~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Tuesday November 28, 2006A service of Midwest Farm Shows
-- Final Crop Weather update of the season shows soil moisture VERY dry.
-- Fast Moving Winter Storm in the making- we pray for significant moisture before the Arctic front arrives.
-- Get Rid of Unwanted Pesticides for Free! (up to 2,500 pounds worth)
-- How to make exotic Pumpkins pay the bills!
-- AWB called out on their kickback scheme with Saddam- Some officials may face jail time.
-- Forget about Ag Disaster Aid in the Lame Duck!
-- Animal ID- another perspective with Mike John of NCBA
Here's your morning farm news headlines from the Director of Farm Programming for the Radio Oklahoma Network, Ron Hays. Our email this morning is a service of Midwest Farm Shows, featuring the Tulsa Farm Show December 7-9, 2006 and the Southern Plains Farm Show in Oklahoma City April 19-21, 2007. Check out details of both of these exciting shows at the official website of Midwest Farm Shows by clicking here.
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Final Crop Weather update of the season shows soil moisture VERY dry.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We saw another decline in the soil moisture profile in these final days of November- according to the Oklahoma Crop Weather update. Topsoil moisture supplies stand at 79% short to very short, while subsoil moisture remains at 86% short to very short- about eleven percentage points worse than at this stage in 2005. Rainfall totals are most discouraging in the north central part of the state- as that area of the state has received just 26% of normal rainfall since the first of September.
The last wheat crop rating until January shows the 2007 Oklahoma HRW wheat crop at 66% fair to good, three percentage points down from that number a week ago. Older wheat stands seem to be showing the most signs of stress. To save the 2007 crop for a decent grain yield- a good drenching rainfall will be needed. Pasture and range conditions remain dismal, with almost two thirds of the rating in the poor to very poor category. Producers continue to face low pond levels- forcing many to haul water.
Harvest is rapidly winding down, with the milo harvest at 92% done, Soybeans 97% harvested and peanuts now 96% combined. The cotton harvest is also rolling right along, with 84% done- 14 percentage points ahead of normal.
Fast Moving Winter Storm in the making- we pray for significant moisture before the Arctic front arrives.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Warm and windy today- then it's downhill from there as far as the temperature goes as a Blue Norther seems to be headed our way. Some rain has already come into the state- with Kay and Garfield Counties getting a half inch of rain or so yesterday- and since midnight, several areas on a line from the southwest corner of Oklahoma up through Oklahoma City towards Osage County have received additional amounts- with one station in Tillman County reporting almost nine tenths of an inch of rain.
As we see the temperatures start to fall on Wednesday- precipitation will fall- some liquid and some likely to be frozen and that will be in a couple of waves into Thursday- then we clear enough by Thursday night that early Friday morning will be easily the coldest we have had this fall- high teens in Little Dixie and single digits- say 5 or 6 above zero in the Panhandle and far northwest Oklahoma.
The forecasters that are working on this are based in several locations- Amarillo, Norman and Tulsa and we are linking the Forecast Discussion from the Norman office for you to take a look at below. Lots of weather jargon and shorthand- but reading this- it looks like they think the system will move quickly- with best chances for a larger amount of frozen precipitation east of a line from Ponca City down to Oklahoma City.
Get Rid of Unwanted Pesticides for Free! (up to 2,500 pounds worth)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma agricultural producers, commercial and non- commercial applicators and pesticide dealers can get rid of unwanted pesticides Dec. 6 at Humphrey’s Coop Elevator as part of the Oklahoma Unwanted Pesticide Disposal Program. Humphrey’s Coop Elevator is located at 2109 Asphalt Rd. in Altus, south of Highway 62. Pesticide collection will take place 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Unwanted pesticides are those that are unusable as originally intended for a variety of reasons, including leftover pesticides, pesticides that are no longer registered in Oklahoma and pesticides that no longer have labels or are no longer identifiable. “Only commercial and farm-type pesticides will be taken, not those typically used by homeowners,” said Charles Luper, Extension associate with the Oklahoma State University Pesticide Safety Education Program. “Other items such as paint, batteries and oil also will not be accepted.”
For additional information, visit the OSU Pesticide Safety Education Program site on the Internet or contact Charles Luper at 405-744-5808 or Sandy Wells at 405-522-5993. We have linked the OSU Education site below.
