~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Friday January 19, 2007!A service of Midwest Farm Shows
-- Let it snow, Let it snow, Let it snow- maybe we'll fill up Lake Altus!
-- Disaster Relief Efforts Continue for Cattle Producers!
-- There is now an Agricultural ETF available for stock traders to buy.
-- Bill Filing Deadline was yesterday at the State Capitol.
-- More No-Till Events coming as farmers look for ways to save resources.
-- Smithfield still not ready for groundbreaking in the Oklahoma Panhandle- but they say they are working on it.
-- Some optimism expressed by US Lawmakers about resuming beef trade with Korea.
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 Southern Plains Farm Show in Oklahoma City April 19-21, 2007, as well as the Tulsa Farm Show held each December. Check out details of both of these exciting shows at the official website of Midwest Farm Shows by clicking here.
Our E-mail the next few days is also being sponsored by Laura's Lean Beef- Laura's Lean Beef Co., a natural beef provider based in Lexington, KY, will hold a gathering 10:00 am Jan 24 at the Heart of Oklahoma Exposition Center in Shawnee, Ok to introduce local producers to the benefits of raising the lean, heavily muscled cattle that will perform well on Laura's bonus grids. For more information on this meeting- you can can e-mail Beth Whiteford at bwhiteford@LLBcorp.com. Or click here to be taken to their web site for more producer information on Laura's Lean Beef!
If you have received this by someone forwarding it to you, you are welcome to subscribe and get this weekday update sent to you directly by clicking here.
Let it snow, Let it snow, Let it snow- maybe we'll fill up Lake Altus!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We expect the latest winter storm, rolling in from California, to begin dropping precipitation into Oklahoma late this afternoon- and that will continue through early Sunday morning. The heaviest amounts of snow we could find in local forecasts in the western two thirds of Oklahoma where we now have a Winter Storm Warning is around the Hobart area, and they could see as much as four to eight inches of snow by Saturday night.
Our friend Al Sutherland with the Oklahoma Mesonet has provided us with a link below of one map that he likes to consult to give us a broad perspective of storms like this one, a storm that will bring yet another dose of moisture to our state.
Speaking of Lake Altus, the current conservation pool of the Lake is 1531 feet, about five to six feet above the fall lows- so some refilling has been seen- but unfortunately, we still are far below where we were a year ago- and it was considered low then. We currently are 11 feet lower than last January on this important body of water used for, among other things, irrigation for southwestern Oklahoma.
Disaster Relief Efforts Continue for Cattle Producers!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~It is estimated that as many as 20,000 cattle have been lost due to winter ice and snow storms in Colorado, Texas, New Mexico, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Missouri according to estimates by cattle organizations in those states. “But that estimate doesn’t include the additional hardships our fellow cattlemen and women are facing with feed, fencing, sickness, lost production and the costs of rebuilding their livelihoods,” says Roxanne Johnson, Executive Director for the National Cattlemen's Foundation (NCF). Since January 4, the NCF has been coordinating a disaster relief fund to provide aid for cattlemen hit by the recent winter storms. Johnson says contributions to the disaster relief fund are coming in daily with nearly $30,000 raised to- date along with additional in-kind donations of hay and equipment.
If you would like to help- there are a couple of ways you can do so. One is with a cash gift. Another might be an in kind donation of hay, fence materials, trucking of products and whatever else you think you might be able to bring to the table. To assist with this effort, contribute or get more information, contact NCBA’s Membership Department at 866-BEEF- USA (233-3872)- you can also contact the Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association to work with them directly with a donation; that number is 405-235-4391.
On today's Beef Buzz, we have Terry Stokes of the NCBA to talk with us about the Disaster efforts and the need to quickly respond. We have linked that show below for you to check out.
