~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Wednesday June 17, 2009A service of Producers Cooperative Oil Mill, P & K Equipment/ P & K Wind Energy and American Farmers & Ranchers Mutual Insurance Company!
-- Harvest Finally cranks Up in Earnest (and in Oklahoma, too)
-- Erica Rosa of LMIC Previews Cattle on Feed
-- 17 Ag Commissioners at SASDA Meeting in Oklahoma City
-- National Sorghum Producers Weigh in on Climate Change Legislation
-- Farm Bureau Says Losing the Word "Navigable" is NOT Acceptable
-- Smithfield Loses Money in Fiscal Year Just Ended
-- Osage Ranch Tour, AFR Note and PLDI Update
-- 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 proud 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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Harvest Finally cranks Up in Earnest (and in Oklahoma, too)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Harvest is rolling! That seems to be the message we are getting from several directions around the state. We got several emails from farmers and elevator points- all in the central and north central areas of the state- that the combines are moving and we are getting a lot of average and below average test weights- yields have improved from the start of harvest when we were seeing single digits to currently 25 to 35 bushels becoming more common.
We talked with Mike Schulte of the Oklahoma Wheat Commission and he continues to be concerned about how many acres have been abandoned this year- as he believes that will be one of the keys to how many bushels we end up harvesting this season. He is hopeful that the Panhandle will end up with a normal to above normal crop, helping the final Oklahoma production number get close to that 73.5 million bushel level predicted by USDA based on their surveys up to June first.
Click on the link below for our Harvest Update page- the interview with Mike Schulte is the top story as we write this early on this Wednesday morning- but we will add reports and photos as you send them to us- drop me an email and let me know how things are going in your neck of the woods. Our story with Schulte includes a five minute interview that will help catch you up on conditions around the state- so check it out.
Erica Rosa of LMIC Previews Cattle on Feed
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Cattle on Feed numbers will be released this coming Friday at 2 PM central time from USDA. Erica Rosa with the Livestock Market Information Center says that she believes that the number of greatest interest for this Friday's report will be the placement number. It will be below that of a year ago, but the question is how much above that of a year ago. LMIC thinks that the placement figure will be off nine to ten percent compared to 2008.
LMIC also expects marketings in May were soft in 2009 versus 2008- probably nine percent off of a year ago. The overall cattle on feed number may be about three percent under June 1, 2008.
You can hear Erica make her case for these expectations on our Wednesday Beef Buzz, as heard on radio stations around the state on the Radio Oklahoma Network. Of course, our Beef Buzz reports also are on our website, and we have today's Beef Buzz linked below for you to jump to and be able to hear. Our thanks to K-State and their Agriculture Today show for the audio comments with Erica Rosa of the Livestock Market Information Center.
17 Ag Commissioners at SASDA Meeting in Oklahoma City
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~SASDA stands for the Southern Association of State Departments of Agriculture- and the commissioners of fifteen states, as well as Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands are partaking of Oklahoma hospitality this week for their annual summer conference.
Terry Peach, our Oklahoma Commissioner of Ag, is the outgoing President of SASDA, and he has hosted this conference this week, including the dinner and entertainment that followed last night at the National Cowboy Museum.
They have toured and seen some of Oklahoma agriculture, and have also spent time on several policy issues- we talked briefly with Commissioner Peach last night about how the meeting is going- and we did talk about two of the hot topics right now- Climate Change and Premise ID. Click on the link below to take a listen.
National Sorghum Producers Weigh in on Climate Change Legislation
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The National Sorghum Producers met via conference call on Tuesday to discuss their position on H.R. 2454, the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009, or climate change legislation, and issued the following statement from Toby Bostwick, Chairman of the NSP Board of Directors:
"The Board of Directors of the National Sorghum Producers fully supports the ongoing efforts of House Agriculture Chairman Collin Peterson as he works to modify climate change legislation to represent agriculture's interests. However, we believe it is vital to protect our producer members by opposing H.R. 2454, the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009, as it is currently written.
