From: Ron Hays []
Sent: Sunday, July 22, 2007 09:49
Subject: Oklahoma's Farm News Update
Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Monday July 23, 2007!
A service of Midwest Farm Shows
-- Cattle Herd Expansion on Hold based on Mid Year Cattle Numbers.
-- The Frank Lucas Perspective on HR 2419- the House Ag Committee Farm Bill.
-- Wheat Growers Applaud the House Ag Committee Efforts.
-- Wheat Quality Summit Set for August 14 in Stillwater.
-- Specialty Crop Producers Highly Pleased with $1.7 billion in House Ag Committee Farm Bill
-- For Farmers Who Have Faced Wheat Harvest Hardship- Two meetings to help coming- Enid tomorrow and El Reno next week.
-- One More Wheat Harvest Report even as OSU Releases Wheat Variety Information for the 2007 Crop

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.

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Cattle Herd Expansion on Hold based on Mid Year Cattle Numbers.
We had two reports out from USDA on Friday afternoon- and Dr. Derrell Peel of OSU believes the more important report of the two was the mid-year Cattle Inventory Report. Of that report he writes, "USDA's July 1 Cattle report confirms that herd expansion has stalled in 2007. In fact, the July 1 All Cattle and Calves inventory is down fractionally from last year at 104.8 million head. Perhaps more telling is that the July 1 inventory of beef replacement heifers is down 6 percent from a year ago, indicating that producers are not even trying to expand at this time. The report indicates that the 2007 calf crop is 37.4 million head, also down slightly from 2006. The result is an estimated supply of feeder cattle that is essentially unchanged from one year."

Peel adds "These inventory numbers mean that cattle markets will enjoy relatively tight supply conditions that support prices, not only for the remainder of 2007 but also for 2008 and very likely for 2009 as well. It is possible that herd expansion could pick up slightly in the second half of the year but it would be difficult to see much, if any, increase in herd numbers going into 2008. Producers might begin to save some heifers if hay production increases and drought conditions in the southeast improve from this point on. My sense, however, is that, even in areas where forage conditions are good, there is considerable caution on the part of cow-calf producers. Most all regions have had drought conditions and significant management challenges sometime in the past five years from which many producers are in some stage of recovery. Moreover, uncertainty about ethanol and feed markets; international trade; energy and other input prices; and policy debates have many producers jittery. I still view this as an interruption of the cattle cycle but it appears likely that expansion will proceed slowly in the next 2 to 4 years. Meanwhile, limited cattle supplies will keep cattle prices generally strong albeit with considerable potential for short term volatility. At some point, supplies will be further squeezed when producers begin retaining heifers to expand the cow herd."

"The July 1 Cattle on Feed report shows a reduction in feedlot inventories as well. A total of 10.737 million head of cattle were reported in feedlots with a capacity of 1,000 head or more, down 1 percent for last year. June placements were lower than expected at 1.657 million head, down 15 percent from last year. June marketings were 2.14 million head, down 3 percent from one year ago. The Cattle on Feed report shows continuing impacts of the fed cattle market adjusting to higher feed prices and regional feed supplies. Much of the reduction in placements is in lightweight feeders as feedlots seek to purchase heavier cattle in the face of higher cost of gain. There is a marked difference in the feedlot situation in the Midwest versus the Southern Plains feeding areas. Feedlot inventories in Iowa, South Dakota and Nebraska are higher than last year, up 11, 9 and 3 percent. Meanwhile feedlot inventories in Kansas, Texas, and Oklahoma are down 6, 4 and 4 percent respectively. The Colorado feedlot inventory is also down 4 percent from 2006. The effects of the ethanol phenomenon will continue to ripple through crop and livestock markets for at least another 18 to 24 months before we have a reasonably complete picture of the total impacts."

Another view on these two reports comes from Tom Lefler of Lefler Commodities- click here to listen to Tom's thoughts on the USDA reports.

The Frank Lucas Perspective on HR 2419- the House Ag Committee Farm Bill.
Our own Ed Richards was able to catch up with Oklahoma Congressman Frank Lucas as I continued to finish coverage from Denver of the Mid Year Meeting of the Cattle Industry. The lawmakers tells us that he is pleased with the way that Chairman Colin Peterson simply refused to be sidetracked by a number of factors and pushed HR 2419 to a concluding vote this past Thursday evening around 9 pm.

