~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Tuesday December 28, 2010A service of Producers Cooperative Oil Mill, Midwest Farm Shows and Big Iron OnLine Auctions!
-- Higher Priced Corn Due to Ethanol Promotes Importance of Stocker Cattle Business Model- Dr. Derrell Peel Explains All
-- Talking About the Value of the FFA with Martha Burger of Chesapeake Energy
-- One of the Big Five Beef Stories of 2010- No Movement by Japan to Widen Access to US Beef
-- The Conservation Reserve Program Turns 25
-- George Geissler Named as New State Forester for Oklahoma
-- Hogs and Pigs Number in Line with Expectations
-- 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 welcome Big Iron Unreserved Online Auctions as our newest sponsor of the daily Email. Their next auction is Wednesday, January 12- featuring Low Hour, Farmer Owned Equipment. Click here for their website to learn more about their Online Farm Equipment Auctions.
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Higher Priced Corn Due to Ethanol Promotes Importance of Stocker Cattle Business Model- Dr. Derrell Peel Explains All
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~For much of the last 50 years, cheap fuel/cheap food policies in the U.S. resulted in an abundance of inexpensive feed grain for livestock production. One result of that was a beef industry, as we know it today, which deemphasized the forage role of beef cattle, particularly beyond the cow-calf production level.
The industry, backed by two generations of research, made great strides in efficiency and productivity based on the objective of using the maximum amount of grain in increasingly intensive production systems. The industry has taken superb advantage of better genetics, better management and new technology (implants, ionophores, etc) against a backdrop of cheap grain to improve productivity and competitiveness of the beef industry.
But OSU Extension Livestock Market Economist Dr. Derrell Peel points out that times have changed- and the US government, through subsidies and the Renewable Fuel Standard- have driven up demand and as a result, the price for feed grains. Peel says "Relatively cheap forage-based stocker gains are now more important to limit the impact of higher grain prices on beef industry cost of production and competitiveness. Feedlots have economic incentives to minimize grain use, not just in the short run but as a long term change in the way of doing business. The primary means to use less grain at the feedlot level is to put more weight on cattle prior to feedlot placement."
Click on our link below to see this full analysis of where we have been with cheap feed grain- and where we are today- and what that means to the stocker cattle segment of the beef business. Derrell Peel nails it as he describes one of the consequences of ethanol policy in this country that impacts the way we produce beef in the United States.
Talking About the Value of the FFA with Martha Burger of Chesapeake Energy
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~One of the great acts of generosity in 2010 for the Oklahoma FFA came in November when it was announced that Chesapeake Vice President Martha Burger had decided to "pay it forward" and give a quarter of a million dollars to benefit the college educational efforts of Oklahoma State FFA officers in the years ahead.
Oklahoma City resident Martha Burger, Oklahoma State University alumna and senior vice president of human and corporate resources at Chesapeake Energy, recently pledged $500,000 for scholarships at OSU. Half of the gift benefits OSU-Oklahoma City, while the other half benefits FFA leadership officers attending OSU's College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. Once the gift is matched by the Pickens Legacy Scholarship Match, its total impact is $1.25 million.
When the State FFA Officer team recently hosted Martha for a thank you luncheon, I had the chance to share in the celebration and talked with her about what impresses her about the FFA and why she and Chesapeake invest heavily in young leadership development efforts like the Oklahoma FFA and the Oklahoma Youth Expo. Click on the LINK below to jump to our special Podcast with Martha Burger and a chance to hear her explain why she is personally supporting FFA- and why Chesapeake does as well.
One of the Big Five Beef Stories of 2010- No Movement by Japan to Widen Access to US Beef
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~One of the big Beef Industry stories of 2010 is without a doubt one of the very biggest frustrations for many cattle producers. It's all about the lack of progress in getting the Japanese to open their market wider to US beef. As a result, we have focused on that Big Beef Industry story in our Tuesday edition of the Beef Buzz- looking back at comments from May of this year.
Back in May- the frustration level hit the boiling point for former Secretary of Agriculture and now US Senator Mike Johanns of Nebraska. Johanns contended then that the Japanese are dragging their feet and have no justification for keeping out US beef from animals older than 21 months of age.
Senator Johanns spoke to members of the National Association of Farm
Broadcasters in Washington back in May- we were there and covered his
remarks. Johanns says that the Japanese need to start working under the
international guidelines established by the OIE, which indicate that US
beef coming from cattle of any age is safe from problems with BSE- as long
as you remove the specified risk materials.
The Conservation Reserve Program Turns 25
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced this past Thursday the 25th anniversary of the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) which has protected our nation's natural resources since the signing of the historic Food Security Act of 1985. The act provided for the establishment of CRP and for the protection of highly erodible land.
"CRP has a 25-year legacy of successfully protecting the nation's natural resources through voluntary participation," said Vilsack. "Although it was designed to address soil erosion, CRP has become one of the standouts in the USDA arsenal of conservation programs by continuing to provide significant economic and environmental benefits beyond its original intent."
That original intent saw several million acres of southern great plains
land put into CRP- several counties in western Oklahoma approached or hit
the maximum number of acres allowed into the program in any one county.
There was a great deal of debate at that time about the impact the program
would have on the rural infrastructure- and how much harm might occur to
small rural businesses that depended on those who were farming or ranching
that land to buy inputs and other supplies on a regular basis.
George Geissler Named as New State Forester for Oklahoma
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry recently chose George Geissler to serve as the Oklahoma State Forester and Director of Forestry Services. Prior to his selection, Geissler served as Staff Forester with Oklahoma Forestry Services and in this position he coordinated statewide forest management programs.
His selection follows the retirement of State Forester, John Burwell. "I have no doubt the division will be in good hands for many years to come," said Burwell. "George has exhibited strong leadership skills that will serve him well."
Click on the LINK below for more on this selection of George Geissler as the replacement for the retiring John Burwell at the ODAFF.
Hogs and Pigs Number in Line with Expectations
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~According to the USDA Quarterly Hogs and Pigs Report, the total inventory on December 1st was 64.3 million head. That's down one percent from one year earlier. The breeding herd inventory, at 5.7 million head, was down one percent. Market hog inventory, at 58.5 million head, was down also down one percent.
Paul Nelson with AgWeb writes of the report "The report was neutral with the exception of another record performance in the pigs/litter at 9.89, which is up 2%. Breeding herd seems to have found its groove with fairly stable numbers for the past 4 quarters. This may change in the months ahead as producers wrestle with high price feed. The futures market remain very sensitive to input cost, as seen in new contract highs in Jun, Jly, Aug. Today's report sets 2011 production at or near 2010 levels- no surprises, pigs/litter tune up the leveraging of the breeding herd."
For Oklahoma, the breeding herd was unchanged from the last report at
410,000 sows reported. The market hog numbers were up 2% to 1.92 million
and the total Oklahoma hog count was 2.33 million, which is the 8th
largest hog herd by state in the United States.
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Let's Check the Markets!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We've had requests to include Canola prices for your convenience here- and we will be doing so on a regular basis. Current cash price for Canola is $10.05 per bushel, while the 2010 New Crop contracts for Canola are now available are $10.75 per bushel- delivered to local participating elevators that are working with PCOM.
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:
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