Contact Us

Contact Info

141 Agriculture North
Oklahoma State University
Stillwater, OK 74078

Phone: (405) 744-4065
FAX: (405) 744-5738



DASNR News black.png

Transcript for April 6, 2019

Transcript to come.

This show includes the following segments: 

  • Cattle flatulence & the environment
  • Cow-Calf Corner
  • Scouting alfalfa
  • Mesonet Weather
  • Gypsum &  how it is used
  • Market Monitor
  • The basics of LLC's
  • Food Whys


(upbeat music)

Cattle flatulence & the environment

>>> Hello everyone and welcome to SUNUP.

I'm Lyndall Stout.

We begin today talking livestock production

and a topic often in the news about cattle.

Here's SUNUP's Kurtis Hair and our extension

beef cattle specialist Dave Lalman to sort it out.

>>> The relationship between cattle production

and the environment is always a topic of concern.

And we're always hearing about cattle flatulence.

And Dave, there's a misconception when it comes

to cattle flatulence.

>>> There's a big misconception.

So, 85 to 95% of the gas that cattle produce

comes out the front end, not the back end.

So cattle flatulate very little.

Most of it is from burping or belching

after they've fermented their feed,

and that methane is a by-product

of that fermentation process.

>>> And when it comes to methane,

what's the overall impact in the United States

that cattle production has on the environment?

>>> So according to the EPA, it's about 1.8%

of the methane produced in the U.S.

And that's form the beef cattle industry in the U.S., 1.8.

So if you compare that to the EPA's estimate

for transportation: 27%.

The EPA's estimate for electricity production: 28%.

>>> And one of the reasons it's not so high

is just kind of the relationship, or the cycle of methane

in cattle production.

Talk a little bit about that.

>>> Well, so they produce 1.8% of our total production

but the thing is, if you include the cycle of methane,

it's actually almost net zero impact

on greenhouse gas ability to capture heat

in the global warming effect, okay?

So let me explain that just a bit.

When that methane is eructated, it goes into the atmosphere

and then through a process that lasts about 10 years,

it gradually gets turned back into carbon dioxide

and taken up by plants which the animals are able to graze

and they burp methane and it starts over again.

So if the number of cattle in the country

stay about the same over time,

that 10 year cycle,

basically the methane contribution

does not change very much.

>>> And while it might not be a big impact,

it's still something that you're concerned with

here at Oklahoma State and the work that you're doing

is really just to try to reduce that as much as possible.

>>> Sure, I mean just because it's low

as far as the environmental impact doesn't mean

we shouldn't try to reduce it because

I mean really if you think about it,

everything we do on SUNUP, everything the cooperative

extension does for the beef cattle industry,

everything our Ag experiment station does

to try to improve production practices

and the best management practices that we recommend

are aimed at improving animal well-being,

health and well-being, which tends to

increase their productivity.

Increasing their productivity reduces the amount

of energy and carbon that they have to consume

to produce one pound of good quality food for humans.

And so everything we do in improving over time

and, by the way, the beef cattle industry has improved

over the last 20 to 30 years substantially

in terms of that carbon footprint.

So, yes, we will continue because that influences

profitability and that's

a big concern

of our producers obviously.

>>> And it all goes back to management practices.

>>> Best management practices are a way to reduce

our carbon footprint and reduce methane production.

>>> Alright, thanks Dave.

Dave Lalman, beef cattle specialist here at

Oklahoma State University.

(upbeat music)


Cow-Calf Corner

>>> During the spring calving season

while these beef cows are at the peak of lactation,

I think is a really good time to look at them closely

and write down in your calf record book,

any cows that you see that look like they might have

an unsound udder.

We've done some research here at Oklahoma State University

looking at the impact of what a dry quarter,

or in some cases a couple of quarters on a cow might mean

in terms of weaning weight and it's rather substantial.

>>> The data would suggest

that if a cow has only one dry quarter

that she will wean a calf that's 50 to 60 pounds lighter

than counterparts that have fully sound udders.

So it's very, very important to identify those cows.

And that's a huge economic loss

just due to that particular trait.

Now the fact that this situation is heritable

I think is very, very important.

Data from years ago always indicated

that udder soundness in beef cattle

was about 25% heritable.

In other words, 25% of the differences in udder soundness

was due to genetics.

More recent data with just Hereford cattle

from Kansas State University published just five years ago

indicated that it may actually be a little bit higher

in that breed at about 32%.

