~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Monday August 25, 2008!A service of Producers Cooperative Oil Mill, Farm Credit Associations of Oklahoma and Midwest Farm Shows!
-- Friday's Cattle on Feed Numbers Somewhat Bullish- Based on Lighter Placements Than Expected.
-- Multiple Ag Groups Come Under Common Banner- Calling on Congress to Deal with the Railroads.
-- Oklahoma Wheat Producer Don Schieber on the Job- in Portugal!
-- Feed Grain Price Volatility Keeps Pork Industry Off Balance
-- Oklahoma Cotton Crop Set Up to Need Another Warm September
-- How to Make (or lose) Money in the Cattle Business.
-- This Week on our Calendar- Farm Bureau Area Meetings, Wheatland Stocker and more.
-- Let's Check the Markets!
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Friday's Cattle on Feed Numbers Somewhat Bullish- Based on Lighter Placements Than Expected.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Friday Cattle on Feed Report from USDA offered one surprise- lower placements than the trade had expected. Traders say that could prove to be bullish for the deferred contact months in the Monday futures trade.
The pre report guess on placements was around six to seven percent above a year ago, based on several sets of pre report guesses that were recorded. The actual figure from USDA came in at 102% of a year ago. The marketings number was as expected at 102%, while the on-feed number as of August first stands 4% under a year ago- again right about where the trade had placed their bets.
Our own Ed Richards caught up with Tom Leffler of Leffler Commodities- and we have Tom's take on the Cattle on Feed numbers as reported by Uncle Sam this past Friday afternoon- use the link below to jump to that audio review of the Cattle on Feed numbers.
Multiple Ag Groups Come Under Common Banner- Calling on Congress to Deal with the Railroads.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Diverse interests within the U.S. agriculture sector including the American Farm Bureau and the National Farmers Union have agreed to join forces to stop the railroads' monopoly stranglehold on rural America. The groups are calling on Congress to pass reform legislation to end the railroads' hidden tax on products shipped by rail. This hidden tax, which results from the railroads' abuse of their monopoly power, hits farmers and rural America especially hard, because of their reliance on freight rail transportation for shipping and receiving goods.
"Rural America is getting fleeced by the railroads, one shipment at a
time," said Glenn English, Chairman of Consumers United for Rail Equity
and CEO of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association(and former
long time Oklahoma Congressman). "Rural areas are more likely to be served
by only one railroad, and railroads use that unrestrained market power to
drive up prices with overcharges on everything from grain shipments for
food and fuel to coal for electricity."
American Farm Bureau President Bob Stallman believes that Congress
should pass the Railroad Antitrust Enforcement Act before it completes its
work this year. "American agriculture depends on the railroad system, and
agricultural producers are frequently captive rail customers and
experience both unreliable service and exorbitantly high rates from the
railroads," Stallman said. "Freight railroads must be subject to our
nation's antitrust laws so that prices for shipping agriculture
commodities via rail can be fair and reasonable."
Oklahoma Wheat Producer Don Schieber on the Job- in Portugal!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~He's the new kid on the block- but Don Schieber from Kay County in north central Oklahoma is already making a splash as a part of the officer team of US Wheat Associates, the market promotion arm internationally for US wheat producers. Schieber was on hand at the US Wheat biennial World Staff Conference in Portugal earlier this month after joining the officer team as Secretary-Treasurer back in July.
The weekly Wheat Letter from US Wheat reports that Schieber represented American wheat producers as he recognized the incredible length of service that several key players have given as the ones who tell the US Wheat story day after day and year after year. US Wheat Associates is celebrating 50 years of telling the US wheat producer's story.
The Letter says "In his welcoming remarks at the start of the
conference, Schieber asked USW staffers who had served the organization
for 30 or more years to join him in front of the group. He then stood
between seven individuals and thanked them from his heart for their
service to U.S. wheat producers.
Feed Grain Price Volatility Keeps Pork Industry Off Balance
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Hog producers in Oklahoma and around the country are very concerned about the roller coaster grain prices that are becoming the norm as they worry about the rising cost of raising hogs the balance of this year and into 2009 as well. The cost of production is so high that profitability will be elusive in the coming year- Roy Lee Lindsey of the Oklahoma Pork Council estimates that we may see three months profitable out of twelve in 2009, based on expected cost of production and current futures prices for lean hogs.
