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Transcript for December 9, 2017

Transcript to come.

This show includes the following segments:

  • Fire precautions with John Weir
  • Cow-Calf Corner
  • Veterinary feed directive, one year later
  • Livestock Marketing
  • Mesonet Weather
  • Market Monitor
  • Naturally Speaking


(upbeat guitar music)


>>> Hello, everyone,

and welcome to SUNUP.

I'm Lyndall Stout.

As we head toward winter, we wanna talk about

some of the potential fire danger in Oklahoma right now,

as well as what the conditions are really like.

For perspective, we caught up with our extension

fire ecologist, John Weir.


Fire precautions with John Weir

>>> We receive the least amount of rainfall

December, January, and February.

Also, if you look at it, most of the fronts and stuff

that we get, our weather patterns have changed,

and so now our fronts and stuff are comin' from

the north, northwest.

And most of these are dried out before they ever get here,

so very little in the form of any kind

of moisture or precip, so again, that's why it is.

Then, you have the lack of growing vegetation out here.

Everything's dormant, it's dry.

So, humidities are lower.

The fine fuels or the grasses,

all the herbaceous material out here is dry,

and so it's the perfect situation for burning.

Then, when you start putting in weather conditions,

like we'll have this time of year,

fronts that come through with extremely low humidities,

high winds, and several day period of high winds,

followed by a switching wind coming out of the opposite

direction at a high velocity or hard rate of speed.

That sets up a perfect situation for wildfires.

Also, if you're thinking about doing prescribed burns

and stuff, it makes it a lot more difficult

to try to get those accomplished,

'cause we're tryin' to hit those perfect weather conditions.

So, it's…

The winter months are definitely

a difficult time for fire,

in most respects of wildfire and for prescribed fire.

>>> For those people who are interested in

that prescribed fire.

You know, you kinda maybe have a little extra time

on your hands, wanna clean up your place,

what do you recommend?

>>> I recommend, this is the time of year,

especially with most people,

a lot of people burn in those spring months.

Late winter, spring.

February, March, April, comin' up in here.

Now's a really good time to start planning those burns.

Start gettin' those fire plans out,

makin' sure we get 'em written up.

We start preparing fire breaks,

determining what's our burn unit gonna be?

Well, let's get on that downwind side

and let's take our chainsaw and let's go out.

We got extra time.

Let's cut some cedar trees down, drag 'em well away

from that edge.

That way they're not a problem when we burn.

So, this is the time of year to prep and get stuff ready

for those burns.

>>> Now, I know it's been

a while since we've had a lot of snow.

But, say we do get some.

Is that enough moisture then to get those conditions

more favorable to actually burn this winter?

>>> Again, snow can give us a little bit

of moisture and stuff.

A lot of times what I think a lot of people see

when we get a little bit of snow, that's when people

get real excited about burnin' brush piles.

So, it may be there when you light the pile off.

But, by the time that pile's still gonna smolder

for several days, some piles even smolder for weeks.

That wind may come up, nobody's there.

You'd burn that brush pile when the snow is there,

and everything was fine.

But, now the day later, there it goes.

High winds hit, blows embers and we're off to the races

chasin' that thing down, and that's not a good deal.

So, this time of year is definitely not the time

to be burnin' brush piles.

That's somethin' to be left for late spring or early summer

that April, May, and June.

>>> The OK Fire Program, there's lots of tools

that people can access, resources.

Now may be a good time to study up

on some things.

>>> That's exactly right.

So, again, looking…

When we do prescribed burns, planning prescribed burns,

weather is what we're looking for.

That's one of the main things about a prescribed burn,

it's prescribed under certain conditions.

So, those conditions, we're tryin' to figure out

when are the best days, what's that forecast,

and what tools we have.

OK Fire's out there, it's got some great

near real-time weather data that we can use to look at

actual temperatures, wind speeds, relative humidities.

The fire prescription planner is in there

to help you plan your burn out,

to see if this would be a good day to do that.

So, there's a lot of tools.

Again, it would be a great time, if you're not real

familiar with it, get on it.

Search around on it, play around with it,

and figure out how to operate it a lot better.

That way, whenever you do have burns this spring

that you're ready to roll.

>>> Sounds good.

John, thanks a lot.

Good to see you.

