~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Monday May 19, 2008!A service of The Oklahoma Bioenergy Center, Midwest Farm Shows and American Farmers & Ranchers.
-- This Week- "Lite" Emails
-- U.S. Cattle On Feed: Record High Marketings, Inventory Down
-- Kansas Wants Royalties For Jagger- No Brown Bagging Allowed!
-- Everything Points to White House Staying with Statements of Last Week that a Veto Will Occur.
-- BASF Sees Lots of Solutions for Agriculture and the General Public Thru Biotech!
-- House Ag Subcommittee Looks at Market Swings
-- Checking the 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 American Farmers & Ranchers Mutual Insurance Company as a regular sponsor of our daily update- click here to go to their NEW AFR web site to learn more about their efforts to serve rural America!
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This Week- "Lite" Emails
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We are taking a few days "off" which means that we will be out of town and spending a lot of the day recharging the batteries that have been worn down through keeping up with all kinds of things in the world of agriculture.
However, that does not mean that this email will stop- and we will be covering important things as they unfold during the week- especially the top question- will the President VETO the 2008 Farm Bill or not.
We may well have a couple of stories less than normal several days this week- but no worries- as we watch from afar- we will make sure the stories that need to be told get to you in a timely and accurate manner- as we always strive to do.
U.S. Cattle On Feed: Record High Marketings, Inventory Down
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Cattle and calves on feed for slaughter market in the United States for feedlots with capacity of 1,000 or more head totaled 11.1 million head on May 1, 2008. The inventory was 1 percent below May 1, 2007 and 4 percent below May 1, 2006.
Placements in feedlots during April totaled 1.54 million, 2 percent below 2007 and 5 percent below 2006. Net placements were 1.46 million head. During April, placements of cattle and calves weighing less than 600 pounds were 315,000, 600-699 pounds were 278,000, 700-799 pounds were 428,000, and 800 pounds and greater were 515,000.
Marketings of fed cattle during April totaled 2.01 million, 11 percent
above 2007 and 13 percent above 2006. This is the highest fed cattle
marketings for the month of April since the series began in 1996.
Kansas Wants Royalties For Jagger- No Brown Bagging Allowed!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Many Oklahoma wheat farmers might be a bit surprised to learn that Jagger is a PVPprotected variety. To my knowledge, however, Kansas State University has never enforced the PVP protection on Jagger. This is about to change.
Kansas State recently transferred ownership of the varieties Jagger, Overley, Fuller, RonL, and Danby to the Kansas State University Research Foundation who subsequently licensed them to the Kansas Wheat Alliance (KWA). In a recent news release KWA indicated their intent to fully enforce PVP protection on these varieties in the fall of 2008. They will use the Farmer's Yield Initiative and similar investigative services to accomplish this task.
So, what does this mean for Oklahoma producers? If you are simply saving seed to plant on your own farm, there is really no impact. If you had planned to sell 'brown bag' seed to neighbors, though, you will likely want to reconsider. This story is the major part of the latest Plant and Soil Science Department Newsletter from Dr. Jeff Edwards. Click here to review Jeff's info and links to some additional materials from Kansas- and you can also click below to listen to a conversation that we had with Dr. Edwards on this developing situation with Jagger- the most utilized variety found in Oklahoma.
Everything Points to White House Staying with Statements of Last Week that a Veto Will Occur.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The last time that a President vetoed a farm bill was in April 1956- that was President Dwight Eisenhower and he won in his standoff with Congress over that piece of legislation as the Congress was not able to override his veto.
George W. Bush is no Eisenhower- at least in this situation- as he will likely lose in his veto battle. Both the House and Senate are sick of dealing with the farm bill and most will ignore the calls to fiscal responsibility by Bush and the USDA. This bill will likely be vetoed, the veto will fall and the bill will become the law of the land.
It is most ironic to me that the President who last vetoed a farm bill
is the same President that is most often quoted by our friend Tom Buis of
the National Farmers Union. Buis was singled out by Colin Peterson as
having a great deal to do with the formation of this bill. Buis might well
be considered the "Godfather" of the 2008 Farm Bill- just as Barry
Flinchbaugh was the "Godfather" of Freedom to Farm in 1996.
If President Bush does veto the bill, that veto could come quickly once he receives the measure from Congress- and if Congress has enough time to respond- the final chapter of this process could happen before the end of the week.
BASF Sees Lots of Solutions for Agriculture and the General Public Thru Biotech!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Dr. Hans Kast is the President of BASF Plant Sciences- and has been a part of BASF for some 25 years. At the BASF Ag Media Summit that we attended last week in Washington- we heard Dr. Kast explain where BASF wants to go in this arena- and how they have partnered with Monsanto on a couple of key projects in searching for the right genetics that could provide a plant with drought tolerance.
They are actually well down the road on that effort in corn and could have something to the market as early as 2012. They also are looking at providing oilseed crops like soybeans or canola the right traits to deliver Omega-3 fatty acids to consumers.
We had the chance to visit with Dr. Kast after his presentation to the ag trade media- he is a fascinating gentleman and he is one of those who wants farmers to be able to be right on the cutting edge of all kinds of high tech products in the not so distant future. Take a listen- it's remarkable story that BASF has in this less well known part of their company.
House Ag Subcommittee Looks at Market Swings
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Possible effects of an influx of new speculative money into commodity futures markets were the subject of a House Agriculture General Farm Commodities Subcommittee hearing on Thursday. Many farm groups have argued that while speculators play an essential role in futures markets, an influx of hedge fund money has interfered with the fundamental functions of futures markets and should be examined by regulators.
Rod Clark, a vice president with CGB/Diversified Services in Mt. Vernon, Ind., represented the National Grain and Feed Association at last week's hearing and offered the following thought- "Today, that previously reliable relationship between cash and futures has deteriorated to a point where many commercial grain hedgers are questioning the effectiveness of hedging using exchange-traded futures. We believe that one new factor - the entry of large amounts of long-only, passively-managed investment capital like index and pension funds into agricultural futures markets - is causing a disruption in markets and resulting in futures prices no longer reflecting true supply/demand fundamentals."
Representatives from the exchanges and CFTC offered a different view of what's been happening, arguing that the market is being driven purely by supply and demand considerations, not by speculation. Jeff Harris, chief economist at the CFTC, observed that rises have increased in markets where there are no index funds involved (Chicago rice or Minneapolis HRS wheat) and where there are no futures contracts (durum wheat). He claimed that managed money funds are on both long and short sides of the markets. Terrence Duffy, executive chairman of the CME Group in Chicago, said price rises have been driven by fundamental factors, not by investors. Echoing the popular media perception, Duffy also fingered ethanol for a prominent role in the market situation, an argument rejected by many because the corn crop continues to grow to meet corn needs.
A number of Members of the Subcommittee expressed disappointment with
CFTC's apparent position that everything was fine, and encouraged them to
consider in more detail the recommendations they had received to improve
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Checking the Markets...
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We did get cash cattle trade moving on this past Friday at $94 to $94.50 per hundredweight- the higher of the prices would be about fifty cents up from the previous week- and that was mainly in the Texas- Western Oklahoma feedlot region.
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:
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