From: Ron Hays []
Sent: Tuesday, March 13, 2007 06:37
Subject: Oklahoma's Farm News Update
Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Tuesday March 13, 2007!
A service of Midwest Farm Shows
-- Wheat Crop Remains in mostly "good" condition- but far better than a year ago!
-- The Barebones on First Hollow Stem- It's moving towards the Panhandle
-- USDA acknowledges OIE Recommendation for BSE- Japan ignores it!
-- Soil Temperatures Tips and More- Check out the Latest Oklahoma AgWeather.
-- The Governor's Bio Fuels Initiative Moves Faster than a Moonshiner through the Senate.
-- OSU Ag Communications Team and Media heading for Mali!
-- Agriculture Hall of Fame Deadline is Thursday

Howdy Neighbors!

Here's your morning farm news headlines from the Director of Farm Programming for the Radio Oklahoma Network, Ron Hays. Our email this morning is a service of Midwest Farm Shows, featuring the Southern Plains Farm Show in Oklahoma City April 19-21, 2007, as well as the Tulsa Farm Show held each December. Check out details of both of these exciting shows at the official website of Midwest Farm Shows by clicking here.

If you have received this by someone forwarding it to you, you are welcome to subscribe and get this weekday update sent to you directly by clicking here.

Wheat Crop Remains in mostly "good" condition- but far better than a year ago!
The 2007 Oklahoma Hard Red Winter Wheat Crop is rated 59% in good to excellent condition, compared to 58% good to excellent one week ago. As we begin the weekly crop-weather updates, these numbers are in sharp contrast to a wheat crop that was rated 72% Poor to Very Poor in early March of 2006.

The topsoil and subsoil moisture supply numbers are not showing us muddy all over the state- but they definitely reflect far better soil moisture conditions than one year ago- and some of the reports that make up this week's numbers do not reflect the rains from the weekend. In 2006, our topsoil moisture reading was an amazing 98% short to very short- 85% of that in the "very short" category. Here in 2007, the numbers 51% short to very short- but 47% are rated in adequate shape. When it comes to the subsoil moisture ratings, it is a similar story- last year we were are 98% short to very short on subsoil moisture- in 2007 we are still on the dry side at 61% short to very short and 37% adequate. For both our subsoil and topsoil ratings- we have two percent rated as "surplus."

The wheat crop is slightly ahead of normal development with 23% now at the jointing stage- up 9 percentage points ahead of the five year norm. We have begun to plant corn, with seven percent of the 2007 expected acreage now in the ground. We have linked the complete report for you to review below.

Click here for the March 12 Weekly Crop Weather Update for Oklahoma.

The Barebones on First Hollow Stem- It's moving towards the Panhandle
The latest Wheat Production Newsletter is out from Dr. Jeff Edwards, who is producing it this week from afar. So, it really is just an update on the progress of First Hollow Stem.

Dr. Edwards reports "First hollow stem (FHS) continues to progress in our plots throughout the state. Gary Strickland reported some movement in early varieties like Jagger in October-sown wheat near Altus. Curtis Bensch observed slight movement in Fannin at Goodwell, but we are still a few days out from FHS at that location."

He also indicates that several more varieties reached first hollow stem in both Stillwater and El Reno over this past week. We have linked the report on our website below- so that you can take a look at the table of varieties and where they actually stand when it comes to this crucial stage of development.

Click here for the latest OSU Wheat Production Newsletter from Dr. Jeff Edwards

USDA acknowledges OIE Recommendation for BSE- Japan ignores it!
We reported to you a little over a week ago that the international animal health organization, the OIE, had decided that they would recommend to member countries that the United States should be classified as a "controlled risk" country for BSE, or Mad Cow Disease. This classification is one notch under the category of "neglible risk" but still means that the United States is doing all the right things to minimize risk to BSE and that as a result, it is safe for the US to export meat from animals of any age, bonesless or bone-in, as long as the specified risk materials are removed.

The head of the Animal Plant Health Inspection Service of USDA, Dr. Ron Dehaven, calls this "an essential step in promoting trade and understanding of the disease." The member countries, some 164 of them, will vote in May on this classification to make it final. But the preliminary ruling has been reported globally and that is expected to be the final result.

