From: Ron Hays []
Sent: Saturday, December 15, 2007 00:29
Subject: Oklahoma's Farm News Update
Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Monday December 17, 2007!
A service of National Livestock Credit Corporation, American Farmers and Ranchers & Midwest Farm Shows
-- Senate Passes Farm Bill 79-14
-- Acting Secretary Conner Decidedly Negative on the Senate Farm Bill!
-- The 2007 Senate Farm Bill- what folks are saying...
-- The Head of the Oklahoma Grain and Feed Association Says Get Ready to Top Dress!!!
-- Multi State Cattle Conference Planned for Next Month!
-- U.S. to Supply 1/3 of Global Wheat Imports; Stocks Fall to Record Low
-- Beef Exports Have Jumped 19% Higher in 2007 versus 2006!

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!!!

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Senate Passes Farm Bill 79-14
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada kept looking at the clock and then at the stack of work left to be done by the Senate- and then at the bickering over amendments to the Farm Bill- and finally, he decided to blow the whistle and tell everyone to get out of the pool!!! He called for an immediate cloture vote on Thursday evening- one Washington insider told me that it looked like the Democrats that were wanting reform looked at how the votes were going on Thursday and decided it was time to take what had already been won- and get out of Dodge. Reid calls for cloture- and a relieved group of Senators embrace that effort and it passes easily.

Reid then declares Friday morning-again- that we will finish the farm bill on Friday. In the backroom, Harkin and Chambliss argue over what is germane and what is headed for the garbage heap- they keep arguing as Reid calls the remaining items "minor issues" and then Friday after lunch, the Senate approves a Manager package and then hold the final vote- the relief factor is evident with the tally of the final vote- 79- 14.

Harkin, Chambliss, Conrad and few others jump to the microphone afterwards and praise the measure to the high heavens- we have an audio overview of that praise linked below- that a lot of other farm bill related stuff is on our farm bill page at WWW.OklahomaFarmReport.Com

Click here for the Congressional React to the Senate passage of the Farm Bill.

Acting Secretary Conner Decidedly Negative on the Senate Farm Bill!
Acting Secretary of Agriculture Chuck Conner did not have any good things to say about the final bill that passed the US Senate on Friday afternoon- perhaps the only good thing that Conner pointed out was the fact that there could be some improvements in the Conference Committee- assuming the lawmakers craft the policy the way the Administration is demanding- especially in two areas.

The two areas include how Congress proposes to pay for a lot of the extra goodies they have wrapped up in this farm bill proposal- Conner says the Senate is using lots of tax gimmicks in order to cover their costs- and that is totally unacceptable. Perhaps an even bigger line in the sand has been drawn by Conner over how big of an AGI disqualifies you for farm program payments. Listen to the audio cut that we have linked below as Conner elaborates on what he is demanding in these two areas.

Conner told reporters on Friday afternoon that the Administration is really not happy with either one of the Congressional Farm Bills- House or Senate. He insists that the Bush Administration has the inside track on the "right" policy for agriculture- based on the listening sessions they held around the country. How zealous Conner and the White House play this will be a factor as to when or if we get a farm law in the first quarter of 2008.

Click here for Chuck Conner's comments on the farm bill- and what the priorities are to fix it (in the opinion of USDA)

The 2007 Senate Farm Bill- what folks are saying...
We have a few groups that are not satisfied with the Senate Farm Bill performance- for example Ken Cook of the Environmental Working Group is calling the reform talked about by lawmakers a "sham" and says that "when politicians say this bill is going to significantly curb excessive subsidy payments to the wealthy, they're lying."

A more positive attitude has been assumed by the American Farm Bureau. President of AFBF Bob Stallman says "This legislation contains important provisions for all sectors of agriculture, including expanded marketing programs to encourage the consumption of fruits and vegetables, incentives for beginning farmers and ranchers and provisions to promote the production of home-grown renewable fuels. The bill also meets the needs of more of America's farmers by providing new funding for specialty crop research, conservation and pest and disease programs."

The National Cotton Council was a little more narrow in their praise- heaping most of it on southern lawmakers Saxby Chambliss of Georgia and Arkansas lawmaker Blanche Lincoln, who perhaps came out as the brightest farm state star in this debate- as she was very capable in holding her own in discussions over the AGI and Payment Limit Caps. We have a whole list of groups that have statements on the Senate Farm Bill- click below to be taken to our Farm Bill page to see the groups that interest you.

Click here on the Farm Bill page of WWW.OklahomaFarmReport.Com

The Head of the Oklahoma Grain and Feed Association Says Get Ready to Top Dress!!!
Joe Neal Hampton, President of both the Oklahoma Grain and Feed Association as well as the Oklahoma Agribusiness Retailers Association is urging OSU Extension to look at an educational effort right away to convince farmers that it is NOT too expensive to top dress your wheat this winter.

Joe Neal writes "Unfortunately, I keep hearing from producers they can't afford to top dress at the current high fertilizer prices. What they are failing to see is the comparison on the "bottom line" , such as 25 cent/lb Nitrogen and $3 wheat of years past versus 55 cent/lb Nitrogen and $8 wheat [new crop price]. Another issue is the fact that the Nitrogen needs to be applied well before the plant begins to come out of dormancy for maximum production utilization. After Nitrogen is applied via topdressing, it needs moisture to move it to the root zone and break down into available Nitrogen to the plant. This process doesn't happen overnight. The Nitrogen needs to be AVAILABLE to the plant when it "takes off in mid February. Waiting until mid February to top dress is NOT the best bang for the buck."

