From: Ron Hays []
Sent: Tuesday, January 15, 2008 05:52
Subject: Oklahoma's Farm News Update
Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Tuesday January 15, 2008!
A service of Farm Credit of East Central Oklahoma, American Farmers and Ranchers & Midwest Farm Shows
-- OSU Researchers Developed the Technology of the Biotech Partner that Just inked a Deal with GM on Cellulosic Ethanol!
-- Talking with the President from Texas...
-- NASS Deputy Says Dig Out That Census!!!
-- Does Half Now and More Later work for Wheat Fungicides?
-- Severe Discounts for Heavy Carcasses Being Promoted by Tyson.
-- Trent Loos Nails The Edmondson Chicken Lawsuit Up on the Wall.
-- A Whole Lotta Baking Going On- or- Oklahoma Wheat Farmer Rolling in the Dough!

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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OSU Researchers Developed the Technology of the Biotech Partner that Just inked a Deal with GM on Cellulosic Ethanol!
To be precise, the Oklahoma State University researchers developed three microorganisms designed to eat carbon monoxide and hydrogen in a gas stream- with what's left converted to liquid and becomes ethanol in the process. These microorganisms have been licensed to Coskata, the venture that has signed a deal with General Motors that plans on delivering the "next generation" ethanol to the market.

The ethanol that can be produced using these OSU developed microorganisms is first class. According to Wes Bolsen, Chief Marketing Officer for Coskata, "The Coskata process has the potential to yield more than 100 gallons of ethanol per dry ton of carbonaceous feedstock, reducing production costs to less than $1 per gallon."
According to an independent study conducted by the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory, Coskata's process - using the OSU Biofuels Team microorganisms - can reduce carbon dioxide emissions by as much as 84 percent compared to conventional gasoline. The process also has no back-end solid waste to dry and handle like enzymatic approaches to ethanol production and uses less than one gallon of fresh water per gallon of ethanol produced, according to Coskata. Corn-based systems typically use three gallons to four gallons of fresh water per gallon of ethanol produced, and enzymatic approaches can use as much as seven gallons of fresh water per gallon of ethanol produced.

Development of the technology licensed to Coskata is the result of OSU's longstanding commitment to biofuels development, said Robert E. Whitson, vice president, dean and director of the university's Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. "DASNR scientists and engineers have been breeding improved feedstock with an eye toward biofuels development since the early 1990s. Our first cellulosic ethanol team was put together in 1998, and has been making great strides in technology development ever since," Whitson said. "Biofuels has come into widespread public consciousness only recently, but we've been addressing renewable energy concerns for many years." The OSU Biofuels Team quickly became a multi- college, multi-institutional effort, with the current team encompassing scientists and engineers with DASNR; the OSU College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology; the University of Oklahoma and Brigham Young University.

The key now is for the pilot plant to be built this year by Coskata- and then see how well the microorganisms are able to "do their thing" at the plant level. If this plant is successful and we see this company expand, it will be because of the OSU technology that has been developed- as this lies at the heart of this concept. We have linked a story about GM partnering with Coskata in this effort to make ethanol that really fulfills the promise of a clean, efficient to make ethanol that is not a water hog. It's not in Gallagher-Iba, but what a victory for the Cowboys!!!!

Click here on the article on Coskata and GM joining forces to make low cost cellulosic ethanol.

Talking with the President from Texas...
That's President Bob Stallman from southeast Texas- who continues to serve as the top man of the American Farm Bureau Federation. We spent about a quarter of an hour with the farm group leader yesterday here in New Orleans as the 89th annual meeting of the American Farm Bureau continues.

We talked farm bill- and specifically what Bob thinks about those who want to change farm programs from a production support tool for American agriculture to totally a social engineering tool. That would be the groups that want to put extremely low payment limits in place that are set on an arbitrary dollar amount. Stallman says that Farm Bureau wants farm programs to function as a safety net for those producing the major crops in this country- however many bushels they produce.

Beyond the farm bill, we also talked beef trade- primarily about the games that continue to played by Japan and South Korea as they choose unilaterally to ignore the science accepted in most parts of the world from the OIE regarding BSE, or Mad Cow Disease. Stallman believes that both South Korea and Japan are going to have to give on this issue- he believes that South Korea will be coming to us to resolve the issue in order to try to save the Free Trade Agreement they signed with us last year- and he thinks maybe the Japanese will come around eventually. We have this conversation linked on our Farm Bureau meeting page on our website- and linked directly below- click and listen!

Click to listen to Ron and Bob Stallman talk farm policy and trade policy and more.

NASS Deputy Says Dig Out That Census!!!
Carol House is the Deputy Administrator for Programs and Products of NASS- the National Ag Statistics Service of the USDA- and we talked with her in New Orleans as she was at the American Farm Bureau convention- encouraging farmers in attendance to dig out the 2007 Census of Ag that has been received in the mail.

She says that once all the data is collected- it will be released next February and will be the standard of information on crops, livestock and more about life down on the farm and ranch. She reminds us that while the response to the Census is required by law- at the same time the personal information given to the government will not be made public where it can be traced back to any individual.

We have an audio conversation that we have linked below with Carol House- and here is the toll free number that Carol gives us towards the end of the interview if you have questions about how to fill out the information that is asked for by NASS- that number is 1-888-4 AG STATS.

Click here to listen to Ron and Carol House talking 2007 Census of Ag

Does Half Now and More Later work for Wheat Fungicides?
The prospect of eight to ten dollar wheat has a lot of folks interested in protecting their yield potential of the 2008 wheat crop. The traditional way of applying wheat fungicides has been with a single full dose of the product.

