From: Ron Hays []
Sent: Tuesday, May 13, 2008 21:46
Subject: Oklahoma's Farm News Update
Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Wednesday May 14, 2008!
A service of The Oklahoma Bioenergy Center, Farm Credit of East Central Oklahoma and American Farmers & Ranchers.
-- Farm Bill Vote Nears in the US House
-- Congressman Lucas Did NOT sign the Conference Report- How will he vote???
-- Leaf Rust is Exploding in Some Locations Around the State!
-- Open Her Up!!! South Korean Market Reopening as of Thursday May 15, Korean time.
-- USDA Researches Farm Bill Conference Report- Finding Lots of Goodies- You Would Think it's Christmas!
-- BASF With Blockbuster Plans for New Ag Chemical in the Pipeline- Kixor!
-- Oklahoma Lands $700,000 in Emergency Conservation Funds
-- Checking 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 say thanks to Farm Credit of East Central Oklahoma for being 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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Farm Bill Vote Nears in the US House
The Farm Bill Conference Report language was finally published on the web midday yesterday- and the USDA , many in Congress and many other special interest groups have all been busily reading through the fine print that is in there. It's expected that if they decide to vote on the Conference Report later today- that there will be a substantial list of "earmarks" and more that will be brought to the light of day. In the end, the House will likely vote in favor of this bill as Democrats will be told by Nancy Pelosi and her team to vote yes- and a at least a few Republicans will follow suit. It will also pass in the US Senate- perhaps by a veto proof margin.
The latest word that we have is that the Rules Committee hurriedly met last night- exempted the bill from PAYGO rules after we had heard how they had to live with that NO MATTER WHAT for more than a year- and they have scheduled a short debate on the Conference Report and a vote to follow by mid morning TODAY.

It will get interesting assuming President Bush follows through on his pledge to veto the bill. In speaking to the BASF Ag Media Summit here in Washington, USDA Undersecretary Bruce Knight suggested that if his kids turned in a bad report card- they would be spending time in summer school. He compared the farm bill assembled in Congress as a bad report card and said perhaps "Congress will need to go to Summer School over this farm bill-" implying that Congress will have to go back to the drawing board if the President's expected veto is sustained.

If you go to our website we will continue to update things on our 2007 Farm Bill page as they develop- we have the letter signed by some 557 groups that was orchestrated by Tom Buis of the National Farmers Union- a letter calling on Congress to strongly support this farm bill. We have the link to the actual Conference Report language that is up on the House Ag Committee site...and we will be posting other updates as the day progresses. Check back from time to time as the saga continues.
Also- we have multiple audio conversations that we got last night as we teamed with up fellow ag journalists Mike Hergert of North Dakota and Stewart Doan of Little Rock to talk to several of the shakers and movers that were at the unveiling of the Saxby Chambliss portrait that will hang in the Senate Ag Committee Hearing Room to commemorate his role as Chairman. We have comments with Senator Chambliss, Former House Ag Committee Chair Larry Combest and NFU President Tom Buis that we have linked now on our website. GO and take a listen.

Click here for the latest Farm Bill coverage on our 2007 Farm Bill webpage at WWW.OklahomaFarmReport.Com

Congressman Lucas Did NOT sign the Conference Report- How will he vote???
We spent some time on Tuesday afternoon with Congressman Frank Lucas as he labored to come to a final decision about what has turned into the 2008 Farm Bill Conference Report. The 1500 pages that make up the measure was finally released by House and Senate Ag Committee leadership after getting a majority of the Conferees to sign the report. Congressman Lucas was one of the lawmakers that choose not to sign the report- and we understand that Congressman Jerry Moran of Kansas also declined the opportunity to sign the report.

When we recorded our conversation with the Congressman- we were thinking that there would be debate and a vote in the afternoon hours on Wednesday- but clearly the leadership decided it was better that no one be given time to fully dissect the report- so they have elected to vote quickly, after morning business today- which means the debate and vote will happen starting at around 9:15 AM central time. You can follow the action if you are so inclined on C-Span.

We have our conversation with Congressman Lucas linked below- and it is also on our Farm Bill webpage- which we have linked above this story. I will let you listen to Congressman Lucas' thought process and let you decide how he will end up voting when that time comes later in the morning Wednesday.

Click here to listen to Ron and Congressman Lucas talk Farm Bill End Game.

Leaf Rust is Exploding in Some Locations Around the State!
Here's the latest word from OSU Plant Pathologist Dr. Bob Hunger on where we stand on our developing problems with leaf rust in the state- "Over the last week, leaf rust has become severe on susceptible varieties in plots, trials and fields around Stillwater and other areas of Oklahoma where conditions (moisture and temperature) have favored rust development. One report I received from near Hinton, Oklahoma (about 50 miles west of OKC) indicated that leaf rust in unsprayed fields of Jagger was "covering the flag leaves." Similar reports of severe leaf rust have come from the experiment station at Lahoma (about 15 miles west of Enid), but according to Roger Gribble (Area Extension Agronomist) as you go west from Lahoma the incidence and severity of rust decreases dramatically."

Dr. Hunger adds "Gary Strickland (Extension Educator, southwestern OK) has reported seeing dryland root rot showing up in southwestern Oklahoma. Several producers from the southwest have indicated the same thing. Isolations from these samples currently are being made, but they do look like dryland root rot. Samples testing positive for wheat streak mosaic virus, high plains virus, and barley yellow dwarf continue to come in from northwestern Oklahoma and the Panhandle."

