~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Tuesday April 19, 2011A service of Producers Cooperative Oil Mill, Midwest Farm Shows and Big Iron OnLine Auctions!
-- How Much of the Oklahoma Wheat Crop is at the Point of No Return?
-- Pasture and Range Conditions Reflect Drought as Well
-- Impact of Drought Intensifies on Oklahoma Cattle Operations
-- Cattlemen Support Farm Dust Regulation Prevention Act
-- The Wall Street Journal Opines on Chocolate Milk
-- Cattle on Feed This Week- On Thursday Ahead of Easter Holiday
-- Congress Calls Foul on Obama Administration Plan to Expand Jurisdiction Under Clean Water Act
-- 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 KIS Futures as a regular sponsor of our daily email update. KIS Futures provides Oklahoma Farmers & Ranchers with futures & options hedging services in the livestock and grain markets- Click here for the free market quote page they provide us for our website or call them at 1-800-256-2555- and their IPHONE App, which provides all electronic futures quotes is available at the App Store- click here for the KIS Futures App for your Iphone.
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How Much of the Oklahoma Wheat Crop is at the Point of No Return?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The latest Oklahoma Crop Weather Update is out from USDA- and it confirms several things- including the sad state of the Oklahoma wheat crop. The update reports "Conditions continued to decline, due to the drought, which is causing wheat and rye to head significantly ahead of normal. Wheat jointing was 93 percent complete by week's end, and wheat headed reached 41 percent complete, 23 points ahead of normal." The condition of the crop is miserable with 69% poor to very poor, 24% fair, 6% in good condition and 1% in excellent shape- I suspect that one percent excellent is somewhere up in Kay County where significant rains fell this past week. Forty one percent of the Oklahoma crop has already reached the heading stage- way ahead of the five year average of 18%.
Our neighbors in Texas and Kansas have concerns as well- the Texas crop condition is very similar to Oklahoma at 68% poor to very poor. 24% fair and 10% in good condition. Kansas has some pretty good wheat in central and south central parts of their state- but western Kansas is much like Oklahoma in facing the point of no return on crop conditions. Kansas wheat is rated 42% poor to very poor, 33% fair and 25% good to excellent.
Back to our Oklahoma report- it shows about half of the expected corn acres in the state now planted (55% to be precise), with seedbed preparation in our other spring planted crops making some headway in the face of extremely dry topsoil conditions. The report does indicate that the rains in eastern Oklahoma are helping with moisture in the soil profile- but don't come close to ending drought conditions in those areas.
The report does update us on the canola crop in a small way- noting
that we have almost all of the canola statewide that has survived to this
point blooming- 96% this week versus 77% a week ago.
Pasture and Range Conditions Reflect Drought as Well
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~There is no national Pasture and Range Condition summary as of yet, but in looking at our part of the country, Texas wins the dubious honor of the poorest pasture conditions in this region, with Oklahoma not far behind. The Texas pasture and range ratings are at 69% poor to very poor, 26% fair and 5% good. Oklahoma checks in at 59% poor to very poor, 33% fair and 8% good to excellent. Oklahoma has the benefit of the eastern counties getting some help from rains of last week, plus more rainfall being in their forecast this week as well.
Also out on the west side of our region- New Mexico stands at 56% poor to very poor, 31% fair and 5% good. Kansas is a split state on this as it is on wheat- western Kansas is drying up and trying to blow away- while central and eastern Kansas has received rains. Statewide pasture and range conditions are at 28% poor to very poor, 35% fair and 37% good to excellent.
Two states on the east side of our country are Arkansas and Missouri.
Arkansas has some pastures hurting, with 25% at poor to very poor. 49%
stands in fair condition with 26% in good to excellent
Impact of Drought Intensifies on Oklahoma Cattle Operations
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The management and market impacts of drought in Oklahoma are intensifying rapidly. The situation in Oklahoma is becoming a bit more regional in nature as much of the eastern one-third of Oklahoma has received some very timely moisture in the past few days. Though these rains do not eliminate drought concerns in that region, they provide some immediate relief and significantly expand management options for producers. However, the western two-thirds of Oklahoma remain exceptionally dry and management options are increasingly limited. OSU Extension Livestock Market Economist Dr. Derrell Peel says that you need to consider impacts on your cattle operation from several different directions.
Significant direct market impacts of the drought are not apparent at this time. Though most cattle prices decreased slightly the past week, it is most likely due to seasonal and broader market impacts than due to drought. Oklahoma auction volumes for cows and bulls are up roughly 22 percent for the year to date, as is beef cow slaughter in the southern plains (up 11 percent in Region 6, which includes Oklahoma and Texas) but it is likely that most of that is due to high prices more than the result of drought forced movement. However, the impending drought impacts may be part of these cow marketing decisions, at least indirectly. While the market impacts of drought may not very significant yet, the impacts could increase dramatically, especially for cow prices, if the drought continues to worsen over the next 30-60 days.
