From: Ron Hays [] on behalf of Ron Hays []
Sent: Tuesday, December 16, 2008 6:50 AM
Subject: Oklahoma's Farm News Update
Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Tuesday December 16, 2008!
A service of Johnston Enterprises, American Farmers & Ranchers and Midwest Farm Shows!
-- Salazar Will Join the Cabinet
-- Feedlots are Staggering Under a Flood of Red Ink
-- A Salute to the Wheat Growers of Oklahoma- by the Golden Loaf Himself
-- Covering the Beef "waterfront" with Gregg Doud of the NCBA
-- Poultry Industry Fires Back At Edmondson's Human Health Fears
-- The 11th Exposure Female Sales Set for this Saturday
-- 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!

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Salazar Will Join the Cabinet
The word from several directions is that a Salazar will be in the Obama cabinet- but it will be John Salazar's little brother, Senator Ken Salazar of Colorado, who apparently will be the Secretary of the Interior. The Wall Street Journal reported that the selection is a done deal- several Colorado based internet sites call him the leading candidate and the Associated Press has him as the only name under the Interior Department's "short list" of names that they say are under consideration for that job.

Just a very few days ago- it was discussed within ag circles that it would be Congressman John Salazar joining the Democratic administration as Secretary of Agriculture- but word came at the end of last week that he had accepted an open slot on the House Money Committee(otherwise known as Appropriations) and that he would take that position and become a Congressman for life by shoveling home money for worthy Colorado projects.

So, who does that leave for one of the very last remaining positions in the Obama cabinet- Agriculture? AP has a list of five that they say are being considered. Those five are names that have floated around since the process began several weeks ago-
Dennis Wolff, Pennsylvania agriculture secretary.
Tom Buis, president of National Farmers Union.
Former Rep. Charles Stenholm, D-Texas.
Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, D-S.D.
and Former Rep. Jill Long Thompson, D-Ind.
Jim Wiesemeyer of AgWeb.Com adds two other names to the list that would be most interesting- former Republican lawmaker Jo Ann Emerson of Missouri and current Arkansas Senator Blanche Lincoln- a southern Democrat who really stood tough against the Bush Administration and others during the 2008 Farm Bill debate for southern agriculture.
Wiesemeyer mentions that it very possibly could be none of the above- as neither Mike Johanns nor Ed Schafer were on the lists of the major news organizations the day their names were announced by the White House for the Ag job in the Bush Administration.
Based on rumblings from inside the Beltway- we may slip into Christmas week and still not know who the new Secretary of Agriculture may be.

Click here for the current Name by Name rundown by the AP of the Obama Cabinet Being Formed.

Feedlots are Staggering Under a Flood of Red Ink
A leading cattle market watcher believes feedlots are in the worse financial condition since the commercial feeding industry developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s and the head of the Livestock Marketing Information Center, Jim Robb, says that is reason for concern. Robb is the Executive Director of the LMIC- a program that works with Land Grant Economists and others interested in the livestock markets- providing econometric models and analysis on an ongoing basis. Robb continues to be our guest this week on our daily radio feature, the Beef Buzz, as heard on great radio stations across the Radio Oklahoma Network.

He tells us that with the current financial standing of the feedlots- and how the market has beaten down current market prices- retained ownership for cow-calf operators might be a profitable strategy in the first half of 2009.

He also talked with us about this current economic shock that the cattle marketplace is dealing with- and you can hear his thoughts on that- by going to the link we have provided below. We are actually sending you to our Beef Buzz page with this link- this Tuesday Beef Buzz is the featured one at the top- but look down into the list and you can also click on and listen to the first segment of this multiple day series we are doing with Jim Robb- it's called "Red Ink Flows for much of the Beef Business."

Click here for our Beef Buzz page to get to the Jim Robb conversation with Ron Hays on the Beef Buzz.

A Salute to the Wheat Growers of Oklahoma- by the Golden Loaf Himself
One of the trademark answers that you will get from the Executive Director of the Oklahoma Wheat Commission, Mark Hodges, when you ask him how are things- "I have never had it so good." This past weekend, Hodges had it pretty good as he was treated like royalty and kidded just a little along the way as his career with the Oklahoma Wheat Commission is coming to a close.

Hodges was saluted by the Oklahoma Wheat Growers Association as they had to come up with a new award that would be worthy of the honoree. And what better name for an award from a wheat group to a man who has formed thousands of loaves of bread during his years with the wheat commission to help promote the wheat industry of Oklahoma to farmers and city folks alike- the Golden Loaf.

Our own Ed Richards talked with Mark about his tenure with OWC- and he put it back on the wheat producers- saying that our wheat farmers have endured a lot over the years- and have come out on the other side as survivors. You can hear Mark's comments with Ed at the link below- click and take a listen.

