From: Ron Hays []
Sent: Wednesday, December 19, 2007 20:29
Subject: Oklahoma's Farm News Update
Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Thursday December 20, 2007!
A service of National Livestock Credit Corporation, American Farmers and Ranchers & Midwest Farm Shows
-- President Bush Signs the Energy Bill- NCBA Disappointed Over the RFS.
-- Winter Canola Crop Now in the ground- Looking Pretty Good!
-- WTO Rips US efforts to Line Up Cotton Program to Comply with Brazilian Victory.
-- Premise Registration Reaches 50% in Nebraska- as it has in several other states.
-- Oklahoma Ag Enhancement and Diversification Grant and Loan Deadline is January 2!
-- Cattle on Feed Expected to Show Higher Placements for Third Month in a Row.
-- Omnibus Spending Bill Does Include Extension to March of 2002 Farm Law.

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 just concluded Tulsa Farm Show, 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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President Bush Signs the Energy Bill- NCBA Disappointed Over the RFS.
After the Senate came up with a compromise they could live with last week of the Energy Bill- the House quickly steps up and accepts the Senate language and President Bush completed the circle yesterday and signed the bill into law. The energy legislation mandates that 36 billion gallons of renewable fuels be produced by 2022. Fifteen billion gallons of fuel are to come from grain-based sources such as corn.

The current Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) calls for production of 7.5 billion gallons by 2012 - significantly more manageable than the 36 billions gallons mandated by the new bill. Members of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) adopted policy to oppose increasing this government mandate. "We're not saying, 'let's hit the breaks' on ethanol production. We're saying, 'let's take our foot off the gas' when it comes to increasing the mandate even more," says Jay Truitt, NCBA's vice president of government affairs. "Allow the marketplace to become a factor in the growth of this industry, and allow the livestock sectors' concerns to be considered."

Proponents of the new RFS say the U.S. ethanol boom is paving the way toward energy independence and will help wean America off of Middle Eastern oil. Yet according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the United States gets the majority of its petroleum from Canada and Mexico. "Renewable energy has drawn a lot of attention in the political arena, but the gravity of this issue demands more than campaign sound bites and stump speeches," says Truitt. "Energy independence is a mutual goal for all of us. But it should be market driven and it should be sustainable." Cattle producers are especially critical of the failure by Congress to impose any sort of mechanism to reduce the mandate in the event of a short corn crop.

"We have seen the impacts of drought and other natural disasters on prices and supplies in the past," said Truitt. "What happens to the needs of traditional users of corn if we simply don't have enough corn to meet this mandate? With corn prices trading above $4.00 for the foreseeable future, the livestock industry is facing some significant adjustments now that the government has stepped into the marketplace."

Winter Canola Crop Now in the ground- Looking Pretty Good!
Michael Marlow of Monsanto is keeping in touch with Winter Canola growers across Oklahoma as we watch the canola planted this fall take root and grow. He tells us that there are about 30,000 acres of winter canola that have been planted this fall- less than had been hoped for- but still a solid move up in the effort to build a base for canola production in the state.

There were plenty of challenges this past summer and fall in getting canola accepted by producers- change is always tough and with high wheat prices and limited moisture as we hit the planting window- many backed away from giving canola a try in 2007.

Marlow tells us that the educational efforts will continue in 2008- and that they will start earlier with grower meetings and field days planned so that anyone interested will be able to see the canola as it develops this coming spring. Marlow is hopeful that a lot of yellow fields will create interest across the Oklahoma wheat belt in the first half of 2008- as he sees canola as a great companion to better wheat production in Oklahoma as well as portions of Kansas and Texas. You can listen to our conversation with Michael Marlow by clicking below

Click here to listen to Ron and Michael talk winter canola.

WTO Rips US efforts to Line Up Cotton Program to Comply with Brazilian Victory.
The Compliance Panel of the WTO says that the US has not reformed and cut back our cotton subsidy program enough to satisfy the ruling made against our cotton program back in 2004. In response, the National Cotton Council has issued a statement saying "this ruling is unfortunate, does not adequately consider the changes in the U.S. cotton program that were made, and is inconsistent with both the current world cotton market situation and the U.S. cotton program's current operation."

The NCC emphasized that while U.S. cotton acreage is the lowest since 1989, acreage is up in many major- producing countries around the world. Payments under the U.S. cotton marketing loan for 2006 are down more than 40 percent from 2004 and are expected to be zero in 2007. The international cotton market is strong, demand is exceeding production, world prices are up, and exports in countries such as India and Brazil are dramatically rising. Cotton production outside the U.S. mushroomed to 100 million bales in 2006 and is hovering near record levels for 2007. India is harvesting an all-time record crop and has dramatically increased their exports. In addition to the changes already undertaken by the United States, the farm bills passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate both contain reductions in the U.S. cotton program.

