From: Ron Hays []
Sent: Sunday, March 25, 2007 22:20
Subject: Oklahoma's Farm News Update
Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Monday March 26, 2007!
A service of Midwest Farm Shows
-- The Entire Oklahoma Congressional Delegation hang with the White House but they are outnumbered as Democratic leaders get Emergency Supplemental passed that includes Ag Disaster Aid!
-- Your Input about the future of water policy in Oklahoma wanted- meetings start April 12 in Beaver.
-- What makes the most economic sense? Buy fertilizer to grow forage- or buy hay later.
-- This week: OFB and NCBA in Washington- FFA Stars being judged this afternoon!
-- FSA Computer Woes spurs USDA to extend Signup in this year's Farm Program.
-- The Beef Stalemate Continues with South Korea- Last week for a FTA deal has arrived.
-- Cattle on Feed about as expected Friday afternoon.

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.

The Entire Oklahoma Congressional Delegation hang with the White House but they are outnumbered as Democratic leaders get Emergency Supplemental passed that includes Ag Disaster Aid!
On Friday the House of Representatives passed an emergency disaster assistance bill to the tune of nearly 4-billion dollars - and an extension of the Milk Income Loss Contract Program. The provisions are included in the Iraqi Supplemental Appropriations bill. House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson says the House passed disaster package - will finally provide some relief to farmers and ranchers who have been waiting for Congress to act for more than a year. The supplemental appropriations bill includes 3.7-billion dollars for agriculture disaster assistance for farmers and ranchers who experienced losses in 2005-2007.

Republican House Ag Committee members that have pushed for Ag Disaster Aid decided that the strings attached by the Democrats that demand that George Bush honor their timetable to bring all US troops home by the fall of 2008 were too much- and they voted no on the package that could deliver the Ag Disaster Aid they have wanted for almost a year. The entire Oklahoma Congressional Delegation- all five of them, including Democrat Dan Boren, voted against the measure.

The Senate Appropriations Committee voted out a similar bill from their Committee last Thursday- and the supplemental with the timing language included faces a very uncertain future in the U.S. Senate. It's also well known that the White House does not want ANY of the domestic funding included in this emergency spending measure- they have demanded all along that any Ag Disaster Aid has to be "offset" to get their support.

Your Input about the future of water policy in Oklahoma wanted- meetings start April 12 in Beaver.
As part of the update and expansion of the state-wide Water Plan, The Oklahoma Water Resources Board (OWRB) and the Water Research Institute at Oklahoma State University (WRI) recently announced a series of hearings to give citizens the opportunity to provide input on the water needs for the future of Oklahoma.

The Water Research Institute at Oklahoma State University will be conducting 42 local input meetings throughout the state. The purpose of the meetings is to record issues, concerns, questions and suggestions citizens have regarding Oklahoma’s water resources. The first meeting will be held April 12 in Beaver, Oklahoma, at the Beaver County Fairgrounds Pavilion at 1107 Douglas. The meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. and is open to all area citizens. Participation by all parties interested in the future of Oklahoma’s water is encouraged

In fact all of the meetings are expected to begin at 6:30 pm and there are currently two more meetings planned for the month of April. A week after the first meeting in Beaver, there is a meeting planned in Goodwell on April 19, with the third of three meetings in April slated for April 26th in Woodward. We have a link below of the calendar of the other input meetings planned at this point.

Click here for a listing of the locations and dates of these water "input" meetings planned across Oklahoma.

What makes the most economic sense? Buy fertilizer to grow forage- or buy hay later.
This was one of several interesting topics that were covered by OSU Extension at the Heart of Oklahoma Beef Conference held in Shawnee over the weekend. About a hundred folks were in attendance, and they heard JJ Jones, Area Economist for Southeast Oklahoma discuss the economic pros and cons of investing a couple of thousand dollars up front for fertilizer that would provide a boost to growing forage for a 50 beef cow herd versus letting the pastures produce what they could without any nourishment.

Jones contends that with even the high cost of fertilizer we now face- four hundred to four hundred fifty dollars for a ton of Urea- it still is a lot cheaper to pay for adequate nutrients to grow more forage on your pastures and hay fields this spring and summer rather than having to feed hay and supplements for multiple months. He says that as long as hay is $30 to $35 per big round bale this year- the computations tell us that we need to grow our own if we possibly can.

I loved the name of the farm that he and Chris Rice, area agronomist operate- the Belly Acres Farm. You can hear about the computations that Jones has made for the proud operators of Belly Acres Farm by going to our link below.

Click here to listen to Ron visit with J.J. Jones of OSU Extension about cost of fertilizer versus the cost of buying hay.

This week: OFB and NCBA in Washington- FFA Stars being judged this afternoon!
More than 80 Oklahoma Farm Bureau leaders are in Washington this morning, ready to be briefed by the American Farm Bureau staff on key national issues. Between now and Wednesday, they will have the chance to interact with the Oklahoma Congressional delegation, talking farm policy, the need for a clarification of the definition of manure under the so called Superfund rules and regs, as well as what the fate of Ag Disaster Aid may be with it tied to the Iraqi Supplemental Appropriation.

