~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Tuesday August 18, 2009A service of Johnston Enterprises, P & K Equipment/ P & K Wind Energy and American Farmers & Ranchers Mutual Insurance Company!
-- Pork Producers Cry Out for Help
-- ACRE Enrollment Almost Doubled in the Final Week of Signup in Oklahoma
-- Latest Crop Weather Update Talks About Rain and No Rain
-- Summer Crops Field Day at Lahoma
-- Giving Up Meat to Save the Planet?
-- Fly Control Tag Resistance- A Growing Problem
-- Research to Improve Bluegrass for Pasture and Lawns
-- 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 pleased to have American Farmers & Ranchers Mutual Insurance Company as a regular sponsor of our daily update- click here to go to their AFR web site to learn more about their efforts to serve rural America!
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Pork Producers Cry Out for Help
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The National Pork Producers Council has asked the U.S. government for aid. In a letter sent to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, NPPC requested 250-million dollars in financial assistance and other actions to help producers, who since September 2007 have lost an average of more than 21dollars on each hog marketed. In Monday's request the NPPC asked for purchases by various federal food programs - other than ones in USDA's Section 32 program - using fiscal 2009 funds. At the same time, NPPC requested the cap on the Section 32 program be lifted.
CEO Neil Dierks told reporters that they understand that these requests sound similar- at least some of them- to what was requested a week or so ago by a group of Governors (including Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry) that was quickly rejected by USDA Secretary Vilsack- saying he had no money to allocate in this fashion. Dierks says they understand that- but he adds that USDA needs to, in effect, turn over every rock and find some bucks to help- and soon.
NPPC president Don Butler said - the request NPPC has made not only will help pork producers and Americans who benefit from government feeding programs but tens of thousands of mostly rural jobs supported by the U.S. pork industry.
We have more on this story- including an audio overview from yesterday's news briefing that NPPC had with reporters- click on the link below for more on what are being called desperate times in the pork business.
ACRE Enrollment Almost Doubled in the Final Week of Signup in Oklahoma
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~One week before the deadline, there were about 4,500 farms that had been signed up in the ACRE program in the state of Oklahoma. The work load of county FSA offices in the wheat producing counties of our state went up dramatically last week as farmers decided to check out the program- ran the numbers- and saw a lot of money sitting on the table.
By the close of business on Friday the 14th, there were about 8,000 contracts completed for ACRE, according to Francie Tolle, Oklahoma state Director of the FSA. And, she says that with folks who started the process before the deadline who will be finsihing their paperwork in the next few weeks- that number could grow by another thousand or more.
In an email that we received from OSU Ag Policy Professor Dr. Michael Dicks, he tells us "This is certainly the steepest adoption curve I have witnessed in a government program." and he adds that "I simply can't tell you how amazed I am at what has occurred. This is truly an "outlier" and I hope everyone that played a role understands just how remarkable it is to get 9500 people into a new program. Compare this to the roughly 9400 people that enrolled in the first CRP sign-up nation-wide."
Nationally, the number reported by USDA on Monday that had signed up for ACRE was right at 66,000. That's a huge jump from 946 that had signed up as of late June. Obviously, Oklahoma has a large number of those that signed up- and I can only echo what one farm leader told me privately last week as the deadline wound down- that while it's great that we were able to get so many farmers to at least think about the program- it's a shame that others could have signed up- gotten some significant cash for their farm operation but have now allowed that opportunity to pass them by. ACRE appears to be a program that will pay Oklahoma farmers money for 2009- enough money that those wheat producers that signed up will be ahead of the game for the balance of the 2008 Farm Law. In many states, that was not the case- ACRE will not trigger for their 2009 crops. And it won't trigger for everybody in Oklahoma this year- but it will for a lot of folks.
Latest Crop Weather Update Talks About Rain and No Rain
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~It's raining here at the Hays homestead as we write this early Tuesday morning- but as we look back to this past week- it was a spotty week of rainfall across Oklahoma, according to the latest crop weather update. "Much of the State received rain during the past week with five of the nine districts averaging over an inch of precipitation. Several Mesonet stations recorded two to nearly four inches of rain while others around the State recorded zero precipitation. A Sunday night storm blew through North Central Oklahoma, dumping around six inches of rain in Garfield County."
For our spring planted crops- "Row crop conditions continue to be rated mostly in the good to fair range. Recent rains have had a positive impact. Eighty-nine percent of the State's corn crop had reached the dough stage by week's end, one point behind normal. Forty percent of the corn had reached the dent stage, an eight point jump from the prior week and 23 points ahead of the fiveyear average. Fourteen percent of the corn crop had reached maturity by Sunday, 20 points behind normal. Corn silage harvest continues around the State. By week's end, half of the State's sorghum crop had headed, while 14 percent of the crop was coloring, both well behind normal. Eighty-four percent of the State's soybeans were blooming while 51 percent were setting pods, an 11 point jump from last week but two points behind the five-year average. Peanuts pegging is nearing completion at 96 percent, while peanuts setting pods increased seven points to reach 56 percent complete, both behind the five-year average. Nearly all of the State's cotton crop was squaring by week's end at 96 percent while 64 percent of the crop was setting bolls, up 23 points from last week but 13 points behind the five-year average."
