From: Ron Hays [ron@oklahomafarmreport.com]
Sent: Thursday, March 06, 2008 06:23
To: ron@oklahomafarmreport.com
Subject: Oklahoma's Farm News Update
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Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Thursday March 6, 2008!
A service of Farm Credit of East Central Oklahoma, KIS Futures & American Farmers and Ranchers.
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-- It Took Only a Couple of Hours for the JBS-Swift Plan to Become the Number One US Beef Packer to Be the Focal Point of the Packer Ban Proposal in the Farm Bill.
-- Farm Credit's John Grunewald Offers Ideas on How to Shorten Your Odds Financially Speaking...
-- JBS Swift- Just How Big Will They Be???
-- Testing in Minnesota Shows that you can "Double Up" on E-10- E-20 Works Just Fine!
-- Can you Nano-Focus???
-- Links for our KWTV News9 Video Segments from China and Korea Available to Review...
-- All Black All Polled Limousin Bull Sale Set for This Saturday in Southwest Oklahoma...

Howdy Neighbors!

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 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 "new look" website or call them at 1-800-256-2555.

We are also proud to have American Farmers and Ranchers Mutual Insurance Company as a regular sponsor of our daily update- click here to go to their NEW AFR web site to learn more about their efforts to serve rural America!
And we welcome back Farm Credit of East Central Oklahoma as a regular sponsor of our daily email update. Farm Credit of East Central Oklahoma has ten branch offices to serve your farm financing needs and is dedicated to being your first choice for farm credit. Check out their website for more information by clicking here!

If you have received this by someone forwarding it to you, you are welcome to subscribe and get this weekday update sent to you directly by clicking here.


It Took Only a Couple of Hours for the JBS-Swift Plan to Become the Number One US Beef Packer to Be the Focal Point of the Packer Ban Proposal in the Farm Bill.
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Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley is concerned that further consolidation in the beef industry will reduce market opportunities for family farmers, increase prices and provide less choice for consumers. Grassley wrote to Assistant Attorney General Thomas Barnett to ask for added scrutiny of JBS Acquisitions' plans. Grassley says - I don't know how much longer they can continue to let these mergers slide by. If the merger is permitted, producers will only have 3 major beef packers to sell their livestock to.

Grassley says his legislation to ban packer ownership of livestock, which is included in the Senate version of the farm bill, would have an impact on the proposed JBS acquisition. The feedlots JBS would be purchasing would be considered "packer owned" and would not be allowed under Grassley's bill. The Packer Ban would exclude single pack entities, packers that are too small to participate in the Mandatory Price Reporting program and would exempt farmer cooperatives where the members own, feed, or control the livestock themselves.

Grassley has also introduced legislation that would formalize the Department of Agriculture's review of agriculture mergers with the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission, by requiring the Agriculture Department to provide comments on agriculture transactions. It would require the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission to issue agriculture guidelines, taking into account the special conditions of the agriculture industry.


Farm Credit's John Grunewald Offers Ideas on How to Shorten Your Odds Financially Speaking...
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Talking risk management in the center of the city that was built on gambling, John Grunewald, President of Farm Credit of Western Oklahoma told members of the National Farmers Union on a Risk Management Panel that he sat on that "cash is still king." He believes that interest rates will flatten out or slightly decline the remained of 2008. He added that farmers "even in limited climates, must diversify in order to compete in the global economy."

We talked with John after his presentation about what his farm and ranch customers need to be paying attention to here in 2008. He says that a producer's cash flow is very important, and watching every cost input is vital to having financial success.

Demand for credit by ag producers was up by about 17% in our area in 2007- and up by about 20% nationally in the Farm Credit system. Grunewald says that his typical customer of today compared to ten years ago is more aware of financial management, and generally is doing a better job of keeping and understanding their records. We have our conversation linked below from the NFU meeting in Las Vegas- click and take a listen.

Click to listen to Ron and John Grunewald from Farm Credit of Western Oklahoma...


JBS Swift- Just How Big Will They Be???
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If regulators bless the purchase by JBS Swift of National Beef and Smithfield Beef Group, just how big will they be? Well, it appears that they will be jumping from a current slaughter cattle rate of 19,000 cattle a day to almost 43,000 cattle per day. That will equate to 31% to 35% of the U.S. slaughter capacity. On a global basis, they will have a daily slaughter capacity of 79,200 cattle.

There appears to be no plans for JBS Swift to reduce slaughter capacity by a single pen of cattle. In fact, the Batista family seemed to have entered the US market like a bull in the china shop- and have exposed weaknesses in the competition, and have been able to buy the assets of National and Smithfield at a better price as a result.

