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Transcript for March 30, 2019

Transcript to come.

This show includes the following segments: 

  • Wheat Update & soil temperature
  • Mesonet Weather
  • Southeast grazing
  • Prescribed burning in wooded areas
  • Livestock Marketing
  • Cow-Calf Corner
  • Vet Scripts
  • Market Monitor


(upbeat string music)

Wheat Update & soil temperature

>>> Hello everyone, and welcome to SUNUP.

I'm Lyndall Stout.

We begin today with an update on winter crops.

And now that spring ishere,

a little advice on planting ahead for summer production.

Here's SUNUP's Dave Deken,

and our Extension Cropping System Specialist, Josh Lofton.

>>> Well, we're in a great spot.

This has been almost a 180 to where we were

this time last year, we look fantastic.

We're kind of getting out of those cold conditions.

I know this weekend we're gonna get into a little bit cooler

but we see more of that warming trend.

So we look to be coming out of the base of the winter.

And the good thing is, we got great soil moisture.

The crop looks great, it's set up really well

to finish out this year really strong.

>>> That's the winter crops.

Summer crops are on the minds

of many producers across the state.

What are some of the options for those folks

looking to put in a summer crop?

>>> I mean, we have pretty much all of our summer crops

going to be accounted for,

probably in most parts of the state.

You know, we're looking really strong.

Currently, we have corn going in.

And then right on the doorstep,

we have some of our other summer crops,

like our sorghums, and our soybeans.

Cotton's a little farther away,

but we do have a lot of those summer crops

kind of sitting right there on that doorstep

as soon as we get corn in.

>>> After corn, what else in a timeline,

what would be some of the planting options after that?

>>> Well that's all gonna depend on our soil temperatures.

>>> Right. 

>>> You know.

That's gonna really highly vary.

Corn is usually our first one planted

because it can take cooler soil temperatures

which is why we like to get it in a lot earlier.

Kind of why we talked about how

they were right there on the doorstep,

as looking out on the Mesonet site,

and I highly encourage growers,

when they're starting to look at...

I wanna get this crop in, or I wanna get another crop in,

that you go to that Mesonet site,

look at those three-day average, two inch soil temperatures

that's really gonna be a good base for 'em.

But growers can pick up a thermometer, a garden thermometer,

or a soil thermometer at any of their local garden or co-ops

and basic things, which you wanna do

is just kind of go in where you're wanting to plant,

and very similar conditions.

Once again, we're wanting to get around that

two inch soil temperature, and just kinda stick it in.

>>> Yeah.

>>> Let it kind of calibrate, let it get that temperature

for a little bit, and then we can actually

get the exact temperature of the conditions

in the field that we're wanting to go in.

And we see the difference, we just checked Mesonet

and they were at two inch soil temperatures,

currently right now we're in between 53 and 55.

This one before we started was around 58 to 60.

So it does vary from Mesonet.

Mesonet's a great place to get started,

but I really highly suggest growers

go out and get a thermometer

that they can actually put into the field

in those conditions, that they're going to be planting in

to kind of make those decisions.

>>> Moving from summer crops back just briefly to

one of the winter crops, canola.

You're going to be out across the state

showing off the statewide canola crop.

>>> Yeah, and it looks fantastic.

Kind of like what we said, it's probably

one of the better looking canola crops

we've had in the last several years,

and we're gonna be out on the western side of the state

at the Lahoma Research Station,

and then up in the producers' fields

in Grant County on the 23rd of April.

The 25th of April we're going to be

over on the eastern side of the state,

up in Ottawa County, just north of Miami

looking at the canola up there.

And we do have a flyer available.

It's one of those things that growers

can just kind of show up to.

Come see the crop, we'll discuss a little bit

about management practices,

what we need to do from here on,

and kind of get a good look at how the varieties

are performing in these great conditions that we've had.

>>> Okay, thank you very much Josh Lofton.

And for more information about the canola tours,

and your very own meat thermometer

go to our website,

(upbeat guitar music)


Mesonet Weather

>>> Hi, Wes Lee back with your weekly Mesonet weather report.

What a beautiful week of spring weather

we have experienced this past week!

Temperatures were mild, winds manageable,

and no severe weather!

Driving across the state recently,

it appears that crops are still a little behind schedule.

One of the reasons for this,

may be those continuing cool soil temperatures.

This map from earlier this week

shows four inch soil temperatures under sod

were running mainly in the 50's

in the southern half of the state

and in the 40's in the northern half.

If we compare the same map, one year ago

we see 60's in the south

and high 50's in the north.

