~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Thursday March 13, 2008!A service of Farm Credit of East Central Oklahoma, KIS Futures & Midwest Farm Shows
-- $12 Cash Wheat in Oklahoma- Everywhere!
-- Twenty One Million Dollars Awarded to Poultry Farmers in Class Action Suit!
-- 2002 Farm Law (at least some of it) Extended to April 18.
-- Hallmark-Westland Executive Roasted Over An Open Congressional Fire.
-- Hollow Stem Is Here!
-- Glyphosate Resistant Johnsongrass Found in Arkansas and Mississippi.
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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$12 Cash Wheat in Oklahoma- Everywhere!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Kansas City Wheat Futures bulldozed through the $13 level yesterday, settling up some 67 cents per bushel and pulling up the cash grain bids across Oklahoma to numbers well above the twelve dollar mark. Early this morning, the overnight electronic trade has the May delivery of KC wheat down 13 cents, but most of the gains of yesterday are intact for the moment.
Obviously, these bids are for old crop wheat- but the July contract- which is what the new crop will be priced off of is only about fifty cents under the May delivery at this point- so we are being set up to have historically high wheat prices at harvest time here in 2008.
Wheat bids as of yesterday afternoon ranged from $12.48 to $12.84 a
bushel- with the two highest bids coming from Miami at $12.84 and
Stillwater at $12.67.
Twenty One Million Dollars Awarded to Poultry Farmers in Class Action Suit!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We have been trying to hook up for a couple of days with one of our regular readers of this email, Dr. Bob Fields of Wister, who was one of the Class Action Reps during the Class Action lawsuit that went to a jury trial in Muskogee in recent days. The jury did not take long in deciding in favor of the Poultry Growers against O.K. Farms to the tune of $21,141,975.
The lawsuit alleged that O.K. Foods violated the Packers and Stockyards Act of 1921 by unfairly wielding its buying power to the detriment of the growers' incomes. The farmers accused the company of exercising control over their farm upgrades, increasing the days between flocks and reducing the number of birds per square foot, resulting in millions of dollars in damages since 1997.
Newspaper reports indicate that O.K. Farms has not decided whether to appeal the award or not- but you would expect that to be likely. We'll be catching up with Dr. Fields and getting some additional perspective on this Class Action that was brought on behalf of some 300 poultry farmers.
2002 Farm Law (at least some of it) Extended to April 18.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Chairman of the House Ag Committee, Colin Peterson of Minnesota, told his colleagues in the House that some progress has been made- enough to justify another one month extension of the 2002 Farm Law in order to preserve the budget baseline for use in finalizing the 2007-2008 farm bill. The House passed the extension, as did the the Senate, so the lawmakers have until April 18 to finish the new bill.
The ranking Minority Member of the House Ag Committee, Bob Goodlatte of Virginia, was less than thrilled with the extension, saying if we don't get a breakthrough before Congress leaves for the Easter two week recess- he thinks it's time to go a different direction.
That different direction could be falling back to a budget baseline
bill- which could mean cuts in Direct Payments and a rethinking of tighter
Farm Program Payments. If that course was selected- it would dodge the
disputes of which budget offsets would be needed- of course you would
likely gut existing farm programs to get it done.
Hallmark-Westland Executive Roasted Over An Open Congressional Fire.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Our Beef Buzz today on the Radio Oklahoma Network features comments from the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee hearing yesterday on the handling by USDA of the Downer Cow recorded by the Humane Society of the US.
The Hearing featured Steve Mendel, the President of Hallmark/Westland, the offending company- and he was grilled for two hours by the panel. In his opening statement, he claimed the animals in question did not enter the food supply- but later backed off that statement- saying meat from one or more downer cows likely did get into the food supply.
USDA's Food Safety Undersecretary, Richard Raymond, was also questioned
for an extended period by the lawmakers- and he continues to maintain the
reason that USDA is involved is because the company did not follow the
rules and call the USDA Vet when an inspected animal fell down and would
not get back up except under inhumane treatment.
Hollow Stem Is Here!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We are in Guymon this morning as we write this- as we will be covering the Biofuels Conference being put in Goodwell later today. Yesterday morning, we were in Stillwater and had the chance to catch Dr. Jeff Edwards, our state wheat specialist from OSU as his office on campus in Stillwater.
Jeff tells us that we are at the point of First Hollow Stem over a significant part of the state- and that with wheat prices where they are in 2008- pulling cattle off sooner rather than just in time or late is the smart play. We also talked about the "to do" list for wheat producers over the next few weeks- including looking at weed control, insects and diseases.
We have our conversation with Dr. Edwards linked on the front page of our website- WWW.OklahomaFarmReport.Com and we invite you to go there and get the interview- or we have it linked direct below- if you are one of those folks like the ones I saw between Enid and Woodward yesterday afternoon that still have cattle out there grazing- get a move on- you don't want to lose even a bushel per acre of potential here in 2008!
Glyphosate Resistant Johnsongrass Found in Arkansas and Mississippi.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The University of Arkansas and Monsanto have confirmed glyphosate resistant johnsongrass in a field in southeast Arkansas. In a separate case, Monsanto and specialists at Mississippi State University confirm a case of johnsongrass resistance to glyphosate near Clarksdale, Mississippi. The two cases were investigated over the past several months. In initial greenhouse trials conducted by the University of Arkansas and Monsanto, johnsongrass was not controlled with labeled rates of glyphosate. Additional trials will be conducted in the field this season.
."We're looking at johnsongrass populations in a field where there has been a history of control issues," says Dr. Bob Scott, University of Arkansas Extension Weed Scientist. The field in question is owned by a grower near Crittenden County, Arkansas, and has been in continuous Roundup Ready soybeans. "Our greenhouse trials show differing levels of response including some plants that survive following application above labeled rates of glyphosate. Additional populations suspected to be resistant, were also tested but shown susceptible to Roundup in testing," says Scott. "The resistant populations are being controlled well with selective chemistry. We will continue working with the grower on control methods and recommendations."
Dr. Jennifer Ralston, US Chemistry Technical Lead for Monsanto agrees a program approach is best. "We are working with these university experts to provide growers with the best management practices. To maintain the efficacy of the herbicide and value of the technology, we recommend growers scout fields and utilize additional modes of action to control problem weeds while reducing the likelihood of developing performance issues."
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