From: Ron Hays [] on behalf of Ron Hays []
Sent: Friday, December 23, 2011 5:42 AM
To: Hays, Ron
Subject: Oklahoma's Farm News Update

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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.



Let's Check the Markets! 



Today's First Look:  

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.


Okla Cash Grain:  

Daily Oklahoma Cash Grain Prices- as reported by the Oklahoma Dept. of Agriculture.


Canola Prices:  

Current cash price for Canola is $11.56 per bushel-

2012 New Crop contracts for Canola are now available at $11.71 per bushel- delivered to local participating elevators that are working with PCOM.


Futures Wrap:  

Our Daily Market Wrapup from the Radio Oklahoma Network with Ed Richards and Tom Leffler- analyzing the Futures Markets from the previous Day.


KCBT Recap: 

Previous Day's Wheat Market Recap- Two Pager from the Kansas City Board of Trade looks at all three U.S. Wheat Futures Exchanges with extra info on Hard Red Winter Wheat and the why of that day's market. 


Feeder Cattle Recap:  

The National Daily Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary- as prepared by USDA.


Slaughter Cattle Recap: 

The National Daily Slaughter Cattle Summary- as prepared by the USDA.


TCFA Feedlot Recap:  

Finally, here is the Daily Volume and Price Summary from the Texas Cattle Feeders Association.


Oklahoma's Latest Farm and Ranch News
Your Merry Christmas Update from Ron Hays of RON
   Friday, December 23, 2011
Howdy Neighbors! 

Here is your daily Oklahoma farm and ranch news update. 
story1Featured Story:
Oklahoma Farm Bureau's Mike Spradling Talks Wrapping Up 2011 and Looking Forward to 2012 


As 2011 comes to a close, we reflect on all the activity of the year with Oklahoma Farm Bureau President Mike Spradling. Spradling discusses a variety of accomplishments, issues and weather conditions that farmers and ranchers in the state of Oklahoma had to face throughout the year.

Spradling says the weather and the environment was one of the most significant parts of 2011. With negative temperatures well into February, flooding in some areas, 100 degree temperature swing in one week, and a drought with excessive and prolonged temperatures, and more, Spradling says Oklahoma experienced a little bit of everything.

Also, when it comes to legislative issues, Spradling says the Oklahoma Farm Bureau is pleased with 2011. Oklahoma Farm Bureau had a total of 12 bills as priorities for this legislative session and managed to get all 12 of them signed by Gov. Mary Fallin. Spradling adds that while they were successful this year, they are still looking ahead at issues like the Oklahoma Comprehensive Water Plan for 2012.

On a federal level, Spradling says they are concerned about regulatory issues, such as the EPA dust regulations and the changes to child labor laws by the Department of Labor. Both of these issues are definitely on the minds of Oklahoma Farm Bureau members and Spradling says they are priorities for 2012.

Click on the LINK below to hear more of our conversation with Mike Spradling on wrapping up 2011 and what we can expect from Oklahoma Farm Bureau in 2012. Also, you can hear even more from Mike Spradling on this weekend's News9 In the Field on Saturday morning at 6:40 a.m.

Click here to listen to our conversation with OFB's Mike Spradling


Sponsor Spotlight


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.

PiggyNational Piggy Count At Noon Today- and a Reminder of the Christmas Holiday Schedule  



At twelve noon central time- the USDA will be releasing the end of the year Hogs and Pigs quarterly report.  It's expected to show a modest expansion of hog numbers as of December first- with more expansion projected for the new year- based on record prices this year and a profitable outlook for 2012.


Pre report guesses anticipate 1.2% more total hogs in the US as of December first than a year ago- numbers of females kept for breeding are projected to be 100.8% of a year ago- and the kept for marketing numbers called 101.3% of 2010.  We will have details of the numbers on our website this afternoon- and full details and industry reaction in our next email- which will be next Tuesday- December 27.


Speaking of that next email- a couple of quick notes on the Christmas schedule- ag futures are operating on a normal schedule today- but will be closed for both the electronic trade and open outcry on Monday.  Livestock auction barns are almost all closed now for the balance of 2011- check with your favorite outlet to see their plans for a first sale in 2012- some will be selling cattle as early as Monday, January 2.  AND- we will not have a regular daily email on Monday December 26 or Monday January 2.  


story3Jim Robb Predicts 2012 to be a Transition Year for Livestock Markets


The livestock marketplace faced some major difficulties throughout 2011, especially with a decrease in many cattle herds. Jim Robb, Director of the Livestock Market Information Center, believes this is a trend that is here to stay as herds have shrunk over recent decades.