So we can make some progress in our herd

by selecting against unsound udders

and over time improve the udder soundness

in our entire cow herd.

The things that we wanna look for

as we're examining these cows this spring

is two different traits that I'd really pay attention to.

If you find a cow

with one of those very, very large funnel shaped teats,

that's a good opportunity to write that number down

and you probably need to expect

that that cow has had some kind of infection

perhaps mastitis in that teat

and it's a very good chance

that that quarter is actually dry or non-productive.

The other thing to look for is the very pendulous udder.

The one that has lost the strength

in that suspensory ligament that holds the udder up

next to the abdomen of the cow.

Those things as she ages will weaken

and allow that udder to get very, very low to the ground

make it difficult for her baby calf to get up

and find that teat within the first few minutes of life

and have the best chance to get the colostrum

that it needs early in life.

Let's watch for those two traits

as we examine these cows this spring

and if we see some that have some problems

let's write that down in our calf book

then next fall we probably need to make some decisions

about whether we're going to keep her in the herd

or her heifer calf so we can make some improvements

in the long run in the udder strength in our cow herd.

Hey, we look forward to visiting with you again next week

on SUNUPs Cow Calf Corner.


Scouting alfalfa

>>> We are talking alfafa management now

with Extension Specialist, Kelly Seuhs.

And Kelly you've been out and about around the state,

give us an idea of what you've seen so far.

>>> Well things have happened pretty quick.

About two weeks ago I was out scouting

and lookin' at some of our fields

and we were seeing early hatch small larvae

nothing to be concerned about at that point.

But then a weeks' time,

the population's exploded

and producers, station personnel,

everybody basically south of I40

were either spraying or considering to spray.

So it's definitely time for those folks to be out

and looking and if they've not already sprayed

they need to be out looking and seeing what's going on.

>>> So the weevils are out and about a little later than usual

based on the temperatures and the rain?

>>> We're actually in our normal,

what we do call a normal season right now

our normal, our peak time for weevil larvae

is probably in about mid-March to mid-April

and so we're actually right in the middle a that right now

and so our timing is pretty consistent

of what we normally see on a normal year

so we're looking at needing to be out in the fields scouting

and doing what we need to do

and making the decisions right now

'cause it's, this is a peak time for larvae development.

>>> So what kind of guidance are you giving to folks,

some people have sprayed already, some people haven't

what's the best bet right now?

>>> Well if you've already sprayed,

generally you have a two to three week window

of efficacy for your product

and you won't have to spray again 'til,

during that time frame.

If you have to spray too early,

the problem becomes if you,

the residual of the insecticides won't last

over about two to three weeks depending on the product.

So, if by chance you have to spray

in a time frame well before harvest time,

then the first harvest,

then you run into the problem of having to make,

potentially having to make

another decision, management decision before first harvest

and that's what some of the folks down in the south

are having to deal with right now.

They sprayed one to two weeks ago

and depending on the heights a the alfalfa

they're gonna have to make a decision probably

because we're seeing some

second flushes of activity

continuation of egg hatch

and so there's another set or additional set of

larvae coming on

that they may have to make other treatment decisions.

So, that's another reason to be in the fields

scouting and seeing what's going on

because you never know what that number's gonna be.

We probably not gonna get any help from the weather

and so at least down south

things may materialize again

where they have to make a spray decision.

This time of year we're looking at cowpea,

pea and blue.

They can all three can cause problems.

Cowpea's not a new pest but it's something

that's given us some problems in recent years

because of the conditions we've had.

The changes in the

moderate temperatures in the winter

coming out of dormancy.

But it's kind of a still relatively new pest

that we've seen some increased activity on.

But so far we've not seen threshold levels

of any aphids at this point.

That could change with the weather, of course.

But as we start warming up

getting some 80 to 90 degrees

to that point

so, up until about first harvest.

So, we're still watching them but at this point

they're not of any concern at this stage.

>>> Alrighty, well keep us posted.

Thanks a lot, Kelly.

>>> You bet.

>>> And to read more about alfalfa weevils

in Kelly's latest newsletter,

just go to

(upbeat folk music)


Mesonet Weather

>>> Welcome to the weekly Mesonet Weather Report.

I'm Wes Lee.

Almost the entire state plunged below freezing

on the last day of March.

Only Idabel in the far southeast didn't record a freeze.

Just because you make it past the last

average freeze date for your area

doesn't mean you're in the clear.

