~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Monday May 21, 2007!A service of Midwest Farm Shows
-- As wheat harvest begins in far southwestern counties of the state- Jeff Edwards offers a Big Picture look at the status of the crop!
-- Marketings were strong as slightly fewer cattle on feed in place May One versus last year.
-- US House Ag Committee Chairman offers his "Mark" on Credit and Energy.
-- Hay Directory is New and Improved at Oklahoma Department of Agriculture.
-- Happy Birthday to the Texas Cattle Feeders- they have hit the BIG Four Oh!
-- Ethanol from Corn- we have reached the crossroads!
-- This week in Stillwater- the 2007 Oklahoma 4-H Roundup!
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.
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As wheat harvest begins in far southwestern counties of the state- Jeff Edwards offers a Big Picture look at the status of the crop!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We are starting to see some loads of wheat cut and delivered to elevators in the counties adjacent to the Red River in southwestern Oklahoma. We had a test cutting that we reported to you early last week in Grandfield, and then saw a report coming from Mike Cassidy out of Frederick of a load they received on Thursday afternoon with a good test weight of 60 pounds per bushel.
As we approach the harvest season- what kind of shape are we in? Well, we have two interviews for you to check out- one from Oklahoma wheat specialist Jeff Edwards and the second from Kansas Wheat Specialist Jim Shroyer. We caught up with both of them at the Lahoma Field Day on Friday.
Edwards says the unknown right now is how much damage may have been done from both disease and armyworms as we ramp up to harvest. He and Rick Kochenower, area Agronomist based in Guymon, both indicated that we are getting short of moisture in the Panhandle and very much need a rain this week in order to keep from losing bushels of production even though earlier here in 2007- there was plenty of moisture. K- State's Jim Shroyer said much the same thing about the western third of Kansas- the wheat looks really good- but badly needs a drink of water. That area could make up for the freeze damaged areas of central Kansas which will be well done from a normal year here in 2007 for many of those producers.
We have both of the interviews that we did with Edwards and Shroyer available for you to listen to. Click here for Dr. Jeff Edwards of Oklahoma State for an Oklahoma wheat crop overview, and you can click below for the same with K- State specialist Jim Shroyer.
Click here for to listen to Ron and Jim Shroyer talk about the Kansas Wheat Crop!
Marketings were strong as slightly fewer cattle on feed in place May One versus last year.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Cattle on Feed numbers were rather unremarkable as released on Friday afternoon. They showed two percent fewer cattle on feed in the total US feedlot universe, three percent fewer cattle placed into feedlots this April versus April of 2006 and two percent more cattle were marketed in April of this year versus one year ago.
We got reaction to these numbers from Tom Leffler- and Tom simply does not see much impact from this report on today's futures market. He says the fact that we ended up trading cash cattle at higher money after the report was released will be more important to the futures market than these numbers.
You can hear Tom's thoughts that he offered to Ed Richards of the Radio Oklahoma Network Friday afternoon on today's Beef Buzz from RON. We have it linked for you below.
Click here for the the Beef Buzz with Ron and Tom Leffler on the latest Cattle Feedlot count.
US House Ag Committee Chairman offers his "Mark" on Credit and Energy.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~As we approach the first "markup" session for the 2007 Farm Bill in the House Ag Committee, the Chairman, Colin Peterson of Minnesota, is putting out draft language to use as a starting point for the subcommittees to consider.
Peterson and his staff now have three key areas with language out there- Conservation, Credit and Energy. These three areas are the jurisdiction of the Subcommittee of the same name, chaired by Pennsylvania Democrat Tim Holden with his ranking member Frank Lucas of Oklahoma.
The Credit and Energy details were released as of late Friday afternoon- and in skimming through them, we note that the Chairman wants to do a feasibility study on a national ethanol pipeline, among other things, in his energy language. The Subcommittee that has jurisdiction meets tomorrow morning in our nation's Capitol- so let the games begin!
Click here to go to the suggested "starting points" for Conservation, Credit and Energy that will be covered lawmakers as they begin marking up the 2007 farm bill.
Hay Directory is New and Improved at Oklahoma Department of Agriculture.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Oklahoma agricultural department's market news service has revamped its online hay directory to make it easier for buyers to locate sellers who actually have hay for sale. "Our listings will be deleted after 60 days unless the sellers report that they still have hay for sale," said Glen Schickedanz, market news coordinator with the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food, and Forestry. "The primary complaint we receive about this directory is that there are sellers listed who don't have any hay. "With the new directory we not only list the contact information and information about the hay for sale, but also the date the information was listed," he said. "We think this is going to make the directory a much more valuable tool."
The updated directory couldn't have come at a better time as the Oklahoma Agricultural Statistics Service just reported that the state's hay stocks were 27 percent below last year. In May of last year, hay stocks were down 60 percent from 2005. This means Oklahoma on-farm hay supplies are 87 percent below what they were in May 2004 before the drought and wildfires took their toll. "Right now we need more sellers to contact us and list their hay for sale," Schickedanz said. "There aren't that many hay producers with hay for sale at this time and there are a lot of people looking to buy good hay."
