From: Ron Hays [] on behalf of Ron Hays []
Sent: Tuesday, September 30, 2008 5:44 AM
Subject: Oklahoma's Farm News Update
Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Tuesday September 30, 2008!
A service of American Farmers & Ranchers, Johnston Enterprises and KIS Futures!
-- District Judge Tells Drew Edmondson No on Injunction to Stop the Spreading of Chicken Litter in Illinois River Watershed
-- Poultry Companies Add an Amen
-- HR 6598 Says Good Night Wayne as House Leadership Assigns Bill to House Ag Committee
-- Planting Drills Are Moving in Southwest Oklahoma Quickly
-- Oklahoma Crop Conditions- Dry is Good.
-- The Ten Acre Base Rule Delayed by One Year by Congress.
-- The GAO Worries About CAFOs
-- 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 KIS Futures as a regular sponsor of our daily E-Mail. KIS Futures provides Oklahoma Farmers & Ranchers with futures & options hedging services in the livestock and grain markets- Click here for their recent TV Commercial or call them at 1-800-256-2555.

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District Judge Tells Drew Edmondson No on Injunction to Stop the Spreading of Chicken Litter in Illinois River Watershed
US District Court judge Gregory Frizzell of the Northern District of Oklahoma has turned down the "urgent" request made last February by Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson for an injunction against the further application of chicken litter in the Illinois River watershed.

In the ruling issued Monday, Frizzell says "the state has failed to meet the applicable standard of showing that bacteria levels in the Illinois River Watershed can be traced to the application of poultry litter."
Oklahoma Farm Bureau's President Mike Spradling is clearly pleased with the ruling and notes that the judge did not see the urgency of the issue as brought forward by the Attorney General. The Oklahoma Farm Bureau Legal Foundation filed a "friend of the court" paper in opposition to the request for the injunction and their Vice President for , Lori Peterson, calls it a big victory for supporters of those poultry growers affected in the million acre watershed.

We have more on this story- including a copy of the ruling by Judge Frizzell, an audio overview that includes comments from both the Attorney General's office as well as from the Farm Bureau's Mike Spradling, who we caught up with at the Dallas airport as he was flying to Washington for AFBF meetings. Click on the link below for this important ruling against the Attorney General.

Click here for more on the Gregory Frizzell Denial of the Injunction Request by Drew Edmondson

Poultry Companies Add an Amen
Jackie Cunningham, the Community Relations Director for the Poultry Community Council offered the following comment after the ruling by Judge Frizzell on Monday afternoon. "We are pleased with the court's ruling in denying Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson's request for a preliminary injunction that would have completely stopped the land application of poultry litter in the entire one million acre Illinois River Watershed. "

She adds that "We were grateful for the opportunity to present the evidence to support our position, and we feel that this ruling recognizes what we have been saying since this lawsuit began: that the science simply does not support the attorney general's claims against the hard working farmers of northeast Oklahoma and Northwest Arkansas. "

HR 6598 Says Good Night Wayne as House Leadership Assigns Bill to House Ag Committee
Congressional leaders have re-referred H.R. 6598, otherwise known as the "Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act of 2008" to the House Agriculture Committee for further consideration. This effectively delays any Congressional voting on the bill.

Negotiations by industry leaders prompted members of Congress to look deeper into the issue and recognize the impact it could have on the parties involved. It is likely that the proponents of HR 6598 will regroup and take another run at this measure early in the new Congressional session next spring, once the new Congress and Administration are in place.

If passed, H.R. 6598 would make it illegal for someone to knowingly possesses, ship, transport, purchase, sell, deliver, or receive, in or affecting interstate commerce or foreign commerce, any horse (or horse carcass) with the intent that it is to be slaughtered for human consumption.

Planting Drills Are Moving in Southwest Oklahoma Quickly
Bob LeValley, Oklahoma State University's Southwest District Livestock Specialist , says many of the farmers in that part of the state got down to business planting wheat about the same time as the producers in the northwest. He says a lot of the area's wheat went in the last week to 10 days, and the drills are still running at high gear.

"We could still have a good year for grazing," he says.
But he also agrees that fluctuations in grain and feeder cattle prices - and high input costs - seem to be putting downward pressure on stocker numbers. "Fertilizer's a big issue," he observes. "The relatively high price of wheat is too, but that's come down again here lately. Still grain is their first priority. The cattle markets have changed enough in the last 30 days to where it looks a lot less fun (to put out stocker calves) than it did 30 days ago."

He says the feedyard cost of gain should signal an opportunity for grazers, but "that's not reflected today in the feeder cattle market." Whatever the obstacles, LeValley urges farmers not to dismiss the opportunity to harvest wheat forage and reminds them that having stockers on wheat is one way to diversify and mitigate risk during a time when markets remain volatile and there's uncertainty in the U.S. economy. "There is something to be said for spreading your risk out," he says. "The most attractive thing is probably to be a wheat producer and rent some of it out on the gain - where you don't have the risk of owning the cattle - and try to get some benefit from both enterprises."

Bob LeValley will be busy during the day today- as he hosts the Southwest Stocker Conference in Lawton- we have linked our calendar item on this event below- you are still welcome to walk up with prior registration. (our thanks for Candace Krebs who works with the Oklahoma Grain and Stocker Producers and provided this update from southwest Oklahoma)

Click here for more on the Southwest Stocker Conference in Lawton on this final day of September.

