~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Thursday August 14, 2008!A service of American Farmers & Ranchers, Johnston Enterprises and National Livestock Credit!
-- High Input Costs Make Wheat Farming Risky Business
-- The Latest Podcast- Dr. William Wilson on GM Wheat.
-- While the Athletes Go Full Speed Ahead in Breaking Records at the Olympics- Pork Consumption Has Stalled in China
-- It's Time to Hold Another Conversation About the Lesser Prairie Chicken.
-- Line up with Forage Capability With Your Cattle Herd's Production Cycle
-- HSUS Funded Group Sues USDA and the American Egg Board to Block Use of Checkoff Funds in California Initiative This Fall.
-- 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 National Livestock Credit Corporation as a regular sponsor of our daily email update. National Livestock Credit Corporation works diligently to provide unsurpassed service to their customers in the area of livestock financing. Check out the National Livestock Family of Services website by clicking here.
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High Input Costs Make Wheat Farming Risky Business
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~You might call it Risky Business. We are talking about being a wheat farmer as we approach the 2009 growing season for winter wheat here in Oklahoma. Wheat producer Jeff Krehbiel of Hydro, who sits on the Oklahoma Wheat Commission, is very concerned about the cost of fertilizer and the other inputs it will take to grow a high quality, high yielding wheat crop.
He has penciled out what he thinks it will cost him as we approach the planting window that will be opening in September- and it computes to around $7.80 a bushel for the cost of production- roughly where local elevator prices are here as we approach the middle of this month. He fears that it is probably riskier to farm with $7.00 wheat prices than it was to be facing $3.00 wheat values.
Jeff does not plan to plant early to capture wheat pasture- he's not sure how many wheat producers will be willing to do that this year given the fact that it takes a lot of fertilizer to generate large amounts of wheat pasture forage- and that will be very costly this fall. Our full story and audio conversation with Jeff Krehbiel is on our website- go and take a listen.
The Latest Podcast- Dr. William Wilson on GM Wheat.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Dr. William Wilson of North Dakota State University was a featured speaker on Wednesday in Stillwater at the 2008 Wheat Quality Summit. He talked about both the issue of wheat quality, the competition for acres as well as biotechnology as it impacts the wheat industry.
Dr. Wilson told us in Stillwater that he believes that the bidding war for acres will continue- and that wheat is at a huge competitive disadvantage as the various crops fight for acres for production in 2009. He also indicated that there is a lot of work going on to try to get GM wheat off the ground in this country- and that we may actually be behind the Aussies who are now doing field trials for GM wheat, looking at drought resistance traits.
Our conversation with him is in our Podcast section and our Ag Perspectives program. This group of Podcasts feature special interviews that we do on a periodic basis- we don't try to do one of these every day- although it often turns out that we post one almost every day it seems- and you can access it by going to the website- clicking on the link to the left entitled "Listen to Ron" and scrolling down to the Ag Perspectives Podcasts. The title of this Podcast is "Wheat May Lose Out in the Battle for Acres in 2009." You can also subscribe through a service like Itunes to get these broadcasts whenever we update this category- automatically! We have the link below to the story- go and take a listen to this professor who makes a case for GMO wheat to try the save the wheat business in this country.
While the Athletes Go Full Speed Ahead in Breaking Records at the Olympics- Pork Consumption Has Stalled in China
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Olympic Summer Games in Beijing are contributing to decreased pork consumption in China as citizens stay home to watch TV, avoid restaurants in Beijing and have fewer street hawkers from which to buy pork snacks as China attempts to put its best foot forward for the tourists. "As a result, huge volumes of imported pork and poultry products have stacked up in Chinese cold stores, with some facilities reporting 100 percent capacity," according to Joel Haggard, vice president, Asia Pacific region, for the U.S. Meat Export Federation.
In a US Meat Export Federation news release, Haggard said national distribution of imported pork also has been slowed by the Olympics, due to increased roadway security. He noted the consumption lull is colliding with China's hog herd expansion, which has reached double-digit levels year on year, as producers responded to strong industry profitability over the past nine months.
