From: Ron Hays [] on behalf of Ron Hays []
Sent: Tuesday, July 19, 2011 6:03 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 Tuesday July 19, 2011
A service of Johnston Enterprises, P & K Equipment/ P & K Wind Energy and American Farmers & Ranchers Mutual Insurance Company!
-- Canola Crop Finished Strong in 2011 and More to be Discussed at Canola Conference Meetings
-- US Wheat Associates Advice to Global Customers- Buy or Price Your Wheat Now
-- Update from the US Wheat Associates Meeting - Don Schieber Retiring and Alan Tracy Talks Wheat Marketing
-- Latest Crop Weather Update All About the Drought
-- Forage Marketing Just as Important in Feeder Cattle Marketing
-- Farewell to Pork Belly Futures
-- Testing for Tulsa Farm Show- Ag in the Classroom and Pray for Jeff
-- 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!

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Canola Crop Finished Strong in 2011 and More to be Discussed at Canola Conference Meetings
We talked on Monday while in Tulsa with Dr. Tom Peeper, Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, Oklahoma State University. Tom discussed the outcome of the 2011 canola crop year. With it being a tough year for all of the winter crops, Peeper said he believes all canola producers were pleased with how the canola crop turned out this year.

Peeper also said canola is not a difficult crop to grow, it is just a new experience for a lot of growers. And this is going to be a topic of discussion at the upcoming Canola Conference meetings in Enid on July 19 (TODAY) and in Lawton on July 20. Peeper said the take-home message of these upcoming meetings will be that canola is a profitable crop and a crop that fits well in a rotation with winter wheat.

The Canola Conference meetings will cover a variety of topics including soil preparations and planting, canola varieties, insects, diseases and weeds, canola crop insurance, fertilizing canola, economics of wheat and canola rotations, harvesting options and there will be a grower panel discussion.

As we move forward with canola and into these upcoming meetings, Peeper said it is important for those considering planting canola to know that it is no longer a risky crop to grow and prices are strong and holding for 2012 crop contracts.

Click on the LINK below to listen to the rest of our conversation with Dr. Tom Peeper on how canola finished up this crop season and the Canola Conference meetings. AND- we hope to see you this morning in Enid at the Hoover Building on the Garfield County Fairgrounds for the Winter Canola Conference. Remember- you can also attend the event in Lawton- it's set for tomorrow, July 20th.

Click here for more on Canola Conference and more from Dr. Peeper

US Wheat Associates Advice to Global Customers- Buy or Price Your Wheat Now
Vince Peterson of US Wheat Associates says his advice to the many international wheat buyers and customers that his group works with is - current wheat prices may be a bargain- now's the time to price wheat for your country. In talking with Peterson after his Monday morning presentation to the US Wheat Associates Board of Directors meeting, Peterson contends that wheat prices have come off of their highs by around $2.50 to $2.00 per bushel- and he makes a case that this new higher plateau may be close to a floor for US wheat prices anytime soon.

Wheat prices are near where corn prices now sit- there is a lot of uncertainty in producing an adequate corn crop this year in the US and there are production concerns for wheat and feed grains in other parts of the world as well.

You can hear Peterson's comments on the current wheat valuation- as well as how good of a year our wheat marketing efforts were last year- plus his thoughts on the Russian grain industry- click on the LINK below and check it out.

Click here for more information on wheat from Vince Peterson and US Wheat Associates

Update from the US Wheat Associates Meeting - Don Schieber Retiring and Alan Tracy Talks Wheat Marketing
Oklahoma wheat producer Don Schieber of Kay County has wrapped up his year as the Chairman of US Wheat Associates. Schieber was honored several times during the summer Board of Directors meeting that was held at the Renaissance Hotel in Tulsa July 15th through the 18th.

As he prepared to turn over the gavel to Randy Suess of Washington state, we talked with Schieber about his time in rotating through the officer chairs and why he felt motivated to get involved in this producer led organization. US Wheat Associates is the international market promotion arm of the US Wheat Industry. U.S. Wheat Associates develops export markets by demonstrating the reliability, choice, and value of U.S. wheat in over 100 countries. Our organization is funded by U.S. wheat producer checkoff dollars managed by 19 state wheat commissions and through cost-share funding provided by USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service.

Click here to listen to Schieber discuss his time as a US Wheat Associates officer.