This means between a five to 10 degree difference

between 2017 and 2018.

In fact, soil temperatures have been below normal now

for the past six weeks.

In this chart, the blue indicates

the average four inch soil temperature

over the past 15 years for the entire state.

The red line is a smooth soil temperatures

observed in the months of February and March.

Temperatures fell below normal around the 10th of February

and have yet to fully recover.

Another stretch of warm temperatures like last week

should move us back to normal.

However, forecast temperatures for next week

appear to be tending towards cooler than normal.

Gary is up next to talk about weather and wildfires.

>>> Thanks Wes and good morning everyone.

Well as usual, we're gonna start with

the newest drought monitor map.

Not many changes,

but there are some subtle differences.

And then we're gonna take a look at the differences

between this time this year

and this time last year.

And what a difference a year makes.

So we remain with just one problem area in the state.

That's far southwest Oklahoma.

No drought in the state.

We got rid of that with the rains over the last few weeks.

Now let's take a look at the Relative Greenness maps.

These are satellite maps obtained from

the Mesonet's OK fire prescribed burning program.

We can see some pretty distinct differences

between the relative greenness from this time last year

versus this time this year.

Especially out across Western Oklahoma.

Now the culprit in the differences

from those greenness maps of course

would be the rainfall we received

over the certain time frame over the last two years.

So if we look at the water year rainfall,

at least the rainfall departure maps from the Mesonet

we can see deficits across Western Oklahoma

from October 1st through March 25th last year

four, five, six inches,

even as much as 12 inches in some areas.

There in lies the differences

in the relative greenness maps.

We've just received so much more rainfall

this time this year versus this time last year

over the previous five or six months.

Now if you take a look at this last weeks map,

we can see almost no color in the map at all of course

just like the newest map that we looked at earlier.

So we start with the greenness,

a vast difference there.

We attribute that to the differences in rainfall

and of course that was reflected in the difference

in the U.S Drought Monitor maps

between the two time periods.

So I guess the final message is

we're not perfect across the state

some people have had too much rainfall

some have had too little,

but we're in pretty good shape

especially, as you compare it to last year.

So that's something to be thankful for.

That's it for this time.

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


Southeast gazing

>>> Southeastern Oklahoma is known for

it's beautiful lakes and pine forest,

but it is also home to many cattle operations.

And now OSU scientists are there

studying ways to improve grazing.

Today SUNUP's Kurtis Hair,

takes us to Pushmataha County to learn more.

>>> [Laura] So we're down here burning some

research and demonstration plots

that we've been maintaining for over 30 years

at Pushmataha wildlife management area.

So we're doing research

on different vegetation management practices.

Some of the plots are burnt annually,

some are burnt every two, three or four years.

And so we're trying to see how that

affects the understory vegetation

and the pine trees as well.

The understory vegetation, you know most of it

is the herbaceous vegetation, most of it's grass

and that's foraged for cows

and so we were really interested in

what happens to our forage production

when we do these different practices.

>>> You wouldn't think an area like this

with massive rocky hills full of pine trees

would be great for grazing,

but if managed correctly

with tools such as fire

it can be a great forage option for producers

in this part of the state.

>>> [Laura] So these are actually excellent areas

to graze cows.

This is a 50 inch rainfall zone

so they get 50 inches of annual rainfall

so they have the potential

to grow a lot of forage.

>>> [Kurtis] Although the land can be great for grazing,

Extensions Southeast District Area

Livestock Specialist, Brian Frecking says

"With the absences of fire

and other management practices

running cattle in this area is challenging."

>>> [Brian] It is a lot of mountainous

on the eastern side of the state

so to run a cow in that kind of territory

it takes a lot more acres.

What you see behind me,

there's not a lot of grass within the trees

and so those cattle do have to go quite a ways

to find something to eat.

>>> [Laura] So the first thing is that,

fire helps to suppress our woody vegetation

and so across Oklahoma, we have issues

with woody plants growing in areas

that were historically grasslands.

Part of grazing cattle

is maintaining grasses.

And so, if we don't burn,

this area will turn into an area that's mostly wooded.

>>> You'll see like in a patch burning situation

where cattle will be right where the spot where it's burned

but in the other parts where it's been three years

for it's burn, they don't really touch it.

And so they stay away from those areas.

Things like burning also helps things like ticks,

decreases the number of ticks

that animals are exposed to.

Horn Flies, those are all environmentally related to fire

as well as a tool.

>>> Cattle distribution especially in areas like this

that have some kind a steep terrain

and generally you have issues with water distribution

because of that terrain,

so you have water at low points, steep slopes,

this is rocky so it can kinda be harder for cows

to get around to a degree.

