From: Ron Hays []
Sent: Thursday, June 07, 2007 07:23
Subject: Oklahoma's Farm News Update
Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Thursday June 7, 2007!
A service of Midwest Farm Shows
-- Very Ugly Wheat Being Found in North Central Oklahoma
-- Freeze Damage as well as Rust Impact both coming into focus in 2007
-- USDA says they have checked and verified and tell South Korea- let's get back to trading!
-- Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Worry About Ticks
-- House Ag Subcommittee works on Specialty Crops and Rural Development
-- Congrats to Mason Mungle for a job well done!
-- Email Me with your Wheat Harvest Reports!

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 recently 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.

Very Ugly Wheat Being Found in North Central Oklahoma
We have several reports now from north central Oklahoma of a dismal quality and quantity wheat harvest. In most areas, the first wheat being cut this year is the most stressed wheat which gives us a more extreme outlook of what is out there- here in 2007, we are getting very pessimistic reports of what has been cut thus far.

One producer west of Blackwell emails us and reports that he has cut his first load of wheat- it was Jagger, 10% moisture, 51.5 pound test weight and guessed yield in the low 20s. Another report that we have received from an individual is a half section in Garfield county has been adjusted by insurance folks at just two tenths of a bushel per acre. That means if you bothered to harvest it- you would get about 64 or 65 bushels- for the entire 320 acres!

If you have harvested wheat- we would love to hear from you- drop me an email and give us some of the particulars. I would especially love to hear from some folks in areas where we have expected some better wheat- how did your wheat turn out and how did it handle the leaf rust assault of the last few weeks before harvest. My email address is listed elsewhere in this email- take a couple of minutes and share your info with me- I won't be using names- but will be sharing at least some of the reports that I get on our website and in this email update.

Freeze Damage as well as Rust Impact both coming into focus in 2007
We talked last night with Mark Hodges of the Oklahoma Wheat Commission about what he has seen thus far in this 2007 harvest season. In recent days, he has been west and south to Weatherford and worked his way from there down to Chattanooga- then yesterday spent some time in the Loyal area.

He has also had other reports via telephone- and he says that we are starting to see the area of greatest concern back in April when we had the hard and long freeze of the Easter weekend coming in with very discouraging wheat harvest reports.

He adds that areas south of a line from Stillwater over to Kingfisher and then over to Watonga did not face as much freeze damage- but that we are seeing significant leaf rust damage to both yields and test weights. You can hear our full conversation with Mark by going to the link provided below.

Click here to listen to Ron and Mark Hodges talk wheat harvest 2007.

USDA says they have checked and verified and tell South Korea- let's get back to trading!
USDA officials on Wednesday said they have verified that all U.S. beef shipped to South Korea meets Seoul's import requirements, which should resolve the latest trade impasse. "It means that [Korean quarantine officials] will begin clearing product that is in their customs clearance quarantine process, and that we will begin to issue statements of verification and begin inspection, clearance and issuing of certificates for export," Chuck Lambert, USDA's deputy undersecretary for marketing and regulatory programs, told reporters.

USDA Press Secretary Keith Williams said USDA has delivered to Korean officials a letter stating the agency has reviewed the records of all U.S. beef shipments that have arrived in Korea and has verified that all but one met Seoul's requirements. The other shipment, he said, also appears to be eligible, but "we are still matching paperwork." In the letter, USDA also requested that Seoul release into commerce shipments of U.S. beef that it verified.

Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Worry About Ticks
TSCRA members voiced their support for USDA's National Strategic Plan for the Cattle Fever Tick Eradication Program (CFTEP) at their 2007 summer meeting June 2 in Fredericksburg, Texas. Left uncontrolled, the ticks could spread tick fever throughout the nation's cow herd, resulting in losses of $1 billion a year to the beef industry and driving up the cost of beef for consumers. TSCRA is an organization of mostly Texas cattle producers, although there are still a few hundred Oklahomans that belong to the group to avail themselves of the cattle theft protection efforts of the group.

One of the big concerns are tickicide resistant ticks. Apparently there are six or seven cases now documented in Mexico of ticks that have been found with resistance to one or more of the current remedies that are available. There is now a buffer zone where eradication is actively pursued to try to keep these ticks out of the US- that line stretches from Del Rio down along the Rio Grande River to Brownsville.