Oklahoma Crop Conditions- Dry is Good.
With dry, mild weather, we saw a big move of wheat planting going in many locations around the state of Oklahoma. Wheat planted jumped 24 points from last week to reach 44 percent complete. Wheat emerged was at 14 percent complete by week's end, 6 points behind normal. The 44% level puts us just four percentage points behind the five year average.

Most row crops continue to be rated mostly in the good to fair range despite the dry conditions. Corn mature was 84 percent complete by week's end, a jump of 25 percentage points from the previous week, but nine points behind normal. Corn harvest was in full swing last week increasing 12 percentage points from the previous week to reach 46 percent complete but was still 25 points behind normal. Sorghum headed was 91 percent complete, eight points behind normal. Sorghum mature was nearly one third complete by week's end, 18 points behind normal. Twenty percent of the State's sorghum was harvested, five points behind the five-year average. Soybeans setting pods were virtually complete by the end of the week. Twenty-seven percent of the soybeans were mature, up six points from the previous week but 24 points behind the five-year average. Peanuts mature were nearly half complete, up 14 points from the previous week but 20 points behind normal. Cotton bolls were opening on 72 percent of the State's cotton by week's end, up 17 points from the previous week and one point ahead of the five-year average.

We have the link to the full Oklahoma Crop Weather Update as issued by NASS on Monday afternoon- click below to jump over to that site.

Click here for the latest Oklahoma Crop Weather Update

The Ten Acre Base Rule Delayed by One Year by Congress.
On Monday, the House of Representatives passed bipartisan legislation to suspend for the 2008 crop year a Farm Bill provision that required producers to have a minimum of 10-base acres to receive program benefits. The House and Senate each passed by unanimous consent the Senate amendment to H.R. 6849, originally sponsored by Congressman Bob Etheridge of North Carolina, Chairman of the House Agriculture General Farm Commodities and Risk Management Subcommittee.

H.R. 6849, as amended by the Senate, makes technical corrections to the permanent crop disaster program included in the 2008 Farm Bill. It also temporarily reverses the US Department of Agriculture's published notice regarding the Farm Bill's 10 base-acre provision, which would have denied farm program benefits to hundreds of thousands of producers nationwide by refusing to allow for the aggregation of small base acreage.

The House had already passed on September 24 a version of H.R. 6849 that would have suspended the 10 base acre provision for two years and was fully paid for under Congressional Paygo rules. The Senate amended the bill to provide just a one year fix. The bill will now be sent to the President for his signature.

The GAO Worries About CAFOs
In a report issued this past week- the subject of concentrated animal feeding operations- CAFOs- were examined by the General Accounting Office of the Congress- and they concluded that the EPA needs more information to regulate CAFOs.

The study says "EPA does not have comprehensive, accurate data on the number of permitted CAFOs nationwide. As a result, the agency does not have the information that it needs to effectively regulate these CAFOs. "

Within the body of the report- they also spotlight the northeast Oklahoma-Northwest Arkansas region that is targeted by Attorney General Drew Edmondson and his environmental lawsuit that he hopes will go to trial next September. The reports says "According to EPA Region 6 officials, the Arkansas-Oklahoma border is an area of concern due to the number of poultry operations (primarily broilers, but also turkeys and layers) within this area. Furthermore, region 6 officials identified numerous water bodies in northwest Arkansas and northeast Oklahoma that have been impaired by manure from animal feeding operations and identified these locations as "areas of general ground water concern." While USDA officials acknowledge that regional clustering of large animal feeding operations has occurred, they told us that they believe the nutrient management plans that they have helped livestock and poultry producers develop and implement have reduced the likelihood that pollutants from manure are entering ground and surface water. They also believe that as a result of new technologies such as calibrated manure spreaders, improved animal feeds, and systems that convert manure into electricity, large animal feeding operations are able to more effectively use the manure being generated. However, USDA could not provide information on the extent to which these techniques are being utilized or their effectiveness in reducing water pollution from animal waste."
We have the summary of this report linked below- from there you can get the one page highlights or the full report.

Click here for the GAO study on EPA's Regulation of CAFOs

We look forward to seeing some of you in Lawton later this morning as we cover the Southwest Stocker Conference at the Great Plains Technology Center.
Our thanks to Johnston Enterprises, KIS Futures and American Farmers & Ranchers 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...
After a huge selloff on Monday in our Ag Commodities- all mostly due to the free fall experienced by Wall Street- as well as the soaring dollar- the overnight electronic trade was somewhat stable in our wheat markets- Chicago and Kansas City wheat trade was somewhat higher- up 13 to 15 cents per bushel while corn is up a nickel from the thirty cent drop of yesterday and soybeans are down just three cents from the fall of 70 cents on Monday- as of early this morning. Crude Oil fell over ten dollars a barrel on Monday- but has recovered a dollar as of around 6 AM.
The Oklahoma National Stockyards saw yearlings and calves all lower as many buyers are very reluctant to buy until the violence seen in the equities subsides. For a complete look at how the 7,500 cattle sold in Oklahoma City on Monday- Click here.

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.

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phone: 405-473-6144

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