From: Ron Hays []
Sent: Monday, March 17, 2008 08:02
Subject: Oklahoma's Farm News Update
Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Monday March 17, 2008!
A service of the Southern Plains Farm Show, American Farmers & Ranchers and KIS Futures!
-- Services Set for Paul Hitch.
-- Peterson says the 2007-2008 Farm Bill Has to be Done by the end of the Month!
-- Radio Oklahoma Network and McDonalds Salute Commercial Gilt Champs!
-- Oklahoma Starting to See Some Disease Pressure on the 2008 Wheat Crop.
-- Who will win this year's Community Partnership Award?
-- Economist Claims that "The biofuels program is, in effect, a regressive tax on food production."
-- A little later than normal on this St. Patrick's Day...

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 have KIS Futures as a 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 "new look" website or call them at 1-800-256-2555.

We are also 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!
And our email this morning is also a service of Midwest Farm Shows, producer of the Tulsa Farm Show held each December, 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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Services Set for Paul Hitch.
We reported to you on Friday in a special update the news of Paul Hitch passing away this past Friday morning after a tough battle with cancer. Information is now available on the services for Hitch. They are scheduled for Wednesday, March 19 at 2 p.m. at Victory Memorial United Methodist Church at 6th and Roosevelt in Guymon.

The Texas Cattle Feeders Association wrote a nice tribute to Paul in their weekly newsletter as they said "Hitch, 64, provided leadership for TCFA in many capacities including chairing several committees, as association Chairman in 2000, and as the founding chairman of TCFA's group marketing project, Consolidated Beef Producers, Inc. He also represented TCFA on the NCBA Board of Directors and on several NCBA committees, rising to President- Elect in 2007 before resigning for health reasons. Current TCFA Board Chairman Walter E. Lasley said, "Paul is one of the great leaders of our industry who has made immeasurable contributions to the entire cattle industry. He always put the interest of the overall industry above his own business interests. Now the most important thing is for everyone to keep Paul's family in our prayers and thoughts."

As we mentioned Friday- while the Hitch legacy has been in the cattle business, Paul saw opportunity with other enterprises and was not afraid to take the family business in those new directions. When Seaboard announced they were coming to Guymon, Paul Hitch jumped into the swine production business- raising market hogs for the Seaboard plant- Hitch Enterprises also has a substantial farming operation, a commodity firm and more.
Hitch was honored earlier this year by the National Cattlemen's Beef Association during their annual meeting in Reno- as well as by the Oklahoma Pork Council at their annual Pork Congress in Oklahoma City- the Pork folks inducting him into their Hall of Fame.

Peterson says the 2007-2008 Farm Bill Has to be Done by the end of the Month!
While Congress has a new extension on the 2002 farm law- at least portions of it to preserve the budget baseline- through the 18th of April- the Chairman of the House Ag Committee, Colin Peterson, told reporters Friday night that he thinks they have to finally get most of the decisions done on a new farm bill by the time they get back to Washington from the Easter recess- or their will be no deal at all.

Discussions are expected to continue through the break on funding, jurisdiction and title allocations. Discussions this past week focused on funding offsets, though no agreement was reached between the Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee due in part to Ways and Means Chairman Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) being hospitalized with flu-like symptoms. Despite the fact that funding offsets weren't finalized this past week, the $10 billion over baseline figure was agreed to by the four principals and Congressional leadership, and title allocation work resumed Friday.

Early in the week, agriculture leaders in the House said they were considering putting a proposal forward that would fund a new farm bill with current baseline spending projections, but that idea was reportedly scrapped on Friday in favor of using $10 billion above baseline.

Radio Oklahoma Network and McDonalds Salute Commercial Gilt Champs!
The 2008 Oklahoma Youth Expo is moving along at a rapid clip- with the Barrow and Market Lamb shows getting underway on this Monday morning. All of these shows will move towards the selection of the Grand Champion Barrow, Market Lamb and Steer on Wednesday afternoon.

We have the Champions from the some 800 commercial gilts that were shown to tell you about this morning- and they include the Supreme Commercial Gilt shown by Adam Holik of the Prague FFA Chapter. The Reserve Supreme Champion Commercial Gilt was shown by Cheyenne Gaff of the Timberlake 4-H.

