~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Thursday August 6, 2009A service of Johnston Enterprises, P & K Equipment/ P & K Wind Energy and American Farmers & Ranchers Mutual Insurance Company!
-- Conservation Leaders Cheer Defense of Dam Money by Jim Inhofe
-- Francie Wants to Remind You
-- Cattle Producers Getting Edgy Over Lack of Progress in Widening Access to Japanese Beef Market
-- Southern Plains Beef Symposium is Upon Us
-- Crop Production Data Coming Next Wednesday
-- HRW Harvest Now Well into South Dakota
-- Do You Know Your Drylines?
-- 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 pleased 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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Conservation Leaders Cheer Defense of Dam Money by Jim Inhofe
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Earlier this week, U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe voted against an amendment that would eliminate funding for watershed and flood prevention for fiscal year 2010 from the Agriculture Appropriations Bill, H.R.2997. Under the Watershed program, 2,105 upstream flood control dams have been constructed in 121 watersheds in 64 counties across Oklahoma, providing benefits such as flood control, water supply, erosion control, recreation, wetlands, and wildlife habitat. The amendment, S.Amdt.1912, failed in the Senate by a vote of 70 to 27.
"With more upstream flood control dams than anywhere else in the country, protecting 1,532 county and highway bridges, providing flood prevention for 20,541 farms and ranches, and with over 300 dams currently undergoing rehabilitation, it is undisputable that the continued funding of this program is imperative to Oklahoma - something that President Obama does not understand as he chose to allocate $0 for the program in his fiscal year 2010 budget," Inhofe said. "I am very pleased that my Senate Colleagues disagree with the President and instead chose not to strip this necessary funding from the bill.
"With over 2,105 flood control dams, Oklahoma has more interest in the
upstream flood control program than any other state in the union," said
Trey Lam, President of the Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts.
"It is vital that this program be funded if we are going to ensure the
safety of the lives and property of Oklahoman's."
Francie Wants to Remind You
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Our brand new State Farm Service Agency Director, Francie Tolle, dropped us an email yesterday with a couple of reminders about key deadlines that lay ahead for crop producers here in Oklahoma- and for that matter, producers all over.
She writes "August 14th is the deadline to sign up for ACRE or the
traditional Direct & Counter-cycle Program (DCP) - farmers need to be
going into their county offices NOW if they have not already done so. If
farmers have not looked at the ACRE program they should be looking to see
if the program will work for them. There are numerous variables to
consider and everyone will need to look at their own situation.
That August 31 deadline is one that winter canola producers( or anyone thinking about planting some acres of winter canola this season) need to be paying attention to as that is the date that you have to have crop insurance coverage lined up for your canola. The key here is to declare canola as a crop you are planting- you can report on the number of acres later. Check with your local FSA office and they will be able to help you sort through these decisions in a timely manner that will allow you to be ahead of the deadlines.
To remind you of the importance of the ACRE decision for those that have wheat base acres on their farm in Texas or Oklahoma (sorry Mike Becker- Kansas is not the slam dunk that Oklahoma is on this decision), we have linked below a story that we had last week featuring Hope Pjesky who has run the numbers and is really convinced you will recover all of the reduction in Direct Payments for the next four years that you commit yourself to- plus some- with the ACRE payment that she says is likely from the 2009 crop. Take a look, run your own numbers, and make your decision- but do it quick, as the deadline is close of business next Friday.
Click here for our earlier story on ACRE Advantages in the Southern Plains for Wheat Producers
Cattle Producers Getting Edgy Over Lack of Progress in Widening Access to Japanese Beef Market
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Some six years after Japan closed its market to U.S. beef because of the cow that stole Christmas, processors and producers are growing frustrated with the lingering restrictions that are severely limiting their exports. It was December 2003 that then Secretary Ann Veneman announced that a dairy cow that turned out to be from Canada was found in Washington state, positive with BSE.
Montana rancher Jim Peterson, chairman-elect of the U.S. Meat Export Federation, tells us in today's Beef Buzz that industry leaders and Washington need to agree on an incremental approach that would ask Japan to raise its cattle age limit to 30 months of age from 20 months "The idea of all or nothing just hasn't worked," Peterson said.
There are significant supply issues that the US industry cannot easily overcome when you can only send beef from animals certified as being 20 months of age of less when slaughtered. Peterson says there is a four month or so hole in the supply from December to around March where the numbers of 20 month cattle are in very short supply. That really hurts the ability of the US to sell Japan all of the beef they would probably actually buy if it were available. Click on the link below to hear more from the Chairman Elect of the USMEF on this issue that many believe should have been solved long ago.
Click here for today's Beef Buzz, featuring comments from Jim Peterson of the US Meat Export Federation
Southern Plains Beef Symposium is Upon Us
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~This Saturday will be the 19th annual renewal of this first class all day Cattle Industry event. The Symposium will look at some of the big issues facing the cattle industry here in 2009, including how to be ready to defend the industry against the lies and half truths that many Animal Rights fanatics will tell about animal agriculture. The theme for 2009- "Beyond the Horizon- The Changing Environment Facing the Beef Industry Today."
