~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Tuesday July 15, 2008!A service of American Farmers & Ranchers, KIS Futures & Johnston Enterprises!
-- Thousands of Cotton Acres Are Damaged This Summer Due to Spray Drift
-- OCA Documents Harm to Ranchers Over Judge's Temporary Restraining Order
-- Ag Secretary Schafer Lists Last Minute Priorities As the Bush Era Winds Down
-- A Dose of Rain This Past Week Highlights Crop Weather Update.
-- Today- July 15- the REAL start to Mandatory COOL!
-- Reducing On Farm Fuel Use
-- Walmart Celebrates Locally Grown at Tulsa Supercenter Tomorrow
-- Looking at our Agricultural Markets...
Here's your morning farm news headlines from the Director of Farm Programming for the Radio Oklahoma Network, Ron Hays. We are proud to have KIS Futures as a regular sponsor of our daily E-Mail. KIS Futures provides Oklahoma Farmers & Ranchers with futures & options hedging services in the livestock and grain markets- Clic k here for their recent TV Commercial or call them at 1-800-256-2555.
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Thousands of Cotton Acres Are Damaged This Summer Due to Spray Drift
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Thousands of acres of Oklahoma cotton have been hit with the spray drift of 2,4,D here in the last thirty days- and the damage is really starting to show, so says the Chairman of the Oklahoma Cotton Council, Danny Robbins, who is raising some 5,000 acres of cotton this season, says about 800 acres of his own cotton is so badly deformed after 2,4,D struck those fields that except for the fact that he knows he planted cotton seed- you cannot tell that it is cotton that is growing.
Robbins tells us that at least 5,000 acres in Jackson County have been damaged this season by the chemical drift- and he has reports of widespread damage from the Oklahoma/Kansas border south the Red River. He acknowledges that if we have an extended growing season- the damage will be lessened- but if we get a more normal end of the growing season this fall- he believes that he faces a $750,000 loss on his farm alone.
He says that the Oklahoma Cotton Council wants to see the state of Oklahoma declare this herbicide a "restricted use" chemical- which he says will not keep people from using the product, but will track the purchase of the chemical which will allow those farmers who have damage an opportunity to determine who might have caused the spray damage.
Robbins came and talked with us on Monday morning in Oklahoma City- then was returning to Altus to be one of the producers meeting with Terry Peach, State Secretary of Agriculture in an afternoon meeting in southwest Oklahoma. Robbins says the report we offered on Friday of just two complaints this season is vastly understated- and that he knows of 40 complaints from Jackson County alone. More on this story linked below including our full audio conversation with Danny Robbins found on our website.
OCA Documents Harm to Ranchers Over Judge's Temporary Restraining Order
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma Cattlemen's Executive Director Scott Dewald was a little hoarse when we talked with him on Monday afternoon as he had just finished talking with some 30 cattle producers that had already moved onto or were getting ready to move onto CRP land to graze their cattle under the Critical Feed Use program that was available to them as of July 2. Then the rug was pulled out from beneath them this past week by a Federal judge in Seattle that agreed with the National Wildlife Federation that process was more important than helping ranchers survive drought conditions.
Dewald documented thirty ranchers that will lose almost $10,000 apiece if they are not allowed to graze the CRP land that was offered to them by Uncle Sam. Worse, many of those herds will face partial or total liquidation as the CRP land was one of their last options to survive the summer.
Dewald gathered this information to file along with several other state
cattle organizations under the NCBA banner in a "friend of the court"
presentation to that District court in Washington state. Dewald writes to
the court- "With pasture and range conditions in poor shape due to drought
it is critically important that non CRP acreage be rested in order that it
may produce forage and wildlife in the future. In my opinion, this is best
accomplished by transferring cattle from these pastures to CRP lands.
Ag Secretary Schafer Lists Last Minute Priorities As the Bush Era Winds Down
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Speaking on Monday at the American Farm Bureau Federation's Council of Presidents meeting in Washington, Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer said his agency is running to the finish line to conclude agriculture's priority issues before year's end. Ranking at the top of the Agriculture Department's list, as well as a top priority for AFBF, is implementation of the farm bill. "It is time to set aside political differences and implement the bill," said Schafer.
Successfully completing international trade negotiations, including the Korea free trade agreement and the World Trade Organization's Doha Round, are also top priorities for the agriculture industry. According to Schafer, USDA's certification system to ensure Korean consumers that they are receiving U.S. beef from cattle under 30 months of age has been successful to date. As for Doha, Shafer said it would remain a top priority until the end of the administration. Yet, he said, "We won't just ink any deal. The agreement has to provide better access to U.S. producers."
