~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Wednesday May 27, 2009A service of Producers Cooperative Oil Mill, KIS Futures and American Farmers & Ranchers Mutual Insurance Company!
-- Farmers Play Catch up in the Midwest and Here in Oklahoma
-- After Three Weeks of Mostly Watching it Rain- Farmers Back to Work with Sunshine Conditions Dominating
-- More on the Wheat Disease Situation With the Disease Guru- Dr. Bob Hunger
-- The Organic EQIP Sign Up is Extended for Two Weeks
-- US Beef Exports Could Soar if Japan Relaxes 20 Month Rule to 30 Month Standard
-- Limousin Breed Group Looking for Exec
-- Tweet of the Day
-- 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 American Farmers & Ranchers Mutual Insurance Company as a regular sponsor of our daily update- click here to go to their AFR web site to learn more about their efforts to serve rural America!
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Farmers Play Catch up in the Midwest and Here in Oklahoma
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~One fifth of the expected US corn crop was put in the ground last week as open weather arrived in places like Illinois and Indiana- and those states seemed to lead the mad dash across the fields. Illinois producers went from 20% planted to 62% planted over the last seven days, while Indiana corn farmers jumped their plantings from 24% done to 55% complete. Both states are still some thirty points behind normal planting progress of their corn acres.
The jump in soybean plantings was also dramatic, as nationally we saw the pace go from 25% planted nationally to 48% in the lastest week. States like Iowa and Minnesota are actually ahead of their five year average, while Illinois again is the laggard, with just 12% of their beans planted- 69% is the five year norm.
Southern Crops made good progress in being planted as well, with peanuts jumping to 59% planted, about seven percentage points behind normal. Cotton is eight percentage points behind the five year average at 61% planted, while grain sorghum is about on track in the major producing states with 47% of the milo crop planted versus 48% as the five year average.
We'll talk about Oklahoma numbers in the next story below- but we did make good progress in our state as well. Click on the link below for the full rundown of the Crop Progress numbers as released on Tuesday afternoon this week by USDA- a day later than normal due to Memorial Day.
Click here for the USDA Crop Progress Update- out from the Agency as of Tuesday afternoon
After Three Weeks of Mostly Watching it Rain- Farmers Back to Work with Sunshine Conditions Dominating
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Sunny conditions returned to Oklahoma this past week- that allowed farmers to jump in with both feet to get a lot of outdoor work accomplished. In the case of our wheat producers, another problem had to be checked out- fusarium head scab. "Producers in the northern and eastern tier of the State began evaluating their crop for signs of FHB. Wheat producers in the southeast and southwest districts began harvesting small quantities of wheat. Small grain conditions decreased slightly from the previous week. Wheat in the soft dough stage of development reached 70 percent, nine points behind the fiveyear average."
For our Row Crop Producers- lots of progress was seen: "Optimal weather conditions allowed producers to resume work in their fields. Ninety-four percent of the State's Corn crop was planted, while corn emerged reached 86 percent, on target with the five-year average. By week's end sorghum seedbed preparations reached 72 percent, four points behind normal. Sorghum planted attained 18 percent, 17 percentage points behind the five-year average. Soybeans seedbed preparation increased from previous week to 67 percent, 11 points behind the previous year while soybeans planted reached 32 percent, 12 percentage points behind the five-year average. Peanuts seedbed preparations neared completion at 96 percent, slightly behind the five-year average. Peanuts planted increased 11 points from last week to 40 percent, 30 points behind normal. Cotton seedbed prepared reached 83 percent, 15 points behind the five-year average."
The recent rains also set us up for a great report on pasture and range conditions here in the state: Grasses were beginning to thicken and pastures were continuing to green in areas that received adequate moisture and sunny weather conditions. Sunny conditions allowed producers to apply fertilizer. Pasture and range conditions improved to rate mostly in the excellent to good range."
More on the Wheat Disease Situation With the Disease Guru- Dr. Bob Hunger
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The dry conditions of winter and early spring kept the disease pressure to a minimum in Oklahoma wheat fields, but with the rains- the disease spores have reared their ugly heads all over- that seems to be the conclusion from OSU Plant Pathologist Dr. Bob Hunger. He writes in an update issued on Tuesday afternoon "Around Stillwater and most of Oklahoma, foliage has turned or has been killed from diseases including leaf rust, septoria, possibly bacteria, and/or spot blotch. Leaf rust approached levels in the 65-90% range just at the end of last week and today. However, mixed in with this were higher than typical levels of septoria. Also, a necrosis similar to septoria but without the pycnidia was fairly common. From these samples, streaming was observed which may indicate a bacterial infection, but no isolations were made. Another symptom commonly observed was a spot blotch type symptom, but no pathogen was isolated from these leaves. Stem rust also was found in plots of McNair 701 and in one other breeder line. Samples have been sent to the Cereal Disease Lab. Wheat on which stem rust was found was at the soft dough stage, and only a few spots within the plot had infected tillers."
