~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Thursday January 10, 2008!A service of Farm Credit of East Central Oklahoma, KIS Futures & American Farmers and Ranchers.
-- The 2008 Oklahoma Winter Wheat- Much of it is VERY fragile.
-- First Canola- and Now Sunflowers...
-- AFBF Meeting Set to Start on Sunday with Chuck Conner.
-- Japan's Demands to Go Step by Step seems to be Mostly for Show as US Beef Producers Fume...
-- Tracking the Farm Bill - NAWG urges NO extension- Finish your work by March 15.
-- Stop by and Say Howdy to Tom...
-- Northern Plains Research Helps Validate Interest in Switchgrass
Here's your morning farm news headlines from the Director of Farm Programming for the Radio Oklahoma Network, Ron Hays. We are proud to welcome KIS Futures as a regular sponsor of our daily E-Mail. KIS Futures provides Oklahoma Farmers & Ranchers with futures & options hedging services in the livestock and grain markets- Click here for their website or call them at 1-800-256-2555.
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The 2008 Oklahoma Winter Wheat- Much of it is VERY fragile.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We had the chance to spend a good bit of the afternoon yesterday with Mark Hodges of the Oklahoma Wheat Commission as we talked wheat crop conditions as well as market development work. Mark admitted it is very difficult to do a lot of market development work when you have produced two very subpar wheat crops in a row- and he added that "average" looks pretty good as we sit here in the winter of 2008- average both in the size of the crop and the quality of the crop. An average crop for Oklahoma is traditionally seen as around 150 million bushels- but the last two crops have fallen well short of that- less than a hundred million bushels each season as Mother Nature has repeatedly kicked the Oklahoma wheat producer each time he has tried to get back up.
As far as the 2008 crop is concerned, Hodges agrees that the crop that is "up to stand" is probably in the fair to good rating that was described by the December crop weather summary of USDA. But, he adds that many acres simply are not up to stand- they have either not germinated, barely germinated and are very poorly established. Hodges says it will take mild winter weather conditions with timely moisture to salvage many of those acres.
For those acres that have been established- he is also concerned about
getting enough nitrogen to those plants. Hodges, like Joe Neal Hampton of
the Oklahoma Agri Retailers Association has told us earlier- believes that
we need to get nitrogen topdressing on earlier this year than normal, as
he fears that if we miss the window on topdressing this year- the quality
and quantity of the 2008 crop could turn out to be a significant
First Canola- and Now Sunflowers...
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Producers Cooperative Oil Mill is announcing they will also be processing Sunflowers at it's processing plant in Oklahoma City just south of Bricktown. PCOM will be offering new crop bids for Sunflowers in addition to it's new crop bids for Winter Canola. Contracts will be offered for fall 2008 harvest of sunflowers. The contract will be per pound of sunflowers. We will also be offering bids on Winter Canola harvest 2008 and 2009. These contracts are offered per acre production.
Currently the bids for 2008 Winter Canola are:
These bids are Delivered to approved Delivery points. PCOM will pay
Storage, Handling and Freight to crush plant.
AFBF Meeting Set to Start on Sunday with Chuck Conner.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Acting Agriculture Secretary Chuck Conner will address Farm Bureau members on Sunday during the American Farm Bureau Federation's 89th annual convention in New Orleans, La., Jan. 13-16, 2008. General Colin Powell, a former secretary of state, will address Farm Bureau members on Monday afternoon and the Gatlin Brothers will entertain that evening.
"Recipe for Success" is the theme of this year's convention, which will include conferences about the ongoing farm bill debate, farm animal welfare, immigration reform, economic outlooks and more. The primary focus of the conferences, as well as the overall convention, is equipping members to build strong, prosperous agricultural communities through unique and proactive policy development and programs. In addition, the annual meeting portion of the convention will include elections for the AFBF president and vice president.
