From: Ron Hays [] on behalf of Ron Hays []
Sent: Tuesday, November 04, 2008 6:22 AM
Subject: Oklahoma's Farm News Update
Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Tuesday November 4, 2008!
A service of Producers Cooperative Oil Mill, Farm Credit Associations of Oklahoma and Midwest Farm Shows!
-- Beef Packers Tell Cattle Feeders- Focus on Disappearance.
-- Cattle Industry Generally Pleased with Finalization of CAFO Rules from EPA
-- Have You Voted Yet???
-- It's a Jungle Out There- The Oklahoma Ag Expo Today through Thursday.
-- Cold- then Hot- the Latest Crop Weather Update
-- Some Perspective on the Feeder Cattle Market
-- Higher Again on Feeder Cattle Markets on Monday- Let's Check the Markets!

Howdy Neighbors!

Here's your morning farm news headlines from the Director of Farm Programming for the Radio Oklahoma Network, Ron Hays. We salute our longest running email sponsor- Midwest Farm Shows, producer of the annual Tulsa Farm Show scheduled for December 11-13 here in 2008, as well as the springtime Southern Plains Farm Show in Oklahoma City. Check out details of both of these exciting shows at the official website of Midwest Farm Shows by clicking here.

It's also great to have the Farm Credit Associations of Oklahoma with us regularly as an Email Sponsor- Financing Oklahoma is their business! Check out their website which shows their locations statewide by clicking here!
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Beef Packers Tell Cattle Feeders- Focus on Disappearance.
At first glance, that might be an odd choice of words that came up from the big three meat packers who sat on stage together at the Texas Cattle Feeders Association Convention in Grapevine on Monday. Jim Lochner of Tyson, John Keating of Cargill and Wesley Batista of JBS Swift all agreed that keeping product moving through the pipeline- both domestically as well as internationally is fundamental to their business. They pointed out that even short term stoppages to that movement- slowing down the "disappearance" of product out their back door quickly can turn into a problem.

Batista reminded the feeders that packing plants are a spread business- he says you start with what the beef sells for- then you back up and subtract the costs of the processing of that carcass and then you know how much you can afford to pay for cattle that you bring into the processing plant. He was welcomed to the business as one of the newest owners of a whole set of feedlots- the nation's largest, Five Rivers Cattle Feeding LLC has been bought from Smithfield Beef by JBS Swift, giving them feedlots in five states with an annual feeding capacity of 800,000 heard. Batista added that feeding cattle is the same as being a beef processor, that it is also a spread business.

Jim Lochner of Tyson explained that if you took one bushel of corn and figured how many pounds of boneless, skinless meat it would produce- you get ten pounds of beef, ten pounds of pork but twenty pounds of chicken. With high feed grain costs, chicken can handle the input price shock easier than the other two meat proteins. He says that it is up to the beef industry to find ways to bring more value back to the bottom line. One method that is catching on more and more is going through a branded program of some sort- that will attract a premium from consumers. And Lochner says a bigger than ever push on convenience in products that are developed is very much needed.

Lochner's comments are a part of our Tuesday Election Day Beef Buzz- we have it linked below- it offers some interesting insights from the nation's largest meat packer with their fingers in beef, pork and of course, poultry.

Click here for more on the Beef Packer Panel from the Monday TCFA Convention Session

Cattle Industry Generally Pleased with Finalization of CAFO Rules from EPA
After looking over the some 200 pages of final rules and regs from the Environmental Protection Agency, the beef industry seems satisfied with the final rules issued this past Friday by the EPA for Confined Animal Feeding Operations- CAFOs. We talked on Monday afternoon with Ben Weinheimer with the Texas Cattle Feeders Association about the rules- and also received a news release from NCBA with their thoughts as well. Our coverage from the TCFA is a brought to you in part by Hudson Livestock Supplements.

Weinheimer was the lead on following this issue for Ross Wilson and the TCFA- says that it is good to have the final rules after a decade of work on them. He pointed out that the first CAFO rules came back in the 1970s- and that in 1998, EPA decided to do a rewrite on those rules- the initial rewrite wrapped up in 2003- but legal challenges to those rules kept EPA from proceeding on to the final rule until now. Weinheimer adds that pretty well everything in the final rule is something that feedlots in the southern plains is already doing. The biggest change came in the Nutrition Management Plans that a CAFO must have in place- EPA acknowledged that these must be dynamic documents and that changes could ocurr based on curve balls thrown at a farming operation like weather that delays corn planting and makes a farmer switch to milo. Nutrient needs would change and so the Nutrient Management Plan would need to be adjusted accordingly.

From the NCBA perspective- "We're pleased that EPA has put out this final rule," said Tamara Thies, NCBA's Chief Environmental Counsel. "The regulations are very strict and comprehensive, but they provide much-needed certainty for our cattle producers on what they must do to be in compliance." Thies worked extensively with EPA to ensure that the final rule would allow flexibility for cattle producers to ensure their ability to comply. "Cattle producers make their living off the land, and because of that they have a vested interest in being good environmental stewards," Thies explains. "They're also business people, and need the flexibility to make decisions based on current conditions, not long-range government planning."

Click here for more on this story- and our interview with Ben Weinheimer of TCFA on the subject.

Have You Voted Yet???
Today is election day and many of you have already voted through the opportunity to vote early in your county- or perhaps by absentee ballot. If not, by the time you read this- the polls will be open and I know that you will be exercising your right and obligation to vote here in 2008.

We will be reporting in tomorrow's email about the many federal and state races that have significance to agriculture- including races involving ag committee members as well as some of the big ballot initiatives that will be considered across the country.

