~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Tuesday April 12, 2011A service of Johnston Enterprises, P & K Equipment/ P & K Wind Energy and American Farmers & Ranchers Mutual Insurance Company!
-- Dry, Drier and Driest- the Latest Oklahoma Crop Weather Update
-- Dry Epicenter for Oklahoma- the Southwest
-- Canola TV- Canola Field Tour Stop with Josh Bushong of OSU
-- Price of Oil Affects Food Costs
-- NERVOUS- 26 Congressman Call on USDA to Release CRP Cropland for THIS Growing Season
-- Condolances to Gary Sherrer
-- Correction and This and That- and an Ag Day Reminder!
-- 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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Johnston Enterprises- proud to be serving agriculture across
Oklahoma and around the world since 1893. One of the great success stories
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true cold-tolerant seeded forage bermudagrass in the United States. For
more on Johnston Enterprises- click
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region on the Radio Oklahoma Network weekdays- if you missed this
morning's Farm News - or you are in an area where you can't hear it- click
here for this morning's Farm news from Ron Hays on RON.
Dry, Drier and Driest- the Latest Oklahoma Crop Weather Update
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~It was not a hopeful statement that headlined the latest Oklahoma Crop Weather Update- and it did not reflect the rains received in north central or southeast Oklahoma at the end of this past weekend. The latest NASS report says "It was another hot and dry week in Oklahoma. The last four months are the fourth driest such period on record and the driest since 1971. Most of Oklahoma is showing some degree of drought. The president of the Oklahoma Farm Bureau stated that due to the lack of precipitation, wheat producers are considering plowing under their fields and switching to another crop. Many grassfires were reported across the state in the past week. Governor Fallin extended a state of emergency for Oklahoma which followed the first emergency declaration made on March 11th. Additionally, a burn ban remains in effect for 47 of the state's 77 counties. Scattered rain showers were received last week with the state receiving a meager 0.19 of an inch of average precipitation. Topsoil and subsoil moisture conditions continue to suffer from lack of rainfall with only ten percent of topsoil and subsoil rated adequate."
Getting down to specifics- the report indicates that for the 2011 wheat crop- "Signs of drought stress were evident throughout crop fields and the need for precipitation is critical. Wheat jointing was 85 percent complete by week's end, three points ahead of normal, and wheat headed reached eight percent complete." They also indicated that the winter canola crop was developing quickly- "Canola blooming jumped significantly to 77 percent complete from 49 percent the previous week."
For the spring planted crops- farmers are a little uncertain about planting into dry soil or playing a waiting game- "Producers continue to move forward with planting, however, some activities have been hindered as a result of dry soil conditions. Corn seedbeds prepared reached 83 percent complete with 24 percent of corn planted by Sunday. Sorghum seedbed preparation increased by four points to reach 51 percent complete, 20 points ahead of normal. Soybean seedbed preparation was 33 percent complete, five points behind normal. Peanut seedbeds prepared reached 58 percent complete by week's end, eight points ahead of the five-year average. Cotton seedbed preparation was 45 percent complete by Sunday, 15 points behind normal."
The latest Oklahoma Wheat Crop Ratings show 60% of the crop acres are now in the poor to very poor category- 29% fair and 11% good to excellent. That's just a little worst than a week ago- but still a little better than the wheat crop ratings in Texas where you can find 66% of the wheat crop in poor to very poor condition- 23% in fair shape and 11% in good condition- no acres are reported in excellent shape. Our neighbor to the north- Kansas- shows 28% in good to excellent shape, 35% fair and 37% in poor to very poor condition.
Dry Epicenter for Oklahoma- the Southwest
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The drought in southwest Oklahoma is the worst it has been in decades- some numbers even compare this current stretch of dry weather to the 1920s. Mark Gregory is not sure about that comparison- but he told Ron Hays at the Canola Field Tour Stop in Canadian County on Monday afternoon that wheat and forage conditions are bad- and going further south with every additional day of no rainfall.
He did say that southwest Oklahoma will produce some wheat this June- or before- just not very much.
Also discussed was the challenge of getting spring crops into the ground and growing. With little or no topsoil or subsoil moisture- it will take a couple of rains for crops like cotton or grain sorghum to have any chance of making a crop here in 2011.
Canola TV- Canola Field Tour Stop with Josh Bushong of OSU
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~About twenty Canadian County farmers who have either been growing canola- or in the case of some of those gathered- interested in adding it into the rotation this coming September when the planting window opens once again were in a blooming winter canola field just east of El Reno on old 66 Monday afternoon. They heard from several OSU extension specialists who discussed the condition of the crop this year- and offered lots of insights on everything from current varieties that are growing in the OSU test plots at this location and multiple others around the state to insect control to harvest alternatives come June when the 2011 crop will be ready to be harvested.
