~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Thursday May 14, 2009A service of Johnston Enterprises, KIS Futures and American Farmers & Ranchers Mutual Insurance Company!
-- "Right to Farm" Legislation Signed into Law by Governor Henry
-- Livestock "Preemption" Bill Signed into Law By Governor Brad Henry
-- Rain Falls- Wheat Dies
-- H1N1 Flu in the Rear View Mirror
-- Obama Picks PETA Friendly Official in Key White House Position
-- U.S., EU Sign Beef Deal
-- Elvis has Left the Building- But We Still Have His John Deere!
-- Let's Check the Markets!
Here's your morning farm news headlines from the Director of Farm Programming for the Radio Oklahoma Network, Ron Hays. We are pleased 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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"Right to Farm" Legislation Signed into Law by Governor Henry
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Legislation providing new legal protections for Oklahoma farmers and ranchers has been signed into law. House Bill 1482, by state Rep. Dale DeWitt and state Sen. Ron Justice, would make it illegal to file a "nuisance" lawsuit against any agriculture producer for improving facilities if the farm has been in operation for at least two years. This measure builds on existing legislation and has been called the "Right to Farm" billl during this year's session.
"This is a common-sense reform that allows Oklahoma farmers and ranchers to maintain and improve barns, pens, storage sheds and other facilities without having to worry that someone will file a frivolous 'nuisance' lawsuit," said DeWitt, R-Braman. "Potential lawsuits - even bogus ones - effectively discourage investment in rural Oklahoma."
"This law removes a barrier to economic development in rural Oklahoma and gives our farmers and ranchers a little more peace of mind," said Justice, R-Ch ickasha. "We need to encourage farm improvements and modernization, not penalize it." Under the bill, if a lawsuit is ruled "frivolous" by the court, the defendant would be allowed to recover all court costs from the litigant.
House Bill 1482 passed the Oklahoma House of Representatives 96-4 and cleared the Senate 40-2. Gov. Brad Henry signed it into law this week.
Livestock "Preemption" Bill Signed into Law By Governor Brad Henry
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Oklahoma House of Representatives has easily passed HB2151 that mandates the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture is the legal entity in the state to oversee animal well being issues in Oklahoma.
The House passed the measure by a 87 to 9 vote, which means that House members accepted the Senate Amendments to the measure. On Tuesday of this week, Governor Brad Henry signed this measure into law.
The measure had several co-authors on the House side- including House
Ag Committee Chairman Don Armes, along with Representatives McMullen,
Renegar, Smithson and Cannaday. Senator Mike Schulz of Altus was the
sponsor on the Senate side of the building.
Click here for more on HB2151as passed and signed into law by the Governor
Rain Falls- Wheat Dies
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We heard some concern from State Wheat Specialist Dr. Jeff Edwards when we talked with him on a rainy day in El Reno on Monday about too much rain and many wheat fields on tighter soil becoming water logged. We have a link to the story that we pointed you to yesterday in our email linked below- go and listen to Jeff and his specific worries.
We are starting to get emails from some of you with these same worries. Don Bachman from north central Oklahoma sums it up well in an email sent yesterday morning- BEFORE even more rain was dumped on those counties overnight. Don says "Ron, it's obvious that the wheat crop is in trouble statewide, but just in the last few days the wheat in our area (northcentral Oklahoma-Ponca City to Medford) has been showing a lot of wheat that's dying due to too much water. Especially fields that drain poorly are turning white. This isn't just terrace channels or low lying areas. It's whole fields. Many of these fields had seemingly survived the freezes. And since this just started showing up I'm sure the wheat tours didn't take this into account. It looks to me like Oklahoma will be hard pressed to reach that 75 to 80 million bushel projection."
We got another report on Monday as we headed to El Reno for that event
from Nardin of these same concerns. It's a tough situation, and hard to
take for those who survived the freeze, believed they could still make a
wheat crop- and now see the plants in their fields drowning before their
Click here for our earlier report from Jeff Edwards on the status of the 2009 Oklahoma Wheat Crop
H1N1 Flu in the Rear View Mirror
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Meatingplace reported it well in their daily news about Smithfield being confident that the mess with Swine Flu has finally been put behind the largest pork processor in the country. "Smithfield Foods CEO C. Larry Pope opened his remarks at the BMO Capital Markets Agriculture, Protein and Fertilizer Conference on Wednesday with a joke. "I hope all of you have gotten your flu shot," he said, even showing a slide with a picture of a young child kissing the snout of a pig to demonstrate "how to avoid swine flu." Pope can jest now because Smithfield believes the hysteria that blamed the company for the outbreak amounted to "a three-week event" that is "basically behind us."
