~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Monday March 15, 2010A service of Producers Cooperative Oil Mill, Midwest Farm Shows and KIS Futures!
-- After 32 Months of Red Ink- Feedlot Cattle Back in the Black
-- Will Canola be a Home Run in 2010?
-- Big Crowd Attends Workshop on Competition in Agriculture
-- OSU's Derrell Peel Believes Cattle Market May Be at Seasonal Peak
-- The Latest on First Hollow Stem- and Wheat Diseases as Well
-- Ag Groups Hang Together on Greenhouse Gases
-- Animal Standards Fight Restarts in Ohio
-- 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 proud to have KIS Futures as a regular sponsor of our daily email update. KIS Futures provides Oklahoma Farmers & Ranchers with futures & options hedging services in the livestock and grain markets- Click here for the free market quote page they provide us for our website or call them at 1-800-256-2555.
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After 32 Months of Red Ink- Feedlot Cattle Back in the Black
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Estimated commercial cattle feeding returns in the Southern Plains finally turned positive in February after 32 consecutive months of red ink, as calculated by the Livestock Market Information Center, based in Denver. Those estimated returns are based on feeding a 750-pound steer in a typical Southern Plains commercial feedlot including costs for all feedstuffs, yardage, etc. The LMIC estimated returns do not account for any risk management strategies.
LMIC estimated per head returns for a typical steer sold in February were positive by just over $20.00 per head. Positive closeouts were propelled by the highest monthly average fed steer price since November 2008, combined with manageable feedstuff and feeder steer costs. For example, the cost of the feeder animal that was sold as a fed steer in February was the lowest for any month since early 2004.
Cash cattle prices in the southern plains have continued to move higher, as we saw prices for market ready animals in the feedlots up by three dollars per hundred this past Friday, with the Texas Cattle Feeders reporting over 18,000 head at $95 per hundred.
We have more on this past Friday's cattle market- and more on where the LMIC sees the cattle market and profitability in the months ahead- click on the link below to read.
Click here for more on the Red Ink Turning to Black for Cattle Feedlots
Will Canola be a Home Run in 2010?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Expectations for the 2010 Winter Canola crop are high, as Gene Neuens with PCOM is telling us that he has seen fields from southern Kansas across western Oklahoma into North Texas- and it all looks good. Neuens says that canola appears to be coming out of the winter season in excellent shape. He does expect to see some aphids in the canola in the near future, so he advises producers to be checking their fields on a regular basis.
Neuens and other crop watchers estimate that there are about 85,000 acres of winter canola growing in the region this year, substantially above the 35,000 estimated acres of a year ago. Neuens says the biggest challenge will once again getting the crop harvested, as farmers in the southern plains are still learning how to best get the tiny seed out of the field without leaving too much of it on the ground in the field.
Click on the link below to read more and to listen to our conversation with Gene Neuens on current crop conditions, as well as the efforts to get information out to producers about harvesting canola successfully.
Click here for more on the Winter Canola crop across the Southern Plains.
Big Crowd Attends Workshop on Competition in Agriculture
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~USDA and the Department of Justice held the first-ever joint public workshop on competition and regulatory issues in the agriculture industry. Led by Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack and Attorney General Eric Holder, this workshop held last Friday featured panel discussions on a variety of topics important to America's farmers and ranchers, including competitive dynamics in the seed industry, trends in contracting, transparency and buyer power, and concluded with public testimony.
Secretary Vilsack called the issues - difficult and complex, which is why this workshop is so important and long overdue. Attorney General Holder said we are committed to enforcing the antitrust laws effectively to ensure fair and open competition that protects both consumers and farmers.
Monsanto Vice President of Industry Affairs Jim Tobin represented
Monsanto in last Friday's workshop exploring competition issues in the
agriculture industry. Tobin notes - the fight to win the farmer's business
is intense and that has translated to not only more profitable choices for
farmers over the past decade, but also more value for farmers.
Click here for more on the Competition in Ag Workshop- including an audio review of the event with Stewart Doan.
OSU's Derrell Peel Believes Cattle Market May Be at Seasonal Peak
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Cattle and beef markets may be near the seasonal peak that usually occurs at the end of the first quarter. According to Dr. Derrell Peel, OSU Livestock Market Economist, the fact that all cattle and wholesale beef prices have increased seasonally this year is a good sign compared to the counter-seasonal first quarter weakness in cattle and beef prices last year. While it is difficult to credit much of the current strength in cattle and beef prices to economic recovery with any certainty, the fact that markets are behaving seasonally is an indication that the economy is not dragging markets down as it did this time last year.
