From: Ron Hays []
Sent: Monday, May 14, 2007 05:55
Subject: Oklahoma's Farm News Update
Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Monday May 14, 2007!
A service of Midwest Farm Shows
-- Probably a Week Behind Normal for Harvest of the 2007 Oklahoma Wheat Crop- so says Jeff Edwards.
-- Scout NOW for Armyworms or those thick wheat fields will be munched up in a hurry!
-- Great Gobs of Mulch- Here comes Ken Cook taking dead aim at the House Ag Committee over farm policy!
-- USDA's Natural Resource Conservation Service computes millions of dollars saved by the Dams of Oklahoma.
-- National Wheat Growers Offer Counterpoint to Bush Administration on need for Disaster Aid.
-- We add a Dimension- a Saturday agri news update on News9 in Oklahoma City.
-- South Korea & US agree to talk about Bone In Beef once we get Blessing from OIE

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 just concluded Southern Plains Farm Show in Oklahoma City, 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.

Probably a Week Behind Normal for Harvest of the 2007 Oklahoma Wheat Crop- so says Jeff Edwards.
OSU State Wheat Specialist Dr. Jeff Edwards tells us that we may have gone from being a couple of weeks ahead of normal development early in the spring for the 2007 wheat crop in Oklahoma to now being as much as a week behind the normal crop development pace. If you remember, we had some crop scouts talking about the early harvest in southwest Oklahoma happening around the 20th of May- we heard that as recently as the last few days of April during the Oklahoma Crop Tour Report session at the Oklahoma Grain and Feed Association annual meeting.

Now, it looks like test cutting may not begin even in southwestern Oklahoma until we turn the calendar over and have June starring us in the face. It's a double edged sword- the extra time from the cool damp conditions gives us more time to fill the heads of wheat with more wheat berries and increase the yield- unless the other side of the sword hurts us because of disease or pests having time to reduce our yields.

Jeff says the most recent problem that is showing up in economically damaging numbers is an invasion of armyworms. You can click below and listen to his comments about armyworms, timing of harvest and his latest thoughts on leaf rust as well.

Click here to listen to Ron and Jeff talk about the 161 million bushel prediction for Oklahoma in 2007!

Scout NOW for Armyworms or those thick wheat fields will be munched up in a hurry!
After we visited with Jeff midday Friday- we received the latest from both he and Bob Hunger on crop conditions as we wait for harvest of this 2007 winter wheat crop. Actually, it was Jeff putting together the latest Wheat Production Newsletter that has the armyworm information that comes from Dr. Tom Royer.

On the arrival of armyworms, Dr. Royer says "Armyworm infestations are being observed in parts of the state. This caterpillar measures 1 inches when mature, and has a dark brown to grayish body with two pale yellow-orange bands extending down the back. Early signs of an infestation include leaves with ragged margins that have been chewed. You may find "frass" i.e. the excrement from armyworm caterpillars, around the base of wheat stems. Armyworm infestations occur more frequently around waterways, areas of lush growth, or areas with lodged plants. These areas should be checked first to determine the size of the infestation."

As far as the question of, do you spray or not? Dr. Royer says "Generally if wheat is past the soft dough stage, control is not warranted unless obvious head clipping can be seen, and caterpillars are still present and feeding. Worms feeding on the awns when plants are past soft dough will not cause enough yield loss to justify the expense of an insecticide application."

One paragraph catches us up to date with Dr. Bob Hunger- our disease guru for our wheat crop-he reports "In some fields yesterday (May 10th) around Apache and in the variety trial at Apache, Jeff Edwards (Wheat Extension Agronomist, OSU) and I saw severe tan spot/septoria infestations. This is not surprising given the cool and wet temperatures we have been experiencing. For the most part, wheat was at the milk to soft dough stage and flag leaves of susceptible varieties were pretty much gone unless a fungicide had been applied. Where fungicides were applied, the flag leaves still had some green in the flag leaves and there were rust pustules developing. In the cases I saw, fungicide had been applied about 4 weeks ago, so the chemical is no longer protecting the foliage, but it did its job in greatly delaying the loss of the flag leaves. With the wheat now being at the late milk to soft dough stage, loss of yield from leaf rust should be minimal."