Robb says the cattle weights have made up for these changes within herds during this transition point in the market. However, as we look to 2012, Robb says there will be even more significant changes within the market as he predicts there will a year to year decline in beef output, which he says is largely because of the liquidation of cattle over the years.

Also, there is the factor of the upcoming winter weather. With some areas of the Oklahoma panhandle and Southwest Kansas already dealing with severe winter weather, Robb says producers need to keep an eye on the weather status. If the weather proves to be harsh as in recent years, Robb says it could actually impede feedlot animal performance and pull cattle prices higher. 


Click here to listen to our Beef Buzz with Jim Robb of LMIC.  

story4Oklahoma Drought Intensity Shrinks a Little More in Latest Drought Monitor


Oklahoma's continuing wet ways have helped the state reduce its drought designation once again. The U.S. Drought Monitor map released this morning shows about 27% of the state now in the two worst intensity categories (exceptional and extreme), down about 5% from last week. Only 3% of that 27% is the worst drought category of exceptional- and all of that is in the Oklahoma Panhandle- which now has a blanket of snow that is gradually melting and will provide some desperately needed moisture.  


Click here for a couple of graphics we have on our website which tell the story very well about drought conditions here in the state as we approach the Christmas holiday weekend.



DeereChristmas with a John Deere B- Year Two 



As I approach the age of forgetfulness(my daughters would tell you I have already arrived in First Class at that destinantion)- it's helpful to go back and re-read things we have written in the past- and we did just that as we got ready to write today's email on this Friday before Christmas.   


Last year on this date- we wrote our final email before Christmas- and we wrote about Christmas in my home state of Kentucky and the memories that were invoked by a model John Deere "B" tractor that I gave my dad last Christmas- that was the tractor I remember growing up with on our small Kentucky farm.


We made a very short- and sad- trip back to my home state at the first of this week- as one of the Aunts that I mentioned in last year's story passed away a week ago- and my wife Jan, my two young adult daughters and I did a flying road trip to be there.  I mentioned two living Aunts in last year's email still living in Kentucky- both of them now have addresses in heaven- we lost one in January of this year and now the second in December- that reminds you how fragile life really is.


It was a too short time- but even with the sadness of saying goodbye to my Aunt Opal- there was still some laughter and lots of hugs exchanged in the time following.  


And I was reminded one more time of the roots that make me who I am.  I was reminded of the honest farmers who are my ancestors- of working as a youth on our farm- and our neighbor's farm (sorry Department of Labor- I survived!!!)- and what helps make our rural way of life so special here in America.  


I have been blessed.  I am blessed.  I am thankful. 

Story6Just How Do Santa's Reindeer Get the Job Done?


Have you ever wondered how Santa's reindeer can make that monumental journey on Christmas Eve? Dr. Glenn Selk, OSU Emeritus Extension Animal Scientist, looks into some key facts about reindeer that may help us understand how they get Ole St. Nick on his appointed rounds over the world.   

First of all, historians report that reindeer have been domesticated by humans for over 5000 years. Since Santa himself is no spring chicken, we can assume that they have worked together for quite awhile. They should not have any trouble finding their way around. There is no need to worry about them getting lost.   

We do know that reindeer are like ruminants. They are like cattle in this regard. They have four compartments to their stomach. Of course Santa gets them filled up with hay before he leaves the North Pole, so they should have plenty of feed stored in the four compartments to make it all around the globe. Also, cattle nutritionists have known for years that hay digests more slowly than grain, therefore the big meal that the reindeer eat before the journey should last even longer. Or just like your mom says "It'll stick to their ribs!".   

Click here for more fun facts from Dr. Selk on Santa's reindeer

What if Joseph Told His Christmas Story? 



A year ago- I offered a story penned by Max Lucado that looked at the birth of a King through the ideas of the man who would be his earthly dad- Joseph of Nazareth.  It's a tad long- but awfully good- so we conclude today's email with it as a reminder to one and all about the miracle of this holiday season-


Max Lucado has a way of taking the truths of the season and allowing us to see them in a different way. What if we were able to go back some 2,000 years ago- and be a fly on the wall where Joseph of Nazareth was standing- looking up into the night sky? Here's what Max Lucado says that he might be muttering as he waits on the birth of a child by his wife, Mary. (From He Still Moves Stones)

This isn't the way I planned it, God. Not at all. My child being born in a stable? This isn't the way I thought it would be. A cave with sheep and donkeys, hay and straw? My wife giving birth with only the stars to hear her pain?