Using burning can really help to increase their use

of areas that are far away from water.

>>> [Narrator] Prescribed fire also helps in another important

part of cattle production in this area.

Finding your cows.

>>> So the environment that cattle producers

have to deal with in the Southeast,

there's obviously the open spaces

is a lot different and so they may even have to use things

like dogs to go in and round those cattle up.

Even on horseback,

to get em out of some of these thick brush areas,

and so that is kinda one of the challenges

for Southeast Oklahoma as a cattle producer,

just finding your cattle.

>>> And this is actually what a lot of our range lands

in the mountains out west look like.

You know, they just have different, different grasses

and different pine trees.

This doesn't only impact cattle,

it impacts lots of our wildlife species.

So when we have a really close canopy forest,

we have very few legumes,

Forbs broadleaf plants that grow in the understory.

And those are important forage species for white-tailed deer

for Turkey, for Bobwhite Quail.

So we have to have that balance

of enough sunlight getting to the vegetation below

that they can grow as well.


Prescribed burning in wooded areas

>>> So John, normally when we're with you

talking about burning it's more burning ranch land pastures

but these forested areas need burning too.

>>> That's right, and again

fire's a big integral part of the ecology

and the natural processes

that go on in these forests and stuff throughout Oklahoma

and throughout all the US.

>>> Why's it important, you know ecologically speaking

to burn the forest floor.

>>> So again, it's important for the plants and the wildlife

that live here, that's a big part of it.

But also, again, there's a lot a these trees and stuff

that are adapted to fire, you know, they're part of it.

Shortleaf Pine which is native to Southeast Oklahoma

that we burn in and burn through,

that's a fire adapted species

and the fires' important for a lot of it's life cycle

and going on with it.

And there's certain species of trees and plants that

that fire has to occur before seeds germinate

and stuff gets hot enough and things to do that.

Also again, it keeps back competition from other trees

and understory, mid story, helps remove that.

And then as we've seen in a lot a areas,

the more fire you add to those areas

the more you open up that forest floor

you get more herbaceous growth and stuff going in there

so for livestock also again benefits wildlife

and a lot a different species and things like that.

>>> And for a lot a producers,

their land will look a lot like this

especially in the Southeastern part of the state.

What are some safety precautions,

or what's the difference, in burning these type of areas

as opposed to range land in the North.

>>> So again, the techniques are very similar

and stuff like that.

There's gonna be a little bit a differences

in tweaking on some of the prescriptions

and some a the conditions cause again,

we don't wanna get a lot of really hot fires

that get up in the crown and do damage

especially if you're into timber production

and things like that, within that so you're gonna,

you wanna keep this fire on the ground

so again, burning under conditions maybe a little higher

humidities but also you don't wanna reduce heat scorch

so you're actually gonna need a little more wind

>>> And how often should producers

think about burning the land?

>>> You know again, that's gonna be up to their objectives

of what they're wanting to do

but again, you know,

we've got from work that we've done in Southeast Oklahoma,

we've got stuff that's showing we can burn annually,

we can burn

about every three years

is a really good optimal timeframe in there.

And that's probably you look at historic accounts stuff too

going through that part of the world,

two to four years was a

pretty good fire return interval in there

but again a lot of it depends upon their objectives

and what they're wanting to do.

If they're wanting to do,

have more livestock enterprise in there

fire a little more fire frequency.

Again, if they're want a little more timber and wildlife

they can stretch that out to three, four years

and things like that.

Also again, once they get fire into that system

you can hit it several times with fire

and then you can slack off for a few more years

than you can if you're just doing fire every once in a while.

>>> Alright, thanks John.

If you'd like some more information

about prescribe fire and forests

go to our website,

(upbeat string music)


Livestock Marketing

>>> Well it's been a long time coming

but there are numbers in this cattle on feed report

that we've been looking forward to.

>>> Yeah we're finally back on schedule

with the USDA after the disruptions

due to the shutdown so the March cattle on feed report

has February placements in marketing.

Marketing were just a tick above

last year and pretty much as expected.

Placements came in bigger

than expected, about 102% of last year.

The market was actually expecting those numbers

to be down four or five percent,

so more cattle went into the feed lots in February.

The March one cattle on feed inventory

is just about one percent above a year ago.

So a little bit of surprise in this market

in terms of those bigger placements.

>>> So having that many more placements,

what does that mean for the feed market?

>>> I don't think this is creating

a major problem. (cow mooing)

We have clearly changed the timing of feedlot cattle.

