~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Tuesday August 19, 2008!A service of Producers Cooperative Oil Mill, Farm Credit Associations of Oklahoma and Midwest Farm Shows!
-- International Sorghum Conference Underway in Houston
-- Cooler and Wet Conditions Helping Spring Planted Crops in Oklahoma
-- Speaking of Rain- August 2008 is turning out to be a "wet" month.
-- Nationally- major crops experience a "steady" week
-- R-Calf President Calls Canadian Comments on Latest BSE Case "Absurd."
-- Millions Allocated to Repair Flood Damage of One Year Ago.
-- Corn Farmers Have Built In Demand for the Next Five Years with Ethanol Mandate
-- Let's Check the Markets!
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International Sorghum Conference Underway in Houston
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We are covering an International Conference on Sorghum for Biofuels that is underway for the next four days here in Houston. This started out as a small research based conference that the organizers thought would attract fifty or sixty people, but it has grown and now more than 250 will be a part of this event over the next few days.
Researchers, Government officials from this country as well as from China, Farmers and Biofuel Industry representatives will look at how to best utilize sorghum as a biofuels feedstock. Sorghum is a now a source of starch for ethanol from grain- but officials generally agree the biggest promise that sorghum offers is in the sweet sorghum and forage sorghum varieties.
Oklahoma Secretary of Energy David Fleischaker is the Keynote Speaker at lunch today, as he will discuss "why biofuels matter" and detail the commitment that Oklahoma has in this arena- including the development of the Oklahoma Bioenergy Center- the joint efforts of OSU, OU and the Noble Foundation.
We talked last night on the eve of this conference with one of the speakers slated for this morning's opening session, Tim Lust of the National Sorghum Producers Association based out of Lubbock, Texas. We have our comments with Tim on our website- and we have the link to that top story below- and we would invite you to check back on our website from time to time today for further coverage on this conference.
Cooler and Wet Conditions Helping Spring Planted Crops in Oklahoma
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The latest Oklahoma Crop Weather Update highlighted the good and the bad of recent weather on agricultural producers in the state. On the negative side of the ledger, there was the reminder of the rough weather from this past Thursday when Beaver County had to literally shovel out from beneath up to a foot of hail which damaged crops and even destroyed some farm equipment that was unprotected.
On the positive side of things- the cooler, damper weather of August has helped spring planted crops. Corn silking remained at 94 percent complete. Eighty- six percent of the State's corn had reached the dough stage, up seven points from the previous week but two points behind the five-year average. Thirty percent of corn had reached maturity by week's end, an increase of eight points from the previous week but five points below normal. Ten percent of corn was harvested by week's end. Sorghum emerged was at 91 percent complete, nine points behind normal. Sorghum headed increased 10 points from the previous week to reach 47 percent complete but was still 22 points behind the five-year average. A quarter of the sorghum was coloring by the end of the week, an increase of six points but three points behind normal. A small percentage of the State's sorghum had reached maturity. Soybeans blooming were at 68 percent, an increase of five points from the previous week but 10 points behind the five-year average. Forty-five percent of the State's soybeans were setting pods, an increase of 12 points from the previous week but 14 points behind normal. Peanuts pegging was virtually complete. Peanuts setting pods were at 83 percent, six points behind normal. A small percent of peanuts were mature. Cotton squaring increased five points and was virtually complete. Eighty-one percent of the State's cotton acreage was setting bolls, two points ahead of normal. A small percentage of cotton bolls were opening by week's end.
The weekly update also reports that pasture and range conditions look
better. Pasture and grasses have significantly improved in areas that
received rainfall. Pasture and range conditions remained mostly in the
good to fair range.
Speaking of Rain- August 2008 is turning out to be a "wet" month.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~With rains falling in a large part of Oklahoma as we write this early Tuesday morning, the rainfall totals for the month of August continue to mount up. About the only areas of the state that have not received at least an inch of rain as of midnight last night- will cross over that minimum today based on current radar.
The rainfall totals for the month of August show that we have some areas that have received over eight inches of rain- Waurika and Walters both have crossed that threshold. Even the Panhandle is finally getting moisture, with more than four inches of precipitation this month reported at both the Boise City and Kenton sites.
We have the chart that shows rainfall in recent days from the Mesonet that we have linked below- and you can go to ou r weather page at WWW.OklahomaFarmReport.Com to pick from several important weather sites- including News9 and Newson6 weather- with Gary England and Travis Meyer offering their expertise to forecasting what's next. We also have the Oklahoma Ag Weather site linked, as well as the National Weather Service site available for you to jump to for their information.
Nationally- major crops experience a "steady" week
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Last week the USDA put out a surprising August Crop Report that is optimistic about the corn and soybean crop this year, predicting the second largest corn harvest on record and the fourth largest soybean crop. However those numbers are not guaranteed. "As we head late into the year with the crop running behind there is still time to change the outlook of the crop," says USDA meteorologist Brad Rippey.