For a link to the OK Fire Program,

just go to

(guitar music)


Cow-Calf Corner

>>> We're still a month or two away from the beginning of the

spring calving season, but it's not too soon

to begin to think about the colostrum needs

that we may need for the first baby calf that is born

to a difficult birth and we have to supply

the colostrum that that calf is going to need.

You remember, colostrum contains the immunoglobulins

or the antibodies that give those baby

calves some disease protection.

In a few cases, maybe you have a two year old that's not

giving enough milk, or you have a situation where the calf

is born to a very difficult, long, arduous birthing process

and that calf is sluggish and won't get up in time

to nurse the cow and we all know that getting that colostrum

into that baby calf within the first six hours is very,

very important to his disease protection.

And that's why having some colostrum already stored, that we

can thaw out and give to that baby calf in the middle of

the winter is pretty important for his future health.

Couple ways of getting that colostrum, natural colostrum,

most people still consider the best, comes from a cow,

perhaps, that lost a calf, that you'd milk out.

Or, if there's still a dairy in your area, you might visit

with those folks and see if you can purchase some of the

colostrum that they can't put into the milk line

and have that available to store and have

ready for next spring's calving.

If you do that, I would suggest that you put one quart

of the colostrum into a gallon-sized Ziploc bag,

and then lay that flat into the freezer,

to be frozen until you're going to use it.

If you do that, then it becomes easier to thaw out

when you need it quickly next February or March.

It's probably going to take at least two of those doses

for each feeding of most of these calves.

We consider five to six percent of their body weight

the adequate amount of colostrum for each feeding.

And for an 80 pound newborn calf, that equates to about two

quarts of the colostrum going to be needed for that first

feeding, and then repeat that again about 12 hours later.

If you can't get natural colostrum and have the opportunity

to obtain some, and freeze it, and utilize it in that way,

then I suggest that you visit with your local veterinarian

or local feed store and purchase

some commercial colostrum replacer.

And I say that word replacer with some emphasis because that

will contain at least 100 grams of immunoglobulins per dose,

and that's a key number to keep in mind.

Look on the label before you purchase it

to make sure it has that much in terms of

immunoglobulin available for each dose.

I realize these things are expensive for each dose

that you feed them, but let's remember that if we can keep

that calf alive until it's time to sell him the following

fall at weaning-time and he's worth several hundred dollars,

then that one dose or two doses of that expensive

colostrum replacer, seems to be worth it.

We hope this helps you a little bit in terms of getting

ready for the upcoming calving season.

Having colostrum available when you need it at the time

that you need it, is going to be important as well.

Hey, we look forward to visiting with you again

next week on SUNUP's Cow-Calf Corner.

(upbeat music)


Veterinary feed directive, one year later

>>> It's been almost a year since the new

Veterinary Feed Directive went into effect.

SUNUP traveled to Pontotoc County to talk

with extension veterinarian Dr. Barry Whitworth,

to see how producers are adjusting.

(machine sounds)

>>> The Veterinary Feed Directive is the FDA went to the

industries, the pharmaceutical companies that produce these

drugs that we include in feed and they asked them to

voluntarily change the status of these drugs.

And these companies agreed to do that.

And the purpose of this is they wanna better track

the use of these antibiotics in animals, because everybody

is concerned about antimicrobial resistance.

So that's what has started the Veterinary Feed Directive.

We have switched a lot of drugs that used to be available

over the counter to now, you have to get a Veterinary Feed

Directive in order to use those products in feeds.

And to get a Veterinary Feed Directive, it's all based upon

what we call a veterinary-client-patient relationship.

We have to have a relationship with our veterinarians so

that they what your operation is about, what you're doing,

and why you need to use whatever product you're requesting,

so that was the biggest hurdle

that we had to overcome initially.

There have been some other things

that have kind of been road bumps,

which say things like free choice minerals

versus as-fed minerals, has been a big problem for years

before the veterinary feed directive.

It wasn't legal, but we fed a lot of as-fed minerals

in a free choice manner.

We just put 'em out there,

let the cows consume how much they wanted.

Once we got to the veterinary feed directive,

we were not able to do that anymore,

we had to kinda stick to what the label tells us,

and there's only a select few products

that can be fed free choice,

and if you wanna feed the free choice mineral,

when we say free choice, we just put it out there,

and let the cows consume it,

then you have to use one of those products.

And that was a little bit of a hurdle for some people,

'cause we'd used a lot of other products before,

and we can no longer use those products in that way anymore.

