From: Ron Hays []
Sent: Thursday, November 29, 2007 06:47
Subject: Oklahoma's Farm News Update
Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Thursday November 29, 2007!
A service of National Livestock Credit Corporation, American Farmers and Ranchers & Midwest Farm Shows
-- State Climatological Survey Says- the Weather Is Changing!
-- Beef Produced with Hormones and Grain- GOOD for the Environment!!!
-- Statewide Water Meetings Net Wide Range of Comments About Water Priorities in Oklahoma.
-- Congrats to Dr. Jeff Edwards- our State Wheat Specialist!
-- US Wheat Delighted with Change in Government in Australia- Changes in the AWB MAY be Coming.
-- Have we had expansion in the US cattle herd in 2007???
-- Quick Notes- "I Got a Secret", Energy Bill About Ripe" and OALP to the Olympics???

Howdy Neighbors!

Here's your morning farm news headlines from the Director of Farm Programming for the Radio Oklahoma Network, Ron Hays. American Farmers and Ranchers Mutual Insurance Company is a regular sponsor of our daily update- click here to go to their NEW AFR web site to learn more about their efforts to serve rural America!!!

We are proud to also 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. 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.

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State Climatological Survey Says- the Weather Is Changing!
At the Oklahoma Ag Expo yesterday in Oklahoma City, Al Sutherland with the Oklahoma Mesonet summarized the recent findings of the Oklahoma Climatological Survey that has concluded that climate change is real- and we need to anticipate what changes we face for Oklahoma agriculture.

The OCS says we should expect in the years to come three impacts from the warming of the earth- warmer summers, warmer winters and variable levels of precipitation. Warmer summers will produce more heat waves, increased drought frequency and intensity as well as increased wildfire risk.

Warmer winters should mean a longer growing season in the state- but also an increase in late freeze vulnerability. One additional impact of warmer winters may be fewer cold-air outbreaks and extreme temperatures. The crop that might be at greatest risk because of the late freeze events may be winter wheat if we have mild winters that allow it to break dormancy earlier and advance to a stage where a late freeze can do significant damage- just like we had in 2007.

Finally, the variability in precipitation may mean longer periods between precipitation events which can lend itself to the need for an increased need at times for watering and irrigation, increased precipitation intensity which can up the risk of flooding.

Click here to access the OCS Statement on Climate Change.

Beef Produced with Hormones and Grain- GOOD for the Environment!!!
Pound-for-pound, beef produced with grains and growth hormones produces 40% less greenhouse gas emissions and saves two-thirds more land for nature compared to organic grass-fed beef. To reach these startling conclusions, analysts at the Hudson Institute's Center for Global Food Issues used beef production models from Iowa State University's Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture and greenhouse gas emissions estimates from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (UN IPCC).

The one page summary of the report that we have linked below concludes that "Grain feeding combined with growth promotants also results in a nearly 40 percent reduction in greenhouse gases (GHGs) per pound of beef compared to grass feeding (excluding nitrous oxides), with growth promotants accounting for fully 25 percent of the emissions reductions. In short, growth promoting implants safely and responsibly allow humanity to produce more beef from less feed, using less land, and creating less waste."

The report was prepared by Dennis Avery- a long time proponent of modern agricultural practices. Avery is the Director of the Center for Global Food Issues at the Hudson Institute. You gotta love their motto- "Growing more per acre leaves more for nature."

Click here to read the summary of the study prepared by Dennis Avery of the Hudson Institute

Statewide Water Meetings Net Wide Range of Comments About Water Priorities in Oklahoma.
At the Oklahoma Ag Expo yesterday, Kyle Arthur of the Oklahoma Water Resources Board told atendees that they received over 2000 comments during the series of 42 local water meetings all across the state here in 2007. He says they heard just about everything you can imagine when it comes to water policy.

Arthur says the two most consistent themes they heard brought forward by citizens at these meetings- One-the need, especially in eastern Oklahoma, to recognize the importance of recreation as we look at our water supplies and then Two- the debate over whether we should move water "out of basin" either inside state borders or beyond .

He tells us that there will be a series of eleven regional meetings that will followup on these comments and try to distill down the comments made from local meetings in each of those regions- those meetings likely to happen by early summer 2008. He also tells us that they will be seeking up to 30 individuals per region to set on a committee to help formulate the water priorities for that region to be taken up to the state level later in the process.
This sounds like an excellent chance for agricultural interests to get plugged into each of these regions and make a difference as these plans begin to evolve.
We have our audio conversation with Kyle Arthur linked below for you to take a listen to- it's an interesting story that has incredible impact on the future of agriculture in our state!!!

Click here to listen to Ron and Kyle Arthur of the OWRB from the Oklahoma Ag Expo.

Congrats to Dr. Jeff Edwards- our State Wheat Specialist!
It was a three-for-one nationwide deal for Oklahoma State University's Jeff Edwards when he was honored by the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America and Soil Science Society of America in November. Edwards, Cooperative Extension small grains specialist with the OSU Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, received the 2007 ASA-CSSA-SSSA Early Career Professional Award, recognizing his "outstanding contributions to crop science through national and international service, education and research."

