuels will remain at 9.0 billion gallons here in 2008 and 11.1 billion gallons in 2009.
"After reviewing the facts, it was clear this request did not meet the criteria in the law," said EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson. "The RFS remains an important tool in our ongoing efforts to reduce America's greenhouse gas emissions and lessen our dependence on foreign oil, in aggressive yet practical ways."
We have the full EPA news release and an audio overview of the news briefing with Administrator Johnson as our top story on the website this Friday morning. Click below to take a look and listen.
TCFA and other Livestock Groups Unhappy with EPA Decision
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Texas Cattle Feeders Association said it - appreciated - their governor's efforts on behalf of the livestock industry, which brought national attention to the challenges U.S. ethanol policy has created for livestock producers. TCFA still believes Perry's position is correct. The organization said - the government's policy still favors one industry over another by giving ethanol producers a competitive advantage over cattlemen in corn purchases.
The President of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, Andy Groseta, said his organization's members are also - disappointed. He said - we had hoped the Administration would recognize the hardship cattle producers are facing with tight corn supplies and high prices for feed. Groseta said, during the first six month of this year, the beef industry - suffered a record feeding losses of nearly one-point- five million dollars. He said - we believe this constitutes the severe economic impact necessary to prompt a waiver from the RFS mandate.
Perhaps the pork industry has faced even more hardship due to the high feed grain prices than has the cattle business. Their organization, the National Pork Producers Council, also expressed disappointment. NPPC says the waiver would have eased uncertainty over feed supplies and prices and helped bring long-term stability to U.S. pork producers and consumers. NPPC President Bryan Black, a pork producer from Canal Winchester, Ohio, said - pork producers need more time to adjust to the volatility of the grain markets and to the government's ethanol mandate.
More Waiver Decision React- Farm Bureau and Farmers Union Agree- a Good Decision for Renewable Fuels.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The American Farm Bureau Federation says - the EPA's decision to deny a request submitted by the state of Texas to reduce the nationwide Renewable Fuels Standard sends a positive signal regarding the substantial economic benefits of renewable fuels. Farm Bureau president Bob Stallman said - we're pleased the EPA did not turn its back on the promise of renewable fuels. Stallman said the RFS - plays a crucial role in fostering the continued development of second- and third-generation biofuels.
The National Farmers Union believes EPA made the right decision to deny Texas Governor Rick Perry's request for a waiver from the Renewable Fuels Standard. NFU president Tom Buis said - despite the rhetoric from the supporters of big oil, ethanol has reduced our dependence on foreign oil, and saved consumers from paying even higher prices for gasoline. He called the RFS - a part of our nation's energy solution.
OSU-OKC Hopes to Educate the Wind Techs for the Great Plains Wind Farms of today- and tomorrow.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The growth of the wind turbine industry has subsequently spawned the demand for trained turbine technicians within the industry. Demand for "turbine technicians" or "wind techs" - the technicians who repair the mammoth turbine towers - has grown exponentially. According to OSU-OKC President, Dr. Jerry Carroll, the obvious question is, where can utility and energy companies find the technicians to repair the equipment?
"We spoke with OG&E and other energy industry partners to evaluate their needs. They kept coming back to us with this one growing need - to train a local work force as wind techs," said Carroll. Initiating a wind turbine technology program was OSU-OKC's reaction to the growing demand for wind techs. "We have filed our letter of intent with the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education to start a program in 2009," said Carroll. However, he added that classes such as Introduction to Wind Turbine Technology could begin as early as this fall.
The proposed OSU-OKC program is a two-year associate in applied science degree focusing training in two types of wind turbine facilities: utility-scale and facilities-scale. Utility-scale turbines are designed to produce electricity to be sold to consumers; facilities- scale turbines provide electricity for a specific facility. Wind Turbine Technology programs consist of classes in electrical, mechanical and hydraulic malfunctions, scheduled maintenance, and general service. For more information about the OSU-OKC Wind Turbine Technology program, contact Dr. Larry Edwards, at (405)945-3376.
