~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Friday June 20, 2008!A service of Farm Credit of East Central Oklahoma, KIS Futures & Johnston Enterprises!
-- Cimarron and Texas County Now in "Exceptional Drought"
-- RFS Waiver Battle: NCBA Says Grant the Waiver to Texas- AFBF says NO.
-- Oklahoma Ag Leadership Program in search of Endowment Money This Month!
-- Cattle on Feed Numbers Out At the End of the Futures Trading Day Today.
-- New Calendar Item- An Upcoming No-Till Field Day and Lunch in Grant County
-- OSU Newsletter Says NOW is the Time to Make Those Decisions that Will Determine Profitability in 2009!
-- Texas and Southwest Cattle Raisers Want Large Animal Vet to Head Up Vet School at TAMU.
-- Checking the Markets...Waiting on Cash Trade in Texas/Oklahoma.
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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Cimarron and Texas County Now in "Exceptional Drought"
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The latest US Drought index has now categorized all of Cimarron and almost all of Texas Counties in the Oklahoma Panhandle as "D4" which is considered an "Exceptional Drought." This change in the severity of drought conditions in the Oklahoma Panhandle occurred yesterday morning (Thursday). The latest Oklahoma Crop Weather update pointed out on Monday of this week that the Panhandle region as a whole has received 37% of normal precipitation since March first of this year.
Many locations, especially in Cimarron County, have had little precipitation since last fall. We have had some confirmation of that in an email received yesterday from Mary Chris Barth of Slapout, whose family operation also has some CRP ground in Cimarron County.
Mary Chris writes "Beaver county is getting some moisture in spots now. We are using it up as it comes. We had rain last August grew mostly weeds and some low quality grass. It did provide some cover in the pastures. Still this place looks like the Garden of Eden compared to west parts of Texas and all of Cimarron county. Southeast Colorado and Eastern New Mexico are in the same fix. The New Woodward Livestock Auction is getting from 500 to 1000 cows a week out of this country. Ranches are totally depopulating their herds. Some I am acquainted with have had cattle in the family since the 1880's now have none."
She adds that as an owner of some CRP ground in our most westernmost
county in the state- and one in the category of exceptional drought- "A
good question to ask is who was the bright individual at the state level
in FSA that required mowing all the 10 years renewal CRP contracts in
Cimarron County totaling 66,000 acres. It was requested to be allowed to
hay these acres and denied. My understanding is that the surrounding
states did not have this requirement. Think how many producers could have
saved their core cow herd with these acres. The opening of CRP now is of
no value to us as the forage is mowed and has blown away without any
RFS Waiver Battle: NCBA Says Grant the Waiver to Texas- AFBF says NO.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~A request by the state of Texas for exemption from the Renewable Fuels Standard should be denied, the American Farm Bureau Federation told the Environmental Protection Agency this week. Ethanol benefits the economies of both the United States and Texas. Additionally, Texas doesn't meet standards that have been established for granting a wavier, AFBF wrote in a letter to Stephen Johnson, EPA administrator.
AFBF also noted in its letter to EPA that although Texas officials assert the state's livestock sector is experiencing severe harm due to increased corn prices caused by the RFS, no data linking the two is provided.
Meanwhile the National Cattlemen's Beef Association has also weighed in on the Texas request for a waiver on the Renewable Fuel Standard- and they call for the waiver to happen as soon as possible. "NCBA does not believe that issuing a partial waiver of the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) will immediately reverse commodity price escalation, nor do cattle producers claim that it will single-handedly address the difficult marketing environment that currently exists for our industry," says NCBA Chief Executive Officer Terry Stokes in his comments. "But, the RFS is clearly one factor contributing to higher feed prices."
While NCBA policy supports the development of alternative energy sources and the nation's overall goal of energy independence, cattlemen want to see a greater emphasis on fuels produced from cellulosic or non-feedgrain sources. NCBA maintains that until grain-based ethanol production operates in a climate that is less driven by federal mandates and government subsidies, the nation will continue to see extremely slow development of additional alternative fuel sources. "By granting this waiver, EPA would accelerate the development of advanced biofuels that do not rely on food or feed as a feedstock," Stokes says. "Unfortunately, the mandate for corn-based ethanol is and will continue to send a market signal to construct more conventional ethanol facilities, instead of the next generation of biofuels plants."
Oklahoma Ag Leadership Program in search of Endowment Money This Month!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~As we covered the Oklahoma Wheat Commission meeting in Kingfisher last Friday- it was brought up by one of the Commissioners the idea of seeking support for 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.
The letter from Kathy McNally from the Division of Agriculture has been sent out from Stillwater to the more than 300 Alums of the program. The key to getting a double double for funding a "Professorship" for the OALP is to get $250,000 rounded up between now and June 30th. It's a tall order, but the rewards for this Leadership Development effort is incredible- a four to one match for the dollars raised to come up with a cool million dollars that will offer some $45,000 annually forever for the OALP program's operation.
