~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Tuesday August 5, 2008!A service of Producers Cooperative Oil Mill, Farm Credit Associations of Oklahoma and Midwest Farm Shows!
-- Hot Conditions Cooking Summer Crops and Pasture Across Oklahoma
-- It's Even Too Hot for Cotton.
-- Lucas Applauds USDA Decision to Lower CRP Usage Fee in Cimarron, Texas, Beaver
-- Conservation Commission Initiates Carbon Certification Program in Oklahoma
-- Talking Hay and the Oklahoma Mesonet
-- It's the Price of Oil Driving Corn Prices to the Sky.
-- Beef Quality Assurance and More- Check the Calendar!
-- Let's Check the Markets!
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Hot Conditions Cooking Summer Crops and Pasture Across Oklahoma
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Excessive Hear Warnings and/or Heat Advisories were common this past week across much of the state- and the extra hot conditions coupled with little rainfall continues to suck out moisture from both our topsoil and subsoil moisture profiles. We now stand at 74% short to very short on topsoil moisture statewide- and 62% short to very short on the subsoil supply of moisture according to the latest Oklahoma Crop Weather Update.
Most row crops are showing signs of heat stress as crop conditions declined from the previous week due to lack of rainfall. Corn is an exception to the statewide decline in condition and remains mostly in the good range. Corn silking was winding down at 90 percent, an increase of four percentage points from last week but four points behind normal. Just over twothirds of the corn crop had reached the dough stage, up 22 points from the previous week and two points ahead of the five-year average. Corn dent had reached 30 percent by week's end up seven points from the previous week. A small percentage of corn had started to reach maturity. Sorghum emerged was at 86 percent, 13 points behind normal. Thirty percent of the State's sorghum had headed, an increase of five points from the previous week. Sorghum coloring was at 13 percent by week's end. Soybeans blooming were at 61 percent, an increase of eight points from the previous week and two points ahead of normal. Twenty percent of the soybeans were setting pods, an increase of seven points from the previous week but 16 points behind normal. Both sorghum and soybean conditions have been heavily affected by the recent dry weather. Peanuts pegging increased seven points from the previous week to reach 92 percent, five points behind normal. Peanuts setting pods were at 61 percent, nine points behind normal. Cotton squaring increased 13 points to reach 79 percent, nine points behind normal, while 27 percent of the State's cotton acreage was setting bolls, 23 points behind the five-year average.
We are now 72% harvested on our 2008 watermelon crop- which is on track with the five year average. Meanwhile, our pasture and range conditions have held up pretty well in the heat to this point- being rated 72% fair to good in this latest reporting period.
We have the rest of the report for your inspection- click on the link below for the full summary.
It's Even Too Hot for Cotton.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Dry, hot weather is placing stress on all dryland cotton and some of the irrigated cotton. says Dr.J.C.Banks, Oklahoma State University Extension state cotton specialist. "The stressed cotton is at the cutout stage in many areas, and yield potential will be further limited if rainfall is not received soon," Banks said. "Cutout is defined as when the plant slows vegetative growth and transfers most of its energy into boll development. It is officially determined when the top of the plant is within four to five nodes of the uppermost first position white bloom, but it can also be easily determined when we start observing blooms in the top of the plant.
Producers refer to this as 'blooming in the top.' In healthy plants, the nodes above white flower should be seven or eight at first bloom, and decrease by approximately one node per week during blooming. We have not only been observing this in dryland cotton, but also in irrigated cotton when water is short or root growth has been inhibited. In some fields, we are observing what an extension specialist in Louisiana refers to as suspended cutout. The nodes above white flower stay the same and the plant continues to fruit for several weeks.
"If these fields are irrigated, irrigation scheduling may need to be evaluated. If the fields are getting plenty of water, the next thing to look for is a nitrogen or other nutrient deficiency caused by a restricted root system. In these situations, a foliar nitrogen application could extend fruiting allowing the plant to hold onto one or two more bolls. For dryland fields, about all we can do is 'hunker down' and wait for rain. A rainfall soon will cause some drop of small bolls that already were going to shed, but new growth will initiate and new squares and bloom will develop in the top of the plant. These new squares need to be on the plant by mid-August to produce a harvestable boll."
Lucas Applauds USDA Decision to Lower CRP Usage Fee in Cimarron, Texas, Beaver
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Congressman Frank Lucas applauds the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) decision Friday to reduce the cost to use Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) land in Cimarron, Texas, and Beaver counties. The move follows a federal court decision that partially stifled the Critical Feed Usage (CFU) program, which allowed haying and grazing on 24 million acres of CRP land at a cost of only a $75 application fee. While the court allowed the program to continue for those who had filed the necessary paperwork by June 8, 2008, those who had not yet applied were barred from use of CRP.
Lucas had told us on Saturday that it was his understanding that just Cimarron County was included in this reduction- but his office said a clarification shows that all three counties get the smaller rental rate penalty if landowners choose to use the forage.
"My office has been working closely with USDA to ensure that farmers and ranchers are able to survive through high feed costs and the devastating drought that has hit Oklahoma and other surrounding areas," stated Lucas. "I applaud Secretary Schafer for his decision to reduce the cost the use CRP land for Cimarron, Texas, and Beaver counties. However I am extremely disappointed that this reduction isn't available for all counties in Oklahoma."
The Conservation Reserve Program establishes a ten year lease between
the government and farmers and ranchers who own environmentally sensitive
land, prohibiting the owners from using the land in exchange for a rental
fee paid by the government. Under current USDA policy, the Secretary of
Agriculture may release CRP land for haying and grazing if the owners
return 25% of the rental fee. The Secretary's announcement on Friday will
reduce the cost to a 10% return of the rental fee, making this program a
much more viable option for many farmers and ranchers.
