~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Thursday July 23, 2009A service of Johnston Enterprises, P & K Equipment/ P & K Wind Energy and American Farmers & Ranchers Mutual Insurance Company!
-- The Climate Change Debate Continues-
-- Our Regular Conversation with Congressman Frank Lucas- we talk Cap & trade, Health Care and more
-- Talking Cotton- JC Banks Says It's All About Water
-- National Grain Sorghum Board Is One Year Old
-- Placements into the Feedlots Expected to Be Well Under 2008- Again
-- Chicago Wheat Contract Problems- Senator Tom Coburn Weighs In
-- Congrats to Don Schieber, New Vice Chairman of U.S. Wheat Associates
-- 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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The Climate Change Debate Continues-
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~With the words - our American way of buying and consuming energy is not only unsustainable but dangerous to our future - Senate Ag Committee Chairman Tom Harkin opened the ag committee hearing on legislation addressing the role of agriculture and forestry in global warming. Harkin focused on the importation of about 70 percent of the oil we use, much of that from nations that are unfriendly or politically unstable, and our extraction and use of coal which permanently alters landscapes and pollutes too many of our lakes and streams.
During his opening statement, Ranking Minority Member Senator Saxby Chambliss outlined several concerns he has with the House-passed American Clean Energy and Security Act and - the tremendous costs associated with its provisions. Chambliss said the cap and trade program will undoubtedly raise production costs for farmers and ranchers. USDA and Texas A&M University are conducting economic analysis of the Waxman-Markey and Boxer bills, with special attention to the effects at the farm gate level and to consumers. Chambliss says - what we have seen of preliminary study results is that no farm will escape the effect of this bill.
We have multiple stories that have come out of the Senate Ag Committee
hearing- here are the links to several of them:
Bob Stallman of the American Farm Bureau says his group believes that
Climate Change Legislation as passed in the US House is a mistake- Click
here for his testimony.
Our Regular Conversation with Congressman Frank Lucas- we talk Cap & trade, Health Care and more
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Like many folks in the farm community, the top Republican on the House Ag Committee was watching the Senate Ag Committee hearing on Climate Change Legislation with great interest. Congressman Frank Lucas says while he hopes the Senate can make further improvements to the legislation that barely passed the House, he almost certainly will not vote for the final product. Lucas tells us in a Wednesday morning conversation that when you strip everything else away, it is simply a massive energy tax of some $700 billion dollars annually and it will hurt agriculture across the country badly.
We also talked about health care reform- he does not think that the Democrats will be able to move Health Care Reform through the House before the August recess, although he admits it is still possible for them to do so.
On NAIS- the National Animal ID System- he believes that USDA will be
very hard pressed to develop a mandatory system, even with House Ag
Appropriations Committee Chair Rosa DeLauro demanding that things be
changed- or there will be no money for the program in Fiscal Year
Talking Cotton- JC Banks Says It's All About Water
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~With a thank you to Vic and the folks at NTOK- we have the latest thoughts from Dr. JC Banks, the Oklahoma State Extension Specialist for cotton. JC says that the well being of this year's crop is tied to the availability of water.
Banks writes ""The recent hot weather has caused rapid growth of
cotton, if plenty of moisture is available. Irrigated cotton is just at
first bloom now, and other than the first fruit branch being about a node
higher on the plant than normal, the plant is progressing rapidly. The
number of nodes above white flower is a good indicator of plant vigor, and
usually, this number is seven or eight at first bloom.
"One thing I have noticed when looking at dryland cotton is the vigor
is closely related to water availability to the plant. Of course, this is
normal for dryland cotton, but it seems like most of the vigorous fields
are no-till fields that have been planted into good residue cover. Most
conventional tilled fields have stressed cotton that has been damaged by
wind, and much of the moisture has been lost due to the tillage. With our
equipment and weed control solutions, no-till is becoming the best way to
produce cotton, especially on some of our highly erodible soils. Even on
irrigated soils, wind and blowing sand protection provided by the residue
will allow a much more vigorous plant prior to bloom.
National Grain Sorghum Board Is One Year Old
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The United Sorghum Checkoff Program is celebrating its first year as - a year of progress, - from the creation of the organization to the granting of 1.25-million dollars in research funding. The checkoff program was created to address the issue of declining sorghum production and demand, which has resulted in less private investment in sorghum, and thus fewer new seed varieties and crop protection technologies compared to other crops.