However, Rippey says that corn changed very little in the past week in both its outlook and condition. "Only a subtle change, just a few pockets trailing off in condition," says Rippey. "Overall we are looking very good and the crop is at 67% good to excellent. That's actually the same as we were a week ago, just a percent drop in excellent."
Soybeans in the good to excellent category also dropped 1% during the past week. Rippey warns that crops are running late and the risk of an early frost in September is something to watch for.
R-Calf President Calls Canadian Comments on Latest BSE Case "Absurd."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Max Thornsberry, President of R-Calf, is very upset over comments being made by Canada after the third BSE case found in 2008 was announced this past Friday by the Canadian government. "It's also the ninth case in an animal born after Canada's 1997 feed ban and the eighth case born after March 1, 1999, a date USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture) uses to try to convince us that any Canadian cattle born after that date are safe to import into the United States," said Thornsberry, a Missouri veterinarian who also chairs the group's animal health committee.
In a news release from Monday afternoon, Thornsberry blasted both the Canadian government and the US government for not admitting there is a problem in Canada with BSE. "CFIA's mantra that every new BSE case in Canada was identified by 'the national BSE surveillance program, which has been highly successful in demonstrating the low level of BSE in Canada' is simply absurd, in the extreme," Thornsberry pointed out. "Of course, it's true that all the BSE cases detected in Canada have been through CFIA's surveillance - CFIA doesn't allow anyone else to test for BSE - but that hardly means that CFIA's testing program has been 'highly successful in demonstrating the low level of BSE in Canada.' The program, instead, has definitively shown that Canada and the U.S. have inaccurately predicted - numerous times over the past five years - that BSE has virtually been eliminated there. The risk assessment model used by USDA to predict that the United States would import 19 BSE-infected cattle from Canada over the next 20 years was based on the erroneous assumption that Canada had only four BSE-infected cattle remaining after August 2006 in its entire cattle herd. Already, Canada has detected one and one-half times more BSE-infected cattle than what was included in the risk model. This fact demonstrates conclusively that the risk of importing BSE cattle into the United States from Canada is substantially greater than what USDA has told the public," said Thornsberry.
Thornsberry points to the latest BSE case as the most recent reason why
older cattle should not be permitted to enter the United States.
Millions Allocated to Repair Flood Damage of One Year Ago.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~There was a huge amount of damage from the deluge of rain that hit portions of Oklahoma one year ago in Sugar Creek Watershed, much of which lies in the South Caddo Conservation District. Water drop structures, berms, water jacks and bank stabilization structures were damaged or destroyed. Riprap was washed out and areas were inundated with silt. South Caddo CD applied to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for disaster funding and received approval for a disaster program. Scheduled for repair or replacement are 43 pipe drops, 79 berms, 55 water jacks, 11 riprap installations and other structure repairs and silt removal. The number of repair jobs listed totals 198.
The Oklahoma Conservation Commission will assist South Caddo Conservation District with project management. The local 12.5 percent match for the project will come from the Conservation Bond passed in the 2008 session of the state Legislature. The Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (ODEM) will provide the state 12.5 percent match with FEMA providing the remaining 75 percent with federal funds. The funding will result in an estimated total of over $7.3 million for repairs in South Caddo Conservation District. The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service has agreed to provide designs and inspections for the project.
"This will be a multi-year project," said Charlie Opitz, chair of the South Caddo Conservation District. "We hope to have engineering designs and plans done and begin construction by the summer of 2009," Opitz said. "And it will take several years after that to complete it all."
Corn Farmers Have Built In Demand for the Next Five Years with Ethanol Mandate
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Chairman of the Senate Ag Committee, Tom Harkin of Iowa, teamed up with Nebraska Democratic Senator to hold a field hearing in Omaha on Monday. The hearing was being held to review current policies that impact production agriculture.
Iowa State Economist Dr. Bruce Babcock seemed to confirm what a lot of people have been thinking in recent months- that the Energy Policy of a Renewable Fuels Standard is more important to farmers here in 2008 than the Farm Law is. Dr. Babcock told the lawmakers that corn and soybean farmers are in a can't lose situation for the next five years because of the federal mandates of ethanol utilization.
We have an audio overview of the hearing on Monday with Stewart Doan on our website- click here to check it out.
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!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We saw steady money at the Oklahoma National Stockyards on Monday, with a total of 7200 cattle being sold. The market reporter tells us "Quality continues to be below average with many consignments of No 2 cattle included." Five to six hundred pound calves brought from $116 to $126 while seven to eight hundred pound steers commanded $110 to $115.50. We have the full report of the Oklahoma National Stockyards- click here to review.
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