~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Monday June 16, 2008!A service of Farm Credit of East Central Oklahoma, KIS Futures & Johnston Enterprises!
-- Harvest Crews and Combines Continue Chewing Through the 2008 Oklahoma Wheat Crop.
-- Wheat Commission and Wheat Research Foundation Plan to Double the Monetary Size of the Wheat Breeding Chair at OSU
-- A Push to Be Made for an "Ag Leadership" Professorship at OSU for OALP!
-- State Monies to Help Keep Dams Safe (and keep people and property safe as well)
-- Biofuel Mandates Matter- But the Price of Crude Oil Matters MORE- So Says FAPRI
-- It's Monday with Glen on the Beef Buzz!
-- South Korean and US Officials Come to No Agreement Over the Weekend- But Washington Asks Trade Minister to Stay- and He Does.
-- 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 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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Harvest Crews and Combines Continue Chewing Through the 2008 Oklahoma Wheat Crop.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The 2008 Oklahoma Wheat Harvest is probably about 50% done- we will get a better handle of that later today when the weekly crop-weather update is issued by the NASS folks at USDA.
In the meantime, we heard this morning from Mark Hodges of the Oklahoma Wheat Commission, who told us that it was well into the afternoon before many producers were able to start harvesting wheat on Sunday afternoon because of the high humidity- this was primarily the case from Enid northward.
Rains later in the evening stopped many of the combines- there were a
few pockets in the wheat belt where the rains were fairly heavy- the
Mesonet shows good amounts of rain in the Seiling area as well as around
Wheat Commission and Wheat Research Foundation Plan to Double the Monetary Size of the Wheat Breeding Chair at OSU
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We reported to you last week scramble is on by supporters of Oklahoma State University to find money for endowed chairs and professorships over the next couple of weeks- this to take advantage of an unique "double double" that is currently open only until June 30, 2008. You can take $250,000 and double it with T Boone Pickens money to a half million and then the state of Oklahoma will turn around and double it again to a full one million dollars!
It is that urgency that prompted the Oklahoma Wheat Commission to have a special meeting this past Friday morning- as they considered joining with the Oklahoma Wheat Research Foundation to find money to do the double double we described. In fact the Commission decided that if $250,000 is good- putting together $300,000 would be even better- so they approved $225,000 of Commission money to be put with $75,000 from the OWRF to have $300,000 in funds that can be doubled and doubled to $1.2 million.
It was confirmed by OSU Division of Agriculture officials that this money would be eligible for both matches if the check is received by June 30th. It was also confirmed by Assistant VP for Development within the Division of Agriculture, Kathy McNally, that the money can be applied to the current Wheat Genetic and Breeding Chair that is currently held by Dr. Brett Carver of the Plant and Soil Science Department at OSU. That chair now has in its endowment right at one million dollars- which means that if the money can be walked through all the bureaucratic barriers- it will result in a more than doubling of the resources of that chair for genetics work in wheat here in the state of Oklahoma- the total would jump to $2.1 million, which could throw off $94,500 annually to salary and support of the work of improving wheat varieties for Oklahoma- and about that same amount would be generated year after year- forever!
A Push to Be Made for an "Ag Leadership" Professorship at OSU for OALP!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~As we covered the Oklahoma Wheat Commission meeting in Kingfisher on Friday- it was also brought up by one of the Commissioners of offering some support for similar funding from within the ag community for the Oklahoma Ag Leadership Program. It was decided that the Wheat Commission would urge the other ag groups in the state to make contributions and that a campaign (quickly) would be mounted to contact all Alums of the OALP to attempt to turn $250,000 into a million that would generate money to pay a portion of the Director's salary and program costs in perpetuity.
A letter from Kathy McNally's office has been drafted and is going out to the more than 300 Alums of the Oklahoma Agricultural Leadership Program explaining the window of opportunity that now exists. If you are an alum- look for that letter, as it goes into detail about this process and the urgency of getting a response back before June 30th. In fact, the quicker the Alums respond- the better the story is to tell the ag and rural groups around the state about how to help in establishing this legacy for the OALP.
The stability that this "professorship" would offer OALP would be tremendous- as the program now lives on donations and support from year to year- as compared to other states that have endowments to help with their costs of running leadership development classes. If you are interested in helping with this effort- you can contact Kathy McNally in Stillwater at 405-744-7964- or call the Chairman of the OALP Advisory Council (that would be me) at 404-841- 3675 and I will be delighted to explain where this money can take OALP for years and years to come.
State Monies to Help Keep Dams Safe (and keep people and property safe as well)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Recent flooding in the Midwestern United States is a clear example of why the recently passed bond issue providing $25 million to repair flood damage in Oklahoma was so critical and why more funds will be needed in the future, according to Scotty Herriman, President of the Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts (OACD). "Heavy rains in Iowa, Wisconsin and other parts of the upper Midwest show why the bond issue passed by the legislature this spring and signed by Governor Henry is so important," Herriman said. "These rains resulted in the failure of at least one dam in Wisconsin and the rupture of several levies on the Mississippi River-a situation we want to avoid in Oklahoma at all costs and one we very well could face someday if funding for rehabilitation of flood control dams and upkeep of our conservation infrastructure is neglected. That's why the $25 million appropriated through the bond issue this spring by the legislature is so important."