Click here to jump to our story that has audio with Ed and Mark on the wheat business here in Oklahoma,

Covering the Beef "waterfront" with Gregg Doud of the NCBA
Our most recent Ag Perspectives Podcast is one worthwhile to check out- it's a long conversation with Gregg Doud, Chief Economist of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association.

As we talk with Doud, we cover a wide range of topics related back to the current economic mess that we are facing domestically and around the world as well. We talk red ink in the feeding business- as well as that red ink flowing back towards the cow calf operator, which will mean losses in some of the higher cost of production cow calf operations this year as well as in 2009.

We talked about the amazing fall in Drop Credits- which has been one of the reasons that slaughter cattle prices have been falling in recent weeks. We also talked about the South Koreans- and how much of a Godsend the reopening of that market has been in recent months- moving a lot of beef to that Pacific Rim country.
Click on the link below to jump to this conversation with Gregg Doud of NCBA- some good perspective on where we stand in the cattle business as 2009 looms dead ahead.

Click here for our conversation with Gregg Doud of NCBA

Poultry Industry Fires Back At Edmondson's Human Health Fears
Jackie Cunningham, director of community relations for the Poultry Community Council has issued some comments in response to an Associated Press story of last week that liberally quotes Drew Edmondson, Oklahoma Attorney General, and his continued call for an elimination of the use of poultry litter on any acres in the watershed of the Illinois River. You can read the Edmondson story by clicking on the link above- here is Cunningham's rebuttal to those claims:

"The Oklahoma Attorney General's media blitz continues, despite a judge's ruling that he "failed to meet the applicable standard of showing that the bacteria levels in the Illinois River Watershed can be traced to the application of poultry litter." The Attorney General told the Associated Press this week that dangers to human health are "still very real" and river users could get a sickness "very similar to food poisoning." Mr. Edmondson's supporters also seem oblivious two key problems with his alarmism.

"First is his claim that poultry litter is the source of dangerous bacteria in rivers. This ignores the findings by the court, which ruled bacteria comes from multiple sources "including cattle manure and human septic tanks" and that bacterial levels in the Illinois River are similar in other Oklahoma waterways where poultry production is practically nonexistent. Despite the fact that Edmondson poured $20 million into hired-gun experts to bolster his case, the court found he did not sustain his burden of proof. Second, Mr. Edmondson is attempting to advance his position by creating fear that the Illinois River is unsafe. But both his experts and the Oklahoma Department of Health acknowledge there has not been a single illness identified that was caused by these waters. It's unfortunate that stories like this go to press without considering the mass of evidence that Mr. Edmondson is just plain wrong.

"AP's non-attributed use of phrases like "dumping," "cheap fertilizer" and "ammonia- reeking chicken waste" show that Mr. Edmondson's efforts to vilify farmers in eastern Oklahoma is seeping into the public's consciousness. The fact is, litter is a tremendous, cost-effective fertilizer for farmland. There are laws that dictate how litter is used as fertilizer, and the industry supports the farmers' right to follow this law. (It is indeed ironic that we are compelled to defend someone's right to abide by the law.) Mr. Edmondson has not presented a single incident where a farmer violated the regulations and nutrient management plans endorsed by both Oklahoma and Arkansas. The court ruling confirms what poultry farmers and companies have been saying: We must rely on credible science to address water-quality issues - not rhetoric and spin."

The 11th Exposure Female Sales Set for this Saturday
The 11th Exposure Female Sale is set for this Saturday, December 20 at 12:30 pm at the Exposure Sale Facility just east of Stillwater on Highway 51.

The Exposure Female Sale will be featuring over 200 Composite and Angus Spring bred Females- you will find the genetics package in these females that will improve your herd.

A sale that is known for its quality across the nation, featuring the Genetics of Collins, Griswold and Black. For more information call 800-975-6313 or go to the link we have below. The website has information on a cattle judging contest set for Friday the 19th, as well as details on the offering and info on video of a majority of the females to be sold on Saturday.

Click here for more on the 11th Exposure Female Sale coming up December 20 in Stillwater.

Our thanks to Midwest Farm Shows, 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...
The Oklahoma City cattle market had a total of 9,500 cattle for sell on Monday- Yearling prices were steady to a dollar up- calf prices continued to be weaker. Our market reporter penned "Demand good for feeders light to moderate for calves. Lack of wheat pasture along with the current dry and cold weather leaves little place for calves to go. It is notable that the weighted averages on number 1 steers weighing from 550-900 lbs ranges from 91.92 to 88.59, a spread of only $3.33. Most calves now have been weaned and the spread between calves and yearlings is not as distinct as it was. The weather is very cold with a high of 19 degrees on Monday but so far no moisture has fallen in the central region of the state, some snow is reported in the northwest." You can click here for the actual prices as reported from Monday at the Oklahoma National Stockyards.

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- Two Pager From The Kansas City Board of Trade looks at all three US Wheat Futures Exchanges with extra info on Hard Red Winter Wheat 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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