~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Tuesday July 31, 2007!A service of Midwest Farm Shows
-- Nominations for County FSA Committeemen Due Tomorrow!
-- Mostly Dry Weather This Past Week- with Hay Cutting in Full Swing!
-- Talking Cotton With J.C. Banks
-- Wheat Price Remains at HIGH Premium to Corn
-- The Lowdown on COOL
-- Still some slots open for OSU Master Cattlemen Summit.
-- From Red to Black- Tyson Does Good!
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 recently 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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Nominations for County FSA Committeemen Due Tomorrow!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Teresa Lasseter, administrator of USDA's Farm Service Agency (FSA), wants to remind farmers, ranchers and other agricultural producers that they have until tomorrow, Aug. 1, 2007, to nominate eligible candidates to serve on local FSA county committees. "County committees are important because they assist local farmers and ranchers," said Lasseter. "They help deliver federal programs, which is an important aspect of our service to agriculture. I encourage all producers to get involved by nominating eligible candidates to serve on county committees."
FSA county committees assist local farmers through their decisions on commodity price support loans, conservation programs and disaster programs, and by working closely with county executive directors.
Individuals may nominate themselves or others as candidates. Also, organizations representing minorities and women are encouraged to nominate candidates. Voting takes place in the fall. Ballots will be mailed to eligible voters by Nov. 2. The final day to return voted ballots to the local USDA Service Center is Dec. 3. Newly elected county committee members take office Jan. 1, 2008.
If you have last minute questions, call your local FSA office. Remember, those nominations have to be in to that local office by close of business Wednesday.
Mostly Dry Weather This Past Week- with Hay Cutting in Full Swing!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Hay baling was in full swing the past several days- however, many areas that received heavy amounts of rain earlier in June and early July have quality problems showing up. First cutting of hay other than alfalfa is about done around the state, while the second cutting of alfalfa is 96% complete. The third cutting of alfalfa is more than halfway complete at 59% done, but that lags the five year average of 87% significantly.
We got a little more of the wheat crop harvested this past week- another four percentage points to 87% now done. Some producers tried burning the unharvested mess off of their fields this past week, with mixed results.
The difference between this year and last year as we end July and begin August is remarkable when it comes to the moisture profile in the state. A year ago, we bone dry with both topsoil and subsoil moisture ratings at 98% short to very short. This year, we stand at 75% adequate to surplus on topsoil moisture and 88% adequate to surplus on the subsoil ratings.
Talking Cotton With J.C. Banks
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~OSU Cotton Specialist J.C. Banks says that this is the time of year to be thinking about cotton aphid control and that he and researcher Jerry Goodson are doing just that. Banks tells us "Jerry Goodson and I have been getting a lot of calls about aphid control problems on cotton. Some applications have not been effective for aphid control and resprays of the same product have not helped much. We have inquired into submitting for a section 18 emergency exemption for Furadan, but with the new classes of compounds available, chances are remote for having Furadan available."
He adds "We have discussed this with other Extension entomologists in neighboring states and they have given us some suggestions for dealing with this problem. We really appreciate the assistance of Dr. Roger Leonard, Louisiana State University Extension entomologist, for his help. First, it is important we take advantage of a population of beneficial insects. Jerry has seen high populations of beneficials in areas that have not been sprayed. Aphid populations may be high, but beneficial populations are building. Many times the beneficials will overpower the aphids, if given time."