Since buying Swift, based in Greeley, Colorado, last May, JBS has actually increased their slaughter capacity from 14,000 head to 19,000 head- adding to excess capacity and forcing less efficient firms to consider selling- including the two they are buying. Wesley Batista says the focus the next two years for JBS-Swift will be to integrate their new holdings, identifying opportunities to raise margins and cutting costs.

Here's a link to a story from the Greeley, Colorado paper that really sums up this amazing series of events


Testing in Minnesota Shows that you can "Double Up" on E-10- E-20 Works Just Fine!
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A new study released by the State of Minnesota contains good news for the ethanol industry. The report shows that increasing the amount of renewable ethanol blended into gasoline from 10 percent to 20 percent does not present problems for current vehicles or fuel dispensing equipment. The results also show It provides similar power and performance. A year-long research effort found that doubling ethanol blends provided an effective fuel across a range of tests focusing on drivability and materials compatibility.

The state of Minnesota conducted the study as part of the process to meet a state law that requires ethanol comprise 20 percent of all gasoline sold in the state beginning in 2013. Minnesota and its partners will soon apply to the Environmental Protection Agency for a waiver to federal rules that will allow E20 to be used in all of the state's gasoline. The study used nationally recognized standards and protocols to ensure research quality.

The study included standard passenger vehicles, gas- electric hybrids and delivery vehicles. Drivers who participated in the testing indicated that E20 was compatible with the vehicle fuel systems. Emissions testing is ongoing.


Can you Nano-Focus???
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The 2008 NanoFocus conference is today and tomorrow in downtown Oklahoma City. This is an excellent opportunity to talk with some of the leading researchers in Nanotechnology, biofuels and plant biodiversity. Oklahoma's efforts to launch major initiatives in these fields is putting Oklahoma on the map and helping to garner national attention.

Key areas of focus during the conference that have relevance to biofuels include:
Key researchers looking into possible ways to create and use biofuels will be at this conference
Switchgrass, grown naturally in Oklahoma, will be a big topic of discussion
The state's first switchgrass demonstration field will be planted in two to three months- biggest in the country
and how a drought could cause a problem with ethanol production and why switchgrass is a better alternative.

This Conference is being coordinated by the Oklahoma Nanotechnology Initiative- which is funded by OCAST and is affiliated with the State Chamber of Commerce. We have the link below to their agenda- their list of speakers that are involved regarding biofuels include folks from OSU and the Noble Foundation.

Click here for details of this Nano Technology Conference Today and Tomorrow in Downtown OKC.


Links for our KWTV News9 Video Segments from China and Korea Available to Review...
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We have finally gotten the video from the two reports we did for KWTV News9 up on our website for you to see in a Windows Media Video file format.

We recorded the first segment as we ended our time in Beijing and were headed to Xian- the ancient capital of China. The second week- we actually recorded the audio with Jennifer Pierce as we were headed home- and in that segment- we talked about the importance of this type of travel for leaders as each of the class members were able to absorb the sights, the sounds and even the smells of these huge population centers of the world. There is great opportunity in selling Oklahoma goods and services into China and South Korea in the days to come- and this interaction provides perspective for events and opportunities in the months and years ahead.

In the segment seen March first by TV viewers, they also saw an Oklahoma connection to the Summer Olympics- Riviera Bermuda grass seed growing on the Baseball field to be used this summer that was sold by Johnston Seed of Enid.
These two videos are at the top of our OALP to China page- we have it linked below for you to go and click on the week that you want to see. (Our thanks to Dean Travinski and his team at News9 for working up the video we were able to transfer to him from China and pull it all together.)

Click here to jump to the OALP to China page- at the top of the regular posts from the trip are the two video links- the first for the video piece of March 1- the second from February 23.


All Black All Polled Limousin Bull Sale Set for This Saturday in Southwest Oklahoma...
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The Kervin-Hall-Coyote Hills Bull sale will be featuring 120 Limousin and Lim-Flex bulls on Saturday March 8 at the Coyote Hills Ranch near Chattanooga, Oklahoma. 55 of these bulls are purebred Limousin, while 65 are Lim-Flex with 25% to 75% Angus blood.

They have got complete performance data for these bulls for you to review online- and we have the catalog details linked for you below for this important purebred offering.

Click here for the Kervin-Hall-Coyote Hills Website that has the link for their March 8 Bull Sale.


Our thanks to American Farmers & Ranchers, KIS Futures and Farm Credit of East Central Oklahomafor 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.

Click here to check out WWW.OklahomaFarmReport.Com



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