From: Ron Hays []
Sent: Saturday, February 16, 2008 18:34
Subject: Oklahoma's Farm News Update
Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Monday February 18, 2008!
A service of Farm Credit of East Central Oklahoma, KIS Futures & Midwest Farm Shows
-- President's Day- Markets and Uncle Sam Take a Day Off.
-- The Man Who Wanted to be House Ag Committee Chair Calls Colin Peterson the right man at the right time for the 2007-2008 Farm Bill.
-- Senate Ag Leaders Make An Offer that USDA Says They Can Easily Refuse.
-- Just Stopped In to See What Condition my Condition is in!
-- Farm Bureau Week Kicked Off by Leadership Conference Later Today and Tomorrow.
-- Unwanted Pesticides to be collected this week and next...
-- Wheat Pasture Utilization Well Under 2007- So Says Dr. Derrell Peel

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

If you have received this by someone forwarding it to you, you are welcome to subscribe and get this weekday update sent to you directly by clicking here.

President's Day- Markets and Uncle Sam Take a Day Off.
This email will be a "lite" version with the futures markets taking the day off as our country stops and honors the lives of the father of our Country, George Washington, and the 16th President of the US, Abraham Lincoln. Besides the futures and equity markets off on this Monday, all Federal offices are closed. As is normally the case, our cash cattle auction markets will maintain their normal schedules and will be open for business today.

We have some coverage of the 2008 American Farmers and Ranchers convention in this email, with more to come on Tuesday. And, we will be checking in from the Oklahoma Ag Leadership Program's International Travel Experience to China and South Korea all this week and most of next.

We have set up a "blog" on our website at for the adventures in China- and we will will likely have some items from Beijing between Monday morning Oklahoma time and our Tuesday email. I have linked our page for our reports from China below- so you may want to check back every day to see what is going on with the OALP group. We will also have some stuff on the News9 and Newson6 websites as well- I will let you know more about that as it is put into place.

Click here for the OALP to China updates on WWW.OklahomaFarmReport.Com!

The Man Who Wanted to be House Ag Committee Chair Calls Colin Peterson the right man at the right time for the 2007-2008 Farm Bill.
Speaking to the 103rd Annual Meeting of the American Farmers and Ranchers in downtown Oklahoma City on Saturday morning, former Texas lawmaker Charlie Stenholm admitted he would have loved to have been the Chairman of the House Ag Committee, but the Blue Dog Democrat saw his district sliced up- forcing him to run against Randy Neugebauer of Lubbock- and the then freshman lawmaker won his second term by beating Stenholm. Stenholm has become a successful lobbyist inside the Washington beltway- but still has that "down home" manner that so many love.

He told the AFR audience on Saturday that Peterson- out of the 535 members of Congress- was the right man to take on the farm bill challenge- adding he has "worked his buns off over the last six weeks or so" trying to get all parties talking and moving toward a bill. Stenholm believes we will get a bill- but did not rule out Permanent Law being allowed to take effect for at least a short time.

Our time at the AFR meeting was cut short by our flight out Saturday afternoon- bound for China- but we did catch up with several folks at the meeting- and one of them was AFR lobbyist Bob Wright. We talked state issues with Bob, after their policy session on Friday- and he pointed to water issues, tight money concerns and the need for some TLC for rural fire fighting districts as things that AFR is watching extra close this state legislative session. We have our conversation with Bob linked below- and we invite you to click on the link and take a listen!

Click here to listen to Ron and Bob talk state policy priorities for AFR in 2008!

Senate Ag Leaders Make An Offer that USDA Says They Can Easily Refuse.
This past Friday, the Senate seemed to side with the farm groups that had sent a letter to Congressional Ag Leadership on Thursday that called the House Ag Leadership-White House deal "seriously underfunded" and said that we need $12.5 billion dollars over the budget baseline over the ten year scorekeeping time frame.

Well, the Senate plan from Tom Harkin and Saxby Chambliss suggested the need for $12.3 billion over the budget baseline- much closer to the Farm groups than to the leaner deal proposed by Colin Peterson and Bob Goodlatte- and praised by Chuck Conner and his new boss, Secretary Ed Schafer.

We do understand that talk continues between the parties this President's Day weekend- trying to find a number that the USDA and President Bush will not threaten veto over- it's interesting to note from Friday that Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad claims to have located offsets for at least $8 billion- all coming from programs that the President has identified in his budget proposal as not being a tax increase but ways to manipulate the books.

We have the Senate statement on their proposal and the USDA response on our Farm Bill webpage- and we have that page linked below- as the negotiations unfold- we will continue to keep you updated- even as we travel with the OALP group in China.

Click here for our latest info on our Farm Bill 2007 page on WWW.OklahomaFarmReport.Com

Just Stopped In to See What Condition my Condition is in!
How's the 2008 Oklahoma Wheat Crop faring thus far six weeks into the new calendar year? We caught up with Dr. Jeff Edwards this past week at the Oklahoma No-till Conference and we talked wheat crop condition with him.

