From: Ron Hays []
Sent: Monday, March 24, 2008 07:12
Subject: Oklahoma's Farm News Update
Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Monday March 24, 2008!
A service of Farm Credit of East Central Oklahoma, KIS Futures and American Farmers & Ranchers.
-- Wheat Prices Have Tumbled 22% in the Last Six Market Days!
-- Farm Bill Update- Short and Sweet...Nada!
-- $800,000 and Change at Last Week's Oklahoma Youth Expo Premium Auction- Jeramy Rich.
-- COLD SOILS can do bad things to newly planted cotton.
-- Packer Ban on Owning Livestock- Should JBS Swift Deal to Buy National Beef & Smithfield Be a Factor?
-- Congressman Lucas Has Town Hall Meetings Planned for Thursday and Friday of this week...
-- OBI Tested Bull Sale Set for THIS Thursday!

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.

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Wheat Prices Have Tumbled 22% in the Last Six Market Days!
In recent days, our grain and oilseed prices have faced severe turbulence- with wheat prices especially in free fall in recent trading sessions. Since March 13, the gulf export bid as reported by the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture has dropped $2.59 per bushel- or 22% of its value from $13.26 down to $10.67 as of this past Thursday before the Easter holiday weekend.

Using the central Oklahoma location of El Reno as an example- cash grain prices that have been posted at local elevators have dropped that same amount, with El Reno reporting a price on March 13 of $12.16 per bushel for number one Hard Red Winter wheat- and the price as we entered the Easter three day weekend was $9.57 per bushel.
It's not been that many years ago- for example go back tot he harvest of 2003- and we had wheat prices with a "2" in front of them (around $2.80 per bushel at harvest that season basis our local elevators) and a drop of $2.59 a bushel in a week is all the more amazing.

The silver lining of that huge drop is that for elevators (and individual farmers) that were holding forward contracts of wheat closer to these price levels from farmers who had locked in these prices back earlier in the year have seen margin call pressure ease considerably since mid March.

Click here to review current cash grain prices as reported by the Oklahoma Department of Ag as of this past Thursday afternoon.

Farm Bill Update- Short and Sweet...Nada!
At the mid point of the Easter recess- there's no visible progress to report in the farm bill deliberations that continue in our nation's capitol. The closet negotiations that includes the four leaders of the House and Senate Ag Committees and their staffs have continued at one level or another- but we are no closer to having a deal that might prompt the House to finally name their conferees and allow a full conference to proceed that would bless the deal cut by those key players.

This past week- we heard that the staff of the Committees had assembled a deal that would spend ten billion over the budget baseline over a ten year period and included decisions on how the money would be divided up within the titles. That included a sharp scaleback in funding for crop insurance and a reduction in the money to be spent on a new "permanent" disaster provision- which immediately raised Kent Conrad's blood pressure in the US Senate, as he proclaimed such an arrangement as "DOA." Nothing much has surfaced since those revelations surfaced early last week.

Meanwhile, it was interesting to report that apparently the USDA decided they had authority under the 2002 farm bill to go ahead and announce a Conservation Security Program signup for next month- the first time in two years that landowners would have a chance to grab some of those popular "green" payments for doing the right conservation practices on their land.
USDA decided they had the authority to proceed in this direction- but has refused to take the early steps of implementing 1949 Permanent Law when it comes to our farm commodities- they have chosen to wait on Congress to bail them out on that issue.

$800,000 and Change at Last Week's Oklahoma Youth Expo Premium Auction- Jeramy Rich.
We had a conversation on Friday with Jeramy Rich reviewing the 2008 Oklahoma Youth Expo and the Thursday night Premium auction of the top animals. The Executive Director of the Show took a few minutes from loading out the hogs from the sale that were headed to be processed to talk with us.

Jeramy reports that right at $800,000 came in during the Premium Sale- between actual bids and the add- ons for the 195 animals that were offered to the bidders. That was on top of the prize money and scholarships that were handed out all along during the week to those involved in what continues to be the world's largest junior livestock show.

Jeramy was very upbeat about the facilities at this year's event- but he's even more excited about having the other barns that are now under renovation open and ready for use next March for the 2009 edition of the OYE. He says that will give them a chance to bring in even more young people and animals to this amazing ten day run of showcasing the 4-H and FFA programs in the days ahead.
We have our conversation with Jeramy linked on our OYE webpage on WWW.OklahomaFarmReport.Com- and we have linked directly for you to listen to below- click and take a listen.

Click here to listen to Ron and Jeramy review the 2008 Oklahoma Youth Expo

COLD SOILS can do bad things to newly planted cotton.
That's the take home message from OSU Cotton Specialist Dr. J.C. Banks, based out of Altus- and a key reason why farmers cannot get in too big of a hurry to plant cotton here as enter the first full week of spring. "Each year as the temperature warms, it is tempting to plant cotton, but it could be planted too early. Germination can begin when the mean daily temperature is 60 degrees at the planting depth, but growth may be slow at these temperatures. At planting, soil temperatures in the seed and root zone should exceed 60 degrees F and the five day forecast for the daytime maximum temperatures should exceed 80 degrees F. Also, nighttime minimum temperatures should be forecast to be above 50 degrees for the next five days.