Click here for the latest Wheat Production Newsletter which has the full scoop(with pictures) of the armyworm invasion!

Great Gobs of Mulch- Here comes Ken Cook taking dead aim at the House Ag Committee over farm policy!
Environmental Activist Ken Cook of the Environmental Working Group knows that his ideas and the ideas of many of those he supports- like the alternative to what has been "mainstream" farm policy that is being offered by Congressman Ron Kind of Wisconsin- will not gain a lot of traction within the House Agriculture Committee chaired by Colin Peterson.

Cook has decided to take the gloves off and begin the assault on Peterson and any consideration that the Chairman may be able to receive from Speaker Nancy Pelosi to keep those who want wholesale change from being to do so on the floor of the House of Representatives.

In a blog that we have linked below, Cook pens the following opening comment on a rather long diatribe on this issue saying "No committee chair of right mind in Washington would surrender her jurisdiction to the committee of the whole and invite the writing of signature legislation on the House or Senate floor. But House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson seems to be saying lately that when it comes to the upcoming farm bill, the House floor simply has no role at all, except to approve whatever the 46 House members who make up his committee decide is right.
They'll shoot us an outline presently. "
Cook goes on to say that while Peterson has included a wide variety of viewpoints in hearings leading up to the actual drafting of policy- he seems concerned that Pelosi may live up to her promise made to Peterson and other committee chairmen that bills drafted by their Committees won't face complete substitution on the floor by folks like Congressman Kind. It really does show the huge battle that continues to lurk on the floor of the House for the 2007 farm bill- I would suggest you take a read of this blog piece entitled "Farm Bill Politics Peterson's Fiat and Pelosi's Choice"

A MUST READ!-Click here for the Mulch Blog by Ken Cook of the EWG- as he lets loose with a tirade against Colin Peterson who wants no interference in writing the 2007 Farm Bill.

USDA's Natural Resource Conservation Service computes millions of dollars saved by the Dams of Oklahoma.
"There would have been an additional $33 million in damages from the heavy rainfall the period of May 4-9 if it wasn't for the flood protection of the state's 2,105 upstream flood control dams," said Mike Thralls, Oklahoma Conservation Commission Executive Director. This estimate of damages, provided by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), includes damages that would have occurred from flooding such as loss of crops, buildings and livestock, damage to roads and bridges, and damage to land from soil erosion. Heavy May rains caused some isolated flooding in the state, but when the same amount of rain fell 50 years ago it caused major flooding, not only on thousands of acres of agricultural land, but in many urban areas. The lack of that kind of flooding now, according to Thralls, can be largely attributed to the 2,105 upstream flood control dams that have been constructed in 64 counties and 123 watersheds over the past 60 years. "If the remaining 330 planned dams that are awaiting construction had been built they would have reduced damages by another $13 million," added Thralls.

Some areas of the state received especially high intensive and heavy rainfall in a short time period. An estimated $585,000 more in damages would have occurred in the Big Wewoka Creek Watershed (Seminole, Hughes and Okfuskee counties) without the flood protection of 41 dams. Over $900,000 damages were prevented by the 35 dams in the Upper Elk Creek Watershed in Beckham, Washita, and Kiowa counties.

The concern is going forward as Thralls worries about lack of Federal funding being proposed by the Bush Administration to maintain and build new flood control structures. "If funds are not appropriated for the program, it will not only mean that the 330 planned dams won't be built, but that the NRCS will no longer be able to provide the much needed engineering assistance to local watershed project sponsors to help maintain the existing dams," said Thralls. "This could leave conservation districts who have limited funding and staff without the technical help needed to maintain the dams. Many of these dams are 50-60 years old and need continued maintenance or even rehabilitation to keep them safe."

