From: Ron Hays []
Sent: Monday, October 15, 2007 05:38
Subject: Oklahoma's Farm News Update
Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Monday October 15, 2007!
A service of Farm Credit of East Central Oklahoma, American Farmers and Ranchers & Midwest Farm Shows
-- Cattle Market has given Feeder Cattle Prices a Significant Hair Cut over the last few weeks- so says Dr. Derrell Peel.
-- Disaster Aid Needs to Be Extended to End of 2007- so say more than three dozen lawmakers.
-- Hard and Fast Rains Pelt Oklahoma Sunday Night & Monday Morning.
-- More Details on the Canola Offer by POP!
-- Acres of Cotton in Northern Oklahoma and Kansas Down- But What's There looks Magnificent!
-- Senator Tom Harkin REALLY Wants to Change How the Livestock Industry Works in this Country
-- Death Tax Repeal Fails in House- Congrats to Bill Raun! AND Biofuels Conference Begins Tomorrow!

Howdy Neighbors!

Here's your morning farm news headlines from the Director of Farm Programming for the Radio Oklahoma Network, Ron Hays. We are proud to welcome Farm Credit of East Central Oklahoma as a regular sponsor of our daily email update. Farm Credit of East Central Oklahoma has ten branch offices to serve your farm financing needs and is dedicated to being your first choice for farm credit. Check out their website for more information by clicking here!

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Cattle Market has given Feeder Cattle Prices a Significant Hair Cut over the last few weeks- so says Dr. Derrell Peel.
OSU Extension Livestock Market Economist Dr. Derrell Peel pens the following thoughts about our current feeder cattle market. "The eight-market auction feeder cattle total in Oklahoma this past week was slightly higher than the same week last year at 31,000 head but below the four year average of 37,000 head. Weekly auction runs will be seasonally high from now until Thanksgiving. Typically in Oklahoma at this time of year, it is the status of wheat pasture development relative to those large feeder marketings that determines how much seasonal pressure there will be on feeder prices. The distinct lack of wheat pasture demand this year is translating into lower feeder prices in the face of larger auction totals. In the last month, lightweight feeder prices have dropped $8- 12/cwt. while heavy feeder prices are $4-8/cwt. lower.

"Wheat planting and emergence in the state has advanced rapidly the past week but still lags behind normal for this time period. Most of the western two- thirds of the state has received below normal precipitation in the last thirty days and for many locations the last big rain was the tropical storm that redeveloped over the central part of the state on August 19. The bottom line is that there is not much wheat pasture developing soon and there is increasing odds that much of the wheat will not be grazed at all this winter.

"The lack of wheat pasture means that other forage based growing programs will have increasing opportunities. There is a strong incentive for feeder cattle, especially the lightweight stockers to stay in country and utilize forage. Without wheat pasture, this may mean grazing other cool season forages, stockpiled summer forages, or backgrounding in drylots with harvested forages. Current prices for stocker calves combined with strong feeder cattle futures suggest that it is possible to hedge a gross stocker margin at or above $0.90/pound of gain between now and next March. The question then becomes what sorts of production schemes are possible and what will be the cost of gain. Evaluation of stocker growing programs should consider not only quantity and quality of available forage resources but the cost of supplemental feeds, labor and management requirements, and availability of facilities. It may take some creativity and perhaps some additional work to put together a stocker or retained calf program this winter but it may be worth the effort."

Disaster Aid Needs to Be Extended to End of 2007- so say more than three dozen lawmakers.
Forty-three Members of the House of Representatives wrote to the Chairs of the House Committee on Appropriations and the Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee over the Columbus Day Recess requesting an extension of the deadline for 2007 spring-planted crops to qualify for disaster assistance.

The letter read, in part:
"Many regions of our nation have been hit exceptionally hard by natural disasters this year, placing our nation's farmers and ranchers in a precarious economic position. Severe drought and catastrophic wildfires in the Northwest, drought in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast, freezing temperatures and floods in the Midwest, extreme heat in the Northern Plains, and tropical storms in the Gulf Coast are just some examples of the hardships our nation's agriculture producers are enduring this year.

The letter goes on to say "we respectfully request that you consider including the following provisions in any upcoming emergency supplemental legislation. The current cut-off date for the livestock and crop disaster assistance program is February 28, 2007-we ask the Committee to extend the eligibility date for agriculture disaster aid programs, specifically the Crop Disaster Program, the Livestock Compensation Program, and the Livestock Indemnity Program, to December 31, 2007."

While at least three members of the Kansas delegation signed the letter- including Jerry Moran of the big First District of Western Kansas- none of the Oklahoma Congressional delegation chose to sign this letter. Linked below is the test of the letter and those that signed it.

Click here to review the letter that went to Appropriations Committee Leadership on extending the deadline for Disasters covered under the Disaster Program signed into law earlier this year out to the end of 2007.

Hard and Fast Rains Pelt Oklahoma Sunday Night & Monday Morning.
Some two dozen Oklahoma Mesonet sites reported an inch of rainfall or more Sunday evening into early Monday morning- a lot of that rain came extremely fast and hard, raising some concerns about crop damage. Beyond those locations of more than an inch of rain- a great majority of the Mesonet sites received a half inch of rain or more as well- with only the Panhandle and the western tier of counties in the main body of the state missing out on this rainfall event.

