From: Ron Hays []
Sent: Friday, March 28, 2008 04:15
Subject: Oklahoma's Farm News Update
Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Friday March 28, 2008!
A service of Farm Credit of East Central Oklahoma, KIS Futures and American Farmers & Ranchers.
-- Oklahoma Wheat Crop Condition Remains "Variable" According to Mark Hodges
-- Mexico Agrees to Allow US and Canadian Breeding Cattle Across the Rio Grande, Effective TODAY!
-- Hog Report Today- Prospective Plantings Monday Morning.
-- Farm Bill Trial Balloons Continue to Be Floated- Including Ideas Shot Down a Year Ago.
-- Congrats to Chuck Edwards and Jan Stratton- New Inductees into the Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame!
-- Natural Meat Production Workshop Happens Tomorrow in Warner.
-- Purvine Farms Ready to Sell Bulls Tomorrow and Females on Sunday!

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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Oklahoma Wheat Crop Condition Remains "Variable" According to Mark Hodges
The 2008 wheat crop is looking better than it did thirty days ago- that's the good news. The bad news is that our best potential for many of our wheat producers is about what is normally called an "average" crop. We sat down and visited at length with Mark Hodges about the condition of the Oklahoma wheat crop and what lies ahead as we move closer to the harvest season. The top hired hand for the Oklahoma Wheat Commission believes that we have a fairly decent crop in the making- but he is clearly gun shy after expecting 160 million bushels around the first of April last year. Of course, virtually everything that could go wrong in producing a wheat crop went wrong last spring and on into the summer- and we ended up with just a tad under 100 million bushels as a result.

Hodges has traveled around to several locations across the state in the last couple of weeks- on Wednesday, he got out and checked wheat fields from central Oklahoma near Oklahoma City all the way to the Kansas line- and he believes there is some very good wheat in a good portion of that area- especially where people where able to get wheat planted with some moisture available to it last fall.

He remains very concerned about disease and possibly insect pressures that are lurking out across the state. He's also concerned about the amount of nitrogen fertilizer we were able to get applied last fall or early here in 2008- saying we need that nutrition both to produce more bushels, but also to get a higher protein level on the wheat we produce in 2008.
You can hear our conversation with Mark about current conditions and where we may be headed in the weeks between now and when the combines roll across the Red River and pull into southern Oklahoma wheat fields. Click below and take a listen.

Click here to listen to Ron and Mark talk Wheat Crop Prospects for 2008.

Mexico Agrees to Allow US and Canadian Breeding Cattle Across the Rio Grande, Effective TODAY!
Mexico has agreed to allow for the importation of breeding cattle from the United States and Canada effective March 28, 2008, Agriculture Secretary Edward Schafer announced Thursday afternoon. Mexico denied access to U.S. breeding stock beginning December 23, 2003, when the United States announced its first-ever case of BSE. Since that time, Mexico has only allowed the importation of registered U.S. dairy heifers under the age of 24 months, despite in-depth international negotiations to broaden this to include breeding stock.

This is a big win for U.S. cattle producers and in particular those in the seedstock community, says Gregg Doud, chief economist for the National Cattlemens Beef Association. Mexico is currently working to expand their herds, so this decision comes at a critical time. Traditionally, the United States has shipped approximately $125 million annually in live cattle breeding stock to Mexico.

When the United States implemented the second Minimal Risk Regions Rule on November 19, 2007, it was widely believed that Mexico would lift the restriction on breeding stock, but the situation between the United States and Mexico on breeding stock remained unresolved until today. Mexico continues to ban the import of beef and beef products from animals over 30 months of age. The issue of over-30-month beef to Mexico has always been extremely sensitive politically, says Doud. However, NCBA's expectation is that once Mexico receives their controlled risk status from the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), which is expected in May, then this issue should be resolved as well.

Hog Report Today- Prospective Plantings Monday Morning.
Two significant reports come from the U.S. Department of Agriculture today and Monday, as the quarterly Hog and Pigs report will be out this afternoon after the livestock futures markets close for the week.- and then first thing Monday morning, we will have both the Monthly Grain Stocks Report and what is expected to be a report of high interest- the 2008 Prospective Plantings Report.

While food prices overall are on the rise - the lower prices for pork chops may continue due to abundant supplies. Livestock analysts are estimating U.S. hog supplies at a record high as of March 1st because of Canadian imports - an effective Circovirus vaccine - and strong 2007 profits boosting production. According to University of Missouri Livestock Economist Ron Plain - forecasting ahead of the quarterly Hogs and Pigs report - this will be the largest March inventory ever. Plain also expects consumers will see cheap pork all year. He notes slaughter last year was a record 109-million head. He expects another record this year of about 115-million.

Meanwhile, everybody has a guess as to how many fewer acres we will plant to corn in this country versus 2007, when we planted a huge 93.6 million acres. The average pre-report guess is for US producers to plant about six million fewer acres this spring than ended up in the ground a year ago. Those same experts think we will jump soybean acres by as many as eight million acres versus 2007, increase total wheat acres by some two million and drop cotton acreage by more than one point six million acres.
While the report is a survey based estimate from conversations with farmers, it's still only an educated guess constructed over the past few weeks- and the dynamics of the marketplace could still push one crop against another in the competition for acres that are committed to each crop.

