~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Tuesday February 26, 2008!A service of Farm Credit of East Central Oklahoma, KIS Futures & Midwest Farm Shows
-- Wheat and China- We Talk with the US Wheat Point Person in Hong Kong and China...
-- $25 wheat!!!!
-- When it comes to Farm Bill- WHO do you believe????
-- Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Commissioner Questions AG's Motives
-- Dr. Jeff Edwards Preaching First Hollow Stem is Coming Soon!
-- Make Up for Postponed Paul Jackson Estate Sale is this Saturday.
-- Chinese Words- AND- They're Worth More When They're Red!
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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Wheat and China- We Talk with the US Wheat Point Person in Hong Kong and China...
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~One of the cooperators that we had a chance to visit with on Monday in Shanghai as we continue to follow Class 13 of the Oklahoma Ag Leadership Program was Matt Weimer of US Wheat Associates. He is actually stationed in Hong Kong- but came up to Shanghai to visit with us and take care of some other business with the Chinese.
He says that in the last couple of years- the Chinese have actually exported some wheat into other countries in Asia- providing us some limited competition. The Chinese hold a significant part of the world stocks of wheat- and that has pushed them towards exporting some wheat. He believes that cannot last- and that longer term- they will be back to being a customer of ours for various classes of American wheat.
Weimer did make a pitch for Oklahoma producers to think long and hard about Hard White Wheat-saying there are a lot of Asian customers that would love to but that type of wheat from the United States. He did admit that there would likely be no premium for HWW versus HRW wheat- but he believes it would position us better against the Australians in the long haul. We have both Matt's Power Point presentation as well as some audio comments linked on our OALP to China page- click below and check it out- and it's likely we will be adding more stuff to the page later in the day on Tuesday.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Minneapolis Spring Wheat futures hit $24 on Monday while Chicago and Kansas City wheat futures went limit up- 60 cents per bushel- higher. In overnight trading early this Tuesday morning- we have the nearby March KC wheat up 54 cents and May up 44 cents while July is flat with the gains of Monday at $11.25 The nearby March is trading electronically this morning at $12.21 per bushel.
News that Kazakhstan plans to curb grain exports starting March 1 helped kick off the rally in wheat, analysts said. Kazakhstan typically produces high-quality wheat and has been a strong competitor for export sales to Egypt, an analyst said. The restriction of exports from Kazakhstan, through export tariffs, reminds traders that there are not many sources of wheat left in the world, an analyst said. Neighboring Russia has already imposed a wheat export tax of 40%.
The limits on Kansas City and Chicago wheat futures both will be ninety cents per bushel in the Tuesday trading session- that's up from the sixty cents that we have had in place for several trading sessions. The Minneapolis Exchange has jumped their limits for wheat to $1.35 per bushel, while there is no limits on the March contract, which allowed the jump yesterday all the way to the $25 level before the settlement back around $24 yesterday.
When it comes to Farm Bill- WHO do you believe????
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Farm Bill Debate is full of spin- and appears to be stalled out- but that observation is only valid for the next five minutes- then it could be back in play again. The Chairmen of the Ag Committees are saying two totally different things at this juncture.
For example, Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) told the Brownfield Network last night he believes extending the current farm bill through at least the end of 2009 is increasingly inevitable, and he "put the blame squarely upon the Bush administration" for the current stalemate. However, he also said he will continue to push for a farm bill deal to be completed by March 15. Harkin said conciliatory talk by Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer and Deputy Secretary Chuck Conner has not matched their actions so far. "Oh, I'm always encouraged by it, but every time we sit down nothing ever happens and we've been sitting down for the last couple of weeks," Harkin said. "There's got to be some movement from the White House and I have not seen that yet. We'll just have to wait until we get a new secretary, a new president in the White House, and maybe we'll have a little bit better chance of a new president understanding the needs we have in agriculture."
Meanwhile, House Agriculture Committee Chair Colin Peterson (D-Minn.)
said if lawmakers do not agree by the end of this week on a spending limit
for the new farm bill, then it will not be possible to meet the Ides of
March deadline lawmakers set for crafting a compromise, Reuters reports.
Peterson said he would rather see the farm program revert to the sky-high
support rates of the 1949 farm law rather than extend the 2002 farm law. A
short-term extension of some parts of the 2002 law expires on March 15,
the same time congressional budget formulas would set a new, lower funding
limit for farm supports.
Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Commissioner Questions AG's Motives
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Adair County Representative on the Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Commission, Rick Stubblefield, has sent us an "op-ed" article that takes dead aim at Attorney General Drew Edmondson and his most recent efforts to change the direction of his lawsuit against animal agriculture. Mr. Edmondson is attempting to get a court to stop all application of chicken litter in the Illinois River Watershed because it is a dangerous toxic material that can cause harm at any level of application.
