From: Ron Hays []
Sent: Wednesday, April 30, 2008 06:44
Subject: Oklahoma's Farm News Update
Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Wednesday April 30, 2008!
A service of National Livestock Credit, American Farmers & Ranchers and Midwest Farm Shows!
-- Congress Blinks! President Bush's News Conference Remarks Have Impact as Conferees Give Ground on White House Demands!
-- Stars Over Oklahoma- Stasha Harp, Kane Bryen and Dustin Ratliff!!!
-- Apologies to All- Here's the Dick Bond Link- AND- Come See Us in Poteau!
-- Should There Be Changes to the Beef Checkoff???
-- Beef Buzzing with Jarold Callahan of Express Ranches!
-- Organic Farm Tour in Atoka Happening on Sunday...
-- Extra Value Grass Time Sale is Set for This Friday!
-- Let's Check the Markets!

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 National Livestock Credit Corporation as a regular sponsor of our daily email update. National Livestock Credit Corporation works diligently to provide unsurpassed service to their customers in the area of livestock financing. Check out the National Livestock Family of Services website by clicking here.

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Congress Blinks! President Bush's News Conference Remarks Have Impact as Conferees Give Ground on White House Demands!
It appears there were at least four demands delivered to top Farm Bill negotiators on Tuesday afternoon- and the House and Senate Ag Committee Leaders were stunned when they were told by Secretary Ed Schafer and his Deputy Chuck Conner that they had no authority to negotiate. On Tuesday morning, President Bush had a free wheeling news conference in which he called the policy being talked about in recent days by lawmakers a "bloated farm bill" that would help keep food prices high.

Exactly what has been put together is not getting explained publicly as of yet- but it is our understanding that the Congressional leaders moved "considerably on the reforms" demanded by the White House. Apparently, there will be no public meetings today as Farm Committee Leaders wait on the CBO for a score on all of the reforms as demanded by Schafer and Conner.

The Chairman of the House Ag Committee, Colin Peterson, told reporters last night outside of the meeting rooms where the Democrats and Republicans met separately that some of what the Administration is demanding has little support on his Committee- or for that matter out in the Country by farmers- but that it was still being talked about because of the demands of the White House.

On our 2007 Farm Bill webpage- linked below- we have the informal news debriefing that Peterson and his Republican ranking member, Bob Goodlatte of Virginia, offered to reporters after those closed door meetings. Other lawmakers either avoided reporters or offered "no comment" (Congressman Frank Lucas offering the no comment)- while one gave no details but called the latest proposed deal "bewildering." Go the website- and we will be updating between now and tomorrow morning as the farm bill saga continues to unfold.

Click here for the our 2007 Farm Bill webpage to pick up the latest on the Farm Bill developments.

Stars Over Oklahoma- Stasha Harp, Kane Bryen and Dustin Ratliff!!!
I think it may a first for the Star Farmer of Oklahoma-as the primary enterprise for the 2008 Star, Stasha Harp of Kansas FFA in northeastern Oklahoma, is her Meat Goat flock. Stasha raises championship quality goats- and has won Grand and Reserve Grands in recent years at the Oklahoma Youth Expo with kids she has raised. To view our Video Review of our 2008 Star Farmer of Oklahoma- click here!

The Star in Agribusiness has assembled quite an enterprise- as Kane Bryen of the Thomas-Fay-Custer FFA Chapter rode to this state Star honor on the strength of his Show Supply Business- Blue Ribbon Show Supply-West. Kane has developed a substantial business of selling a variety of show supplies and feed supplements. Along the way, he has purchased a brand new 24 foot trailer to handle his inventory that he hauls to local shows across much of western Oklahoma. To take a look at Kane's Agribusiness program- click here to view the Star in Agribusiness salute we prepared for all to see last night in the Convention session.

