~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Tuesday April 1, 2008!A service of National Livestock Credit, American Farmers & Ranchers and the Southern Plains Farm Show!
-- Prospective Plantings Signal Major Battle Between Commodities for Acres- Oklahoma Crop Acres Up for Spring Crops.
-- OFB's Mike Spradling Leading Oklahoma Delegation in DC.
-- NCBA Gathers for Their Annual Spring Washington Deployment
-- Spring Storms Headline Latest Crop Weather Update for Oklahoma.
-- Biofuels Forum Being Planned for Kingfisher Tonight
-- Ken Root in China
-- Southern Plains Farm Show Looking for a Few Rowdy Horses!
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Prospective Plantings Signal Major Battle Between Commodities for Acres- Oklahoma Crop Acres Up for Spring Crops.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~USDA says that farmers told them they plan to plant 18% more acres of soybeans this year than last- and 8% fewer acres of corn. They also plan to put 13% fewer acres of cotton into the ground this spring than last year and 4% less acres of grain sorghum. However, Oklahoma farmers, after planting three percent fewer acres of winter wheat last fall than a year earlier, are upping their acreages of soybeans, corn, cotton and milo.
This report confirmed that Oklahoma ended up planting three percent fewer wheat acres this past fall than a year earlier- 5.7 million acres. Those acres are going into a variety of spring planted crops, including 73% more soybeans at 320,000 acres; three percent more corn at 330,000 acres; nine percent more cotton at 190,000 acres and seventeen percent more milo at 280,000 acres.
The national wheat acreage number was interesting as we saw fewer hard red winter wheat acres planted in Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas, with Kansas off 5%, Oklahoma down 3% and Texas lower by 3% from a year ago. In contrast, the soft red winter wheat acreage figures jumped higher with Tennessee up by 48%, Kentucky 27% higher and Ohio 24% up on SRW wheat acres. I would bet that at least some of those southern acres could end up being double cropped soybean acres here in 2008- if the farmers can make the timing work.
The cotton acres were also fascinating in the mid- south, as we saw
large hunks of cotton acres switched to soybeans- at least that's what
farmers where telling USDA in this report released on Monday. Mississippi
saw anticipated cotton acres drop 36% versus a year ago and Arkansas off
24% from a year ago- almost of that going over to soybeans as they chase
double digit prices.
OFB's Mike Spradling Leading Oklahoma Delegation in DC.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~About 75 Oklahoma Farm Bureau Leaders are here in Washington for much of this week as they talk farm and rural issues with lawmakers, here from Administration leaders and enjoy Cherry Blossom time here in our nation's capitol.
We talked with Mike Spradling of Tulsa County, who is leading this trip for the first time as the President of the Oklahoma Farm Bureau- after winning the Presidency of the organization last November- and Spradling tells us there are several issues "top of mind" for the members here as they represent the general organization from back home. They will continue to urge Congress to finish what they started in developing new farm policy- Spradling telling us emphatically that they do not want an extension of old policy. They also are promoting the Boren-Fallin Truck Weight Bill- HR 3098- which is starting to get a lot of support from several national farm groups- and then finally they are talking manure with lawmakers- keeping the conversation going about the need for legislation to define manure as not being placed under Super Fund rules and regs that were developed decades ago.
The group will hear from Dale Moore, Chief of Staff at USDA this morning- and then will have briefings at the American Farm Bureau- and begins their Congressional Rounds as they meet with both Oklahoma Senators after lunch and later the lone Democrat on the Oklahoma Congressional delegation- Dan Boren from the Second District of Oklahoma.
NCBA Gathers for Their Annual Spring Washington Deployment
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Like most other farm groups, the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, has really been sucked into the vortex that makes up the farm bill debate here in 2008- and Colin Woodall from their Washington staff, sat down Monday afternoon late and talked with us about where he sees the process. After we did our recorded interview- he threw up his hands and expressed a lot of frustration that he and most of the ag groups are feeling right now in Washington over this issue. He says that even the farm bill veterans- the lobbyists who have been around for multiple farm bills inside the Beltway, have had a hard time in discerning what is real and what is not. Cattle Producers from across the country will be meeting up with this farm bill scenario as they arrive and meet the next few days here in Washington for their annual Spring Legislative Conference.
We heard optimism from some sources yesterday- but not a lot from Colin Woodall. He says that we continue to hear how close we are to a deal- but he believes that we may be further from a deal than we were in early March, as the amount of money needed to pay for the extra spending over the Budget Baseline is up several Billions of dollars from that time frame- and there are inadequate offsets to account for the spending.