The ranchers in the 500-mile narrow buffer zone from Val Verde to Cameron County, are "defending the rest of Texas and the other states from which ticks were eradicated," according to Dr. John George of USDA's Ag Research Service. A USDA Bureau of Animal Industry map from 1923, shows fever ticks once extended across the southeastern United.States from the Atlantic coast around to the Gulf Coast, into Kentucky, across the bottom of Missouri and Kansas, into Oklahoma and southwest across Texas down to the coast. The southern counties of California, down the Baja peninsula, were also infested. Thanks to the vigilance of cattle raisers in the 500-mile quarantine zone, which ranges from .4 to 16 kilometers wide in places, cattle fever ticks have not crept back into their traditional range. However, the shift in the wildlife population of South Texas has caused an increase in infested premises in Zapata County outside the quarantine zone. George said, "Warmer winters will affect the population and survival of ticks. Warmer average temperatures throughout the southern part of the U.S. would allow the ticks to spread their range." It's a problem with staggering implications for the entire for the entire U.S. beef industry. Eradication is not easy; although a single treatment kills all the ticks on an animal, it will not assure eradication because it does not prevent reinfestation.

For a look at some of the issues discussed by members of the TSCRA at their summer meeting last week- click here for that report.

House Ag Subcommittee works on Specialty Crops and Rural Development
The House Ag Subcommittee that has jurisdiction over rural development and specialty crops marked up their part of the 2007 farm bill proposal that is being developed by the House Ag Committee. In the case of specialty crops- we are taking sugar and peanuts. You can go and review all of the actions of the subcommittee- including the amendments accepted yesterday by going to the website link we are providing below.

In the area of Rural Development: The discussion draft approved by the Subcommittee reauthorizes U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development programs that facilitate the financing of essential infrastructure, including public water and waste disposal systems. It also establishes grant and loan programs for rural healthcare facilities and entrepreneur and microenterprise assistance. The draft changes program eligibility requirements to improve access to broadband telecommunications services in rural areas, and would also establish a National Center for Rural Telecommunications Assessment. Three amendments were approved in the rural development title-
Chairman McIntyre Amendment on criteria to be applied in considering applications for rural development projects
Congressman John Salazar Amendment on comprehensive rural broadband strategy
and Congressman John Barrow Amendment on technology transfer for rural areas.

When it comes to the two specialty crops- we begin with peanuts: The discussion draft reauthorizes the peanut program, extending the direct payment, counter-cyclical payment, and marketing loan provisions contained in the 2002 Farm Bill. The draft increases the loan rate from $355 per ton to $375 per ton and lowers payment acres from 85 percent of base acres to 74 percent. It also extends the planting flexibility provision of the 2002 bill.
In the case of sugar: The current sugar program would be extended until 2012, including the non- recourse loan program and the authority for marketing allotments. The draft requires that the Secretary of Agriculture continue to operate the program at no cost to the Federal government by avoiding forfeitures of sugar.

Click here to be taken to the House Ag Committee Farm Bill Site.

Congrats to Mason Mungle for a job well done!
Tamales, calf fries and more were shared by lot of the key players that represent Oklahoma agricultural interests at the State Capitol last night at the Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association's headquarters as they offered a Bon Voyage to Mason Mungle, who will step down at the end of June from his position as the head of Legislative Affairs for the Oklahoma Farmers Union.

Mungle, in thanking those that he has worked with for more than a decade at the Capitol, urged the groups to continue to find common ground and work closely together on all of the issues that have relevance to the membership that these groups represent. He cited the successful passage of SB 709- the so called Manure Definition bill- as a great example of how agriculture stayed together and got a victory that is not just important to Oklahoma but to the entire country as a new standard that has been put into law of what manure is- and most importantly what it is NOT- it is NOT a hazardous waste.

We plan on sitting down with Mason between now and the end of the month to talk about not just this legislative session- but his tenure as one of the key rural lobbyists at the statehouse in OKC.

Email Me with your Wheat Harvest Reports!
Drop me an email and let me know how you are getting along with harvest.

If you can- include the variety and some of the key numbers as you know them- yield, test weight, moisture and even protein if you have that statistic. Also let us know about the lodging issues that you may be facing- and any mud stories would be of interest as well.

Email me at

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