From: Ron Hays [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf Of Ron Hays
Sent: Monday, March 09, 2009 5:13 AM
Subject: Oklahoma's Farm News Update
Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Monday March 9, 2009
A service of Producers Cooperative Oil Mill, Midwest Farm Shows and Johnston Enterprises!
-- From the National Farmers Union Convention- Roger Johnson Most Likely to Succeed Tom Buis
-- A Farm Bureau Call to Action on SB452
-- Oklahoma Grain and Stocker Producers Pushing on Crop Insurance Fairness for Spring Crops After Wheat
-- Drinking From the FireHose Monday- the NFU Convention Agenda
-- Wheat Grazing Pretty Much Done for 2009 Crop
-- American Farm Bureau President Bob Stallman Vents on Obama Farm Program Rewrite
-- This Weekend- the Blackjack Angus Ranch Sale in Seminole
-- 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. It is wonderful to have as a regular sponsor on our daily email Johnston Enterprises- proud to be serving agriculture across Oklahoma and around the world since 1893. For more on Johnston Enterprises- click here for their website!
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The 2009 National Farmers Union may have less drama surrounding it than first thought. After National Farmers Union President Tom Buis announced just a couple of weeks ago that he was stepping down from the job to take the CEO position with the biofuels coalition Growth Energy, it was thought that a full scale free for all might develop within the organization to grab the top leadership role of the group.
That has not
happened, as only two candidates had filed for the position by the Sunday
twelve noon deadline.
As one former staffer told me last night, it's Oklahoma, North Dakota and the rest of the states when it comes to clout in this organization. So, with Robert Carlson of the North Dakota Farmers Union recruiting Roger Johnson to seek to the post, and his active lobbying to get other states to jump on board- Johnson has a huge advantage over Larry Breech.
As we write this, Oklahoma has not thrown their support officially behind Johnson- but AFR President Terry Detrick, in his first ride at the national meeting as the President of the largest state affiliate of the NFU, has been careful in showing his cards before he has to on this vote. We'll hear more from Terry later on today and will have that for you tomorrow morning here in this email. In the meantime, we have talked to Roger Johnson- and have the link to that story that features our audio conversation with him below- check it out- he's an impressive ag leader.
The Vice President for Public Policy of the Oklahoma Farm Bureau, Lori Peterson, says that they have put out a "Call to Action" on SB452, a measure that is similar to HB2151 that has already passed the full House.
These measures are being called the Ag Preemption Bills. In response to the passage of Proposition II in California, Oklahoma Farm Bureau requested legislation to preempt local governments and municipalities from attempts to regulate the handling and care of livestock. HB 2151 authored by Rep. Don Armes passed on the floor of the House of Representatives 92 to 9. The legislation ensures there would be a uniform set of laws set by the Oklahoma Legislature to regulate the handling and care of livestock and not a patchwork of local regulation.
legislation is being looked at by other states that are feeling the
pressure of the Humane Society of the US regarding how production
agriculture treats their livestock. Peterson tells us that she is very
hopeful that the Senate will pass SB452 this week-and then one of these
measures will be chosen as the one to get a final okay from both bodies-
be forwarded on to the Governor for his signature. She says the key is to
keep the gatekeeper of animal welfare issues in the hands of those who
make sure that the animals are being humanely treated but won't run
roughshod over animal agriculture in the process.
Following the visit to Washington in February of the Oklahoma Grain & Stocker Producers, Senator Tom Coburn has taken a keen interest in Oklahoma's lack of crop insurance coverage for spring grain crops following graze-out of winter wheat. Sen. Coburn's office has contacted Oklahoma State University Ag Economist Mike Dicks to request files pertaining to the issue. The hope is that he will challenge the Risk Management Agency on why farmers south of the Kansas border are not offered the same coverage as those in Kansas (where they can insure a spring crop following graze-out.) Policies are already set for this year, but it is still possible this matter could be addressed in time to make changes to next year's product coverage availability.
OG&SP member Brenda Sidwell, who runs a crop insurance firm at Goltry, has done extensive work on this issue for the last several years and has relayed a collection of information to the federal RMA via a member of the RMA board of directors from Southern Kansas. Up to this point, there has been no response from the Risk Management Agency.
insurance-related matter, OG&SP members have expressed concern that
most counties in Oklahoma will not permit farmers to insure a second crop
in a single year. As several of our members have noted, the expanding
practice of no-till farming improves soil moisture retention and requires
rotating between a diversity of crops to be effective. As our farming
practices evolve, the practice of farming two crops in one-year
(double-cropping) will likely increase. It seems fair to OG&SP that
the Risk Management Agency would adapt its policies to changing farming
practices and new crop production histories. Right now, this second-crop
coverage is rarely if ever extended to growers even on an individual basis
and even with three-to-five years of supporting evidence to show that this
is a successful practice on their particular farm.
Outgoing President Tom Buis fussed at me a couple of years ago when I called the Sunday night banquet in Florida a mostly partisan old fashioned Democratic rally- the night that featured both House Ag Committee Chairman Collin Peterson as well as the new Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi. Ms. Pelosi, gave a real stemwinder of a political speech that night, then signed autographs and even danced with Buis to the sounds of Peterson's band who played following the lenghty banquet. Buis contended then that it was a bi- partisan night and that I was being unfair in my description. (I think there was one Republican who said a word or two that night- and he was there because he was a member of Peterson's rock n roll band.