Pope points out that hog prices fell about nine cents a pound with the news of the Flu- but as of yesterday, ahd fully recovered in the cash market. Exports are looking better, with the wild card still being China.
We have an audio recap of his comments made to the Investors Conference in New York yesterday- click on the link below for that and more on what was reported by Smithfield on this situation.
Click here for more on Smithfield's Larry Pope and his thoughts on H1N1 Flu- with it now in "past tense"
Obama Picks PETA Friendly Official in Key White House Position
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Some of you may remember David Martosko who spoke to the Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association convention last summer about Animal Rights issues. He continues to fight against PETA and HSUS and other groups- and has written an op-ed piece that is appearing in several newspapers around the country. We have it linked below for your reading this morning- as found in the Richmond, Va newspaper.
Martosko says "Barring any surprises in his confirmation hearing this week, Harvard Law School Professor Cass Sunstein will become the new White House "regulatory czar. Best known off-campus for the best-selling book he co-authored last year with economist Richard Thaler (Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness), President Obama's choice to head the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) has generally been a popular one. Using government to "nudge" us toward better choices sounds good in theory. But now Sunstein is in the position to put this idea into practice."
Further into the op-ed, Martosko gets to the bottom line potential
problem with this activist at the wheel of a key Government agency. "As
recently as 2007, Sunstein publicly argued in favor of a legal ban on
hunting, and for the elimination of meat-eating. In 2004, he co-authored a
book on the animal liberation philosophy which sets out an ambitious plan
to give animals the legal "right" to file lawsuits. But a 2002 working
paper Sunstein wrote at the University of Chicago contains the biggest red
flag about what may lie ahead. "There should be," Sunstein wrote,
"extensive regulation of the use of animals." What kind of regulations
could our newest czar have in mind? A cheeseburger tax? A steakhouse
zoning ordinance? A vegetarian overhaul of the National School Lunch
Program like the one proposed by the Norfolk-based PETA?"
Read more from David Martosko on new Obama Administration Insider Cass Sunstein
U.S., EU Sign Beef Deal
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~It's official - the U.S. has agreed to drop plans to impose additional retaliatory duties against the European Union's ban on beef fed with hormones in return for duty-free access for hormone-free U.S. beef. The deal was signed Wednesday. U.S.Trade Representative Ron Kirk notes the EU is one of the few markets to ban beef from cattle given growth-promoting hormones - despite the fact it's perfectly safe to eat - but said the agreement is seen as a pragmatic way forward.
The EU will provide duty-free access to 20-thousand metric tons of hormone-free beef from the U.S. for each of the next three years. That's reportedly in addition to an existing quota for 11-thousand-five-hundred tons for U.S. beef that carries a 20-percent tariff. The U.S. can maintain existing duties related to the EU's failure to comply with the World Trade Organization ruling against its hormone-fed beef ban.
In the fourth year - the duty-free quota can be increased to 45-thousand tons for one year. In return - the U.S. has agreed to drop all duties related to the WTO case. After that fourth year - the EU and U.S. can return to the table to discuss the possibility of continuing the agreement. In the meantime - both sides have agreed not to take further action in the WTO dispute for the next 18 months. Either party can request a WTO dispute panel after that time - but the findings wouldn't be issued until the end of the fourth year of the agreement.
Elvis has Left the Building- But We Still Have His John Deere!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc. announced that a John Deere tractor often used by Elvis on his ranch and at Graceland has been fully restored and has been placed on public display this month, at the Elvis Presley Auto Museum -located on the grounds at Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee.
The restoration has been a cooperative effort between Elvis Presley Enterprises and John Deere - an initiative that also includes future sales of die-cast replicas of Elvis' tractor. Students at Northwest Mississippi Community College restored the tractor with guidance from John Deere.
Elvis acquired his John Deere 4010 tractor with the purchase of a
Mississippi ranch in 1966. Having grown up around farming in Tupelo, Elvis
knew he needed the best equipment possible to care for the land he had
just purchased. Family members and close friends of Elvis tell stories
about the enjoyment the famous entertainer had while working with his
tractor. After Elvis sold the ranch, the tractor moved to Graceland and
was used to maintain the beautiful landscaping on the property for
Click here for more on Elvis and His John Deere- Thankyouverymuch.
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Let's Check the Markets!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~OKC West in El Reno had 6,047 cattle sold on Wednesday, with yearling prices steady to $2 lower, while calves sold for $1 to $3 higher, with very good demand. The market reporter notes that grass pastures are growing extremely fast after some three weeks of almost non stop rains. To check all of the prices from the Wednesday run in El Reno- click here for the full OKC West report.
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