~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Tuesday May 8, 2007!A service of Midwest Farm Shows
-- Topsoil Moisture Supplies runneth over- More to Come for at least a few more days.
-- The Rain in Spain stays mainly on the Plain- but in Oklahoma it's all over the place!
-- Several Canola Tours Planned tomorrow through the end of the week
-- Humane Society and Others Flexing their Muscles over Horse Slaughter.
-- Specialty Crops Touted by Secretary Mike Johanns as he details how his farm bill proposal would benefit this segment of agriculture.
-- Speaking of Specialty Crops- Plan to Check out the Changing Faces of Ag Field Day May 22.
-- Class 13 of the Oklahoma Ag Leadership Program in Road Gear.
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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Topsoil Moisture Supplies runneth over- More to Come for at least a few more days.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~It's wet across most of Oklahoma- enough so that we have seen the development of the 2007 Oklahoma wheat crop slow down and fall behind the five year average- and we saw virtually no progress in getting 2007 spring planted crops into the ground. The percent planted number for soybeans stayed at 20% in the latest report from yesterday afternoon compared to one week ago- milo in the same situation as we remained at 31% planted this week- same as last week. We did manage to get a few acres of peanuts planted with 13% of the expected acreage now in the ground- up from 10% last week. Watermelon planting did make decent progress- jumping from 66% a week ago to 78% this week. The 2007 wheat crop is now showing 22% of the crop in the soft dough stage- down from 26% which is the five year average- and way behind the 47% at that stage one year ago. The small and drought stressed crop of last year was harvested early and quickly- this year will be a different story.
Wheat crop ratings remained about the same this week versus last- in fact, we actually improved a wee bit to 73% good to excellent versus 70% good to excellent last week. That jives with the Texas wheat crop rating of 66% good to excellent- and remains well ahead of the Kansas crop when it comes to crop ratings- which sits at 37% good to excellent and 35% poor to very poor. Based on last week's Kansas Wheat Crop tour- those numbers may be deceiving as scouts saw an incredible crop in western areas of that state with the freeze damage severe in several central Kansas counties.
A personal note about the Hillsboro area in Central Kansas- I have a friend who is a Pastor of a small Mennonite church in that area- and he dropped me this note yesterday about the conditions in and around their community- remember that Bruce is not a farmer but simply one who is hurting with these tremendous farmers in the McPherson County area. He writes "It is "ouch" time. They've lost at least half their wheat and most don't carry insurance-has something to do with tying up assets when trying to buy seed, fertilizer, etc. for the next crop and they haven't got their money. So, they put the premium money in savings, hope for the best. Some fields are looking good, others are yellow. Now we're combating rain and flood conditions."
The Rain in Spain stays mainly on the Plain- but in Oklahoma it's all over the place!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Scattered storms with heavy rain continues to be in the mix for a great deal of Oklahoma for the next couple of days. Since Sunday, we have really seen the rain move in and the totals pile up. When you look at the Mesonet, you see amounts of two inches of rain and more very common in the eastern two thirds of the state. The eye popping amounts from Monday's totals include Lane in southeastern Oklahoma with 6.8 inches of rain and Bixby with almost five inches of the wet stuff. Since midnight, we have several spots that are already over an inch of rain from Harmon County in far southwestern Oklahoma to Grady County in the central part of the state.
Looking ahead, the question is starting to be asked- when do we dry out? In this morning's National Weather Service Forecast Discussion out of Norman, the forecasters there say "NOT MUCH CHANGES TOMORROW- BUT BY THURSDAY... THE PESKY UPPER LOW TO OUR WEST FINALLY - WE HOPE - GETS DISLODGED FROM THE SOUTHERN ROCKIES AND HEADS EAST. They add that the system will initially track south and keep southern Oklahoma on the wet side for another day or so- but all of Oklahoma should see clearing by the weekend.
If you want to read the full forecast discussion- weather abbreviations and all- click below as we have linked it for you.
Several Canola Tours Planned tomorrow through the end of the week
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Winter Canola Tours are planned for Wednesday and Thursday of this week in central and northwestern Oklahoma. On Wednesday, the tour will be focusing on a plot near Dacoma- ideal for producers in Alfalfa and Woods County to check out. The tour, to be followed by lunch, begins at 10:30 am. You can contact 580-871-2231 for more info and to RSVP.
