~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Monday January 31, 2011A service of Producers Cooperative Oil Mill, Midwest Farm Shows and Big Iron OnLine Auctions!
-- What a Wild Weather Ride Lies Ahead
-- USDA Announces New General Sign Up For CRP in Mid March
-- US Cattle Herd Drops to Lowest Level in Last Fifty Years
-- Smithfield Foods Announces Sale of Texhoma Hog Production Operations
-- Cattle Industry Convention Preview- The Oklahoma Perspective with Scott Dewald of the OCA
-- GIIPSA Rule on Livestock Marketing Reviewed by OSU Ag Lawyer Shannon Ferrell
-- Beef Industry Changing- Cow Calf and Stocker Operators Will Be Paid More for Forage Gains- So Says Derrell Peel of OSU
-- 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 Big Iron Unreserved Online Auctions as one of our great sponsors of the daily Email. Their next auction is Wednesday, February 9 - featuring Low Hour, Farmer Owned Equipment. Click here for their website to learn more about their Online Farm Equipment Auctions.
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What a Wild Weather Ride Lies Ahead
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We had record highs in multiple locations this past Friday and Saturday- and a good bit of fire danger to go along with the warm very dry conditions. Now, as we begin the workweek- we have a winter storm warning now in place across a fair amount of Oklahoma- ice, sleet and snow all headed our way. The Facebook page of the Oklahoma Weather Lab is saying "Computer model guidance has been consistent over the last several days in bringing a winter storm into the southern and central plains. At this time, there is still significant model disagreement in exact location and strength of the storm."
Our colleagues at News on 6 have put out a great map of the current predictions about the amount of snowfall- click here to check it out.
The Oklahoma Weather Lab Facebook page focuses on Norman- but really the wording holds true across a lot of Central, North Central and Northeast Oklahoma. They offer this play by play of Monday late night into Tuesday "Around midnight, precipitation should begin across the Norman area. Initial precipitation will likely be a mix of rain, freezing rain, and sleet. Over the next six hours, precipitation should transition first to sleet followed by a complete changeover to snow by 6 am Tuesday. Snow is expected to continue through the afternoon on Tuesday. Blowing and drifting snow is likely throughout the entirety of the event, with sustained northwest winds at 20 to 25 mph expected to accompany the snowfall. Travel is expected to become impossible due to low visibilities and deteriorating road conditions."
The National Weather Service in Norman seems to be saying a winter storm is pretty much a done deal, adding a Blizzard Warning may be needed in some parts of Central or North Central Oklahoma. They add in their forecast discussion of Sunday evening that "THE EMPHASIS AT THIS TIME IS ON GETTING EVERYONE TO TAKE PROPER STEPS NOW BY OBTAINING NECESSARY PROVISIONS- AND NOT PLANNING ON GOING ANYWHERE FROM LATE MONDAY NIGHT INTO TUESDAY UNLESS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY."
We have our WEATHER page at www.OklahomaFarmReport.Com linked below- from there you can go to the official National Weather Service national map where you can click on the weather service office you want to look at closer- we also have the LINK to the Oklahoma Mesonet there- and the LINKs to the News9 weather site and the News on 6 Weather site.
USDA Announces New General Sign Up For CRP in Mid March
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The next general signup for the Conservation Reserve Program will begin on March 14 and continue through April 15, 2011. This is the second consecutive year that USDA has offered a general CRP signup. In making the announcement at the National Pheasant Fest 2011 in Omaha, Nebraska, Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack pointed out that - over the past 25 years, support for CRP has grown thanks to strong backing from farmers, ranchers, conservationists, hunters, fishermen and other outdoor sports enthusiasts.
Through CRP, eligible landowners receive annual rental payments and cost-share assistance to establish long-term, resource conserving covers on eligible farmland. Land can be enrolled for a period of up to 15 years. Current CRP participants with contracts expiring this fall may make new contract offers. Contracts awarded under this signup are scheduled to become effective October 1, 2011.
The Secretary noted, - not only has CRP contributed to the national
effort to improve water and air quality, it has preserved habitat for
wildlife, and prevented soil erosion by protecting the most sensitive
areas including those prone to flash flooding and runoff. In addition to
the general sign-up, CRP's continuous sign-up program will be
US Cattle Herd Drops to Lowest Level in Last Fifty Years
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The US Department of Agriculture has released it's beginning of the year cattle inventory report- and it shows smaller cattle numbers than a year ago- with several key numbers at their smallest levels in decades.
All cattle and calves in the United States as of January 1, 2011, totaled 92.6 million head, 1 percent below the 93.9 million on January 1, 2010. This is the lowest January 1 inventory of all cattle and calves since the 91.2 million on hand in 1958.
The Oklahoma cattle herd is pegged at 5.1 million head, a drop of seven percent from just a year ago. As this is based on January first data, the dry conditions that forced many calves off wheat pasture made a difference in the year to year numbers. Oklahoma is the fourth largest state in terms of beef cattle numbers- and fifth in the overall cattle herd numbers. Texas is easily the top cattle state in the US- with 13.3 million head of cattle as of January first. Other beef cattle states ahead of Oklahoma include Kansas with 6.3 million head and Nebraska with 6.2 million head.