Read more of Dr. Peel's anaylsis on how drought conditions are impacting cattlemen and their herds here in the state.
Cattlemen Support Farm Dust Regulation Prevention Act
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Regulating dust generated by everyday activities in rural America is yet another example of overregulation passed down by this administration, according to National Cattlemen's Beef Association President (NCBA) Bill Donald, who is a Montana rancher. Donald, along with Public Lands Council President John Falen, Nevada rancher, submitted a letter of support to Congresswoman Kristi Noem (R-S.D.) for her attempt to stop the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from doubling the stringency of the Coarse Particulate Matter National Ambient Air Quality Standard, more commonly called the dust standard by proposing the Farm Dust Regulation Prevention Act (H.R. 1633).
"EPA has already laid the foundation for regulating dust at unprecedented levels," said NCBA President Donald. "This standard would put large portions of land, including my family operation, in the Midwest, West and Southwest into nonattainment. Economic growth would suffer. And, for what purpose? It is well known at EPA that scientific studies have never shown that rural agricultural dust causes health concerns at ambient levels."
On today's Beef Buzz, we hear more about NCBA's support of this legislation from Ashley Lyon, Deputy Environmental Counsel for the National Cattlemen's Beef Association. Click on the LINK below to read more and to hear our Beef Buzz report- as heard on great radio stations in the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network.
The Wall Street Journal Opines on Chocolate Milk
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~One Mom writing in the Opinion section of the Wall Street Journal is blasting schools who choose to ban chocolate milk. Jen Singer is the mom- and she writes "Let's face it: Chocolate milk is like broccoli hidden in mashed potatoes. It's the way parents sneak nutritional content into something palatable to kids who choose their breakfast cereal not by the quality of its content but by the cartoon characters on the box.
"In fact, the Washington Post reports that removing flavored milk from schools reduces children's milk consumption by 37%. And for many kids, school is the only place they drink any milk all week long. Take it away, and they don't get those nutrients anywhere."
This is a subject that Susan Allen of Dairymax have talked about before- Jen Singer is clearly a lady who's thinking much like Susan on this subject where the do-gooders need to hush. Click on the LINK below to read the Journal piece from this mom of two.
Cattle on Feed This Week- On Thursday Ahead of Easter Holiday
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~This month's Cattle on Feed Report will be out on a Thursday this go round instead of the normal Friday as this Friday is Good Friday and a day where the markets will be closed. One of the analysts that we follow and get a preview from regularly on Cattle on Feed is Allendale- and Rich Nelson with Allendale offers these preview remarks:
"March Placements are expected to be 1.3% larger than last year. The sharp rise in fed cattle prices in March, averaging $7 higher than February, likely brought in a few extra feeders. Further incentive may have come from the $130 per head profits from finished cattle leaving feedlots. Cattle placed in February will be marketed from August through October.
"Allendale anticipates a Marketing total 2.8% larger than March of
2010. Slaughter levels will go from slightly higher than last year this
spring then balloon to sharply higher in the summer when large winter
placements come due."
Congress Calls Foul on Obama Administration Plan to Expand Jurisdiction Under Clean Water Act
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~A bipartisan group of 170 members of Congress, led by Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio) and Tim Holden (D-Pa.), issued a letter to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa Jackson and Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works (Corps) Jo-Ellen Darcy to express concern regarding an attempt by the agencies to expand their jurisdiction over U.S. waters. Specifically, EPA and the Corps sent a draft "guidance" document to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for regulatory review to identify waters subject to jurisdiction under the Federal Water Pollution Control Act of 1972, more commonly known as the Clean Water Act (CWA). The members of Congress agree that the "guidance" goes beyond clarifying the scope of U.S. waters subject to Clean Water Act programs.
Both the American Farm Bureau and the National Cattlemen's Beef Association have cheered the pushing back by Congress. Bob Stallman, President of the American Farm Bureau, says of the effort by the two agencies- "The guidance would take an overly broad view of 'waters of the U.S.' It would serve as a road map for EPA and the Corps to designate nearly all water bodies, and even some dry land, as subject to federal regulations that dictate land-use decisions."
The National Cattlemen's Beef Association also has weighed in- as Ashley Lyon from their DC office says "If EPA has its way, government overreach will continue to devastate financially farmers and ranchers across the country. Giving EPA the go-ahead to regulate every little drop of water in the United States is absurd."
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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 $11.00 per bushel, while the 2011 New Crop contracts for Canola are now available are $11.15 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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