From: Ron Hays [] on behalf of Ron Hays []
Sent: Monday, August 23, 2010 6:32 AM
To: Hays, Ron
Subject: Oklahoma's Farm News Update
Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Monday August 23, 2010
A service of Johnston Enterprises, P & K Equipment/ P & K Wind Energy and American Farmers & Ranchers Mutual Insurance Company!
-- Competition Workshop Agenda Includes Oklahoma Influence
-- Latest Cattle on Feed Report Shows More Cattle Than a Year Ago
-- A Buck a Pound for Slaughter Cattle Last Week- Derrell Peel Explains it All
-- GIPSA Rule Debate Rages- NCBA President Expects Incentives for Added Value to Evaporate
-- On the Other SIde of the Barnyard- You Have Allan Sents of Marquette, Kansas
-- EPA Releases Draft Strategy for Clean Water
-- Loads of Calendar Items This Week
-- Let's Check the Markets!

Howdy Neighbors!

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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Competition Workshop Agenda Includes Oklahoma Influence
U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Department of Justice have announced the agenda and panelists for the Aug. 27, 2010, joint public workshop in Fort Collins, Colo., on competition in the livestock industry. This is the fourth in a series of five public workshops. This workshop is focused on the state of competition and regulation in the livestock sectors, in particular the cattle industry. A pair of Oklahomans will offer their comments during the panels in the afternoon- and two players from the Southern Plains feedlot business will bring their perspective to the session as well.

Dr. Clem Ward of Oklahoma State University has extensively studied the concentration issue and has some of the most definitive work on that subject for the US Beef cattle industry. Dr. Ward is on the panel that has been asked to address the issues associated with contracting, price transparency and the effects of concentration. Later in the day, Okmulgee Rancher Bob Miller representing the Intertribal Ag Council will also be a part of a panel that will address market structure issues in the livestock industry.
From the Southern Plains Cattle Feeding industry- James Herring of Friona Industries as well as Bruce Cobb, General Manager of Consolidated Beef Producers are both on the same panel as Bob Miller.

The workshop will be held in the main ballroom of the Lory Student Center, Colorado State University, 1101 Centre Avenue Mall, Fort Collins. Attendance is free and open to the public. The workshop will begin with opening remarks and a roundtable discussion including U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department's Antitrust Division Christine Varney.

We will be offering you an Oklahoma perspective of this important event for the future of the livestock industry. While the officials deny there will be any linkage between the workshop and the GIPSA Rule issued in June by USDA and is now in the extended comment period, both sides seem to consider this event as almost a referendum of how the GIPSA rule should either be implemented as proposed- or thrown into the waste basket.

It's our plan to do Twitter updates from the meeting- and hopefully be able to update our website with audio and reports as the day unfolds. If we are not able to get a reliable internet connection from the facility- we will be posting extensive coverage from Ft. Collins Friday evening into early Saturday morning. It's our intention to give you an in depth perspective of what unfolds this Friday in Ft. Collins.

Click here for more on the agenda of this Friday's Workshop in Ft. Collins on Competition in our livestock markets.

Latest Cattle on Feed Report Shows More Cattle Than a Year Ago
Cattle and calves on feed for slaughter market in the United States for feedlots with capacity of 1,000 or more head totaled 9.9 million head on August 1, 2010. The inventory was 2 percent above August 1, 2009. This number was slightly above the expectations of analysts ahead of the report- but one reason for the increase was that the August 2009 number was the smallest since 2003.

Placements in feedlots during July totaled 1.75 million, 6 percent below 2009. Net placements were 1.71 million head. During July, placements of cattle and calves weighing less than 600 pounds were 415,000, 600-699 pounds were 305,000, 700-799 pounds were 449,000, and 800 pounds and greater were 585,000. Marketings of fed cattle during July totaled 1.90 million, 2 percent below 2009. This is the lowest fed cattle marketings for the month of July since the series began in 1996. One thing to keep in mind on the marketings number is that we had one less marketing day this year compared to 2009- and if we had an extra day- that would have likely brought us up to 2009 levels this summer.