Partly because of these bigger placements,

but really just accumulative effects of winter weather,

and now we've got flooding in lots of areas,

that's disrupting some other things as well

but we've delayed some cattle this Spring,

weights are lighter right now,

so those cattle will be coming,

we know we're gonna have increased marketing

as we move to the normal seasonal peaks in slaughter.

Steers peak out usually in May or June.

We have some challenges ahead to keep moving

these cattle through the system.

I don't think there's an inevitable problem right now,

but it is something we're gonna wanna watch

in the coming weeks to make sure we move

these cattle on through the system.

>>> We're wrapping up March, we're moving into the second

quarter of many markets. (cow mooing)

Let's talk about what's in store for the fed cattle markets.

>>> Fed cattle have basically followed a seasonal pattern,

they've been grinding slowly higher

through the first quarter, they normally peak about now,

the beginning of the second quarter.

They may go a little bit higher.

Some people have actually been a little frustrated

with all the weather disruptions we've had that we haven't

seen more strength in these fed cattle markets.

But they have moved seasonally higher.

They may have a little ways to go yet

because we're gonna see some continued effects.

And again, cattle are slow to market,

weights are lighter so we may have a little time

to push this a little bit higher

and a little bit longer than we would normally see.

>>> Overall how does the feeder cattle market look right now?

>>> Feeder cattle markets again have

mostly followed a seasonal pattern.

For the lightweight end of the feeder cattle, the calves

have moved seasonally higher through the first quarter,

that's what they typically do,

they also typically peak about now.

I think they may have a little bit longer to go.

Again it's been a wet, sloppy winter.

We've got lots of moisture so we've got

lots of anticipation for good forage conditions.

I think we probably have some additional

grass to man here for the next couple, three weeks,

that may give this thing a chance

to push perhaps a little bit higher

and extend the seasonal peak a little bit longer.

Bigger feeder cattle, once you get over 700lbs,

actually move a little bit lower through the first quarter

and they have done that to a seasonal low.

They'll begin now, I think they already have turned around.

They'll start grinding their way higher to a midsummer peak.

So for the most part markets have followed

seasonal patterns pretty closely this Spring.

>>> Okay thank you very much.

Derrell Peel, Livestock Marketing Specialist

here at Oklahoma State University.

(upbeat string music)

Cow-Calf Corner

>>> As we approach April it's certainly very close

to the time when we need to think about

the breeding program for any replacement heifers

that were going to breed this Spring

and have ready to calve next year.

One of the cautions that I always like

to remind producers at this time of the year

is to make sure that these replacement heifers

don't have a real drop off in nutrition

right before the start of the breeding season.

The way this could happen is if perhaps we've raised

these heifers on some wheat pasture

or some other really good growing program,

and perhaps have to move them to another location

to get them close to the headquarters

where we can gather them up

and do a synchronization and artificial insemination.

In the process of that if we allow these heifers

to lose a lot of weight in a short period of time

it can really affect their ability

to become bred during this breeding season.

Research was done here at Oklahoma State

a number of years ago looking at that very situation,

where they had a set of heifers that were growing properly.

They were fed a diet that was 120%

of what they need for maintenance.

So this is a growing diet that these heifers were on.

They tested the heifers using some blood samples

and knew that all of them were cycling

when they started this particular program.

Then they took half of the heifers

and instead of giving them 120% of their maintenance diet,

they cut that into one third of that,

or half those heifers only got 40%

of what they needed in order to maintain weight.

They did this for just two weeks.

Then they gave them one of the synchronization drugs

and checked to see which of the heifers

still were cycling and would ovulate,

and have a chance to breed.

What they found, I thought was rather startling,

and that is, of the heifers that were fed

to maintain that 120% of maintenance,

in other words, to keep growing,

all of those heifers responded to the drug and did ovulate.

The heifers that were cut way back

and only got 40% of what they needed,

70% of those heifers did not cycle,

did not ovulate, only 30% actually did.

Tremendous difference in just two weeks' time,

and that reminds me that as we're getting close

to the breeding season with replacement heifers,

those that are just now reaching puberty

and start to cycle, we want to keep them growing,

keep them nutritionally sound going into

and through the breeding season in order

to get a high percentage of them to cycle

and to conceive, whether it be AI or natural breeding.

Keep this in mind, that during this upcoming breeding season

and you'll have a higher percentage of those heifers

bred when you check 'em next fall.

Hey, we look forward to visiting with you again

next week on SUNUP's Cow-Calf Corner.