We also talked with the President of US Wheat Associates, Alan Tracy, about a variety of subjects as the 2011 US Wheat Summer Board of Directors meeting wound down in Tulsa on Monday.

Among the topics that Tracy covered-

The importance of Market Access Funds in keeping several dozen US Wheat Associates operatives in place all around the world;

the importance of the Free Trade Agreements to be ratified with South Korea and Columbia;

the 2010-2011 Marketing Year;

the remarkable year that US Wheat had in Egypt and

what other key countries are out there that the US Wheat Associates team is finding success in moving US wheat into.

Click on the LINK below to hear our full conversation with Alan Tracy as conducted on Monday, July 18, 2011 in Tulsa.

Click here to hear more from Alan Tracy on wheat marketing

Latest Crop Weather Update All About the Drought
The latest Oklahoma Crop Weather Update continues to paint a picture of drought- "Heat advisories remained in effect for Oklahoma for the majority of last week. Temperatures soared to reach triple digits for another week and the Governor issued a ban on outdoor burning for 45 counties. There were several reports of large grass fires throughout the week, but no injuries reported. Portions of the state received some rainfall as a weak tropical system brought slight relief on Tuesday; however, it was not enough moisture to alleviate the extremely dry conditions. The average rainfall for the state was a meager 0.25 of an inch, with the Northeast district recording the most precipitation with only 0.68 of an inch. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, three-fourths of the state is experiencing severe to extreme drought conditions."

As we look forward to the planting of the 2012 wheat crop- optimism is in short supply. "The extremely dry weather has made the ground too dry to plow in some areas. Wheat ground plowed reached 76 percent complete by Sunday, 11 points ahead of normal."

For our spring planted crops- "Lack of rain has negatively affected row crops across the state and has left many producers with some tough decision making. Crop conditions continued to decline as a result of the drought. Corn silking reached 94 percent complete by week's end and 46 percent of the crop had reached the dough stage. Sorghum emerged reached 95 percent complete and 30 percent of the crop was heading by Sunday. Soybean blooming was 37 percent complete by Sunday, four points ahead of the five-year average. Peanut pegging was 80 percent and five percent of plants were setting pods by week's end. Cotton emerged reached 77 percent complete by Sunday while cotton squaring was 31 percent complete, both significantly behind the five-year average."

Pasture and range conditions also continue to be just plain awful- a lot of cattle continue to come off of ranches where there is just not enough forage to keep them going- here's the Monday July 18 report from the Oklahoma National Stockyards in OKC where the numbers being sold this July are almost double the numbers at the market one year ago.

Click here for the complete Oklahoma Crop Weather Update as released on Monday afternoon, July 18.

Forage Marketing Just as Important in Feeder Cattle Marketing
Whether it's a cow-calf producer selling weaned calves or retaining calves through a stocker or backgrounding program; or a stocker producer adding weight to lightweight calves, the market value of feeder cattle at various weights reflects the value of forage used in the production of feeder cattle. According to Dr. Derrell Peel, OSU Extension Livestock Market Economist, these economic signals are contained in the level of feeder cattle prices and the price relationships between different weights of feeder cattle. Feeder cattle producers are really in the forage business more than in the cattle business.

In most markets, relative prices provide incentives to increase or decrease production. Cattle production has the additional complexity of considerable flexibility in production systems. Cattle can be produced using relatively more or less forage. Thus, cattle markets also must provide incentives for the cattle industry to utilize the best production systems for different market situations. Sometimes the market emphasizes weaned calf production and at other times the market emphasizes heavy feeder cattle production on forage.

Lessons from history can be instructive. 2006 was a good example of a market emphasizing calf production. The major market conditions at that time were cyclically low cattle numbers and cheap corn. The result was high calf prices, similar to current levels, but a sharp decline in prices for heavy feeder cattle. The price of a heavy feeder was less than 80 percent of the price of a calf. Thus, the value of forage marketed through weaned calves was high but the value of stocker or backgrounding gain was relatively low. With cheap corn and low cattle numbers, the market was encouraging cattle to move into feedlots quicker and lighter and the potential for stocker based gains was limited.

The year 1996 was a good example of the other extreme. Cyclically large cattle numbers and drought-induced, high corn prices resulted in low feeder cattle price levels, thus discouraging calf production, but relatively high value of stocker gain that encouraged more forage based feeder production to stretch limited corn supplies. The price of a heavy feeder was approaching 90 percent of the price of the calf price. In this situation, the returns to cow-calf production were low but the returns to stocker or backrounding gains were relatively high. The value of forage was higher when marketed through fewer, but heavier, feeder cattle.