Featured speakers will include Daren Williams of NCBA, Ben Wileman of K-State, Market Analyst Tommy Beale, the new Ag Division Director Billy Cook of the Noble Foundation, OSU Animal Scientist Dave Lalman and Executive Director of the Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association Scott Dewald.
This is one of the very best one day cattle industry informational events available anywhere in the country- make your plans to be there and we will look forward to seeing you Saturday morning- yep, we will be moderating that portion of the program once again here in 2009.
Click here for more on the Southern Plains Beef Symposium- including the chance to hear our conversation with Shan Ingram About the 2009 Event
Crop Production Data Coming Next Wednesday
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We are starting to see the various major players release their ideas about the size of our spring planted crops- especially corn and soybeans- and everyone seems to agree that the mild summer weather in key states like Iowa and Illinois are pushing us to probably the second largest corn crop on record here in 2009.
Both Allendale and Informa now believe we have a corn crop in excess of 12.5 billion bushels that will be harvested this season. Joe Victor with Allendale adds that for corn "Ending stocks will be adequate at slightly lower than last year's level." Allendale predicts a 12.564 billion bushel crop, while Informa pegs it at 12.554 billion bushels. The Informa average yield nationally stands at 157.1 bushels per acre. Even bigger than the numbers from these two firms are the figures released earlier this week by FC Stone- they call the corn crop at 12.814 billion bushels, thinking average yield will hit 160 bushels per acre.
Soybean crop guesses are in the same range that USDA was guessing in
July, around 3.2 billion bushels. Joe Victor offers these comments on
soybeans- "A record soybean crop is on line for 2009. No adjustments to
acreage or yield have been made. Old crop ending stocks will be the
tightest since 1972. Even with last week's large new crop sale to China,
we still feel USDA's 1.275 billion estimate for 2009-10 exports are too
large. New crop ending stocks are expected to be the largest since 2006."
HRW Harvest Now Well into South Dakota
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Mark Hodges with Plains Grains has provided us with a harvest update with an eye to the quality of the 2009 Hard Red Winter wheat crop. Mark reports "Harvest has virtually concluded for states producing wheat that is Gulf tributary. In Nebraska, wheat harvest is rapidly winding down with the northern part of the state being the only major area to be completed with it still being well behind the 5 year average for harvest completion date. Harvest is now in full swing in South Dakota with lower yields being reported in contrast to areas south into Nebraska. Test weight and thousand kernel weight continues to be very good in this crop and is a reflection of late season moisture that allowed grain to accumulate the maximum amount of dry matter prior to maturity and dry down."
The higher test weights are also an indicator of very good yields. Generally, producers in this area have been very happy with yields of this 2009 wheat crop with the exception of southern South Dakota. However, this also has affected the protein in this crop with lower than average reports from many areas of the region and like areas of Colorado and Kansas there is somewhat of a mosaic pattern emerging indicating highs and lows within close proximity of each other.
Our story on our website include a couple of files that you can access if you have Microsoft Office products on your computer. One is a spreadsheet that looks at a ton of data that has been assembled thus far this wheat harvest season on a grainshed by grainshed basis. The other file we have linked is a PowerPoint file, that shows a set of Google maps with the quality attributes that have been confirmed from almost 400 samples up through the end of July. Click to go and review these details.
Click here for more on the quality results from the 2009 HRW Wheat crop
Do You Know Your Drylines?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~I did not realize that we are in a special place globally in regards to this weather feature that we hear Travis Meyer or Gary England talk about from time to time- Dryline. In the latest Ag Weather Connection, as produced by the AgWeather folks at the Oklahoma Mesonet, a dryline is "a boundary separating warm, dry air from warm, moist air, typically across parts of New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma or Kansas. The Central Plains is one of only four places on the planet in which drylines occur."
Laura and the weather folks go on to talk about drylines, how they occur and what they mean to rural folks as we watch weather patterns. In addition, this month's electronic journal for ag weather information also looks back at the wildfires of a few months ago, and there is also a tutorial on how to pull up and read several important maps that relate back to stormy weather.
Click on our link below to view the latest issue of AgWeather Connection, as produced by the folks in the OSU outpost found in Norman just south of the campus of OU. Mesonet is one of those projects where Red and Orange mix to our benefit statewide.
Click here for AgWeather Connection from the Oklahoma Mesonet Ag Weather team
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Let's Check the Markets!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~It was a total run of 3,878 at OKC West in El Reno yesterday and our market reporter Tina Colby writes "Feeder steers steady to 2.00 lower, most decline over 800 lbs. Feeder heifers 1.00-2.00 lower, few over 800 lbs held steady. Demand remains very good for feeder cattle despite the down day in the cattle futures. Calves lightly tested. Steer calves steady. Heifer calves 3.00-6.00 higher. Demand very good for calves despite the very hot temperatures." Click here for a look at the Wednesday prices paid for cattle at OKC West.
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