Erica Rosa with the Livestock Market Information Center thinks the tight supplies indicated by this report justifies prices staying in the upper half of the 90s for the balance of the year. Tom Leffler of Leffler Commodities believes that for the futures marketplace- this report will get scant attention before traders get back to looking at the $100 prices we saw for slaughter cattle this past week. Click on the LINK below to catch up with Leffler's comments about the report- and where he sees the market heading.

Click here for more on the Cattle on Feed Numbers- including a link to the full report from USDA.

A Buck a Pound for Slaughter Cattle Last Week- Derrell Peel Explains it All
Cattle prices raced higher this past week, with feedlots taking bids of $100 per hundred- and selling deep into their showlists as a result. At the same time, calf and yearling prices are also substantially higher than at this time in 2009- and OSU Extension Livestock Market Economist Dr. Derrell Peel tells us that the tightness of supplies will likely keep prices very strong even into normal seasonal weakness in the fall for the animals out on the ranch or coming off summer pasture.

Just a week earlier when we talked with Peel who spoke to the Southern Plains Beef Symposium, he speculated that cash cattle prices could get into the upper 90s in the latter part of the year- but this past weekend, as he talked with producers at the Wheatland Stocker Conference- he was looking at that forecast already more than fulfilled- and we haven't hit Labor Day yet.

Dr. Peel pointed out that Labor Day probably had something to do with the price jump as packers were moving product through the pipeline that would hit the stores for Labor Day featuring in the next couple of weeks. Add in good export demand and the tight supplies detailed in the latest cattle on feed report- and you have the price explosion of last Thursday when we reached the hundred dollar mark for the second time this year.

Click here to jump to today's Beef Buzz- as we look at some of the why of this past week's cattle market.

GIPSA Rule Debate Rages- NCBA President Expects Incentives for Added Value to Evaporate
NCBA President Steve Foglesong Says The GIPSA Proposal Will Destroy Incentives To Produce High Quality Beef and is an idea being pushed by protectionists such as R-CALF. In a newly released opinion piece, Foglesong argues that the proposal is "yet another example of government intrusion in the private marketplace" that will harm the ability of beef producers to respond to consumer demand and get paid a premium for value-added products.

Foglesong explained that Alternative Marketing Arrangements (AMAs) "have been the foundation for producer financing and producer profitability for more than 60% of beef marketed. These producer-driven agreements allow producers to get paid for the value they add to their cattle and ensure maximum freedom of choice for consumers at their local retail meat cases. By exposing processors and producers to the threat of litigation and forcing the marketplace toward a 'standard price,' these agreements will be restricted and potentially eliminated from the marketplace.

"This proposed rule appears to abandon prior judicial interpretations and economics as a means of determining market impact and inserts governmental discretion or citizen accusations. This rule also provides for the ability for private third parties to sue, solely based upon an allegation of a lack of 'fairness.' To the packer, and his lawyers, this threat of liability, litigation and risk has a cost. This is a cost that they're certainly not going to pay if they can possibly avoid it. They've already indicated how they'll limit this exposure, by offering the same standard, average, to everyone. In order to meet consumer demand currently being met by the use of AMAs, packers may also choose to own their own livestock in larger numbers (today packers directly own less than 5% of the market) rather than risk litigation."

On that last point- we were told by one player in the livestock business that the fear of the packer is that USDA will force the market this direction and then make an attempt at banning packer ownership of livestock. That desire remains as a priority of those who disagree with Fogelsong and his group- but has been put on the back burner for now as they promote the GIPSA rule.

Click here for the complete op-ed from Steve Fogelsong- President of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association.

On the Other SIde of the Barnyard- You Have Allan Sents of Marquette, Kansas
Sents will be on one of the panels that will be discussing the cattle market this Friday in Ft. Collins- and he believes that anyone who opposes the GIPSA rule is trafficking in "misinformation and fear mongering." He has sent a letter to US Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack that is also called a commentary and is the basis of a news release from the group he belongs to- US Cattlemen's Association.