The World's Largest Junior Livestock Show will wrap up this coming Thursday afternoon with the Premium Sale of the very top animals at this year's event- the auction expected to generate as much as $800,000 for the young people who shown this top animals- the sale begins at 4:00 PM.

Oklahoma Starting to See Some Disease Pressure on the 2008 Wheat Crop.
We got a late Friday report from Dr. Bob Hunger from OSU on disease observations for the 2008 Oklahoma Wheat Crop, with most fields a beautiful green and starting to grow rapidly.

Dr. Hunger reports "Samples received during the last week have included a positive for wheat spindle streak mosaic virus in a sample of Endurance from north central Oklahoma. Remember that wheat spindle streak mosaic virus is transmitted by the same soilborne fungus that transmits wheat soilborne mosaic virus. Endurance is resistant to wheat soilborne mosaic virus, but susceptible to wheat spindle streak mosaic virus. Wheat spindle streak mosaic virus is favored by cooler temperatures (<50 F) whereas wheat soilborne mosaic virus has a higher temperature optimum (50-70 F). Because of this, I have not noticed as much damage to wheat in Oklahoma from wheat spindle streak mosaic virus as compared to wheat soilborne mosaic virus.

"Several positives for barley yellow dwarf virus were detected from around Stillwater. These samples were from earlier planted wheat (the first half of September). Although these areas had been sprayed for aphids, there had been high levels of aphids present and BYDV apparently was transmitted and the wheat is now showing symptoms. In my field visits this past week around Stillwater, no leaf rust or powdery mildew were observed, but symptoms of wheat soilborne and spindle streak were just beginning to be obvious in my screening nursery."

Who will win this year's Community Partnership Award?
That's a question that will be answered in about a week during the the Oklahoma Community Institute's 9th Annual Conversations on Community Renewal Award Banquet.

Twelve communities throughout the state were nominated for the award based on their economic development practices, their successful utilization of USDA Rural Development programs, their partnerships and participation in REI programs and services, and participation in the services offered by the Oklahoma Community Institute (OCI). A panel of representatives from USDA Rural Development, REI, and OCI narrowed the field from 12 to four finalists: Central High, Guymon, Miami, and Wewoka. According to the panelists, there were several strong nominations evidencing the proactive economic development efforts taking place throughout Oklahoma.

More details on this process- and other things that are going on with the USDA Rural Development Office in Stillwater can be seen in their March edition of their regular newsletter. We have it linked below- check it out.

Click here for the March USDA Rural Development Newsletter.

Economist Claims that "The biofuels program is, in effect, a regressive tax on food production."
At the recent American Meat Institute meeting in Nashville, a strong case was made about the high cost of ethanol policy on corn prices we have seen in this country. The actual increase that ethanol policy has provided is about $2.77 per bushel for farm level prices in 2008, according to economist Dr. Tom Elam, the president of FarmEcon LLL. Speaking at AMI's Annual Meat Conference in Nashville this week, Dr. Elam said ethanol tax credits have added about $1.33 per bushel to corn prices and may drive costs above $5 at the farm level in 2009.

Dr. Elam cites other impacts from the nation's biofuels program including:
An additional cost this year of $117.50 per fed beef animal.
Ethanol would have been $1.69 a gallon, but increased demand for corn and higher corn prices are driving prices up, and they now are 51 cents a gallon higher than they would have been without the program.
The biofuels program is, in effect, a regressive tax on food production. Dr. Elam contends that the windfall gains from the program go to a relatively small number of corn and soybean producers.

Elam adds that the federal government's renewable fuel program will also lead to a financial hit on the U.S. food industry of about $100 billion from 2005 to 2010, adding that he expects food price inflation to be around 5% or 6% in 2009.

A little later than normal on this St. Patrick's Day...
We are running a little later than normal on this Monday March 17- computer issues have caused some delays on this Monday- and it sure feels like a Monday.

As we get this out a couple of hours later than normal- we do want to remind you that we appreciate one and all that offer feedback on this daily email. It really does reflect what you are interested in- as I get information from many of you on events going on and subjects that you tell me that are important to your bottom line.

Anytime you have an event coming up in an organization that you are a part of- let us know- we'll be glad to publicize it for you. And we appreciate your commentary on the farm news we report- it gives us valuable insight on how the farm community feels on the farm news that is happening all around us- day in and day out.
Thanks for your support and interest- pass this email along and tell the folks you know to subscribe and check it out!

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