How to make exotic Pumpkins pay the bills!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Coming up on the 15th of December, farmers and gardeners who want to learn more about pumpkins, squash, melons, and cucumbers are invited to attend the 2006 Oklahoma Cucurbit Meeting, from 9 to 3 at the Grady County Fairgrounds on highway 62 in Chickasha. The meeting is free and includes lunch. OSU researchers will talk about the production and marketing of these popular crops.
Dr. Francis Mangan of the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences at the University of Massachusetts will be guest speaker. He will discuss growing and marketing of exotic, tropical pumpkins for ethnic markets. The growing Hispanic population in Oklahoma is increasing demand for these and other new crops. Other speakers will present information on the 2006 Oklahoma specialty melon trials, developments and opportunities with the Oklahoma Farm-to-School Program, cucurbit vegetable pest management, and extending the growing season with plastic “high tunnels.”
The meeting is sponsored by OSU, the USDA/ARS Lane Research Center, OSU Extension, and industry groups. For more information or to be added to the meeting mailing list, contact Dr. Jim Shrefler of OSU at 580- 889-7343.
AWB called out on their kickback scheme with Saddam- Some officials may face jail time.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The retired Australian Judge that headed up the Blue Ribbon panel that looked at the Food for Oil scheme saw the AWB, the Australian Export Authority for Aussie wheat, as being in the wrong in the multi- million dollar payoff. Terence Cole is quoted as saying "the facts are not in doubt" that AWB paid some $221 million in bribes to Saddam and his government by funneling money through a Jordanian trucking company.
About a dozen Australian officials may be facing prison time because of the bribes- including Trevor Flugge who at one time headed the AWB- once known as the Australian Wheat Board- the single desk marketer of Australian wheat.
U.S. politicians- especially Democrats- called the report a positive step and indicated that hearings are in order to go over the findings of this report to see how U.S. farmers may been harmed by the AWB's actions. Incoming Chairman of the House Ag Committee, Collin Peterson of Minnesota, told reporters that he hopes the report "will increase the transparency in the AWB actions, leading to the possible end of the monopoly that the AWB has had on Australian export sales."
Forget about Ag Disaster Aid in the Lame Duck!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~With the word out that Senate Majority leader Bill Frist of Tennessee has decided to call for a Continuing Resolution for Federal Government spending that will allow Uncle Sam to keep operating through January means that there will a slim to none" chance of getting anything else passed through the remaining days of this current Congress. The Republicans have decided to freeze the current Federal budget at last year's Fiscal Year levels and turn it over to the Democrats to sort out as the new Congress organizes and they take control of the Committees and the agenda on both sides of Capitol Hill.
Fiscal Conservatives like the move as it avoids last minute ear marks of all kinds that would inflate federal spending while the Republicans give the Democrats budgets to deal with in several agencies while they try to set up shop for FY 2007- and once that's done- they almost immediately have to deal with FY 2008 spending. That may slow down Senator Harry Reid and Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi as they pursue new agenda priorities early in 2007.
The bad news for agriculture is that Ag Disaster Aid now has to start from scratch again with the new Congress- and there is still the Administration demanding a budgetary offset to pay for any such assistance. That also means starting from scratch on other agricultural priorities that languished in 2006- repeal of or raising the exemption for the estate tax as well as getting a Congressional clarification on what animal manure is or isn't. All of these matters now apparently will have to gain fresh traction in 2007.
Animal ID- another perspective with Mike John of NCBA
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Mike John, who is the President of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association and a cattle producer from Missouri, contends that animal ID can work as a voluntary program, if we allow market forces to make a lot of the decisions as to what technology works and does not work- who can most efficiently manage the data and things like that. He does worry about confidentiality if the government has any control over the data base- which is the issue that Mary Kay Thatcher of American Farm Bureau raised with us last week as well.
It seems that John and other cattle producers, who were calling Animal ID and Source Verification two different things a while back- still see these as two issues, but more closely related than was admitted previously. You can hear what Mike thinks right now about Animal ID as we get his take on this and we also asked him to weigh in with his experiences in Missouri with their source verification efforts in that state. Click below and take a listen to today's Beef Buzz with Mike John.
Tomorrow- we hope to have a very different view of this subject as we have lined up some time later today with one of the big critics of the NAIS approach to Animal ID.
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