~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Tuesday July 21, 2009A service of Johnston Enterprises, P & K Equipment/ P & K Wind Energy and American Farmers & Ranchers Mutual Insurance Company!
-- Climate Change Debate Unfolding in Senate
-- Latest Oklahoma Crop Weather Update- Most of Oklahoma is still in desperate need of moisture
-- The Beef Checkoff- You Pay $1- You Get $5.55 Back
-- Ag in the Classroom Road Trip Gets Underway Today
-- Pork Does a Body Good- Particularly If You Suffer from Diabetes
-- What to do with a Failed Corn Crop
-- 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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Climate Change Debate Unfolding in Senate
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Senate Ag Committee will take the Climate Change Spotlight on Wednesday at twelve noon central time, as Chairman Tom Harkin will convene a hearing that could last all afternoon. Two panels have been assembled, with National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson to lead off the testimony, followed by AFBF President Bob Stallman. The Second panel will include both Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, as well as EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson.
The latest report we have seen is that Harkin has chosen to go a similar route as his House counterpart, Collin Peterson went in not having his Committee actually mark up the relevent ag portions of the legislation. Instead, Harkin will apparently negotiate what he thinks is needed for agriculture directly with the Chairlady of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, Barbara Boxer of California. This move was found lacking by many lawmakers and farm groups alike.
Boxer indicated in the "Ag" hearing her committee held last week that she will use the House passed Waxman-Markey bill as the starting point for her proposal. Senator Jim Inhofe continues to believe that the Democratic leaders who want this bill to become law are far short of the number of votes needed to get it through the Senate.
I have linked the Senate Ag Committee website below- specifically, I have linked the details of the Climate Change hearing that is scheduled for tomorrow.
Click here for more on the Climate Change hearing planned by the Senate Ag Committee on Wednesday.
Latest Oklahoma Crop Weather Update- Most of Oklahoma is still in desperate need of moisture
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Temperatures remained hot this past week with highs reaching triple-digits statewide. A cool front brought relief for the weekend. Thunderstorms rolled through central Oklahoma Thursday with heavy rain, high winds, and lightning causing widespread power outages. Most of Oklahoma is still in desperate need of moisture, despite sporadic rainfall in parts of the State. Drought-like conditions are taking a heavy toll on summer crop development and condition.
The report tells us that row crop conditions continue to roll downhill. "Excessive heat and continued dry weather have further stressed summer crops. Mid- week showers were a benefit in some areas, although most of the State is still in need of additional rainfall to revive summer crops. Nearly two-thirds of the State's corn crop was silking by week's end, up six points from last week but 11 points behind the five- year average. Thirty-four percent of the corn acres reached the dough stage of development, seven points behind normal. Corn silage harvest is underway in some areas of the State. Sorghum emerged reached 77 percent, while sorghum headed reached 12 percent, eight points behind the five-year average. Virtually all of the State's soybeans had emerged by Sunday, 11 points ahead of normal. By week's end, 38 percent of the soybeans had reached the blooming stage of development, one percentage point ahead of the five-year average. Peanuts pegging reached 63 percent, 22 points behind normal. A small portion of the State's peanut crop began setting pods by Sunday. Cotton squaring reached 66 percent, four points behind the five-year average, while a small portion of the State's cotton acres began setting bolls."
Hot weather also has hit Oklahoma pastures. "Extreme heat and dry weather continues to have an adverse effect on the State's pastures and range. Conditions again declined, but remained mostly in the good to fair range. Most areas are still in dire need of moisture."
Click here for the complete Oklahoma Crop Weather Update as of Monday afternoon July 20
The Beef Checkoff- You Pay $1- You Get $5.55 Back
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~According to a new economic study - for every dollar beef producers invested in their checkoff between 2003 and 2008 - they saw a return of $5.55. Dr. Ron Ward - Professor Emeritus for the Food and Resource Economics Department at the University of Florida completed the study and presented the results at the 2009 Cattle Industry Summer Conference in Denver this past week.
The fundamental question of the entire study is - is the beef checkoff a demand driver. Dr. Ward says they measured both attracting consumers to the market and increasing consumption. "What we find is that it has a positive impact on both," he said.
The study determined that the 78.8 percent of U.S. households which
purchased beef in any given two- week shopping period would have been
about three percentage points lower between 2003 and 2008 without beef
Click here for more on the value of the beef checkoff back to producers as detailed at the Summer Cattle Industry Conference
Ag in the Classroom Road Trip Gets Underway Today
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~One of the Oklahoma Ag in the Classroom coordinators, Dana Bessinger, dropped us an email on Monday about the week ahead for the Ag in the Classroom team. They are going to be working with a select group of teachers who are headed out for a road trip to learn more about agriculture first hand.
Dana writes "Ag in the Classroom is heading out Tuesday morning for far southeast Oklahoma. Sponsored by the Oklahoma Beef Council, the trip will take 45 teachers to the a working cattle ranch, Lane Research Center in Atoka to look at watermelon and organic research,Tyson hatchery, Kiamichi Forest Research Station, Museum of the Red River, Beaver's Bend Forest Heritage Center, and a driving tour of several area wheat and soybean farms. Along the way teachers will be introduced to Ag in the Classroom lessons and resources and ways to integrate agriculture into regular math, science, social studies, and language arts classes as well as physical education and visual arts."
Dana says that she and the other ladies that lead the Ag in the Classroom effort in our state will keep us up to date on what these teachers will be seeing and doing the next few days. And she reminds us of the state Ag in the Classroom Conference that happens July 31. We already have details of that on our website on our calendar page- click on the link below to learn more about that statewide gathering.
Click here to learn more about the upcoming Ag in the Classroom Conference on July 31
Pork Does a Body Good- Particularly If You Suffer from Diabetes
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Results of research conducted by Australian Pork Limited and the Pork Cooperative Research Centre indicate that a diet high in protein - with regular pork intake - and resistance exercise is an excellent way for sufferers of type 2 diabetes to lose weight - especially those who are overweight. Researchers also found regular pork intake reduced risk factors associated with the disease.
This follows a string of recent research into the benefits of pork for diabetics - including a study where researchers found that lean trimmed pork is just as lean as skinless chicken breast. The report concluded that pork is lean and loaded with essential vitamins such as B12, B6, thiamine, niacin, minerals such as zinc and selenium and nutrients that include iron and magnesium.
As you could tell from the groups that help sponsor this study- this data comes from "down under" and we have a link below that offers more details about this study.
Click here for more on how lean pork can be a positive part managing Type 2 Diabetes.
What to do with a Failed Corn Crop
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The hot summer days have been less than kind to some of our spring planted crops. OSU Norhwest Area Extension Animal Science Specialist Greg Highfill gives us some good ideas on what to do with a failed corn crop. Greg writes "Hot July weather and hit or miss (mostly miss) rainfall has put some corn fields in the Southern Plains in jeopardy. Producers now ask: "what can I salvage from these fields to prevent a total loss?" There are 3 common ways to try and salvage the forage from a failed corn crop - chop for silage, bail for hay, and grazing. Each method has advantages and challenges that are somewhat unique. Below are some of the issues you will need to address before going to the expense of harvesting or grazing.
Nitrates - are a huge issue. Acres were fertilized for high
yielding corn and the weather stress has created the likelihood that the
plant is high in nitrates. How high the levels and what feeding rate is
planned are key points as to whether the crop is usable at all.
Pricing - cattle producers are being offered corn forage for
sale. The amount of corn in the field in question will help determine the
value of the forage harvested. With small amounts of corn grain, the
product will have a feeding value closer to forage sorghum than corn
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