Rick Stubblefield says in response to these charges that this is"a request that has little bearing on reality." He goes on to say "Poultry litter today is almost unavailable in the Illinois River watershed. Ask a farmer. The demand for poultry litter as a fertilizer has soared, partly because the state of Oklahoma has heavily promoted its use as a fertilizer across the state, partly because rising oil prices have made the cost of commercial fertilizers breath-taking. Secondly, there is just not enough poultry litter being produced to satisfy demand. Despite the exaggerated claims of Drew Edmondson, a chicken house only produces about 120 tons of poultry litter a year - and state agency records and assessor records show there are about 1650 poultry houses in the Illinois River watershed. That gives the farming community about 200,000 total tons of poultry litter to use every year. Farmers outside the watershed use manure transfer program tax breaks to pay more than farmers in the watershed can afford to pay. The end result? There is not much left to use as fertilizer on fields in the Illinois River watershed."
Stubblefield says that the success of the effort to remove a substantial part of the litter produced in the Watershed should be considered an environmental victory- but instead it is causing heartburn. "The manure transfer program for the Illinois River watershed has worked far better than anyone could have hoped. But not everyone is smiling. Especially not the trial lawyers who anticipated major money in the state's 2005 lawsuit against poultry companies - a lawsuit filed long after the manure transfer program began."
Rick Stubblefield tells us this effort to have an impact on spreading
animal manure of any kind on fields drain into any kind of stream is very
worrisome and sums up what he thinks is going on. "Those who think Drew
Edmondson is an environmental savior should take a second look at his
actions - designed not to protect the Illinois River watershed or Oklahoma
water quality, but to protect the wallets of the contingent-fee attorneys
whose political donations protect the quality of the stream Drew Edmondson
cares the most about.
Dr. Jeff Edwards Preaching First Hollow Stem is Coming Soon!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The latest issue of the OSU Plant and Soil Sciences Newsletter is out- and the lead article is all about what needs to be a priority item here in 2008- First Hollow Stem and getting cattle off promptly to minimize any loss of grain production because of grazing too long.
Dr. Edwards writes "First hollow stem is rapidly approaching and letting cattle graze too long on wheat pasture might be more costly this year than ever. This is especially true for wheat pasture that did not emerge until late or that was grazed hard throughout the winter. In order to recoup yield potential, wheat needs an opportunity to regain leaf area lost to grazing. In essence you are giving the crop a few weeks to produce leaf area that would normally take a few months to produce, so it is important to give the crop every advantage."
Other articles in this Extension news update from Plant and Soil Sciences include what farmers need to know about the salt index of fertilizers and the latest wheat disease update- courtesy of Dr. Bob Hunger. We have the Newsletter linked on our website- and the link to the newsletter is right below.
Make Up for Postponed Paul Jackson Estate Sale is this Saturday.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Paul Jackson estate equipment dispersal auction is this Saturday, March first at 10 AM on Hwy 19, one mile west of Apache. A complete line of farming and tillage equipment, tractors, trucks, shop tools, misc items and scrap iron. For info call Bridges Auction Co. at 580-492-5260
We also have the Bridges Auction website linked below if you want to go and review the sale information. The original date was the 16th of February- but the weather was bad and that resulted in the postponement.
Chinese Words- AND- They're Worth More When They're Red!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We have wrapped up the China portion of our trip as I write this early Tuesday morning Oklahoma time- we have jumped over to Seoul, South Korea and have arrived safely at the Hotel- a very nice one I might add.
A couple of random thoughts as I need to hurry and finish up today's email. First, I really enjoyed listening to one of our guides explain how the Chinese construct new words from base words they already have in their vocabulary. For example, she explained to us that the word for computer is built on two words- the word for "Electricity" and then the word for "brain" so computer comes up as "Electric Brain." Then, there is the word for population is built on the symbol for "man" and then the symbol for "mouth." She says that the reason for that is that it is a reminder that when you speak of the population of a city or of the entire country- it is a group of people that need to be sustained regularly to live and prosper.
Finally, you can go to our website- we have the link to the page below for our OALP to China page- and we have a picture of some Red Angus that we saw at the Research Facility in Yangling. The lady who operates the facility was asked why they selected Red Angus instead of Black Angus- the breed that is easily the most popular here in the US. Her response was that the Chinese farmer is most used to beef animals that are red or even white in color- the various Continental breeds we saw in the feedlot earlier in the trip. So, they associate black cattle with lesser quality- so when it comes to the Chinese cattle farmer- they aren't worth more when they're black. I guess the American Angus Association has some education to do if they ever want to break into the Chinese market in a significant way.
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