From: Ron Hays []
Sent: Tuesday, May 15, 2007 07:02
Subject: Oklahoma's Farm News Update
Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Tuesday May 15, 2007!
A service of Midwest Farm Shows
-- Lots of Moisture in the Soil Profile- little fieldwork accomplished this past week due to Mud!
-- Talking Cotton with JC Banks
-- Cotton Shippers are saying Johanns is cutting deal with Harkin in Farm Bill Sweepstakes.
-- Texas Legislature may push bill on through to permit Horse Slaughter for Human Consumption.
-- Wheat Growers Applaud FTA deal to permit votes on pending agreements!
-- The Oklahoma Ag Enterprise that is Number Five with a Bullet- Meat Goats!
-- President Advances Energy Program- our top story on this morning's Farm News from the Radio Oklahoma Network!

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.

Lots of Moisture in the Soil Profile- little fieldwork accomplished this past week due to Mud!
The latest Crop Weather update for Oklahoma shows that rains of this past week continued to saturate the topsoil and was really beginning to top off subsoil moisture supplies. We saw surplus topsoil moisture ratings jump twenty points in the latest week, with 96% of our topsoil rated adequate to surplus in the moisture ratings. Subsoil Moisture ratings also jumped a lot this past week, going from 77% adequate to surplus to 89% in those categories in one week. You contrast the 89% adequate to surplus rating of this week to the year ago rating of 73% short to very short in the subsoil profile- and you can see what a difference we have as we head toward the summer season.

The weather update reports that very little fieldwork was completed this past week as the ground was too wet for equipment. There were some isolated reports of flooding in some corn and soybean fields. Most of our corn crop for 2007 is in the ground and doing well- 82% of the corn has emerged- 35 points ahead of the five year average. We are well behind in planting our peanuts, soybeans and cotton at the beginning of this week.

Wheat crop ratings continue to run high- 73% in good to excellent condition. The big question will be- how much yield loss may be forthcoming from leaf rust and other disease, as well as late season attacks by armyworms. The Texas wheat crop rating also continues to run strong- at 71% good to excellent and Kansas continues to reflect problems in the central part of that state- with their rating 38% good to excellent- a one point improvement from last week.

Click here for the latest Oklahoma Crop Weather Update.

Talking Cotton with JC Banks
The latest report with Dr. JC Banks, our OSU Extension Cotton Specialist based out of Altus reflects a silver lining from the rains of this past week that did slow us down in getting much fieldwork accomplished around the state.

Dr. Banks reports in this update supplied by NTOK "WET WEATHER kept producers out of the field last week. Heavy rains normally cause a problem with crusting when they occur prior to emergence, but last week had light showers almost daily, and soil temperatures stayed above 60 degrees. This allowed the cotton to germinate and emerge without having to push through a heavy soil crust. On Friday and Saturday, most of the cotton planted the prior week had emerged. We need warm and dry weather to continue planting in the longer season areas. If this week is warm, it is time to start planting dryland cotton. Moisture conditions are excellent and we need to take advantage of the good soil conditions and temperature. If tillage is needed prior to planting, it needs to be shallow and the seed needs to be placed into firm soil. If planting will be in or near small grains that are maturing, be aware that as soon as the plants dry down, thrips will move to the young, green cotton as soon as it emerges.

Dr. Banks adds "In these areas, an in-furrow or seed treatment insecticide should be used. I have already noticed high numbers of thrips coming out of drying wheat. If not controlled, they can cause early season stress which will result in later fruiting and reduced yields"

Cotton Shippers are saying Johanns is cutting deal with Harkin in Farm Bill Sweepstakes.
In a newsletter, the American Cotton Shippers contend that Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns is huddling with Senate Ag Committee Chairman Tom Harkin and and hoping to do an end around the House Ag Committee- the common thread that seems to be bringing the Republican and Democrat together is the desire to mandate a much stricter and lower payment limitation ceiling than is now in place. Of course, one of the key reasons that Harkin and Johanns want that lower payment limitation is to use the freed up cash in other projects they like better than the Commodity Title- most notably in the case of Senator Harkin, his pride and joy, the Conservation Security Program.

The Cotton Shippers report "Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns is basing his 2007 Farm Bill strategy on what he can work out with Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Tom Harkin (D-IA). Johanns is meeting regularly in one-on-one meetings with Harkin and the Secretary's key staff are conferring with Harkin aides. Few contacts have been made with the House, where Republicans on the Agriculture Committee have expressed their reservations about the Administration's proposal, particularly the one to prohibit payments to producers with 3- year Adjusted Gross Incomes of $200,000 or more. Both Johanns' and Harkin's principal focus is to limit farm payments. Harkin with the support of his colleague, Charles Grassley (R-IA), has said over and over in the past few months that farmers in Iowa are telling him that farm payments cannot be justified when the price of corn is at $4 per bushel."

It is also noted that Johanns told an Iowa audience just a few weeks ago that "I guess I'd be bold enough today to say this: I think you are going to get a payment limit proposal that will get to the finish line in this farm bill." Of course, the question remains- can Harkin overrule southerners like Republican Saxby Chambliss of Georgia and Democrat Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas and get his way on this lynchpin issue within the Committee?