Also this week, the spring Board of Directors meeting of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association is happening in Washington- and it appears that with the exception of past NCA President Bob Drake, who is currently the Vice President of the Oklahoma Farm Bureau, no Oklahomans are planning on being in D.C. this week for these meetings and lobbying efforts. Drake will be spending time mostly with the OFB group in Washington, as well as some time with NCBA and their events. In fact, Drake is actually joining the OFB group a little late, as he has been in attendance in Ft. Worth for the 130th annual convention of the Texas And Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association. Drake has served as a board member of the TSCRA from the state of Oklahoma.

Also happening this week is the annual gathering of some of the hardest working members of the Oklahoma FFA, who are competing for the honor of Star Farmer, Star Agribusinessman, Star in Ag Placement and Star in Agriscience. Down through the years, we have always enjoyed getting to meet these young people, interview them and work on the Stars Over Oklahoma presentation that is a part of the ceremonies at the State Convention next month in Oklahoma City that will honor these young people. I suspect the Class of 2007 will be another outstanding crop of young agriculturists!

FSA Computer Woes spurs USDA to extend Signup in this year's Farm Program.
The so called DCP signup is being extended by USDA, with the head of the USDA Farm Service Agency, Teresa Lasseter, citing the main reason for the signup extension as being cyberspace problems.She says this will ensure adequate opportunity for all producers to participate in the sign- up. While the sign-up deadline is extended - the cut-off for participation remains September 30. Those producers failing to sign up by August 3rd - but before Sept. 30 - will pay a late-file fee of one-hundred dollars. Enrollment in DCP for the 2007 contract period was scheduled to end on June 1st.

DCP provides payments to eligible producers on farms enrolled for the 2002 through 2007 crop years. There are two types of DCP payments - direct payments and counter-cyclical payments. Both are computed using the base acres and payment yields established for the farm. The Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 authorizes DCP which is administered by FSA.

Under the 2002 farm law, producers have to sign up each year of the bill's life to participate in the direct and countercyclival programs. If you have any questions about your eligibility or participation in the program, check with your local FSA agency office.

The Beef Stalemate Continues with South Korea- Last week for a FTA deal has arrived.
U.S. and South Korea trade negotiators are struggling against the clock to put together something that will work as a Free trade Agreement that both countries can take back to the lawmaking bodies and get okayed. The deadline is this coming Friday, as the Bush Administration has to notify Congress by the end of the month of a deal in order for it to be covered for a straight up or down vote under the so called Fast Track Negotiating Authority that expires this summer. It is unlikely that Congress will grant an extension of this authority to President Bush in the near future. It is still possible that if we see a WTO deal done later in 2007, that the Administration will push hard for a deal that will allow a straight up or down vote on any work done in the global trade talks.

But for South Korea, they have until the end of this week to cut a deal that could be worth Billions in trade in the years to come. Obviously one of the sticking points that is not really a part of the deal itself is the stonewalling of US beef by the South Korean government. They have offered to keep inspecting with a fine tooth comb beef shipments for bone shipments, but say they will only reject individual boxes with bone chips this go round instead of searching until they find a fragment and then reject the whole load as they did three times this past fall. The US government has blasted that offer as totally unacceptable and say the Koreans have no science to stand on when it comes to fears about the spread of BSE.

NCBA Chief Economist Gregg Doud is just back from beef talks this past week in Seoul- and is our Monday guest on the Beef Buzz- heard daily on the Radio Oklahoma Network. We have it linked below so you can take a listen- and it is on our website under the Beef Buzz button where you can listen to many of our Beef Buzz programs dating all the way back to this past fall!

Click here to listen to Ron with Gregg Doud on his travels to Seoul and the talks that continue to go nowhere with the Koreans.

Cattle on Feed about as expected Friday afternoon.
The number of cattle in our nation's feedlots was right in line with what the trade was expecting at four percent less than a year ago, while the number of cattle placements in February of this year was up four percent from last February and the marketing figure was up seven percent from last year- both of those numbers a little higher than had been expected- but they balance each other out and this report is a soon to be forgotten report.

Tom Leffler of Leffler Commodities out of Augusta, Kansas is heard regularly in the afternoon on the Radio Oklahoma Network as he and Ed Richards look at the end of the markets for that day on our market wrapup- and Tom tells us that this report will be much less important than at what level we actually were able to trade cattle at late in the day on Friday.

We also visited with Leffler about the losses cattlemen suffered from the winter of 2006-2007. He says he has yet to see someone try to put a dollar figure on it- but the production lost was a much bigger economic setback than the actual deathloss experienced in recent months from the snow and the ice. You can listen to our conversation with Tom Leffler by clicking on the provided link below.

Click here to listen to Ron visit this past Friday afternoon with Tom Leffler about the latest Cattle on Feed Report.

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

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phone: 405-473-6144

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