He is pleased the safety net has been improved some for wheat producers, as he thinks the Revenue option for the counter cyclical program could be valuable for those who grow a crop but get hurt by Mother Nature. He was also pleased that the Direct Payments were preserved by Peterson, although many lawmakers lust for those dollars to apply to their own pet programs.

He thinks that the dollars found for the Specialty Crops will bring that coalition on board with the House Ag Committee bill and lessen the chances of Ron Kind being able to highjack the Farm Bill on the House Floor, when it apparently will be considered as early as this coming Wednesday. We have the full interview linked for your listening pleasure below- click and take a listen.

Click here for Ed and Frank Lucas visit on the House Ag Committee's Farm Bill.

Wheat Growers Applaud the House Ag Committee Efforts.
Right after the conclusion of the House Ag Committee's work passing out their version of the 2007 farm bill, National Association of Wheat Growers President John Thaemert of Kansas offered this statement regarding passage of 2007 Farm Bill language by the House Committee on Agriculture: "I am appreciative of the work done by the House Committee on Agriculture this week, and was glad to see its Members pass its version of the 2007 Farm Bill today by a voice vote. Budget restrictions and pay-go rules passed at the beginning of the year in both chambers put Committee Members, and especially Committee Chairman Collin Peterson (D-Minn.), in the position of having to write a farm bill to address more needs than ever before with less money than even five years ago.

"Over the term of the 2002 Farm Bill, wheat growers have only been able to access one of the three safety net tools, the direct payment. While we are disappointed that an increase in the direct payment was not possible, wheat growers certainly understand tight budgets and economic compromises. We appreciate all the work Members did to increase equity among the commodities with the limited resources they had at their disposal.

"This compromise was produced by those in the House most intimately related to the structure and needs of the agriculture industry. We certainly hope that Members outside of the Committee on Agriculture will recognize the reforms and sacrifices made in this compromise and join with their agricultural brethren to support the Committee product on the floor of the House when it comes to a vote."

Click here to go to our front page on our website- we have links to about ten groups' reactions to the 2007 Farm Bill passed out of the House Ag Committee. Scroll down below the Windmills and Combines Picture for that list in Today's Ag News section

Wheat Quality Summit Set for August 14 in Stillwater.
With planting season just around the corner, producers are making decisions on what varieties to plant. High yields and test weights are important factors to the producer when choosing which varieties to plant, but good end-use quality should also be a consideration. The Wheat Quality Summit, hosted by Plains Grains, Inc. and OSU's Food and Ag Products Center (FAPC), is designed to help producers understand how quality is determined once wheat moves through the supply chain from the elevator to the milling and baking industry.

To be competitive in the global market, it is important that the U. S. wheat industry delivers a quality product to the customer. The Wheat Quality Summit will help the producer understand what quality means to the milling and baking community and how that quality is affected by the varieties they plant.

The 2007 WQS is on Tues., Aug. 14 at the FAPC in Stillwater, Okla. Sign-in, coffee, and donuts will be from 8:30 -9:00 followed by morning speakers and afternoon tours. Lunch will be provided and there is no charge for attending. For more information on the agenda and for registration, you can call Karen Smith at 405-744-6071 by Friday, August 10th- or check out the link that we for you below.

Click here for more information on the Wheat Quality Summit August 14 in Stillwater

Specialty Crop Producers Highly Pleased with $1.7 billion in House Ag Committee Farm Bill
The Specialty Crop Farm Bill Alliance (SCFBA), a national coalition of more than 120 specialty crop organizations, announced that specialty crop producers are set to receive $1.7 billion over five years, due to the passage of the Farm Bill out of the U.S. House Agriculture Committee. This is a great achievement for specialty crop producers. The first draft of the Farm Bill offered much less, $685 million over five years for specialty crop producers. This $1 billion increase in funding is a clear sign that House leaders have recognized the crucial role specialty crop producers play in the agricultural economy.

A spokesman for the Specialty crop alliance issued the following statement on Friday about their inclusion within the farm bill written by the House Ag Committee.

