From: Ron Hays []
Sent: Wednesday, March 12, 2008 06:46
Subject: Oklahoma's Farm News Update
Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Wednesday March 12, 2008!
A service of Farm Credit of East Central Oklahoma, KIS Futures and American Farmers & Ranchers.
-- Today is Expected Final Day of Court Testimony in Edmondson Request to Stop ALL Chicken Litter Applications in Illinois River Watershed.
-- Farm Bill Extension Likely to Be ONLY Accomplishment by Congress in this area this week...
-- Latest Newsletter Touts Soil Testing for Spring Planted Crops- Do It NOW!
-- Beef and Pork Imports to Grow for Mainland China...
-- Oklahoma Culinary Research Alliance Formed- Should Help Value Added Efforts in the State.
-- Oklahoma Youth Expo Hitting Road Gear

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 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 "new look" website or call them at 1-800-256-2555.

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Today is Expected Final Day of Court Testimony in Edmondson Request to Stop ALL Chicken Litter Applications in Illinois River Watershed.
From reports filed by the Associated Press- we learn that the eighth day of the Injunction battle between Drew Edmondson and the Arkansas Poultry companies over the right to apply any chicken litter in the Illinois River watershed was more of the same that was heard in the first seven days of the hearing. On Tuesday- It was maintained that bacteria levels in the Illinois River watershed are not unusual and can be compared with other streams across Oklahoma not located near poultry farms- this from a biological scientist testified as an expert witness for the poultry industry. Timothy Sullivan, president of E&S Environmental Chemistry, Inc. in Corvallis, Ore., conducted an analysis of fecal indicator bacteria statewide compared to the 1 million-acre watershed, half of which is located in Oklahoma. His conclusion was that there is nothing unusual going on in the Illinois River watershed compared to other watersheds across the state.

Sullivan offered urban runoff and waste from humans and cattle as significant sources of contamination in the watershed. He also said wastewater treatment plants that periodically discharge sewage into the stream system could also play a role. Later, Sullivan narrated a video clip showing a member of a team hired by Oklahoma to take soil, water and poultry litter samples in the watershed step in a spring before a sample was taken of it. "This is way beyond a procedural breach," Sullivan said. He also said if other data sets were handled in the same manner, he would not have confidence in them.

The judge seems ready for the arguments to conclude. U.S. District Judge Gregory Frizzell, who scolded attorneys on both sides a day earlier for redundancies in their questions to witnesses, spoke out again Tuesday. This time, he accused the lawyers of treating his courtroom as if they were lobbyists in front of a legislature. "This is a court of law, and it's time the lawyers respect that," Frizzell said. The judge also chided "northwest Arkansas papers" for reporting he's already decided the case.
Closing arguments are expected today. As we researched Day Eight- we found an interesting article that is actually relevant to the 2005 lawsuit filed by the Oklahoma Attorney General and the Lawyers he has hired to help litigate the case for a substantial piece of any monies that Oklahoma might win. The article points out the gratitude the lawyers have had for being included in the "Big Chicken" lawsuit and how they have shown their gratitude by making big campaign contributions to those involved- the article is linked below.

Back to the 2005 Original Drew Edmondson Lawsuit against "Big Chicken"- here's an interesting article on the Lawyers that will get paid a Slice of Oklahoma's Winnings If Successful.

Farm Bill Extension Likely to Be ONLY Accomplishment by Congress in this area this week...
Here's what's new on the Farm Bill Negotiations over the last 24-48 hours:

That's right- nothing.

We did hear from both House Ag Committee Chairman Colin Peterson and Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad as they railed against the push by the Bush Administration to end the so called "beneficial interest" ownership rules for loan deficiency payments- or LDPs. Both agree farmers should not be subjected to the Bush Administration proposal- or demand- that farmers should have to give up ownership of a commodity in order to receive the LDP on it.

It is likely that the House and Senate will agree before Friday afternoon to another thirty day extension of the 2002 Farm Law- in order to hold the budget baseline for the new bill until mid April. After that, Congress will fly out of Washington for two weeks to celebrate the unusually early Easter holiday.

Latest Newsletter Touts Soil Testing for Spring Planted Crops- Do It NOW!
The latest newsletter from the OSU Plant and Soil Sciences Department has as its lead story the advantages of getting a soil test ahead of spring planting. OSU Extension specialists contend "Planning fertilization without soil test data is largely guesswork because one does not know what nutrient needs are and how much they are required to reach a certain yield goal. It is possible to under or over apply fertilizer or animal manure. It's time now to consider having soil tested for your summer crops."