This map shows the date of the latest spring freeze events

between the period of 1981 to 2010.

It indicates that nowhere in the state are we past

the date of the latest spring freeze.

In 2013, not covered during the time-frame of this map,

a large part of western Oklahoma froze on May 3rd.

A three-day average 2 inch soil map shows temperatures are

between 46 in the panhandle and 56 in the south.

This is a few degrees below normal for this time of year.

But probably warm enough to begin the germination process

of most garden seeds.

Next week's forecast is indicating the likelihood

of warmer than normal temperatures.

Gary is up next to talk about the outlook

for the rest of April.

>>> Thanks Wes, and good morning everyone.

Well today we're going to start

with the drought monitor as usual

then we're going to take a look

back at March

and then take a look forward at April.

So let's get right to it.

Drought monitor remain with that same area

down in southwest Oklahoma

with abnormally dry conditions.

No drought officially showing up yet.

Just abnormally dry conditions

with deficits going back

to the beginning of the year

and a little bit before that even.

Other than that, the rest of the state still looking good.

No abnormally dry conditions and no drought

more importantly.

Let's take a look back at March now.

The percent of normal rainfall map from the Mesonet

shows again down in southwest Oklahoma

still with that deficit and again that dates back

to the beginning of the year and even before that.

But also much of the state was actually below normal.

From southwestern up through north central Oklahoma.

Then much of the southeastern corner of the state

was also below normal.

And we had those generous rainfall amounts

out in the panhandle and in west central Oklahoma.

And scattered about in smaller areas of the state.

But overall, it was a dry month for many Oklahomans.

And that didn't help the southwest get rid of that

abnormally dry yellow color on the drought monitor map.

Now, it's also colder than normal.

Again, we're dealing with lower maximum temperatures.

And that's what we had across the state in March.

From three to four degrees below normal in many areas.

Just a few areas at or near normal

down in the southeast

and in over close to the west central Oklahoma.

But other than that it was a pretty cold month

across the state.

Now let's take a look ahead for April with the outlooks

from the climate prediction center.

We see increased odds of above normal temperatures

in the western panhandle.

And then parts of northern and eastern Oklahoma.

And then for precipitation

we see increased odds for above normal rainfall amounts

across the entire state.

Especially down in far southern Oklahoma

just the very tip.

But in general

increased odds of above normal precipitation

which is good news.

As usual, we can use some rain over much of the state.

The good thing is,

prospects are looking good

so we'll see where we go from here.

That's it for this time.

We'll see you next time

on the Mesonet Weather Report.


Gypsum & how it is used

>>> Gypsum.

It's one of those compounds

that I get a lot of questions about.

And I really hear a lot of misconceptions

about how do we use it?

What it's used for.

And everything like that.

First and foremost,

we need to remember that

gypsum is calcium sulfate.

So we have a calcium tied to SO4, sulfate.

It's one of those compounds that I get

a lot of questions about and honestly

I hear a lot of misconceptions

or misunderstandings about how can we use gypsum?

How does it interact in the soil?

What does it do to the soil?

Calcium sulfate is primarily used

in the remediation of sodic soils.

Now, sodic soil is a soil that has

too much sodium in it.

And it creates a dispersive situation that water

can't go down because the sodium is large

and it prevents water from moving down.

We use gypsum because the calcium sulfate

breaks apart fairly easily within water

and we apply gypsum so that calcium breaks apart,

displaces sodium off of the soil particle

and then we can flush it down with irrigation,

rainwater, or otherwise,

and get the sodium out of the system.

Another popular use for gypsum is in peanut production.

Gypsum provides both calcium for the pegging

and for the formation of the nuts and then the sulfur

is needed in legumes and the sandy soils,

and also helps with the digging process.

Now one thing that I get a lot of that I try

to correct people on is using gypsum to lower soil pH.

Now this is just not correct.

It's not accurate.

Gypsum, calcium sulfate, is applied thinking it'll

lower soil pH because it has sulfur in it.

Unfortunately, that's not how it works.

We use elemental sulfur to lower soil pH.

It's because elemental sulfur, when applied to the soil,

turns from S in biological activity,

turns it to H2SO4, so sulfuric acid.

Once it goes into sulfuric acid,

that sulfuric acid reaction in the soil solution

releases a hydrogen, leaving SO4.

After that, so we've lowered the soil pH,

because we've added hydrogen to it and we leave sulfate.