The Oklahoma hay directory is online- we have it linked below- and the hay hotline is still open at 1-800- 580-6543. Schickedanz can be contacted through the hay hotline.
Click here to find the Oklahoma Hay Directory Online- the in-state version.
Happy Birthday to the Texas Cattle Feeders- they have hit the BIG Four Oh!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~This past Friday was the 40th anniversary of the Texas Cattle Feeders as back in 1967, a group of ten cattle feeders gathered in Amarillo and voted to to form what is now the Texas Cattle Feeders. Those who were the early joiners cited the desire for a greater voice with state and federal government.
From those early beginnings, the TCFA has clearly met a need for the feeding industry in the southern plains, as they represent some 5,500 members marketing approximately 7 million head of cattle annually- covering the feedlot areas of Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma.
The group continues to headquarter out of Amarillo, and has an Executive Director that has been in that seat for about a year- Ross Wilson, who has worked his way up through the staff ranks of the organization. The 2007 Chairman of the group, the top volunteer leader, is Don McCasland who is a feedlot operator in the Clovis, New Mexico area.
Ethanol from Corn- we have reached the crossroads!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~A study just released by Iowa State University on where we may be headed with corn based ethanol shows permanent change in US agriculture is on the horizon because of more and more gallons of white lightning being brewed each year. And, the study paints a bleak outlook for bringing cellulosic ethanol along to a point to where it can work- at least in the corn belt. The same is true for more acres of soybeans going to biodiesel. The study says that's because the higher prices of energy that would help these alternatives also pushes up the value of corn for ethanol- and farmers will choose the greater returns available to them through corn for ethanol.
In the Executive Summary the study states, "If oil prices are permanently $10-per-barrel higher than assumed in the baseline projections, U.S. ethanol will expand significantly. The magnitude of the expansion will depend on the future makeup of the U.S. automobile fleet. If sufficient demand for E-85 from flex-fuel vehicles is available, corn-based ethanol production is projected to increase to over 30 billion gallons per year with the higher oil prices. U.S. corn acreage would increase to more than 110 million acres, largely at the expense of soybean and wheat acres. Equilibrium corn prices would rise to more than $4.40 per bushel. The direct effect of higher feed costs is that U.S. food prices would increase by more than 1.1% over baseline levels. Beef, pork, and poultry prices would rise by more than 4% and egg prices would rise by about 8%."
Regarding the moving beyond starch based ethanol, the study adds "Cellulosic ethanol from switchgrass and biodiesel from soybeans do not become economically viable in the Corn Belt under any of the scenarios. This is so because high energy costs that increase the prices of biodiesel and switchgrass ethanol also increase the price of cornbased ethanol. So long as producers can choose between soybeans for biodiesel, switchgrass for ethanol, and corn for ethanol, they will choose to grow corn. Cellulosic ethanol from corn stover does not enter into any scenario because of the high cost of collecting and transporting corn stover over the large distances required to supply a commercial-sized ethanol facility." It's an interesting read from the ISU folks- and gets scarry when they start factoring in things like a possible corn crop shortfall sometime over the next two or three years- what happens to corn prices, available supply and how that could impact livestock use of feed grain versus ethanol demand.
The report also looks at the cost to consumers of heading the industry in the direction of ethanol production and the results are not pretty. The report claims "If we take the price increase that we have seen since July 2006 of approximately $1.50 per bushel in corn and associated price increases in soybeans and wheat, the per capita increase in food costs is approximately $47. Multiplying this cost by 300 million American consumers gives us a total cost of ethanol of about $14 billion. In addition, taxpayers have contributed $0.51 per gallon of ethanol."
Click here to review highlights from the study- including the Executive Summary
This week in Stillwater- the 2007 Oklahoma 4-H Roundup!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ALmost a thousand 4-Hers from across the state of Oklahoma will be gathering this week in Stillwater for the 2007 OKlahoma 4-H Roundup. Lots of great happenings will be a part of the 2007 celebration of 4-H in the state, including In conjunction with Oklahoma's Centennial Celebration they will be having a Green and White Centennial Assembly Thursday morning. 4-H members wearing green and white will line up on Lewis field in the outline of Oklahoma and a Clover. This picture will document the celebration of Oklahoma's 100th birthday and be used to celebrate Oklahoma 4-H's 100th birthday in 2009. Youth participate in educational workshops which teach life skills and encourage citizenship and leadership development, as well as participating in state competitive events such as public speaking, job readiness, vocal, and horticulture. State Project winners in 34 project areas and approximately $50,000 in scholarship are announced, as well as State 4-H Hall of Fame inductees.
We interviewed one of the members of the 2006-2007 OKlahoma 4-H state officer team, Jennifer Terronez of Davenport on our Saturday morning segment, In the Field with Ron Hays, which is seen on KWTV, News9 out of Oklahoma City. In case you missed it- we have linked it on our web site in a Windows Media file for you to be able to view. Click below and take a look!
Click here for the video segment on the 2007 Oklahoma 4-H Roundup.
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