"The far-reaching impacts of this legislation are not sufficiently understood to determine its real impact on farmers. As written, this bill includes little to nothing that would encourage sorghum producers to support it. We firmly oppose placing oversight of this program with the Environmental Protection Agency, feel strongly that early adopters of conservation practices should be equally compensated for those practices, and believe that our cost per acre of production will increase dramatically under the current legislation with little chance to recover those costs. We will continue to monitor this bill for potential changes before it goes before the full House of Representatives, but oppose it in its current form."
Farm Bureau Says Losing the Word "Navigable" is NOT Acceptable
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The nation's county governments and farmers are partnering to oppose legislation to significantly expand the federal jurisdiction of The Clean Water Act (CWA). The National Association of Counties' (NACo) and the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) are concerned that the Clean Water Restoration Act (CWRA) would needlessly expand the federal reach of CWA and result in significant negative impacts on farmers, ranchers, local governments and local economies without improving protections of the nation's critical water resources.
Both organizations stressed that they support current CWA provisions and enforcement of state and local environmental protection laws The groups have expressed their concern to Congress that eliminating the word "navigable" from the definition of "Waters of the United States" would result in an unprecedented expansion of federal authority.
AFBF President Bob Stallman called the bill "regulatory overkill" which largely disregards the positive conservation role farmers and ranchers are playing. "By replacing 'navigable waters' with 'all intrastate waters,' the federal government would have control of structures such as drainage ditches, which are only wet during rain events," Stallman said. "Rather than restore the Clean Water Act, it just brings a new truckload of restrictions for the people who do most to protect our water."
Smithfield Loses Money in Fiscal Year Just Ended
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Smithfield Foods reported a net loss of $190 million in Fiscal year 2009, a year that ended May 3, 2009 for the world's largest hog producer. It was the first annual loss for the company in 30 years.
In the news release from the company- Smithfield's CEO Larry Pope writes "Fiscal 2009 was one of the most challenging years in over three decades for the company. We faced grain and oil markets that reached record highs and then fell precipitously. These input dynamics, combined with an oversupply of all proteins as well as a worldwide recession and credit constraints, put significant pressure on the business. But despite the challenges we confronted, we did not sit on the sidelines and wait for the economic conditions to improve; we have taken numerous actions to make us a more profitable company: namely, we repositioned the company's operations and made meaningful improvements to our liquidity and financial strength. As a result, I am especially pleased with our packaged meats business which delivered record profits even as fresh pork was weak in the face of an economic downturn. For the full year, the pork segment produced record profits, before the $88 million of restructuring costs, and is set to deliver very strong results going forward."
We have an audio overview and more details of the Smithfield financials on our website. It's interesting that Pope blames ethanol for a good part of the Smithfield woes in the hog production side of their business. Click on the link below and check it out.
Osage Ranch Tour, AFR Note and PLDI Update
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Our friend Will Cubbage, Osage County Extension Director, reminds us all of the 75th Annual Osage County Ranch Tour that will be happening this Saturday morning, leaving Pawhuska's Triangle Serum at 9am? Will says "We are touring the northeast part of the county this year viewing steers, fall-calving cows, and ranch horses. This year's tour hosts are Trentman Ranch, Barnett Fryin' Pan Ranch, Ball Ranch, Broken 0's Ranch, Strom Ranch and Mullendore Cross Bell Ranch. The tour is free! There is a barbecue to end the tour at the Mullendore's headquarters and tickets are available on-site." We have more details of the weekend of activities for the cattle industry in Pawhuska on our website- click here to check the calendar listing.
We had problems with getting the link in place for the audio interview from earlier this week with AFR President Terry Detrick- finally got that fixed and for those of you that wanted to hear Terry's comments on Climate Change and Animal ID- click here and we will jump you to the story updated with the audio link.
Finally, a quick note for those of you with pldi.net email addresses- Pioneer swears they have "whitelisted" the address- if you can read this- I guess they were telling the truth- but if things are still coming to you slowly or sporadically, drop me an email and I have a work around that people tell me is working well. Thanks for your patience- I hear it is much more than just our little fight- that they have huge email delay problems of all kinds from many different directions.
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Let's Check the Markets!
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