From: Ron Hays []
Sent: Tuesday, March 18, 2008 06:09
Subject: Oklahoma's Farm News Update
Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Tuesday March 18, 2008!
A service of Farm Credit of East Central Oklahoma, KIS Futures and American Farmers & Ranchers.
-- Hoping For Ten Billion As Farm Bill Work Moves to the Staff Level...
-- Direct Payments and Crop Insurance Money- Two Pools of Money Some Would Love to Drain!
-- Radio Oklahoma Network and McDonalds Salute Barrow and Lamb Breed Winners!!!
-- Conservation Day at the Capitol Set for Tomorrow- Wednesday March 19!
-- Biofuels Forum Being Planned for Kingfisher April First...
-- OYE Salutes Dr. Jerry Fitch of Oklahoma State University!
-- Weekly Crop Weather Update Reflects Lagging Wheat Progress Versus "Normal"

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 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 "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 NEW AFR web site to learn more about their efforts to serve rural America!
And we 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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Hoping For Ten Billion As Farm Bill Work Moves to the Staff Level...
Suddenly, the House and Senate Ag Leadership seem to have placed the Bush Administration in the position of "outside looking in." Deputy Secretary Chuck Conner says that the USDA stands ready to help the Congressional staffers finish their work- but for now, it appears that the Congress is back to writing a final bill and letting the chips fall where they may with the Administration. And, it appears the talk of reverting back to a budget baseline bill is, for now, just talk and not being seriously entertained.

We have had reports that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has her Conferees lined up for the final blessing of a farm bill deal- but is not naming them until a deal appears to be about done. The strategy continues to be to circumvent the traditional Conference Committee approach and allow the four principals to make most of the decisions. Those four would be Peterson, Goodlatte, Harkin and Chambliss.

And it appears that the four lawmakers have delegated some of the final work to their top staff people. The work still to be done is to determine the final budget number- somewhere between eight and ten billion dollars over the budget baseline, decide how those monies will be divided up over the various Titles of the measure and drop into place policy in the Commodity Title- items like whether Beneficial Interest for LDPs stays or goes, the level of Direct Payments etc etc. It's our understanding that they continue to wait on the tax committees to come up with the actual offset plan to get to the number over the budget baseline. At this point, the staff has been told to get it done.

Direct Payments and Crop Insurance Money- Two Pools of Money Some Would Love to Drain!
We talked this past Friday with the Vice President of the American Farmers & Ranchers, Terry Detrick, and Terry was on with us on our TV segment as we talked about the latest farm bill developments. Detrick told our Saturday audience that he is very frustrated with how this farm bill process has gone- and the lack of progress after months and months of talking.

Detrick says that AFR remains very concerned about Congress raiding two "pots of money" that have been important to wheat producers in our state over the life of the 2002 farm bill- the annual Direct Payments and funding to help make crop insurance affordable and viable. Taking money from either of those "pots" would hurt many farmers in our region, as the Direct Payment is the only support that wheat farmers have gotten from the 2002 farm law- and the crop insurance support has kept insurance premiums from being priced out of range of many southern plains farmers, where risk is substantially higher than in locations like the corn belt.

We talked with Terry on our In the Field segment on KWTV News9- and then we sat down and did a little more in depth radio interview exploring where we stand in this frustrating farm bill year. We have that linked on our website on our main page on www.OklahomaFarmReport.Com- and have it linked below as well. Take a listen!

Click here to listen to Ron and Terry talk farm bill politics and possible outcomes.

Radio Oklahoma Network and McDonalds Salute Barrow and Lamb Breed Winners!!!
We have set up a page for you to review the winners at the 2008 Oklahoma Youth Expo as it continues through Thursday evening. On that page, we now have the top winners in the Wether Goat Competition, the Beef Heifers Breed Winners, the Gilt Winners and the first day of the Barrows and Market Lamb Show.

Breed Winners Included J.T. Voth of Fairview FFA showing the Dorset Market Lamb Champion; Cooper Newcomb of Merritt FFA showing the Hampshire Market Lamb; Logan Daniel with top honors for his Shropshire Market Lamb, Amber Cox of Morrison 4-H as she received the Champion Ribbon for her Southdown Market Lamb- and Jill Davis of the Guthrie FFA- who had the Champion Speckled Face Market Lamb. The Market Lamb show continues today.

Also continuing today is the Market Hog show- where five breed winners were picked by the judge on Monday. Those five winners include Megan Heinrich of Bray-Doyle 4-H for her Berkshire Champion; Chris Hall of Cleveland Co. 4-H with the Chester White Champion Barrow; Dahlton Berg of Minco 4-H who owns the Champion Duroc Barrow; Raylynn Smith of Leedy FFA who drove her Poland China to the Championship in that breed and Kaylin Listen of El Reno 4-H- she owns the Champion Spot Barrow.

The page we have linked below has the Champions and the Reserves in each breed listed for these market animal competitions- and these animals will be held for the Grand Champion drive that will happen on Wednesday afternoon in the Arena at State Fair Park.