There is now an Agricultural ETF available for stock traders to buy.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We have heard for the last year or so that the Commodity Funds can move our markets in the agricultural futures dramatically- and now there is another vehicle for the average stock trader to be able to jump in and play the grain market. It's an Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) from a group known as Powershares. The Powershares DB Agriculture Fund just opened for business this past Friday- the ticker symbol is DBA.
The new PowerShares fund tracks an agriculture index. The index is divided equally among wheat, corn, sugar, and soybeans. Deustche Bank runs it, and the official web page is linked below. DBA rose 8.7% in its first six trading days... and then fell 4% on Wednesday and then edged about one percent higher yesterday, finishing at $26.00 per share.
It will be interesting to see what kind of volume they get from Wall Street folks wanting to own ag commodities- it is one more indication that our industry is attracting big time attention- especially as we see more and more talk about the need for energy independence from the Mideast crazies.
Bill Filing Deadline was yesterday at the State Capitol.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Over 800 bills have been filed at the state capital through late yesterday afternoon- with final touches still being put on others that were trying to get them in under the wire.
Water, taxes, private property right, the definition of manure and more that are important to Oklahoma agriculture are in the mix- and we will be checking in with several of our agricultural lobbyists over the next few days to help sort out those we need to follow when the Legislative session starts the first Monday in February.
The Monday will also give us the State of State address from Governor Brad Henry, and may give us some definite directions he plans to move toward in his second term as Governor of the state.
More No-Till Events coming as farmers look for ways to save resources.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We have mentioned several no-till events coming up in Oklahoma- as well as the No-Till on the Plains Event in Salina, Kansas January 30-31. I have had a couple of other no-till events brought to my attention- so we bring them to your attention.
This coming week, there will be a 2007 Winter No-Till Conference planned for the Northwest Technology Center in Alva from 10 am through 3 pm. Lunch will be provided by our friends from Western Implement- but to have a head count, they need for you to let them know you are coming by next Tuesday- Call Kate Nickel at 580-327-0344 for more information and to RSVP.
February 16 will be a Conservation Tillage 101 Workshop in Enid at the Chisholm Trail Expo Pavilion. It's an all day event and has a great lineup of speakers. We have a link for more information on this Workshop, which we have linked below. Garfield County Extension can provide you more information if you wish to call them at 580-237-1228.
Smithfield still not ready for groundbreaking in the Oklahoma Panhandle- but they say they are working on it.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Construction of a state of the art beef packing plant in the Texas County has been delayed. Smithfield Beef Group and ContiGroup Companies expected to break ground this month on a 650,000- sq.-ft. beef plant between Hooker and Tyrone, but the design, engineering and bidding phases have taken longer than expected.
Nevertheless, Smithfield spokesman Lyle Orwig says the company expects to break ground on the project sometime this quarter. The plant reportedly will have the capacity to process 5,000 head of cattle per day. Many of those cattle will come from their partner, Conti-Group, which owns Five Rivers Feedlots, the nation's largest feedlot group.
Some optimism expressed by US Lawmakers about resuming beef trade with Korea.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The sixth round of bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) talks began in Seoul this week on January 15. Those meetings are now done- and US trade specialist Wendy Cutler says she is encouraged with the intensity of the talks this week. Although agriculture was not discussed as a top priority in FTA negotiations, South Korean officials and key members of the U.S. Senate met January 17 in Washington, D.C., to discuss the ongoing problems with U.S. beef trade with South Korea in depth. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) called the meeting where Senators met with Korean Ambassador Lee Tae-sik, who said he will be actively taking steps to resolve the matter.
Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) was in the meeting and called it very productive. Hatch said the Senators expressed concerns that Korea was unfairly discriminating against American beef. But Hatch also said Ambassador Lee outlined a framework for resolving this issue, which while still under negotiation, should satisfy the interests of both trading partners. “I’m optimistic that Korea is on its way to accepting our beef exports again,” Hatch said.
Meanwhile, we remain dead in the water when it comes to US beef shipments into Korea- and that apparently will not change soon.
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