~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Tuesday July 8, 2008!A service of Producers Cooperative Oil Mill, Farm Credit Associations of Oklahoma and Midwest Farm Shows!
-- Wheat Harvest 98% Done in Oklahoma- Kansas 79% Complete.
-- Governor Henry Expected to Visit the Drought Zone Soon
-- New Math- $4.6 Million Equals $18 Million!
-- OFB President to Advocate Higher Weight Limits for Farm Trucks in Congressional Testimony Wednesday
-- Advance Direct Payments Now Available From Uncle Sam
-- Congrats to OSU's Meat Judging Team- Champs "Down Under!"
-- Livestock Judging Opportunity for 4-H and FFA members from across Oklahoma this Thursday.
-- Let's Check the Markets!
Here's your morning farm news headlines from the Director of Farm Programming for the Radio Oklahoma Network, Ron Hays. We are excited to have as one of our new sponsors for the daily email Producers Cooperative Oil Mill, with 64 years of progress through producer ownership. Call Brandon Winters at 405-232-7555 for more information on growing Nu-Sun Sunflowers this year- and check out the full story on PCOM on their website by clicking here.
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Wheat Harvest 98% Done in Oklahoma- Kansas 79% Complete.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We are pretty well done with wheat harvest in Oklahoma- and Texas is mighty close, while Kansas has made a huge jump in a single week through this past weekend's holiday period. Oklahoma is now 98% harvested, up from 93% complete one week ago; Texas is now 93% complete with the 2008 Winter Wheat harvest versus 81% this time last week while the Kansas wheat harvest goes from 36% harvested last Monday to 79% harvested as we write this early on Tuesday.
One number to remember from a year ago was the percent complete for Oklahoma- it's not a pleasant memory- but at this point- right after the Fourth of July a year ago- we had just 66% of the wheat crop harvested because of the endless rains of June into early July of 2007. Having the crop in the bin- and a crop that apparently will total something over 150 million bushels is a real comfort to the majority of Oklahoma farmers. (unfortunately not in the Panhandle- see our next story)
Our crop weather updates around the country do show that the corn and soybean crops are lagging normal development- but obviously some of the weather premium that was in the market up the the Fourth of July evaporated on Monday- with corn and soybeans tumbling limit down- new crop cotton dropping about that far and KC wheat falling some 50 cents per bushel.
For our livestock operators- the latest Pasture and Range conditions show that we are in mostly good condition across the state- with a 65% good to excellent rating- with ten percent being called poor to very poor. Easily the worse place in the nation when it comes to pasture conditions is in California- at least on a statewide basis- as they are 100% poor to very poor on their pasture and range conditions.
Governor Henry Expected to Visit the Drought Zone Soon
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Governor Brad Henry is planning to tour drought-stricken areas of the Panhandle and adjacent northwestern Oklahoma counties. Henry says the situation is critical for farmers, ranchers and residents of the areas hardest hit by a lack of rainfall the past year. The Governor's office says they are still working on the timing of the trip and other logistics.
The governor has already requested federal disaster assistance for farmers in nine counties suffering from drought and extreme weather conditions. At this point, a federal disaster declaration is certain for only the two worst hit counties- Texas and Cimarron. Agriculture Commissioner Terry Peach credits the extensive conservation efforts that have been in place for over fifty years that are keeping the actual damage done to the land in that region from being as bad as during the Dust Bowl. Following the Dust Bowl disaster, agencies enacted land-use rules to reduce soil erosion and prevent further such catastrophic dust storms in the United States.
But the current situation is definitely bad. We received an email Monday evening from Kenneth Rose who farms in Cimarron County and he writes- " Ron, I see those rainfall amounts, and wish we could get just a tiny bit of that rain. At my farm, May was the wettest month since July, '07, and we only got 0.75" out of three showers. Cimarron County drought is reaching epic proportions, as can be seen in the Mesonet recordings. There is no grass, and pastures are like the dead of winter. Guess our turn will come." In checking the Mesonet data- Boise City has had less than two inches of rain thus far this calendar year- nine inches is the thirty year "average."
New Math- $4.6 Million Equals $18 Million!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~That's the math of the endowment game as played by the Division of Agriculture as money has poured in to meet the $100 million challenge laid down by T. Boone Pickens- with the clock ticking to zero as controlled by the State of Oklahoma- time ran out at midnight June 30 for a full match of those monies for professorships and chairs that are endowed- with the expectation that once these monies are set in place- they will generate interest that will support various areas of the Division of Agriculture from that point forward- forever(or as close to it as we will ever get in this life)
A total of 14 endowments will meet the combined Pickens and State of Oklahoma double- double. Those gifts totaled $4.588 million dollars- and when they are matched by the Pickens pot of money and then matched again by the State of Oklahoma- those dollars transform into $18.352 million that will support the Division of Agriculture.
