~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Thursday November 13, 2008!A service of Johnston Enterprises, KIS Futures and American Farmers & Ranchers!
-- We Visit One on One With Secretary Schafer
-- Governor Henry Becomes 30th Governor to Endorse 25 By 2025 as a Renewable Fuel Goal
-- Unwanted Pesticide Collection Points Set in Four Locations during December
-- Replacement Females for Your Beef Herd- How Many Are Enough?
-- R-Calf Furious With USDA Over Move They Claim Makes NAIS Mandatory
-- Congrats to Clarence Watson of the OSU Ag Experiment Station
-- Ag Preference Hosting Farmer and Rancher Forum at Quartz Mountain Resort
-- 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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We Visit One on One With Secretary Schafer
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We are in Kansas City at the National Association of Farm Broadcasters annual convention- and you know that you have been around for a long time when you can count on your fingers- almost with one hand- the farm broadcasters that have been doing this longer than I have. Anyway, we were priviledged to spend a few minutes on Wednesday morning with Secretary of Agriculture Ed Schafer as we obtained an exclusive interview with the USDA Chief.
We talked about several topics including:
Mandatory COOL: Secretary Schafer says that it is his hope that USDA
will complete work and get the final rules out before January 20 saying "I
think we will get it finalized before we leave office." And, the Secretary
adds that he is satisfied at this point in what is being said by the major
packers in how they intend to label meat under the COOL regulations.
Schafer believes that the industry is moving in the right
Governor Henry Becomes 30th Governor to Endorse 25 By 2025 as a Renewable Fuel Goal
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Governor Brad Henry endorsed an initiative on Wednesday to ensure that renewable energy sources comprise 25 percent of the United States' total energy needs by the year 2025. Dubbed the 25x'25 Vision, the campaign is aimed at reducing the nation's alarming dependence on foreign oil. "The 25x'25 resolution is a statement of our state's commitment to support the development of renewable energy sources," Governor Henry said.
This endorsement comes on the opening of the third annual GROW conference- the statewide Biofuels Conference.
"It won't be an easy feat, but I believe we can accomplish the goal of 25 percent by 2025. Moreover, Oklahoma can play a major role in achieving that goal through our development of biofuels, wind energy and other renewable energy sources. It is a very important step that we can take to achieving energy independence." The 25x'25 effort hopes to increase energy security, economic well-being and environmental protection while reducing the amount of oil imported into the U.S., currently a $600 billion per year transfer to foreign nations.
Oklahoma is one of the top producers of fossil fuels in the nation, producing nearly 10 percent of the country's natural gas and 3 percent of all crude oil in the U.S. But the state also possesses significant renewable energy resources. According to a study by the University of Tennessee Department of Agricultural Economics, Oklahoma ranks 11th nationwide in the potential economic impact of a 25x'25 renewable energy future, generating an additional $13.6 billion in annual economic activity, including an increase of $1.3 billion in net farm income, and creating an additional 135,000 jobs. Renewable energy accounted for more than 10 percent of the domestically-produced energy used in the United States in the first half of 2008, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
Unwanted Pesticide Collection Points Set in Four Locations during December
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The next Oklahoma Unwanted Pesticide Disposals are scheduled for December- with four locations set to accept ONLY Pesticides. No other hazardous materials will be accepted at these collection points. All four locations will accept Pesticides from 8:00 AM until 1:00 PM.
The locations include
All pesticides will be taken no matter the size. There is no cost for
the first 2,500 pounds of pesticides brought by a participant. Anything
over 2,500 pounds will be charged to the participant at a $1/pound for all
pesticides except mercury based pesticides, wherein participants will be
charged $2.22/pound for disposal. Clean Harbors will accept payment in the
form of check or credit card at the disposal site. No cash will be
Click here for more on the Unwanted Pesticide Drop Days in December
Replacement Females for Your Beef Herd- How Many Are Enough?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Retaining heifers for your cow herd is an decision that varies a great deal by multiple factors- including how good your pasture is, the current cattle market and the condition of your older mama cows. On today's Beef Buzz, our regular Thursday visit with Dr. Glenn Selk of OSU is a look at how you can compute how many heifers you may need to have ready annually for your beef cow herd.
Dr. Selk uses as a reference for this decision a long term study that was conducted by North Dakota State University. He says that approximately 17% of your cow herd may need to be recycled annually- a number to start with if you want to maintain the size of the beef cow herd.
