~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Thursday June 19, 2008!A service of National Livestock Credit, American Farmers & Ranchers and Midwest Farm Shows!
-- Can You Say DONE DEAL????
-- Harvest- Are Visions of Last Year Dancing in Some Producers Minds???
-- When Does the Rain End?
-- Association of State Ag Departments Call Renewable Fuel Standard Good Policy!
-- Fleahoppers Challenging Oklahoma Cotton Farmers.
-- Which Cliche is Right???
-- Crop Insurers Worry About Midwestern Flooding
-- Let's Check the Markets!
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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Can You Say DONE DEAL????
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~As Don Meredith used to croon on Monday Night Football- "turn out the lights- the partee's over!" The 2008 Farm Bill- all fifteen titles of it- is now the law of the land.
The end game came quickly Wednesday- as overnight President Bush vetoed the second go round of the 2008 farm bill sent to him by Congress. The House jumped quickly and overrode the veto without breaking a sweat, 317 to 109. The Senate moved like a cat chased by a very large and mean dog- overriding the President as well by about the same margins as all of the recent Farm Bill votes, 80 to 14.
After the House vote, Chairman Colin Peterson of the House Ag Committee offered this in a statement- ""Today's vote will ensure that all parts of the Food, Conservation and Energy Act are enacted into law. Particularly considering the serious concerns about rising food prices and severe flooding affecting crops in the Midwest, this Farm Bill provides a critical safety net for families and farmers."
"This farm bill covers a broad swath of America, from farming to hunger to conservation to measures involving good tax policy," said Senator Saxby Chambliss, ranking minority member of the Senate Ag Committee. "While it is not a perfect bill, overall this is a very good piece of legislation. We made important reforms in the nutrition title by providing better benefits to people in this country who would otherwise go hungry. We also provided the right kind of tax incentives by reforming the Endangered Species Act in a positive way. I look forward to working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture as we move into the implementation process this year."
Click here to review the News release from Senator Chambliss that details some of the highlights of the 2008 Farm Law.
Harvest- Are Visions of Last Year Dancing in Some Producers Minds???
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~With heavy rains almost every day since this past Sunday- if you are in the part of the Oklahoma wheat belt that still has a good bit of the wheat to cut- you may be concerned about a rerun of 2007 here in 2008. It's a little early for those comparisons to be made- but that doesn't stop the producers thinking about that when they empty their rain gauge with two or three or four inches of rain in it.
Even with harvest stopped- we have had some updates available to us. Candace Krebs with the Oklahoma Grain and Stocker Producers has provided us with an update through the eyes of a few of her members. We have the full report linked on our Wheat Harvest WebPage- which can be accessed by jumping there on the link below.
Krebs offers a view of harvest from Dean Kieffer, President of the OGSP and farmer in the Helena area. Kieffer says he is not having flashbacks "yet" but does acknowledge "there was a lot of really good wheat early but it's gone down a little since then due to all of the rain." Dean does offer an interesting perspective on our traditional way of making wheat a dual purpose crop- grazing, then harvesting for grain. "I think we'll see a lot of wheat going in a little later and people not concentrating on grazing. With the price of diesel and fertilizer, you need a lot of wheat to keep going."
Click here for the Wheat Harvest WebPage found on WWW.OklahomaFarmReport.Com
When Does the Rain End?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Chances of rain continue to be fairly high today and tonight- with lesser chances of rain to stay with us into at least the middle of next week. The National Weather Service in their latest weather discussion puts it this way- "THE PLAINS WILL STILL BE SUSCEPTIBLE TO SHORT WAVE PATTERNS IN THE NORTHWEST FLOW INTO THE MIDDLE OF NEXT WEEK."
After tonight- the forecasters are hedging their rainfall bets by calling it a 20% chance of precipitation on a daily basis all the way out to next Wednesday. We have seen one model that suggests by the end of next week- it could really start to get very hot, as we get well into the upper 90s each afternoon.
It will take several days of drying weather to get some fields in shape to finish up the 2008 wheat harvest- but it currently looks like drying chances are somewhat better after tonight in most areas of the state. Speaking of the next twelve to eighteen hours- it looks like everybody has a chance at some rain- even Boise City is looking at a 40% chance of the wet stuff for this evening.
Click here for several great weather sites to check from our website- WWW.OklahomaFarmReport.Com
Association of State Ag Departments Call Renewable Fuel Standard Good Policy!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture has come out in - strong support - of the renewable Fuels Standard - part of the Energy Independence and Security act of 2007. In written comments submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency, NASDA president Roger Johnson of North Dakota said - the standard is an important part of our domestic energy policy, and agriculture plays a significant role in meeting the standard.
This move is a direct response to the request of the Texas Governor Rick Perry, who asked EPA to waive half of the federal renewable fuels standard, mandating the production of ethanol from grain. Perry claimed it was driving up world food prices and hurting Texas' economy. Obviously, the support for RFS by NASDA is something that does not sit well with Perry.