Gypsum can't lower the soil solution with its sulfur

because it's in a reduced form.

So adding gypsum to lower the soil pH

just is not going to do anything.

We can see gypsum used in areas that have irrigation water

that have high bicarbonate concentrations.

So if you look just north of Stillwater

in the Ponca, Blackwell, that region where

we have irrigation water.

Irrigation area you start on a field

and the field's pH might start at about a 5.6 pH.

After 10 or 15 years of having this high bicarb irrigation

water we're seeing pH's move to 7.8 to 8.0 range.

So we have this increase in soil pH,

partially due, primarily due to

the addition of bicarbonates.

Now if we were to add gypsum to this scenario,

it would provide calcium to bind with bicarbonate.

'Cause what we don't wanna do is overload

the system with bicarbs, 'cause that calcium would start

binding with the bicarbs that's going in

is gonna bind with all the calcium in the soil

and at some point you're gonna see that pH shift

and we're gonna have a field that's really non-productive.

So we can counteract the bicarbs in the irrigation water

by adding gypsum.

So yes, we're applying gypsum to a field that has high pH

due to irrigation water, but it's not in efforts

to lower the pH, it's in efforts to bind with

the bicarbs that are being added in irrigation water

to prevent the pH from going up any higher.

For more information, check out the SUNUP website


(upbeat music)


Market Monitor

>>> It's that time of the show where we dive in

to all the grain markets.

Kim, where are we with 'em?

>>> We're at low prices.

You look at wheat, we're near five year lows

that may contract $4.40.

The July contract at $4.46, only a six cent spread there.

The good news there on the wheat market though,

the futures is down, the basis is relatively high,

but the cash prices are low, so that's kind of a wash.

You look at corn, we lost 16 cents after

the report came out last week.

We gained about 11 of it back,

just left corn prices in the tank.

Soybean prices down around $9 on the board.

That May contract and November contract at $9.35,

you look at cash and it's a dollar or so lower than that.

So, soybean price is low.

The good news may be cotton.

We've gained about six and a half cents in cotton

in the last three or four weeks,

and cotton's at $.775.

And you look at the Dec contract, it's at $.764.

>>> That's a lot of price differences in all

the different commodities there.

You did mention cotton, and cotton seems to have grown

across Oklahoma in the past couple years.

Where are you seeing planted acres for Oklahoma?

>>> Well, if you look at what the plans are

for planting cotton on the U.S. acres,

it's supposed to be down 2% at 13.8 billion acres.

The Oklahoma acres are supposed to be down about 8%

to 720,000 acres.

You look at corn nationwide, up 4%, 92.8 million,

but in Oklahoma, down 6%.

Sorghum, the U.S. at 5.1 million acres, down 10%.

Oklahoma down 17% expected on sorghum plantings

at 250,000 acres.

Canola down 50%, at only 35,000 acres of canola.

Soybeans nationwide, down five, but up 3%

in Oklahoma at 650,000.

And peanuts, nationwide, are expected to be up 2%

at 1.4 million acres, and up 25% in Oklahoma

at 20,000 acres.

>>> How are things looking right now

when it comes to crop conditions?

>>> Well, you look at wheat crop condition,

it's significantly better than it was last year

and the year before.

The last year, you got 69% of the crop

good to excellent; only 4% poor to very poor.

Kansas is pretty close to the same.

Texas is not quite as in good condition.

They've only got 48% good to excellent

and 18% poor to very poor.

>>> This is a question I feel like I ask quite a bit,

and I don't like asking, but how long do you think

these low prices are gonna stick around?

>>> Well, if you look at the wheat prices right now,

they're determined on the world market,

and really determined in the Black Sea area.

The good news is that stocks are relatively tight

in the Black Sea.

Exporters, that's Russia and Ukraine,

a glitch in the weather and production in those countries,

we could have a relatively good rally in wheat prices.

But if we don't have poor growing conditions

in the Black Sea area, then you could see

prices be down in the below $5 range

or average at about $5 for the next three or four years,

maybe five years out.

>>> Okay, wow, Ken Anderson, great marketing specialist

here at Oklahoma State University.

And now here's Extension Ag Law Specialist,

Shannon Ferrell, with information on why farmers

should think of their family farm as a business.


The basic of LLC’s

>>> So, LLCs are a really versatile tool,

and we use them for everything

from transferring business interests

from one generation to the next,

just to providing simple liability protection.