Fast forward to today and the 107th Annual meeting of the National Farmers Union. Seven of the eight political speakers are Democrats, with Republican Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa weighing in and offering the only "balance" of the day when it comes to political positioning. However, when Tom Buis plans a program- he sure does it right when it comes to the shakers and movers that are in the Majority right now here in Washington and will have influence on agricultural issues in the next couple of years minimum.
The group starts with USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack at nine this morning, followed by the likes of House Ag Committee Chair Collin Peterson and Senate Ag Committee Chair Tom Harkin. Add in Senate Budget Chairman Kent Conrad of North Dakota and Rosa DeLauro, Chair of the House Ag Appropriations Subcommittee and you get an All Star Majority Party lineup. And for the icing on the cake, you add in for the second time in three years, the now more experienced and perhaps even more powerful Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi from San Francisco- and you have a day where it may be hard to keep up as a reporter hoping to boil down a story line or two from each speaker. I would invite you to check on our website's front page from time to time later today- as we get our stories written, audio gathered and posted on line. Stories on several of these political leaders will be on line by this evening. (as well as policy issues and more from our Oklahoma perspective)
Market Economist Dr. Derrell Peel says that the arrival of first hollow
stem has sparked the exodus of cattle off wheat pasture here in the early
days of March. (In checking things in Central Oklahoma- we did find some
bovine residents of Canadian County still munching on wheat as of Friday
afternoon- click on the webstory that we have linked below as we have a
picture of them giving us the once over)
It is the time of year when Mother Nature, by way of the winter wheat plant, puts a rather abrupt end to the winter wheat grazing season. According to OSU's extension wheat specialist, several wheat varieties had reached First Hollow Stem (FHS) by late last week and the rest should follow soon. Grazing wheat past FHS begins to significantly impact wheat yield very quickly. Producers who intend to harvest grain from dual-purpose wheat must either market cattle or move cattle to an alternative production program.
The volume of feeder cattle reported in the combined auction total in Oklahoma this week was up seasonally but smaller than the same time last year. Cattle moved off wheat earlier than normal this year because of dry conditions and limited forage. Reported auctions totals for the month of February were up 14 percent compared to February 2008. I expect the auction total to continue below last year's levels in March as most of the seasonally available feeder supplies have already been marketed this year. Tighter feeder numbers may help market prices a bit in the coming weeks but the real key is still the weakness in beef demand as reflected in weak fed cattle prices. Improvement in fed cattle prices would be reflected very quickly in higher feeder prices while lower fed prices will continue to pressure feeder prices.
The President of the American Farm Bureau, Bob Stallman, says that the Obama Administration's ideas on farm program changes makes very little sense, except in the context of being a money grab- officials within the Administration wanting to take the monies allocated to the Commodity Title and to Crop Insurance and divert them to even more spending on child nutrition programs. These are the same programs that received huge increases within the 2008 farm law, even as the Commodity Title and Crop Insurance saw substantial cuts from the 2002 Farm law.
reporters in a Friday teleconference that the idea of a $500,000 gross
receipts limit makes no sense, and that "whoever came up with this plan in
the OMB does not understand the real structure of modern production
We have Stallman's thoughts on this subject- his opening comments, as well as answers to a couple of questions on the Obama budget plan, pulled together in an audio podcast on our website. It is one of our Ag Perspectives podcasts- one of three regular audio reports that we offer via podcast. Besides periodic long reports and interviews that we podcast under the banner of Ag Perspectives, we also have our daily Beef Buzz radio show as well as the morning farm and ranch news from the Radio Oklahoma Network that we feature as podcasts as well. Click on the link below to jump to our webstory on WWW.OklahomaFarmReport.Com that includes this audio look at Bob Stallman's concerns with how President Obama wants to change farm policy.
It should be an excellent offering this coming weekend in Seminole as the Annual Bull Sale for Blackjack Angus Farms is on tap. Keith Grissom and the Blackjack team have an outstanding set of Angus Bulls- 75 of them that are performance tested and many ready to go to work in your herd right away. All are semen tested and fully guaranteed- and all have carcass and ultrasound data as well.
Guest consignor at the Sale for 2009 is Pfeiffer Angus Farms out of Mulhall. John and Kaye, along with their sons have some of their top animals that will be a part of this lineup as well.
Besides the Angus bull offerings- they will also be selling 60 fancy commercial Angus females that you will want to consider. For more information, contact Keith Grissom at 405-382-7678- or go to our link below at National Cattle Services for the on line sale catalog.
One special "thank you" today goes to those of you that are now following us via the social network known as Twitter. We have amassed over 100 followers in short order- and more join almost daily. If you want the quickest notification of the stories we are working on- as well as quick links to stories that we post on our website- Twitter is the answer(and it's free). Click here to go the link where you can sign up to follow our "Tweets" on a regular basis. A word of caution- it's pretty addictive after a short time as you can follow yours truly and many others who are talking farm related stuff- we will be giving you tips from time to time about how to best tweak your Twitter to get the most out of it you can.
We also invite you to check out our website at the link below to check out an archive of these daily emails, audio reports and top farm news story links from around the globe.
It was quite a run on Friday at the Woodward Livestock Market with Jerry Nine and his crewe playing host to 12,625 head of cattle that went thru their auction ring. That was over 3,000 head more than the previous week. Prices held up fairly well, given the huge volume of animals. Yearling steers were $1 to $5 lower than a week earlier, Stocker steers were $2 cheaper and steer calves were called steady. Five to six hundred pound steers sold for $102 to $111.50, while seven to eight hundred pounders came in $87.35 to $95.75. Click here for the full rundown of the prices from Woodward- I would guess the full Friday March 6 report will be up at this link by around 8 AM central.
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: