~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Thursday, September 1, 2011A service of Johnston Enterprises, P & K Equipment/ P & K Wind Energy and American Farmers & Ranchers Mutual Insurance Company!
-- Up to 90% of the Oklahoma Cotton Crop Acreage Being Abandoned in 2011
-- Oklahoma Agriculture Mediation Program Looking to Help Producers Deal with Drought
-- U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe Hosting Lesser Prairie Chicken Forums
-- National Pork Board Proposes 2012 Budget Continuing Consumer Focus
-- Biofuel Production Increases Despite Tough Economy
-- Oklahoma FFA Lands Fourteen National Proficiency Award Finalists for 2011 National Convention
-- Cattle Producers Battle EPA Over Florida Water Quality Rules
-- 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 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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Up to 90% of the Oklahoma Cotton Crop Acreage Being Abandoned in 2011
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Cotton Producer Matt Muller believes that the 2011 Oklahoma Cotton Crop may be a very small fraction of the size of the last couple of growing seasons. In 2010, Oklahoma Cotton production was 415,000 bales, up 30 percent from the prior year. The yield averaged 738 pounds per acre from 270,000 harvested acres. Muller believes that in southwestern Oklahoma, perhaps ten percent of the acres that were harvested in 2010 will actually be harvested in 2011.
Muller says that water from Lake Altus Lugert was shut off by mid July, and most of the irrigated cotton that had received a couple of waterings prior to that declined quickly under the brutal July and August conditions that have resulted in a record number of days above one hundred degrees across a lot of southwestern Oklahoma. Muller calls the abandonment rate is "unbelievable." On his farm, he had planted 1,000 acres and he belives that he may be able to harvest 100 acres this fall. Many of his neighbors have already "zero'd out" their cotton for crop insurance purposes.
Muller is a member of the Oklahoma Farm Bureau Farm Bill Committee established by the organization last fall at their annual meeting. Muller says that the Committee continues their work, with an eye on protecting Crop Insurance as priority number one. He also mentioned the idea of a revenue based safety net, which he believes can be shaped several ways.
Muller also reacted to the decision by the National Cotton Council to back away from strong support for a direct farm support payment as a part of the mix for the 2012 farm bill. Click here to see our earlier story on the NCC farm policy statement issued last week.
Click on the LINK below to hear our chat with Matt Muller of Jackson County at the conclusion of the Oklahoma Farm Bureau Drought Summit held on Tuesday of this week.
Oklahoma Agriculture Mediation Program Looking to Help Producers Deal with Drought
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Andrea Braeutigam of the Oklahoma Agriculture Mediation Program spoke this week at the Oklahoma Farm Bureau Drought Summit. We sat down with her after her presentation and discussed how the mediation process can be beneficial to farmers and ranchers in dealing with stress, especially in a year like 2011.
Many farmers and ranchers across the state have had to deal with the issue of deciding to sell off cattle herds and others have lost a multitude of crops, which has caused added pressure and stress. Braeutigam says the Oklahoma Agriculture Mediation Program is really working on getting people at the table to work together before the stress gets to an intolerable point.
The Oklahoma Agriculture Mediation Program usually works with USDA agencies and their customers, as well as, any farmer or rancher and their lenders says Braeutigam. The goal at the end of the mediation process is for the clients to have a written settlement agreement between the producer and the USDA agency or other party about how they are going to restructure their loan says Braeutigam.
The mediation process has had a fairly good success rate with about 85% to 92% settlement rates, according to Braeutigam. Candidates that are eligible for participating in the mediation process are any producers in Oklahoma that have received an adverse termination letter from the USDA or any other lendor, creditor, or borrower. Also, if a farmer or rancher is delinquite on a farm loan or dealing with a conservation contract, they are also eligible.
U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe Hosting Lesser Prairie Chicken Forums
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe will be holding two September forums with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director, Dan Ashe, concerning the potential listing of the lesser prairie chicken as an endangered or threatened species. The lesser prairie chicken occupies a five-state range that includes Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Kansas and Colorado. The range in Oklahoma includes the Panhandle and several western Oklahoma counties.
In January 2011, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service initiated the listing process for the lesser prairie chicken. Director Ashe and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service staff members will address the current stage of the process, hear from interested parties on a potential listing and answer questions from participants. The forums will allow participants to directly contribute to the decision making process.
The first forum will be held on Sept. 7, 2011, at the High Plains
Technology Center, Seminar Room, 3941 34th Street, Woodward OK. The second
forum will be held on Sept. 8, 2011, at the University of Central
Oklahoma, Nigh University Center, Room 300, 100 North University Drive,
National Pork Board Proposes 2012 Budget Continuing Consumer Focus
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Bolstered by market research that shows the new Pork® Be inspiredsm campaign is having a positive impact on consumer attitudes, more than 50 pork producers will meet in Des Moines Sept. 7-8 to draft a 2012 budget for the National Pork Board that is expected to maintain a strong focus on getting consumers to eat more pork.