Hampton adds "With this recent moisture, once it dries out it will be a PERFECT time to begin top dressing. After all, by this time we will likely be less than 60 days away from the plant beginning to put on tillers. Let's get the education effort to the producer before he misses this opportunity to potentially maximize his bottom line."
We'll be checking with OSU officials to see what plans they might have to offer up this type of emphasis.

Multi State Cattle Conference Planned for Next Month!
Cattle producers looking to increase operational efficiency should register now to attend the 2008 KOMA Beef Cattle Conference and Trade Show Jan. 16 in Dewey. The program is designed to provide the latest information on production, marketing, management, nutrition and health, said Kent Barnes, Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service area livestock specialist. "We'll be discussing critical issues that producers need to understand and think about as they chart a course to compete and grow their businesses," Barnes said. The KOMA conference is a joint effort by the Cooperative Extension services of Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Arkansas, and will take place from 12:30 p.m. to early evening at the Washington County Fairgrounds. A very similar program will be repeated a few days later in a January 22nd session at the Joplin Regional Stockyards in southeastern Missouri.

A registration fee of $15 per person is required and must be received by the Washington County Extension Office no later than Jan. 8. Persons registering at the door will pay $20. "We ask everyone planning to attend to pre-register as soon as possible to help us in preparing sufficient numbers of conference materials, refreshments and meals for the catered dinner," said Randy Pirtle, Washington County Extension director and agricultural educator. Registration forms are available through all OSU Extension Service county offices. The mailing address for the Washington County Extension Office is located on the registration form.

Sessions will include traffic regulations affecting agriculture trucks and trailers, strategic thinking for operations, agro-terrorism, raising cattle that grow well but eat less and an examination of fescue toxicosis and heat stress in cattle. Conference sessions will be led by the Oklahoma Highway Patrol; Marcine Moldenhauer, assistant vice president of Cargill Beef, Wichita, Kan.; Dona Funk, University of Missouri Cooperative Extension area livestock specialist; Don Spiers, University of Missouri associate professor of environmental physiology; and Dr. Dave Sparks, veterinarian and OCES area food- animal quality and health specialist. Additional information on the KOMA conference is available by contacting Pirtle at 918-534-2216.

Our guest on the Monday Beef Buzz is Kent Barnes, OSU area livestock specialist for northeastern Oklahoma- and he tells us about this four state cattle conference- click below to take a listen to today's Beef Buzz, a regular feature of the Radio Oklahoma Network.

Click here to listen to Ron and Kent on the Monday Beef Buzz!

U.S. to Supply 1/3 of Global Wheat Imports; Stocks Fall to Record Low
Joe Sowers, the U.S. Wheat Associates Senior Market Analyst, tells us that In its World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates release this week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture increased the forecast for U.S. wheat exports to 1,175 million bushels, the highest level since 1995/96. With production problems limiting supplies in every major exporter, U.S. wheat exports are expected to account for 31 percent of global trade - an outcome that will squeeze ending stocks down to bare minimums and sustain record high wheat prices.

Sowers says "As wheat buyers turn to the U.S., USDA predicts U.S. exports will grow 257 mbu (29 percent) above last year and exceed domestic use for the first time since 1995/96. Export sales in the first half of the marketing year (June 1 to Dec. 6) were brisk with the U.S. selling 1,053 mbu or 90 percent of exportable supplies. The large jump in exports will leave the U.S. with its tightest wheat supply since 1947. U.S. production in 2007/08 was 73 mbu below the 10-year average and beginning stocks were 220 mbu below average. USDA projects stocks at the end of the marketing year will fall to 279 mbu, which is 404 MMT below the 10- year average. The U.S. will hold only 24 percent of its annual domestic use, our lowest stocks-to-use ratio since records were first kept in 1934."

The tight supply situation has spurred U.S. prices to new highs. USDA estimates the annual average farm gate price will rise to a record $6.60 per bushel, up from $4.26 last year and $3.42 in 2005/06. Here in Oklahoma, local elevator bids of Hard Red Winter Wheat drove higher again this past week- and now sit well above $9.00 per bushel. We have the local elevator prices linked below- courtesy of the USDA and ODAFF.

Click here to review where current wheat prices are for old crop supplies.

Beef Exports Have Jumped 19% Higher in 2007 versus 2006!
U.S. beef exports, including variety meats, increased 19 percent in volume to 639,549 metric tons and 30 percent in value to $2.172 billion compare to a year ago, according to USDA statistics compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation. This is for the from January through October time period of 2007. Beef muscle cut exports increased 26 percent in volume over a year ago in the January-October period to 385,724 metric tons valued at $1.669 billion (up 34 percent).

Mexico is still the largest market for U.S. beef (including variety meat), despite a 3 percent decline in volume to 298,407 metric tons in the January-October period versus a year ago. The value of those exports rose 3 percent to $993.44 million. Exports to Canada, the second largest market for all U.S. beef products, increased 34 percent to 106,353 metric tons valued at $486.53 million (up 37 percent) through October.

Japan remains the third largest market by value despite the 20-month age restriction, with exports of all beef products reaching 39,775 metric tons valued at $206.28 million. We have linked the complete report below- we are slowly recovering what we once had before the Cow that stole Christmas in December 2003.

Click here for the full Beef Export Update from USMEF

Our thanks to Midwest Farm Shows, American Farmers and Ranchers Mutual Insurance 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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