Conservation Commission Initiates Carbon Certification Program in Oklahoma
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Oklahoma Conservation Commission has initiated a Carbon Sequestration Certification Program. The program is designed to assist Oklahoma landowners and companies to take advantage of opportunities created by recently- established national and global carbon markets. Gov. Brad Henry approved rules for the carbon program back in July. The carbon program is the first of its kind in the nation. The Conservation Commission will certify and verify emission offsets in an effort to protect buyers and sellers.
"What the Conservation Commission has done is create an added layer of assurance that buyers of CO2 offsets are getting what they pay for and offset providers are selling a high quality product that did not harm water, soil, or air quality," said Stacy Hansen, director of the carbon program. "We also want the public to understand that the state is not buying or selling carbon offsets. We have merely set standards and protocols to assure a quality product for those who are." Any offset that goes through the voluntary program and meets criteria is eligible to become a State Verified Offset and may then be marketed as such. Carbon offsets that meet quality standards and carry the state's certification are expected to be valued more highly and as a result may be worth more money when sold. The Conservation Commission expects to begin accepting applications for the program in the fall.
Carbon markets have been established as a way to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. Many companies are already taking steps to reduce or offset their emissions, and they are paying to do so. Others are buying up offsets in hopes of using or selling them at a profit should the price of carbon rise higher. An emission offset occurs when greenhouse gases are removed from the atmosphere and stored in vegetation, soil, or underground. For example, trees take in CO2 during photosynthesis so a certain number of trees can offset a certain amount of CO2 by storing it in their trunks, roots, and soil. Grasslands and soils under no-till agriculture also store more carbon than degraded lands or soils under conventional tillage. Carbon can also be stored deep underground in geologic formations. The burgeoning demand for emission reductions and offsets is driving up the price of carbon, which topped $7 per metric ton in 2008, twice what it was last year.
Talking Hay and the Oklahoma Mesonet
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The latest newsletter from the AgWeather folks at the Oklahoma Mesonet offers a real "hay day." It's all about being able to use the weather tools of the Mesonet to maximize your opportunity to harvest as high a quality of hay as is possible.
The newsletter tells us "If you are selling the hay for a certain amount per ton or bale and the buyer doesn't know or care about hay quality, then hay quality won't matter. However, if you are producing hay to feed to your own livestock or to sell in a quality market, then quality hay should be of primary importance. Fuel and labor costs have made hay baling an increasingly expensive chore. Once the hay is harvested, keeping maximum energy and protein stored for winter feed will help make the best use of the haying expense."
They show off humidity measurement and predictor tools available on the Mesonet- which will be a great help in making sure that you can work around mother nature for the best quality hay possible. We have the link below- check it out for more on your "Hay Days."
It's the Price of Oil Driving Corn Prices to the Sky.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Researchers from Purdue University say higher oil prices are the predominant factor in higher demand for biofuels and higher corn prices. In their report prepared for the Farm Foundation, Purdue economists Wallace Tyner, Christopher Hurt and Philip Abbott looked at the various driving forces behind food price increases and found a mix of reasons. And underlying the increased demand for ethanol was higher oil prices.
The Purdue experts point out that - higher crude leads to higher gasoline, which increases the demand for ethanol, which provides incentives to build more ethanol plants, which increases the demand for corn. Higher corn demand leads to a higher corn price. They said, - three-quarters of the recent increase in the price of corn was attributable to higher oil prices, and one-quarter was tied to the ethanol tax credit. And even if changes were made in U.S. biofuels policies, corn prices would be expected to remain high so long as crude oil is high.
The National Corn Growers Association hailed the report as examples of the deep thinking often ignored by mainstream news media. NCGA President Ron Litterer said -reports such as this are mounting evidence that many fears about ethanol are ungrounded, and that biofuels are an important part of the solution when it comes to energy independence and sustainability.
Beef Quality Assurance and More- Check the Calendar!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~A multitude of meetings are planned for both this week and next- so be sure and check our calendar listing at WWW.OklahomaFarmReport.Com.
The Oklahoma Farm Bureau has started their August grassroots policy meetings- we have the locations and dates of those meetings listed- we have the details of the Beef Quality Assurance regional meetings on our website- the first of those regional training sessions is this evening in Enid starting at 5 PM and we have details on the Regional Input Sessions planned for the Comprehensive Water Plan- these sessions go for the next couple of months with the first to kick off this Thursday in Big Cabin.
Remember- when you have a calendar item for your group, association or government entity- please let us know- provide us information and a link if you have more information somewhere on the world wide web- and we will be honored to include that information on our calendar page- we are working to make it the best calendar listing to be found anywhere for rural Oklahoma happenings!
Our thanks to Midwest Farm Shows, Farm Credit Associations of Oklahoma and Producers Cooperative Oil Mill for their support of our daily Farm News Update. For your convenience, we have our sponsors' websites linked at the top of the email- check them out and let these folks know you appreciate the support of this daily email, as their sponsorship helps us keep this arriving in your inbox on a regular basis!
We also invite you to check out our website at the link below to check out an archive of these daily emails, audio reports and top farm news story links from around the globe.
Let's Check the Markets!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Oklahoma National Stockyards was a hot spot for feeder cattle- the market reporter writes "Demand very good for feeders. Buyers showing very little discrimination for kind." A total run of 7800 cattle featured yearlings one to three dollars higher than a week ago- with seven to eight hundred pound steers bringing from $111 to $117 while the eight to nine hundred pounders came in from $109 to $113.00. Here's the link to the full report.
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