However, neither one of the two countries that we are having the most trouble with in accepting our beef are willing to immediately accept the validity of the OIE's judgement. We reported earlier that South Korea had said they were not changing their attitude on US beef and the "danger" of bones when it comes to BSE. Yesterday, the report is similar from Japan. The decision "will not immediately lead to changes in import terms for U.S. beef," Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Vice Minister Yoshio Kobayashi said at a press conference, according to Kyodo. Noting that an examination of U.S. terms for beef exports to Japan has yet to be completed, Kobayashi said, "We are not at the stage of participating in negotiations to review the terms of trade."

Soil Temperatures Tips and More- Check out the Latest Oklahoma AgWeather.
Staying on top of the soil temperatures using data from the Oklahoma Mesonet can help you be ready to pull the planter into the field as early as you can as you get ready for planting of our spring crops here in the state. In Oklahoma, that can be a good thing, as the earlier you plant- the better chance you have of getting the crop more fully developed before the hot dry spell that we often face during our Oklahoma summers.

There are also some interesting garden tips from a weather perspective in this latest issue of the Oklahoma AgWeather newsletter- and we have it linked for you below.

Click here to go to this month's Oklahoma AgWeather from the Mesonet folks.

The Governor's Bio Fuels Initiative Moves Faster than a Moonshiner through the Senate.
Everybody loves the idea of biofuels these days- and Governor Brad Henry indicates he is very pleased the Senate has given a ringing endorsement to his proposal for a BioFuels Research Center in the state- building on the resources that state has at University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University and the Noble Foundation out of Ardmore. Henry says Oklahoma has the expertise in both energy and agriculture- which makes it ideally suited to be a leader in biofuels.

In a statement from his office, Governor Henry says "The Oklahoma Bioenergy Center would be a cutting edge, visionary institute with an impact for generations to come." The focus of this center would be in Cellulosic Ethanol, as we try to get our arms around how to best produce the feedstock (Switchgrass, sweet sorghum or even wheat stubble), how to collect and store it, how to distill it(that's the Moonshiner part) and then how to distribute the end products.

It was a 47 to 1 vote for the creation of the center in the State Senate yesterday- the bill moves on for consideration and expected passage in the House. A real key for agriculture is the education component of the proposal- to use OSU Extension as well as the Noble Foundation's team of agronomists to make a transition to bioenergy crops- who really knows how to best grow Switchgrass???- and adopt best management practices to make this a sustainable enterprise.

Here's a link to a release from the Noble Foundation expressing their support for the OBC right after Governor Henry announced his plan during his State of the State Address.

OSU Ag Communications Team and Media heading for Mali!
The US Department of State has awarded almost a quarter of a million dollars to OSU's Department of Ag Education, Communications and Leadership to help train journalists from the country of Mali here in 2007. The first phase of that effort kicks off today, as a team from Oklahoma flies to the capital of Mali (in west Africa), Bamako, for a week of recruiting and interviewing possible participants to come to Oklahoma for a month long experience in July of working with Ag and rural oriented media here in the state.

Dr. Dwayne Cartmell and Dr. Shelly Sitton with Oklahoma State have been key in putting this project together- and are leading the Sooner state team to Africa for the next ten days. Before my switch to the Radio Oklahoma Network, I had helped in the application process and had originally planned to make this trip- but getting a new venture off the ground made that impossible here in March of 2007.

We hope to participate with OSU this summer in the internship program- and will look forward to working with the journalists recruited from Mali at that time. You can follow the journey over the next few days and what results from these efforts as they have set up a blog to serve as an unofficial travel log. We have linked it below. There's not much there yet- but check back in a few days and it should have some interesting observations.

Click here for the Blog on the OSU Ag Communications mission to Mali.

Agriculture Hall of Fame Deadline is Thursday
A final quick reminder that if you or your group is putting together a nomination for the Oklahoma Ag Hall of Fame for 2007- deadline is this Thursday, March 15- those applications and supporting materials must be delivered to the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture by close of business on Thursday.

Contact Jason Harvey at ODA if you have questions- 405-522-5563.

Our thanks to Midwest Farm Shows for their support of our daily Farm News Update. Go to their website at the link at the top of today's email for more information on either the Tulsa Farm Show or the Southern Plains Farm Show.

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

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

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