~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Friday February 20, 2009A service of Johnston Enterprises, American Farmers & Ranchers and Midwest Farm Shows!
-- Wheat Breaks Out of Its Trading Range This Week- Unfortunately to the Downside
-- Letter Touting Direct Payments Sent to USDA's Tom Vilsack
-- From Earlier this Week- Heather Buckmaster and our Lean and Mean Beef Checkoff
-- Hog Farmers Happy With Checkoff
-- National FFA Week Kicks Off Tomorrow!
-- Express Spring Bull Sale Set for March 5 and 6 in Yukon
-- Looking at our Agricultural 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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Wheat Breaks Out of Its Trading Range This Week- Unfortunately to the Downside
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Wheat Market has finally broken out of its most recent trading range- and the break out was to the downside- so says OSU Grain Marketing Economist Dr. Kim Anderson. Anderson adds that there is a good bit more downside to this market, especially if the condition of the southern plains hard red winter wheat crop looks pretty good as it breaks dormancy in the next few weeks.
Anderson blames growing global stocks of the major grains as the reason for latest price pressure. Stocks are growing, in part, because of the global economic mess slowing demand for meat as well as for biofuels.
Dr. Anderson's comments about this current set of market conditions are
a part of his conversation with Clinton Griffiths that will be seen on the
OSU Division of Agriculture's weekly TV show, SUNUP. We have Anderson's
audio conversation with Griffiths linked below- click on the link below to
jump to our Kim Anderson/Sunup story. Of course, you can see Clinton and
Kim during one of the SUNUP segments on Saturday morning on
Letter Touting Direct Payments Sent to USDA's Tom Vilsack
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Eleven groups, led by the nation's largest general farm organization, American Farm Bureau, have written USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack to state their case for protecting the Direct Payment component of the current Farm Program.
In the letter, the groups say "We believe that farm safety net payments and the stable supply of food, feed, fiber and fuel that those payments help ensure, actually provide great benefit to the public as a whole. Americans are blessed with the safest, most abundant and least expensive food supply in the world. That benefit is due to the hard work of American farmers and the safety net that provides both stability and a small degree of certainty to farmers in an industry where risk is enormous and can be impossible for a producer to control."
The groups contend that Direct Payments are the only reliable part of the farm safety net that gives farmers protection and the ability to pay for inputs and things like conservation cost share no matter what direction commodity prices take. Besides the AFBF, both the National Sorghum Producers and the National Association of Wheat Growers signed off on this letter.
From Earlier this Week- Heather Buckmaster and our Lean and Mean Beef Checkoff
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~At both the state and national levels, the dollar per head beef checkoff has had a fiscal reality check over the last year or so. The Oklahoma Beef Council suffered one of the biggest drops in collections of any beef council in the country last year (the fiscal year that ran from October 2007 through September 2008) because of the sharp fall-off in wheat pasture cattle.
We talk about how this has impacted the promotion, education and research efforts for the Oklahoma Beef Council with their Executive Director, Heather Buckmaster, and Heather also spends some time with us on some of the strategies being used to help advance checkoff efforts at the national level as well.
These two Beef Buzz shows aired earlier this week on Monday and Tuesday- but with some of the other news events of the week- we were not able to showcase them here on our daily email. So- click on the link below- it will take you to the Tuesday Beef Buzz which focuses on some of the state issues and there is a link within the Tuesday show to back up to the Monday Beef Buzz where we talk about a national perspective of the problem of having fewer dollars to spend.
Hog Farmers Happy With Checkoff
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~USDA announced it will not hold a referendum on the Pork Checkoff Program as too few pork producers and importers signed up at USDA offices across the country asking for one.
The request for referendum was conducted Dec. 8 through Jan. 2 as a result of a lawsuit settlement between USDA and the Michigan Pork Producers Association in 2001. Under the terms of the settlement, if at least 15 percent of the 69,446 eligible pork producers and importers nationwide participated in the request for referendum, a referendum would have been conducted.
It really is an amazing vote of confidence for the Pork Checkoff- but all that bothered to go into local FSA offices were 96 participants and just 94 of those were valid requests for a referendum- and that was well short of the more than 10-thousand needed to trigger a referendum.
National FFA Week Kicks Off Tomorrow!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The National FFA Organization will celebrate National FFA week Feb. 21-28, with the theme - Step Up, Stand Out - challenging FFA members to step up to responsibilities, stand out from the rest of the crowd and reach for success. Nearly half a million FFA members across the nation will participate in National FFA Week activities at the local and state levels.
During the week, national FFA officers will travel to different regions in the United States to visit local FFA chapters, participate in special events and visit with their state legislators, and in some cases, their governors. Individual chapters plan a weeklong schedule of events to promote FFA and agriculture in their schools and communities. That group includes Laila Hajii who hails from the Guthrie FFA Chapter and who is serving as a National Vice President this year.
We have more on this celebration on our website on our Blue-Green Gazette page- and this section of our website is about ready to get busy with lots of both 4-H and FFA coverage coming in the days ahead. Click on the link below for the National FFA week story- and stay there and browse through some of the recent stories that we have added about the rural youth of our state.
Express Spring Bull Sale Set for March 5 and 6 in Yukon
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Express Ranches Spring Bull Sale and Commercial Female Sale will be on Thursday March 5th and Friday March 6th at the ranch in Yukon, Oklahoma. There will be more than 800 lots of Angus, Limousin and Lim-Flex bulls that will be offered- and all of the bulls have been tested as AM free.
Sale on Thursday starts at 12:30 pm with the Limousin bulls and Angus
females will follow:
Click on the link below for the sale catalog on line at the Express Ranch website- or if you need a hard copy of the catalog, you call the office at 405-350-0044.
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Looking at our Agricultural Markets...
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The market beatdown that we saw in El Reno on stocker and feeder cattle on Wednesday continued on Thursday in Apache. At Stockman's Livestock, yearling prices fell $2 to $6 per hundred weight- stockers and calves fell $4 to $8 per hundred. Five to six hundred pound steers sold for $$100 to $110 while seven to eight hundred pound steer yearlings came in from $86.50 to $91. It was a good sized run with 4,749 cattle reported at the Thursday sale. Click here for the full report- it should be updated to the Feb. 19 sale by around 8 AM or shortly thereafter.
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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