The organization had to be build from the ground floor. Bill Greving, a sorghum grower from Prairie View, Kansas and current USCP chairman, says - the goal of every board member is to improve the profitability of sorghum producers. Without that unity of mission, we would not have been able to make as much progress as we have.
Organized in July of 2008, the United Sorghum Checkoff Program has
developed a strategic plan to guide the board's decisions; established a
management contract with the National Sorghum Producers Association; and
hired staff to lead key program areas in research, market development and
communications. Some of the funded research projects will generate results
for use by growers relatively soon, such as the production handbooks,
while others are more intensive efforts that will produce more long-term
Placements into the Feedlots Expected to Be Well Under 2008- Again
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Joe Victor of Allendale offers us his views on what he believes will show up Friday afternoon when the USDA offers their regular cattle on feed report at 2 PM central time.
Victor says the focus will be on the number of cattle placed into feedlots as he writes "June Placements are expected to be 8.0% smaller than last year. Keep in mind that this drop versus June of 2008 placements is on top of last year's 8.4% decline from 2007 levels. In fact, this is the smallest June Total in 13 years. Sharp losses in previous months of cattle feeding have created an equity drain for this sector which is inhibiting new placements. Cattle placed in June will be marketed from October through February."
And Joe adds "Allendale anticipates a Marketing total 0.8% smaller than
June of 2008. This is the smallest Marketing total since USDA started the
current data series in 1995/96. There was one more day to market in this
year's June. Marketing will remain under last year's level through
Chicago Wheat Contract Problems- Senator Tom Coburn Weighs In
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Senator Tom Coburn offered his thoughts on convergence problems within the Chicago wheat market during a Homeland Security Committee hearing in Washington on Tuesday.
Senator Coburn says that changes in the contract may be justified, but he cautions against making changes that could harm economic activity. The Oklahoma lawmaker says that he does not think that index funds are the problem, but rather the current structure of the CBOT wheat contract.
We have Senator Coburn's comments on our website- click on the link below for that story and a chance to listen to what the Senator was saying regarding how to best balance an unfettered market versus government oversight that is in the best interest of the public.
Congrats to Don Schieber, New Vice Chairman of U.S. Wheat Associates
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) board of directors installed new officers at its annual meeting July 22, 2009, in San Diego, CA. Janice Mattson of Chester, MT, was installed as Chairman, while Don Schieber of Ponca City, OK, became Vice Chairman and Randy Suess of Colfax, WA, began his one-year term as Secretary-Treasurer. Michael Edgar, of Yuma, AZ, will serve a one-year term as Past Chairman and chair the USW Budget Committee.
During the U.S. Wheat meetings this week in San Diego, the group worked on International Trade and Biotech issues. Michael Michener, Administrator, U.S. Department of Agriculture's Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), addressed the Board and affirmed FAS' strong support for export market development. He also pledged that FAS will honor Congress' clear desire to continue investing in export market development on behalf of U.S. farmers.
Wataru "Charlie" Utsunomiya, USW Country Director, Tokyo, Japan, introduced a team of Japanese milling executives who participated in the Board meeting. The team included: Mr. Masakatsu Yokozawa, President, Showa Sangyo. Co.Ltd., and Chairman, Japan Flour Millers Association; Mr. Masaaki Kadota, Senior Managing Director, Japan Flour Millers Association; Mr. Kenji Takihara, Manager, Operations Group, Nisshin Flour Milling Inc.; and Mr. Masayuki Tomitaka, Administration Team Manager, Nippon Flour Mills, Co., Ltd. Mr. Kadota described the Japanese wheat market while Mr. Yokazawa emphasized that it is in the best interests of the U.S. wheat industry to carefully consider the wishes of its customers as biotechnology traits in wheat are developed. Mr. Yokazawa also noted that there is likely to be significant change in the Japanese wheat importing process in the long-term.
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Let's Check the Markets!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The runs continue fairly heavy in our major feeder cattle markets- yesterday the OKC West Market in El Reno sold 8,501 head of cattle for steady money under very good demand. Most of the cattle coming to market right now are heavier animals- at OKC West, supply included 84 percent over 600 lbs. Seven to eight hundred pound steers sold for $$102.50 to $105.50 while eight weight steers cleared from $97.50 to $102.50. Click here for the complete OKC West report available from the USDA market news website.
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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