Market Monitor

>>> Kim Anderson, our crop marketing specialist is here,

now Kim, wheat prices are still in the tank,

let's kinda start with an overview of what's happening.

>>> Well, if you look at the cash price around Oklahoma,

it's somewhere around four dollars and twenty,

four dollars and thirty cents a bushel,

forward contract for July delivery,

probably be four thirty, maybe four thirty-five,

depending on the location, plus or minus fifteen cents.

I think the key is, at this point in time,

we thought that wheat prices would be significantly higher,

four seventy-five, five dollars, and they're just not there,

they're in the tank, let's just get real about it.

>>> Let's talk about exports and kinda why

that export demand isn't increasing.

>>> Well, what we was expecting was the Black Sea countries,

Russia, Ukraine, mainly, Kazakhstan, to a limited degree,

to run out of wheat this time of year for exporting,

and they have, the reports are there's limited

supply coming out of that area.

But what we've got is that exports

are coming from other countries.

Egypt just came in for three different tenders,

and listen to the countries that they're buying from:

U.S. Pacific North, soft white expected,

U.S. hard wheat expected, U.S. soft wheat expected,

Russian milling wheat, that's hard red,

Ukrainian, Australian, Canadian, French, German,

Argentine, all expected, but Polish milling wheat,

Kazakhstan milling wheat, Romanian milling wheat,

Bulgarian milling wheat, Hungarian

and Paraguayan, Paraguay's wheat.

I mean, who'd expect those countries those countries

to be exporting wheat, and in that they're exporting it,

it's taking from our export demand.

>>> So, to add these countries in to the conversation,

let's look at why they're now players,

and like a lot of things in our lives,

technology is having an impact, talk about that.

>>> Well, do you look at what we used to call

the third world countries and the former Soviet Union

to a certain degree fit into that,

they've got the latest technology and the production,

they've improved their infrastructure

for storage and delivery and loading on the vessels.

They've got better varieties, they brought varieties

in from the U.S., from Europe, from other locations,

so they're taking this technology, they're increasing

their production, they're increasing

and maintaining the quality of their products,

and they're moving that on the world market.

>>> A big question, what does this mean

for U.S. growers, and is there hope?

>>> Well, yeah, there's hope, I think

for the next few years you're gonna see

exports increasing from these countries

that are importing countries, they've increased

their production, the weather looks good around the world,

the more the importing countries produce,

that's the less they have to import,

that's the lower demand, however,

consumption is increasing slightly faster than production.

As the economies increase, they want higher quality

food-stuffs, and that's good quality wheat.

So, I think as you're getting out four or five years

as consumption increases, then that demand's gonna come back

to the Unites States, because we've always

been the residual supplier of wheat and products.

>>>Well, no doubt that this conversation will continue, Kim,

we appreciate your analysis as always, thanks a lot.

(upbeat music)


Vet Scripts

>>> If you own cattle, probably at some time or another

you're gonna have to deal with a downer cow.

Downer cows are very frustrating

for producers and veterinarians alike,

they can be difficult to diagnose,

a lot of times treatment is unrewarding,

the producer is left with a cow that eats and drinks

and looks perfectly healthy, but it just can't get up.

So, what causes these cows to go down?

Well, we look at a lot times at electrolyte imbalances,

low calcium, which a lot of times is commonly

referred to as milk fever, or low magnesium,

grass tetany is another name for that.

Low phosphorus, low potassium all can cause

animals to go down and not be able to get up.

They could also have severe infections

that are usually associated with uterine infections

or mastitis, you can have trauma,

such as a fractured pelvis or a fractured femur.

Calving difficulties usually can have obturator nerve

or sciatic nerve damage which causes paralysis

in one or both of the hind limbs.

If a producer finds a cow that's down,

it's really important that if these cows are laid out flat

that we get them in sternal recumbency, cows that are laying

out flat are prone to bloat, and that can become fatal.

I think producers need to keep in mind

that even with the best of care,

the damage that can occur to the muscles

in the leg with all that pressure

when they're laying down is sometimes irreversible.

There was a study done in the eighties

in which they just anesthetized healthy cows

and then allowed those cows to recover.

Half of those cows never were able to rise,

so you can understand, in healthy cows

that get down and can't get up,

you can imagine that animals that succumb to some type

of illness or condition, that some of these

are never going to get up, no matter what we do.

If you'd like some more information

about downer cows, just go to


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

remember, you can find us at any time

at, and also follow us

on YouTube and social media.

I'm Lyndall Stout, have a great weekend everyone,

and remember, Oklahoma agriculture starts at SUNUP.

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