From: Ron Hays []
Sent: Monday, March 03, 2008 20:20
Subject: Oklahoma's Farm News Update
Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Tuesday March 4, 2008!
A service of Farm Credit of East Central Oklahoma, American Farmers and Ranchers & Midwest Farm Shows
-- NFU Welcomes Secretary of Agriculture Ed Schafer
-- AFR President Terry Detrick Talks Renewable Energy With Secretary Schafer...
-- Peterson Reaffirms Packer Ban Won't be a Part of the Final Farm Bill Deal.
-- Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts Honor a Variety of Folks at their 2008 Meeting.
-- Biofuels Forum Being Planned for Kingfisher April First...
-- Don't Mix Your Young Bull Purchases In With Your Veteran Bulls...
-- Express Spring Bull Sale Set for this Thursday and Friday in Yukon

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 have Farm Credit of East Central Oklahoma as a regular sponsor of our daily email update. Farm Credit of East Central Oklahoma has ten branch offices to serve your farm financing needs and is dedicated to being your first choice for farm credit. Check out their website for more information by clicking here!

We are also proud to have American Farmers and 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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NFU Welcomes Secretary of Agriculture Ed Schafer
The first Republican Secretary of Agriculture since Clayton Yeutter-USDA Secretary Ed Schafer- appeared at the 2008 National Farmers Union convention here in Las Vegas. For his part, Schafer offered his promise that he would do all that he could to help conclude a successful farm bill outcome- coming up with a measure that his boss, President George W. Bush would be proud to sign. With that comment, Schafer was greeted with a round of applause led by President Tom Buis. Buis says that he was glad that the new Secretary accepted the group's invitation to appear, ""Secretary Schafer's address was a convention highlight for Farmers Union members. I thank the Secretary for attending our convention and sharing his views on the issues of the day."

Perhaps the more interesting comments came in the Q&A that Schafer participated in after his fairly brief remarks. He was asked about Permanent Disaster Aid by a North Dakota Farmers Union member- would not promise that the President would sign a measure with that part of the final deal- but said several times in his answer of the question that the President wanted a "strong safety net."

Schafer was also asked about the inspectors at the Hallmark/Westland Beef Processing facility- "Where the H-ll were the inspectors?" Schafer in response, told the NFU members that they were there but clearly were not called by the company when a cow went down after the USDA Vet had inspected the animals the first time and cleared them for slaughter. The rule was broken because if the cow went down and could not get back up- the USDA was supposed to be called and have the chance to reinspect the cow. Schafer's contention is that the company needs to help USDA enforce the rules by calling in this situation. He adds that USDA is looking at why apparently they were not called.

We have an audio overview of the Secretary's comments linked below- click on the link and take a listen to some of these audio highlights of the Schafer presentation to the NFU.

Click here to listen to Ron with an audio overview of Ed Schafer Speaking to the NFU.

AFR President Terry Detrick Talks Renewable Energy With Secretary Schafer...
The final question posed to Secretary Schafer came from Oklahoma farmer Terry Detrick, who serves as the Vice President of the American Farmers and Ranchers. Terry asked the Secretary about Renewable Fuels research and asked for consideration for research dollars for more than just cellulosic ethanol- Detrick saying we need research dollars for starch based ethanol as well.

Schafer fell back to the switchgrass argument- and the promise that he believes lies in concentrating our resources in this and related crops.

We have the full interchange between Terry Detrick and the Secretary for you to listen to- it's a part of our coverage of the 2008 NFU convention on the front page of our website- WWW.OklahomaFarmReport.Com. We also have it linked directly by clicking below.

Click here for the Detrick-Schafer Conversation on Renewable Fuels Research Priorities.

Peterson Reaffirms Packer Ban Won't be a Part of the Final Farm Bill Deal.
One piece of unfinished business from the Sunday night telephone appearance by the Chairman of the House Ag Committee Chairman Colin Peterson was his reaffirmation of the Packer Ban on Livestock Ownership having no chance of being part of the final farm bill deal. He says the objection in his own Committee and flatly said that it will not be included.

He did describe one item in the Livestock Title that may be a part of the final mix- a transparent market reporting system that could require all livestock transactions to be reported in real time on the Internet. You could tell from his description that he has interest in this measure- and that he may be supportive of the concept.

We have his answer to the Livestock Competition Title question that was raised from the floor Sunday evening as Peterson spoke via telephone to the general farm group. The Ag Committee Chairman decided to stay in Washington as the Farm Bill continues to be molded closer to a final deal.

Click here to listen to the response of Congressman Colin Peterson on Livestock Competition Issues within the 2007-2008 Farm Bill.

Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts Honor a Variety of Folks at their 2008 Meeting.
While we were out of the country last week, the 2008 Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts held their annual meeting- and along the way- they presented several awards. Included in that group were two people inducted into their Conservation Hall of Fame. OACD President Scotty Herriman named Paula Templeton of Wagoner and Rick Jeans to the Oklahoma Conservation Hall of Fame.
Templeton, named to the Hall of Fame as a "Friend of Conservation," served for two consecutive one-year terms years as president of the Oklahoma Association of Conservation District Employees. Herriman cited Templeton for leading the effort to inform state legislators about the work done by district employees and helping improve employee benefits. OACD President Herriman also named Rick Jeans, a Kay County Conservation District director to the Hall of Fame. In 2007 Jeans completed a five-year term as OCC Area II commissioner and had previously served two one-year terms as OACD president.

The Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts has presented its "President's Award" since 1983 to one or more individuals or an organization that has shown outstanding support of conservation efforts in Oklahoma or the nation. OACD President Scotty Herriman presented the President's Award for 2008 to three legislators and a broadcast journalist. Herriman honored state Sens. Randy Bass and David Myers and Rep. Dale DeWitt for championing conservation program funding at the Capitol in 2007. Herriman also presented Rob McClendon, broadcast journalist and host of the Oklahoma Educational Television Authority's Oklahoma Horizon program, with a President's Award for his longtime coverage of conservation, agriculture and rural life stories.
As a footnote, I am still most appreciative of the President's Award that the group presented to your writer of this daily email in 2007- it has an honored place in my new office at the Radio Oklahoma Network!

Pat Fentress, secretary for the East Woods County Conservation District, received the Adeline Laird Award. The award was established in memory of Adeline Laird, finance officer at the Oklahoma Conservation Commission from October 1974 until her death in 1984. The award is presented to recognize district secretaries or programs coordinators who typify Laird's hard work, dedication, enthusiasm and caring attitude.

Reva Maddox, secretary for the East Woods County Conservation District, received the Outstanding Conservation District Employee Award from the Oklahoma Association of Conservation District Employees.

Biofuels Forum Being Planned for Kingfisher April First...
Robin Wolf of Plains Partners in Okarche is helping plan a top notch program on April first at the Kingfisher County Fairgrounds on the opportunities that may be ahead of us in the farm and ranch industry when it comes to biofuels.

Robin writes us in an email "We are set for April 1, 2008, from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the Kingfisher County Fairgrounds. Cassie Gilman with the Oklahoma Bioenergy Center and Steven Rhines of the Noble Foundation are assisting me in this. The speakers for the evening include:
Yates Adcock - Cattlemen and Biofuels from Seminole Jim Covey - House of Reps - State efforts toward Bioenergy
Terry Detrick - POP and American Farmers Insurance - Biofuels / Appropriate to their territories
Cassie Gilman - Oklahoma Bioenergy Center - Progress of Oklahoma Bioenergy Center (introduction)
Mike Marlow - Monsanto - Crop production for a bio-fuel future
Clay Pope - Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts - Conservation
and Steven Rhines - Noble Foundation -Noble Foundation Progress and Outlook

They are planning a dinner beginning at 5:00 PM that evening and the program will begin at 6:00 PM. They are asking folks for RSVP for a spot at the dinner table. You can contact Robin in Okarche for more information by calling her at 405-263-7240.

Don't Mix Your Young Bull Purchases In With Your Veteran Bulls...
Dr. Glen Selk of Oklahoma State University has some great advice for those that are buying some new genetics for their cattle operation this spring. Glen writes "With spring bull sales in full swing, cow calf operators are assessing their bull batteries and making needed purchases. Producers often ask about the use of young bulls in the same breeding pasture with older, larger bulls. In most instances, this is a practice that should be discouraged if at all possible. Young bulls will normally lose the battle of deciding who is the dominant individual in the breeding pasture. Ranchers report that in some cases young bulls that have been severely "whipped" are less aggressive breeders after that incident.

"Australian data on multi-sire pastures have shown that some young bulls gain a dominant role as they mature and breed a large percentage of the cows. Other bulls will not gain that dominant status, and only breed a very small percentage of the cows in a multi- sire pasture for the remainder of his stay at the ranch. The best solution is to always place young bulls with young bulls and mature bulls with mature bulls in the breeding pasture. In some situations, the rancher may choose to use the mature bulls in the first two- thirds of the breeding season, and then rotate in the young bulls. This allows the young bulls to gain one to two months of additional age and sexual maturity. In addition the young bulls should have considerably fewer cows in heat at the end of the breeding season as the mature bulls will have bred the bulk of the cows or heifers. The young bulls will be in the breeding season only a few weeks and should not be as "run down" or in poor body condition at the conclusion of the breeding season.

"Also a commonly asked question is: "How many cows should be mated to young bulls?" The old rule of thumb is to place the young bull with about as many cows as his age in months. Therefore the true "yearling" would only be exposed to 12 or 13 females. If he is a year and a half old (18 months), then he should be able to breed 15 - 18 cows. By the time the bull is two years of age, he should be able to breed 24 or 25 cows. Realize that tremendous variability exists between bulls. Some are capable of breeding many more cows than what is suggested here. AND sadly enough, a few bulls will fail when mated to a very few cows. Hopefully, a breeding soundness exam and close observation during the first part of the breeding season will identify those potential failures."

Express Spring Bull Sale Set for this Thursday and Friday in Yukon
Express Ranches has set this coming Thursday and Friday, March 6 and 7, for their annual spring bull as commercial heifer sale at the ranch just north of Yukon, Oklahoma. In addition to the 600 bulls that are scheduled to be sold- there will be some 300 Commercial and Registered Females offered as well.

The Sale schedule will start this Thursday March 6 at 12:30 PM with 102 Limousin Bulls to be offered- followed by those 300 females at 3:00 PM. The next day, March 7, will see the sale begin at 10 AM with 498 Angus bulls expected to be offered.

We have a link below to their website where you can look at the catalog- or you can call for more information at -1800-664-3977. Express is offering free delivery on bulls purchased, with volume discounts starting with a five percent discount on 5 to 9 bulls and ten percent discounted when you buy ten or more bulls. And, if you pick the bull up on sale day- you can earn another $50 off per bull.

Click here for more on the Express Ranches Spring Bull Sale this coming Thursday and Friday.

Our thanks to Midwest Farm Shows, American Farmers and Ranchers Mutual Insurance and Farm Credit of East Central Oklahomafor their support of our daily Farm News Update. For your convenience, we have our sponsors' websites linked at the top of the email- check them out and let these folks know you appreciate the support of this daily email, as their sponsorship helps us keep this arriving in your inbox on a regular basis!

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