From: Ron Hays []
Sent: Wednesday, February 27, 2008 18:54
Subject: Oklahoma's Farm News Update
Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Thursday February 28, 2008!
A service of Farm Credit of East Central Oklahoma, KIS Futures & American Farmers and Ranchers.
-- Oklahoma Ag Leaders Meet Korean Ag Leaders (and more)
-- Our top Ag Trade Officer in Korea believes we very close to getting OIE clearance for our beef into Korea.
-- Farm Bill Funding Plan May be Revealed Friday- Based on $10 Billion over Budget Baseline
-- Soybean Checkoff Supported by Almost 75% of Soybean Farmers...
-- Presentations Made by the US Ag Attache and US Wheat in Seoul to OALP Now Online...
-- One More Note on Korea and US Beef...
-- Pollard Farms "Performance Genetics" Angus Bull & Commercial Female Sale is set for March 1st

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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Oklahoma Ag Leaders Meet Korean Ag Leaders (and more)
The final full day of the agenda for the Class 13 International Travel Experience into Asia was an exciting one- as we met with the National Agricultural Cooperative Federation, a group that is domiant farm voice in Korea by far. They are in everything related to the farming business- selling inputs to farmers, buying their production and marketing it, are in the banking business, are very active in farm policy and are aggressive in promoting the image of farming in the Korean society.

It was the face that they put on agriculture that was most fascinating to me. One of their statements in the promotional materials that were all in both Korean and English was "A nation that makes farmers smile is a nation where agriculture flourishes."

Their Executive Vice President met with our group for a brief time- you could tell from their other executives that met with us that was a big deal- and In-Suk Suh told the group that one of the primary goals of their Federation is to make farmers rich. We have put a picture or two from that visit up on our website's OALP to China page- take a look by following the link below.

Click here for the OALP to China page on WWW.OklahomaFarmReport.Com

Our top Ag Trade Officer in Korea believes we very close to getting OIE clearance for our beef into Korea.
Wednesday morning was spent with the Ag Trade Officer for the US government, Stan Phillips and a host of others from government as well as reps from USMEF and US Wheat.

Phillips dismissed the notion that the Westmark Beef Recall had derailed a reopening of the Korean market to US beef this week. He pointed out that Westmark was not certified to send beef to Korea- so there was no product issues with the recall. He did acknowledge that since the US media had made such a big issue of it- that the international newswires had picked up lots of coverage from it- and that the Korean newspapers and other outlets were carrying the story. He told our group that's really more of a brief awareness raised among some consumers who really don't want US beef in Korea anyway.

He does see the bigger issue as President Lee wanting to push the decision to reopen the Korea market to US beef as quickly as possible- but the higher priority right now is to get all Ministers confirmed- including his Ag Minister. There is also the issue of Assembly Elections that come up in early April- and that may or may not present a barrier to getting US beef back on the menu in Korea. We talked with Phillips about this at length after the presentation to the OALP leaders- and we have that interview linked below- take a listen!

Click here to listen to Ron and Stan Phillips talk Korea and US beef...

Farm Bill Funding Plan May be Revealed Friday- Based on $10 Billion over Budget Baseline
Senator Tom Harkin and Congressman Colin Peterson told reporters in Washington that after meeting with Democratic Leadership Tuesday night- they believe they will have a budget number for the House and Senate Farm Bill Conferees to work with as early as Friday. Harkin said specifically he thought they would have a number "in a day or two." Specifically, it looks like the number will be ten billion over the budget baseline and the work by the two fiscal Committees is to find a way to pay for that $10 Billion number.

That way to pay for the spending will be coming from the Democratic Chairmen of the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee. The number two man at USDA, Chuck Conner, says that how the extra dollars are paid for will make the difference between President Bush signing the bill or vetoing it. Conner says that they will hold the line with the veto threat.