The Cotton Council has detailed in their news release the specifics of what they say is wrong with how the WTO has approached this case- and we have that linked below for you. Click and take a look at the NCC's claims against the WTO.

Click here for the NCC Case against the WTO.

Premise Registration Reaches 50% in Nebraska- as it has in several other states.
Nebraska has become the 10th state in the Union to reach the halfway point in premise registration. That's the word from USDA's Animal and Plan Health Inspection Service. Nebraska joins Idaho, Indiana, Michigan, Nevada, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Utah and Wisconsin. Nationwide, APHIS has recorded more than 426-thousand premises registered.

Under Secretary of Agriculture Bruce Knight says - as the number of registered premises continues to grow, it emphasizes the growing support for animal identification. Knight applauded - these producers for making a choice that is crucial to the health and economic well-being of commercial livestock and poultry industries in the United States.

Compared to Nebraska and the other states that have hit the 50% level- Oklahoma is lagging behind- State Secretary of Agriculture Terry Peach tells me we are only at 11% of our premises now registered- we do have a big mailing going out right after the first of the year that will go to most cattle producers- and will hopefully help with the effort in the Sooner state.

For more on the Premise ID efforts in the state of Oklahoma- click here for info on Locate in 48!

Oklahoma Ag Enhancement and Diversification Grant and Loan Deadline is January 2!
Grant and loan application deadline for the next Oklahoma Agricultural Enhancement and Diversification program is January 2, 2008. State agriculture officials are urging all producers with innovative ideas to apply. Agricultural diversification grants of up to $5,000 are available as well as interest-free loans in three categories: Cooperative Marketing Loans, Marketing and Utilization Loans, and Basic and Applied Research Loans. Loans may not be used to purchase land, buildings or equipment. Eligible expenses include feasibility studies, business plans, legal expenses, consultant fees, product development and marketing.

"This is a great opportunity for anyone interested in diversifying their current operations or entering some form of value-added or marketing venture," said Rick Maloney, Marketing Director for the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food, and Forestry. "We're hoping to begin the New Year with some great new applications for this program."

For more information contact Jason Harvey at (405) 522-5563. And we have the link to the ODAFF below at the page where more information is available on these grants. You will see the link in the middle of the page for the Oklahoma Agriculture Enhancement and Diversification program- click there for the forms you will need to fill out.

Click here for info on the Innovative Grants to be Handed Out in 2008 by the ODAFF.

Cattle on Feed Expected to Show Higher Placements for Third Month in a Row.
The Allendale folks are saying they anticipate more cattle were placed into the nation's feedlots during November of 2007 than last November- and that will be seen in Friday's Cattle on Feed Report out tomorrow from USDA at 2 pm Central time.

"Placements were up for the third month in a row. Cattle placed in November will be marketed from April through August 2008. Cattle are being kept off high value wheat pasture in the southern plains. Lower Marketings suggests some market ready cattle were not moved due to falling prices. However, they would have been lower than last year anyway as November 2006 Marketings were up 5.6%.

Total Cattle on Feed compared with last year has climbed for three months in a row now. Slaughter totals are expected to push above previous year levels from spring through summer. Prereport estimates by Allendale call for
On Feed December 1 99.5

Placements 104.4

Marketings 96.8

Omnibus Spending Bill Does Include Extension to March of 2002 Farm Law.
The Omnibus Spending Bill that Congress has finally passed this week and is sending to the President includes (among who knows what else) an extension of the 2002 Farm Law that will help preserve the budget baseline of the old law while Congress tries to finish their work on the 2007-2008 Farm Law early in the new year.

This bill does not extend any of the Commodity Title provisions into the 2008 crop year- so winter wheat producers remain in limbo as to what sort of farm program that we are actually operating under as Congress prepares to work magic in the Conference Committee process in the days ahead.

While there has been no move to officially set any conferees for the farm bill this week- it is expected that House and Senate staffers get as their Christmas present the job of beginning the process of narrowing the differences between the two measures. The big question right now is will we see a true Conference Committee work through the issues of the Farm Bill- or will it be the two Chairman and Majority Leaders of both bodies that will huddle in a closed room that will try to make most of the decisions? That apparently is how the Energy Bill came together- and fits the style preferred by Nancy Pelosi- Speaker of the House. We will likely know a lot more about the direction of this process by the time that Congress returns from their Christmas holiday around the 15th of January.

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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