We talk with Dr. Selk about all of these decisions and he has some good answers for Cow-Calf operators on this issue on our Thursday Beef Buzz. The Beef Buzz is heard on great radio stations across the state on the Radio Oklahoma Network- and is also a daily audio feature you find on our website, WWW.OklahomaFarmReport.Com. Click below for today's program- and look over the previous Beef Buzz programs anytime by clicking on the Beef Buzz link on the left hand side of our website pages.
R-Calf Furious With USDA Over Move They Claim Makes NAIS Mandatory
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~In a formal letter issued Monday, Nov. 10, 2008, R- CALF USA has requested that the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service-Veterinary Services (APHIS-VS) immediate retract Memorandum No. 575.19 issued on Sept. 22, 2008, on the grounds that the memo "constitutes an unlawful, final regulatory action initiated and implemented without public notice or opportunity for comment, as required by the Administrative Procedure Act." Also receiving the formal letter were Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, who chairs the Senate Agriculture Committee, and Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., who chairs the House Agriculture Committee, as well as the ranking members of each committee. Additionally, animal health officials in each state received a copy of R- CALF USA's correspondence.
"The effect of this memo is that premises registration under NAIS (National Animal Identification System) is now mandatory for producers engaged in interstate commerce and who participate in any one of the dozen or more regulated disease programs, despite APHIS' express promise to the industry and to Congress that NAIS would remain a voluntary system," said R-CALF USA President/Region VI Director Max Thornsberry, a Missouri veterinarian who also chairs the group's animal health committee. This memo declares that the Premises Identification Number (PIN) established under the agency's NAIS "is to be the sole and standard location identifier for all VS program activities," and that premises "will be registered in the NAIS."
"This agency action by APHIS is unlawful," Thornsberry emphasized. "We request immediate retraction of this memo, and we additionally request that APHIS be directed to immediately inform each state animal health official that the agency no longer is requiring the registration of premises as a condition of producer participation in regulated animal disease programs, or for any other purpose."
If you want to read the Memo from APHIS that has R-Calf Unhappy with USDA- Click here.
Congrats to Clarence Watson of the OSU Ag Experiment Station
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Clarence Watson, associate director of the statewide Oklahoma Agricultural Experiment Station system, has assumed the duties of chair for the Southern Association of Agricultural Experiment Station Directors. The organization represents the agricultural experiment stations in the 13 southeastern states plus Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. "Our main purpose is to further scientific inquiry into those issues and concerns of importance to state residents and the region, as directed by our land-grant mission under state and federal law," Watson said.
To that end, the association works to encourage collaboration among agricultural scientists in the region, as well as inform those who fund agricultural research about priorities, impacts and status of projects. "Think of it as an expansion and enhancement of our land-grant research activities in each state, which have the ultimate goal of improving the quality of life for residents," he said.
Watson, who has served as OAES associate director since April 2006, provides leadership for the planning and development of statewide research projects, develops and manages state and federal grants and contracts, and works with state commodity groups, legislators, government agencies, community leaders and university officials to ensure OAES research thrusts are addressing issues of importance to Oklahoma. He also serves as director of the Sun Grant Initiative's South-Central Region, headquartered at OSU. The Sun Grant Initiative is a national program established to create new solutions for America's energy needs and to revitalize rural communities by working with land-grant universities and their federal and state laboratory partners on research, education and extension programs.
Ag Preference Hosting Farmer and Rancher Forum at Quartz Mountain Resort
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The ninth annual Farmer and Rancher Forum is planned for November 20 at Quartz Mountain Resort in Lone Wolf, Oklahoma. Once again this event is being sponsored by Ag Preference of Altus. It should be especially interesting this year- given the roller coaster ride we have been carried on since this time one year ago.
Dr. David Kohl of Virginia Tech is considered one of the best in the business when it comes to someone who can dissect the business of agriculture today- and how to financially manage your farm, ranch or even agribusiness in these challenging times. He will offer a full morning of great information that can prepare you to survive and prosper.
The program is set for Thursday, November 20, with Dr. Kohl set to take center stage beginning at 9:00 AM. There will be a break for lunch, a Q&A session after lunch and door prize drawings that will wrap up the day. For more information, click on the link below or call Diane Beach at AgPreference in Altus- 1-800-727- 3276. They do need to hear from you by November 14 to have an accurate count for lunch.
Click here for more on the 9th Farmer and Rancher Conference on November 20
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