~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Monday July 14, 2008!A service of Producers Cooperative Oil Mill, Farm Credit Associations of Oklahoma and Midwest Farm Shows!
-- Cimarron County Conservation Officials Ask for Help!
-- Oklahoma Winter Wheat Production Needs to Be Fixed
-- You Pay Your Money- and You're Eligible for Disaster Aid
-- Congress Examines Futures Trading
-- OKC to Host National Peanut Meeting This Week
-- State Cotton Specialist Dr. J.C. Banks Seeing More 2,4,D Damage to Cotton Than in Previous Years
-- NCBA to Look Internally with a Task Force- TCFA and TSCRA Both Represented on the Committee
-- Let's Check the Markets!
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Cimarron County Conservation Officials Ask for Help!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~As the clock ticks on the Temporary Restraining Order issued by the Federal judge in Washington State that demands that USDA stop the Critical Feed Use Provisions of the Conservation Reserve Program- cattle owners have been the party most harmed as the National Wildlife Federation demands protection for wildlife.
One farmer/rancher that has been in touch with us is Kenneth Rose from Cimarron County. He has written a note to Oklahoma's Third District Congressman Frank Lucas as he explains the urgency of the situation. "Thanks for all your help regarding this CRP grazing and haying fiasco. Our cows have only been on CRP grass for ten days and are just getting adapted to the change in diet, and there is not much of anything for them to go to if they have to be removed. Our native grass needs time to recover from the extended drought that we have experienced. It would be a detriment to the cattle's health and the health of the range to go back to that. And the sale barn is not a good option either."
Rose provided us with a copy of a letter from Hal Clark, Chairman of the Cimarron County Conservation District that was sent to Oklahoma State Executive Director of the Farm Service Agency, Jim Reese (and copied to several other officials), detailing the plight of those they serve in this hardest hit county in Oklahoma because of the drought.
We have the text of that letter for you to read- and other details of this continuing story on our website- and we have that story linked for you direct below.
Oklahoma Winter Wheat Production Needs to Be Fixed
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Dr. Tom Peeper was one of several speakers at a conference sponsored by Monsanto this past week in Oklahoma City that was pitching the idea that winter canola could be the salvation of winter wheat production here in the state of Oklahoma. Dr. Peeper claims that compared to other crop production systems in the US and around the world- we are going backwards.
Dr. Peeper says that if you compare the five year average wheat yield per acre in Oklahoma from 1982 to 1987- it is only two tenths of a bushel less than the period from 2002 to 2007- and that if you dropped 2002 and added in the strong yield performance of this year- you still remain flat since you are dropping a 39 bushel per acre average year in 2002. It all equates out, according to Dr. Peeper to an eyepopping (for the wrong reasons) yield trend of One Bushel Increase per Acre per CENTURY for Oklahoma wheat producers. He says there is no shortage of reasons why our wheat production is stagnant- but he believes that many of the issues can be addressed if we put wheat acreage into rotation with other compatible crops that will help with weeds, pests and even soil condition.
Peeper's answer is winter canola- and he and others that are beating the drum for winter canola will be making their case Tuesday at the OKanola Winter Canola Conference at the Garfield County Fairgrounds. You can go to our website- where we have more details of the Conference- and we have a link to the conversation I have had with Dr. Peeper on these wheat production issues- click on the link we have provided you below.
You Pay Your Money- and You're Eligible for Disaster Aid
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~USDA has announced that producers who would otherwise be ineligible for the new disaster assistance programs, SURE, can become eligible by requesting a waiver and paying a fee. The 2008 Farm Bill was not finalized until deadlines had passed to sign up for crop insurance, required to participate in the new program. Because of that, USDA is offering a one-time waiver in exchange for a "buy-in fee," which a press release said would equal the applicable 2008 non-insured crop disaster assistance (NAP) coverage fees or the catastrophic risk protection plan fees for the land in question.
The buy-in fee is due no later than Sept. 16, 90 days after the date of enactment of the 2008 Farm Bill. Those who do not carry the proper crop insurance AND do not pay the buy-in fee will not be eligible for disaster assistance.
Producers should contact their local FSA office for more information or to file the waiver application and pay the fee. USDA has said funds from the new program, dubbed "SURE" for Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments Program, won't likely be available until next year due to the rulemaking process and technology issues.
Congress Examines Futures Trading
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~This past week the House Agriculture Committee held three days of hearings on proposed legislation to make changes in the Commodity Exchange Act. Wednesday's hearing was a review of legislation proposed in response to the current high oil prices as well as concerns that excessive speculation in the commodity markets are, at least partially, causing excess inflation in the energy market as well as other markets.
While much of the hearings focused on energy markets and, specifically, oil prices, there are also continued concerns about the functioning of agricultural markets. Both energy prices and commodity market functioning are critical to agricultural producers, who are facing increased fuel and natural gas-based fertilizer costs and who rely on commodity markets to forward contract their products.