It's a Jungle Out There- The Oklahoma Ag Expo Today through Thursday.
The annual gathering of the Oklahoma Agribusiness Retailers Association gets underway this evening with a reception on this election night at the Clarion Meridian Hotel in Oklahoma City. The Oklahoma Ag Expo is a joint venture of the Oklahoma Agribusiness Retailers Association and the Oklahoma Grain and Feed Association- their theme for 2008 is "It's a Jungle Out There."

Their sessions kick off on Wednesday, with some 20 speakers lined up over the two days of the meeting- offering CEUs in several categories for those that attend. They also will have a trade show up and running both days of the Expo. One of the first sessions that will be offered is a regulatory update for the feed industry, to be given by Jarrod Kersey of American Feed Industry Association.

Other topics that will be addressed over the two days includes everything from glyphosate resistant weeds to fertilizer prices to a look at the Oklahoma Comprehensive Water Planning process.

Cold- then Hot- the Latest Crop Weather Update
We started this past week cold- and got downright hot this past Sunday in the reporting time period of the latest Oklahoma Crop Weather Update. The warm conditions are pulling moisture out of the soild fairly quickly- as we moved from 21% short to very short on topsoild mositure the week earlier to 30% short to very short in this latest reporting period.

Wheat conditions were mostly in the good to fair range. In some areas, wheat had a yellow appearance due to nitrogen issues or from the recent cool, cloudy conditions. Additional moisture is needed in many parts of the State to boost small grain development. Winter wheat planted increased five points from the previous week to reach 91 percent complete, two points behind the five-year average. Seventy-nine percent of the State's wheat had emerged by week's end, up five points from the previous week but one point behind normal.

In some areas, producers were waiting for corn and sorghum fields to dry out before harvesting. Ninety-four percent of the corn had been harvested by week's end, up four points from the previous week but five points behind the fiveyear average. Sorghum mature increased four points from the previous week to reach 75 percent, 12 points behind the five-year average. Thirty-two percent of the State's sorghum had been harvested, 27 points behind normal. Soybeans harvested were up 17 points from the previous week to reach 52 percent complete, 10 points behind normal. Nearly all of the State's peanuts were mature by week's end, up five points from the previous week. Eighty-two percent of peanuts had been dug, up 12 points from the previous week's revised number but three points behind the five-year average. Peanuts combined reached 57 percent, up 15 points from the previous week but 11 points behind normal. Cotton harvested reached 30 percent by week's end, up nine points from the previous week but 13 points behind the five-year average. Cotton harvest continued in full swing throughout southwest counties.

For the complete Oklahoma Crop Weather Update- Click here

Some Perspective on the Feeder Cattle Market
OSU Extension Livestock Market Economist Dr. Derrell Peel offers us his thoughts on the current feeder cattle market- Feeder prices dropped sharply in the first half of the month of October; had a sharp rebound in one week; and then erased the gains in the last week of the month- and now here in November are jumping higher again.

Dr. Peel says "Feeder cattle markets have been a dramatic rollercoaster. Like so many markets in the economy, it is impossible to attribute the volatility to market fundamentals. Without a doubt much of the weak tone is the result of general uncertainty and hesitation in the U.S. economy.

"Current market fundamentals are a mixed bag of positive and negative factors but, for the most part, the positive factors are not readily apparent. In Oklahoma, auction volumes for the most recent week increased slightly compared to last year, indicating more of a seasonal run of feeder calf marketings, but overall numbers have been down this fall. The normal seasonal supply increases do not adequately explain recent price declines. Recent decreases in wheat prices have revived interest in wheat pasture grazing and some additional wheat pasture demand for stockers may develop in the next month. Some wheat producers are even talking about the possibility of grazing out wheat next spring if wheat prices remain low.

"Likewise, dramatic declines in feedgrain and feeder cattle prices recently have resulted in profitable cattle feeding potential that has not existed for many months. Despite lower Live Cattle futures, it is possible to lock in profitable cattle feeding margins for next spring and that should provide some additional demand and support for feeder prices. Generally tight feedlot supplies currently are expected to provide some fed cattle price support through the end of the year. However, weak boxed beef prices and tight packer margins continue to counterbalance supportive supply fundamentals. It appears that fed cattle prices have little ability to increase and little reason to decrease and will likely remain in narrow trading range for the time being.

"Domestic beef demand remains relatively weak with consumer equity losses in the stock market and housing offsetting the positive effects of lower energy prices. International demand for U.S. beef has increased in total with growth in exports to South Korea. However, U.S. exports are generally weakening with a stronger dollar and weakness in global markets. The resulting decrease in exports of pork and poultry create additional pressure on domestic meat markets. Exports to Mexico, the biggest foreign customer for U.S. beef have decreased sharply as the value of the Peso has dropped relative to the dollar. All in all, cattle markets are wrestling with a host of positive and negative market fundamentals and much short term volatility that cannot be explained by any of the fundamentals."

Our thanks to Farm Credit Associations of Oklahoma, Producers Cooperative Oil Mill and Midwest Farm Shows 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

Higher Again on Feeder Cattle Markets on Monday- Let's Check the Markets!
They initially called the run at 11,000 head in Oklahoma City yesterday- but later adjusted that to 10,000 head with sharply higher prices for both yearlings and calves. The market reporter says in the closing report from yesterday that "Demand very good for all classes with least action on un- weaned calves. Buyer participation improving for feeder cattle as cattle futures slowly inch higher. First freeze of the fall season occurred last week causing grass pastures to go dormant. This forcing many cattle to come to town. Very typical fall run as bulk supply so far has been cattle weighing under 700 lbs. " Click here for the full report from 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- 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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