So anytime you have any sort of business

where there's appreciable assets at risk,

it's always a good idea to think about the LLC format

for some of those reasons.

When you talk to most farmers and ranchers

and you ask them what they wanna have happen

with a farm or ranch business, they'll almost always say,

"Well, I wanna keep that operation intact

as it goes to the next generation."

But sometimes, that could be really difficult

because you might have on-farm heirs and off-farm heirs.

On-farm heirs might wanna keep the farm asset base together,

but off-farm heirs might wanna have

some share of the business' revenue,

but really don't wanna have an active role in the business.

And so one way an LLC can help you with that is that

operating assets or land or the business itself

can be placed in the LLC, and you can give different types

of LLC interests to those on-farm and off-farm heirs.

That way, you keep the asset base together,

but you're still able to give the individual heirs

interests that are more tailored to what

their needs would be.

So an off-farm heir might be able to get income.

An on-farm heir might get operational control of the assets.

So, it's a way of helping to deal with the interests

of heirs that might have different perspectives

on the farm, but at the same time, keeping all those assets

together and working at peak efficiency.

One of the first things I'll tell somebody

if they're thinking about an LLC for their operation is:

make sure you engage your attorney

and your tax professional.

The tax professional is really important

because one thing that you're gonna have to choose

if you set up an LLC is how would you like to tax it?

Taxes for LLCs can actually be selected.

You can choose to be taxed as a partnership,

which means that all the income and expense items

actually flow through the LLC and are reported

on the individual tax returns of the owners.

And so that avoids having a layer of double taxation

at the entity level.

Everything just basically flows through to the members.

But for some operations, it makes a little bit more sense

that they are taxed at the entity level,

especially if that entity is gonna provide

things like salaries, retirement benefits, insurance.

Those are deductible items for a separately taxed entity

that wouldn't be deductible for an individual.

So on an after-tax basis in some circumstances,

it might actually be better for the LLC to pay its own taxes

rather than to be a pass-through.

You wanna talk to your attorney as well,

because there are lots of considerations

that you need to put in your operating agreement.

Every LLC needs to have an operating agreement

that basically serves as the bylaws

for how that LLC's gonna operate.

And there are lots of things to consider there.

One thing you wanna define is how is your LLC

gonna be managed?

Is every member going to function as a manager?

In which case your ship has several captains,

and you need to make sure that you have a means

of breaking up ties or things like that.

Or you might have one member that serves as a manager,

and they basically act as the human face

of the entity and make most of the decisions.

Although, there are some decisions that you'll

probably wanna define as having to have a

majority vote of all the members.

You have to make sure that your LLC's properly formed,

you have to make sure that you pay all of your annual fees

for the LLC, and you have to make sure that you've

respected the separateness between the LLC and you.

That means its bank accounts belong to it;

your bank accounts belong to you.

You're not using it as your personal piggy bank.

There's not co-mingling of assets or things like that.

You've respected the separateness, and if you've done that,

generally, the courts will too.

(twangy harmonica and guitar music)


Food Whys

>>> Ice cream is a food that almost everyone enjoys.

But did you know that it's gone through several changes

over the years?

Historians believe that ice cream originated

from flavored ices and iced wine

that were popular with the Romans.

However, there are suggestions that there are

similar kinds of foods that were enjoyed in other areas.

The expense and difficulty associated

with obtaining and storing ice,

especially during the spring and summer months,

meant that these were special frozen treats

reserved for the extremely wealthy.

During the 18th century, Europeans began to develop

their own version of ice cream, and created recipes

using mixtures of milk, cream, and egg yolk.

These are the recipes that most resemble

what we consider to be ice cream today.

Ice cream remained an expensive treat.

Presidents George Washington and Thomas Jefferson

were both known to have enjoyed ice cream

and to have served it to guests.

However, in the 1850s, the status of ice cream

as a treat only for the wealthy would change

in the United States, when Jacob Fussell

would begin wholesale manufacture of ice cream in factories,

thus bringing this delicious treat to the masses.

The next time you're enjoying a scoop

of your favorite flavor, take a moment to remember

all of the different innovations and inventions

that it took to make it possible.

For more information, please visit,

or visit, or download the FAPC app.


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

Remember you can find us anytime at,

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.

(mellow harp music)


Document Actions

Watch SUNUP each Saturday at 7:30 a.m., Sunday at 6 a.m.
on your OETA channel, or anytime online