Texas Legislature may push bill on through to permit Horse Slaughter for Human Consumption.
A change quietly tucked into a state Senate bill approved last week seeks to sidestep a 58-year-old Texas law preventing the slaughter of horses for consumption of their meat. Sen. Glenn Hegar, R-Katy, inserted an amendment into a bill on the duties and regulations of the Texas Animal Health Commission. It said animals tested by the commission would be exempt from the part of the state agriculture code banning the sale of horse meat for human consumption. Hegar contends allowing horse meat processing in Texas can keep animals from enduring a harsher fate of being abused, neglected or shipped to Mexico.

The Senate approved the bill in Austin last Wednesday, and it was sent to the House's agriculture and livestock committee. House members passed a similar bill in the House, but it does not include provisions on horse slaughter. "That debate will continue throughout the session. We've got several weeks left," Hegar said. "We'll be able to have that discussion and probably still have it again probably next session and through the interim. Who knows when we'll have final conclusion on this issue."

The 1949 Law that this proposal would nullify has been used to shut down two of the three horse slaughter facilities in the United States- the two that are located in Texas. Horse meat, once processed, is not consumed in this country but is shipped to several other nations, including France. The US Livestock Industry has lined up against the animal rights groups- most notably the Humane Society of the US in this battle over the right to humanely slaughter these animals at the end of their useful lives. Those that oppose the passage of this Texas Senate measure issued a news release and we have linked that for you so you might be able to see their arguments in their own words.

Click here for the News Release from the HSUS viewpoint on the Horse Slaughter debate in Texas.

Wheat Growers Applaud FTA deal to permit votes on pending agreements!
US Wheat Associates have issued a statement from their Chairman, Leonard Schock of Montana in regards to an agreement between Congressional leaders and the Bush Administration that will allow several already negotiated Free Trade Agreements to see a vote in Congress in the immediate future.

Wheat Producer Schock says "The bipartisan deal announced last week on free trade agreements is welcome news to U.S. wheat growers. We want to thank the Bush Administration and Congressional leaders for working hard to open the door to voting on pending FTAs that have the potential to significantly increase wheat exports. FTAs with Peru and Colombia, for example, will give U.S. wheat immediate duty-free access to these markets. This will help level the competitive playing field in two of our most important South American wheat markets that together may be worth as much as $200 million more in wheat export business."

"Recent news from Canada underscores how important it is to obtain immediate ratification of these pending agreements. The Canadian Wheat Board (CWB), an aggressive competitor with U.S. wheat producers, has publicly urged its government to swiftly negotiate FTAs with Peru and Colombia because it says it will lose millions of dollars in export sales if the U.S. implements our pending FTAs. The CWB is right about that."

Click here to read all of the comments by the US Wheat Chairman on the FTA agreement within our government that should allow several FTAs to move forward for a vote.

The Oklahoma Ag Enterprise that is Number Five with a Bullet- Meat Goats!
Oklahoma goat producer J.J. Jones will host a workshop on meat goats at his farm near Ada on June 2nd from 9 - 2. The workshop is meant both for newcomers to goat production as well as established goat producers, says Alan Ware of the Kerr Center, organizer of the event. Jones, an OSU Extension agent, and his father, Glenn Stroud, together keep about 80 Boer goats on 35 acres. The program will cover the history of Jones' goat operation, a basic goat care and marketing session, and a discussion of the new goat handbook forthcoming from OSU extension.

Between 1997 and 2002, meat goat production doubled in Oklahoma, putting the state fifth nationwide. "Folks getting into the goat business usually have little or no ag experience," Jones explains. For these beginners, Jones will focus on the basics of goat management, "when, why and how things are supposed to be done." Other segments, such as a presentation and discussion of the many types of fencing the Joneses have tried over the years, will appeal to producers of all experience levels.

The Kerr Center, a non-profit educational foundation, is sponsoring the event in cooperation with the USDA Risk Management Agency. Registration is $10, which includes lunch. The deadline for registration is May 28. For directions and to register, call 918.647.9123 or use our link below to go to the Kerrcenter web site to register and get more information.

Click here for more information on the upcoming Meat Goat field day in the Ada area.

President Advances Energy Program- our top story on this morning's Farm News from the Radio Oklahoma Network!
We led this morning with some comments from President Bush from yesterday as he talked of the need to push harded on reducing our dependence on petroleum based fuels by 20% in ten years. And he spoke of the need to reduce greenhouse gases along the way as well. Last month - the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency must take action under the Clean Air Act regarding greenhouse gas emissions from motor vehicles. Yesterday- President George W. Bush directed the EPA and the Departments of Agriculture, Energy and Transportation to take the first steps toward regulations that would cut gasoline consumption and greenhouse gas emissions from motor vehicles. The President said using his 20-in-10 plan is a starting point.

We also reported on the latest from the Crop Weather updates and the report coming from the American Cotton Shippers that they believe that Johanns is teaming up with Senator Harkin to push for tighter paymewnt limits as a cornerstone of farm policy in 2007- mainly to grab dollars from the Commodity Ttiel to pay for things they perceive as being more important.

Click below and you can hear our report for this Tuesday May 15th from the Radio Oklahoma Network. It's the Tuesday edition of Ron on RON!

Click here for today's Farm and Ranch News from RON.

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