From: Ron Hays []
Sent: Wednesday, January 09, 2008 06:36
Subject: Oklahoma's Farm News Update
Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Wednesday January 9, 2008!
A service of Farm Credit of East Central Oklahoma, American Farmers and Ranchers & Midwest Farm Shows
-- Altus Cotton Farmer Clint Abernathy in High Cotton!
-- Beef Checkoff Offers "Permissible Passion" to Beef Consumers!
-- South Korea Continues to Stonewall Efforts to Resume Beef Trade with the United States
-- Could $4.00 Corn (or higher) be the Norm in 2008???
-- Oklahoma Ag Hall of Fame Nominations Now Being Accepted.
-- R-Calf Out with Their List of 2008 Priorities- Including Strong Support for a Packer Ban on Livestock Ownership.
-- AFBF, Texas County Ag Appreciation Days, KOMA Conference and More this coming week.

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 welcome Farm Credit of East Central Oklahoma as a regular sponsor of our daily email update. Farm Credit of East Central Oklahoma has ten branch offices to serve your farm financing needs and is dedicated to being your first choice for farm credit. Check out their website for more information by clicking here!

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And our email this morning is also a service of Midwest Farm Shows, producer of the recently concluded Tulsa Farm Show, as well as the Southern Plains Farm Show in Oklahoma City coming up this April! Check out details of both of these exciting shows at the official website of Midwest Farm Shows by clicking here.

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Altus Cotton Farmer Clint Abernathy in High Cotton!
As the 2008 Beltwide Cotton Conference is cranking up in Nashville, word comes that Clint Abernathy of Altus is one of five "High Cotton" award winners to be honored during a breakfast tomorrow morning at the Beltwide. The High Cotton Award is being presented to five cotton producers that have done an outstanding job in caring for the environment as they produce cotton.

Southwest winner Clint Abernathy plants about one- third of his family's irrigated cotton no-till, using minimum tillage practices on the remainder because of the need to create and maintain water furrows for furrow irrigation. But conservation tillage works well with drip irrigation and center pivots. "The only problem we've had the last few years with no-till in irrigated fields is volunteer cotton," Abernathy noted. "We've had to cultivate to get rid of it. Other than that, we've not plowed it." He says 95 percent of his family's dryland cotton is no- till, and he uses minimum till on about 5,700 acres of wheat. He plants some cotton right behind the wheat combine, using the wheat stubble to hold soil and moisture and to protect cotton seedlings from blowing sand.

Farm Press sponsors the High Cotton Awards Program through a grant to The Cotton Foundation. "Farmers are the original environmentalists," says Hembree Brandon, editorial director at Farm Press Publications. "They, their families and their neighbors have the most to gain by protecting their soil, water and the environment where they live. "This year's winners represent the best of the environmental ethic displayed by so many of our farmers."

Beef Checkoff Offers "Permissible Passion" to Beef Consumers!
There's a new "edgier" approach to advertising beef as beef checkoff dollars are used to communicate permission to consumers to enjoy what they like- beef. Consumers can feel good about eating beef. It's what's for dinner and beef fulfills that internal desire for healthy, satisfying protein. That's why enhanced branding efforts for the beef industry are hitting here in the new year- first with a national print campaign going into a number of major national publications. In Oklahoma, the ads will initially be seen on line on the Daily Oklahoman website around the 15th of January.

In order to understand what shoppers want, a survey of 4,000 consumers was conducted in an effort to: understand consumption patterns for beef and chicken, measure the importance and performance of beef and chicken, identify elements most likely to drive preference, and identify opportunities for gaining one more beef occasion per week. What the study found was that when forced to choose between chicken and beef, American consumers clearly prefer beef.
The new advertiisng campaign is a deliberate "feel good" message about beef, hoping to make beef relevant to a very different consumer than what was seen in the United States even ten years ago.

"The new advertising/branding campaign reinforces our efforts to maintain our message with consumers that beef is delicious and full of protein. And we all know protein helps keep our bodies strong," said John Dudley, beef producer from Comanche, Texas and former chair of the checkoff's Advertising Committee. "By leveraging checkoff dollars, we were able to create this campaign for launch in 2008 to remind consumers that they can, indeed, reclaim the dinner they love."
This continues to be a print and radio advertising campaign- there simply are not enough checkoff dollars to be able to afford a national TV advertising budget in 2008. And in the case of radio- the decision has been made to move on down the road from the long time voice of the beef checkoff- Actor Sam Elliott. National Beef Board officials are not willing to tell who the new voice belongs to- but it's our understanding that a current "hot" actor that will relate especially well to those females that are movie goers will be talking about beef as a destination- "a place where no appetite has been lost and the local time is always dinner."

South Korea Continues to Stonewall Efforts to Resume Beef Trade with the United States
Today on the Beef Buzz, we talk South Korea's reluctance to allow US beef back into their country FOUR years after the discovery of Mad Cow Disease in the United States. We have had fewer cases of BSE here in the US than you can count on one hand since that time- but South Korea has refused to widen the pipeline of US beef into their country.

In fact, we have gone backwards with South Korea- who claims they have found repeated cases of bone fragments as well as larger pieces of bone in boxes that were supposed to be from cattle under 30 months of age and to be free of bones. After finding more boxes with pieces of bone in them this past fall- they suspended all inspections of US beef into South Korea- effectively blocking all shipments from this country to Seoul.

