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Transcript for April 4, 2020

This show includes the following segments: 

  • Wheat Update
  • Crop Update
  • Livestock Marketing
  • Cow-Calf Corner
  • Covid-19 & Animals
  • Soil Aeration & Bermudagrass
  • Nitrogen Deficiency in Wheat
  • Market Monitor
  • The CARES Act & Agriculture


(bright upbeat music)


>>> Hello everyone and welcome to SUNUP, I'm Lyndall Stout.

We hope you are all well and safe,

it is of course a busy time of year for producers.

Agriculture doesn't stop,

so we're bringing you the information you count on,

at a safe distance of course.

Beginning with an update on Oklahoma's wheat crop,

with our extension small grain specialist, Dr. Amanda Silva.


Wheat Update

>>> The wheat's looking good overall,

we have been really wet and warmer than usual,

so wheat growing and it's growing fast.

So we have with development ranging

from jointing up to heading like here,

in this trial that we planted in mid September,

it's the wheat already heading,

and but it's looking good.

>>> Yeah, it's really coming along as we can see.

>>> Yes.

>>> We are hearing reports of disease pressure,

around the state, get us up to speed on that.

>>> Yeah, so we have been hearing about,

some leaf spotting diseases in now two weeks,

in the southern part of Oklahoma.

I've also found some stripe rust disease

as you can see here, it's a bright orange spores

in the leaf.

And it follows like the veins,

so you can tell this is a stripe rust.

I've also heard about reports of leaf rust in Texas,

so with all this wetness,

we should be scouting for rust diseases

this time of the year.

>>> Let's talk about the weather for a minute,

we've already had temperatures in some areas,

topped out at around 90 degrees,

but we're not out of the woods yet

in terms of a spring freeze.

>>> Yes, so there is to a probability of spring freeze events,

and as the wheat are, is in this time of the stage,

moving from jointing to heading in a thesis.

It's gets more susceptible to freeze temperatures,

so we need to keep our look,

in those below freezing temperatures,

because some damage can still oak here.

>>> This is the time of year,

when there are quite a few extension field days,

but of course those have been postponed.

But you and your colleagues are working to get those online.

>>> Yes, so as US canceled all wheat field days,

through May 10.

And we are working on alternatives

to get that information out for producers,

so we will come back with more information about that soon.

>>> Okay, great, we'll look forward to that,

and of course, pass it along to all of our viewers.

Amanda, thanks a lot, and we'll see you again soon.

(bright upbeat music)


Crop Update

>>> Winter crops are continuing to grow across the state

and Josh, where are we with the crops?

>>> David, it actually looks really good,

from where we are now, to where we are three weeks ago.

Not only especially with our wheat

do our markets look better, but both the wheat

and the canola and a lot of our winter pastures,

cover crops, all those kind of things.

They look outstanding in these, in warmer temperatures,

all this rain have kind of helped.

There are still parts of the state,

namely the western parts into the Panhandle,

that are still struggling with a little bit of dryness.

We're starting to hear things of a couple of fields

either thinking about being terminated or zeroed out.

However, for the bulk majority of the rest of the state,

we look fairly good.

>>> While a lot of the focus is on the winter crops

that are coming up right now,

we're gonna be getting into summer planting season soon.

>>> Yeah, we're already there, corn needs to,

folks that are doing corn need to either,

be going in the ground

or be thinking about going in the ground.

Soil temperatures are there, a quick look at mesonet,

you see that most of the three day soil temperatures

are well into the 50s.

Some folks around the state are seen in the 60s.

And so we are in that situation,

where we can start putting winter crops in the ground.

There's still some caution with some of the things

like grain sorghum, soybeans, if we do get a little cold,

which we are forecasted to see these little periodic,

cold snaps might not be the best for those crops.

Corn does absolutely fine in it,

if you're planning on planting corn, get corn in the ground,

it's a great time great moisture to go into the ground,

good heat that should start roaring out of the ground.

But in a in a wet spring like this,

in all of our crops, weeds are probably gonna once again,

be our number one priority.

And we don't have to look back too far,

if you just look at last year weeds were a big thing.