Iowa State University researchers have released a study showing that ethanol production is helping lower gasoline prices around the country. The study showed that retail gasoline prices are 29 to 40 cents less per gallon than would otherwise have been the case. The mandate requires the United States to use 9 billion gallons of renewable fuels this year and 11 billion gallons in 2009.
Fleahoppers Challenging Oklahoma Cotton Farmers.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Beware of Fleahoppers- that's the warning to cotton producers from IPM Specialist Terry Pitts from the OSU Research Facility in Southwestern Oklahoma. Terry reports "This is Pitts' report: "We are currently at the four to eight leaf stage on cotton in Oklahoma. In addition, we are at 653 Degree days. Some of the early planted cotton has pinhead to matchhead squares. Cotton planted in mid-April is normally at or in the process of forming pinhead sized squares. Due primarily to stress caused by hot, dry temperatures and strong winds, pinhead squares have not formed in the 2008 crop. The bulk of cotton acres at this stage are in southern Oklahoma. If you normally make your fleahopper insecticide application at the pinhead growth stage, next week could be the week to make the application. The cotton fleahopper has become the number one pest in Oklahoma cotton.
"Fleahoppers should be controlled when thresholds are exceeded to protect beneficial insects since these will help control later occurring pests. After July 25, the control of cotton fleahoppers generally is not economical due to Oklahoma's short growing season. Spray decisions should be based on the squaring rate and level of cotton fleahopper infestations. Usually, when cotton fleahoppers (adults and nymphs) reach or exceed 40 per 1000 terminals, squaring rates begin to decline, justifying treatment. However, if cotton fleahopper numbers build slowly, fields can tolerate higher numbers of this pest before a reduction in cotton plant squaring rate will occur. In most cases, fields will no longer be vulnerable to cotton fleahoppers once they begin to bloom.
Chemicals approved for use to control cotton fleahoppers include Bidrin, Dimethioate (Cygon), Centric, Intruder, Orthene, Steward, Thiodan, Trimax and Vydate. Consult your local OSU County Educator in specific chemicals. Always consult the label for details, restrictions and limitations." To reach Terry Pitts via telephone- you can call his office in Altus at 1-580-482-8880. We have linked below the NTOK website, where more information on this pest and other current cotton production news can be found.
Which Cliche is Right???
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~There are two cliches that we can point to that you could say should apply to the situation regarding US Beef into South Korea. The first cliche is the current US Government line- "A deal is a deal." This is the cliche that the US government keeps repeating as they talk to South Korea about the agreement made between the two countries back in April of this year as South Korea signed off of the OIE international animal health findings that US beef is safe when it comes to BSE- and that they would be gearing up to accept US beef from animals of any age. To be fair, this is also the cliche that South Korea has held us to for several years under the deal that they would accept only beef from animals under thirty months of age- boneless only. Suppliers kept screwing up and sending boxes with bones in them- and that's why we have no trade right now with Korea.
The other cliche that some would prefer we use- and really has been kicked around since the Cow that Stole Christmas back in December 2003- is "The Customer is Always Right." That's what the fight between Creekstone and the USDA was really all about. Creekstone Beef, as you may recall, wanted to offer BSE testing of younger animals as a form of a "good housekeeping seal of approval" for beef they would ship to Japan as well as Korea- but USDA has battled them each step of the way- saying it's too risky to allow private enterprise to be able to do their own testing.
Now, the South Korean President, Mr. Lee, is in deep trouble in his country over the beef status- and is wanting our government to promise no beef from animals older than 30 months of age. Our government- and many of our farm groups- are having a hard time getting past the first cliche and don't want to deal with the second cliche. There's an interesting editorial we found from the Dallas Morning News that we share with you today- click and read it- knowing that the impasse continues until the public in Korea gets some assurances. Is testing one way to get that done?
Click here for a Dallas, Texas Newspaper Editorial on the mess with South Korea over Beef!
Crop Insurers Worry About Midwestern Flooding
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~It has been called a once in a 500 year event- the floods that have swamped cities like Cedar Rapids and Des Moines, Iowa. And with as much as 20% of Iowa farmland washed away, and more flooding in Wisconsin, Indiana and Illinois already, the crop insurance industry is worried about what may be floating their way. A Business Week report this week notes that the industry is looking back at the last great flood year of 1993 and bracing itself for what may be coming.
Back then, according to the report, the industry had a 2.19 payout - or $2.19 for every $1 of premium that year. This year premiums could total $8 billion and if the payout approaches that same level, the crop insurance costs could top $18 billion. Just over 20% of that liability is held by the government.
As cities and counties add up the costs of floods that have not yet
receded, crop insurance providers will beginning to total their potential
payouts as well.
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Let's Check the Markets!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Feeder Cattle found moderate to good demand on Wednesday at OKC West in El Reno- where they sold 4,790 cattle with yearling steers steady to a dollar lower- and yearling heifers steady to a dollar better than last week. We have the OKC West market link for you- click here to read.
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