Oklahoma's delegation will be led by Mike Spradling of Tulsa County as
he takes over the reins of the general farm organization. Mike told us
earlier this month that he will be seated on the AFBF Board of Directors
at the New Orleans meeting, taking the seat that was held by Oklahoma's
past President Steve Kouplen. About a hundred Oklahoma Farm Bureau leaders
are expected to be in New Orleans for the 2008 convention.
Japan's Demands to Go Step by Step seems to be Mostly for Show as US Beef Producers Fume...
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~In today's Beef Buzz, we talk with Jay Truitt of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association about the offers by the Japanese that have been floated through the media that seem pretty reasonable when you first hear them- but those "offers" don't always square up with what the Japanese are asking of our government officials as we continue to see them drag their feet over recognizing that the US is a limited risk country based on OIE guidelines as they relate to BSE.
Truitt says that it's crazy that almost the entire world views the OIE report of 2007 as valid- while both South Korea and Japan heavily discount the findings that US beef is safe, as long as Specified Risk Materials are properly removed.
The Beef Buzz is a regular radio feature of the Radio Oklahoma Network and heard on great radio stations around the state- and we have many of our Beef Buzz reports linked on our website on our Beef Buzz page as well- and we have today's program with Jay Truitt linked below for you to take a listen to- Click and delve into the mind of the orient on today's Buzz.
Tracking the Farm Bill - NAWG urges NO extension- Finish your work by March 15.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The President of the National Association of Wheat Growers, John Thaemert of Kansas, has written a letter to Congressional ag leadership calling on them to be quick in putting together a final farm bill- he says hopefully before March 15- which will allow members of Congress to not have to face a smaller budget baseline as they complete the 2007-2008 piece of legislation.
Thaemert also called on Congress to just say NO to the Administration's demands on lowering payment limits- "We also believe that both the House and Senate bills respond to calls for reform from those outside agriculture regarding payment limitations, and we encourage you to oppose efforts by the Administration and others to further lower Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) limit tests."
The NAWG President adds that there is no need for a straight extension
of current farm policy- but that he believes that Congress does have the
will to do their work on new policy that is already starting to come
together between the House and Senate versions- and as we mentioned
earlier, the date mentioned in the letter that NAWG offers as a target-
Stop by and Say Howdy to Tom...
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~For those of you going to the 2008 edition of the Chisholm Trail Agrifest in Enid tomorrow or Saturday, we suggest you stop by and say hello to Tom Leffler of Leffler Commodities, one of the exhibitors at this year's event.
Leffler is a daily contributor on the Radio Oklahoma Network as he offers commentary on the futures markets several times during the day on our reports on K101 in Woodward and every day on the entire network at the close of the open outcry day session.
That afternoon wrapup can not only be heard on radio stations around the state- we also have it linked on our website, WWW.OklahomaFarmReport.Com on our MARKETS page- click on the link below to go to that page and take a listen to what Ed Richards and Tom are saying about the futures 24/7.
Northern Plains Research Helps Validate Interest in Switchgrass
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Research, considered to be the most extensive to date, shows that switchgrass can produce more than five-times as much energy than the energy that's consumed by growing the crop and converting it to ethanol. Based on the study of grass grown on marginal land on farms in Nebraska, South Dakota and North Dakota, researcher Ken Vogel estimates that an acre of switch grass would produce an average of 300 gallons of ethanol. An acre of corn grown on the same land produces about 350 gallons of ethanol on average.
Vogel says comparing the amount of ethanol produced by corn with the amount that could be produced by switch grass is a bit unfair because the method of converting switch grass to fuel is still being perfected. The five-year study of switchgrass was done by the University of Nebraska and the USDA's Agricultural Research Service, and it was published this week by the National Academy of Sciences.
Switchgrass is the proverbial "poster child" of cellulosic ethanol that continues to be developed. It's been mentioned in the "state of the Union" by President Bush- and has received a lot of attention here in the southern plains by both Oklahoma State University as well as the Noble Foundation out of Ardmore- the hope being that this or similar forages we could produce around here could make this process a viable part of the alternative fuels solution that everyone seeks.
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