Sents makes an interesting point about the AMAs that Fogelsong spoke to in the op-ed we highlighted above. Sents claims "Critics of the rule change point out that producers enter various AMA's freely. Have they also mentioned that would seem to be a pretty natural attitude since they are getting something their neighbors are not going to get? The freedom of those who accept comes at the expense of those who are denied." It appears Sents does not believe that a producer who is willing to add value to a critter by offering age and source verification, a certified weaning program or other best management practices deserves to be paid more than a neighbor who pulls his calves off the mama cow and hauls them to town the same day.

You can read the entire letter to the Secretary by clicking on the LINK below-

Click here for the full letter from Allan Sents of Kansas- calling for quick implementation of the GIPSA Rule as proposed by Dudley Butler and those at GIPSA/USDA.

EPA Releases Draft Strategy for Clean Water
The Environmental Protection Agency has released the agency's draft strategy for clean water. EPA says this document is designed to protect and restore our nation's lakes, streams and coastal waters. The strategy, "Coming Together for Clean Water: EPA's Strategy for Achieving Clean Water," is designed to chart EPA's path in furthering EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson's key priority of protecting America's waters. The public is invited to comment on the strategy no later than September 17th.

EPA says the strategy was developed by considering the input and ideas generated at the April "Coming Together for Clean Water" forum as well as comments received through the online discussion forum. Participants shared their perspectives on how to advance the EPA's clean water agenda focusing on the agency's two priority areas: healthy watersheds and sustainable communities.

Click here for the nine page overview of what EPA is proposing in their Clean Water push.

Loads of Calendar Items This Week
We have a busy week on the Ag Calendar that can be found on our website- www.OklahomaFarmReport.Com. It starts with a grain sorghum plot tour this morning at 9 AM in Kay County and also includes several Town Hall Meetings for Oklahoma Congressman Frank Lucas, a BQA Workshop for northeastern Oklahoma, a farm management workshop sponsored by the Noble Foundation in Wayne, several cattle auctions, the every other week Big Iron Internet sale of equipment and the OCA Range Roundup.

Those cattle auctions that are coming up include the Sonrise Ranches Angus Sale in Oolagah this Wednesday, Express Ranches on Friday and Saturday and Pollard Farms on Sunday.

For all of the calendar listings for this week into early September- click on the link below and check out the events- and if you see something we need to be adding- let us know, we want this to be the most comprehensive listing of ag and rural events to be found on the web for Oklahoma- give us a hand and help us provide that service to one and all!

Click here for our calendar pages found at OklahomaFarmReport.Com

Our thanks to Midwest Farms Shows, PCOM, P & K Equipment/ P & K Wind Energy, Johnston Enterprises, American Farmers & Ranchers, KIS Futures and Big Iron Online Auctions for their support of our daily Farm News Update. For your convenience, we have our sponsors' websites linked here- just click on their name to jump to their website- check their sites 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- FREE!

We also invite you to check out our website at the link below to check out an archive of these daily emails, audio reports and top farm news story links from around the globe.

Click here to check out WWW.OklahomaFarmReport.Com

Let's Check the Markets!
We've had requests to include Canola prices for your convenience here- and we will be doing so on a regular basis. Current cash price for Canola is $7.75 per bushel, while the 2011 New Crop contracts for Canola are now available are $8.05 per bushel- delivered to local participating elevators that are working with PCOM.

Here are some links we will leave in place on an ongoing basis- Click on the name of the report to go to that link:
Our Daily Market Wrapup from the Radio Oklahoma Network with Ed Richards and Tom Leffler- analyzing the Futures Markets from the previous Day-
Ron on RON Markets as heard on K101 mornings with cash and futures reviewed- includes where the Cash Cattle market stands, the latest Feeder Cattle Markets Etc.
Previous Day's Wheat Market Recap- Two Pager From The Kansas City Board of Trade looks at all three US Wheat Futures Exchanges with extra info on Hard Red Winter Wheat and the why of that day's market.
Daily Oklahoma Cash Grain Prices- As Reported by the Oklahoma Dept. of Agriculture. <
The National Daily Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary- as prepared by USDA.
The National Daily Slaughter Cattle Summary- as prepared by USDA.
Finally, Here is the Daily Volume and Price Summary from the Texas Cattle Feeders Association.

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phone: 405-473-6144

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