~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Wednesday October 22, 2008!A service of Johnston Enterprises, National Livestock Credit and American Farmers & Ranchers!
-- Greetings from Indianapolis!
-- Oklahoma Canola Being Crushed in Downtown Oklahoma City
-- Farm Bureau Warns Profits May Be Tougher To Corner in 2009
-- USDA's Rural Development Agency Offers Review of Accomplishments and Money Invested in Rural Oklahoma
-- JBS Swift Says They Will Finish Deal With Smithfield ASAP
-- Spotlighting One of the True "Stars" of the Week- Travis Schnaithman
-- 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 American Farmers & Ranchers Mutual Insurance Company as a regular sponsor of our daily update- click here to go to their AFR web site to learn more about their efforts to serve rural America!
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Greetings from Indianapolis!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We will be covering the 81st Annual National Convention of the FFA today through Saturday- and this is always a time to recharge your batteries as you are surrounded with thousands of truly great young people from all 50 states.
We have some early posts on our Blue- Green Gazette which is a part of our website, WWW.OklahomaFarmReport.Com- and more will be coming as the day unfolds. I would suggest you check back at the link below several times during the day if you are interested in an Oklahoma perspective to this annual event.
As we heard from Kent Boggs, Executive Secretary of the Oklahoma FFA earlier this week- our state has more young people as finalists at the national level this year than any other state- and the hope is that we will see several of our young people come home as national winners as well.
Click here for the Blue-Green Gazette and our coverage of the National FFA Convention
Oklahoma Canola Being Crushed in Downtown Oklahoma City
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Since we are in Indianapolis, we will miss the big Media Day Festivities planned for tomorrow at PCOM in downtown Oklahoma City to celebrate the first Oklahoma produced canola being crushed at their facility.
Before we left for the FFA convention, we did get a personal tour of the operation with Brandon Winters- and we have a short video that we shot with Brandon on our website about the process of taking the canola that comes into the plant and turning it into canola oil and canola meal.
Brandon tells us from the time that a bucket of canola berries are picked up to the outcome of oil and meal takes thirty minutes or less. We invite you to take a look at the process as Brandon describes it by going to the link below.
Click here for more on local canola being crushed locally by PCOM
Farm Bureau Warns Profits May Be Tougher To Corner in 2009
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~According to the American Farm Bureau Federation, the farm sector may very well see a down-turn in profits in 2009 compared to 2008. There will be fairly strong cash receipts. But the culprit will be significant increases in input costs. Still, by many measures, American agriculture may be in the best financial shape it's ever been, according to speakers at a national outlook conference, recently held by AFBF.
"The bottom line is that farmers need to exercise caution as they plan for the new year," said Terry Francl, AFBF senior economist. Most farmers should not have trouble getting credit, but they will have to work closely with their lenders and carefully prepare crop budgets, Francl said. In the upcoming growing season will face a traditional challenge: input costs continuing to rise, while the weaker economy could well push commodity prices lower. "We are very fortunate in production agriculture in that our debt to asset ratio looks pretty good," Francl said. "Agriculture still has the capacity to take on a lot more debt, but just because we can doesn't mean we should run out and bump up borrowing."
The Farm Bureau Economists agree that farmers need to especially
watchful of costs they incur in 2009. "Fertilizer costs are expected to be
higher in 2009 than they were in 2008. Pesticide prices may also rise, but
due to the increased role of biotechnology it is not clear how much actual
spending on pesticide will rise," Francl said.
USDA's Rural Development Agency Offers Review of Accomplishments and Money Invested in Rural Oklahoma
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The USDA Rural Development office in Stillwater has just released their 2008 Annual Report which recaps some of the highlights of the fiscal year that has just ended. Perhaps one of the most impressive numbers included in the report was a figure that actually reflects the dollar figure for loans and grants poured into Oklahoma from 2001 through 2008 by this agency of USDA- a total of just over $2.5 billion has been put into rural areas
We have the link on our website for the report that reviews where money has been invested in the just concluded fiscal year. Click on the link below to get to that report.
Click here for more on Rural Development's Investments into Oklahoma
JBS Swift Says They Will Finish Deal With Smithfield ASAP
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~JBS S.A. announced yesterday that it plans to immediately complete the purchase of Smithfield Beef Group, Inc. ("Smithfield Beef"), the beef processing and cattle feeding operations of the Smithfield Group for approximately $565 million in cash. The deal will be paid using Company funds. The purchase includes 100 percent of Five Rivers Ranch Cattle Feeding LLC ("Five Rivers"), which was previously a 50/50 joint venture with Continental Grain Company
JBS also acknowledged that the Department of Justice filed a complaint in the United States Federal District Court in Chicago challenging JBS S.A.'s acquisition of National Beef Packing Company, LLC, from US Premium Beef, LLC. JBS S.A. plans to vigorously defend the Department of Justice lawsuit. "We disagree with the Department of Justice's decision to try and block this transaction," said Wesley Batista, JBS USA's President and CEO. "This transaction is highly pro- competitive and will generate significant efficiencies and synergies that will benefit our cattle suppliers and our beef customers. We believe the government's case is misplaced and we look forward to defending this matter in court."
We have the full statement from JBS linked below- it appears that JBS is moving quickly before activists convince US regulators to rethink their okay of the Smithfield part of the deal.
Click here for the "Notice to the Market"from the JBS website
Spotlighting One of the True "Stars" of the Week- Travis Schnaithman
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~One of the real "stars" here in Indianapolis this week at the 81st Annual National Convention of the FFA hails from Garber, Oklahoma- Travis Schnaithman is one of the four Star Farmer of America Finalists that will be judged on Thursday of this week, with the Star Farmer of America to be named Saturday morning, just ahead of the American Degree ceremony that will be held in the brand new football stadium here in downtown Indianapolis, Lucas Oil Stadium.
We have more with Travis which includes an interview with him as he prepared this last week to head for Indianapolis- the story is linked below from our website and the Blue-Green Gazette.
Click here for our conversation with Travis Schnaithman- Star Farmer Finalist for 2008
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Looking at our Agricultural Markets...
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