Here is the full list that we have as of this point that has been
given- we plan on spotlighting these various gifts in the days ahead with
Dean Bob Whitson to help tell a little more of the story behind each of
OFB President to Advocate Higher Weight Limits for Farm Trucks in Congressional Testimony Wednesday
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma Farm Bureau President Mike Spradling will be in Washington on Wednesday morning to testify before the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, subcommittee on Highways and Transit. The hearing has been called to examine "Truck Weights and Lengths: Assessing the Impacts of Existing Laws and Regulations."
The hearing is set for 9:00 AM central time and can be viewed as a webcast- we have the link below.
Spradling will be offering Farm Bureau's perspective on the need to have action on the so called Boren-Fallin Truck Weight Bill- HR 3098- which is starting to get a lot of support from several national farm groups.
Advance Direct Payments Now Available From Uncle Sam
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~America's farmers will receive up to $1.15 billion in 2008 advance direct payments beginning this week. "We pledged to make the Direct and Counter-cyclical payment Program (DCP) available to producers as quickly as possible. Signup began June 25th and today we are distributing payments to those producers who elected to receive a 22 percent advance payment at enrollment," Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer said.
To receive direct payments, an individual or entity must be a producer on a farm with base acres enrolled in the DCP. Producers may elect to receive a 22 percent advance payment when they enroll in the DCP. Base acres are established on a farm for covered commodities and peanuts based on historical plantings. For each covered commodity and peanuts, the direct payment for 2008 equals 85 percent of the farm's base acreage for the crop, times the direct payment yield for that crop, times the direct payment rate for that crop. The Commodity Credit Corporation reduces the final direct payment by any advance direct payment. Final direct payments will be issued after October 1, 2008.
Commodities with base acres eligible for direct payments and their 2008 rates are: barley, $0.24 per bushel; corn, $0.28 per bushel; grain sorghum, $0.35 per bushel; oats, $0.024 per bushel; soybeans, $0.44 per bushel; other oilseeds (canola, crambe, flaxseed, mustard seed, rapeseed, safflower, sesame seed, sunflower seed), $0.80 per hundredweight; peanuts, $36 per ton; long grain and medium grain rice, $2.35 per hundredweight; upland cotton, $0.0667 per pound; and wheat, $0.52 per bushel.
Congrats to OSU's Meat Judging Team- Champs "Down Under!"
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Oklahoma State University Meats Judging Team will be returning back to Oklahoma tomorrow evening from a trip to Australia- where they were easily the best team in a National Meats Judging Competition in Queensland- where they bested several Australian squads as well as teams from Japan and South Korea. They won the team championship- besting the second place team by about 90 points.
In talking with OSU Meat Scientist Dr. Brad Morgan- the team's achievements are remarkable in that they had to win using "Aussie Rules" and did so easily. An email from coach Dr. Gretchen Hilton singles out the top performer from the OSU team in this international contest- "Kelly Manke dominated the contest. She won every division except pork judging."
Team members included in this trip are Brendon Lowe, Kacie George, Jill
Fletcher, Carrie Highfill, Kashen Urban, Lacey Vedral, Bre Winters and
Kelly Manke. Dr. Hilton is the Head Coach and is assisted by Andrea
Livestock Judging Opportunity for 4-H and FFA members from across Oklahoma this Thursday.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We got an email from Tom Manske- who we first got to know when we traveled to Europe with the Oklahoma Ag Leadership Program Class 11 on their International travel experience- Tom is the 4-H Agent in Canadian County and asked us to mention a Livestock Judging contest opportunity available to youth anywhere in the state of Oklahoma.
Tom writes "We are hosting the Canadian/Grady County Livestock Judging Field Day this year at the Canadian County Fairgrounds in El Reno. The Contest is this Thursday, July 10- with registration at 8:30 am with judging to begin by 9am. This event is sponsored by the Canadian County Farm Bureau, and is usually completed with awards by noon. It's open to all 4-H and FFA teams and individuals from across the state and there are two divisions - Jr. - 13 & Under as of Jan. 1, 2008 and Sr. 14 & up as of Jan. 1, 2008."
"In addition to the livestock judging contest, that afternoon, we are
hosting the 1st Annual Canadian County Livestock Skillathon. Same age
divisions but the prizes include $200 to the top team in each division and
$100 to the top individual in each division. Other awards will be given to
individuals and teams as well."
Our thanks to Midwest Farm Shows, Farm Credit Associations of Oklahoma and Producers Cooperative Oil Mill for their support of our daily Farm News Update. For your convenience, we have our sponsors' websites linked at the top of the email- check them out and let these folks know you appreciate the support of this daily email, as their sponsorship helps us keep this arriving in your inbox on a regular basis!
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Let's Check the Markets!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Yearling Steers were steady after the holiday in the Monday run at the Oklahoma National Stockyards yesterday- estimated receipts were 5,000 head. Seven hundred to eight hundred pound steers brought $109 to $112 while 800 to 900 pounders ranged from $107 to $112. Click here to review the Monday report from Oklahoma National Stockyards.
Here are some links we will leave in place on an ongoing basis- Click
on the name of the report to go to that link:
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