Our state NASS office did note that watermelon harvest continues- a
little slower than normal- "Watermelons harvested jumped 15 points to
reach 68 percent complete by week's end, 16 points behind last year and 17
points behind the five-year average."
Summer Crops Field Day at Lahoma
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Tomorrow morning- you may want to go have breakfast at the OSU Northcentral Research Station in Lahoma. And then while you're there- you can participate in the Summer Crops Field Day that happens after breakfast from 8 AM til around 11. Breakfast, by the way, is at 7:30 AM.
The tour stops will include a look at double crop soybeans, sunflowers and sorghum, as well as a study that Brian Arnall will detail on soil acidity and how grain sorghum and sunflower handles that acidity. There will also be some education on Herbicide ID and weed control programs.
For details about the field day- you can contact the Lahoma station or contact Jeff Bedwell in Garfield County's Extension office- Jeff tells us that this will be a worthwhile use of your time as he notes "This is the first time that producers, crop consultants, and industry representatives will have a chance to observe some long term double crop / rotational studies as a Field Day with OSU State Specialists serving as Tour Guides and session leaders."
Giving Up Meat to Save the Planet?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Heather Buckmaster of the Oklahoma Beef Council offers us all a "homework" assignment- read an article written by Dennis Avery of the Hudson Institute with the title that is the same as my headline for this story. We have the complete piece linked below- but here are a couple of the juicy tidbits that Sir Dennis shares with the Canadians- and now with us.
"One of the persistent, shallow global food myths is that the world
could feed more people if we gave up eating meat. Ezra Klein wrote another
misguided column about this-"The Meat of the Problem"-in the Washington
Post of July 29. Klein cites as his authority a naive "study" by the kids
at Carnegie-Mellon University.
Dennis lists a total of six points to counter the claims of Klein- and adds for good measure "If you also want to save room on the planet for wildlife, invest in more yield-enhancing agricultural research. It's called high-yield conservation." Click on our link below to read his full argument- and then forward the article to one and to all- most people you know need to know and understand these facts.
Fly Control Tag Resistance- A Growing Problem
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We're talking flies the first three days of this week on the Beef Buzz- as the problem of face flies this season is resulting in a lot of Pink Eye in our region. Yesteday, we began this three day conversation with Dr. Larry Hollis of K-State on dealing with all kinds of flies- and you can click here to jump to that particular Beef Buzz.
Today, we move on to think about fly control resistance. The Beef Cattle Industry faces resistance problems from flies that are pushing back against the effectiveness of fly control ear tags. So says Kansas State Beef Vet Dr. Larry Hollis. In today's Beef Buzz, we talk about how resistance has popped up- and how best to respond to it.
Dr. Hollis says that resistance has increased because we have tried to
cut corners by not using tags as recommended by the label. For example,
many producers will tag their cows, but not the calves. That is foolish,
because you have more to lose from production loss with that calf, and the
calf ends up with diminished protection against the flies that are
Research to Improve Bluegrass for Pasture and Lawns
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~It's known as SPRRS- the Southern Plains Range Research Station found on the edge of Woodward- and at this USDA ag research facility, there's interesting research going on that one day might bring Kentucky bluegrass beauty to the southern Great Plains.
Researchers say better bluegrass hybrids ideal for pasture and lawns could be developed faster using genetic markers. Agriculture Research Service geneticist Jason Goldman, working in, Woodward, Oklahoma, has identified nine DNA primers that produce markers that can verify successful bluegrass hybrids from DNA samples. This discovery could save time because breeders currently have to wait for the plant to mature before they can verify a hybrid by physical characteristics. The markers can be used on seedlings.
Goldman's goal is to develop Texas bluegrass that can provide a Kentucky bluegrass-like lawn or pasture grass that is highly tolerant to drought. Texas bluegrass is native to southern Kansas, Oklahoma, western Arkansas and most of Texas. It tolerates heat and drought, but produces seed that is difficult to harvest and re-plant. It also lacks the turf quality of Kentucky bluegrass. Kentucky bluegrass is not tolerant to heat and drought, but has excellent turf characteristics and produces seed that is easy to harvest and clean.
Goldman is looking for a bluegrass with a broader geographic range than
Kentucky bluegrass, while retaining Kentucky bluegrass' good qualities.
The hybrid must also retain Kentucky bluegrass' ability to produce seed
that breeds true, ensuring identical progeny. Eventually, Goldman will
work with other bluegrass species to see if the markers can be used for
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Let's Check the Markets!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Yearlings were cheaper and calves were higher on Monday at the Oklahoma National Stockyards- where a total of 7300 cattle were on offer. The closing report from the Oklahoma City market is available- and you can see the prices that were paid on Monday by clicking here for the market news report.
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on the name of the report to go to that link:
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