~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Wednesday May 13, 2009A service of Producers Cooperative Oil Mill, KIS Futures and American Farmers & Ranchers Mutual Insurance Company!
-- USDA Adds Weight to "Half a Crop" Expectations for the 2009 Oklahoma Wheat Harvest
-- The Worry of Wetness
-- Lucas Dubious of Ag Making Money Under Cap and Trade
-- Pondering Peanuts- Another Option to Follow Frozen Wheat
-- General Economy Still Too Shaky to Provide Much Demand Relief for Beef
-- Pastora Just Now Becoming Available in Oklahoma
-- The Argument for Farmers and Ranchers Joining the Conversation on Twitter
-- 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 proud 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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USDA Adds Weight to "Half a Crop" Expectations for the 2009 Oklahoma Wheat Harvest
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~All winter wheat crop production is down some 20% from last year's harvest, based on the May first snapshot as released by USDA Tuesday morning. In Oklahoma, the number is much more dramatic, as the Oklahoma Wheat Crop is facing a 52% falloff from 2008- pegged by USDA at 80.5 million bushels. If realized, you have to go to the 1955 crop year and a production disaster of just 24.1 million bushels to find a smaller crop than what 2009 is shaping up to be for Oklahoma.
The Kansas crop is slightly above the Kansas Crop Tour guesstimate of 333.3 million bushels- USDA calls the crop at 340 million bushels- off 4.5% from a year ago. The Texas winter wheat is projected at 64.8 million bushels.
In talking with Tom Leffler, he believes that these numbers that are slightly bigger than we saw from the crop tours of this past week do not reflect the more recent conditions the crop tour participants had available to them. Leffler sees a trend to lower numbers, especially for Oklahoma and Texas, where the number of acres that will be abandoned is still very much a wildcard.
Our story on our website has a link to the full USDA report, as well as some comments from Tom Leffler on these numbers. Click on the link below to jump to that story.
The Worry of Wetness
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~OSU State Wheat Specialist Dr. Jeff Edwards remembers the wheat harvest woes of a couple of years ago- when it started raining in May and didn't really ever stop until July for large areas of Oklahoma. We had expected a short crop in 2007- and it just got worse and worse with each day of harvest delaying rains.
Could 2009 be a repeat? It's too early to make those assumptions, but Edwards is concerned. He says already the continuing rains are causing damage to the potential yields and quality of what crop that Oklahoma wheat farmers have left. Only in the Panhandle has there been any mention of needing one more rain to make the 2009 wheat crop a success.
Besides the need for going to Prayer Meeting and asking for a pause in the rain- Dr. Edwards says that farmers need to be watching for Armyworms- the numbers are building in some locations. He also says that disease problems are showing with the wet weather- but that it is too late to spray this year in the vast majority of Oklahoma's wheat fields for 2009. Click on the link below and hear Edwards and what he sees for the 2009 wheat crop, as he described it to me this week while in Canadian County.
Lucas Dubious of Ag Making Money Under Cap and Trade
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Back in April, the Top Republican on the House Ag Committee addressed the National Association of Farm Broadcasting's Washington Watch Event- and he roared out his concerns about "Cap and Trade" legislation that may be moved later this year or early next by the Democratically controlled House. He told farm broadcasters across the country "as a lifelong rancher, as a student of Agriculture economics, and as the Ranking Member of the House Agriculture Committee, I have very serious concerns about cap and trade and its impact on rural economies. Cap and trade is nothing more than a national energy tax, and the effects will be far-reaching to businesses, consumers, and even more so to rural America. We are looking at the most amazing tax increase of all time."
These comments line up with what he told a group of wheat producers on Monday May 11 in Canadian County, Oklahoma in his home district. He sees Cap and Trade as a massive transfer of wealth in the name of saving the planet- with the real reason for it to be moved at any cost is the need of having that pot of money to pay for nationalizing health care in the US and putting every health care professional in the country to work for Uncle Sam.
The Congressman adds that there is little chance that agriculture will
benefit from Cap and Trade- but rather will have more regulations and more
cost piled on in virtually every farming or ranching activity they are
Pondering Peanuts- Another Option to Follow Frozen Wheat
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Farmers all across south central and southwestern Oklahoma are evaluating cropping options to replace revenue from a failed wheat crop derailed by early drought and late freeze. Normally, late May thru June is harvest time in an area that may see more planters rolling this year, than combines.
According to Dr Chad Godsey, OSU Extension Cropping Systems Specialist farmers may be turning to peanuts as a logical source of revenue replacement. "Potentially, peanuts offer a higher net return compared to other crops", says Godsey, "particularly on irrigated sandy and sandy loam farms that suffered loss of a wheat crop".
Spanish type peanut varieties may be a perfect fit for the farmer
looking for a short season crop that will allow wheat to be planted this
fall. With maturity in 120-130 days, Godsey suggests "planted now behind
failed wheat or up to June 15 after harvest will allow plenty of time to
drill small grains in October. And since peanuts are a legume, they fix
nitrogen in the soil, which should reduce the total nitrogen needed by
your wheat crop."
General Economy Still Too Shaky to Provide Much Demand Relief for Beef
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Extension Livestock Market Economist Dr. Jim Mintert believes we are still not to the place in the general economy where people are ready to start spending a lot of dollars on a high quality steak in a restaurant. Weak demand in our middle meats has been with us for about a year now- and Mintert says that demand for this part of the cattle carcass may or may not return later this year.
We talk about this lingering problem with the soon to be former Extension Livestock Market Economist at K-State, Dr. James Mintert, and he does not see the general economy offering immediate demand help to the movement of steaks for the white table cloth restaurants.
Click on our link below and check out today's Beef Buzz- and remember that we have lots of previous Beef Buzz shows for you to check out as well- all on our website, www.OklahomaFarmReport.Com.
Pastora Just Now Becoming Available in Oklahoma
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~One interesting tidbit that we heard this week while in Canadian County came from Mike Johnson of DuPont, who helped greet the wheat farmers at the Wheat Field Tour put together by Brad Tipton, Canadian County Ag Extension Agent.
Johnson mentioned that we have an Emergency label for Pastora, a DuPont product, to be used for Sandbur control here in Oklahoma this spring. We reported this a couple of weeks ago- our link to our original story is below- but based on what Mike told the farmers- actual product is just now becoming available.
If you have questions about this chemical and its availability, check with your local ag chemical dealer- or you can email me and I will pass along your name to Mike Johnson.
The Argument for Farmers and Ranchers Joining the Conversation on Twitter
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We have been telling you about the relatively new social media outlet called Twitter, where you can send and receive short messages- you get messages from people you choose to "follow" while your messages are read by those who "follow" you. Ag PR consultant Michelle Payn-Knopper says it is a medium that farmers and ranchers need to engage.
She says "The power of Twitter is in the conversation and community. The conversation is happening with or without agriculture. Communities are being engaged around issues such as animal rights, organics, GMOs, CAFOs sustainability, environmental regulations and other issues relevant to your business. Misinformation about modern agriculture is being proliferated."
Michelle adds "Are we going to change the minds of the extremists? No,
but we can at least get agriculture's side of the story told far more
effectively than what we have in mainstream media." You
can read an article that she has written on farmers getting involved in
Twitter by clicking here.
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Let's Check the Markets!
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