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.
Cattle on Feed Numbers Out At the End of the Futures Trading Day Today.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The monthly USDA Cattle on Feed Report will be issued this afternoon at 2 PM Central Time- and we have a guess on the numbers courtesy of Joe Victor of Allendale on what we might expect this afternoon.
Joe Victor tells us "May Placements are expected to be 3.7% smaller than last year. Feedlots have slowed buying new feeders as they are still losing money on outgoing cattle. During May, feedlots were concerned over delayed corn planting raising fears of higher corn prices. Additionally there was competition for those feeders for grass. Our Placement estimate of 2.079 million head is the second lowest May since 1997. Cattle placed in April will be marketed from late September through January."
He adds "We expect a Marketing total of 2.089 million head in May which
is close to five year average levels for May. The higher Marketing total
was simply due to the large supplies of market ready cattle available.
Cattle on Feed total as of June 1 will be smaller than last month at
98.0%. Our placement model suggests slaughters from feedlot cattle will
remain larger than last year through July then lower than last year
marketings through the remainder of the year. "
New Calendar Item- An Upcoming No-Till Field Day and Lunch in Grant County
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The date is July 9th for a special No-Till Field Day planned in Grant County by OSU Extension, The USDA's NRCS and the Grant County Conservation District with a start time of 9:00 AM. The tour will begin at Rodney and Pat Hern's farm west of Wakita. Four sites will be visited during the morning session. The sites will include conventional and no-till systems involving wheat, corn, milo, and sesame production. NRCS soil scientists Steve Alspach and Greg Scott will discuss soil health regarding no-till vs. conventional and provide hands-on training. Test pits will be dug at the sites to demonstrate and discuss soil quality.
Lunch following the Field Tour will be in Wakita. To RSVP or for driving directions please call the Grant County OSU Extension office at 580.395.2134 or the Grant County Conservation District at 580.395.2324 ext.3
We have details on this event and a bunch of other happenings here in Oklahoma as well as beyond our borders on our special Calendar page. AND- we have a even better looking Calendar page now under development that you will find even easier to use in the days to come- we hope to have that up and running sometime early in July. In the meantime- click on the link below to jump to our calendar page!
OSU Newsletter Says NOW is the Time to Make Those Decisions that Will Determine Profitability in 2009!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The lead article in the latest Plant and Soil Sciences Newsletter says you need to make the right decisions now about fertility to maximize your chance to succeed in producing a great wheat crop in 2009. The news letter says "As the combines are rolling through the wheat fields of Oklahoma now is the time to be making the management decisions regarding fertilizer inputs. This is not the decision of whether to put on 100 or 125 lbs N with anhydrous but how to manage the fertilizer so that every pound of N or P bought and applied is used in the most efficient and economical manner."
The writer of the article is Brian Arnall- and he says one decision that is almost certainly the wrong decision is to think fertilizer is too expensive and that it is not really needed.
Arnall says that is a mistake- "Not applying any fertilizer is also not the answer, a small amount of N, P, or K can mean very big returns in terms of yield. It is very similar to driving with today's gas prices. If you are at a location where the gas is really expensive, you do not want to buy more than you need to get to your final destination or even enough to get there, but then again you don't want to leave the gas station without making sure that you have enough to get to the next station. Running out of nutrients early in season is worse than running out of gas. If you run out of gas, you walk and your pride is hurt. If your wheat runs out of nutrients you're losing yield and profits."
Texas and Southwest Cattle Raisers Want Large Animal Vet to Head Up Vet School at TAMU.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association board of directors issued three policy resolutions earlier this week during their summer meeting at the Lost Pines Resort asking for greater research into and prevention of trichomonaisis; protecting ranchers' rights to conduct safe prescribed burns; and encouraging Texas A&M University to recruit a large-animal veterinarian to lead that university's College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Research.
The resolution on the Vet School reflects the problems that is being seen all over the country- the decline in Large Animal Vets versus Vets that want to stay in town and treat pets. There has been discussion on this issue in Oklahoma- as we look for ways to offer incentives for students to study to become a large animal vet- and then get out in the country and be one!
The TSCRA Executive committee asked the board to consider a resolution directed to the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Research at TAMU. TSCRA leadership has long been concerned with the diminishing number of large-animal veterinarians in rural areas. TSCRA's policy "requests the president, chancellor, and board of regents of Texas A&M University recruit a production agriculture veterinarian to be the new dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences."
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Checking the Markets...Waiting on Cash Trade in Texas/Oklahoma.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We saw some limited cash cattle trade on a dressed basis in Kansas on Thursday afternoon- with trade at $149- and a few sales in Kansas at $94- less than what a lot of feedlots have been expecting most of the week. A more active trade is expected on Friday- although it could easily slip to after the release of the Cattle on Feed numbers at 2 PM.
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