Woodall says the lack of openness in this farm bill process has been
the most disappointing thing in this farm bill cycle- as the refusal of
Speaker Pelosi to name House Conferees has resulted in the whole process
being cloaked in secrecy. He thinks we may be closer to a 18 month to two
year extension, unless we see a major breakthrough in the next couple of
days- and he is dubious of that happening. In the end, he sees a lot of
support for an extension to simply remove the issue from the election year
arena- with the idea to come back to the reforms that have been worked on
up to now after the elections of 2008. Clearly, the danger there is the
baseline- as he and a lot of other observers believe that there will be a
very limited pot of money available if an extension is allowed to
Spring Storms Headline Latest Crop Weather Update for Oklahoma.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Even with the storms, we saw a slight decrease in the amount of topsoil and subsoil moisture supplies in the latest crop weather update. The Oklahoma report indicates "Small grain crops were growing fast, but were in need of additional moisture in many areas. Some hail damage to the State's wheat crop may have occurred during last week's thunderstorms. Winter wheat jointing was at 50 percent, a 12 point increase from the previous week, but 20 points behind last year and 16 points behind the five-year average."
Meanwhile for our spring planted row crops, the report tells us "Seedbed preparations for all major row crops were still running ahead of normal with soybeans at 37 percent, peanuts at 33 percent, and cotton at 50 percent. Sorghum seedbed preparation was at 23 percent, two points behind last year, but one percentage point ahead of the five-year average. Corn seedbed preparation was at 63 percent, seven points ahead of normal while corn planted was at 14 percent, four points behind normal. In isolated areas, large amounts of rainfall may have damaged recently planted corn."
We have the full report linked below for your review, which includes a current wheat crop rating of 73% in good to fair condition in this latest reporting week.
Biofuels Forum Being Planned for Kingfisher Tonight
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Robin Wolf of Plains Partners in Okarche has helped plan a top notch program that happens this evening at the Kingfisher County Fairgrounds on the opportunities that may be ahead of us in the farm and ranch industry when it comes to biofuels.
The speakers for the evening include:
They are planning a dinner beginning at 5:00 PM this evening and the program will begin at 6:00 PM. They are asking folks for RSVP for a spot at the dinner table. You can contact Robin in Okarche for more information and a last minute RSVP by calling her at 405-263-7240.
Ken Root in China
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Fellow Farm Broadcaster Ken Root (and a native Oklahoman) is traveling this week with a group of Soybean leaders from the American Soybean Association and the Iowa Soybean Association across China. Included on the trip is the Iowa Secretary of Agriculture.
As you may recall, we are just back from China- having traveled with the Oklahoma Ag Leadership Program. While our group stayed in northern areas of the country- the group that Ken is traveling with has started in southern China in the city of Guangzhou- and Ken writes "We may never have a sunny day here in southern China as this season is warm with lots of moisture so the fog augments the pollution to produce hazy skies and limited visibility. Still we set out to see the countryside and to meet with officials of government and industry with a goal of developing a stronger trading relationship with the largest customer for U.S. soybeans at present."
As for the challenge that the Chinese face in bringing their
agriculture and food system into the 21st Century, Ken writes "The Chinese
may have suffered for much of the 20th century but the 21st century looks
like it's theirs. The key seems to be changing from a rural to urban
culture and to do so they need to buy food with the money they make in
manufacturing. The money is clearly there but the infrastructure to
receive and process food products needs to expand. The culture of rural
China must be in upheaval as millions are leaving the land to work in
factories and services."
Southern Plains Farm Show Looking for a Few Rowdy Horses!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We mentioned last week our quest in helping find a few horses that might be candidates for the daily horse training seminars planned at the 2008 Southern Plains Farm Show. John Sampson and the folks at Midwest have a new horse trainer they are bringing in here in 2008- his name is Scott Daily and he is looking for horses that perhaps have a bit of an "attitude" and have some habits that need to be addressed.
We have had several folks respond to our plea of last week- but wanted to mention it again. If you have a horse that might fit this description and would be interested in getting Scott to work with your horse on one of the days at this year's Southern Plains Farm Show April 17-19 in Oklahoma City, drop me an email.
If you can give us a brief description of your horse- and what you feel are the things that need to be worked on- we will pass those details along to Scott and someone will be contacting you in regards to using your horse during the fourth annual Southern Plains Farm Show! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with details of your horse.!
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