"Specialty crop producers account for nearly half of all cash crop receipts in America. Throughout this debate, we have supported improving the competitive environment for all producers with a focus on producing a safer, healthier and more nutritious food supply. The passage of this Farm Bill in the House Agriculture Committee represents a great start and a strong investment by recognizing the priorities of specialty crop producers. We appreciate the leadership of Congressman Dennis Cardoza, Chairman Collin Peterson and Speaker Nancy Pelosi and their advocacy for our priorities. We look forward to enhancing the investment for specialty crop producers in the U.S. Senate."

For Farmers Who Have Faced Wheat Harvest Hardship- Two meetings to help coming- Enid tomorrow and El Reno next week.
Many farmers who felt they had a fair to excellent wheat crop to harvest this year ended up with little or no wheat at all, thanks to a combination of freeze, disease and excessive rain. There will be a lot of meetings that Extension and USDA officials will have in the days to come to offer some practical advice and help for those impacted. Two of those meetings have been brought to our attention- one tomorrow in Enid and another planned for El Reno on August 2. I don't have phone numbers available as I type this- but if you more information on the Enid meeting, check with Don Roberts at the Autry Tech Center and for the El Reno meeting- contact Brad Tipton in El Reno at the OSU Extension Center. And- you might check with your local Extension agent to see if there are similar meetings planned for your immediate locale.

Don Roberts, the farm business management coordinator for Autry Technology Center in Enid, has coordinated an important meeting a week from today at the vocational technical center to hopefully help sort through the fallout. It is a coordinated effort with the OSU Extension Service, the Farm Service Agency, Rural Community Insurance Services and area lenders offering an update on crop insurance, national and state disaster assistance and low-interest loans, and cropping options for 2008. The two-hour morning meeting will be held from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Rural Community Insurance Services field representative Justin Hayes, will give a crop insurance update. This is a great opportunity for one-stop shopping on the question of what assistance is available and where we go from here. This meeting is set for the Autry Technology Center in Enid in Room 22 beginning at 8 am.

The Canadian County meeting is planned for August 2 and Brad Tipton gives us this rundown on this event. "We are having a USDA Outreach Meeting on August 2nd which includes a pesticide container recycling event (containers must be free of chemical residues), 5 free surface and 5 free subsoil soil tests for farmer's fields being planted to wheat this fall, we will give out copies of this year's OSU Wheat Variety Trial results, discussions on our new Prescribed Burn Association, and talks by county NRCS and FSA personnel on things going on with USDA. In order to obtain the 5 free surface and 5 free subsoil soil tests, wheat growers must attend the meeting on August 2nd at the Canadian County Fairgrounds in El Reno which begins at 9:00. Due to the excessive rains we are accepting soil samples brought to the meeting. Pesticide Container Recycling begins at 8:00 am and runs until after the free lunch is served."

One More Wheat Harvest Report even as OSU Releases Wheat Variety Information for the 2007 Crop
OSU State Wheat Specialist Dr. Jeff Edwards released the 2007 Small Grains Variety Trial information from this incredible 2007 growing season. This report is all about being "just the facts" with no recommendations of one variety over another. I did do a very basic ranking of the varieties across the state and it shows four varieties that rise to the top when you look at all of these locations- K-State's Fuller wheat was the top performer across the state this state followed by three OSU varieties- Duster, O.K. Bullet and Endurance. Those results might have changed if the four sites that could not be harvested had been- so be aware that this ranking is strictly mine- and is a broad overview and not down to the plot closest to you- which matters probably more than the broad overview does.

At almost the same time that we received the word from Jeff Edwards that the wheat variety trial information was available- we got a wheat harvest report from a farm couple that live near Garber. They finished their harvest on Friday, July 20- at least one month later than normal. This farmer shares with us "I cut a 70 acre field of Jagalene and 50 acres of Overly. These had been sprayed for weeds last fall, leaf rust, army worms,and again for weeds about a week ago in order to get a combine through it. The Jagalene weighed 51 and yielded 24, the Overly 48 and 23. Amazing! I am not an "old timer" as I have only been farming for 36 years,but I have never spent so much money nor fought as hard to get a crop in. I am a firm believer in keeping a combine in the shed when not in use. I could have left it sit outside the past 2 years and had less rain fall on it than what fell in the last 6 weeks.(38 inches)."

Back to the Variety information for 2007- we have it linked on our website for you to review. Hopefully, it will give me a little bit of food for thought about varieties to diversify into for the 2007-2008 growing season.

Click here for the 2007 OSU Wheat Variety Trial Report

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