~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Monday August 24, 2009A service of Johnston Enterprises, P & K Equipment/ P & K Wind Energy and American Farmers & Ranchers Mutual Insurance Company!
-- Cattle on Feed Report Shows Lots of Cattle Placed into Feedlots in July
-- Talking Health Care and More with Congressman Frank Lucas
-- Dr. Chad Godsey Concurs with the Oklahoma Department of Ag- Test Your Corn!
-- Pro Farmer Crop Production Estimates Released
-- Grass Hedges Do Protect Water
-- Grasshopper Report Draws Blank Looks
-- Let's Check the Markets!
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Cattle on Feed Report Shows Lots of Cattle Placed into Feedlots in July
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~According to Dr. Derrell Peel of OSU, USDA's August Cattle on Feed report showed larger than expected July placements, at 113 percent of last year. July marketings were 95 percent of one year ago, on par with pre-report expectations. The August 1 on-feed total was 98 percent of last year, higher than expected based on the large placements.
The report may cause some bearish views but should be interpreted in the context of last month's low placements. June and July placements taken together are up 2.5 percent over the previous year in the same two months. Much of the increase in placements was in lighter weight feeders, indicative of two factors; feedlot costs of gain have decreased with cheaper corn, which makes lighter weight feedlot placements more feasible; and the relatively tight supply of feeder cattle.
On our website, we also have comments from Tom Leffler talking with our own Ed Richards about the Friday afternoon report. And we have a link to the complete report if you care to review it.
Talking Health Care and More with Congressman Frank Lucas
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Concern about Health Care legislation has dominated the Town Hall meetings of Congressman Frank Lucas this month- just as it has virtually every other lawmaker in the country. And he addressed what the House will be wrestling with com September on this topic and more as he spoke to the Wheatland Stocker Conference in Enid on Friday.
After his comments, we caught the Third District lawmaker for a few moments as he headed for Alva and one of three Town Hall meetings he had planned this past Friday. Our conversation with the top Republican on the House Ag Committee is a Ag Perspectives Podcast on our website- and you can use the link below to jump to that conversation on our website.
Dr. Chad Godsey Concurs with the Oklahoma Department of Ag- Test Your Corn!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~There was some concern floating around in the grain elevator industry in Oklahoma after comments made last week in the regular PASS newsletter about Aflatoxin in corn here in the state. Dr. Chad Godsey of OSU has sorted out some of the concerns and offers this revision of what was said in that newsletter last week. "I need to clarify a statement that was made about blending of corn containing aflatoxin. I stated in a recent article that "Aflatoxin contaminated corn can be blended with non contaminated to reduce overall aflatoxin level but extreme caution should be used." This is true but I want to make everyone aware that FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has specific guidelines about blending corn containing aflatoxin. The following is taken directly from the FDA Guidelines:
"FDA currently, does not permit corn containing aflatoxin to be blended
with uncontaminated corn to reduce the aflatoxin content of the resulting
mixture to levels acceptable for use as human food or animal food.
And Dr. Godsey offers these "take home messages."
Pro Farmer Crop Production Estimates Released
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Following last week's Midwest Crop tour, Pro Farmer set 2009 U.S. corn crop production at 12.807 billion bushels. Yield is at 160.1 bushels per acre. The tour also estimated the 2009 U.S. soybean crop to be 3.150 billion bushels. Yield is set at 41 bushels per acre. These estimates assume a "normal" finish to the growing season. That means "late-crop" states like Illinois will see the corn crop mature but probably with a lighter-than-normal test weight. Pro Farmer points out that if a September 25th frost ends the season, neither corn nor soybeans will reach these levels. A two-week late frost could pump up final yields.
The corn production numbers were weakest in South Dakota where yield was set at 141 bushels per acre. Yield in the six other corn producing states included: 162 bushels in Ohio and Indiana, 170 bushels in Minnesota. 172 bushels in Illinois and Nebraska, and 185 bushels in Iowa.
South Dakota also led the nation with the weakest soybean crop. There, 38 bushels per acre was the Pro Farmer estimate. Yield in the six other soybean producing states included: 40 bushels in Minnesota, 41 bushels in Illinois, 42 bushels in Indiana, 45 bushels in Ohio and 51 bushels in Iowa and Nebraska.
Grass Hedges Do Protect Water
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Planting grass hedges could be the answer to successfully bringing some Conservation Reserve Program land back into production. Researchers at the Agricultural Research Service have found that grass hedges can help farmers preserve soil and protect water quality by trapping sediment that would otherwise be washed away by field runoff. Their findings are based on a series of studies conducted over 13 years to assess the effectiveness of grass hedges for erosion control in wide or ultra-narrow-row conventional tillage or no-till cotton systems.
The researchers established single-row continuous swaths of miscanthus, a tall perennial grass, across the lower ends of 72-foot-long plots with a 5 percent slope. The hedges eventually became a yard wide and were clipped two to three times every year after the grass was 5 to 6.5 feet tall. The scientists found that the ability of the hedges to trap sediment increased as the hedges matured.
The hedges were more effective at intercepting sediments that washed out of conventionally tilled fields, possibly because the eroded materials from no-till fields were composed of smaller particles. The hedges captured approximately 90 percent of eroded sediment from ultra-narrow-row conventionally tilled fields, and only about 50 percent of sediment from no-till fields. The team also found that hedge effectiveness was enhanced when clippings were allowed to accumulate uphill of the hedges. But even if all the clippings from grass hedges over 1.5 feet tall are removed for livestock feed or bioenergy production, the hedges can still help protect against field erosion.
Grasshopper Report Draws Blank Looks
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~There was an Associated Press story at the end of this past week that spoke of big problems this summer with grasshoppers- primarily in South Dakota and Wyoming. The story mentioned Oklahoma as one of the states that had large populations this season- but I was questioned about this story by our TV news people midday Friday- I asked around at the Wheatland Stocker Conference and got mostly blank looks.
There seems to be a very low number of the pests around in central Oklahoma- based on the informal survey I conducted. OSU Extension Specialist Greg Highfill told us that he had noticed some grasshoppers out around Woodward a few days back- but nothing of any real concern at this time.
It apparently is a major concern well north of us- and below is a link to the grasshopper story- but our urban friends hear this type of story- hear a local newscaster mention Oklahoma in the same breath with these huge problems in the north- and they assume the same problems around here.
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