We talk about the status of our trade with South Korea on today's Beef Buzz with Jay Truitt, Head of the Washington, DC office of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association. The daily Beef Buzz is our regular radio feature heard on radio stations across Oklahoma on the Radio Oklahoma Network- we have many of our Beef Buzz shows from the past year archived on our website- and we have today's show linked below so you can take a listen.

Click here to listen to Ron and Jay talk South Korea on today's Beef Buzz.

Could $4.00 Corn (or higher) be the Norm in 2008???
It's very possible. Purdue University's Chris Hurt says Increasing ethanol production demand and expected lower corn acreage next year could push cash corn prices in 2008 into the $4.25 to $4.75 per bushel range.

Hurt says U.S. corn acreage could decline by six percent in 2008. "All major crops are in short supply in the world, and some will outbid corn for acreage," Hurt explained. "The shortest of the major crops are wheat and soybeans, and the prices are expected to drive acres away from corn in 2008." At the same time, Hurt sees a period of rapid growth in new ethanol plant openings in the first half of 2008, when he estimates the nation's annual capacity will surge from the current 7.3 billion gallons to 11.8 billions gallons.

"This means the amount of corn required annually to feed that capacity grows from about 2.5 billion bushels today to 4 billion bushels by July of 2008," he said, further predicting that capacity requirement will grow to 4.5 billion bushels in the second half of the year. Even if these plants run below capacity,there will be a need to ration the small crop with high prices. "Given the outlook for $2-plus per gallon ethanol prices and $160 per ton distiller's grains into the fall of 2008, this implies we will be seeing cash corn prices in the $4.25 to $4.75 (per bushel) range." Hurt concludes "it will not be until 2009 when corn production may be able to meet the demand."

Oklahoma Ag Hall of Fame Nominations Now Being Accepted.
Nominations are being accepted for this year's recipient of the Governor's Outstanding Achievement Award in Agriculture. The person selected will become the 2008 inductee into the Oklahoma Agricultural Hall of Fame. Nominations will be accepted until close of business February 26. The Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food, and Forestry distributes nomination forms and accepts the completed applications. An independent selection committee comprised of leaders from various agricultural organizations chooses each year's inductee.

Nomination forms are available from the ODAFF by calling Jason Harvey, (405) 522-5563, at the agency web page that we have linked below, or by writing Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food, and Forestry, Ag Hall of Fame, 2800 N. Lincoln Blvd., Oklahoma City, OK 73105. Any living person who derives the bulk of their income, or has retired from an agricultural enterprise, is eligible for nomination. Candidates for consideration are agricultural leaders who have exemplified personal values, dedication to community service, excelled in production and performance and who have provided a strong role model for the state's youth.

"This annual opportunity to recognize and honor an Oklahoma agricultural producer is one of the highlights of the year for us at the department of agriculture," said Oklahoma Secretary of Agriculture, Terry Peach. "Reviewing the accomplishments and stories of past inductees into this Hall of Fame is inspiring." 2007's inductee into the Oklahoma Agriculture Hall of Fame was L.E. Castle from Jet, farmer/rancher and retired vocational agriculture teacher.

Click here for details on the 2008 Oklahoma Ag Hall of Fame Nominations.

R-Calf Out with Their List of 2008 Priorities- Including Strong Support for a Packer Ban on Livestock Ownership.
Among the issues that R-Calf plans on promoting heavily in 2008 is the ban on packer ownership of livestock for more than 14 days- before slaughter- R- Calf says that will prevent packers from manipulating and controlling fed cattle prices. This measure is currently in the Senate version of the 2007-2008 farm bill- and faces strong opposition from House Ag Committee Chairman Colin Peterson who has said several times- he will not permit it to be a part of the final package.

R-Calf also applauds the likely implementation of COOL this coming fall saying this will "enable U.S. producers to maintain the separate identity of their U.S. cattle herd and engage in competition with growing volumes of imported beef and cattle."

R-Calf continues their opposition to Canadian beef- especially allowing any cattle or beef from cattle over 30 months of age coming in from our neighbor to the north- saying it is too risky to permit Canadian cattle in as that leaves us open to more cases of BSE crossing the border. We have their news release linked below of all the positions that the group considers as their focus for the new year.

Click here for more on the R-Calf policy positions for 2008

AFBF, Texas County Ag Appreciation Days, KOMA Conference and More this coming week.
There are lots of things on the calendar for this coming week- and we have details of several of these events for you linked on our website on our calendar page- go to our link below to be taken straight to the calendar page of www.OklahomaFarmReport.Com.

We head for New Orleans this weekend to cover the annual meeting of the American Farm Bureau Association. We also hope to get up to Bartlesville to cover the Four State Cattle Conference planned for next Wednesday that we have a link for on our Calendar page as well.

As we have mentioned before- be sure and let us know what events are going on in your organization- we want to share those with everyone on our calendar site. Just drop us an email and we will get stuff listed!

Click here for the Calendar page of WWW.OklahomaFarmReport.Com

Our thanks to Midwest Farm Shows, American Farmers and Ranchers Mutual Insurance and Farm Credit Services of East Central Oklahomafor 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!

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Click here to check out WWW.OklahomaFarmReport.Com

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