Thursday's and Friday's hearings were devoted to receiving input from various stakeholder groups and accepting recommendations from both sides of the debate. Based on the tone of the hearings, it appears that the House will be considering legislation designed to limit unbridled speculation in the commodity markets.
OKC to Host National Peanut Meeting This Week
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Peanut scientists from all across the U.S. and as far away as Ghana and Australia will gather in Oklahoma City July 15-18 for the 40th annual meeting of the American Peanut Research & Education Society being held in the Cox Convention Center. A "Welcome to Oklahoma", from Lt Governor Jari Askins will officially open the three day convention on Wednesday morning's opening session. Featured speakers include Oklahoma State University Ag Dean Dr Robert Whitson, with a 'Perspective on Peanuts'; National Peanut Board president Marie Fenn discussing 'Understanding the Changing Consumer' and OSU's Astri Wyandande addressing 'Food Safety in Agriculture'.
More than a hundred scientific papers will be presented during the conference on topics ranging from Breeding & Biotechnology; Production Technology; Harvesting & Processing; Weed Science & Plant Pathology. A symposium on 'advances in genetics and biotechnology' and an industry supported 'seed summit' will conclude the Thursday session.
The 2008 APRES meeting is being hosted by the USDA/ARS Center for
Peanut Improvement in Stillwater, the OSU Peanut Improvement Team and the
Oklahoma Peanut Commission. Oklahoman, Dr Kelly D. Chenault with the
Center for Peanut Improvement, will be installed as the Society's
President as the convention concludes on Friday.
State Cotton Specialist Dr. J.C. Banks Seeing More 2,4,D Damage to Cotton Than in Previous Years
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~DAMAGE has occurred in the Oklahoma 2008 cotton crop, according to Dr. J. C. Banks, Oklahoma State University Extension cotton specialist. Here is his report (Courtesy of NTOK cotton): "We are again observing a lot of hormone herbicide damage to cotton in all cotton producing areas in the state. Several conditions have caused this problem to be worse this year than in normal summers. "The constant day and night winds during June made it very difficult for producers to spray their no-till wheat ground and milo acres without causing drift and damage to the sensitive cotton. Many producers include a hormone broadleaf herbicide as a tank mix with the glyphosate herbicide to increase activity on broadleaf weeds. Usually, we can be fairly successful in tracing where the drift damage came from, but this year, many cotton fields are receiving multiple hits from different directions at different dates.
"Please, if you are considering spraying any type of hormone herbicide near cotton, be aware that very small amounts of drift can cause considerable damage to the cotton. I have heard several people state 2,4-D or other hormone herbicides will not really hurt cotton, but even a light dose will cause a delay in fruiting if applied before bloom or will cause a loss of bolls if applied during bloom or later. The amount of yield loss depends on late season weather. If we have a really warm fall and late frost or freeze, yield loss will not be as severe as it would if we have a cool fall. A cool fall will not allow the bolls time to mature, and when the crop is terminated by a freeze, the bolls will not be harvestable."
In contacting the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, spokesman Jack
Carson told us Friday that at this point this season, there have been only
two complaints filed with the ODAFF- but that State Secretary of
Agriculture Terry Peach was hoping to meet with cotton industry leaders to
examine the situation this week.
NCBA to Look Internally with a Task Force- TCFA and TSCRA Both Represented on the Committee
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The cattle producer leaders of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) have appointed a task force to identify potential changes to the governance structure of NCBA, the nation's leading cattle organization representing more than 31,000 members. The task force is charged with identifying changes that will strengthen NCBA's service to its members. Its task will be to find ways to improve the association's ability to respond to consumer, regulatory and legislative issues impacting the cattle and beef industries efficiently and effectively
NCBA's top three officers, including NCBA President Andy Groseta of Arizona, selected former NCBA Presidents John Queen (North Carolina) and Jan Lyons (Kansas) to chair the task force. The three officers and the chairs selected the task force members from nominations that came in across the country to ensure broad regional representation.
Among the members appointed to the Task Force was TCFA President Ross
Wilson as one of the state level cattle industry executive officers, as
well as former cow-calf operator and former President Dick Sherron of the
Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association.
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Let's Check the Markets!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We did get cash cattle trade done on Friday- and it was mostly at $100 per hundredweight in the southern Plains- which would be two dollars cheaper than a week earlier just before the Fourth of July holiday weekend. Volume was light which disappointed feedlot operators about as much as the lower price.
As we get ready to send this email out- the overnight electronic ag futures have taken a real hit- with corn down 25 to 26 cents per bushel- soybeans down 37 to 38 centers per bushel and Kansas City wheat off seven to eight cents per bushel. This suggests lots of "downside" in the open outcry that begins at 9:30 AM this morning.
Here are some links we will leave in place on an ongoing basis- Click
on the name of the report to go to that link:
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