One of those OSU specialists that the farmers gathered heard from was Josh Bushong- extension canola specialist who is based in Enid. We talked with Josh during the Field Tour- and we have posted it on our Canola TV YouTube Channel, which is a service of PCOM, Producers Cooperative Oil Mill. The actual name of the channel is WinterCanolaTV- if you have a Youtube account- search for the channel and subscribe!
We also have the video on our website- and we have that webstory linked below- as we talk with Josh about current crop conditions- and some of the tips they are emphasizing to folks growing canola this season- and those who are interested in growing canola this next year.
Price of Oil Affects Food Costs
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~As the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization gathers in Rome for a council meeting on food security issues, the Global Renewable Fuels Alliance has called on delegates to focus on the real driver behind rising food costs - the price of oil. Last week while addressing the South American renewable fuels industry in Buenos Aires, GRFA spokesperson Bliss Baker presented data showing the direct link between the recent increase in crude oil prices and the UN FAO's world food price index.
here for the story on this group's website that includes the graph
that they contend shows that direct link.
According to USDA, labor, packaging and processing costs are additional contributing factors in the price of food. However, according to USDA, unpredictable energy costs are responsible for the recent spikes in food prices. USDA estimates that 33 percent of every dollar spent on food goes to energy related factors.
NERVOUS- 26 Congressman Call on USDA to Release CRP Cropland for THIS Growing Season
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~A total of 26 lawmakers, including John Sullivan of the first District of Oklahoma, have called on Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack to release acres that could produce crops from the CRP so that farmers could farm them this crop year. They say time is of the essence- and that the release should come before May first.
The lawmakers- who appear to be all Republicans and largely not from rural districts- are clearly worried about having enough food produced here in 2011. They point out that current grain stocks are at a 15 year low, with global demand growing. And they mention that some analysts have used the word "rationing" in their consideration of the current grain situation.
The key demand in this letter is "USDA must release, without
penalty, arable CRP land to willing farmers who are able to produce
grains." They add that they believe that each new crop acre will help
to improve the situation.
Condolances to Gary Sherrer
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~It was a sad phone call that we took from Scott Dewald on Monday afternoon as we traveled to the Canola Field Plot meeting in El Reno. Earlier on Monday, the wife of Gary Sherrer, Judith, had died after a very short unexpected illness. Gary and Judith have a home in Stillwater, along with one daughter.
As you know, Gary was appointed by Governor Mary Fallin to serve as her Secretary of Environment, even as he continued to work within the Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources at Oklahoma State University. Click here for our report from earlier this year when Governor Fallin made that appointment.
Based on what Scott shared with us- this was a very unexpected turn of events for the Sherrer family- so it may take some time for details of a Memorial Service to be made known. We're praying for Gary and his daughter in this very tough time- and I know that you will be as well- we'll have details of a memorial when they are available.
Correction and This and That- and an Ag Day Reminder!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Yes- we had a case of the Mondays on a Monday- and used the wrong name in our headline for the story on the newest OSU Regent- Rick Davis. Click here to see the story- which was right- it was the email where we stubbed our toe.
We ran out of time this morning- but we will have a full story on Wednesday morning about the 3 FFA chapters who had members donating their Youth Expo swine entries to the Oklahoma Regional Food Bank- News9 was also at the presentation of the Ground Pork to the Food bank- and they have been running the story as well- more details on that tomorrow morning.
We remind you that tomorrow is Ag Day at the State Capitol- lots of presentations and more will be happening there- we will be there through the day and will be tweeting and gathering lots of great stories for you- including the naming of the next person going into the Oklahoma Ag Hall of Fame. Click here for details that we had for you earlier about this special day for Oklahoma Agriculture at our State Capitol.
Our thanks to Midwest Farms Shows, PCOM, P & K Equipment/ P & K Wind Energy, Johnston Enterprises, American Farmers & Ranchers and KIS Futures for their support of our daily Farm News Update. For your convenience, we have our sponsors' websites linked here- just click on their name to jump to their website- check their sites 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- FREE!
We also invite you to check out our website at the link below to check out an archive of these daily emails, audio reports and top farm news story links from around the globe.
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 $10.25 per bushel- as of the close of trade Wednesday, while the 2011 New Crop contracts for Canola are now available are $11.20 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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