In addition, falling domestic prices have narrowed the spread between the wholesale prices for imported pork and local products. Haggard said domestic boneless fresh pork prices in large urban areas have dropped between 15 percent and 20 percent from the high point reached in February 2008.
It's Time to Hold Another Conversation About the Lesser Prairie Chicken.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We received an interesting email yesterday from Tom Lucas out of Buffalo regarding a declining species found in parts of the Southern Great Plains- the Lesser Prairie Chicken. Tom writes "Almost ten years ago, High Plains RC&D together with many other partners in the five state historical habit area of the Lesser Prairie Chicken undertook an effort to prevent the LPC from becoming listed as Endangered, after a petition for listing had been received by the US Fish & Wildlife Service by the Biodiversity Legal Foundation. This effort involved the creation of an open forum for all stakeholders, called "Ranch Conversations", followed by extensive efforts to place acres under voluntary habitat management as well as research. Two of these ranch conversations were held here at Buffalo and several others around that five state area. These were conducted with an independent mediator and they met with much success and the process was actually adopted by the American Planning Association as a way to obtain stakeholder input on controversial issues. Anyway, at the time that we began, officials of the US Fish & Wildlife Service indicated that we had probably "bought" 10 years of time to see if the situation with the LPC could be reversed."
Lucas adds "We are now in the 10th year of that effort, and much has happened. As you may be reading in the papers, there is increasing concern that the LPC might be listed as endangered or moved up on the list. We feel that it is now time to hold Ranch Conversation III in order to update the stakeholders on the status of the LPC and provide everyone an opportunity to speak and chart a course for the future."
"We have scheduled Ranch Conversation III for the evening of September
23, 2008 (Tuesday), beginning at 6:30 pm at the Community Building, Harper
County Fairgrounds, Buffalo, Oklahoma. Several sponsors have graciously
agreed to provide the meal, followed by the meeting. I wanted to provide
you with a heads up for this meeting in hopes that you will place it on
your schedule and attend."
Line up with Forage Capability With Your Cattle Herd's Production Cycle
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~He's one of the finest Ranch Managers in the country- but Yates Adcock of the Middle Creek Ranch of Dustin is very concerned about the future of the cattle business. He was one of the speakers at the Southern Plains Beef Symposium in Ardmore last weekend- and is the 2007 Cooperator of the Year as honored by the Noble Foundation. He knows his stuff.
Yates told us after his presentation that it will take creativity and cattle producers who are willing to be innovators to make it through the challenges facing the cattle industry in this day and age. Producers who are not willing to consider every option and change quickly could face extinction.
Adcock tells us on today's Beef Buzz that while some are saying that
it's not your grandfather's beef industry- it might be a good idea to
being open to looking at how folks years and years ago did certain things-
and seeing what can be learned that will allow your ranch operation to be
more in sync with nature in lining up the cattle production cycle of your
beef herd with when your ranch is at its forage producing peak.
HSUS Funded Group Sues USDA and the American Egg Board to Block Use of Checkoff Funds in California Initiative This Fall.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~A group that's led by Farm Sanctuary and the Humane Society of the United States has filed a federal lawsuit against the American Egg Board and the U.S. Department of Agriculture over the unlawful expenditure of $3 million of AEB funds to campaign against Prop 2, the California ballot initiative that addresses farm animal housing, according to a news release sent by HSUS Wednesday afternoon.
"Agribusiness firms are already spending millions to defeat Proposition 2, and they hardly needed an illegal infusion of check-off funds authorized by the USDA to supplement their political campaign," said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States. "Expending these funds within 90 days of the election is a transparent attempt to influence the vote on Proposition 2. The egg industry and USDA had 49 other states in which to spend this money, but it chose to do so in California right before the election and that's unethical and illegal."
Feedstuffs and their lead reporter, Rod Smith, report that the lawsuit
is based on erroneous information from a trade magazine that had its facts
wrong. Smith writes on the Feedstuff website "Its board did pass by
unanimous vote a motion to hold the money in reserve "for a consumer
education campaign to educate the public about current production
practices." The motion does not specify any one state and does not suggest
ay kind of lobbying or other efforts to influence policy."
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