The 50-plus producers from throughout the country who make up the Plan of Work Task Force will continue a planning and budgeting process that began earlier this summer when producer-led committees identified specific action steps designed to meet the goals in the board's strategic plan. Those goals include:
Refresh and reposition pork's image to increase domestic and
international consumer demand.
Based on revenue projections from the Pork Checkoff in 2012, the board
has established a budget target of $69.3 million. The board anticipates
spending $69.9 million in 2011.
Biofuel Production Increases Despite Tough Economy
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Global production of biofuels increased 17 percent in 2010 to reach an all-time high of 105 billion liters, up from 90 billion liters in 2009. High oil prices, a global economic rebound, and new laws and mandates in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, and the United States, among other countries, are all factors behind the surge in production, according to research conducted by the Worldwatch Institute's Climate and Energy Program for the website Vital Signs Online.
The United States and Brazil remain the two largest producers of ethanol. In 2010, the United States generated 49 billion liters, or 57 percent of global output, and Brazil produced 28 billion liters, or 33 percent of the total. Corn is the primary feedstock for U.S. ethanol, and sugarcane is the dominant source of ethanol in Brazil.
"In the United States, the record production of biofuels is attributed in part to high oil prices, which encouraged several large fuel companies, including Sunoco, Valero, Flint Hills, and Murphy Oil, to enter the ethanol industry," said Alexander Ochs, Director of Worldwatch's Climate and Energy Program. High oil prices were also a factor in Brazil, where every third car-owner drives a "flex-fuel" vehicle that can run on either fossil or bio-based fuels. Many Brazilian drivers have switched to sugarcane ethanol because it is cheaper than gasoline.
"Although the U.S. and Brazil are the world leaders in ethanol, the largest producer of biodiesel is the European Union, which generated 53 percent of all biodiesel in 2010," said Ochs. "However, we may see some European countries switch from biodiesel to ethanol because a recent report from the European Commission states that ethanol crops have a higher energy content than biodiesel crops, making them more efficient sources of fuel."
Oklahoma FFA Lands Fourteen National Proficiency Award Finalists for 2011 National Convention
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The National FFA organization has announced the finalists in the National Proficiency Award areas- a total of 47 different awards will be presented in Indianapolis during the 2011 National FFA Convention.
To qualify for a National FFA Agricultural Proficiency Award, you must first receive a state-level proficiency award. Then the State FFA Association must submit that application to the National FFA Organization for consideration for a national level award.
At the last two national conventions, the Oklahoma FFA had the most National Proficiency awards, as well as finalists, of any state. This year, the two states that have tied with the most finalists that they will take to Indianapolis are California and Wisconsin, each with 20 proficiency award finalists. Texas stands in third place with 15 finalists and Oklahoma is tied with Georgia and Ohio for the fourth highest total with 14 finalists that will represent their Chapters and their state in October. In 2010, Oklahoma won eight national profiency awards from their 22 national finalists. 2010 National winner William Maltbie, Burlington FFA, is back in 2011 competing in a different program area. Also back, hoping for a back to back national Proficiency Award is Taylor Runyan of Atoka FFA.
The Mulhall- Orlando FFA Chapter has three members that are finalists in the National Profiencies, while Atoka and Lexington FFA both claim a pair of finalists going to the 2011 national convention.
Cattle Producers Battle EPA Over Florida Water Quality Rules
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The National Cattlemen's Beef Association continues to battle within the legal system against the EPA over the standards they are trying to force on the state of Florida. Tamara Thies is a legal counsel with the NCBA who specialty is environmental issues- and she is concerned that the heavy handed approach of the EPA in trying to impose burdensome water quality standards will be used as a template that could be duplicated in other parts of the country- including in the massive Mississippi River water basin.
According to a background paper on the NCBA website, "this rule is considered to be a blueprint for similar efforts across the US, including in the Mississippi River Basin. The process used to develop the Florida NNC sets bad precedent for the rest of the country where environmentalists' lawsuits and petitions are currently pending in many states. It is evident that EPA intends to move quickly to the Gulf of Mexico/Mississippi River watershed."
We talked with Tamara Thies about this issue- and our conversation over the battle about Florida and their water quality standards is the subject for today's Beef Buzz. The Beef Buzz is our daily look at the beef industry as heard on great radio stations across the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network- and our Beef Buzz shows can be heard on our website- just click on the Beef Buzz button on the left hand side of any page on www.OklahomaFarmReport.Com.
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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 $13.23 per bushel- as of the close of trade Wednesday, while the 2012 New Crop contracts for Canola are now available are $13.47 per bushel- delivered to local participating elevators that are working with PCOM.
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