Smithfield Foods Announces Sale of Texhoma Hog Production Operations
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Smithfield Foods, Inc. announced Friday that it completed the sale of its hog production operations located in Texhoma, Oklahoma to Prestage Farms, Inc. Specific terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
The Texhoma operations house 20,000 sows and contain 71,000 nursery and
172,000 finishing spaces.
"The sale of these operations demonstrates our continuing commitment to shed non-core businesses with a greater focus on return on invested capital. This divestiture is another example of how we have altered our strategy to deliver better returns to our shareholders," he concluded.
Cattle Industry Convention Preview- The Oklahoma Perspective with Scott Dewald of the OCA
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Cattle producers from around the country (and from several other countries as well) will be gathering this week in Denver, Colorado for the 2011 Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA Trade Show at the Denver Convention Center.
I have touched base with some of those planning to be in Denver from Oklahoma- and it looks like several of us are going to try to get out of town on Monday to beat the potential blizzard that is rumbling toward Oklahoma as i write this.
According to Scott Dewald, there are three issues that are critical to him as the top hired hand for the Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association as he helps represent Oklahoma interests at this year's policy setting meetings. At the top of Dewald's list is the problem with the Eastern Livestock debacle of millions of dollars of hot checks that were given to cattle producers with those involved with the company knowing full well those checks would not be honored. Dewald says we need to try to minimize the economic damage done to those producers caught holding those checks that had no funds attached to them. At the same time, he wonders why GIPSA should be allowed to move forward with their rules that could change the way we market livestock in the country when they could not adequately protect producers from a situation that many believe they knew was going to happen and did nothing to stop Eastern Livestock from doing so much harm to so many people. Dewald says its fair to ask GIPSA what they knew and when they knew it- and he believes that USDA needs to be transparent with their answers.
Dewald is excited about the beef export results of the first eleven
months of 2010- and feels that the overall results for 2010 as well as the
early results we will be getting in a few days for 2011 will continue tell
a great story for US cattle producers. A third issue that Dewald believes
will be talked about a lot in Denver is the victory scored by small
business owners and farmers and ranchers regarding Estate Tax reform.
GIIPSA Rule on Livestock Marketing Reviewed by OSU Ag Lawyer Shannon Ferrell
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~There's a really interesting analysis of the GIPSA Rule that would revamp the marketing of livestock in this country in a very fundamental way. Written by Shannon L. Ferrell, assistant professor of Agricultural Law at Oklahoma State University, and Elizabeth Rumley, a staff attorney with the National Agricultural Law Center at the University of Arkansas, it breaks down the provisions in a way that most of us can actually understand.
You can click on the LINK below for the full report- but I wanted to give you a couple of the keys from their conclusions- "GIPSA now faces the decision of implementing the rule as currently proposed, modifying it, or "going back to the drawing board." If enacted as written, the rule will doubtless cause changes in the industry. The question, of course, is what specific changes will occur. That question may be answered in a clarified final rule; if not, it will be resolved through what will likely be a torrent of litigation."
One of the themes that Ferrell and Runley say has emerged is the battle between producers which many of us have noticed as GIPSA went through the comment period. "the traditional "party lines" in the landscape of agricultural policy debate are shifting. Many livestock and poultry disputes come down to the "us versus them" paradigm of producers versus integrators, but some of the loudest voices both for and against the proposed regulations come from livestock and poultry producers themselves. Producer-proponents of the rule hold that it will bring balance, transparency, and fairness to the livestock and poultry markets, while producer-opponents say it will scuttle years of their efforts to differentiate their product from other producers and in so doing reduce their ability to capture a bigger portion of the food dollar."
Beef Industry Changing- Cow Calf and Stocker Operators Will Be Paid More for Forage Gains- So Says Derrell Peel of OSU
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~A long term structural change is now underway for the Beef Cattle business as pounds of gain put on our cattle from forage are worth more than ever. Oklahoma State University Extension Livestock Marketing Specialist says the market is telling us that pounds of gain produced with forage are worth more- and that that can beneficial for both the Cow Calf producer as well as the Stocker Cattle Operator.
Dr. Peel says this is fundamental change because for "two generations, our beef cattle business was a grain intensive user." That was because we had relatively cheap grain available to feed in order to put on most of our pounds of gain. Now, Peel says the world has changed, with feed grain acres being bid away for other uses of that land.
Click on our LINK below for more on this aspect of where the cattle industry is when it comes to how we put pounds of gain on our animals here in 2011- as well as the links to our other Beef Buzzes from this past week with OSU Extension Livestock Marketing Specialist Dr. Derrell Peel.
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Let's Check the Markets!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We've had requests to include Canola prices for your convenience here- and we will be doing so on a regular basis. Current cash price for Canola is $9.90 per bushel- as of the close of trade on Thursday, while the 2011 New Crop contracts for Canola are now available are $10.65 per bushel- delivered to local participating elevators that are working with PCOM.
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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