USDA Confirms that Farm Input Costs Rising Rapidly- Up 9% in the Last Year
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The rising cost of fuel and other products helped drive U.S. farm production expenditures to a record $260 billion in 2007, according to the Farm Production Expenditures 2007 summary released today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). Total U.S. farm production expenditures rose 9.3% from 2006 and nearly 30% from five years ago.
ncreasing petroleum costs meant farmers not only paid more for fuel, but also for fertilizer products, chemicals and transportation services. Indirectly, fuel prices and the growth in ethanol production also led to higher crop prices, resulting in increased cost for livestock feed.
It's a lengthy report- but we have a few more details in our story on our webpage dedicated to this update- as well as the link to the full report from NASS and USDA- check it out.
Podcasts One of the New Features Available from RON
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We have three podcast products on our website that you can subscribe to- or you can search and find them on the Itunes store as well. There is no charge to sign up and your computer will automatically download them on a regular basis for you to listen to on your schedule.
The three products that we have include the daily Beef Buzz report, the morning Farm and Ranch News from the Radio Oklahoma Network and something that we are calling Ag Perspectives. The Ag Perspectives will be posted as we have feature interviews and topics that we want to spend a little extra time with and provide you with a more in depth look at a particular subject. One example, we have a conversation with Dr. Derrell Peel most recently uploaded as an Ag Perspectives piece that looks at the food system and the opportunities and challenges that face especially niche or specialty agricultural producers- this after Dr. Peel spoke at the recent Future Farms Conference in OKC. Here's a link directly to it.
You can subscribe for either the podcasts or simply as a RSS feed, which means that if you have a home page that where you use iGoogle or My Yahoo- you can add those feeds to those home pages and you will automatically see when these feeds are posted. You can also subscribe directly to the podcasts and they will be updated automatically for you and your MP3 player or even just to listen to on your computer. The listing of the Farm and Ranch News podcasts and the Ag Perspectives Podcasts are to be found on our Listen to Ron page- we have it linked below- hope you will check it out. Of course, even if you don't subscribe- we have it where you can easily listen on demand from our website as well.
Click here for the Listen to Ron page of our website- WWW.OklahomaFarmReport.Com
The Busy Calendar Continues Next Week.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~A quick reminder that Saturday mornings, we have our regular In the Field Report on KWTV News9 at around 6:40 AM- and our guest this week will be Mike Spradling, President of the Oklahoma Farm Bureau as we check up on how their District Grassroots Policy meetings are going. ALSO on Saturday- we will be in Ardmore emceeing the sessions at the Southern Plains Beef Symposium- stop by and say howdy!
Next week, the series of meetings that various groups are planning continue- including those Farm Bureau District Policy sessions, the Beef Quality Assurance training, the Water Plan Listening Meetings and even several more stops for Congressman Frank Lucas with his local town hall meetings.
One interesting "cutting edge" meeting planned for this coming Thursday will be happening at the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture in Oklahoma City. Researchers will discuss the technology developed by USDA-NASS over the past 12 years in generating the Remote Sensing Cropland Data Layer (CDL) Program, which provides timely geospatial updates of the agricultural landscape. The CDL is a crop specific land cover classification derived from 2 major inputs: multi-spectral AWiFS satellite imagery along with 'ground truth' from the USDA-FSA Common Land Unit (CLU). We have details on this meeting that will be happening August 14- go to our website and look at the calendar page- scroll down to August 14 to find out the details of this Remote Sensing Briefing planned by NASS and the USDA as they bring in three researchers who work on this stuff full time.
Click here for the Calendar page at WWW.OklahomaFarmReport.Com
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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.
Looking at our Agricultural Markets...
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Will we get cash cattle trade later today? Probably, and it could be at higher money than last week with bids now starting to be seen at $96 with asking prices up around $102. You might click on the link we have a the bottom of our market links of the TCFA market totals later in the weekend and see what we came up with during the day on Friday.
Here are some links we will leave in place on an ongoing basis- Click
on the name of the report to go to that link:
God Bless! You can reach us at the following: