~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Tuesday October 14, 2008!A service of Johnston Enterprises, National Livestock Credit and American Farmers & Ranchers!
-- Raising Sweet Sorghum Could Result in Juicy Profits for Oklahoma Farmers
-- Columbus Day Yesterday- Crop Progress and Crop-Weather Updates Delayed
-- Congrats to Sierra Simpson- a National Beef Ambassador for 2009.
-- Rains are Mighty Pleasing to Panhandle Producers
-- Meat Exports Continue to Look Good- Pork exports are Amazing
-- Texas WANTS the Animal Disease Lab a Bunch.
-- Oklahoma Farm Bureau Announces Ag Secretary Ed Schafer Will Speak at Their Annual Meeting
-- Looking at our Agricultural Markets...
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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Raising Sweet Sorghum Could Result in Juicy Profits for Oklahoma Farmers
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Growing and processing Sweet Sorghum was one of the ideas showcased at the Monday Biofuels Field Day in Chickasha. Participants in the Field Day learned more about Sweet Sorghum as they stared at the ten foot high stalks of the plant, ready for harvest. The discussion centered on the concept of pressing it in or near the field, then fermenting it to produce a low percentage ethanol that is stable and can be transported. We have a picture on our website that shows a sample of the raw squeezed juice from a stalk of sweet sorghum grown at the research farm in Chickasha.
Dr. Dani Bellmer of OSU is leading the work in this area and talked with producers on the tour about this being a crop that can be grown and processed now, with the potential to yield as much or more ethanol on an acre in Oklahoma as compared to an acre of corn grown in Iowa. Based on early production data, she claims that we could produce from 300 to 600 gallons of refined ethanol per acre in a dryland setting in our state.
We have more on this story at our website- as well as a new feature that we will be adding to our webpages on a regular basis- a link to a Flickr photo album of pictures of the event. We have a link within this news story that will take you to a few shots we took during the course of the morning yesterday at the Research Station. Click on the link below to check the audio with Dr. Bellmer as well as photos from the event out.
Click here for more on Sweet Sorghum and the Immediate Opportunities It Offers Oklahoma producers.
Columbus Day Yesterday- Crop Progress and Crop-Weather Updates Delayed
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Instead of having our Crop Weather information for you this morning- those reports are delayed one day due to the Federal Holiday- Columbus Day- that was celebrated on Monday.
We'll have that info for you tomorrow morning- both the national progress reports on the major crops as well as the latest on the Oklahoma Crop Weather summary as well.
Congrats to Sierra Simpson- a National Beef Ambassador for 2009.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The National Beef Ambassador Contest was held this past weekend- and five of the twenty state Ambassadors were selected to be National Beef Ambassadors for the coming year. Among the five was Kremlin High School Senior Sierra Simpson.
The other four National Beef Ambassadors for the coming year include Jessica Sampson, Gazelle, California; Sharon Byrne, Nottingham, Pennsylvania; Allison Grainger, Brenham, Texas, and Bradley Copenhaver, Blackburg, Virginia
The competition was established on behalf of cattle producers in 1988
and is funded by the beef checkoff. Twenty contestants from throughout the
country vied for a place on this elite team of agriculture advocates and $
5,000 in cash prizes sponsored exclusively by Tyson Foods, Inc.
Additionally five educational scholarships totaling $ 3,750 were given by
the American National CattleWomen Foundation, Inc.
Click here for more on Sierra Simpson Winning National Beef Ambassador Honors
Rains are Mighty Pleasing to Panhandle Producers
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The rains have come to the parched Oklahoma Panhandle. The past two weekends have seen nice rains in Texas and Beaver Counties- and even Cimarron County saw over an inch of rain this past weekend. In fact, as we write this, rains are falling in a lot of the western half of the state this morning- and fall is definitely in the air.
Rick Kochenower, OSU Extension Agronomist for the Panhandle, told us at the Biofuels Field Day in Chickasha on Monday that reports he has received puts Cimarron County between an inch and an inch and a half of rainfall this past weekend, Texas County from 2.7 to 5 inches of rain and western Beaver County also with two to three inches of rain reported by various producers.
Kochenower says that the rains this month will help dryland grain
sorghum finish strong, and should allow the winter wheat now in the ground
to get solidly established. And, when the fields will support equipment,
there will be a lot more acres of wheat sown between now and November
first, based on the available Revenue Assurance and Crop Revenue Coverage
levels available for the 2009 crop. November first is the last date that
wheat can be sown under the terms of crop insurance policies for the 2009
Click here to be able to listen to Ron visit with Rick Kochenower.