Edwards believes there is still hope for the many acres of wheat that are just now emerging- if we can favorable growing conditions. He acknowledges we are talking about limited yield potential even if all breaks just right. He is more optimistic about the acres of wheat that did up to stand last fall. While not having a lot of forage for winter wheat pasture in 2007-2008- it does appear that if we get enough fertilizer on this crop- we have decent yield potential on this part of our wheat crop.

The one factor that has developed since our conversation with Jeff is the tremendous moisture that much of wheat country received on primarily Saturday- he comments about the need for a good rain up front- we got it and that should skew wheat conditions in a good way as we start to warm up in a few weeks. We have our wheat update conversation with Dr. Edwards linked for you below- take a listen and get up to speed on the condition of our wheat crop condition!

Click here to listen to Ron and Jeff on the 2008 Oklahoma Wheat Crop...

Farm Bureau Week Kicked Off by Leadership Conference Later Today and Tomorrow.
The Governor has declared it "Farm Bureau week" in the state- and the general farm group is celebrating with a Leadership Conference later today and Tuesday- being held at the Marriott in northwest Oklahoma City.

They will be hearing from Congresswomen Mary Fallin and Congressman Dan Boren, as well as Senator Jim Inhofe. They also will have a state issues update delivered by Lt. Governor Jari Askins, with a State Lawmaker reception and dinner planned for Monday evening.

We talked with OFB President Mike Spradling of Tulsa County about the event- as well as some of the issues that Farm Bureau has at the top of their state and national list- you can click below to take a listen.

Click here to listen to Ron and Mike talk Farm Bureau policy issues.

Unwanted Pesticides to be collected this week and next...
The Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry is funding a program to help collect and properly dispose of unwanted pesticides that farmers, commercial applicators, or dealers may have. It was a very successful program in 2007- and now that 2008 has arrived, so have the first set of these collection days this month.

Oklahoma commercial and non-commercial applicators and pesticide dealers may participate as well as Oklahoma farmers and ranchers. There is no cost for the first 2,500 pounds of pesticides brought in by a participant. Participants will however be charged $1/pound for anything over 2,500 pounds except in the case of mercury based pesticides. Mercury based pesticides will cost participants $2.22/pound for disposal.

The first of these collection points will be operating tomorrow, February 19 from 8:00 AM until 1:00 PM in Frederick at the Tillman County Fairgrounds. Next will be Thursday, February 21, 2008 in Carter County at the City of Ardmore Operation Pride Drop-off Center. The following week, a dropoff is set for February 26 in Canadian County at Helena Chemical, 310 East Jensen in El Reno. The final of the February dropoffs will happen February 28 in Pryor at the Mayes County Fairgrounds.

Click here for more information on the Unwanted Pesticides Program and the pickups that start on Tuesday Feb. 19

Wheat Pasture Utilization Well Under 2007- So Says Dr. Derrell Peel
One of the speakers at the 2008 American Farmers and Ranchers Convention in Oklahoma City over this past weekend was Dr. Derrell Peel- and one of the topics- the lower level of wheat pasture being grazed this winter versus a year ago. Dr. Peel reports as of January 1, USDA reported 1.75 million head of cattle grazing small grains pasture in Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas, only 67 percent of the 2007 level. Feeder cattle prices have jumped sharply in the past two to three weeks, partly on recognition that feeder supplies are still cyclically tight, especially in the first half of 2008.

Peel adds "Mid-February is about the time that dual purpose wheat producers with grazing cattle start monitoring wheat for indications of first hollow stem, which signals the end of winter grazing. The average date of first hollow stem varies considerably from year to year and by wheat variety and usually occurs around March 1. However, the negative impact of grazing on wheat yield occurs quickly after first hollow stem and producers must be ready to remove cattle quickly. This is especially the case this year with high wheat price providing even more incentive for producers to protect wheat yields."

"First hollow stem often produces a "run" of wheat pasture cattle anytime from late February through mid- March. This year the relatively small numbers of grazing cattle suggests that there will be much smaller than typical wheat pasture run. Moreover, wheat growth has been limited for many producers and some winter grazing cattle are beginning to show up at sales due to lack of forage. Thus, there may be even more smoothing of feeder cattle marketings over the next month compared to the typical bunching that often occurs.
"Clearly, with the value of the wheat crop, there will be little interest in grazing out wheat until May. The only exceptions would be some producers who have problem fields that may choose to graze the wheat out as a part of weed control, especially if they have a summer crop opportunity. There are some wheat-rye mixes that are routinely grazed out but the numbers there are smaller than usual as well."

Our thanks to Midwest Farm Shows, KIS Futures and Farm Credit 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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