Well, Dr. Jeff Edwards and Dr. Bob Hunger at OSU have looked at some of the research that is out there right now that suggests that you might spread out the application of the fungicide to help better manage disease problems you may be facing. Dr. Edwards writes that "Information available so far indicates that splitting a fungicide application may have the greatest benefit in wheat being produced in a low- or no-till system where a variety susceptible to tan spot and/or septoria has been planted. With weather favorable for disease development in such a scenario, an early fungicide application may reduce early infection of lower leaves by inoculum coming from the residue. However, a second fungicide application at a full rate also may be needed to continue disease protection later in the season. This logic may also apply to a disease such as stripe rust when "hot-spots" are found in a field in January or February. In contrast to this scenario, controlling powdery mildew and leaf rust may best be approached with a single application later in the season."

Jeff and Bob have published a short paper on this subject- we have it linked on our website (as well as linked below) for you to check out. With all of our inputs so expensive, making you only apply what really is needed will help control costs as you try to grow as many bushels as you can in 2008. Dr. Edwards tells me in an email that one thing is absolutely certain- trying to do one pass in a wheat field with both nitrogen topdressing and a fungicide is a recipe for failure- either you will be too early with the topdressing and on time with the fungicide- or at an optimum time for the topdressing and too late for best coverage by the fungicide.

Click here for the latest bulletin from Dr. Jeff Edwards on Splitting Fungicide Applications.

Severe Discounts for Heavy Carcasses Being Promoted by Tyson.
The nation's largest beef packer is getting very serious about controlling carcass weights and making sure the cuts from their beef carcasses will fit the box. Tyson Foods is phasing in a new cattle pricing grid designed to reward producers of animals that best meet their customer's needs - namely, animals that are not too heavy.

"Retail and foodservice beef customers have consistently expressed concern about excessive piece weights from heavy carcasses," the company said in a written statement. "These beef subprimals are subsequently difficult to portion and merchandize."

As we mentioned, heavier carcasses face significant penalties. Under Tyson's new "True Value Grid," beef carcasses weighing more than 1,000 pounds are discounted $15 per hundredweight, while those more than 1,050 pounds are discounted $35 per hundredweight. The grid also incorporates USDA's regional weekly weighted average prices as well as average premiums and discounts based on quality.

Trent Loos Nails The Edmondson Chicken Lawsuit Up on the Wall.
We have known Trent Loos for several years now- and he has gained fame as a Baxter Black kind of a guy with an attitude- he looks and talks like a cowboy- but he takes his attitude and will write some outstanding pieces on the ignorance of some of the foes of production agriculture in this country.

In a recent column he penned for the folks up at the High Plains Journal- he really pulled up the pickup and dumped the whole load on Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson. Loos writes " I suggest that it is high time we start sharing the economic incentive of livestock agriculture with our county and state government officials and our fellow residents. Take, for example, the complete ignorance of the benefit of the poultry business to the economy of Oklahoma. The poultry industry directly employs 12,000 residents of Oklahoma and generates $453 million in farm receipts, resulting in over $3 billion going into the Oklahoma economy. All of this seems to pale in comparison, in the eyes of some government officials, to the importance of floating on the Illinois River in Oklahoma, which generates a mere $9 million annually in direct economic benefits."

"You see, in 2005 Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson sued 14 Arkansas-based poultry companies for polluting the Illinois River watershed with chicken litter. Edmondson, instead of doing his real job of prosecuting criminals in the state of Oklahoma, has attempted to create a windfall in state earnings by targeting poultry companies owned by out-of-state entities. He can't file any criminal charges against contract producers in his state because the chicken farmers have followed the application laws set forth by the state of Oklahoma. A better question might be, why doesn't the Attorney General fulfill his actual duties and start locking up some real criminals?"

Loos suggest that maybe Mr. Edmondson is barking up the wrong tree when it comes to where the possible pollution comes from- you can read his whole theory by following the link below.

Click here for the Loos take on the Edmondson Lawsuit Against the Northwest Arkansas Poultry Companies.

A Whole Lotta Baking Going On- or- Oklahoma Wheat Farmer Rolling in the Dough!
Hundreds of pounds of flour- at least 70 pounds of powdered sugar and a bunch of man (and Lady) hours went into the making of cinnamon rolls and bread for attendees of the 2008 American Farm Bureau Federation. The Oklahoma Wheat Commission and the Oklahoma Farm Bureau partnered on this undertaking here in the Trade Show Showcase of the AFBF meeting on Sunday and Monday.

We talked with Oklahoma Wheat Commissioner Keith Kisling and he told us that this project, most of the time done in-state, helps showcase the fact that wheat is a major crop that farmers grow in the state of Oklahoma. Kisling said that in many cases, it is a farmer oriented meeting that they are a part of- at other times, it is more consumer oriented, but whatever the case, he believes it is a promotion to both the consumer as well as giving the OWC a chance to meet with producers from around the state and let them know about the importance of the checkoff efforts for wheat producers.

The theme of the booth this year was "Share the Bounty" and clearly, it was mission accomplished based on the tremendous number of folks that ate a part of a cinnamon roll or got a piece of bread sometime over the last couple of days in this Farm Bureau trade show. We talked briefly with Keith about the reasons that the Oklahoma Wheat Commission is supportive of such events- click and listen!

Click here for the conversation between Ron and Keith about the Oklahoma Wheat Commission's Efforts to "Share the Bounty" at the AFBF Trade Show.

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