Click here to jump to our OYE page of winners and other coverage from the 2008 Oklahoma Youth Expo!

Conservation Day at the Capitol Set for Tomorrow- Wednesday March 19!
The Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts (OACD) will sponsor "Conservation Day at the Capitol" on March 19. Cosponsors include a number of the state's 88 local conservation districts, the Oklahoma Conservation Commission, and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. The event will take place in the Capitol Rotunda on the fourth floor from 8:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Participants will have exhibits on display featuring diverse conservation activities across the state that address local natural resource needs.

There will be an awards presentation at 10:00 a.m. in the Governor's Blue Room on the second floor. Three categories will be presented in the OACD Conservation Awards, sponsored by Chesapeake Energy, the Nature Conservancy of Oklahoma and the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation.
Dan Gallery of Wann, Oklahoma, will receive the Outstanding Landowner/Cooperator Award, sponsored by the Nature Conservancy of Oklahoma. Gallery is a cooperator with and was nominated by the Caney Valley Conservation District.
Rick Jeans of Tonkawa, on the board of directors of the Kay County Conservation District, will receive the Outstanding District Director Award, sponsored by the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation. In February Jeans was inducted into the Oklahoma Conservation Hall of Fame.

Deer Creek Conservation District will receive the Outstanding District Award, sponsored by Chesapeake Energy. The Deer Creek Conservation District office is in Weatherford.
In addition, five teachers from across the state - one in each Congressional district - will receive Outstanding Conservation Educator Awards cosponsored by OACD and Chesapeake Energy. The recipients are John Beasley, Tulsa; Alicia Brents, Fort Towson; Jennifer Crabb, Sayre; Rick McElhaney, Lawton; and Colby Cagle, Bethel Acres.

Biofuels Forum Being Planned for Kingfisher April First...
Robin Wolf of Plains Partners in Okarche is helping plan a top notch program on April first at the Kingfisher County Fairgrounds on the opportunities that may be ahead of us in the farm and ranch industry when it comes to biofuels.

Robin writes us in an email "We are set for April 1, 2008, from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the Kingfisher County Fairgrounds. Cassie Gilman with the Oklahoma Bioenergy Center and Steven Rhines of the Noble Foundation are assisting me in this. The speakers for the evening include: Yates Adcock - Cattlemen and Biofuels from Seminole Jim Covey - House of Reps - State efforts toward Bioenergy Terry Detrick - POP and American Farmers Insurance - Biofuels / Appropriate to their territories Cassie Gilman - Oklahoma Bioenergy Center - Progress of Oklahoma Bioenergy Center (introduction) Mike Marlow - Monsanto - Crop production for a bio- fuel future Clay Pope - Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts - Conservation and Steven Rhines - Noble Foundation -Noble Foundation Progress and Outlook

They are planning a dinner beginning at 5:00 PM that evening and the program will begin at 6:00 PM. They are asking folks for RSVP for a spot at the dinner table. You can contact Robin in Okarche for more information by calling her at 405-263-7240.

OYE Salutes Dr. Jerry Fitch of Oklahoma State University!
He's not a native Okie- but he loves his adopted home- and he has won the hearts of thousands of Oklahoma youth for his two decades of service as the OSU State Extension Sheep Specialist. Along the way, he has served for years as the Sheep Superintendent at both the Tulsa State Fair and the Oklahoma Youth Expo. For his countless hours of service in these roles, as well as his service as the lead Faculty Rep for the Oklahoma Ag Leadership Experience that has been a part of the Oklahoma Youth Expo in recent years- Dr. Jerry Fitch is one of two 2008 OYE Show Honorees.

We talked with Jerry on Monday afternoon after day one of the 2008 Market Lamb show, which he seemed very pleased with. We have our conversation with Fitch linked on our OYE page- and directly linked below for you to hear more about the 2008 Sheep Show- as well as his service to Oklahoma Youth since 1988 that has been a central part of his life.

Click here to listen to Ron and Jerry Fitch talk Sheep and Kids at the 2008 Oklahoma Youth Expo.

Weekly Crop Weather Update Reflects Lagging Wheat Progress Versus "Normal"
The latest Oklahoma Weekly Crop Weather Update was released on Monday afternoon- and it shows that only 16% of the state's wheat crop has jointed, compared to thirty six percent that was jointed at this time a year ago and the five year average of 30% by this date.

That could be a blessing- since last year, with the crop so advanced, we suffered freeze damage from an end of the season freeze in early April. This year- it looks like much of the crop may not be far enough along to worry too much about late freeze damage. The crop is being rated 70% in fair to good condition- although we still have many acres that are very late in developing.

The report also shows we are making progress in pre planting preparation in several of our spring planted crops- and the report tells us that we have begun planting the 2008 corn crop. "Corn seedbed preparation was at 45 percent, 13 points ahead of normal, and a small portion of the State's acreage had been planted by week's end."
We have the full report linked below for you to check out.

Click here for the latest crop weather update for the state of Oklahoma...

Our thanks to American Farmers & Ranchers, 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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