Thursday, the venue shifts to the field that we had pictures of that we took back at the end of March on our web site. That site is at the intersection of US81 and Highway 3 just south of Okarche. The field is easy to spot on the southeast corner of that intersection. The tour will begin at 10:30 am, with a lunch planned after the tour, courtesy of Monsanto. The number to call for that tour close to the Canadian County- Kingfisher County line is 405-263-7289.
Finally, there is a tour of winter canola also planned Thursday evening, beginning at 5:30 pm- the field is located 2.5 miles north of Fairview at the farm of Scott and Leon Neufeld.
Humane Society and Others Flexing their Muscles over Horse Slaughter.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Those in the livestock industry that have taken a position against banning horse slaughter for human consumption seem to be losing the battle with the Humane Society of the US and others who convinced a majority of the House to vote in favor of the ban last fall and now have seen a similar measure pass a Senate Committee about two weeks ago.
Colin Woodall of the Washington office of the NCBA says the amount of money and power the anti- livestock groups have thrown toward this issue is enormous. That makes voices from the grassroots on the other side essential if there is a chance of derailing this movement.
We talk with Colin today about Senate Bill 311 on today's Beef Buzz from the Radio Oklahoma Network- and you can check it out by clicking below.
Specialty Crops Touted by Secretary Mike Johanns as he details how his farm bill proposal would benefit this segment of agriculture.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Secretary Johanns was able to spotlight the Bush Administration plan for Specialty Crops- including those grown organically- in their farm bill proposal during an appearance at the United Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Convention in Chicago yesterday.
"We listened when producers told us that farm policy should distribute support more equitably. Specialty crops are now nearly equal in market value to program crops, yet these producers receive no direct cash support," said Johanns. "Specialty crop producers made it clear they don't want a cash subsidy, but they would like additional support to address market promotion, sanitary and phytosanitary issues, nutrition, and targeted research. Our proposals provide that support with nearly $5 billion dollars worth of additional funding targeted toward specialty crop growers."
We have linked below some of the highlights put forward by Secretary Johanns on Monday- click to see more.
Speaking of Specialty Crops- Plan to Check out the Changing Faces of Ag Field Day May 22.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~It's a field day planned by the OSU folks in Perkins that will show off some of the latest information in both the horticultural arena as well as in some of the more traditional areas of Oklahoma agriculture- wheat and cattle.
The field day will take place at OSU's Cimarron Valley Research Station, located at 10820 S. Jardot St., one mile east and one-half mile north of the intersection of State Highways 33 and 177. Registration will begin at 8 a.m., with station tours starting at 8:30 a.m. and ending at noon. Lunch will be provided free-of-charge to participants, thanks to the generosity of area organizations that have provided financial support to cover the cost of meals and refreshments.
"This will be the first field day at our newly combined Perkins unit, which is bringing together increased manpower and diversity in tackling a number of key issues of interest to agricultural and horticultural producers in northern and central Oklahoma," said Brent Westerman, director, Field and Research Service Unit of the statewide Oklahoma Agricultural Experiment Station system. Participants can choose to take part in two of four "theme" tours: horticulture, ryegrass and technology, biofuels and N ramps, and canola. The horticulture and ryegrass tours are scheduled for 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., while the biofuels and canola tours are scheduled for 10:30 a.m. to noon. "The name of the field day says it all: agriculture is changing, and state producers are going to have change with the times to be successful," said Rick Matheson, Cimarron Valley Research Station superintendent. "This field day will be showing ways to do that." Anyone seeking additional information about the OSU Changing Faces of Agriculture Field Day on May 22 should contact Matheson at 405-547-2385 or Westerman at 405-744-9607.
Class 13 of the Oklahoma Ag Leadership Program in Road Gear.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~After some of our wintery weather late in 2006 and early in 2007 caused Class 13 of the OALP to cancel some of their sessions- they are now back on track and have hit the midway point of the two year work experience program.
One of the highlights of the first year for this rural leadership development program is the chance to get back east to our nation's capitol to interact with a variety of folks that are involved in shaping policies and regulations that impact farmers and ranchers in this country. It's also a part of the country that provides some different insights to what a viable agricultural operation might look like.
One of the things that the OALP Classes do is to have various class members write about their experiences day by day. The class log for this spring's Washington, DC/East Coast Experience is now online and we have linked to it below- I think you will find some of their insights most interesting.
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