And so growers need to go out there

and make sure we start clean, get everything cleaned up.

A good burn down like we have behind us is not

something to where we don't have to put

a pre down once again, especially with how wet we are

and how warm we're getting weeds

are going to start germinating very quickly.

So we need to be very proactive in our burn down

and our pre-emergence programs,

especially as we're starting to put summer crops in.

>>> You did mention how wet we've been, I mean,

usually this ditch we're able to walk across

and then there's been a lot of times lately

that there's roaring water through here.

What should producers be thinking about if

they cannot get in their fields

to plant because it has been too wet?

I mean, Oklahoma is a diverse state

whenever it comes to moisture conditions.

>>> Yeah, and so there are a lot of decisions like I said

the western part of the state specifically

out in the western side of Texas County,

Cimarron County is still going through

a really bad drought scenario.

Still have to start wondering about what you're gonna do.

And there is a lot of folks that short memory

that remember what we went through last summer

and maybe don't wanna go to that summer crop

because they are a little low on soil moisture

or maybe they remember how bad it can get.

So there are places that aren't experiencing this.

I mean patiently wait, I mean we're gonna need the moisture.

If you have something in the ground

and you're gonna zero it out

start getting really good options.

Remember what herbicides you put out,

herbicide restrictions, you know that kind of thing.

We've just got to plan it at that point.

The one thing I will caution

is local seed supplies are really short.

Whether that be because of COVID

and trucks not coming locally or whether

that be because of just lower seed storage like we see

in sorghum because we haven't seen

the mass amount of sorghum in the state.

If you're still looking to plant summer crops

getting your seed pretty quickly is gonna be very,

very critical because we need to get good quality seed.

Not just what's left over at the end

and a lot of our companies still have

really nice quality seed we need to go out

and get that and be proactive because you know

in as little as a week we could be planting quite a bit

of our summer crops if the rains fall just right

and the temperatures fall just right.

So, once again, being proactive now with things

that we can't do in the field or help us kind of shorten

that planting window down if need be.

>>> Okay, thank you very much.

Dr. Josh Lofton, Cropping Systems Specialist

here at Oklahoma State University.

(upbeat music)


Livestock Marketing

>>> The coronavirus has caused a tremendous upheaval

in all markets and especially beef markets.

So Derrell let's start with wholesale

and retail beef markets.

>>> You know about two weeks ago when it became apparent

that we were gonna severely restrict movement,

shut down a lot of things, restaurants closing

and so we saw an immediate impact at the grocery stores

of course, folks started stocking up,

little bit of panic buying, so buying more than usual

and what we saw was that of course grocery stores

to this day still are having trouble maintaining product

on the shelves and of course you have to keep in mind

that normally we send about half of our meat

through food service, restaurant type trade,

and the other half through grocery stores.

Now we're trying to do the vast majority of it through one

of those two channels.

So we've got these real bottlenecks and as a result

we've seen a big spike up in boxed beef prices.

They're starting to come back down.

After a couple of weeks we can eventually kind of get

in front of this bottleneck and work through this.

We don't have a shortage of meat,

just some problems getting it where it needs to be.

>>> So how have fed cattle markets been faring so far?

>>> Well you know if you go back to February

when the coronavirus thing really started to take off

it became apparent we were gonna have issues

around the world and in the US and the stock market

started falling, the cattle markets,

especially the futures markets really tend to follow those.

Cattle prices dropped significantly until

this last week and in response

to the wholesale beef demand packers

have ramped up production and so

we saw a pretty good spike back up

almost to the February levels in these fed cattle prices.

You know when the feeder cattle markets, of course

when this thing started we were bring cattle off

a wheat pasture and so some producers got caught

the feeder cattle markets generally especially

the futures markets followed the fed cattle down along

with the stock market and eventually

that weighed heavily on the cash markets as well.

So we had one pretty good week, the first week of March

but then after that prices dropped pretty sharply

on the cash market and auction volumes really dropped.

>>> It seems like every day something's changing

but what do you expect going forward

if you can make a prediction at all?