Some people have just chosen not to do it.

Some people have gone to trying to use other means

to control diseases such as vaccinations,

and some people have just been reluctant

to switch over to the new requirements,

and so they've chosen not to use any products at this time.

>>> It hasn't been a problem at all,

I'm still buying and using the same product

and the same things that I did.

I haven't changed anything.

I can't see why it would be anything drastic to people,

if it did, it would be a help, you know,

to 'em I would think.

Like I said, I've always used the medicated minerals,

and I've seen through the years of production,

I've seen what I believe has been a change

in my animals and my calving on doing it.

And, you know, if it's not broke, don't worry about it.

>>> Some of the things that we've found

with this veterinarian feed directive

that are off shoots of it, is the fact that

people are talking to their veterinary more.

We're seeing better herd health management,

we're seeing people look more at vaccinations now,

we're talking about bio-security with people

in controlling diseases.

So these are things that have come out of this

process that we didn't expect.

>>> Of stuff of, you know, why,

and then as I begin to rethink it,

like I have in other things in life,

they're just trying to help.


So that's a good thing, that's a good thing.

I need all the help I can get usually.


(country music)


Livestock Marketing

>>> Here we are in December, the last month in 2017,

and Derrell, how have the beef markets been holdin' up?

>>> You know, 2017 has been a surprising year,

kind of all the way around.

You know, if you look here at the end of the year,

Whole-sale beef prices, they've come down

from the levels about a month ago,

prior to Thanksgiving, fed cattle prices

are a little bit lower as well.

But all in all, holding up quite well

here at the end of the year.

It's just been a surprising year

driven principally by strong demand,

we know that we've had increases in production,

and yet the demand has been there

to keep these markets very strong.

>>> And while talking about demand,

feeder markets have kind of been in that same boat.

>>> Absolutely, you know, throughout this fall,

we've not seen the normal seasonal pressure.

We've had good feed lot demand for

the heavier weight feeder cattle.

That's kept those prices well above a year ago.

And calf prices are certainly higher than a year ago,

and really have not dropped very much this fall.

Even though, you know,

we've struggled a little bit with stockers this fall,

but yet the demand has been very good.

>>> Cattle producers are by in cattle pit on pasture,

how's the pasture looking?

>>> Well the wheat pasture situation's been

a little bit of a challenge this fall.

I think you'd have to describe it as variable.

You know, we saw an awful lot of potential in September,

but then we had lots of problems with army worms early on.

Some producers waited to plant to get past that.

It just depends on where you are,

there is some wheat pasture out there,

certainly some cattle out there.

And producers in general have a lot

of other forages to work with.

We brought some pasture out of the summer.

We've got lots of hay to work with,

so the stocker demand has been there,

but it's been a bit of a challenge this fall.

Certainly not a uniform, kind of an easy path this fall.

>>> Well, and speaking of some of those cattle

that may go in the wheat pasture also,

there's been some great OQBN sales this year.

Can you talk about those?

>>> You know, we continue the value added program,

in the Oklahoma Quality Beef Network,

we've had very good sales this fall.

You know, we continue to see the premiums for those cattle,

that have received the management protocol,

and are certified.

And so that contributes to the value for producers

to participate in these sales.

>>> We're moving into 2018, what should cattle producers

be thinking about as we make that turn?

Are the markets gonna stay where they're at?

>>> Well, I think there'll be some challenges,

I think we're carrying some momentum

forward from 2017 into 2018.

The demand stuff still looks very good at this point.

But at the same time,

we know there's gonna be continued increases in production,

so supply will be a bit of a challenge.

Not only for beef, but for the other meats as well.

You know, we've got some uncertainty related

to things like trade policy.

You know, the macro economy right now looks pretty good,

but I think you have to be concerned that it could

have some problems going forward.

So it looks good.

I think we carry some momentum into 2017,

but we certainly will have some challenges,

and I think for producers that translates into some

downside risk that you want to try to be managing

for as we go forward.

>>> So really, be conscious of it, and kind of plan

for those downsides.

>>> Yeah, absolutely.

And we do expect overall that we'll see slightly weaker

prices, maybe not a lot weaker prices for feeder cattle,

or cattle in general, but more than likely we will see

a little bit of weakening in prices,

and I think the threat is there that we could see

more weakening than that if anything happens

particularly to beef demand domestically or internationally.

