~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Tuesday May 27, 2008!A service of The Oklahoma Bioenergy Center, Midwest Farm Shows and American Farmers & Ranchers.
-- Wheat Harvest Starting to Inch Forward As Farmers Watch the Weather!
-- Drummond Ranch the Champs- Again!
-- Seaboard Sow Operation Destroyed- Farrowing Pens Save the Animals!
-- State Legislature A Done Deal for 2008.
-- Custom Cutter Directory Up and Operating ONLINE.
-- Bacteria Sampling Just Getting Underway Along the Illinois River- First Numbers Show Extremely Low E-Coli Presence!
-- USMEF waiting for consumers to calm down in South Korea
-- Checking the Markets...
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 American Farmers & 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!
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Wheat Harvest Starting to Inch Forward As Farmers Watch the Weather!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~After the horrible harvest season last June- wheat farmers in Oklahoma are nervous as can be about the 2008 hard red winter wheat harvest. We have two reports to share with you on this Tuesday morning. First, we heard late Monday evening from Mark Hodges, Executive Director of the Oklahoma Wheat Commission. He reports that we have several areas below the line that is marked across southwest Oklahoma by US Highway 62 that are starting to see the combines roll. According to Mesonet data- those areas have had little of the rainfall that has been so plentiful in counties north of that line.
Mark does not offer a lot of specific numbers- but calls the early reports he has seen and received as encouraging- with test weights from 61 to 65 pounds per bushel. He also alludes to the damage of the severe weather in localized areas of the state to this point with high winds and hail hitting some wheat producers.
The second report that we received at about the same time comes from
Mike Cassidy of Cassidy Grain out of Frederick. Mike emails us that
"Cutting resumed on Monday, limited by barely ripe grain, accelerated by
chance of moisture on Tuesday.
Drummond Ranch the Champs- Again!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The 24th annual edition of the "real Deal"- otherwise known as the OCA Range Roundup wrapped up this past Saturday night at the State Fair Arena in Oklahoma City.
This year's champions have now "threepeated!" For the third year in a row- the Champions of this working cowboy rodeo is the Drummond Ranch of Pawhuska. Second Place was claimed by the Broken Os Ranch of Ft. Supply and capturing third place was the Hall Ranch/Daube Cattle Company of Loco/Ardmore.
Congrats to the Cowboys of Drummond Ranch and the others who helped make the 24th annual edition of the Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association Range Roundup a big success!
Seaboard Sow Operation Destroyed- Farrowing Pens Save the Animals!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~This past Saturday afternoon- In Kingfisher County- Seaboard Farms lost multiple farrowing barns to a tornado that blew through. The Enid paper quotes Joe Popplewell as saying they lost very few animals- but that the buildings literally blew up around the farrowing pens.
It is ironic to me that the video pictures of the aftermath of this storm showed the farrowing pens standing strong- as they protected the sows and their piglets from the debris that flew. If the animal rights crazies get their way- and apparently that day is coming- those farrowing pens won't be there because they are "inhumane." Of course, without those pens, how many more animals would have simply been blown away- or otherwise severely hurt or likely killed?
Joe Popplewell at the scene told the news reporters that his first concern was to make sure his six employees on the seen at the time were okay- and then their concern then fell on taking care of the animals- clearing debris to where they could feed and water those sows quickly and then begin the process of moving them elsewhere in the aftermath of Saturday's devastation. We linked on our front page of our website a picture slideshow that tells the story of what was left after the storm- we have it linked below for you to see.
State Legislature A Done Deal for 2008.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We'll have more this week from our various state ag and rural groups on how they grade the 2008 Legislative session. That session wrapped up Friday night with a couple of important funding deals in place that were considered as priorities for the agricultural community here in the state.
First, on Thursday, the word came that a total of some $475 million would be raised through a State Bond Issue- more than half of it for road projects and issues. $25 million of it will go into a revolving fund that will help local governments in maintaining county roads.
There is also $25 million for Conservation in that massive bond issue approved by the lawmakers. These monies are there to help repair infrastructure that has been damaged by 2007 storms- especially to help in dealing with many flood control dams that need to be renovated as they are at the end of their useful life. We also understand that late Friday deals were cut and the $2.5 million needed to buy equipment for the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture lab they are building was approved.
Custom Cutter Directory Up and Operating ONLINE.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Local producers can now access an online directory of over 40 custom wheat harvest crews established by the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food, and Forestry- and State Representative Don Armes of southwest Oklahoma is mighty pleased to see this up and running.
"Because of high fuel and machinery costs, a lot of local farmers have been worried we would experience a reduction in the number of harvest crews available this year," said Armes (R-Faxon), who chairs of the Oklahoma House Agriculture & Commerce Subcommittee. "Those concerns prompted Commissioner Terry Peach and other officials at the Department of Agriculture to establish this directory. Several other states have been extremely helpful in publicizing it and response from custom harvesters, from Louisiana to North Dakota, has been great."
Producers who do not have Internet access are encouraged to call the agency Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The directory will be updated as necessary and custom harvesters who would like to be included are encouraged to contact ODAFF. For those that want to take a look at the directory- we have it linked for you below- check it out!
Bacteria Sampling Just Getting Underway Along the Illinois River- First Numbers Show Extremely Low E-Coli Presence!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~I have received multiple emails from three of the Commissioners of the Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Commission- that group that oversees the activities of the Illinois River for the state of Oklahoma. This group has commissioned a series of bacteria tests for this summer and they received the very first of those test results this past Thursday.
To say the least- the results were interesting. The key number seems to be the E Coli number- which could be one indicator of how much of a problem manure runoff is into the Illinois River. An "average" number according to testing done elsewhere by the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality for primary body contact is 400 colonies per 100ml of water. The number that came out of the first testing results from this past week in the Illinois River was just 19.5! Commission Chairman Ed Fite said of those numbers- "Results from this first round of bacteria sampling are good." Mr. Fite did remind us- and we agree with him- that these numbers need to be doublechecked- and that they are just the first numbers of some 300 tests that will be conducted through the summer- so time will tell if that low level of E Coli is true or false.
Commissioner Ed Brocksmith is very skeptical of the numbers as he tells
us "This one sampling event is not significant on its own and should not
be taken out of context."
Chairman Fite indicated that he does plan on asking the Tulsa lab that conducted these first tests from water samples from eight locations along the Illinois River to recheck their numbers- and he wants no judgements until we have a lot more data from the tests as they are collected all summer long.
USMEF waiting for consumers to calm down in South Korea
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The U.S. Meat Export Federation plans to time U.S. beef promotions in South Korea carefully to avoid enflaming consumer concerns ignited at least in part by internal politics, USMEF Senior Vice President for Asia Pacific Joel Haggard told reporters on a teleconference from the spring USMEF products conference in Las Vegas last week.
Joel Haggard says that "I think South Korean retailers have great interest in featuring U.S. beef, but we want to avoid flashpoints when the first product arrives. The question now is all about timing in terms of when we launch our campaigns."
Haggard viewed a lot of the recent backlash against the new agreement
that opens the South Korean market to U.S. beef from cattle of all ages as
political posturing between parties. "The opposition saw a convenient
platform in U.S. beef to try to exert their power," he said.
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Checking the Markets...
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Agricultural Markets have taken a long holiday weekend off- but the futures trade will quickly get going for a shortened four day week on this Tuesday.
Woodward Livestock this past Friday had a big run of 8580 cattle- with yearlings mostly steady to a dollar higher. The calves that were available to be sold were about steady. Seven to eight hundred pound steer yearlings brought from $107 to $113.75, while eight to nine hundred pound steers came in at $104 to $109.
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