~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Wednesday February 4, 2009A service of Producers Cooperative Oil Mill, KIS Futures and American Farmers & Ranchers Mutual Insurance Company!
-- A Visit With Congressman Frank Lucas
-- A No-Till Reminder- Oklahoma No-Til Conference is Set for Next Monday and Tuesday
-- NFU's Buis One of Those Testifying Before The House Ag Committee on Market Transparency
-- Rough Economic Seas Batter Beef Industry
-- Congrats to Kim Metcalf- THE Certified Crop Advisor of the Year in Oklahoma
-- Sorghum Genome Sequence Published
-- Follow Us on Twitter
-- 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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A Visit With Congressman Frank Lucas
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We spent time on the phone yesterday afternoon with the ranking Minority Member of the House Ag Committee, Congressman Frank Lucas, as he ducked into a back room and spent a few minutes with us as we caught up with the Congressman about several key issues on the agricultural scene. Among the items we talked about-
The hearing going on as we talked with the Congressman about market
transparency in financial instruments like credit swaps and the
Click on the link below- and that will take you to the Podacast page with our interview with Congressman Lucas on it.
Click here for our conversation with Oklahoma Third District Congressman Frank Lucas on a variety of ag issues.
A No-Till Reminder- Oklahoma No-Til Conference is Set for Next Monday and Tuesday
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We got an email from Chad Godsey of OSU's Division of Agriculture wanting us to remind you that It is not too late to make plans and be at the No-Till Oklahoma Conference to be held Feb. 9 and 10 in downtown Oklahoma City, Okla., at the Sheraton Hotel. You can get last minute registration information by following the link below- and Chad says if you choose to simply show up and register on site- you will be welcome as well.
The conference this year will feature sessions on soil fertility, crop rotation for eastern and western Oklahoma, soil carbon, residue management, and equipment. The breakout sessions on Feb. 10 will look at grazing, soil microbial changes in no-till, cover crops, strip-till, conversion economics, and getting started with no-till.
The Keynoter on Monday morning is Agustin Bianchini from Argentina. Bianchini has a significant amount of experience in no-till systems similar to those in Oklahoma. Bianchini has a degree in agronomy from the University of Cordoba and a Master in Science degree from Iowa State University. He has extensive experience in soil conservation, crop nutrition and precision agriculture. He will be talking about where we are going with No-till in the next 20 years.
Click here for more information on the 2009 Oklahoma No Til Conference
NFU's Buis One of Those Testifying Before The House Ag Committee on Market Transparency
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~National Farmers Union President Tom Buis appeared before the House Agriculture Committee on Tuesday in support of increased oversight and transparency of the commodities markets. Buis, citing last year's record high commodity prices, followed by a historic collapse in the grain, livestock and dairy prices, said unabated speculative commodity futures trading is increasing market volatility.
Buis told the Committee, "Speculators created a market bubble and false sense that higher prices were here to stay and as a result producers locked in higher priced input and feed costs. The economic collapse and bursting bubble have jeopardized the economic livelihoods of many Americans and is rippling throughout our rural communities."
We have the audio testimony of Buis as a part of our web coverage of this story- you can jump there by following the link below.
Click here for more on the testimonty offered on market transparency and CFTC's role in that from NFU's Tom Buis.
Rough Economic Seas Batter Beef Industry
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The beef cattle marketplace is sailing in uncharted waters as the global economic storm collides with market fundamentals. The unknowns make predicting where we are going and knowing how to make each segment profitable almost impossible- according to Chief Economist of the NCBA, Greg Doud. We talk about these conditions with Doud on our Wednesday Beef Buzz.
With the huge losses that feedlots have been suffering for an extended amount of time- Doud says something has to give. Financially weaker feedlot operators may well go under- and the market may start pricing feeder and stocker cattle cheaper to bring the losses down in the feedlot sector. Doud points to the Crop Credit as a prime example of how the global economics have changed the dynamic in cattle prices in this country- and have done so in a very rapid manner.
Click below for our Wednesday Beef Buzz- a regular radio feature as heard on great radio stations that are a part of the Radio Oklahoma Network
Click here for our Wednesday Beef Buzz that features Greg Doud of NCBA
Congrats to Kim Metcalf- THE Certified Crop Advisor of the Year in Oklahoma
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Rising input costs, volatile commodity prices and a trend toward diversified crops are all factors in an increased demand for agricultural experts called Certified Crop Advisors. Earlier this month, Kim Metcalf of Metcalf Land and Lawn and Estes Chemical was named Oklahoma CCA of the Year.
"I'm honored to receive this award but what is really important to me is to stress the benefits of the CCA program," Metcalf said. "Our members are educated, tested and certified just like professionals like certified public accountants and receiving continuing education every year so we have the latest technology and techniques for our clients."
Nutrient management, soil and water management, integrated pest management and crop management are the four categories stressed in the program, he said. These are the main areas of concern for producers not only for production, but in keeping their costs as low as possible. "A certified crop advisor can help keep a farmer's input costs as low as possible," Metcalf said. "A producer has more control over input costs than he has with the market so this can mean the difference between a profit and a loss."
Most CCAs, like Metcalf, work for cooperatives, chemical companies, and other farm supply businesses. A few contract directly with growers. There are about 90 certified crop advisors in Oklahoma. "This isn't an easy certification to achieve," Metcalf said. "We have to pass a local and a national test to be certified and only about 60 percent of the people who take these tests each year pass them. For those that pass the test, they must have at least 40 hours of continuing education every two years to remain certified."
Sorghum Genome Sequence Published
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Joint Genome Institute (JGI) and several partner institutions have published the sequence and analysis of the complete genome of sorghum. The genome data will aid scientists in optimizing sorghum and other crops not only for food and fodder use, but also for biofuels production. The comparative analysis of the sorghum genome appears in the January 29 edition of the journal Nature.
"This is an important step on the road to the development of cost-effective biofuels made from nonfood plant fiber," said Anna C. Palmisano, DOE Associate Director of Science for Biological and Environmental Research. "Sorghum is an excellent candidate for biofuels production, with its ability to withstand drought and prosper on more marginal land. The fully sequenced genome will be an indispensable tool for researchers seeking to develop plant variants that maximize these benefits."
"NSP is thrilled that sorghum is the second cereal crop to have its genome sequenced," said Tim Lust, NSP CEO. "We applaud the efforts of the DOE Joint Genome Institute to have this sequence completed and look forward to the advances that this accomplishment will bring to producers' fields. Sequencing the sorghum genome will open countless doors to improve grain yields, ethanol yields and move even more quickly to open new markets for sorghum crops. I am confident that this achievement will insure the continued productivity and profitability of sorghum, not only for U.S. sorghum producers, but for farmers worldwide."
Follow Us on Twitter
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We are up and running on Twitter- one of the more interesting new variations in the social networking arena. It is kinda like a mini blog in that as it is updated- it can be delivered directly to your computer- or even to your cellphone.
One of the things we are doing with Twitter is that we have it now set up that whenever we post a news story on our website- we create a Twitter mini blog posting that provides a blurb on that story and a link to the full story that you can go to.
We invite you to check out Twitter- our link below will take you to our profile and latest postings- lots about our ag stuff and a few items on other observations of life around us. Subscribe to follow us- and others- and enjoy.
Our thanks to KIS Futures, Producers Cooperative Oil Mill and AFR 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!
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Let's Check the Markets!
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