"Our state was saved over $300 million in flood damage last year by our flood control dams," Herriman said. "These dams did a great job but they suffered extensive damage. That's why it was so important that the legislature appropriate the $25 million in the capitol improvement bond for repair to our conservation infrastructure. This bond issue is a great start, but more will need to be done because of the age of our flood control infrastructure."
Clay Pope, the Executive Director of OACD agreed. According to Pope, more than 1,000 dams will be past their design life in the next ten years, an issue he believed should be of concern to all Oklahomans. "Oklahoma has more flood control rehabilitation work and repair needs than any other state in the Union," Pope said. "We started building these dams back in the 1940's, 50's and 60's and built them with an average lifespan of 50 years. You can do the math and see that much work needs to be done if we are to adequately protect the public. The legislature and the Governor made a great decision this year by funding a portion of this repair work with the $25 million in the capitol improvement bond. Unfortunately with an average repair cost of $1 million per dam and with 1,000 dams soon reaching their design life we still have a long way to go.
Biofuel Mandates Matter- But the Price of Crude Oil Matters MORE- So Says FAPRI
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Tax credits, import tariffs and mandates on usage encourage increased production of biofuels, but so do rising oil prices and can have even larger effects on farm commodity prices than government biofuels policies, according to the University of Missouri Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute (FAPRI). The models run extensive "what-if" scenarios based on current policy from the recently passed farm bill and energy bill compared to proposed changes. FAPRI examined 13 scenarios, ranging from a pre- farm-bill scenario that keeps current policies in place to scenarios that eliminate biofuel tax credits, tariffs and use mandates.
"Mandates have little market impact when high petroleum prices contribute to high biofuel prices and production levels," said Pat Westhoff, FAPRI co- director. "On the other hand, mandates can be important when petroleum prices are low or crop supplies are reduced." The 2008 farm bill extends a 54 cent per gallon tariff on imports of ethanol from non-Caribbean countries through 2010. That tariff was to expire at the end of this year. Continuing the tariff discourages imports, but does not have big impacts on biofuel production or farm commodity markets, FAPRI suggests.
Secondly, the farm bill cuts the tax credit from 54 cents to 45 cents per gallon for those who blend ethanol with gasoline. That credit is set to expire at end of 2010. The small change in the tax credit also has modest market impacts. The most extreme scenario allows current tax credits and tariffs to expire as scheduled and would not enforce the energy bill mandates. In this scenario, without most current biofuel policies, corn prices would decline 14% on average compared to a scenario that continues current support measures.
It's Monday with Glen on the Beef Buzz!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Many cattle producers have decided not to fertilize pastures here in 2008- because of the high cost of fertilizer. That will likely result in less forage available- and Dr. Glen Selk of OSU tells us that we need to understand that means fewer cows can be supported on that pasture.
Glen talks with us on this Monday Beef Buzz about this fact of life in the beef cattle business- and warns producers not to overgraze this summer by keeping too many cows on a pasture that may be underperforming here in 2008.
Our daily Beef Buzz can be heard on radio stations around the state of Oklahoma on the Radio Oklahoma Network- and we have a complete set of these programs linked on our website in our Beef Buzz archive. AND- we have today's program linked below for you to take a listen to- click and listen!
South Korean and US Officials Come to No Agreement Over the Weekend- But Washington Asks Trade Minister to Stay- and He Does.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~U.S. and South Korean trade envoys broke off and then agreed to resume talks on revising a beef import accord that has pushed President Lee Myung-bak's government into political crisis, officials said Monday. Kim Jong-hoon, South Korea's trade minister, was scheduled to fly home from Washington after both governments announced that two days of talks between Mr. Kim and Susan Schwab, the U.S. trade representative, ended without an agreement . Only hours after that announcement, South Korea's Foreign Ministry said Mr. Kim will remain for talks Monday at Washington's request. The ministry's one- sentence statement did not elaborate.
South Korea agreed in April to lift an import ban on U.S. beef, imposed in 2003 after a case of mad cow disease was discovered in the United States. South Korea is asking that U.S. exporters exclude meat from cattle 30 months and older, despite an agreement in April that made no such age restrictions and statements from both governments that they do not intend to renegotiate the accord. Younger cattle are believed less likely to contract mad cow disease.
The April agreement quickly became a lightning rod for surging public
anger at Mr. Lee and protesters in Seoul mounted the biggest
anti-government demonstrations in two decades. South Korean and U.S.
officials have repeatedly said that U.S. beef was safe from mad cow
disease. But many South Koreans apparently did not believe them. On
Sunday, Mr. Lee vowed not to allow the import of meat from older
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