Touching on increasing food prices and the role of biofuels, Schafer said he was reassured last month at the world hunger meeting in Rome when world leaders agreed ethanol was not to blame for higher wheat and other commodity prices. Instead, reinforcing AFBF economic analysis, Schafer said ethanol is actually helping to keep gasoline prices down. Further, USDA has committed $1 billion toward research and development of renewable fuels, with a special focus on cellulosic biofuels. But, said Schafer, until those biofuels become available, it is important the country maintains a stable and predictable renewable fuels policy. "Efforts to waive or repeal the renewable fuels standard would hinder progress toward reducing our dependence on imported oil and greenhouse gas emissions," Schafer said. Lastly, Schafer said he is still very much engaged in finding a solution to the growing labor problem facing U.S. agriculture. USDA estimates that 50 percent to 70 percent of the current farm workforce is undocumented.
A Dose of Rain This Past Week Highlights Crop Weather Update.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Topsoil Moisture supplies have improved slightly in the latest Oklahoma crop weather update, as farmers have moved past the 2008 Oklahoma Wheat Harvest.
As of Sunday, all of the State's row crops were rated in good to fair condition. Corn silking reached 55 percent, up 11 points from the previous week, but 10 percentage points behind normal. Twenty-nine percent, up 12 points from the previous week, of the State's corn crop had reached the dough stage. A small percentage of the corn crop was beginning to dent. Since the rains, sorghum has vigorously headed in parts of the State. Sorghum planted increase eight points to reach 94 percent complete, three points behind the five-year average. Sorghum emerged was at 63 percent, a nine point jump from the previous week, but 27 points behind normal. Eleven percent of the State's sorghum was headed by week's end. Soybeans planted were at 91 percent, soybeans emerged were at 85 percent, and soybeans blooming was at 24 percent, all at or within one point of the five-year average. Peanuts pegging reached 74 percent, four points behind normal, and peanuts setting pods were at 40 percent, 10 points ahead of normal. Cotton squaring increased seven points to reach 49 percent, 10 points behind normal, and 11 percent of the State's cotton was setting bolls by week's end.
Pasture and range conditions remained mostly in the good to fair range. Conditions are expected to be improving further because of last week's showers. We have this week's Oklahoma's Crop Weather Update linked below- click to check out the rest of the details.
Today- July 15- the REAL start to Mandatory COOL!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~More on our Tuesday Beef Buzz with Dr. Brad Lubben of the University of Nebraska- who tells us more about Mandatory COOL- and the fact that TODAY- July 15- is the date that marks the beginning of when cattle producers (and other livestock producers) need to start keeping records showing movement of livestock and birthdates of animals born on your place- all to comply with COOL.
Congress in the 2008 Farm Law set July 15, 2008 as the date that is the start point where we consider all animals in the US as of today to be USA animals. Animals born after this date or coming into the country after this date need documentation. We say that- making some assumptions since the final rules have yet to be released by USDA as we approach the September 30 start date for COOL.
The Beef Buzz is heard regularly on radio stations across the state on the Radio Oklahoma Network- and we have many of our shows from the last two years archived on our website, www.OklahomaFarmReport.Com. Click below and you'll jump to today's report- where you can listen to Ron and Dr. Brad Lubben talk COOL!
Reducing On Farm Fuel Use
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~In the latest Plant and Soil Science Newsletter- several interesting topics are covered- including the one we have mentioned in our title regarding fuel useage on the farm. Dr. Randy Taylor has several ideas on how to slim down that gas and/or diesel bill.
Randy tells us "Tire inflation pressure is one of the major items affecting tractor performance. Making sure that inflation pressure is correct is a fairly simple item, but it could provide improved performance in most conditions. The correct inflation pressure depends on the tire size, the weight on the tire, and the configuration (single, dual, triple). The most important factor is making sure the tire has enough air pressure to support the weight on it. How do you determine the correct inflation pressure? The answer is a load-inflation table. These can be obtained from most tire or equipment dealers. As you might expect, larger tires can support similar weight to a smaller tire with less air pressure and the correct inflation pressure for duals is less than that for singles."
He says that while tire pressure as well as adjusting the weights on a
tractor will save some fuel- the big savings occur when you are able to
reduce the number of trips across your fields. Taylor says that if you are
able to reduce the number of trips by one or two per crop cycle- that will
save serious dollars.
Walmart Celebrates Locally Grown at Tulsa Supercenter Tomorrow
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. will kick off the Locally Grown program in Oklahoma with Mayor Kathy Taylor, Steve Thompson, associate commissioner of the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food & Forestry, Justin Whitmore, the Oklahoma Grown coordinator and Wal-Mart regional leaders tomorrow, Wednesday, July 16 at a Tulsa Supercenter.
Porter Peach Farmer Kent Livesay and his family will participate in the event. Their peaches will be featured on in-store signage in the Tulsa area. Kent is a fellow Alum of Class One of the Oklahoma Ag Leadership Program.
According to the Wal-mart website, there are several products grown in
Oklahoma that are a part of their "locally grown" program. Those products
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Looking at our Agricultural Markets...
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~At the Oklahoma National Stockyards in Oklahoma City, the total Monday run was 8,600 cattle, with prices on yearlings mostly one to two dollars per hundredweight lower than last week. Quality of the cattle seemed to be lower than recent weeks as well. Seven to eight hundred pound steers brought from $107.50 to $113.25. We have the full report linked that you can look at by clicking here.
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