Lindsey says the floor that the renewable fuel standard provides for feed grain producers assures that feed grain prices will not retreat anytime soon. He also worries about the economies of scale that may harm smaller Oklahoma pig producers- those that can deliver four hundred to six hundred pigs per week are not large enough to supply corporate owned finishing pens that work mostly in units of a thousand pigs.
The brightest spot for the pork industry in the US is the export
market. Exports have risen over the last couple of years dramatically- and
that has held up prices for finished hogs.
Oklahoma Cotton Crop Set Up to Need Another Warm September
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Vic Schoonover of the NTOK organization provides us with the latest on the 2008 cotton crop and this update from Dr. JC Banks, Oklahoma's state cotton specialist:
"A welcome rainy period was received in most of the Oklahoma cotton growing area August 14-18. Oklahoma State University Extension Cotton Specialist Dr. J.C. Banks says the moisture was needed badly and tells us what it will do to this year's cotton: "The dryland areas in the state were really suffering and the cotton really responded to the rain. Almost all of the cotton was at or near the cutout stage of growth but had continued to bloom and some small squares were on the plant. If the cotton was under severe stress, small bolls within seven to 10 days of blooming have probably shed due to stress prior to the rain, but squares will continue to develop and the cotton is likely blooming again. It is a general rule that cotton blooms formed after September 1 on well-fruited cotton will not have much chance of making a harvestable boll, but most of the cotton did not have much of a fruit load at the time of the rain.
"If there were not many bolls on the plant, the plant will try to hold onto as many late developing bolls as possible. If we have a warmer than usual fall and if we can stay away from early freezes, the cotton should come back and produce an adequate yield. Our irrigated cotton went into the rainy period with a heavy boll load in most areas. This rainy period had about four days without any sunshine and this, combined with cooler weather, has caused many small bolls less than 10 days old to be shed. Again, there are many blooming sites, and the cotton has already started blooming again, but we will only have about one and a half weeks of additional blooming. This can add a lot of bolls prior to the first week in September, but we will have a split fruiting cycle that can delay harvest. Again, we need a good warm fall like we have had the last two years.
Dr. Banks adds that IPM Specialist Terry Pitts has found a plant pathogen by the name of alternaria in some of the cotton fields in southwest Oklahoma. This disease seems to show up when late season cotton is suddenly subjected to a very wet period of rainfall and cooler temperatures for several days. If you have any questions, please contact Terry Pitts at 1- 580-482-8880.
How to Make (or lose) Money in the Cattle Business.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~It's been a while since we had bounced over to Ann Barnhardt's website- but we did so over the weekend and she continues to blast away at the marketing ignorance that she believes is dominant in the cattle industry.
She regularly offers up examples of what she calls "Fun with math." These are examples of how to both make money in trading cattle, as well as losing tons of money. In one of her blog entries at the end of this past week- she got on a roll and assembled four examples from the Oklahoma National Stockyards from last Monday.
One of the winning trades was pointed at the feedlot end of the
business where the following pair of trades were laid out:
Ann did offer an example of selling those lighter yearlings:
This Week on our Calendar- Farm Bureau Area Meetings, Wheatland Stocker and more.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~After week of hiatus, the Oklahoma Farm Bureau plans on wrapping up their August district meetings with three locations set starting on Tuesday. On Tuesday, there will be the first of two District 4 meetings in Ardmore, with a second District 4 meeting planned the next day in Duncan. Then on Thursday, the final OFB District meeting is set for Ada. We have details of these meetings listed on our calendar page that is linked below.
Thursday, the signing ceremony is planned between Conservation groups and Western Farmers Electric Cooperative as WFEC plans to buy carbon offsets developed from farming practices in the North Canadian watershed- the 10 AM meeting is being held in Geary.
At the end of the week, the annual Wheatland Stocker Conference is planned for the Cherokee Strip Conference Center in Enid on Friday. An outstanding program is lined up- with one of our favorite cattle market watchers, Jim Robb of the Livestock Market Information Center, scheduled during the morning session.
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Let's Check the Markets!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Woodward market reported 5,115 cattle for their Friday run, with yearling prices weaker- steers were $1 to $2 lower and feeder heifers $2 to $2.50 cheaper. The seven to eight weight steers brought $111 to $116.50, while 800 to 900 pound steer yearlings were sold from $107 to $111.75. Here is the link to the USDA Woodward report- it should be updated between 8 and 9 am on Monday morning- our numbers direct from the market reporter and before you can find them anywhere else on the internet.
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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