From: Ron Hays [] on behalf of Ron Hays []
Sent: Thursday, March 31, 2011 8:23 AM
To: Hays, Ron
Subject: Oklahoma's Farm News Update
Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Thursday March 31, 2011
A service of Johnston Enterprises, P & K Equipment/ P & K Wind Energy and American Farmers & Ranchers Mutual Insurance Company!
-- Cash Cattle Prices Sky High This Week
-- President Obama Talks Alternative Solutions to Oil
-- Senator Coburn Trading Words With Charles Grassley Over Ethanol
-- Representatives Voice Concerns for Dust Regulations
-- Turmoil Within the Cattlemen's Beef Board
-- Thanks OSU!
-- Mark your Calendar for This Saturday's Ratcliff Ranch Bull and Female Sale
-- Let's Check the Markets!

Howdy Neighbors!

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!

It is also great to have as an annual sponsor on our daily email Johnston Enterprises- proud to be serving agriculture across Oklahoma and around the world since 1893. One of the great success stories of the Johnston brand is Wrangler Bermudagrass- the most widely planted true cold-tolerant seeded forage bermudagrass in the United States. For more on Johnston Enterprises- click here for their brand new website!

And we are proud to have P & K Equipment/ P & K Wind Energy as one of our regular sponsors of our daily email update. P & K is the premiere John Deere dealer in Oklahoma, with ten locations to serve you, and the P & K team are excited about their new Wind Power program, as they offer Endurance Wind Power wind turbines. Click here for more from the P&K website.

We invite you to listen to us on great radio stations across the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network weekdays- if you missed this morning's Farm News - or you are in an area where you can't hear it- click here for this morning's Farm news from Ron Hays on RON.

If you have received this email by someone forwarding it to you, you are welcome to subscribe and get this weekday update sent to you directly by clicking here.

Cash Cattle Prices Sky High This Week
It's another record set of cash cattle prices this week in the southern Plains feedlots, with the Texas Cattle Feeders Association reporting that over 32,000 head of cattle moved in the Wednesday timeframe. A total of 15,964 sold for $120.00 per hundredweight, while 13,984 sold for $121.00 per hundred. There were reports by Reuters that some cattle in Kansas sold for as much as $123 for out of state shipment. Go to the bottom of today's newsletter to click onto the full report of $120 to $121 prices in feedlot country.

The higher than expected cash cattle prices reflect strong global demand, early grilling season support and shrinking world meat supplies.

Profitability is pushing prices up. "Packers are making money, cattle feeders are making money and the meat is moving. We have never seen these kinds dynamics before when all sectors were profitable," says Daniel Bluntzer, director of research for Frontier Risk Management.

And it's not just the slaughter cattle that are running white hot when it comes to current prices- wholesale boxed beef trade touched above $189 a week ago, fell back by the end of last week, but has edged back to more than $188 this week. Yearling prices for seven to eight hundred pounders sold from $129 to $142 at OKC West in El Reno this week, while five to six hundred pound steer calves that were judged to be medium and large frame number ones sold from $159 to $170, also at OKC West in El Reno on Wednesday.

We discuss these strong cattle prices on today's Beef Buzz with OSU Extension Livestock Market Economist Dr. Derrell Peel- we have comments from Derrell gleaned from a conversation early this week from the K-State Ag Network. Click on the LINK below to read more and also hear Dr. Peel's comments on our latest Beef Buzz- as heard on great radio stations across Oklahoma and neighboring states.

Click here for more on the record level cattle prices of this week and hear from OSU Cattle Market Guru Derrell Peel.

President Obama Talks Alternative Solutions to Oil
President Obama talked energy at Georgetown University yesterday. The President said - the United States of America cannot afford to bet our long-term prosperity and security on a resource that will eventually run out. To prepare, the President said he is releasing his Administrations' Blueprint for A Secure Energy Future. The blueprint's goal is to cut by one-third U.S. imports of oil, now said to be 11-million barrels a day. Click here for the full text of his speech yesterday talking energy ideas.

The President said - there's no reason we shouldn't be using renewable fuels throughout America. Renewable biofuels made from ethanol, switchgrass, wood chips, and biomass. Going forward, the President said - we should look for ways to reform biofuels incentives to make sure they meet today's challenges and save taxpayers money.

According to background info provided by the White House- the President is pushing cellulosic ethanol. In the text of his speech- he said "Over the next two years, we'll help entrepreneurs break ground on four next-generation biorefineries - each with a capacity of more than 20 million gallons per year."

