From: Ron Hays []
Sent: Tuesday, November 20, 2007 06:27
Subject: Oklahoma's Farm News Update
Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Tuesday November 20, 2007!
A service of Cusack Meats, National Livestock Credit Corporation & Midwest Farm Shows
-- Canadian Border is Now Open for Cattle Movement into the US.
-- Thirsty (and everything else!) Wheat!!!
-- NCBA Takes Issue with Packer Ban in Senate Farm Bill
-- Biodiesel and Food Safety Demos Shown at the Latest Advisory Committee Meeting for the Food and Ag Products Center at OSU.
-- Death Tax Relief Offered by Democrat.
-- Big Polled Sale XIII Happens this FRIDAY!
-- Wheat Meets- and Cloned Animals as we check the "Miscellaneous File"

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 National Livestock Credit Corporation as a regular sponsor of our daily email update. National Livestock Credit Corporation works diligently to provide unsurpassed service to their customers in the area of livestock financing. Check out the National Livestock Family of Services website by clicking here.

Another of our sponsors on our daily email service is Cusack Meats, and Al Cusack wants everyone to know that he APPRECIATES Oklahoma's Farmers and Ranchers! You can go to the Cusack website and select some great gift packs of meat for giving- or for yourself! And, our email this morning is also a service of Midwest Farm Shows, producer of the Tulsa Farm Show coming up December 6-8, 2007, as well as the Southern Plains Farm Show in Oklahoma City next spring. 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.

Canadian Border is Now Open for Cattle Movement into the US.
Live cattle movement from Canada is now permitted under the rules issued earlier this year by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It is possible that we could see the door slammed shut again as the activist group R-Calf and some consumer groups have filed for a temporary injunction against the opening in Federal court in South Dakota- hoping to disrupt the flow of cattle once trade resumes.

In its economic analysis, USDA adjusted the annual estimate of older live cattle imports pertaining to the Minimal Risk Rule Two from 657,000 head to only 75,000 beginning in 2008. "Once this rule enters into effect, the primary result is expected to be additional imports of Canadian non-fed beef - rather than live cattle - which will replace lean beef imports from other countries such as New Zealand and Australia," said Gregg Doud, NCBA chief economist.

And Doud tells us that with the strong Canadian dollar versus the Yankee buck- it is now at a premium, older animals for slaughter may be slow in coming south. However, he says it may be a different story for Canadian feeder cattle. "Because of a seven percent swing in the exchange rate during just the past 60 days, the biggest variable entering into play with this rule actually involves the movement of feeder cattle," said Doud. "Even after a $100 per head transportation cost, feeder cattle movement into the United States, mainly from Saskatchewan and Manitoba, could be sizable because of what may be historic differences in the cost of adding a pound of gain in an Alberta feedlot (mid $0.90's/lb. of gain) versus one in Nebraska (mid $0.60's/lb of gain)."

Thirsty (and everything else!) Wheat!!!
The latest Oklahoma Crop Weather Update continues to show we are very very dry as we get deeper into the fall season. In the latest reporting week, "soil moisture continued to decrease with 69 percent of the State's topsoil and 48 percent of the subsoil rated in the short to very short range. Rainfall is needed not only to improve small grain development, and stock pond levels, but also to aid in the number of wildfire outbreaks."

The 2008 Winter wheat crop badly needs a good long drink of water- but still is in remarkable condition considering the small amount of rain that we have had across the state. Statewide, the crop remains fair to good- with 76% of the Oklahoma wheat crop in good to fair shape- the rating if you took only the three Oklahoma Panhandle counties would be far far worse.
In fact, the Texas wheat crop condition probably reflects the ratings in our Panhandle fairly well- as their wheat crop ratings are at 65% fair to poor- and the poor to very poor rating stands at 47% for the Texas wheat crop. The Kansas wheat crop rating is very similar to the Oklahoma rating at 74% fair to good.

Spring planted crops continue to be harvested- 89% of the milo crop is now harvested- ahead of the five year average- 76% of the soybean crop now harvested- still lagging the five year average and the cotton crop is now two thirds of the way harvested- about on track with the average.

Click Here for the current Oklahoma Crop Weather Update.

NCBA Takes Issue with Packer Ban in Senate Farm Bill
Colin Woodall is the Executive Director for Legislative Services for the National Cattlemen's Beef Association (I think most groups give their lobbyists impressive titles so they look important when the receptionist reads their business card to announce them for an appointment!) and we talked with Colin at the just concluded National Association of Farm Broadcasters meeting in Kansas City this past week about the stalled out Farm Bill in the Senate- the why of that and the issue that NCBA has with the Packer Ban on Livestock Ownership that was put in without debate in the Ag Committee by the Chairman of the Committee, Tom Harkin.

Woodall believes that these various populist positions like the packer ban, the tighter payment limits cap and various measures that would reduce the Commodity Title Spending and place money into areas that non farm state lawmakers believe is more beneficial to their districts has greatly slowed down the process of getting a farm bill moving.

Woodall says the cattle industry does not have the votes to pull the Packer Ban out of the Senate Ag Committee bill and it calls that provision "complete disaster" for cattle producers that want the freedom to market their cattle when and to whom they want to. As we reported earlier, it does appear that there is virtually NO interest in that measure among House Ag Conferees- and it will not survive the Conference Committee.

You can hear Colin Woodall's comments today and tomorrow on our Beef Buzz- click below to hear today's edition on the logjam in the Senate and the problem with the Packer Ban. The Beef Buzz is heard on many of our radio stations across the state on the Radio Oklahoma Network.
For the one tenth of one percent of our readers who are not happy that I am reporting on opposition to the Packer Ban- we will have the case for the Packer Ban on the Beef Buzz either this Friday or the first of next week as we talk with Max Thornberry of R-Calf. It is interesting that the Oklahoma Farm Bureau has in its Policy a statement in favor of a Packer Ban on owning livestock- but little or nothing was said on the subject during their annual meeting earlier this month in Oklahoma City.

Click here to listen to Ron and Colin Woodall on today's Beef Buzz

Biodiesel and Food Safety Demos Shown at the Latest Advisory Committee Meeting for the Food and Ag Products Center at OSU.
The Industry Advisory Committee of the Robert M. Kerr Food & Agricultural Products Center on the campus of Oklahoma State University met recently at the FAPC to discuss food and agricultural issues. "The Industry Advisory Committee offers counsel, makes decisions and takes leadership action to ensure the FAPC makes sound short- and long-term plans to accomplish its mission and objectives," said J. Roy Escoubas, FAPC director.

Bill Wiley, chair of the committee and president of Oklahoma Refrigerated Services in Oklahoma City, says "the committee meetings give us an opportunity to see the projects the FAPC faculty and staff are working on and the events that are being planned. The meetings are a good way to keep us informed, so we are able to provide the necessary leadership." During the meeting, the committee members were able to view three demonstrations in the FAPC pilot plant. These demonstrations included the production of biodiesel, formulation of salsa and antimicrobial interventions in food processing.

Members of the committee include Wiley; Danny Dupree, Bar-S Food Co.; John Griffin, Griffin Food Co.; Tommy Kramer, Durant Economic Development Authority; Jill Stichler, Redland Juice Co.; Gary Crane, Ralph's Packing Co.; David Howard, Unitherm Food Systems Inc.; Rodger Kerr, Southwest Technology Center; David McLaughlin, Advance Food Co.; Jay Cowart, Plains Cotton Cooperative Association; Gary Conkling, Producers Cooperative Oil Mill; Paul Schatte, Head Country Bar-B-Q; Charles Nichols, Davison & Sons Cattle Co.; Virgil Jurgensmeyer, J-M Farms; and John Williams, Chef's Requested Foods.
The Advisory Committee is mandated by the State Legislature to provide industry input into the operation and direction of the Center.

Death Tax Relief Offered by Democrat.
North Dakota Representative Earl Pomeroy has introduced legislation that he says will provide immediate estate tax relief that will benefit 99.7 percent of all Americans. Pomeroy's reform plan would immediately raise the estate tax exemption to three million dollars per individual or six million per couple. Then, in 2009, it would raise the exemption to 3.5 million dollars per individual or seven million per couple.

Under current law, the death Tax is completely repealed in 2010 only to revert back to a 55 percent rate and a $1 million exemption in 2011. Pomeroy says - this legislation is fiscally responsible. By reforming the estate tax rather than repealing, Pomeroy claims it will ease the stress on the federal budget as the country prepares for the retirement of the Baby Boomers.

This was one of the more discussed topics during the policy discussion of the Oklahoma Farm Bureau during their annual meeting just held. Delegates did amend their current policy position of calling for full and complete repeal of the Death Tax- still preferred by the group in general to a position that would allow the lobbyists of the group to push at the Federal level for something like Earl Pomeroy is suggesting- a higher exemption than what we have in the works after 2010- but not full repeal. Of course, the agricultural community and others here in Oklahoma were successful in getting a full repeal of the Death Tax at the state level through the Legislature a couple of years back.

Big Polled Sale XIII Happens this FRIDAY!
While consumers rush to the stores for Black Friday this week- cattle producers wanting some of the leading Hereford genetics in the country can do some shopping of their own at the Gray Land and Cattle Company Big Polled Sale Volume XIII- beginning at 1:00 PM this Friday, November 23.

The sale will be held at the Ranch just off I-35 at Waterloo Road north of Oklahoma City- and they will be featuring 50 service age Bulls- EPDs on several key traits and Ultrasound information will be available. Charles and Karen Gray will also be selling 50 Bred Females that are spring calvers bred to low BW(birthweight) trait Hereford Bulls.

I don't have a web site link to give you- but do have two phone numbers for you to call to get more details of the offering that will be sold by Auctioneer Jim Birdwell on Friday- those numbers are 405-341-6861 or 405- 341-7445. You can also email Charles at

Wheat Meets- and Cloned Animals as we check the "Miscellaneous File"
Two dates for your December planner- the Oklahoma Wheat Commission's next board meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, December 19, 2007 at 9:00 A.M., Oklahoma Wheat Commission Conference Room, 800 N.E. 63rd, Oklahoma City.
Meanwhile, the Oklahoma Wheat Growers have set their annual meeting date as Saturday, December 8- once again this year at the Express Events Center on Northwest Highway (State Highway 3) just to the east of County Line Road in northwest Oklahoma City.

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has vetoed legislation that would require the labeling of foods from cloned animals. The California Cloned Food Labeling Act would have allowed labeling, if the technology is approved for use in the nation's food production channels. The food and Drug Administration says labeling of meat and milk products from cloned animals would not be required by federal regulations. Schwarzenegger said he could not sign the bill as it is pre-empted by federal law.

We remind you that Thursday is Thanksgiving- no email that day and we will have a light version planned for Friday of this week to tide you over when it comes to the latest farm and ranch news until next week!

Our thanks to Midwest Farm Shows, Cusack Meats and National Livestock Credit Corporationfor their support of our daily Farm News Update. For your convenience, we have our sponsors' websites linked at the top of the email- check them out and let these folks know you appreciate the support of this daily email, as their sponsorship helps us keep this arriving in your inbox on a regular basis!

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Click here to check out WWW.OklahomaFarmReport.Com

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