From: Ron Hays []
Sent: Tuesday, February 12, 2008 06:15
Subject: Oklahoma's Farm News Update
Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Tuesday February 12, 2008!
A service of Farm Credit of East Central Oklahoma, KIS Futures & American Farmers and Ranchers.
-- Waiting on House Farm Bill Conferees...
-- Busy Week on the Calendar- No Till, M&M and AFR...
-- HSUS to Invade the Oklahoma Capitol on Wednesday...
-- Oklahoma and Kansas only states in Cotton Country Thinking More Acres of Cotton for 2008.
-- Farm Groups Unite As They Write Monday Letter to Congress and the Administration
-- More Beef Buzzing with Ross Wilson of TCFA
-- Paul Jackson Auction Planned for This Saturday...

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 KIS Futures as a regular sponsor of our daily E-Mail. KIS Futures provides Oklahoma Farmers & Ranchers with futures & options hedging services in the livestock and grain markets- Click here for their website or call them at 1-800-256-2555.

We are also proud to have American Farmers and Ranchers Mutual Insurance Company as a regular sponsor of our daily update- click here to go to their NEW AFR web site to learn more about their efforts to serve rural America!
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Waiting on House Farm Bill Conferees...
There continues to be a lot of smoke floating around regarding farm bill progress- and you know what they say- where there is smoke, there is fire(if we were a lawyer- I guess we would be saying "allegedly" there is fire) but the flames are not yet apparent.

The latest we are hearing and reading from inside the beltway is that Colin Peterson is proposing some ideas that could cause a bump up in the use of Rolaids among farm groups- it has been rumored that Peterson is talking about maybe a ten year bill instead of the traditional five year plan- and perhaps skipping a year of Direct Payments in order to save some money to pay for the extra things that have been added onto the bill for specialty crops, conservation and nutrition. There is also talk about ending the so called "beneficial interest" provision that have made the LDPs so popular.

One question that continues to circulate the Beltway- when will the House name conferees? Peterson said over the weekend he thought they could be named as early as today. However, Colin Woodall of the Washington office of the NCBA told us this last week in Reno that the desire to be a conferee goes well beyond just the Ag Committee- so that process has been slowed as a result. We have audio comments with Colin on our morning farm news from the Radio Oklahoma Network- and that is linked daily on the "Listen to Ron" page on our website- we have it linked below- go to that page and click on the "Click here to listen to the Morning Farm and Ranch News from the Radio Oklahoma Network"

Click here for the Listen to Ron page to get to our morning farm news with Colin Woodall of NCBA.

Busy Week on the Calendar- No Till, M&M and AFR...
Today is day two for the Oklahoma No- Till Conference being held in Oklahoma City. There is another no-till workshop planned for later this week on Friday in Enid for those that did not make it to OKC yesterday or today. You can call Jeff Bedwell in the Garfield County Extension office at 580.237.1228 for details- and we have info on our calendar page as well- we have that linked below.

The M&M show returns to Stillwater, as Mark Hodges and Mike Kubicek lead their respective Commissions to Stillwater for their annual joint research meeting on the campus of Oklahoma State University. This meeting, planned for Thursday, will feature comments from Dr. Jacqueline Fletcher of the National Institute for Microbial Forensics and Food and Agricultural Biosecurity. After her presentation, the Oklahoma Wheat Commission and the Oklahoma Peanut Commission will divide up and hear from OSU researchers on current projects important to their crops.

The annual convention of the American Farmers and Ranchers happens this Thursday evening through Saturday evening in downtown Oklahoma City- with the latest on both state and national issues to aired during this general farm group's annual get-together. Their Saturday night banquet speaker will be Congressman Dan Boren who is helping promote the truck weight bill along with Congresswoman Mary Fallin that AFR has been championing.

Click here to review all of the events up and coming on the Calendar for this week and the weeks to come...

HSUS to Invade the Oklahoma Capitol on Wednesday...
It's our understanding that the Humane Society of the United States will have an entourage spreading out around the Oklahoma Capitol on Wednesday. Not a lot of details are known as to what their plan is- but we have been told by a couple of groups that Oklahoma agriculture has readied some ammunition in case they try to paint all of animal agriculture as cruel, inhumane and somehow tied to the incident they videotaped last fall at the packing plant in California.

The delay in reporting those violations that they recorded and have posted on their web site was criticized by new Secretary of Agriculture Ed Schafer this past week. He told reporters that for a group that promotes humane treatment of animals, it was worrisome that they did not promptly inform USDA officials of the abuse so that other animals as they came through the plant would not be abused- if that indeed was taking place.

With the HSUS coming to OKC, I thought it was appropriate that we link the comments of Secretary Schafer from this past Friday at his news conference in Reno about the situation in Chino, California and this "discovery" of abuse by HSUS operatives. Schafer deplores the abuse of animals- but he wonders out loud about the motives of the HSUS.

