From: Ron Hays []
Sent: Wednesday, January 30, 2008 06:02
Subject: Oklahoma's Farm News Update
Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Wednesday January 30, 2008!
A service of American Farmers & Ranchers Mutual Insurance, KIS Futures & Midwest Farm Shows
-- The Front Blew In- and Brought with it a Statewide Burn Ban.
-- Oklahoma Farm Bureau's Ericka McPherson in DC Promoting Boren-Fallin Truck Weight Bill.
-- US Wheat Associates to Gather Next Week- Don Schieber to Seek Entry into the Officer Chairs.
-- Schafer talks to USDA Team on his first full day on the job.
-- Appeals Court Says No Harm No Foul Over USDA Boxed Beef Gaffe
-- The Clock is Ticking- Dig out and Fill Out Your 2007 Ag Census TODAY!
-- Roger Mills Cattlemen Present 30th Annual Western Oklahoma Bull Sale.

Howdy Neighbors!

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 KIS Futures as a regular sponsor of our daily E-Mail. KIS Futures provides Oklahoma Farmers & Ranchers with futures & options hedging services in the livestock and grain markets- Click here for their website or call them at 1-800-256-2555.

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The Front Blew In- and Brought with it a Statewide Burn Ban.
Citing high winds, dry conditions and a series of recent wildfires, Gov. Brad Henry today declared a statewide burn ban for Oklahoma. The governor's office announced the decision Tuesday afternoon after reviewing weather data and discussing fire conditions with forestry officials in the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture. "We need to do everything we can to protect lives and property," said Gov. Henry. "With the dry weather and high winds, conditions are very hazardous and even the smallest fire can quickly get out of control.

In recent days, a variety of factors have increased fire danger across the state. High winds and low humidity have created optimum conditions for wildfires, and the record rains of 2007 helped produce an abundance of vegetation that is now serving as fuel for fires. Fallen tree limbs from last month's ice storm are also contributing to the danger in addition to hindering firefighting efforts. "I would prefer to err on the side of caution and issue the ban before conditions deteriorate any further. It may cause a small inconvenience for some Oklahomans, but it will also help reduce the number of dangerous fires and possibly save lives in the process," said the governor.

"With high winds and the large amount of dormant vegetation and tree limbs on the ground, our firefighters are already laboring in very dangerous conditions. The ban will provide them some much- needed assistance." Under the governor's executive order, outdoor burning is banned, but there are some exemptions for low risk activities such as charcoal and gas grilling. Occupations such as welding can also be exempt provided tradesmen follow specific protections outlined by the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture. Violations of the ban are misdemeanors punishable by as much as a $500 fine and one-year imprisonment.

Oklahoma Farm Bureau's Ericka McPherson in DC Promoting Boren-Fallin Truck Weight Bill.
Ericka McPherson who is the point person for the Oklahoma Farm Bureau on national policy issues, is in Washington, DC working with two Oklahoma lawmakers, Democrat Dan Boren and Republican Mary Fallin, to strategize how to best move forward their bill, HR 3098. For more than a year Oklahoma farm leaders have been working with these two lawmakers on the commercial motor carrier reform bill that increases weight limits for commercial trucks from 10,001 pounds to 26,001 pounds.

This proposal for more federal uniform truck weight regulations received a hearty endorsement from voting delegates at the American Farm Bureau convention Jan. 15 in New Orleans. AFBF leaders made it a "priority issue," putting it at the top of the lobbying list for the national organization. No other resolutions passed during the convention received the priority label.

Current Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) give states discretion in deciding whether vehicles under 26,001 pounds are considered commercial vehicles within their own borders. Those same federal rules hold those traveling between states to a much more prohibitive federal standard of 10,001 pounds. The Boren-Fallin bill also would prevent the U.S. Department of Transportation from requiring states to enforce certain requirements on agricultural producers hauling their own commodities in intrastate commerce.

We talked with OFB President Mike Spradling about the general farm group's efforts to push this measure forward in cooperation with other state Farm Bureaus around the country, as well as with several groups in Oklahoma like the American Farmers and Ranchers and the Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association. You can listen to our conversation with Mike on this subject by clicking on the link below.

Click here to listen to Ron and Mike Spradling on Farm Bureau efforts to promote HR 3098.

US Wheat Associates to Gather Next Week- Don Schieber to Seek Entry into the Officer Chairs.
U.S. Wheat Associates will hold its annual Winter Board of Directors meeting, including a joint session with the National Association of Wheat Growers Board of Directors, starting this Sunday on February 3, running to Tuesday the 5th, 2008, at the Renaissance Hotel, Washington, D.C.