>>> Well again, we don't have any shortage of cattle

or beef and so on, we're just trying to work through

these logistics, so you know,

feeder cattle markets, depending on where you are

in the chain, we've got a little more flexibility,

we've got calves on the ground right now,

we've probably got time to price those later

and hopefully this thing works its way mostly past.

You know I think we'll get through this and certainly get

the beef market kind of straightened back out here.

>>> Yeah well hopefully, next time we talk things

will be going better.

All right, thanks Darrell.

Dr. Darrell Peel, livestock marketing specialist

here at Oklahoma State University.

(upbeat music)


Cow-Calf Corner

>>> Several weeks ago on the Cow-Calf Corner,

we visited with you about the need

to have bulls passing a breeding soundness exam

by your local veterinarian.

But that's only part of the pre-breeding season

bull management that I think's pretty important.

So now is the time to make sure that our bull battery

is ready to go.

First of all, how many bulls do we need

and that's always a real tough question to answer

because there's so much variability in bulls

and their ability to to get a number of cows bred.

With young bulls, I use a pretty conservative rule of thumb.

If that's a yearling bull that we've just recently purchased

and he's only 12-14 months of age,

then that's about the maximum number of females

that I would put with him in the breeding pasture.

In other words, match the number of females

with his months in age.

So if he's 12 months old, only 10-12 females

is about what we'd use.

If it's a fall born bull that now is 18 months of age,

then of course I think we can go a little bit higher

in terms of that number or around 15-18 females.

Mature bulls that we know something about,

obviously in a lot of cases we'll use a rather

conservative number of 25 cows per bull,

and some bulls we know can certainly

do much better than that, going as high as 25, 30, 35.

I wouldn't go much farther

on the cow to bull ratio than that.

When we're using these very young bulls

and they've been recently purchased,

find out what the previous owner

has been feeding the bull and then let's reduce

the amount of grain gradually, week by week,

so that he's eventually on a full forage diet

by the start of the breeding season.

I think you'll much more pleased with the results

by doing that.

Certainly if we're going to have more than one bull

in a breeding pasture, we wanna remember,

they're going to socially decide who's king of the mountain.

Let's make sure that we've got those bulls together

for several weeks prior to the breeding season

so that they get the fighting over with,

and they're not doing that during the first part

of the breeding season when we would like

to have their attention on getting cows bred,

rather than fighting each other.

I think we'll use some common sense in this last month or so

before the breeding season.

We can help ourselves by doing a good job

with the bull management and therefore,

a little higher percentage calf crop,

more calves to sell the following fall.

Hey, we'll look forward to visiting with you again

next week on SUNUP's Cow-Calf Corner.


COVID-19 & Animals

>>> Now a word from Dr. Rosslyn Biggs, our extension

beef cattle veterinarian with some health and safety

steps you can take during this time

if you've been working around animals.

>>> As far as animals and humans,

we generally recommend in their biosecurity,

really at all times, regardless of whether

we're under a COVID-19 situation or otherwise,

because good biosecurity is good biosecurity at any time

and so you will see enhanced biosecurity precautions,

as far as for many veterinarians if they're taking in

an animal into the hospital.

So you may those that are wearing gowns and masks

and gloves, again, it's that social distancing piece,

that separation piece recommended by the CDC

in order to take those animals on in to the hospital.

From an owner standpoint, we still recommend

our general biosecurity practices

for any disease, particularly animal disease

that we're not wanting to spread illness

from group to group.

There's been no evidence right now that animals

can spread the virus, COVID-19, to humans.

Now there are recommendations

on the CDC's website, as well as through

the American Veterinarian Medical Association

for those that are confirmed with infection,

humans confirmed with infection of COVID-19,

that they take certain precautions

in dealing with their pets and because we still

have a lot to learn about this virus

as an entire medical community

and so we would encourage those people that have concerns

to take a little extra time,

visit that CDC website, read those resources available,

but at this point, we don't have any indication

that animals can spread the virus to humans.

We understand the value of animals to their owners,

and we want to make sure

we're able to continue that assistance

to animal owners across the state.

