From: Ron Hays [] on behalf of Ron Hays []
Sent: Tuesday, December 21, 2010 5:37 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 Tuesday December 21, 2010
A service of Johnston Enterprises, P & K Equipment/ P & K Wind Energy and American Farmers & Ranchers Mutual Insurance Company!
-- It Won't Be Easy- But Rebuilding the US Beef Cow Herd Needs to Happen- SO Says OSU Economist Derrell Peel
-- More than Nine Out of Ten Hog Farms Now Have Premise IDs
-- Money to Diversity Your Farm or Ranch Operation Available from the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture
-- Overall- Canola Going into the Winter in Good Shape
-- Soy Flour Headed to Afghanistan
-- From Out of Nowhere- Food Safety Bill is Revived- and Almost Ready to Head to the White House
-- Prayers Needed for Jeff Krehbiel
-- 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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It Won't Be Easy- But Rebuilding the US Beef Cow Herd Needs to Happen- SO Says OSU Economist Derrell Peel
Oklahoma State University Extension Livestock Market Economist Dr. Derrell Peel offers the following thoughts from his regular weekly look at the cattle markets via the electronic newsletter- Cow- Calf Corner:

"With feeder cattle prices near record levels at the end of 2010, market incentives to rebuild critically low U.S. cattle numbers are increasing. Severe market shocks since late 2006 have completely masked the cattle cycle and the resulting additional liquidation has pushed the cow herd inventory to new lows. Though the annual cattle inventory report is a few weeks away yet, it appears the 2011 will begin with a beef cow herd that is close to two million head lower than the 2006 level, when the last expansion was interrupted. Although herd rebuilding is likely to occur in the coming months and years, several factors have changed that will impact how and where herd rebuilding will occur and, most importantly, how fast it will occur.

"The biggest keys to heifer retention are the economic signals embodied in calf prices and producer expectations for the coming years. Although calf prices are near record levels, it is not clear that profitability is high enough to ensure herd rebuilding. In order to decide to retain a heifer, producer expectations have to be such that anticipated prices are high enough for long enough to make the present value for breeding exceed the current value of the heifer as a feeder animal. Many producers face high and volatile input costs that offset some of the incentive of higher cattle prices. Some of these impacts are regional, suggesting that rebuilding may be slower in some areas than others. For example, higher shipping costs have increased the discount on cattle in the Southeast, relative to the rest of the country. This fundamentally reduces the relative competitiveness of cattle in that region."

You can read the rest of Derrell's thoughts on the challenge of rebuilding our US Mama Cow herd by clicking on the LINK below.

Click here for Derrell Peel's take on rebuilding the US Beef Cow herd- sooner rather than later.

More than Nine Out of Ten Hog Farms Now Have Premise IDs
As of this week, 92 percent of all U.S. swine premises now have a nationally standardized premises identification number (PIN). This milestone figure, calculated by the Pork Checkoff using USDA data, represents 65,907 premises. Nearly half of these farms were registered over the last three years in conjunction with a cooperative agreement between the pork industry and USDA.
"This achievement means that pork producers and the pork industry realize that premises identification is instrumental in helping to take the health of our herds into the 21st century and to protect our industry from long-term negative consequences of a foreign animal disease," said Gene Nemechek, a swine veterinarian from Springdale, Ark., and president of the National Pork Board. "The nationally standardized PIN is the cornerstone for more rapid and accurate traceability, which supports a faster response to animal-health events from the farm level on up. It has already proven to be useful in states assisting pork producers in a weather disaster. That's why we urge all producers to make this a priority and participate in premises identification."

According to Patrick Webb, DVM, the Pork Checkoff's director of swine health, the pork industry leveraged funding from USDA to augment its own investment to help achieve this industry objective. "We developed and delivered education and outreach under the guidance of the industry's Swine ID Implementation Task Force, which consists of producers from all size of farms and representatives of packers, the American Association of Swine Veterinarians, the National Swine Registry and State Premises ID Coordinators.

The Checkoff will continue to work with federal and state animal health authorities to promote PINs and further implementation of the swine ID plan. The next step is to get even more adoption of the individual and group identification practices under the plan.
"This has been a collaborative effort of pork producers, industry stakeholders and state and federal animal health officials," Nemechek said. "Without the support of our partners, the pork industry would not have accomplished this level of participation. The work is not completed, however. The pork industry must continue to support premises ID and implementation of the swine ID plan to protect the health of our herds and to meet other current and future needs for our industry and customers."

Click here for more on the National Pork Checkoff at their official website.

Money to Diversity Your Farm or Ranch Operation Available from the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture
The key to being successful in almost any agriculture operation is being able to diversify when necessary. The Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food, and Forestry has been helping producers to diversify their operations for more than a decade. Secretary of Agriculture, Terry Peach states that, "The AEDP loan and grant program has done some great things throughout the state. I encourage producers to think outside the box and take advantage of this program to diversify their operation."

The Oklahoma Agriculture Enhancement and Diversification Program (AEDP) provides funds in the form of 0% interest loans or grants to producers to create rural economic development statewide. The AEDP Advisory Board meets quarterly to review and approve applications.

The deadline for the current application period is January 3, 2011. Click on the LINK below to learn more about some of the projects that have been awarded previously- and info on how you can apply by that first Monday in January.