National Wheat Growers Offer Counterpoint to Bush Administration on need for Disaster Aid.
In their weekly newsletter, the National Association of Wheat Growers pretty well sum up the battle that has developed between the Administration and those who want Disaster Aid for farmers and ranchers. These arguments floated a little higher following the US House vote 320-120 in favor of a stand alone Ag Disaster Aid package this past Thursday.

In regards to the veto threats that continue to come from a measure that is described by the Bush Administration as "excessive non emergency spending," a statement has been issued that says "The 2002 Farm Bill, when coupled with federally subsidized crop insurance, already provides a generous safety net that was designed to eliminate the need for ad hoc disaster assistance. Consequently, the proposed assistance is unnecessary and unwarranted."

NAWG fires back by saying that Disaster Aid is the right thing to do and they contend "Many wheat growers throughout the country, having faced successive years of drought, floods, fires, freezes or some combination, would beg to differ. Virtually every state in the nation has been impacted by significant weather related and disaster losses in 2005, 2006 or 2007; in 2005 alone, about 80 percent of U.S. counties were declared by the Administration to be disaster or contiguous disaster counties. Producers have also faced increased production costs associated with rapidly escalating input costs. In addition, wheat growers throughout the country have only benefited from one of the three ag safety net programs outlined in the 2002 Farm Bill, the direct payment."

We add a Dimension- a Saturday agri news update on News9 in Oklahoma City.
I could almost feel the presence of Bill Hare and Wayne Liles standing around in the News9 studio this past week as I taped a couple of minutes about the Winter Wheat Crop production report of Friday morning for a weekly report that we have begun called "In the Field with Ron Hays."

Bill and Wayne were fulltime with KWTV for a lot of years with daily farm news and markets, as were Russell Pierson and Ken Root at Channel 4 in Oklahoma City. There were a few efforts after these legends retired or moved on to do some things on TV in Oklahoma City as well as Tulsa- but it has been well over a decade since anyone has done a regular farm and ranch news update on Commercial television in either of the two largest markets in the state of Oklahoma.

Now, Griffin Communications has stepped up and said, "we believe that agriculture is important enough to report regularly on it." That happens on the radio as we do markets and farm news on some 35 radio stations across the state. We have also stepped up a specific Oklahoma farm and ranch presence on the Internet at WWW.OklahomaFarmReport.Com as well as this daily email that you receive. An additional piece of the puzzle has been added with this Saturday morning update on News9 which you can see live Saturdays at around 7:40 am. It starts at the top- and President of Griffin Communications, David Griffin, tells us that he sees agriculture as a part of the Griffin strategy in being the dominant media company in the state. I guess borrowing some of the phrasing from our state song says it well- "We know that we belong to the Land- and we know that the Land is so Grand!" Griffin Communications and the Radio Oklahoma Network are committed to Oklahoma- and that includes our commitment to agriculture.

Click here for this past Saturday's In the Field with Ron Hays

South Korea & US agree to talk about Bone In Beef once we get Blessing from OIE
South Korea and the United States agreed Friday to discuss bone-in beef and other import quarantine issues after a world animal health organization's general assembly slated for late May. The decision was reached in a two-day-long beef technical consultation meeting in Seoul. No exact date for the meeting has been set, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry said.

Leading the delegation to Korea on behalf of the US Government was Dr. Chuck Lambert. Lambert and the US team pushed for Korea to say they would quickly consider the safety of US beef once the International Animal Health Organization finalizes the "Controlled Risk" status of the US beef industry as it relates to BSE.

Washington has called on South Korea to open its market to bone-in cuts of beef such as ribs. It wanted talks to begin before the two countries ended free trade pact negotiations on April 2, but made no headway because South Korea stressed that the matter could not be decided until the OIE announces its new country risk analysis. The Bush Administration still has leverage on the Korean negotiators in that the President has not yet submitted the proposed Free Trade Agreement with South Korea to Congress and must do so before June 30 in order to have it considered under the so called Fast Track Authority. USTR Ambassador Susan Schwab says she won't submit the measure to Congress unless we make real progress in getting the Korean market fully reopened to US beef- and members of Congress has said it won't be voted on unless that market is accepting US beef- including Bone-in product.

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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