>>> Okay, thank you much.

Derrell Peel, Livestock Marketing Specialist

here at Oklahoma State University.

(rambling music)


Mesonet Weather

>>> Good morning everyone,

welcome to the Mesonet Weather Report.

As the old saying goes, we have 99 problems

and rain ain't one of them.

So let's go right to the data and look at the building

drought that's forming across Oklahoma.

Well, as we do every week, the newest Drought Monitor

Report shows more drought across Oklahoma.

We now have a large area of severe drought,

that's that darker brown down across the southeastern

corner of the state.

Moderate drought has also encroached up into central

Oklahoma and northeastern Oklahoma with a little dollop

over there in the southwest Oklahoma.

Then we have the other side of the state

with the moderate to severe drought in northwestern

Oklahoma from the Woodward, Woods, Harper County area

out into the panhandle.

And then, as you can see, after that we have that yellow

abnormally dry condition.

Abnormally dry conditions are a precursor to drought,

and that covers most of the state.

The only part of the state not in imminent danger

of drought development right now is that area

up around Osage County, Payne County, and those areas

where they did get a little bit of rainfall

previously in the year, a little bit of excessive rainfall.

But we can look at that in a minute.

Now we did get some rainfall down in southeast Oklahoma

that helped stop the drought from intensifying too rapidly

down there, but again, it was too little.

From about a quarter of an inch to about an inch

in some places.

Again, just not enough to make a difference,

but it was certainly welcome.

So when we look at the consecutive days with less than

a quarter inch of rainfall from the Mesonet,

this map shows the problem.

Nearly 70 days in the western panhandle, to 60 days

in western Oklahoma, to more than 45 days across central

Oklahoma over into eastern parts of the state.

So a long time without significant rainfall in the state,

therefore, building drought.

New we can take a look at the damage done.

The Departure from Normal Rainfall map for the water year,

that's October 1st forward, we see deficits

across the state from more than six to seven inches,

down across far southeastern Oklahoma,

three to five inches up into central Oklahoma,

one to three to four inches up in northwest Oklahoma.

Now remember it doesn't rain as much up there this time

of the year, any time of the year, really.

So those amounts are still significant.

But then we see that area up around Osage County,

Payne County, in that area that did get the excessive

rainfall earlier in October.

So that rainfall will last a while, but not forever.

Now let's go to some more bad news, at least according

to the precipitation outlook for December

from the Climate Prediction Center.

We see a bulls eye of increased odds of below normal

precipitation right smack dab across Oklahoma,

especially the western two thirds of the state.

That is not good news,

and that's not a way to get rid of drought.

Now the Climate Prediction Center's Monthly Drought Outlook,

given that precipitation outlook, is not very optimistic.

It has the drought where it is now continuing to persist,

or intensify, and then we see that dollop of yellow

out across the western half of the state.

That's where drought is expected to develop

by the end of December.

Now it has cooled down, that will help reduce

some of that moisture loss, but we just simply

need some rain or snow, and again, we'll take anything

we can get at this point.

That's it for this time.

We'll see you next time on the Mesonet Weather Report.

(rambling music)


Market Monitor

>>> 2017's been a interesting year in the wheat markets, Kim.

Let's just jump into it.

What have we seen?

>>> Well of course we're seeing low prices,

and on top of those low prices, you go back to the '16 crop,

130 million plus bushels, this year about 99 million.

So down about 33% from last year.

So we had lower production, and significantly lower prices,

so right now there's, well, let's get real,

there's just not any, actually, if you've got wheat,

you're losing money.

>>> Now, it's been said that you're not a lover

of wheat prices right now.

Can you jump into that?

>>> Well, the way I heard that was,

"Kim, you don't like wheat."

I do like wheat, you know?

I don't like the prices that we got

and I don't like the quality of product we got.

I don't like low quality of wheat.

I don't like wheat that we can't put on the market.

I don't like wheat when we can't compete

on the world market because we have to compete.

We can.

And producers right now,

some producers are making a profit,

at least covering variable costs with wheat.

I don't like current conditions.

>>> What's it gonna take,

and I think I all ready know the answer to this,

but what's it gonna take to get that protein up

to where ya like it?

To where it's marketable world-wide?

>>> Well, if you're talkin' about protein,

I think one, naturally, it's got to be weather

and weather conditions,

but two, it's management,

it's putting down nitrogen applications,

maintaining soil fertility,

it's timing along with timely rains.