An assistant professor in the department, Edwards' programs focus mainly on grain-only and dual- purpose wheat production in the southern Great Plains states, with particular emphasis on reduced and no-tillage production systems. Edwards holds a 75 percent Extension and 25 percent research appointment in the division, which is comprised of the OSU College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources and two statewide agencies: the Oklahoma Agricultural Experiment Station system and the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service.

Specific Extension duties include developing and promoting the use of new technologies, management of small grains variety trials at more than 20 research locations, publication of the OSU Wheat Production Newsletter, increasing farmer adoption of sensor- based nitrogen recommendations, integrated pest management, management of dual-purpose wheat and the development of informative materials of new variety releases. His research efforts focus on the identification and characterization of the physiological parameters most important for fall forage production by winter wheat; quantification and modeling of small grains in a dual- purpose environment; alternative rotational crops for Oklahoma; general wheat management practices such as seeding rate, nitrogen rate and timing; and optimal timing of cattle removal from wheat pasture.

We did catch up with Dr. Edwards at the Oklahoma Ag Expo yesterday- and we will be sharing some of his thoughts on going for the yield in wheat production in the next day or so here in our daily farm news update.

US Wheat Delighted with Change in Government in Australia- Changes in the AWB MAY be Coming.
In their latest weekly Wheat export newsletter, the export arm of the US wheat industry, US Wheat Associates, believes that the end of the single desk export monopoly Down Under may be in sight. "U.S. wheat growers are a lot closer to fair and open competition in the world wheat market after Australia's Labor Party, led by Kevin Rudd, defeated Prime Minister John Howard's Liberal Party in parliamentary elections on November 24. Labor promised to end more than 60 years of wheat export monopoly control in the wake of a wheat trading scandal involving the export State Trading Enterprise AWB International that, in Labor's words, "exposed the failures of the current export marketing arrangements."

The U.S. wheat industry believes export State Trading Enterprises like AWB and the Canadian Wheat Board (CWB) inherently distort world wheat trade and has been working at the direction of producer leaders to remove these free trade barriers. AWB and CWB can and do use their monopoly power to set different prices than an open market would have otherwise dictated for different markets, often using U.S. wheat prices as a benchmark. That ability artificially affects the true value of wheat, usually at the expense of all producers and sometimes at the expense of buyers. "Competition works for wheat growers and buyers," says USW President Alan Tracy. "Assuming Australia's new government fulfills its promise, this change will definitely improve the way the world wheat market functions and help create new market opportunities for U.S. growers."

Tracy has often repeated a key point that the U.S. wheat industry has never had an issue with Australian or Canadian growers. In spite of the fact that the U.S. competes head-to-head in wheat export markets, he says the issue has always been with the trade distorting power of the export monopoly. "We know change doesn't come easily, but we believe Australian and, we hope, Canadian growers will eventually welcome the freedom to sell their grain whenever and to whomever they choose," he says.

Have we had expansion in the US cattle herd in 2007???
The short answer is "probably not." We talk about this with Kansas State Livestock Market Economist Dr. Jim Mintert on today's Beef Buzz as Mintert has been busy looking at cow slaughter this year- along with the heifer numbers that have gone to the packer as well.

He believes those numbers suggest that we have not had much if any expansion in the US cattle herd this year- and that will be borne out in the next cattle inventory report that we will get in early 2008.

We also talked with Dr. Mintert about the reopening of the Canadian border that allows older Canadian cattle into the US- and he sees minimal impact on those cows coming across the border- he sees more impact from feeder cattle coming in to be fed in the United States- especially with the Canadian dollar now at a premium to the Yankee greenback. You can hear Jim Mintert on our Thursday Beef Buzz by clicking on the link below- check it out.

Click here to listen to Ron and Jim on today's Beef Buzz!

Quick Notes- "I Got a Secret", Energy Bill About Ripe" and OALP to the Olympics???
Some quick notes as we wrap up this morning and get this to you- Washington sources are telling us that Colin Peterson, the Chairman of the House Ag Committee, has a plan on how he will pay for the all the above the budget baseline spending in the 2007 Farm Bill- but it's a secret and he won't be telling folks about it until the Conference Committee gets rolling. Hmmm- a secret in Washington- sounds like the Sci- Fi channel to me.

Not only is there talk about getting the Farm Bill back on the floor of the Senate this coming week- there is talk that the Energy Bill may be coming back to life and we could see a final package assembled that will include as much as a 20.5 billion gallon renewable fuel standard- five billion gallons of that to be "advanced biofuels" such as cellulosic-based ethanol.

Finally, details are still being worked on- but Class 13 of the Oklahoma Ag Leadership Program is headed to China in February- and there are efforts to include a stop at the still being constructed Olympic village- because there is an Oklahoma agricultural tie-in! More on that as it all falls into place.
As always, we appreciate your kind words about this daily adventure that I put together and send to you. When you have news ideas or groups that you are involved in have meetings coming- be sure and drop me a note and get me the information. Be my eyes and ears out across the state- I need your help! AND- pass this email on to folks who you think might find it useful and invite them to sign up- the more the merrier!

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