~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Thursday October 16, 2008!A service of Johnston Enterprises, National Livestock Credit and American Farmers & Ranchers!
-- The Biggest Meat Packer Decides to Drink the "COOL-ade" and Adjust Their Labeling Plans
-- Southwest Oklahoma Banker Jeff Greenlee Talks Ag Credit
-- Fence-Line Weaning Can Be a Profitable Strategy For Many Cow Calf Operations
-- CRP Acres Down a Bit
-- House Ag Committee Examines the World of Credit Swaps and Derivatives
-- Kingfisher Today- Stillwater Tomorrow
-- Listen to Ron and Ed in Cyberspace.
-- 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 American Farmers & Ranchers Mutual Insurance Company as a regular sponsor of our daily update- click here to go to their AFR web site to learn more about their efforts to serve rural America!
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The Biggest Meat Packer Decides to Drink the "COOL-ade" and Adjust Their Labeling Plans
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Tyson Foods has sent letters to both cattle and hog suppliers, as well as well as to customers of their products about their intention to change their approach to country of origin labeling. Tyson's Senior Group Vice President for Tyson Fresh Meats, James Lochner wrote to cattle industry sources that "Tyson Fresh Meats' initial approach limited many of the high costs associated with segregating livestock and products. This approach, which involved offering the majority of our beef and pork cuts under the multi-country Category B label, achieved compliance and provided time for market and industry stakeholders to provide feedback."
Lochner adds "Based on the input we have since received from members of
Congress, government officials and various industry groups, we now believe
this initial compliance approach will not be viable in the long-term. If
we do not take measures to more fully meet the desires of mCOOL advocates
and many lawmakers, and label a large percentage of retail, fresh meat
cuts as a product of the U.S., it is likely some of the flexibility
included in the current regulations will be eliminated."
Tyson indicates that by early 2009- most of their premium products will be labeled as a Category A item(Born and Raised in the USA) and that later in the year, they intend to have a substantial part of the rest of their daily run falling into that same labeling category. We have more on what the letters say- and copies of the letters themselves linked on our website- the link to this story at WWW.OklahomaFarmReport.Com is linked below.
Southwest Oklahoma Banker Jeff Greenlee Talks Ag Credit
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Ag Producers, Agribusiness leaders and Ag lenders talked about the impact of the current economic crisis on the farming sector in a webinar last week, held by AgriMarketing magazine. One of the speakers calls Jackson County Oklahoma home- Jeff Greenlee of Altus.
Greenlee is the President of NBC Bank in Altus and is the current chairman of the American Bankers Association Agricultural and Rural Bankers Association. Greenlee says that agriculture is in excellent shape when it comes to equity and that rural banks across the country have money available and will be willing lenders to agriculture as head into 2009. He adds that tougher standards are not expected right now- but that in talking with fellow bankers indicate they will be sticking closer to current policies in lending practices.
Greenlee contends that Main Street banks in rural areas of the country
are in good financial condition- and that he believes credit will not be
hard to come by- if you are credit worthy and have your farm or ranch
financial records in order.
Fence-Line Weaning Can Be a Profitable Strategy For Many Cow Calf Operations
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~It's a technique that is designed to lower the anxiety of both the cow and the calf- but especially for that calf that is being separated from her mama. Dr Glen Selk of OSU calls it Fenceline Weaning- and he talked with us about this practice on our Thursday with Glen segment on the Beef Buzz.
Studies have shown that calves that can see their Mamas through a fence will walk the fence and bawl- but they will eat more and seem to be more relaxed compared to calves totally moved away from the mama cow. The fence line calves end up gaining more than the other calves, which means more pounds to eventually sell.
We talk about this with Dr. Selk on our Thursday Beef Buzz- heard across the state on the Radio Oklahoma Network- and also housed on our website on the Beef Buzz page. In fact, we have hundreds of previous Beef Buzz shows that you can browse through on our website dating back to our first fall on the Radio Oklahoma Network two years ago. The link to today's Beef Buzz is below.
CRP Acres Down a Bit
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Apparently, commodity prices haven't resulted in millions of acres moving out of USDA's Conservation Reserve Program as some had feared. Also, the new acres entering the program are targeted at delivering maximum environmental benefits - and maximum return to taxpayers- at least that's the contention of the FSA, the USDA agency that oversees CRP.
John Johnson, Deputy Administrator for Farm Programs at USDA's Farm Service Agency, reports that year-end figures show total CRP enrollment at 34.72 million acres. That's down 2.1 million from last year. But Johnson says the dip isn't unusual.
When considering potential CRP acres, Johnson encourages farmers to farm the best and conserve the rest. He says farmers who are considering taking a section out of CRP to put it back into production might consider keeping fragile areas and marginal land in CRP through the continuous CRP program.