I think, you look back at '12, '13, and '14,

we had above 12% average protein.

The weather cooperated then,

we had relatively good prices,

producers were putting down the fertilizer,

they were using the fungicides,

they were doing management practices

to produce a quality product,

and they had a price.

Once prices went down

below costs of production,

and they took out those inputs,

it got em on both sides.

It got em on yield,

it got em on quality,

and it's got em on price.

>>> Are we seein' this world-wide?

Is it just the U.S. that's havin' a hard time

with wheat prices?

>>> No, a farmer's a farmer

around the world and they react.

All farmers react.

But now, if you go to the Soviet Union,

if you go to the Ukraine,

Argentina to a certain degree,

where you're producing a hard, bred wheat,

and you're averaging 45 to 55 bushels an acre

for a country average.

They can make a profit, at least cover variable costs

at $3.00, $3.25 wheat.

Do they want more profit?

Sure they do.

But they can make a profit.

They're more competitive in the market than us,

and they will continue to put the inputs

in that product because they can cover those variable costs.

>>> So, really, it comes down to managing

what we have in the ground right now

and what we'll put in the ground.

>>> That's correct.

Luck, you know, you can't do anything

without the weather,

you can't do anything without moisture,

which we're not getting a whole lot of right now.

But you know and I know that our crop's

gonna be determined in both quantity and quality

in the March, April, May time period.

That's when to make sure you've got

down the nutrients that is needed,

and that's when we need the timely rains

and the good weather to produce that product.

>>> But the time to start thinkin' about that

and planning for it is December, January.

>>> Right.

I think, on putting a pencil to it,

it's not is it gonna cost me $10.00 an acre

to get it down, that's $10.00.

I'm not making any money, so I'm losin' it.

If I can put it down for $10.00 an acre,

and I can get $15.00 in it, 5 bushels.

If I can increase by 5 bushels at $3.00 wheat,

I'm makin' $5.00 an acre more,

or losin' $5.00 an acre less,

than I would've if I hadn't made that investment.

So, you've got to look at the margin.

You've got to look, you know,

all the costs you got is history.

If I put a dollar in it,

am I gonna get more than a dollar out of it?

That's the question,

and that's the way to run that pencil.

>>> Okay.

Thank you much, Kim "I love wheat" Anderson.

Grain Marketing Specialist here

at Oklahoma State University.

(country music)


Naturally Speaking

>>> Shinnery oak occurs in a pretty small part of the country.

It's in Western Oklahoma, throughout the Texas Panhandle,

and in Eastern New Mexico.

And it's a low-growing, clonal oak,

so it typically stays less than waist tall,

and it's an important wildlife plant.

So, there's a lot of conservation value,

especially for bobwhite and wild turkey.

And it produces a very large acorn,

but they usually don't persist for very long.

End of the fall, wildlife and insects consume them,

and then when it leafs out later on in the spring,

it has a very irregular, jagged leaf margin.

It's slightly glossy and dark green.

And this plant is highly adaptive to fire.

When it's burned, it re-spouts rapidly

from the roots.

And within two or three years,

the plant is back to the structure it was

before the fire took place.

So in addition to providing acorns for food,

a lot of birds actually eat the catkins

off of these oak.

And particularly, they use it for cover,

both for cover from predation,

but also for thermal cover

to shield them from the midday sun.

A landowner might have an interest

in trying to get shinnery back on the landscape

for the cover it provides

and also for the food resources it provides.

And so, we're hopin' to be able to provide

some best management practices to landowners

in the future, but right now,

we are really are at ground zero.

We really don't know how to grow it,

so last year, we started with collecting

hundreds of acorns.

And we're experimenting with different stratification

and different light levels

to see how we can best grow these in greenhouses

to transplant them back into the sandy soils.

If a landowner wants to do shinnery restoration,

how can they go about that?

So we're partnering with the Forest Research Station

in Idabel through OSU

to learn about acorn germination and survival,

rhizome survival, and then also about transplanting it back

into these sandy soils.

(country music)


>>> That'll do it for us this week.

Remember you can find us any time

on our website and also follow us on YouTube

and social media.

I'm Lyndall Stout.

Have a great week everyone,

and remember Oklahoma agriculture starts at SUNUP.

(country music)



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