Finally, we are proud to introduce you to the 2008 Star in Ag Placement for Oklahoma FFA- Dustin Ratliff of the Frontier FFA Chapter. Dustin's program consists of a work program for the Williams family of Red Rock, Oklahoma. Starting as a tractor driver, Dustin has developed skills and the respect of his employers- who now have him working with their cow-calf herd, helping to operate a local elevator they have an interest in- as well as helping with the farming operation- from planting to harvest. Our video tribute to Dustin reflects what a hard worker he is- and that has earned him the title of the State of Oklahoma's Star in Ag Placement- Click and take a look!

Apologies to All- Here's the Dick Bond Link- AND- Come See Us in Poteau!
As I wrote the story on Tyson and Dick Bond and his comments on his belief that ethanol is a major contributor to rising food prices and the problems that causes hungry people globally- I forgot to link the four minutes of audio of Mr. Bond. It is our the front page of our website- but for you that want the link here in the email on a direct basis- here ya go- CLICK HERE.

Speaking of Dick Bond- we got a couple of quick reactions to his comments- including one from no-till grain farmer Bob Detrick from the Panhandle- he emails us " really think that those who scream about ethanol causing food to go up are barking at the wrong tree. For years, the various feeding industries had extremely cheap grain costs in comparison to other costs. Now, farmers and merchandisers have developed other markets and the feeding industry is having to pay what the rest are willing to give. Who does Dick Bond think he is? A god who has been knocked of his pedestal? Farmers and merchandisers should be commended for developing other uses, not be the whipping boy for the feeders stupidity for not buying grain ahead. Many have had the just in time buying and delivery ingrained into their system, not look out the window and see the real world.
I disagree with Mr. Bond."

AND- we will be traveling to LeFlore County today to be a part of the Eastern Oklahoma Ag Trade Show in Poteau- and we hope you will join us for lunch! We will be giving an update on the 2008 Farm Bill process as best we know it at that point- as well as sharing several other major news trends impacting agriculture here in 2008. We have a link to the event below- hope if you are in the area- you'll come by and say howdy!

Click here for the Flyer on the Eastern Oklahoma Ag Trade Show happening in Poteau today!

Should There Be Changes to the Beef Checkoff???
USDA recently challenged the Cattlemen's Beef Board officers to develop and recommend changes to the Beef Promotion and Research Act and Order. The Chairman of the CBB, Dave Bateman from Oregon, Illinois, says this is - a function of being a Beef Board officer - a continual process in meeting the needs of today's producers.

The Beef Board program has been in place for 20 years. So, according to Batsman, - the Board is asking industry organizations for their suggestions. He says - the ultimate goal is to meet the needs of the marketplace through the Beef Checkoff Program and meet our obligations to producers in terms of giving them the most bang for their dollar invested.

Over the coming months, the Beef Board will request suggested improvements from more than 100 national industry organizations, state beef councils, certified nominating organizations and national breed associations. Many of these groups have already been working on what the direction they want for the checkoff- including an increase from a dollar to two dollars and in some cases even more. Bateman says it's a big information gathering process - but, many players have a stake in the beef industry and we want to hear from them. Their findings will be submitted to the Secretary of Agriculture for further action. The recommendation process is to be completed by Nov. 30, 2008. Bateman notes that should producers advocate any significant changes to the Act and the Order, such as agreeing to an increase after more than two decades, producers would have to vote on this change.

Beef Buzzing with Jarold Callahan of Express Ranches!
Express Ranches is the number two seedstock cattle operation in the United States, based on the lists compiled by the National Cattlemen's Beef Association- starting in the late 1980s with Limousin cattle and then adding Angus a few years later. The President of Express Ranches, Jarold Callahan, is someone who we have known and worked for since his days as Executive Director of the Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association.

Callahan tells us that the primary customer they are producing cattle for is that commercial cattleman, as they want to sell them a bull that will cover their cow herd, producing calves that will be born with ease and have more value when they are sold.

We talked with Jarold about these philosophies of Express Ranch on today's Beef Buzz, heard on great radio stations across the state on the Radio Oklahoma Network. Many of our Beef Buzz shows are also posted on our Beef Buzz page at WWW.OklahomaFarmReport.Com- where you can listen to it 24/7- and we have a link to today's conversation with Jarold Callahan below- click and take a listen to learn a little bit more about the Express beef cattle story.