Meat Exports Continue to Look Good- Pork exports are Amazing
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Despite financial conditions around the globe and the increasing value of the U.S. dollar - the U.S. Meat Export Federation reports U.S. beef and pork exports performed well in August. According to USMEF - August pork plus variety meats exports declined in comparison to the record monthly totals set earlier in the year - but the 444-million dollar total for the month pushed the year's export value beyond the total achieved in 2007.
Just through the first eight months of this year - pork exports reached a value of 3.21-billion dollars. That's compared to 3.15-billion in all of 2007. The export volume also exceeds the 2007 year-end total at 3.03-billion pounds. USMEF President and CEO Philip Seng says this is an amazing milestone for pork exports. He says an all-time high 2008 was anticipated - but breaking the record before Labor Day is an accomplishment.
August beef plus variety meat exports topped July totals by almost 15-percent - setting a new, all-time monthly record in terms of value. The 416-million dollar total surpasses the 387-million dollar mark set in June of 2003. Year-to-date - USMEF says beef exports have recovered 93-percent of value and 75-percent of volume when compared to January to August of 2003.
On the front page of the USMEF website, there is a lot more detail on the August numbers- click here to see.
Texas WANTS the Animal Disease Lab a Bunch.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Texas is prepared to raise $100 million in incentives to lure the National Bio and Agro-Defense laboratory to San Antonio, based on wire service reports of last week. State and local figures of $44 million are pledged and Texas Governor Rick Perry said he would press the state legislature for another $56 million when it re-convenes in January.
San Antonio is one of six sites chosen as finalists for the $451 million laboratory, which will handle much of the research on virulent foreign animal diseases now conducted at the Plum Island laboratory off the coast of Long Island. While Plum Island is still under consideration as the final home for the laboratory other sites are being considered including: Athens, Ga.; Flora, Mississippi; Manhattan, Kans., and Butner, N.C. The Department of Homeland Security expects to name its final selection by year's end.
Earlier in the process, Ft. Reno was considered as one of the possible sites. Some groups representing livestock interests in the state were wary of accepting this type of facility because of the closeness of livestock facilities to this lab if it had been built in Canadian County.
Oklahoma Farm Bureau Announces Ag Secretary Ed Schafer Will Speak at Their Annual Meeting
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma Farm Bureau's 67th Annual Meeting will be held November 14-16, 2008 at the Cox Convention Center in downtown Oklahoma City. A News release from the organization talks about the theme of the 2008 meeting- "The theme for this year's convention, "SERVICE through GENERATIONS," holds great meaning as OFB recognizes generations of excellent leadership in this organization. From its roots, Oklahoma Farm Bureau has continued to thrive from one generation passing to another knowledge of the family business, leadership that makes an impact, and service to make a difference."
Slated to speak, are USDA Secretary Ed Schafer, Oklahoma's 4th District Congressman Tom Cole, agriculture advocate and author Trent Loos, former professional football athlete and current minister John Bramlett, and American Farm Bureau Federation Vice President Barry Bushue. During a pair of breakout sessions, AFBF Economist Jim Sartwell will give farm and ranch leaders an outlook on farm commodities, and Oklahoma State University's Dr. Darrell Peel will give a presentation on agri-terrorism.
Of course, the organization will be setting policy during their gathering in November. The agenda for the meeting is now available- and we have it linked below- check it out.
Click here for the agenda of the 2008 Oklahoma Farm Bureau Annual Meeting.
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Looking at our Agricultural Markets...
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We were well down from a week earlier and a year earlier in receipts on Monday at the Oklahoma National Stockyards. The estimate was 5,500 being sold on Monday- and yearling cattle were steady to a $1 lower early, closing steady. The calf trade continued to discount animals coming to market- dropping $2 to $5 lower early- closing $2 to $3 lower. The market reporter tells us "Demand moderate to good and noticeably improved from recent weeks. A few buyers back in the market but not in a big way. Bulk of supply now consist of new crop un-weaned calves that continue to sell at a considerable discount to long weaned kinds. The supply of yearlings has diminished along with quality. Recent rains in the wheat belt and a good chance of more Monday night has improved the demand for light calves, especially weaned steers." Click here to get the USDA report on the Monday Oklahoma City cattle market.
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:
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