The President also spoke of the need to increase the use of Natural Gas, citing T Boone Pickens as a leader in this arena. He also said (and we are assuming he was joking) that Energy Secretary Steven Chu would be working on Natural Gas solutions in his garage weekends. Maybe, he'll invite T Boone over one weekend soon.

Click here for the fact sheet released by USDA about the Obama Energy Plans from an agricultural perspective.

Senator Coburn Trading Words With Charles Grassley Over Ethanol
Stewart Doan of Agri-Pulse is reporting this morning that Senator Tom Coburn has pulled his amendment that would repeal the so called "Blender's Credit" which he claims would save $5 to $6 billion a year-while supporters of ethanol claim it would cause lots of problems in getting enough ethanol produced.

Before the apparent decision to pull the plug on the amendment- The Senator from Oklahoma and Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa debated the merits, sort of. Coburn blasted his colleagues for being too "chicken" to allow for a vote. Senator Grassley says it was "very counterproductive for Senators from Big Oil country to single out energy that comes from American agriculture."

You can hear the give and take in a special update produced by Stewart- we featured it in our morning farm news on the Radio Oklahoma Network- click here to jump to our Podcast of this morning's farm news and you can hear this exchange over the VEETC which Coburn calls unneeded since we already have a mandate in law about the amount of ethanol that is to be produced annually.

Representatives Voice Concerns for Dust Regulations
101 members of the House have sent a letter to EPA administrator Lisa Jackson expressing concerns about EPA's potential revision to the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Coarse Particulate Matter, more commonly known as dust. Led by Representatives Kristi Noem of South Dakota, and Stephen Fincher of Tennessee, the policymakers collectively emphasized the devastating impact farmers, ranchers and all of rural America would feel if the EPA moves forward with regulating dust at unprecedented levels.

In their letter, House members said - at a time when the focus of the administration should be on economic development and job creation, the EPA is instead promulgating rules which may have the opposite effect. The Representatives believe - if implemented, the standards could subject farmers, livestock producers and industry to burdensome regulations, which could result in fines amounting to 37,500 dollars a day for violations. The letter strongly encouraged the EPA not to implement the more stringent standards.

National Cattlemen's Beef Association vice president of government affairs Colin Woodall points out - this bipartisan effort to protect farmers, ranchers and all of rural America from a burdensome, unnecessary and scientifically unfounded regulation is reassuring. Woodall continued - we hope Administrator Jackson and all of the officials at EPA are listening - and use - commonsense when proposing or even considering regulations.

Two of Oklahoma's House delegation signed the letter- Tom Cole and James Lankford. Congressman Frank Lucas has been very critical of EPA overreaching in many areas of agricultural regulation but did not sign this letter.

Click here to read the full letter and see who signed on.

Turmoil Within the Cattlemen's Beef Board
The Executive Committee of the Cattlemen's Beef Board has sent out a complicated and very extensive proposal to the rank and file members of the CBB, asking them to approve structural changes to how the CBB operates and interacts with the Federation of State Beef Councils and contractors (primarily the National Cattlemen's Beef Association). These recommendations have come from a group they call the "Roles and Responsibilities Committee."

The changes are extensive- and it appears the Executive Committee is taking the unusual step of trying to get approval for these changes from the Beef Board members to be able to make these changes in advance of their scheduled summer meeting in early August in Florida. Among the changes are the dumping of the Industry Long Range Plan that was approved by both the Beef Board and the NCBA this past winter in Denver and to establish it's own plan of action- including how beef checkoff money will be spent. They also propose to establish their own Committees to help implement whatever plan is developed- which implies they would stop participating in the joint committees that have been a part of the industry structure for many years.

In addition, they seem to want to do an end around the current Federation of State Beef Councils and establish their own ties directly with state Beef Councils and pitch them to contribute money directly to CBB national spending plans.

We have seen emails of more than one CBB member questioning the timing and the need to hurry these major changes- calling on the leadership to table these plans and discuss them in person at the summer meeting.
There's also one cattle industry media person who has written extensively about what he sees as an attempt to minimize or eliminate the NCBA as a contractor or as a group that would have any influence at all over the checkoff. That person is Steve Dittmer, who regularly writes an email only newsletter- his last three letters have been a kind of backgrounder on this battle within the beef industry- we have received permission to post these on our website- and you can click on the link below to where we have posted this three part series that he calls Machiavellian Mashers at CBB.