Click here to listen to Ron and Jarold talk Express on today's Beef Buzz from the Radio Oklahoma Network!

Organic Farm Tour in Atoka Happening on Sunday...
For years, Vicki and Joe Townsend have been devising ways to protect their fruits and vegetables from Oklahoma's late freezes, flash floods, and summer droughts. On Sunday, May 4, from 2-6, the Townsends will show visitors how they do it during a tour of their certified organic THE Farm near Atoka. They'll also explain how stretching the growing season at both ends opens new markets, such as the state's Farm-to-School program. Oklahoma Farm-to-School Coordinator Chris Kirby will talk about the state farm-to-school program and how farmers can get involved. Registration deadline has been extended to May 2. The $10 fee includes dinner. To register, call 918.647.9123 or visit the Kerr Center website linked below.

The tour will highlight several of THE Farm's season extension techniques, including a homemade growth chamber for starting new plants. The Townsends grow strawberries using a technique called "plasticulture," covering the rows with black plastic to warm the soil and suppress weeds. There's also an experimental system to help get an early start on crops like cucumbers. A small fan forces warm air from the ceiling of the greenhouse through tubes buried under a coldframe.

The state legislature made Farm-to-School an official program in 2006. It now brings fresh Oklahoma- grown fruits and vegetables from Oklahoma farms to over 350 schools in more than 30 districts. Demand has consistently outpaced supply, creating opportunities for new and existing farmers. The tour will be held rain or shine. Bring a lawn chair, and wear shoes appropriate for walking in fields.

Click here for more information on this Organic Crop Tour of the THE Farm in Atoka.

Extra Value Grass Time Sale is Set for This Friday!
The Express Ranch Family have a new sale they are adding into their annual cycle- their first "Extra Value Grass Time Sale." It's set for this Friday May second at the ranch in Yukon, Oklahoma- and they will be offering over 600 head of Angus and Limousin cattle. The sale happens on Friday, May 2 at 12:00 PM Central time.

Bob Funk and Jarold Callahan mention in their "welcome" in the sale catalog that "Included in our Grass Time Sale will be both Angus and Limousin pairs, 50 commercial pairs, 110 fall bred commercial females, and 130 fancy, commercial heifers bred to Northern Improvement, 263C and 1407. We also will be selling over 100 Angus bulls with a select few of these being 2-year-olds."
We talked with Jarold about the sale- and you can listen to our conversation about the offering by clicking here!

We have a link to the Express Ranch site on our calendar page at WWW.OklahomaFarmReport.Com- or you can jump straight to their site with the link we are providing below. If you prefer to call for a catalog- the best number to use is 405-350-0044 or toll free 1- 800-664-3977.

Click here for Information on the Express Ranch Extra Value Grass Time Sale.

Our thanks to Midwest Farm Shows, American Farmers & Ranchers Mutual Insurance and National Livestock Creditfor 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

Let's Check the Markets!
Crude Oil and the agricultural crops all slid lower on the Futures Markets on Tuesday- with crude oil off over three dollars per barrel. Meanwhile, it was another leg down on Kansas City wheat futures- as we hit below $8.50 basis both May and July KC HRW contracts.

Here are some links we will leave in place on an ongoing basis- Click on the name of the report to go to that link:
Our Daily Market Wrapup from the Radio Oklahoma Network with Ed Richards and Tom Leffler- analyzing the Futures Markets from the previous Day-
Ron on RON Markets as heard on K101 mornings with cash and futures reviewed- includes where the Cash Cattle market stands, the latest Feeder Cattle Markets Etc.
Previous Day's Wheat Market Recap- One Pager From Country Hedging- looks at all three US Wheat Futures Exchanges and the why of that day's market.
Daily Oklahoma Cash Grain Prices- As Reported by the Oklahoma Dept. of Agriculture. Previous Day's Energy Market Recap- also from Country Hedging
The National Daily Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary- as prepared by USDA.
The National Daily Slaughter Cattle Summary- as prepared by USDA.

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

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