So the question is, do we have time to wait on those beneficial insects? Banks says maybe. "Aphids do most of their damage to the cotton when the bolls start opening and lint is contaminated with honeydew. We can tolerate moderately high aphid populations if beneficials are building. So this should be considered prior to starting a chemical aphid control program. Aphid populations seem to cycle, they build up, peak and then the population if infested with a fungus that will decrease the population." If you want to talk aphids with Banks, give him a call in Altus at 580-482- 2120
Wheat Price Remains at HIGH Premium to Corn
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Joe Sowers is a market analyst with U.S. Wheat Associates and he reports that wheat prices are at a substantial premium to corn prices as we hit the month of August. "This past week, the price premium of wheat to corn at the Chicago Board of Trade hit $3.25 per bushel ($119 per MT), up from 50 cents per bushel ($18 per MT) in February. The price spread between wheat and corn is important because wheat prices tend to be supported by high corn prices. When wheat prices are significantly less than corn, livestock producers may feed more wheat in place of corn. However, the wheat to corn spread has widened, leaving wheat supply and demand fundamentals as the primary support for current strong prices. At least for the next few months, wheat prices appear to have no downside support from corn. "
Sowers adds "Since mid-June, corn futures prices have fallen nearly 30 percent, from a high of $4.30 per bushel to $3.08 this week. With favorable weather continuing in the U.S. Corn Belt and planted area up 19 percent this year, an enormous harvest is expected. On the other hand, weather in the major wheat exporting countries has been a challenge. From drought in the Ukraine and Eastern Europe to rains in the U.S. Southern Plains and Western Europe, higher planted acreage will increase production much less than originally anticipated. Disappointing production compounding already short exportable supplies are pushing world wheat prices to historic levels with French wheat prices at all-time highs and U.S. prices at an 11-year record. "
This means that number one or number two wheat will definitely not be a feed item for livestock, although we do know that there is a lot of lower quality feed that may land in the rations of livestock here in the southern plains because of the problems we had with wheat harvest 2007.
The Lowdown on COOL
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~It's a workable deal. That pretty sums up what negotiators put together as NFU's Tom Buis and Randy Russell sat down behind closed doors and hammered out modifications to the current law that dates back to the 2002 farm bill.
There could be three different labels that consumers may see when the program kicks in next October. The one that Buis and those who want COOL and see it as a marketing advantage for US cattlemen like the best is one that will reflect beef coming from animals born, raised their entire life and then processed in the US- that beef will earn a US Beef label. Probably the label that most beef and pork will end up with as it offers packers and processors cover for critters that may have been born in either Mexico or Canada- and that's a very small percentage of animals we actually process in the US- a label that will reflect the beef or pork could be from animals that are from the US and/or other countries(with those countries being listed). That will also be the way ground beef will likely be labeled. There will also be a label that will reflect animals that were born, raised and processed outside the US.
Penalties for non compliance have been reduced and the level of certification needed back down the livestock chain has been lowered. Chairman Peterson told us in his post Farm Bill passage teleconference that both sides realized that something needed to be done to get this measure in shape to be implemented next fall with no further delays. You can hear his thoughts on the "deal" on today's Beef Buzz from the Radio Oklahoma Network. We have the program available for you to hear by clicking below.
Still some slots open for OSU Master Cattlemen Summit.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~In talking with Dr. David Lalman of OSU at the OCA meeting this past weekend, he mentioned there were still just a handful of spots left for the 2007 OSU Master Cattlemen Summit- to be held on the campus in Stillwater August 9th and 10th.
The 2007 emphasis seems to be on dealing with an aging mama cow herd- how to make the call on when to cull that cow and what her value is. They will also have some excellent sessions on replacement heifers, and some bookkeeping sessions as well.
We have the brochure for the Summit on our website on the Calendar page- that's linked below- but I would suggest giving the OSU Animal Science Department a call if you think you might have interest- and that will help you secure one of those final spots. Call 405- 744-6060 in Stillwater.
From Red to Black- Tyson Does Good!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~On Monday, Tyson Foods reported third quarter net income of $111 million, a much better showing than the $52 million loss posted a year ago. The average quarterly estimate by analysts was 25 cents per share on revenue of $6.74 billion. The company reported 31 cents per share on revenue of $6.95 billion, up from $6.38 billion a year earlier. The gains resulted from production cuts and charging higher prices for its beef, chicken, pork and value- added products, said Tyson Foods' CEO Dick Bond.
In the last nine months, Tyson Foods has generated total revenue of more than $20 billion, up from $19 billion in the prior year. The revenue increase resulted from an average price increase of 5.7 percent across all four of the company's operating segments.
The company remains optimistic that its new "Raised without antibiotics" chicken products will continue to drive sales. Chicken sales were $2.06 billion for the quarter and $6.06 billion for the nine months, up from $1.9 billion and $5.96 billion respectively, in the year- ago periods. Bond estimates the premium price for antibiotic-free breast meat consumers will pay is roughly 80 cents per pound. That profit is split between the processor, wholesaler and retailer. Looking forward, Bond said the company's beef segment, which saw increased sales of $330 million for the quarter and $627 million for the nine-month period, should reach a more normalized operating range by the end of the calendar year as export markets strengthen in Taiwan and South Korea. Beef accounts for roughly 48 percent of the company's annual sales.
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