Click here for more details about the Oklahoma Agriculture Enhancement and Diversification Program

Overall- Canola Going into the Winter in Good Shape
Mother Nature has delivered farmers good news who are growing winter canola in the Southern Plains this year.
Approximately 110,000 acres of the oilseed crop, the most for it's short production history, is growing in North Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas, according to Gene Neuens, Producers Cooperative Oil Mill field represetative here.
"We have looked at the crop from the Texas to the Oklahoma panhandle areas and everywhere else," Neuens said. "With the recent winter freezes, the crop is going into its dormant stage. Overall, the 2010 canola crop is right on track for the winter growth hiatus it experiences, Neuens said.

There has been much interest in winter canola production this year for several reasons, but two stand out in particular, Neuens said. "Winter canola was specifically chosen less than a decade ago as a crop to reduce the huge weed problem winter wheat producers were fighting in the Southern Plains," he said. "Originating from spring canola varieties typically grown in northern states and Canada, crop breeders developed new varieties of the crop which would grow in winter months like hard red winter wheat, a crop grown on millions of acres across the US."
Decades of continuous wheat production helped create infestations of perennial weeds like cheatgrass, winter rye and other plants whose population grew each year in wheat fields. As the weeds spread throughout the Plains states, farmers found the use of herbicides was often too expensive for them to use to control the weeds.

Canola offers producers an alternative crop that matches up with the planting and harvesting cycle of winter wheat. And, as a bonus, it offers an attractive payday for farmers that use it.
Prices paid for canola are usually two to three dollars per bushel more than winter wheat. Currently, cash price paid for winter canola is $9.45 per bushel compared to $6.92 per bushel for winter wheat. Winter canola production in the Southern Plains is expected to increase in the future as more farmers place it in their diversified crop program, Neuens said.

Click here for more on an update on Canola conditions as we hit wintertime.

Soy Flour Headed to Afghanistan
Five-thousand women and their families in Afghanistan will soon benefit from a shipment of U.S. soy flour. The 3,525 50-pound bags are being shipped from the Port of Virginia by the American Soybean Association's World Initiative for Soy in Human Health and U.S. Department of Agriculture. USDA purchased the soy flour as part of its cooperative agreement with ASA under the USDA Food for Progress Program. Cargill's Cedar Rapids, Iowa facility produced the soy flour, which readily increases the protein content of traditional naan breads as well as makes soymilk and other foods.

Once the soy flour completes its 7-thousand-plus mile journey, WISHH and its partners will work with the Afghanistan Ministry of Women's Affairs to distribute "family size" portions of the soy flour. According to UNICEF, more than half of Afghan children under five suffer from moderate or severe stunting. Twenty five percent of children die before reaching their fifth birthday. The health of rural Afghan people, particularly women and children, is often the worst in the nation.

WISHH launched the USDA-funded Soybeans in Agricultural Renewal of Afghanistan (SarAi) project this year. The multi-faceted effort uses soybeans to benefit Afghan farmers, food processors, and rural communities, as well as women and children. It provides a total of 240 metric tons of defatted soy flour, 13,750 metric tons of soybean oil and 6,000 metric tons of soybeans over three year. Over the life of the program and all of its activities, this project will benefit more than 405,000 Afghan people.

Click here for more details of this shipment during these latter days of 2010.

From Out of Nowhere- Food Safety Bill is Revived- and Almost Ready to Head to the White House
In case you missed it, the U.S. Senate, Sunday evening, passed on to the House the food safety bill, minus a section that caused concern. That section would have imposed fees on importers, farmers and food processors whose food is recalled because of contamination. The Senate corrected the problem before its vote, which moved forward because Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn apparently backed off earlier plans to filibuster the measure.

Mark Maslyn of the American Farm Bureau does not expect a lot of on-farm FDA visits, but given limited resources, more visits to processing facilities. And the bill excludes small farms with sales less than half-a-million dollars, which sell directly to the public.
The question is whether the bill will improve food safety as intended. Maslyn says the bill has "some merit," but FDA will still have to compete for scarce dollars in the appropriations process.

The House is expected to pass the measure Tuesday, sending it to President Obama for his signature.
"This is a once-in-a-lifetime update. A lot has changed since 1938," when the current food regulatory regime was established, said Ami Gadhia, policy counsel for Consumers Union. "This will put FDA in a posture to prevent food-borne illness before it happens."
The overhaul also would be good for business because "it's going to provide a measure of security and certainty that there's a system in place and bad actors will be weeded out. It's going to save business costly recalls," Gadhia said.

Fox News has a point by point rundown of what is in the bill that is set to be signed into law- click here to take a look.

Prayers Needed for Jeff Krehbiel
We have not given you an update in quite some time on our friend Jeff Krehbiel, a member of the Oklahoma Wheat Commission and a continuing warrior against cancer- in his case- a brain tumor. Jeff has been doing well as treatment that he has received at MD Anderson in Houston has resulted in the cancer being removed and currently being held at bay.

However, other issues have raised their ugly head this week- just days before Christmas- as Jeff is in ICU this morning as we write this- battling blood clots in his left lung. His wife, Karen, has updated us on their ongoing medical treatment blog which we have linked to below. Her post from very early this morning gives you a lot of details if you care to get them.

We are asking you to join the family and Jeff's friends in praying for the procedure that has been done in the last 24 hours to show results in breaking up the clots that are very dangerous. Pray for Jeff, his wife Karen and their daughter Brittany.

Click here to learn more about Jeff's current status in the ICU in Oklahoma City.

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 $9.75 per bushel, while the 2011 New Crop contracts for Canola are now available are $10.50 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.

God Bless! You can reach us at the following:
phone: 405-473-6144

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