House Ag Committee Examines the World of Credit Swaps and Derivatives
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~On Wednesday, the House Agriculture Committee held a hearing to review the role of credit derivatives in the U.S. economy, and the role they may have played in the recent credit and financial crisis affecting markets around the world. "We need to get a handle on these credit default swaps and determine the regulatory modifications that are needed to minimize the systemic risk to the economy that I am concerned they pose right now," said House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin C. Peterson of Minnesota. "There is an estimated $55 trillion in credit default swaps somewhere out there, but no one knows for sure if any of these swaps offset each other, exactly who is on the hook for these swaps, who is trading with who and on what terms; and worst of all, no one has any idea who is solvent and who is upside down. The first step we need to take is to shed some light on just how the unwinding of these obligations will take place."
"Today's hearing was an opportunity for us to learn more about the role credit default swaps play in the marketplace, and how they contributed to the current economic crisis," said Committee Ranking Member Bob Goodlatte of Virginia. "It is important for us to understand how our regulators are addressing this issue and what steps should be considered for providing greater transparency with credit default swaps and reducing systemic risk."
The Committee heard testimony from two panels of witnesses, comprised of government regulators, academics, and industry stakeholders. The panelists testified about the current regulatory structure for regulated exchange and over the counter derivatives markets as well as possible arrangements for the clearing of credit default swaps. Witness testimony is available on the Committee website which we have linked below. When you go to the House Ag Committee page we jump you to- click on the person's name to see their testimony.
Kingfisher Today- Stillwater Tomorrow
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We are heading to Kingfisher midday today to talk agriculture with the Kingfisher Lions Club- hope to see a few of you there. I know some of our cattle folks will be over the OBI Test Station Sale that is going on today at the station just west of Stillwater.
Meanwhile, Stillwater will be a jumping place to be tomorrow and into Saturday as well as it is Homecoming weekend- and there are ag related things going on both tomorrow as well as the big Ag Alumni BBQ on Saturday. There will be three receptions to honor the Distinguished alums selected by the College of Agriculture for 2008- Joe Neal Hampton, Mike Kubicek and the late Clem McSpadden.
There will also be several activities planned in the Animal Science Department on Friday afternoon and evening- and we have details of that on our calendar page. We have the link to that page below- we have added a few things in recent days so go, take a look at the OSU related items set for this weekend- but also look out to the rest of October and into November to see what else is going on- AND let us know if we have missed something your group has going on. We will be glad to include it, if you will drop me an email.
Listen to Ron and Ed in Cyberspace.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~I wanted to give you a quick tutorial about markets and farm news available on our website- and also linked below. We have great radio stations across the state- you can go to the link on the left hand side of our webpages at WWW.OklahomaFarmReport and if you click on RON Radio Affiliates- you can see the stations listed that are a part of our radio family. You can rely on them to bring you our reports throughout the day.
However, if you are away from your radio when we are on- never fear, we have several of our shows that are posted regularly on our website. First of all, go to the site and click on the left hand side button called MARKETS. That will take you to several links where you can feel market updates that you can read and print. We also have three of our market reports that are available to you every day. The first is our Pre Market Open look at where the market may be going that day- it's hosted by Ed Richards and features the thoughts that morning of Tom Leffler. It's usually up on line by 8 AM. At midday- usually by 12:10 PM is our Midday Market Roundup. It's complete with cash cattle- fats and feeders and stockers- livestock, grain, cotton and energy futures and a bit of analysis for good measure. Finally on the website (and below) we have a link to our market wrapup for the day with Ed and Tom- usually on line by around 2:15 PM. One bonus report you can listen to is weekday mornings by around 6 AM- and that is our Morning Market Recap as heard on our Woodward station, K101. This is a review of the previous day- but very importantly, it includes a look at the overnight electronic trade for grains, cotton and livestock. These prices are getting to be really important as they set the scene for that day's opening bell in the live trade. The link to this report is at the bottom of this email.
We also have a couple of our daily farm and ranch news updates. The
first is our morning farm and ranch news, as heard around the state on the
RON network. We have it as a straight feed on the page "Listen to Ron" as
well as in Podcast form- with the Podcast usually getting posted in the 7
AM hour daily. We also have our daily Beef Buzz which is a big part of our
website, with the most recent Beef Buzz usually featured on the front page
of our site.
Our thanks to National Livestock Credit, American Farmers & Ranchers and Johnston Enterprises 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.
Looking at our Agricultural Markets...
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Southern Plains Feedlots sold cattle on Wednesday afternoon, based on reports from the Texas Cattle Feeders Association. TCFA reports 30,458 steers and heifers were sold at $90.00 per hundredweight, down two to three dollars from the bulk of the trade last week. We have the link to this report at the bottom of our market link list below. It was called quiet Wednesday morning- although there was speculation that trade could develop if feedlot operators decided to drop their asking prices because of the sharply lower cattle futures trade in Chicago. Live Cattle futures fell $2.52 at settlement on Wednesday to $90.82.
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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