~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Friday May 4, 2007!A service of Midwest Farm Shows
-- Final Kansas Wheat Crop Guess- 393 million bushels!
-- Farm Bill 101- How a 1974 law impacts what the Ag Committees will be able to develop as a 2007 Farm Bill.
-- Roundup Ready Alfalfa flunks out!
-- Russia and China- the leaders in frustrating those who want to sell US beef to their consumers!
-- Wheat Field Days Continue this Coming Week!
-- OSU Releases data on forage produced by major wheat varieties this past fall.
-- May Economic Report out from American Farm Bureau
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 just concluded Southern Plains Farm Show in Oklahoma City, 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.
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Final Kansas Wheat Crop Guess- 393 million bushels!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~It appears that Western Kansas has an almost unbelievable crop waiting for the combines to roll across the fields, while central Kansas is suffering from almost a crop failure in and around McPherson and Hillsboro- because of the Easter freeze. The wrapup of the Kansas Wheat Crop Tour for 2007 saw an average guess of 41 bushels per acre as a statewide yield for Kansas in 2007- well above the 32 bushels per acre they finally harvested a year ago.
Tanner Ehmke with AgResource Company out of Chicago was one of the participants that made the Kansas wheat tour loop- and he is cautious about the final western Kansas outcome. He and others say that hot, dry weather could still hurt the crop and lower yields to more normal levels. Ehmke says that "The west looks extraordinary, but you've got to put an asterisk on that." For now though, he and others are convinced that the western Kansas crop potential makes up for the Central Kansas crop woes.
The reports from western Kansas remind us of the reports we heard a week ago from those who surveyed the Oklahoma wheat crop and reported the southwestern wheat crop looks "scary good" while the Panhandle is poised to have the best crop they have had this decade. We get a first look at USDA's ideas on the size of the US Winter Wheat crop next Friday, May 11 in a morning report- that report could be most interesting.
Farm Bill 101- How a 1974 law impacts what the Ag Committees will be able to develop as a 2007 Farm Bill.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~It's the same in major publicly traded companies as well as in government. You do a really good job- you save the boss some money and do they allow you to put that money saved to use in a program you feel will be good for the people you serve- of course not! In the case of the 2002 farm law- the bill worked just exactly like the writers of the measure wanted to see it perform- and that saved taxpayers money. Does agriculture interests get a dime's bit of credit for that savings? Absolutely not!
At the same time, food stamp spending just keeps on rising- well beyond the starting point in 2002- but that's okay under the Budget rules that stem from a 1974 law- and in fact, lawmakers seem to be falling all over themselves to spend ever more in the next five year cycle.
We talked with Congressman Frank Lucas about the money issues surrounding the Commodity Title of the 2007 farm bill- and you can hear his thoughts about what can be done- and the box we have ourselves in with very limited resources here in 2007.
Roundup Ready Alfalfa flunks out!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Federal Judge Charles Breyer says that USDA failed to do enough due diligence before giving their blessing to Roundup Ready Alfalfa- saying a detailed scientific study must be done by the government on the crop's effect on the environment and other alfalfa varieties before allowing it to be re-released at some point in the future.
This court ruling is the first time in the United States that a federal court has sided with the anti-biotech crusaders and banned the use of a genetically modified crop since the FlavrSavr Tomato was introduced back in 1994.
About 220,000 acres of Roundup Ready Alfalfa had been planted this year before the Judge's preliminary ruling went into effect. While this ruling just impacts alfalfa- there are hundreds of millions of acres of GM crops in this country and around the world- and there are those in the anti-biotech camp that would love to see all of this technology rolled back to the days when a lot more chemicals were actually used. Judge Breyer sided with those who want to grow organic alfalfa and fear their acreage will be contaminated with RR Alfalfa at some point.
Russia and China- the leaders in frustrating those who want to sell US beef to their consumers!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Two countries rise to the top when we start thinking about the frustrations of getting our beef into their markets- Russia and China. Chief Economist Gregg Doud of the NCBA says that Russia is really a puzzle in that they agreed to take our beef- wanted to inspect our plants first and then have nevera gotten around to sending a team to do the inspections. Meanwhile, they are cleaning off the shelves of beef export product from several countries in South America in recent months.
Doud adds that we are a long way from getting China up and running as they are nowhere close to talking seriously about a protocol for accepting our beef- this after their leaders told President Bush at the White House months ago they would take our beef. Very frustrating indeed!
Gregg explains all of this to us in our daily Beef Buzz from the Radio Oklahoma Network- and we have it linked for you to hear today's show below.
Wheat Field Days Continue this Coming Week!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Courtesy of Dr. Jeff Edwards, our state wheat specialist, here is a listing of a bunch of wheat field days coming up during the month of May. I would suggest you might check with your local County Extension Agent to confirm times and locations of these events- and in most cases, you can stop by between now and harvest and see how these plots continue to develop.
The wheat plot tours include:
OSU Releases data on forage produced by major wheat varieties this past fall.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~OSU Wheat Specialist Dr. Jeff Edwards has just released a fact sheet that details the best varieties when it comes to forage production (in other words- the varieties that have excellent potential for wheat pasture).
Duster, OkField and Centerfield, all OSU varieties, were the top three average yielding forage producers in the trials, with Duster producing almost 500 pounds per acre more forage than the variety that is grown on more acres in our state than any other- Jagger.
You can read the test results for yourself- we have the fact sheet from OSU linked below for your consideration.
May Economic Report out from American Farm Bureau
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Terry Francl, one of the Ag Economists on the staff of the American Farm Bureau, says that he is concerned about the pace of corn planting this spring- it's been cold, damp and just plain wet in many areas- and that has pushed us to the point where we are well behind the curve of where we need to be to plant and get optimum yields in 2007. We have the complete market update linked below for you to take a look at.
Francl says in fact that "It should be noted that in 2002, the last time US farmers were anywhere close to being this far behind in their corn planting progress, was the only time in the past nine years that the US average corn yield dropped significantly below trend line."
Ont he livestock side of the ledger- Jim Sartwelle talks of current market conditions- but he reminds livestock operators of an important truth- there are external factors you got to pay attention to- here's how he puts it- "Livestock producers must discuss external issues like the impending farm bill debate and the relentless advance of animal welfare advocates who seek to effect serious change on our modern animal production practices. While we spend great time and resources following markets and production trends, these outside forces most directly shape the longterm economic viability of animal agriculture, if not its very existence. We will ignore these forces at our own significant peril."
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