"Based on the maximum ambient temperature at Altus, Ok., the four year average is above 80 degrees F starting the second week of May. In addition, the minimum ambient temperature is not below 50 degrees F during this time as well. This is important since soil temperatures in the seed zone will mimic or lag air temperagtures by three to five hours. Cold chilling injury occurs on germinating cotton seed at temperatures below 50 degrees F. Cold chilling injury results in a dead root tip and a swollen club foot that has lateral root growth and no main tap root growth. Germinating cotton that is exposed to temperatures less than 50 degrees will not grow to its full potential due to an injured root system. This will limit its ability to use moisture and fertilizer that is accessible to a normal root. Also, cold chilling injury slows emergence and predisposes the plant to root and seedling disease resulting in plant loss and delayed growth.

With air temperatures in the 30s everywhere on this Monday morning- we have a ways to go before most producers should get too excited about putting their 2008 cotton crop into the ground. Dr. Banks has more on this issue and other cotton crop production information as well at a couple of websites- including the one managed by Vic Schoonover at NTOK- we have that linked for you below to check out.

Click here to go to the NTOK Cotton website.

Packer Ban on Owning Livestock- Should JBS Swift Deal to Buy National Beef & Smithfield Be a Factor?
We ask this question to Dr. Clem Ward of Oklahoma State University in our Monday edition of the Beef Buzz- and he says that the beef business would not be that affected by a simple ban on packers "owning" livestock until the last few days in front of slaughter. However, he says the damage could be great if that was expanded to include contracts with producers that help them line up sources of supply for various value added branded beef programs.

If those contracts were included in a so called "packer ban"- the beef industry would face a major problem in how to keep the beef pipeline filled with animals that meet the needs of these higher value beef programs. You can listen to Dr. Ward's thoughts on this by clicking below and taking a listen to our Monday Beef Buzz from the Radio Oklahoma Network.

The Beef Buzz is heard on great radio stations around the state on RON, and we have many of our Beef Buzz shows since we began on the Radio Oklahoma Network available to be heard on our website, WWW.OklahomaFarmReport.Com. You can find those shows by going to our main page and clicking on the Beef Buzz tab on the left hand side of the page!

Click here for today's Beef Buzz with Ron and Dr. Clem Ward

Congressman Lucas Has Town Hall Meetings Planned for Thursday and Friday of this week...
Third district Congressman Frank Lucas is doing a total of 18 Town Hall Meetings across his huge western Oklahoma district over the Easter holiday recess- with 11 of them this past week- and another seven planned for this coming Thursday and Friday.

Thursday, Oklahoma's man on the House Ag Committee will be dialoguing with constituents in four locations- Cordell, Mangum, Hollis and Altus. Friday, he continues in the southwestern part of the state, with stops in Hobart, Anadarko and Hinton.

We have the news release from the Congressman's website linked below. When and if the House and Senate finally do a formal conference on the 2008 Farm Bill, it is expected that Lucas will be one of the full House conferees in the endgame of getting a new farm policy in place for the next five years.

Click here for the Frank Lucas Town Hall Meeting Schedule for later this week.

OBI Tested Bull Sale Set for THIS Thursday!
Cattle producers looking to improve herd performance should be putting pencil to paper now to determine the type of animals they want at the Oklahoma BEEF Inc. All-Breed Performance-Tested Bull Sale. 144 bulls will be available at the sale, scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. on Thursday, March 27, at the OBI test station, eight miles west of Stillwater on State Highway 51.

Currently there are 135 Angus, five Simmental and four Hereford bulls consigned for the sale. Each bull sold through OBI undergoes a breeding soundness examination and is tested for brucellosis and tuberculosis or is from a certified-free herd. All bulls must index in the top 70 percent of their test group. "OBI has been having bull sales since 1973," said Tim Stidham, OBI test station director. "With 30- plus years of feeding bulls, the dependability of our performance records is unmatched. OBI customers depend on the reliability of these bulls."

Performance test results for bulls include: average daily gain; weight per day of age; adjusted 365-day weight; scrotal circumference; ultrasonic data for rib eye area, fat thickness and marbling; hip height; computation of performance ratios; and Expected Progeny Differences as provided by breed associations. If you need additional information- contact the OBI office at 405-744-9287. AND- we have the catalog for the sale linked below for your to check out.

Click here for the on line catalog for the OBI Bull Test Station Annual Sale.

Our thanks to American Farmers & Ranchers, KIS Futures and Farm Credit of East Central Oklahoma for 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!

We also invite you to check out our website at the link below to check out an archive of these daily emails, audio reports and top farm news story links from around the globe.

Click here to check out WWW.OklahomaFarmReport.Com

God Bless! You can reach us at the following:
phone: 405-473-6144

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