Dr. Hunger has a website where he updates- often with pictures these disease reports- we have it linked for you below.

Click here for more from Dr. Bob Hunger's Crop Disease Website.

Open Her Up!!! South Korean Market Reopening as of Thursday May 15, Korean time.
That means later this evening here in the United States- South Korean inspectors will begin to check some of the containers of beef that have been held for months while the government has refused to inspect that beef and allow it in to their country. The new rules that these containers will be judged by is that it comes from animals under thirty months of age- and bones are of no matter- boneless or bone-in beef to be allowed.

Gregg Doud with the National Cattlemen's Beef Association told us while we have been in Washington this week that as the Korean market reopens, he expects a solid and quick rebuilding of this market for the US beef producer. He points out that the currency market is as much as 25% in favor of the Korean won versus the US dollar- which means that the Korean housewife can buy more US beef for the same amount of money with everything else being equal.

He dismisses the "absolutely absurd" allegations that have been made in South Korea in recent days as coming from those who are not happy with the new politicians that are now in power. He says the statements that the US people won't eat their beef- but want to pawn it off on Korea is simply outrageous.
You can listen to our full conversation with Gregg from Monday afternoon about this fresh opening of the South Korean market to US beef by clicking on the link provided below.

Click and listen to Ron and Gregg Doud talk beef to Korea!

USDA Researches Farm Bill Conference Report- Finding Lots of Goodies- You Would Think it's Christmas!
We got a initial list of farm policy bonuses that are being used as rewards for those that were the insiders in the farm bill debate(or someone that one of the Insiders owed a favor) That list includes:
Windfall for tobacco- The bill prohibits current efforts to limit excess payments to tobacco growers. Barring these efforts in law will permit the growers to unfairly "game" the system and reap windfall profits that were never intended when the tobacco crop insurance policies were designed.

Desert Terminal Lakes- Senate Majority Leader Reid earmarked $175 million to provide water to Nevada desert lakes. This funding is a repeat of a similar $200 million earmark in the 2002 Farm Bill that was used for unrelated purposes.

Montana Land Sales- Sen. Baucus has earmarked $500M targeted through narrow bill language to a immediately benefit a single Montana property that will be purchased through bonds at a cost per acre higher than normal land acquisition costs. The bill authorizes the purchase of 400,000 acres of lands in Montana from a single private entity.

Wetlands Reserve Program- Sen. Conrad has included a narrowly tailored provision that provides a special carve-out for the Wetlands Reserve Program in North Dakota, providing wetlands funding for 126 landowners for areas that are not wetlands.

Fisheries Disaster Assistance- The Federal Government does not need to hand out $170 million to Salmon fishermen on the West coast. They received $60 million in Federal assistance two years ago.

USDA claims there are several duplication of Existing Programs including:
Food Safety and Inspection Service - Catfish Inspection
Significantly increases regulation of one segment (catfish) of the seafood industry.
Moves farm-raised catfish inspection to FSIS, creating duplicative federal fish inspection, further complicating the Federal food inspection system.

Rural microenterprise assistance program- The bill creates a new program that duplicates existing USDA programs that already provide grants and loans that support small businesses and provide working capital.

BASF With Blockbuster Plans for New Ag Chemical in the Pipeline- Kixor!
BASF wants you to remember that name- as they believe it will be an almost hosuehold name (at least in farm households) of a new product launch that will be the biggest they have ever been involved in. Dr. Peter Eckes is their Senior Vice President for Research and Development and he says that this new chemical will be "bad news for weeds."

Kixor has the ability to attack and kill weeds that glyphosate resistance has been observed. The BASF officials told those attending the 2008 Ag Media Summit held by BASF in Washington that Kixor will be able to deliver on better herbicide performance at a lower use rate.

What is really interesting is the process where BASF has been to be this close to bringing Kixor to the marketplace. We talked with Mike Heinz, the President of global Crop Protection Division of BASF about this journey and where BASF sees their company and the business of farming heading in the next few years. Click the link below and take a listen.

Click here to listen to Ron and BASF Crop Protection President Mike Heinz talk Kixor and 2008 BASF Story.

Oklahoma Lands $700,000 in Emergency Conservation Funds
Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer announced that USDA will begin allocations for $700,000 in Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) funding to Blaine, Canadian, Custer, Kingfisher, Kiowa, Pottawatomie, and Washita Counties due to August 2007 flooding caused by the excessive rainfall from tropical depression Erin.

"This is one of several conservation programs that provide funding for farmers and ranchers to rehabilitate and strengthen environmental stewardship of their lands," Schafer said. "These new ECP funds will be used to help farmers and ranchers rehabilitate farmland damaged by the excessive rainfall and flooding that occurred."

Jim Reese, Oklahoma FSA State Executive Director, stated "These funds will help to fulfill the commitment made by FSA to cost share with producers on conservation work they have already done or are doing in response to the flooding." Reese clarified that these funds are designated for producers' that requested ECP assistance during the previously announced county ECP sign up period for this disaster. ECP gives producers additional resources to remove debris from farmland, restore fences and conservation structures, and grade and shape farmland damaged by a natural disaster. USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) state and county committees administer ECP. More information on ECP and other disaster assistance programs is available at local FSA service centers.

Our thanks to American Farmers & Ranchers, Farm Credit of East Central Oklahoma and the Oklahoma Bioenergy Center 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

Checking the Markets...

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.

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