~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Friday September 12, 2008!A service of American Farmers & Ranchers, Johnston Enterprises and KIS Futures!
-- A Rainy Weekend For Some Courtesy of Lowell and Ike
-- Crop Insurance Deadlines Loom Ever Closer
-- Crop Production Numbers Coming This Morning
-- CFTC Concludes No Problem with Speculation in Ag Futures Markets
-- Grading Senators McCain and Obama- Barry Flinchbaugh's Take
-- What do you know about TEFF?
-- A Ten Acre Fix Proposed by Jerry Moran and Bob Ethridge
-- Looking at our Agricultural 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 KIS Futures as a regular sponsor of our daily E-Mail. KIS Futures provides Oklahoma Farmers & Ranchers with futures & options hedging services in the livestock and grain markets- Click here for their recent TV Commercial or call them at 1-800-256-2555.
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A Rainy Weekend For Some Courtesy of Lowell and Ike
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The amount of rain that has descended over Major County over night is incredible- we are past nine inches of rain in the last 24 hours in Fairview and counting. Other Mesonet stations that show huge amounts of rain- coming from the tropical leftovers of Lowell from the Pacific Coast- include Putnam with 6.67 inches since 7 PM last night, almost four inches at Seiling and over three inches in Medford.
This is a fairly narrow band of rain that has stalled out over Major County as Watonga has received about a tenth of an inch since 7 PM last night- and Kingfisher nothing. This system is moving up from the Pacific and has not moved overnight- thus the extreme amounts of rain falling in Major County.
Still to come is a potential rain event courtesy of Ike. Ike is
expected to make landfall tonight near Galveston and then move inland up
across east Texas and turn and head northeastward towards Little Rock,
Arkansas. This is a big storm(miles across) and it will easily extend its
bands of rain into Oklahoma- how far and how much rain those bands bring
remains to be seen. The southeastern half of the state will likely get the
wettest from Ike as he rolls in over the weekend.
Crop Insurance Deadlines Loom Ever Closer
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Several key dates are just around the corner for crop insurance and disaster program eligibility. We plan to have Scott Bulling of the Oklahoma Farm Bureau on with us Saturday morning on KWTV News9 on our In the Field segment seen on their morning news block- we are normally on around 6:40 AM or so. Also- check in on our website over the weekend- and we will have a story with Scott about these deadlines- Friday is the final day that we are watching the market to set coverage levels- so we will review all of that with Scott this weekend. Click on the link below to go to our front page and look at the Top Agricultural News list for the latest on Crop Insurance Signup news.
We talked a few weeks back with Francie Tolle of the American Farmers & Ranchers about the implementation of the Farm Law- about ACRE as well as the importance of signing up for NAP in order to be eligible for the permanent disaster program for the current crop year- deadline to sign up as we have mentioned is September 16- Click here to go to that interview with Francie.
Crop Production Numbers Coming This Morning
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~USDA will update us on the size of our major crops at 7:30 AM central time- and we will have coverage of this report on our website shortly after that. Ed Richards will have comments with Tom Leffler on the numbers on our daily Market Preview that is found on our "Markets" page- it is usually available by 8 AM this morning. Click here for that page.
The August report predicted a 12.288 billion bushel corn crop, a 2.973 billion bushel soybean crop and a 410 million bushel sorghum crop. Prereport guesses are on both sides of all three of those numbers- and the question continues to be- with the crop so late here in 2008- what will be the eventual yield impact.
We will have additional analysis on the numbers later this morning on the website- go to our front page and look for those stories that will have an Oklahoma perspective and rundown of the size of our Oklahoma crops here in 2008.
CFTC Concludes No Problem with Speculation in Ag Futures Markets
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The House Ag Committee met to review dramatic movements in agriculture and energy commodity markets Thursday. Acting Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman Walter Lukken was the sole witness. Lukken's testimony came as the CFTC released a report that offers data on commodity swap dealers and index traders. The data may actually call into question the claims that index investors pushed prices to record highs this summer. The CFTC - in the wake of the report - is calling for new classification of certain speculators, new reporting from over-the-counter markets and greater transparency.
The CFTC claims that while there has been some traders who have been able to circuvent normal limits of how many contracts they could control- but it was a limited number and CFTC believes these specs did not unduly impact the market.
Oklahoma's Third District Congressman Frank Lucas was one of those who dialogued with Walter Lukken- Lucas asking specifically about the wheat market and why "index investors" had such a huge interest in the wheat market earlier this year. We have that give and take between Congressman Lucas and Chairman Lukken as a webstory on our website- click below for that report and to hear what they discussed.
Grading Senators McCain and Obama- Barry Flinchbaugh's Take
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~With less than two months to go in the November Presidential Elections- Ag Policy Professor Dr. Barry Flinchbaugh of Kansas State University offers a report card on both of the Senators running for the White House.
Dr. Flinchbaugh says that he believes there are really two issues that are of most importance to farmers and ranchers- biofuels and their relevance in a national energy plan and the issue of expanding global trade opportunities. He says on Trade that John McCain earns an "A" while Senator Obama flunks. However, the opposite grades are handed out by the cigar chomping professor when it comes to biofuels- Obama earns the "A" while McCain flunks the course.
Dr. Flinchbaugh believes that ethanol- and especially cellulosic
ethanol needs to be a part of helping the US gain energy independence from
the thugs that we are forced to buy oil from- and he believes that well
negotiated free trade deals with countries like Columbia and South Korea
are tremendous benefits for US agriculture.
What do you know about TEFF?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The latest newsletter from the Plant and Soil Sciences Department in the Division of Agriculture at Oklahoma State University is out- and the headline story is all about another alternative crop that Oklahoma farmers might consider in future growing seasons.
The crop is Teff, which is an annual grass indigenous to Ethiopia. The crop has small grains that can be used for human consumption in many forms. Teff seed contains 11% protein, 80% complex carbohydrate and 3% fat. As food for human consumption, Teff has unique qualities in that it contains high level of several minerals such as iron, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, and thiamine. It is an excellent source of essential amino acids, especially lysine, the amino acid that is most often deficient in common grain foods including wheat and millet.
You can read more about this crop- as well as how to determine best dates to dig peanuts and the question of the right pH for a no-till strategy in the latest newsletter- we have a link to that newsletter below.
A Ten Acre Fix Proposed by Jerry Moran and Bob Ethridge
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Two members of the House Ag Committee have joined forces to clarify language within a provision of the 2008 farm bill - language they say could affect thousands of small farmers. The legislation introduced by North Carolina 2nd District Congressman Bob Etheridge and Kansas 1st District Congressman Jerry Moran would allow producers with farms containing 10 base acres or less to maintain participation in farm programs - fixing the language in the provision so producers with overall land operations larger than 10 base acres are not denied farm program payments.
According to Moran - the provision was designed to increase administrative efficiency at USDA - but more producers than anticipated are being denied payments. He says many in Congress believed the farm bill provision would allow producers with multiple small farms to combine base acres to avoid payment suspension. But USDA has determined the farm bill language does not permit aggregation of base acres for producers with 10 base acres or less. Moran says the legislation he's co-sponsoring will restore the original intent of the provision - granting farmers the ability to aggregate base acres from multiple small farms.
Moran has also asked for a meeting with USDA Ag Secretary Ed Schafer as he says that he is concerned about how other parts of the farm law may be implemented by USDA.
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Looking at our Agricultural Markets...
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