Click here to listen to USDA Secretary Ed Schafer on the Downer Cow Video from California...

Oklahoma and Kansas only states in Cotton Country Thinking More Acres of Cotton for 2008.
U.S. cotton producers intend to plant 9.5 million acres of cotton this spring, down almost 12 percent from 2007, according to the National Cotton Council's 25th Annual Early Season Planting Intentions Survey. Upland cotton intentions are 9.32 million acres, a decrease of 11.6 percent from 2007. Extra long staple (ELS) intentions of 231,000 acres represent a 21.1 percent decrease from 2007.

Assuming an average abandonment rate, total upland and ELS harvested area would be about 8.76 million acres. Applying state-level yield assumptions to projected harvested acres generates a crop of about 15.38 million bales. This compares to 2007's total production of 19.03 million bales.

Dr. Stephen Slinsky, assistant director of NCC's Economic Services, said, "Despite cotton prices being approximately 15 cents above year-ago levels, the strength of futures prices for competing crops continue to draw acreage away from cotton. Coupled with USDA's recent wheat acreage report, it is evident that a wheat-soybean double-cropping rotation will attract acres from cotton and possibly corn."

Kansas and Oklahoma were the only states that indicate cotton acreage increases - with 16 percent and 3 percent increases, respectively. Texas growers indicated intentions of 4.8 million acres. While this is a 2.3 percent drop from last year, Texas is expected to account for half of all U.S. cotton acreage in 2008.
Oklahoma acreage is guessed at 180,000 acres, up five thousands acres from last year, while the Kansas acreage was pegged at 54,000 acres, seven thousand more acres than in 2007.

Farm Groups Unite As They Write Monday Letter to Congress and the Administration
Responding to the current status of farm bill negotiations - farm groups have written to the Chairmen and Ranking Members of the Agriculture Committees. The letter urges the Congressional ag leaders to initiate meetings on the farm bill conference committee as soon as possible - and to complete a final version of the legislation before the current farm bill expires on March 15th. A number of groups signed on to the letter sent Monday morning - including the American Farm Bureau Federation, American Sugar Alliance, National Cotton Council, National Farmers Union and USA Rice Federation.

The letter notes that farmers and ranchers are currently operating in the dark - with winter wheat already planted and spring crop producers procuring inputs and securing financing for the upcoming crop year. The farm groups also point out that vital programs for conservation, rural development, renewable energy and nutrition also await final action.

The letter goes on to criticize the Bush administration's opposition to providing adequate revenue to fund the new farm bill - calling it short- sighted for American agriculture - and for insisting on policy provisions already rejected by the House and Senate Ag Committees. The letter urges the committee leaders to work to write the final farm bill within the parameters of the two popular bills approved by the House and Senate - but also to work to reach agreement on a farm bill that is acceptable to the President. However - they say they will not support legislation that fails to adequately protect the future of American farmers and ranchers - and oppose including provisions that fall outside the realm of the House and Senate versions of the farm bill.

More Beef Buzzing with Ross Wilson of TCFA
We wrap up our quick visit with Ross Wilson of the Texas Cattle Feeders Association today on the Beef Buzz, heard daily on great radio stations around the state on the Radio Oklahoma Network. The Beef Buzz is also available most days on the Internet on our web site- WW.OklahomaFarmReport.Com. From the home page, just click on the button on the left "Beef Buzz."

Today, we focus on the concerns of Wilson and his feedlot members regarding the Senate Ag Committee's inclusion of a Packer Ban on Livestock Ownership in their version of the farm bill, as well as the mandatory COOL compromise brokered on the House side last summer.

We have our conversation with Wilson linked below- which is the featured part of our Beef Buzz program. Click on the link and take a listen.

Click here to listen to Ron and Ross Wilson on today's Beef Buzz from RON!

Paul Jackson Auction Planned for This Saturday...
The farm equipment collected over a lifetime by our friend Paul Jackson will go up for bid this coming Saturday morning at 10:00 am in Apache (actually one mile west of Apache on Highway 19).

Tractors, pickups, tools, tillage and other farm equipment all will be offered for sale by Bridges Auction out of Elgin. A preview of what will be offered is set for all day Friday and beginning at 8:00 am Saturday morning.
For information on the dispersal, contact Billy or Kelly Bridges at 580-492-5260.

Paul Jackson passed away last year after an extended illness- he is a member of the Oklahoma Ag Hall of Fame, was a longtime member of the Oklahoma Wheat Commission and a mentor to many young men and ladies of my generation, including yours truly. Serving with him on the Oklahoma Ag Leadership Advisory Council was a high honor- and is a cherished memory for me.

Click here for online details of the Paul Jackson Dispersal Auction coming up February 16.

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