The Newsletter also has some information on the advance of first hollow stem with actual obserations published from El Reno and Stillwater.

We have the latest newsletter linked on our website, WWW.OklahomaFarmReport.Com- and have it linked below for your to review- take a look!

Click here for the latest OSU Plant and Soil Sciences Newsletter...

Beef and Pork Imports to Grow for Mainland China...
Increases in pork and beef consumption in China continue to outstrip production growth, resulting in increased import projections for 2008, USDA's agricultural attaché in Beijing said. Bill Westman, who oversaw the report and is the lead USDA official in the largest country in the world when it comes to population, was one of the presenters that Class 13 of the Oklahoma Ag Leadership Program interacted with while in Beijing this past month. In a semi-annual report, the attaché said the worst snowstorms in 50 years during January and February, along with a slow recovery from porcine blue ear disease, have hampered livestock production in China.

The attaché forecast an 8 percent rise in pork imports in 2008 to 200,000 metric tons and a 6 percent decline in pork exports to 330,000 metric tons due to low production, higher domestic prices and an appreciating Renminbi.
Chinese hog production continues to migrate from small backyard operations (less than 50 hogs) to huge commercial farms. It estimated 50 to 60 percent of backyard operations have left swine production while commercial farms have increased 20 percent in recent years.

The attaché forecast a four-fold increase in China's beef imports to 30,000 metric tons due to increased demand, particularly around the Olympics in August. Some of that beef is expected to come from South America, since China has lifted its ban on four Brazilian states. It remains very uncertain as to when the Chinese will lift their ban on US Beef, as they want to allow our beef in under less than full OIE based international standards. China is expected to reduce its beef exports by 4 percent to 78,000 metric tons. Beef production is expected to rise by 3 percent to 7.7 million metric tons, the report said.
We have a link to the full report below- the report is dated March 1 but has just been released from USDA in Washington this week.

Click here for the full report on China's Beef and Pork Production/Import Prospects.

Oklahoma Culinary Research Alliance Formed- Should Help Value Added Efforts in the State.
The Robert M. Kerr Food & Agricultural Products Center, located on the Oklahoma State University - Stillwater campus, is teaming up with the OSU- Okmulgee Culinary Arts Program to help advance value-added products from processing to presentation. This collaborative partnership between the FAPC and OSU-Okmulgee Culinary Arts Program is known as the Oklahoma Culinary Research Alliance, or OKCRA.

The objective of this relationship is to create and identify end-use ideas for ingredients and food items using principles in innovation, said Andrea Graves, FAPC business planning and marketing specialist and chair of the OKCRA committee. "It is the goal of this collaboration to improve existing food products, expand product lines, create new products, exploit the health attributes of these products and enhance labeling opportunities for Oklahoma," Graves said. OKCRA will rely on the expertise and resources of the FAPC to identify opportunity areas in the food industry, combined with an innovative, highly specialized culinary arts class at OSU-Okmulgee that was developed specifically for the purpose of this collaboration.

The first area being focused on by the Alliance impacts the beef industry. Heather Buckmaster, executive director for the Oklahoma Beef Council and attendee of the luncheon, said culinary students bring an interesting dynamic to recipe formulation. "Culinary students often do not have pre-conceived ideas towards new beef cuts, so they bring very open minds towards experimentation," Buckmaster said. "Merging new product development with culinary initiatives can help propel new products into the marketplace." OKCRA also plans to hold a final dinner for agricultural industry leaders at the end of the OSU- Okmulgee semester to highlight the top innovative approaches developed during the entire course of the class. The dinner will be held April 11 on the campus of OSU-Okmulgee.

Oklahoma Youth Expo Hitting Road Gear
They start showing purebred gilts today at the Oklahoma Youth Expo- and will kick off the Wether Goat Show tomorrow morning.

Meanwhile, beef heifers are being trucked in today and have to be in place by three PM this afternoon.

We have the full schedule of the Youth Expo linked on the Calendar page of out website, WWW.OklahomaFarmReport.Com and we have a link to that page below- and invite you to check the Expo out- as well as the other events that are happening over the next couple of weeks across the state.

Click here for the Calendar page found on WWW.OklahomaFarmReport.Com

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