Farm Bill Trial Balloons Continue to Be Floated- Including Ideas Shot Down a Year Ago.
Despite falling just a few votes shy of seeing their payment limit reform included in the Senate version of the farm bill - Senators Chuck Grassley and Byron Dorgan have not given up on getting reform in the final legislation. Now they're asking Senate Ag Chair Tom Harkin and Deputy Ag Secretary Chuck Conner to consider a possible payment limitations compromise dubbed "Dorgan-Grassley II." A letter sent to Harkin and Conner notes the continued difficult in finding acceptable funding mechanisms that meet the demands for farm bill funding - and suggests the adoption of their four-point program might close the gap.

According to the letter - the four-point proposal would bring negotiators closer to a politically acceptable compromise by reducing payment limits and income limits only when prices are above target price - softening the impact of reduced limits on cotton, rice and peanuts - incorporating the Administration proposal to lower AGI limits, but with a feature to increase the savings by reducing payments on cash rented land owned by high income landlords - and incorporating the primary control and actively engaged in farming provisions of the first Dorgan-Grassley proposal.

The two Senators have demanded much tougher Payment Limits than what any of their other farm country lawmakers have been willing to accept. Similar proposals in the House Ag Committee failed badly during their mark up process back in 2007. As a result, the fate of Dorgan-Grassley II remains uncertain at best.

Click here for the Grassley News Release and Text of the Letter Sent Detailing Dorgan-Grassley II

Congrats to Chuck Edwards and Jan Stratton- New Inductees into the Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame!
It was one of my broadcast career highlights a year ago when in Tulsa I was inducted into the Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame as the first full time agricultural broadcaster. And, last night, I had the privilege to go and stand with other Hall of Fame members as the OAB saluted us during their 60th Anniversary Celebration.

Two broadcast talents that have impacted a lot of folks out in the western portion of our state were among those that were honored as new inductees- and both pointed back to loving what they do- and loving the chance to serve folks in our rural communities across the state. One of those was a radio colleague from Radio Oklahoma Network affiliate KWEY Radio in Weatherford, Sportscaster Chuck Edwards. He has been doing play by play since the 1970s in the Weatherford area- and I know that many of you have heard his play by play of football, basketball, baseball, Rodeo and more. Congrats Chuck!!!

Jan Stratton has been the News Director and principal anchor at KSWO TV 7 in Lawton since 1981. Over the past 26 years, Jan's leadership has earned KSWO TV numerous journalistic awards and during her tenure the news department has grown from under ten persons to over 35. Jan's commitment to excellence is also evidenced by the vast number of journalists she has taught and trained who now lead TV news departments throughout the United States.
What impressed me about Jan as she accepted her award was the humility and how she pointed to the joys of service to folks out in the communities she served from the TV anchor desk. It was delightful to hear how she was touched by how decisions she made as a news journalist had made a difference in the lives of many people across southwest Oklahoma.

Natural Meat Production Workshop Happens Tomorrow in Warner.
They have extended registration through today for this workshop being sponsored by the Kerr Center and the Risk Management Agency of USDA. This workshop will address the rising demand for goat meat and grassfed beef. Those that attend will learn about raising pasture-fed beef and goat meat and selling to consumers who want "natural" meats.

Experts will share proven strategies for raising beef and goat meat on pasture and marketing these "natural" meats. Rancher Jon Taggart, of Burgundy Pasture Beef near Fort Worth, will describe his operation's cattle handling and on-farm butcher shop. He sells both to local restaurants and to individual customers nationwide. Dr. Ann Wells will tell the story of Ozark Pasture Beef, another successful natural meat enterprise developed by a group of Arkansas ranchers.

The original deadline was a few days back to register- but we understand they have extended the registration period through today. You can go to the Kerr Center website and learn more- we have it linked for you below.

Click here for details on the Natural Meat Workshop Happening Saturday March 29 in Warner at Connors State College.

Purvine Farms Ready to Sell Bulls Tomorrow and Females on Sunday!
Chet and Stephanie Purvine have a great set of cattle they will be offering next weekend on March 29 and March 30 at their Farm in Fay, Oklahoma. This is their fifth annual Production offering- and will be featuring their bull offering on Saturday and then some excellent females on Sunday afternoon. The Bull Sale begins 1:30 PM on Saturday the 29th- Selling over 70 head of service age bulls featuring the best in Angus, SimAngus, Maine/Mainetainer and Chiangus Composite Genetics.

On Sunday at 4:00 PM, Chet has lined up a select set of bred fall calving females including a great set of first calf heifers, AI'd to popular calving ease sires and proven cows, bred to today's hottest AI sires. This sale will feature a group of fall born show heifer prospects. Several Mainetainer, Sim-influence and Chiangus females, including daughters of Sweetness, Goliath, Hannibal, Golden Child & more.

For more information, give Chet a call on his Cellphone at 580-623-3693. We also have their Sale Flyer on our website's Calendar page linked- and we have that link for you below- or you can jump straight to their website at

Click here for our calendar page- and scroll down to March 29 to get the link for the Purvine Farms Sale Bill!

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!

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