While the rainfall will benefit fall pasture conditions and is generally welcome- it does raise some questions. First, was there any damage to mature cotton fields- especially those fields full of open bolls?
Secondly, were there many wheat fields where farmers had dusted in wheat seed waiting for rainfall and was that seed washed out by the hard and fast rains?

These are questions that will be worked on by extension specialists and others over the next few days- and we may have a few answers by the end of the week. In the meantime, if you want to check on rainfall totals- here is the link to the Oklahoma Mesonet site below. Click on the link- then on the selection "Current Weather" then on the selection "rainfall" and you will see choices including a look at rainfall for today and a rainfall map for yesterday.

Click here for the Oklahoma Mesonet site

More Details on the Canola Offer by POP!
Gene Neuens with Plains Oilseed Producers Coop has dropped us an email telling us a few of the fine print details of the Forward Contracts being offered to farmers who take up their offer of a guaranteed price for the 2008 growing season.

Neuens writes "If a producer wants to delay Payment of canola until a future date they need to tell us when contracting. We will add that to the contract. Payment date will be the second business day after the end of the year. "

"The price that we contract canola for is what they will receive less discounts. The contract is not a minimum price contract. "
The price of Canola is still the same as what we reported about ten days ago- :
$.15 per pound
$15.00 per cwt
$7.50 per Bu.

Acres of Cotton in Northern Oklahoma and Kansas Down- But What's There looks Magnificent!
COTTON YIELD and quality of the 2007 crop in Kansas and northern Oklahoma could be the best yet, according to Dick Cooper, marketing specialist for the Plains Cotton Cooperative Assn., Liberal, Kansas: "We are expecting to harvest 55,000 acres of cotton in Kansas and northern Oklahoma this season, 15,000 irrigated and 40,000 dryland. Yields have the potential to be as good as we have ever had. We started the crop with less than ideal conditions due to excessive rain in the east and very cool temperatures in all areas through June and the first half of July.

"The crop made rapid progress through late July and August with September being nearly perfect for finishing out the crop. We started applying harvest aids in the east in a few fields 10 days ago and the first harvesting was done in the Winfield, Ks., area later in the week.

"Application of boll openers and defoliants will be widespread next week in all areas. Weather permitting, harvesters will be running in all areas in a couple of weeks. At this point, the quality of the crop should be the best we have had due to the introduction of a couple of new varieties planted this year on a large number of acres. Obviously, this will depend on getting the crop harvested without a major weather event."
Our thanks to Vic Schoonover and the folks at NTOK for helping us with this word from our friend Dick Cooper, a fellow member of Class One of the Oklahoma Ag Leadership Program!

Click here for more on the NTOK Coalition.

Senator Tom Harkin REALLY Wants to Change How the Livestock Industry Works in this Country
In an opinion piece, Steve Dittmer blasts Senator Tom Harkin's plans to promote Senate Bill 622 and perhaps include language from it in the 2007 Farm Bill coming out of the US Senate. Dittmer calls it a "convoluted and complicated maze" of rules and regulations that could set the livestock industry back by decades.

Dittmer claims that this measure, if it should become law, would revamp the Packers and Stockyards Act in such a way that "anti-trust suits could be pursued just because someone feels there is a chance of an abuse. What kind of justice requires no proof of injury or offense? "

As I mentioned at the top of this article, Dittmer's report is an opinion piece- but gives you insight into the language that those who want a "Competition Title" inserted into the 2007 Farm Bill are favoring. We have linked Dittmer's article below from his website, Agribusiness Freedom Foundation.

Click here to read more about Senate Bill 622 and one view of how it would impact the livestock business.

Death Tax Repeal Fails in House- Congrats to Bill Raun! AND Biofuels Conference Begins Tomorrow!
As I looked through various news links I had not had a chance to see while in Germany last week, I see that the Death Tax Repeal got further away from ever seeing the light of day with a defeat by the Democrats of the measure last week in the House. From the Blog The Crypt we read "House Republicans failed to slide a repeal of the estate tax onto a debt collection measure Wednesday, despite using some of the legislative chicanery that has proved successful during their time in the minority. Majority Democrats defeated the measure, 212-196, on the shoulder of centrist Democrats who voted against the repeal after repeatedly backing it in past years."
All four of the Republicans in the House from Oklahoma voted in favor of the repeal- Democrat Dan Borden did not vote on this measure last week.

The head of Plant and Soil Sciences at OSU, Dr. David Porter, offers this word on the latest achievement won by Dr. Bill Raun. "Dr. Bill Raun is the 2007 recipient of the prestigious Sakes Distinguished Professor Award in Honor of Elmo Busman. This is a very special honor and a well-deserved recognition of Dr. Raun's expertise, commitment to excellence, and hard work. The Sakes Distinguished Professor Award in Honor of Elmo Busman was established by the Sakes Foundation in 1976. The purpose of the award is to encourage outstanding academic leadership in the faculty of the Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources by recognizing distinctive contributions to the agricultural industry through teaching, research, and/or extension education."

Finally, the link below is the GrowOK website- the official site of the 2007 Oklahoma Biofuels Conference that begins Tuesday in downtown Oklahoma City. We will be covering that for you and hope to see a lot of folks there!

Click here for more on the Oklahoma Biofuels Conference tomorrow and Wednesday in Downtown OKC.

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