This isn't at all what I imagined. No, I imagined family. I imagined grandmothers. I imagined neighbors clustered outside the door and friends standing at my side. I imagined the house erupting with the first cry of the infant. Slaps on the back. Loud laughter. Jubilation.

That's how I thought it would be.

But now. Now look. Nazareth is five days' journey away. And here we are in a- in a sheep pasture. Who will celebrate with us? The sheep? The shepherds? The stars?

This doesn't seem right. What kind of husband am I? I provide no midwife to aid my wife. No bed to rest her back. Her pillow is a blanket from my donkey. My house for her is a shed of hay and straw.

The smell is bad, the animals are loud. Why, I even smell like a shepherd myself.

Did I miss something? Did I, God?

When you sent the angel and spoke of the son being born--this isn't what I pictured. I envisioned Jerusalem, the temple, the priests, and the people gathered to watch. A pageant perhaps. A parade. A banquet at least. I mean, this is the Messiah!

Or, if not born in Jerusalem, how about Nazareth? Wouldn't Nazareth have been better? At least there I have my house and my business. Out here, what do I have? A weary mule, a stack of firewood, and a pot of warm water. This is not the way I wanted it to be! This is not the way I wanted my son.

Oh my, I did it again. I did it again didn't I, Father? I don't mean to do that; it's just that I forget. He's not my son. He's yours.

The child is yours. The plan is yours. The idea is yours. And forgive me for asking but, is this how God enters the world? The coming of the angel, I've accepted. The questions people asked about the pregnancy, I can tolerate. The trip to Bethlehem, fine. But why a birth in a stable, God?

Any minute now Mary will give birth. Not to a child, but to the Messiah. Not to an infant, but to God. That's what the angel said. That's what Mary believes. And, God, my God, that's what I want to believe. But surely you can understand; it's not easy. It seems so- bizarre.

I'm unaccustomed to such strangeness, God. I'm a carpenter. I make things fit. I square off the edges. I follow the plumb line. I measure twice before I cut once. Surprises are not the friend of a builder. I like to see the plan before I begin.

But this time I'm not the builder, am I? This time I'm a tool. A hammer in your grip. A nail between your fingers. A chisel in your hands. This project is yours, not mine.

I guess it's foolish of me to question you. Forgive my struggling. Trust doesn't come easy to me, God. But you never said it would be easy, did you?

One final thing, Father. The angel you sent? Any chance you could send another? If not an angel, maybe a person? I don't know anyone around here and some company would be nice. Maybe the innkeeper or a traveler? Even a shepherd would do.

Max Lucado goes on to say "I wonder. Did Joseph ever pray such a prayer? Perhaps he did. Perhaps he didn't.

"But you probably have.
You've stood where Joseph stood. Caught between what God says and what makes sense. You've stared into a sky blackened with doubt. And you've asked what Joseph asked.
"You've asked if you're still on the right road. You've asked if you were supposed to turn left when you turned right. And you've asked if there is a plan behind this scheme. Things haven't turned out like you thought they would.

"Each of us knows what it's like to search the night for light. Not outside a stable, but perhaps outside an emergency room. On the gravel of a roadside. On the manicured grass of a cemetery. We've asked our questions. We questioned God's plan. And we've wondered why God does what he does.

"No, the Bethlehem sky is not the first to hear the pleadings of an honest heart, nor the last. And perhaps God didn't answer every question for Joseph. But he answered the most important one. "Are you still with me, God?" And through the first cries of the God-child the answer came. "Yes. Yes, Joseph. I'm with you."

"There are many questions that we won't be able to answer. Many times we will muse, "I wonder"

"But in our wonderings, there is one question we never need to ask. Does God care? Do we matter to God? Does he still love his children?

"Through the small face of the stable-born baby, he says yes.

"Yes, your sins can be forgiven.

"Yes, your name can be written in heaven.

"Yes, death has been defeated.

"Because God has entered the world.

"Immanuel. God is with us."




Our thanks to Midwest Farms Shows, PCOM, P & K Equipment/ P & K Wind Energy, Johnston Enterprises, American Farmers & Ranchers, One Resource Environmental- operators of, 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



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