Click here for more information on forage marketing from Dr. Derrell Peel

Farewell to Pork Belly Futures
The CME Group announced this past Friday, July 15, in a report to traders that "because of a prolonged lack of trading volume and after significant discussion with industry participants, CME delisted Frozen Pork Bellies Futures and Options effective Monday, July 18, 2011." At one time, frozen pork bellies were the most traded contact on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

Trader Harvey Paffrenroth the Chicago Tribune that pork bellies were the "glamour market." The pork belly contract was introduced in 1961, when frozen bellies would be stored away for the winter, then thawed for summer's increased bacon demand.

Pork belly futures allowed producers to hedge against price fluctuations. Today, with an increase in year-round consumption, consolidation of the industry, and the use of fresh, not frozen bellies, the pork belly future has become obsolete.

Back in 1970s and 1980s, Pork Bellies was one of the marquee traded agricultural commodities- and it was the object of a lot of jokes as well.

Click on the LINK below to watch a Youtube video from the movie, Trading Places, where Billy Valentine learns commodity trading from his mentors, the Mortimers. We also a have a link to that Chicago Tribune article that takes a nostalgic look back at Belly futures. On a personal note- some of my "city" friends used to kid me in a gentle way about my reporting about agriculture- and one former Pastor always would ask me how the "sow bellies" were doing. Those days have now passed us by.

Click here for more on the demise of the frozen pork belly ag futures contract.

Testing for Tulsa Farm Show- Ag in the Classroom and Pray for Jeff
The annual Big Three Livestock Judging event at Oklahoma State University gets underway today- and tomorrow- July 20- Wednesday- John Sampson of the Tulsa Farm Show will be on campus at Oklahoma State University to offer FFA and 4-H youth the chance to compete this coming December at the 2011 Tulsa Farm Show in the Livestock Handling Skills Contest. The contest has a couple of components- starting with the qualifying test that is given at the Big Three event. The top teams from this written test then will compete for scholarships this December. John, in an email, tells us "Test on Wednesday. Room 123 Animal Science Bldg. 1 pm to 4:30 pm- Open to any ag student team of 3 students- they must be from the same school. All teams from one school must take the test at the same time." Click here for more details- it says 2010- but the study guide and entry form from this page can still be used- email John Sampson for last minute questions.

We also got an email from Dana Bessinger from Ag in the Classroom fame- she's riding on what we hope is a very cool bus with 46 teachers in north central Oklahoma- educating as they roll about how to use ag in the classroom materials in Oklahoma classrooms. Dana writes about what the Tuesday plan "We are starting out at the Cimarron Valley Research Station. It is the most diverse station in the state. We had planned to look at peaches, but the crop was destroyed by the hard freeze. (Do you remember what that felt like?!?!) Chris Kirby with Farm to School is going to meet us there and discuss eating local fruits and vegetables.

"From there we are heading to the Morrison Event Center to meet representatives from Made In Oklahoma, Southwest Dairy Farmers, Oklahoma Farm Bureau Women, Farm to You Exhibit, and Morrison teachers. We will tour Head Country BBQ, the BAR (Blubaugh Angus Ranch), and supper at Head Country Barbeque. Jeff Scott with Great Plains Canola is going to meet us for supper to discuss Oklahoma's Other Oilfield." To learn more about the Ag in the Classroom experience- click here for the Oklahoma Ag in the Classroom website.

Finally, we wanted to give you an update from Hydro where our friend Jeff Krehbiel continues his battle against cancer. Jeff, former President of the Oklahoma Wheat Growers and currently a member of the Oklahoma Wheat Commission, is now under regular care at the Maple Lawn Nursing Home in Hydro. Yesterday, Jeff suffered his first seizure that he has had in some time- he's already back awake and conscious but has not gotten his speech back from this latest episode as of yet. Pray for Jeff- and pray for his wife Karen and daughter Brittany as they continue down what has proven to be a very long and tough road.

Our thanks to Midwest Farms Shows, PCOM, P & K Equipment/ P & K Wind Energy, Johnston Enterprises, American Farmers & Ranchers and KIS Futures 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 $13.03 per bushel- as of the close of trade Wednesday, while the 2012 New Crop contracts for Canola are now available are $12.92 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.

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

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