Choice boxed beef price is currently about ten percent higher than this same time one year ago, while fed and feeder cattle prices are nearly 15 percent higher. Boxed beef and fed cattle prices have no doubt been helped by winter weather that has contributed to lighter carcass weights and reduced beef production. Choice boxed beef price appears to have stalled out this last week, unable to crack the $150/cwt. level but the fact that it is holding steady is a good sign given the weather disruptions in major consumer areas. Seasonal pressure on boxed beef prices will build in the next two to four weeks and boxed beef prices may have peaked unless additional demand support materializes. Fed cattle prices may have peaked a bit early, helped by winter weather, and have limited potential to move slightly higher before facing seasonal pressure as we move through April. Fed prices are higher due to stronger boxed beef and by-products values roughly $3/cwt. higher (live basis) than last year.
Click on the link below for more on this analysis offered by Dr. Derrell Peel.
Click here for more on where the cattle market now stands after recent price run ups.
The Latest on First Hollow Stem- and Wheat Diseases as Well
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We got an email on Friday from state wheat specialist Dr. Jeff Edwards, who has been watching the development of the wheat crop in relation to reaching "first hollow stem." Jeff writes on Friday "If you are reading this and still have cattle on wheat pasture, hopefully you are in northern OK or the Panhandle. As of today Jagger, Jagalene, OK Bullet, Overley, Fuller, Santa Fe, Shocker, Jackpot, TAM 401, Greer, Armour, Everest, Fannin, TAM 112, and Guymon are all past first hollow stem in plots at Stillwater. This will likely be the last of our first hollow stem updates for this year. I would expect all varieties to be well past first hollow stem early next week." As he was writing this on Friday, that means this week.
I might mention that as we drove out to Guymon last Thursday and back on Friday afternoon- we saw a world of cattle on wheat pasture- so farmers had decided in those areas- first hollow stem was not quite there yet.
Dr. Hunger also had a Texas update that he shared with us as well- "On
10-Mar-2010, Rex Herrington (Research Associate, Dept. of Soil & Crop
Sciences, Texas AgriLife Research, College Station, TX) sent the following
update indicating leaf and stripe rust in southern Texas. However, wheat
breeders from Texas I talked to earlier this week indicated that they had
not found any leaf or stripe rust, or powdery mildew in northern Texas
(either in the panhandle or in the area south of Oklahoma).
Ag Groups Hang Together on Greenhouse Gases
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The National Cotton Council coordinated a letter, signed by 175 agricultural organizations, to Representatives Joe Barton of Texas and Ike Skelton of Missouri acknowledging support of the legislators' actions against a greenhouse gas regulation plan. The two legislators have introduced resolutions of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act regarding the Environmental Protection Agency's decision to move forward on regulating carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act.
Several groups with Oklahoma ties signed the letter, including the Oklahoma Cattlemen, Oklahoma Cotton Council, the Oklahoma Grain and Feed Association, the Texas Cattle Feeders and the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association.
The letter also urged House approval of the legislators' resolution as introduced. Their resolution follows a similar resolution introduced in January by Senator Lisa Murkowski. In a NCC-coordinated letter to Senator Murkowski, 137 other commodity and agricultural organizations declared their support for her effort. The breadth of support from agriculture encouraged several Democratic Senators to cosponsor the resolution.
In their letter, the groups said, - such regulatory actions will carry severe consequences for the U.S. economy, including America's farmers and ranchers, through increased input costs and international market disparities. It also noted that both current and past Administrations have acknowledged that the clean Air Act is not the appropriate vehicle for establishing greenhouse gas policy.
Click here to read the full letter- and review the groups that signed the letter.
Animal Standards Fight Restarts in Ohio
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Ohio House voted 90 to 0 last week to establish the Ohio Livestock Standards Board. At the same time, Wayne Pacelle was in Ohio to kick off another constitutional ballot issue. The issue, backed by the Humane Society of the United States, would require the farm standards board to ban - extreme confinement - of pigs, chickens and other animals for most of their lives, prohibit using sick or injured cows for human consumption, and eliminate inhumane euthanasia methods.
Under the program, farm owners or operators would be barred from - tethering or confining any calf raised for veal, pig during pregnancy, or egg-laying hen, on a farm, for all or the majority of any day, in a manner that prevents such animal from lying down, standing up, fully extending his or her limbs, or turning around freely. A half-dozen exceptions are listed, including ones for fairs, rodeos and 4-H shows.
If 402,275 valid signatures of Ohio registered voters are collected by June 29, the proposal will be placed on the November ballot as a statewide constitutional issue. Pacelle expects to have - thousands of volunteers hitting the streets - to gather signatures. The Ohio Farm Bureau and other agricultural organizations that supported Issue 2 last fall have vowed to fight the HSUS proposal.
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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 $7.50 per bushel, while the 2010 New Crop contracts for Canola are now available are $7.60 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:
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