American Farm Bureau's Tara Smith told an Arkansas Farm Bureau delegation that they believe that if the number is ten billion dollars- that the Administration will likely object- and we may be facing a potential veto and attempt to override that veto. It remains a high dollar version of "chicken" being played out by the main players in this 2007-2008 Farm Bill debate.
We have the comments from Tara Smith of AFBF linked below- they are on our farm bill page at WWW.OklahomaFarmReport.Com

Click here to hear Tara Smith with Farm Bureau's take on the farm bill developments of this week.

Soybean Checkoff Supported by Almost 75% of Soybean Farmers...
According to a recent soybean checkoff-funded survey, three of every four soybean farmers in America support their checkoff. Leaders of the United Soybean Board welcome this feedback and call it vital to their decision making process. "There's nothing more important than direct input from our fellow farmers when it comes to investing checkoff dollars," says Ike Boudreaux, USB chairman and a soybean farmer from Lebeau, La. "We have a number of avenues to gain insight from farmers and our yearly surveys allow us to bring in not only great insight, but provide a grade card to let us know how we are doing and what moves we can make to meet the changing needs of our industry."

When it comes to the survey, farmers were asked about biodiesel, production issues, developing new uses for soy, support of the livestock industry, development of healthier beans and international marketing. Overall, USB farmer directors were encouraged to learn that support for the checkoff continued at the same level as it has been the last two years, 75 percent with 2 out of 3 responding that they were at least somewhat familiar with details and specifics of the checkoff.

This information comes as the soybean industry, along with the corn growers and wheat growers, gather in Nashville for their annual meetings- all under the umbrella of the Commodity Classic. We will have information from this event here in this email tomorrow and the first of next week- as we make our way home from China with a stop before we arrive back in Oklahoma City in Nashville for this crop convention.

Presentations Made by the US Ag Attache and US Wheat in Seoul to OALP Now Online...
Go to our OALP to China webpage and we have links to those two presentations that were made in Power Point to the Oklahoma Ag Leadership Program. We plan on getting a copy of the USMEF presentation and will have it on the website by the end of the week.

Click below to jump to the page and scroll down to the link for the presentation you are interested in.

Click here for the OALP to China page on WWW.OklahomaFarmReport.Com

One More Note on Korea and US Beef...
The Ag Leadership group asked great questions in the various sessions all along the way- and one question raised in our meeting with US officials in Seoul was a dandy. Our government folks in Seoul were asked "What do the Koreans want in order to reopen their market to US beef?

Susan Phillips, the wife of Stan Phillips is also stationed in Seoul as an Agricultrual Attache. She responded and mentioned three things- first, the Koreans want us to adopt a total feed ban of ruminant materials- currently we have a feed ban for ruminant animals- but that material can be fed to non- ruminants and the Koreans don't seem to trust that we can keep that material separate. Second, they want us to go back to the expanded surveillance of older animals that we conducted for over a year after the discovery of BSE in the United States. That expanded surveillance showed we have an extremely low level of BSE in our national cattle herd. Third, they want full traceability for our beef.

Susan Phillips told the Oklahoma Ag Leaders that it's not likely that we will go beyond where we currently are with the first two points- there is no science that backs up the need for either demand. As for the third issue that the Koreans bring up- that may be something that the US cattle industry will have to get its arms around in order to meet the competition in the weeks and months ahead- as Australia and Canada in particular are moving quickly that direction of offering significant traceability to their international customers.

Pollard Farms "Performance Genetics" Angus Bull & Commercial Female Sale is set for March 1st
The ninth annual Pollard Farms Bull and Commercial Female Sale will be held at the ranch near Waukomis Oklahoma This Saturday, March 1st at 12:30 pm.

This year's offering includes 120 service age bulls. These bulls will range in age from yearlings to 4-year- old bulls. Additionally, 100 commercial bred heifers will sell. 70 of these females will begin calving March 10th, with the balance calving this fall.

For details contact the Pollard Farms crew at (580) 758-1464 or view the catalog online by jumping over to their website by following the link we have provided for you below.

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