Click here for our Cattle Industry Insights Page at WWW.OklahomaFarmReport.Com and the three part series with Steve Dittmer- they are the three top stories on that page- click on them and read.

Thanks OSU!
We have mentioned a week or so ago about the DASNR Champions that were named by the Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources at Oklahoma State University- and the three honorees were presented their award during a luncheon on campus yesterday.

The three members of this first crop of DASNR Champs were Terry Detrick of AFR, Mike Spradling of Oklahoma Farm Bureau and Ron Hays(yeah- the one and the same). Click on that person's name to get a rundown of why they received this special honor from OSU. The DASNR Champion award was conceived to salute those who did not graduate from the College of Ag at OSU, but have been strong supporters of the OSU Division of Ag through the years and of Oklahoma agriculture in general.

Click on the link below and you can see a picture of the three of us with Dean Bob Whitson of DASNR, who by the way is looking great after his by pass surgery- and even endured a comment by OSU President Burns Hargis about his bovine valve installed by the heart doctor.
As I said a few days back- it's humbling to be honored at the same time as these two outstanding leaders in Oklahoma agriculture- and a little amazing to me as well. It's also greatly and deeply appreciated.

Click here for a picture of the DASNR Champions from the Wednesday Awards Lunch.

Mark your Calendar for This Saturday's Ratcliff Ranch Bull and Female Sale
The Ratcliff Ranch Annual Spring Bull and Commercial Female Sale is happening Saturday, April 2, 2011 at 12 Noon at the Ranch, Vinita, Oklahoma.

Bill Hall, Ranch Manager for Ratcliff Ranchers writes in the Sale Catalog "Today more than ever, we need to make sound breeding and marketing decisions that capitalize on working with proven programs to insure our sustainability. This year the Annual Spring Sale's offering is focused on helping you to do just that. The Ranch is offering roughly 150 service age bulls that are low birth weight, growth-oriented and ranch ready. Bulls are sired by SAV Final Answer, Roundup, Objective, Predestined, Connealy All Around, OCC Prototype, Dream Better, Steel Force S701, Cupid, Raven, Rainmaker and Ambush. In addition, to these sires, we are offering one of the first sets of NLC Upgrade sons to ever be publicly auctioned.

"We are also selling near 500 commercial females, including 300 two year old pairs and a super fancy set of black baldys. Many have a strong influence of Ratcliff Genetics! The commercial female offerings at Ratcliff have become synonymous with quality and volume."

Click on the LINK below for more information and a chance to download their catalog- and you can go to their website from this link where they now have VIDEO PREVIEWS of the cattle selling on Saturday.

Click here for more on the Ratcliff Ranches Bull Sale Coming this Saturday.

Our thanks to Midwest Farms Shows, PCOM, P & K Equipment/ P & K Wind Energy, Johnston Enterprises, American Farmers & Ranchers, KIS Futures and Big Iron Online Auctions for their support of our daily Farm News Update. For your convenience, we have our sponsors' websites linked here- just click on their name to jump to their website- check their sites 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- FREE!

We also invite you to check out our website at the link below to check out an archive of these daily emails, audio reports and top farm news story links from around the globe.

Click here to check out WWW.OklahomaFarmReport.Com

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 $9.95 per bushel- as of the close of trade Wednesday, while the 2011 New Crop contracts for Canola are now available are $10.90 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:
Our Daily Market Wrapup from the Radio Oklahoma Network with Ed Richards and Tom Leffler- analyzing the Futures Markets from the previous Day-
Ron on RON Markets as heard on K101 mornings with cash and futures reviewed- includes where the Cash Cattle market stands, the latest Feeder Cattle Markets Etc.
Previous Day's Wheat Market Recap- Two Pager From The Kansas City Board of Trade looks at all three US Wheat Futures Exchanges with extra info on Hard Red Winter Wheat and the why of that day's market.
Daily Oklahoma Cash Grain Prices- As Reported by the Oklahoma Dept. of Agriculture.
The National Daily Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary- as prepared by USDA.
The National Daily Slaughter Cattle Summary- as prepared by USDA.
Finally, Here is the Daily Volume and Price Summary from the Texas Cattle Feeders Association. It's ANOTHER ALL TIME CASH CATTLE MARKET HIGH- $120 to $121 in heavy volume!!!

God Bless! You can reach us at the following:
phone: 405-473-6144

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