He has also been tracking Scab. "I have seen Fusarium head blight (FHB=scab) in plots around Stillwater; mostly in the 1-2% range. By contrast, reports of severe FHB have come in from eastern, northeastern, and north central Oklahoma. In some of these instances, the late freeze and excessive moisture have all contributed to head discoloration. Last week in several fields in Kay County (north of Ponca City), Dr. Jeff Edwards (OSU Wheat Extension Agronomist) and I were in fields where nearly all the wheat had turned white from being in saturated soil for too long a time. FHB also was in these fields, but the extent of FHB infection was difficult to ascertain because of the bleaching of the plants. I also have had reports of FHB being found in southwestern OK, but at low levels."
Finally, Dr. Hunger has also had a few reports of some virus issues for some wheat producers- "Viruses continue to be found in samples from northwest Oklahoma and the panhandle. The most prevalent virus found is barley yellow dwarf virus (BYDV), but positive results for Wheat streak mosaic virus, Triticum mosaic virus, and High plains virus have all been found."
The Organic EQIP Sign Up is Extended for Two Weeks
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We told you last week about the million dollars available to Oklahoma organic or organic wannabes under the EQIP program that will help pay for getting certified as an organic producer or keeping your organic status. The sign up date that we mentioned last week was this Friday, May 29. That signup date has been pushed back to June 12, 2009.
We told you last week in this email that "They need to sign up in their local NRCS office and be sure to identify the 'special' EQIP signup for organics. This money is for Oklahoma organics only. It can't be converted to statewide or local EQIP programs. Organic applicants will compete only against other organic applicants." (Per Angela Williams)
We have the link below of more signup details- the key is that there is $1.1 million available to Oklahoma producers (and lots of money in other states, too) but you have to get in quickly to NRCS offices and get an application in right away. As we mentioned earlier, deadline is now a couple of weeks away on June 12.
Click here for more details from earlier this month of these monies being announced at the national level to help with Organic production across the country.
US Beef Exports Could Soar if Japan Relaxes 20 Month Rule to 30 Month Standard
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~In previous stories that we have done on this subject, US beef industry officials have claimed it could add as much as a billion dollars of sales to the US beef market in short order- if we could step them up from accepting just beef from animals 20 months of age or younger to the 30 month level- animals that are more the norm when it comes to our pens of cattle that come from our feedlots and are harvested.
Chandler Keys of JBS Swift believes that there could be the chance in the near future to convince the Japanese to make this switch, even as they receive a "Controlled Risk" rating from the World Animal Health Organization, otherwise known as the OIE. We hear more on these possibilities in our midweek edition of the Beef Buzz- which is linked below.
Once the Japanese receive their OIE designation, Keys is encouraging the Obama Administration to push for a step up to allow for beef from animals 30 months of age or younger to be sent to Japan, opening up almost all of the regular output of US packing plants and their daily runs of slaughter cattle. The eventual goal is to then see the final step taken- full access for US beef into what was once our largest beef export destination.
Click here to read and hear comments from Chandler Keys of JBS Swift on our Beef Buzz
Limousin Breed Group Looking for Exec
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The North American Limousin Foundation is seeking candidates for the position of executive vice president (EVP), the organization's primary leadership position. Its responsibilities include carrying out the policies of the board of directors; financial management; strategic planning; oversight of the breed and hybrid registry; staffing; interaction with members and associates; and execution of programs associated with animal performance, marketing and breed promotion, member and commercial producer communications, and various member services.
Kent Andersen, Ph.D., will vacate the position July 1, when he will become associate director for North American technical services for Pfizer Animal Genetics. In his new position, he will continue to provide leadership within the North American beef cattle industry, supporting regional sales and marketing teams and educating key opinion leaders and customers about Pfizer's current and future genetic-marker-technology portfolio. Andersen has served as NALF's chief executive for nearly nine and a half years.
Direct questions, resumes and references by June 15 to North American Limousin Foundation, President Robert Millerberg, 491 E. 12000 S., Draper, UT 84020-8595.
For more on the Limousin Breed here in the US, click here for the NALF website
Tweet of the Day
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Dr. Elwynn Taylor, Meteorologist at Iowa State University has posted an intriguing "Tweet" on twitter this morning- we have put a call out to him to get more information- but we thought we would share with you what may be very interesting "big picture" weather news about La Nina.
Dr. Taylor says "Rain in the Midwest & in FL is news. Bigger news: the SOI (measure of La Nina) hit "0.00" today & we drop a crop risk factor."
We had been told earlier in the year that La Nina was likely to weaken- there appears to be the case- and we will hope to have a story up later today on our website and then on this email tomorrow that explains what that may mean to summer weather across the country- both up in the corn belt as well as down in our part of the world.
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