On Monday, they will be electing officers and Oklahoma wheat producer and member of the Oklahoma Wheat Commission Don Schieber of Kay County has signaled he is running for the entry level position of Secretary/Treasurer in the national officer chain for the wheat promotion body. Several Oklahoma producers have rotated through the chairs- the most recent being Keith Kisling of Burlington. Schieber tells us that it is a four year commitment and he looks forward to having a chance of helping direct wheat promotion efforts on behalf of US wheat producers in today's global market.

Wheat producers who attend and tend to the business of US wheat and the National Association of Wheat Growers, will have also have a trade symposium as a part of their joint meeting on Monday. U.S. Secretary of Commerce, Carlos Gutierrez, is scheduled to give the keynote address at a Wheat Industry Trade Policy Symposium, on Monday afternoon as a part of the US Wheat board meeting. Other speakers scheduled to discuss pressing trade policy issues facing the U.S. wheat industry are Jim Murphy, Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Agriculture, Craig Thorn, DTB Associates, Dr. Bruce Babcock, Iowa State University, and Michael Dwyer, Senior Agricultural Economist, USDA/FAS.

Schafer talks to USDA Team on his first full day on the job.
Mr. Fix it. Secretary of Agriculture Ed Schafer addressed his employees yesterday, during his first full day in his new office. Joined by his wife, Nancy and Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Chuck Conner he brought along his red tool box, to demonstrate that he is there to - Fix Things - so his employees can do a better job.

While Tuesday was his first full day in office, the Secretary did reveal that he has been setting by quietly for the past three months, observing briefings at USDA, learning the ropes, so he can be a - closer. Recognizing he has only 11 months in office, Secretary Schafer said - this is our finest hour. After concluding his remarks, the Secretary worked the room. Shaking hands with employees and giving them a big smile.

We have the link below for the video of Ed Schafer talking to USDA in the Headquarters Building of USDA in Washington. I had to just link the home page of the USDA below as my email software did not like the video link directly. So go to the link below- then look down in the upper middle part of the page " VIDEO: Secretary of Agriculture Ed Schafer Meets USDA Employees ." Click on that and away you go- as long as you have Windows Media Player.

Click here to watch Secretary of Agriculture Ed Schafer address USDA Employees.(This is USDA Home Page- in the middle of the page is the link for the video)

Appeals Court Says No Harm No Foul Over USDA Boxed Beef Gaffe
Tuesday the U.S. Eight Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that three meat packers did not manipulate cattle prices in 2001 and told a district court to reverse its previous ruling and enter a judgment for the packers. Three independent cattle producers sued Cargill Meat Solutions, Swift & Co. (now JBS Swift Group) and Tyson Foods Inc. under Sections 202 (a) and (e) of the Packers & Stockyards Act.

At issue was a six-week period from April 2 to May 11, 2001, following the implementation of mandatory price reporting by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in which USDA erroneously included "no-roll" beef in the beef cutout, effectively making the cutout lower valued than it was. Cattle feeders consequently marketed their cattle for less than they would have otherwise sold them because beef demand and prices seemed to have weakened.

In April 2006, Judge Charles Kornmann ruled in favor of the cattle producers and entered a judgment against the packers for several million dollars. The case was appealed to the circuit, which last week said the plaintiffs did not demonstrate that the packers "intentionally committed unlawful conduct," that would be necessary to violate the sections of the PSA. The circuit said it did not need to remand the case for a new trial because the "evidence was not sufficient to support the jury verdict."

The Clock is Ticking- Dig out and Fill Out Your 2007 Ag Census TODAY!
Carol House is the Deputy Administrator for Programs and Products of NASS- the National Ag Statistics Service of the USDA- and we talked with her about the countdown to the deadline to returning your 2007 Census of Agriculture. She is encouraging farmers and ranchers to dig out the 2007 Census of Ag that has been received in the mail.

She says that once all the data is collected- it will be released next February and will be the standard of information on crops, livestock and more about life down on the farm and ranch. She reminds us that while the response to the Census is required by law- at the same time the personal information given to the government will not be made public where it can be traced back to any individual.

We have an audio conversation that we have linked below with Carol House- and here is the toll free number that Carol gives us towards the end of the interview if you have questions about how to fill out the information that is asked for by NASS- that number is 1-888-4 AG STATS.

Remember- the deadline for getting that Census of Ag back in is MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2008- this coming Monday!!!!

Click here to listen to Ron and Carol House discuss the 2007 Census of Agriculture.

Roger Mills Cattlemen Present 30th Annual Western Oklahoma Bull Sale.
It's the 30th annual All Breed Bull Sale being put on by the Roger Mills County Cattlemen's Association on Saturday, February second at 12 noon. The location of the sale will be the Roger Mills County Ag Pavilion in Cheyenne.

They have 72 bulls consigned- and you can get information on those consignments by calling either Lynda Lucas at 580-497-7366 or Earl Bottom at 580- 821-0633 for details.

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