From: Ron Hays [] on behalf of Ron Hays []
Sent: Friday, October 24, 2008 5:25 AM
Subject: Oklahoma's Farm News Update
Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Friday October 24, 2008!
A service of Johnston Enterprises, National Livestock Credit and American Farmers & Ranchers!
-- The Results Will Flow Today
-- Kim Anderson Says NOBODY Knows
-- And JBS Swift Makes Three
-- This Coming Week on the Calendar
-- Ample Supplies and Wall Street Contributed 50- 50 to Sell Off in Corn
-- Smithfield Confirms the Deal is Done with JBS Swift for their Beef Operations
-- Saturday- Two Cattle Sales to Remind You About
-- Looking at our Agricultural Markets...

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 have American Farmers & Ranchers Mutual Insurance Company as a regular sponsor of our daily update- click here to go to their AFR web site to learn more about their efforts to serve rural America!

We are also pleased to have as a regular sponsor on our daily email Johnston Enterprises- proud to have served agriculture across Oklahoma and around the world since 1893. For more on Johnston Enterprises- click here for their website!
And we are proud to have 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.

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The Results Will Flow Today
Greetings once again from the 2008 National FFA Convention here in Indianapolis. The final two days of this 2008 event could yield a big crop of winners that call Oklahoma home- we will see how that all plays out later today and into Saturday. In the meantime, enjoy some of the sights from the Career Show in Indianapolis as this story has a link to some 44 snapshots we took on Thursday as found on Flickr.

As we have mentioned earlier in the week- we have 21 finalists in the 2008 National Proficiency Competitions out of the 48 national categories that they are holding this year- we have informally heard that a couple will be coming Oklahoma's way but beyond that, who knows?

We can expect a lot of information that we will be able to post later on Friday into Saturday. We will be able to let you know about our Oklahoma youth as all that unfolds staring later this morning on our website via the Blue-Green Gazette at WWW.OklahomaFarmReport.Com. Use the link at the bottom of the story and we will begin to have some information by middle of the day Friday- a lot more on Friday afternoon by 4 or 5 pm- and of course, even more by Saturday morning and into the afternoon.

Click here for the latest from the 2008 National FFA Convention on WWW.OklahomaFarmReport.Com

Kim Anderson Says NOBODY Knows
Grain elevator bids now have a "four" in front of them here in Oklahoma as the economic distress in the US and globally continues to erode commodity prices. OSU Grain Marketing Economist Dr. Kim Anderson says that he missed the mark a week ago when he indicated that he thought we were close to a bottom on wheat. He adds that as he talks with other analysts- everybody is in the same boat- it is impossible to be able to predict where we may be headed with grain prices with the macro economic forces dictating the direction of the ag markets.

Dr. Anderson says you should not spend a lot of time worrying over markets, but instead focus on what you can manage and have some level of control over. That includes being a good low cost producer even as you push your production to minimize your cost per unit per acre. You can hear the thoughts that he shared with Clinton Griffiths by going to our story linked below.

Besides a look at the current grain market with Dr. Anderson, one of the feature stories that will be seen this weekend on SUNUP is a look at "the basics of setting up a land lease between property owners and hunters." SUNUP will also feature comments from Dr. Glen Selk on how to handle a bull just purchased at a seedstock auction. SUNUP is seen Saturday mornings at 7:30 AM on OETA.

Click here for more with Dr. Kim Anderson of OSU- courtesy of SUNUP

And JBS Swift Makes Three
The nation's largest meatpackers, JBS Swift & Company, Tyson Fresh Meats, Incorporated and Cargill, have pledged to comply with the intent of mandatory country of origin labeling and label their products with the "Product of USA" label. It is estimated that roughly 90 percent of all fresh retail beef and pork cuts meet the definition of USA and will qualify for the USA label.

The latest to come on line with a pledge to label beef with a category A label is JBS Swift. Farmers Union President Tom Buis says - consumers simply have the right to know where their food comes from. Buis adds, - "I am pleased to see the nation's three largest packers come together in a cooperative spirit to follow the intent of the law." NFU has been a long-time advocate for COOL and the organization's fingerprints are all over the compromise agreement that allowed it to become law as part of the 2008 Farm Bill.

I did look at COOL labels here in Indianapolis at a Walmart Super Center and they had pork and beef packaged by Tyson. The pork was labeled- for now anyway- a product of Canada and the US, while the beef was labeled a product of the US, Canada and Mexico. The type was extremely small- and it was buried on the back label on the package that had nutrition information there as well. Will anybody see the country information? ONLY if they are really looking for it and know what they are looking for or perhaps strictly by accident. Will it impact sales in a positive way? Based on how it is now on the label- it would take an act of Congress for it to make a difference. Oh wait- it did take an act of Congress for the information to be on the package now. However, in tiny print on the back of the package- the answer to the question "does it make a difference?" is fairly obvious. At this point, it really is a NON factor regarding influencing the average consumer- say Joe the Plumber.

This Coming Week on the Calendar
There are a variety of meetings around the state that you may want to check out as we move to the end of October this coming week. There are a couple of School Land Lease Auctions set for next week, as well as the Governor's Conference on Water Issues that will be held in Midwest City.

In the Panhandle, there is a seminar that will detail how to work with Ethanol DDGs for cattle- that's a twilight meeting on Tuesday in Goodwell. Also in the Panhandle at the end of next week is the next regional qualifying for the World Livestock Auctioneer- that's to be held at the Texhoma Livestock Market on Wednesday.

You can check out all of these events and more in both October as well as into November and beyond by going to the link below and reviewing our Calendar page at WWW.OklahomaFarmReport.Com.

Click here for the full Calendar listing things happening of important to rural Oklahoma.

Ample Supplies and Wall Street Contributed 50- 50 to Sell Off in Corn
The problems on Wall Street have shown up in rural America. US farmers in the Midwest depend on domestic and world demand for their top crops - wheat, soybeans and of course corn. The economic slowdown in the US economy, and now engulfing the rest of the planet, has pushed demand for those crops down- so says University of Illinois Extension Ag Economist Darrel Good.

The problems on Wall Street were coming to a head just about the same time traders in Chicago realized the supply side concerns evident earlier in the season, when too much rain was flooding farm fields, were no longer valid. Dr. Good says it is difficult to separate out the double whammy, but he believes he is up to the job.

His take is that the sell off in corn since late August to now is about half due to ample supplies and pressure coming from believing there will be no shortage- and the other half can be laid at the feet of the macro economic factors caused by Wall Street. We have an audio overview of what Derrel Good is saying about our 2008 corn crop and resulting supplies. Click below to jump to this report.

Click here for a special report from Broadcast Colleague Todd Gleason with Dr. Darrel Good.

Smithfield Confirms the Deal is Done with JBS Swift for their Beef Operations
The number five beef packer has officially closed the deal with JBS Swift after the Department of Justice earlier this week signaled they had no problem with that part of the buying spree that the Brazilian owned beef packer undertook earlier in 2008.

Smithfield, in a statement issued on Thursday afternoon says "it has completed the previously announced sale of Smithfield Beef Group, Inc. ("Smithfield Beef"), its beef processing and cattle feeding operation, to JBS S.A. for $565 million in cash. The sale included 100 percent of Five Rivers Ranch Cattle Feeding LLC ("Five Rivers"), which previously was in a 50/50 joint venture with Continental Grain Company ("Continental Grain"). Immediately preceding the closing of the JBS transaction, Smithfield Beef acquired Continental Grain's 50 percent investment in Five Rivers for 2,166,667 shares of Smithfield Foods' common stock.

Smithfield Foods expects that the net proceeds of the JBS transaction (consisting of $565 million received at closing, plus approximately $150 million in net proceeds from the sale of the retained cattle inventory post-closing after payment of associated debt) will be used primarily for debt reduction.
"This transaction is significant for our shareholders," said C. Larry Pope, Smithfield Foods president and chief executive officer. "We have dramatically improved our liquidity to about $900 million, which should help us weather the difficult markets ahead. Our balance sheet is much stronger today. Additionally, we have exited the beef business, where we had a small market share and little potential to grow," he said.
As previously announced, the transaction excluded substantially all live cattle inventories held by Smithfield Beef and Five Rivers as of the closing date, together with associated debt. The excluded live cattle will be raised by JBS after the closing for a negotiated fee and sold at maturity at market-based prices.

Saturday- Two Cattle Sales to Remind You About
The first is the World Series Production Sale of the Spur Ranch in Vinita, Oklahoma. The sale is set to begin at 11 AM and will include 130 Registered Angus Bulls and 250 Bred Commercial Angus Females. Click here to jump to our auction listing for this sale which includes the link to the Sale Catalog.

Also happening tomorrow- Saturday October 25, is the Kris Black Annual Fall Bull Sale, where Kris Black and his family offer the Cream of the Crop from their herd when it comes to excellent bull prospects- many of which will be ideal for club calf production. Sale time in Crawford- which is north of Cheyenne in the far western part of the state is 2 PM. Click here for their website which gives you complete details on the sale offering.

Our thanks to National Livestock Credit, American Farmers & Ranchers and Johnston Enterprises for 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!

We also invite you to check out our website at the link below to check out an archive of these daily emails, audio reports and top farm news story links from around the globe.

Click here to check out WWW.OklahomaFarmReport.Com

Looking at our Agricultural Markets...
Overnight electronic trade has been generally lower, with Chicago and Kansas City wheat, as well as Chicago corn and soybeans all down double digits in the overnight electronic trade. You can review where the markets are by checking the futures market summary page we have on our website- CLICK here for our market page- scroll down to the KIS Futures logo in the center of the page and click on that for our futures market overview.

Here are some links we will leave in place on an ongoing basis- Click on the name of the report to go to that link:
Our Daily Market Wrapup from the Radio Oklahoma Network with Ed Richards and Tom Leffler- analyzing the Futures Markets from the previous Day-
Ron on RON Markets as heard on K101 mornings with cash and futures reviewed- includes where the Cash Cattle market stands, the latest Feeder Cattle Markets Etc.
Previous Day's Wheat Market Recap- One Pager From Country Hedging- looks at all three US Wheat Futures Exchanges and the why of that day's market.

Daily Oklahoma Cash Grain Prices- As Reported by the Oklahoma Dept. of Agriculture.
The National Daily Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary- as prepared by USDA.
The National Daily Slaughter Cattle Summary- as prepared by USDA.
Finally, Here is the Daily Volume and Price Summary from the Texas Cattle Feeders Association.

God Bless! You can reach us at the following:
phone: 405-473-6144

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