(happy music)


Soil Aeration & Bermudagrass

>>> We're talking soil aeration right now,

and Alex, what exactly is soil aeration?

>>> So soil aeration, it's pretty much

when you use aerators,

that's pretty much an implement for disrupting

the soil crest that may form, soil compaction.

In the two, three, no more than four inches in the soil.

So that's pretty much what soil aeration is.

>>> So when would producers think about,

doing this process?

Would it be in the spring or the summer?

>>> That's a good question.

I would like to say that keep in mind

that soil aeration is a just good when you have

a soil compaction.

When your soil really has a crust.

And no plants can grow from that crust,

that's when we can justify a soil aeration.

Now, here in Oklahoma, our main problems with pastures

is not soil compaction.

The main problems that you have is fertilization.

So I would tell to a producer

that's thinking about soil aeration,

first of all, go to your field,

and just try to dig a hole

that's no more than six inches deep,

and see if you have that crust in the top layer.

If there is that crust there,

well that will justify a soil aeration.

If you have a room with a grass pasture,

I would say, the best time for we go there

and do a soil aeration would be June,

especially mid of June.

Because that's the time that

the bermudagrass is growing aggressively.

So as soon as you disrupt that soil,

the bermudagrass can grow and fill those gaps.

>>> Is there any, in regards to the amount of rainfall

that a certain area has gotten,

does that factor in at all?

>>> Yes, yes.

Especially now that we have soils that are pretty wet.

I don't believe that soil aeration will do pretty well.

It's gonna be very difficult to

make these equipment pass through

and do a good job there.

The soil aeration must be combined with good practice,

good fertilization, proper stock rate,

and the pasture rotation.

So you can make the most of the pasture.

>>> All right, thanks Alex.

If you'd like some more information on soil aeration,

go to our website,

(happy music)


Nitrogen Deficiency in Wheat

>>> We are joined now by Brian Arnall,

or extension Precision Nutrient Management Specialist.

Brian, we're seeing some yellow wheat around the state.

Let's talk about that right off the bat.

>>> Yeah so the yellowing going around the state,

a fair amount is due to nitrogen,

and I'll address that.

But there's a lot of things happening

in our wheat crop right now.

A lot disease, a lot of abiotic stresses, so,

just because a wheat's yellow doesn't mean

it's due to nitrogen absolutely.

But, there's a lot of nitrogen deficiency going out

in the state right now.

A couple reasons for that.

One is we just look at the rainfall totals

for the last 60 to 90 days.

We've had a significant amount of rain.

Anywhere between six to 10 inches,

depending on where you're at in the state.

>>> You have some examples for us.

Tell us what we're seeing here.

>>> Okay, so what we're seeing here is a couple things,

we see yellowing on the lower and older leaves,

that's a sign of nitrogen deficiencies,

when you have a green top up,

green plants up top, yellow leaves down below,

that's a good symptomatology of nitrogen deficiency.

Because it starts, nitrogen can relocate

from the older leaves, to the newer leaves,

so you see the deficiency down low.

One of the reasons

I think we're seeing a lot of nitrogen deficiency

even though nitrogen has been applied

is that almost everywhere I go throughout the state,

I'm seeing pretty shallow roots.

So, our rainfall pattern this year

has allowed the wheat to just kind of maintain itself

in the top couple inches.

And it's not exploring down to depth.

So with our recent rainfalls,

moving that nitrate down into the soil profile,

we probably just don't have a root system

big enough this year that can chase it down.

So we're seeing a lot of nitrogen deficiencies,

even when fields had fertilizer applied

in January and early February.

>>> I know you were getting questions from producers.

What can I do, if anything,

and is it too late?

Are we too far along in the growing season?

>>> Those are great questions.

And a little bit of a complicated question.

The too late will absolutely go back to

where's the wheat at in its growth stage.

Right here this wheat I'm holding,

we're about one leaf away from seeing

the flag leaf fully extended.

By that point in time, we've really gotten too late

to get much benefit out of anything for nitrogen.

From what we've seen in the current research

is that if we can get our nitrogen on

somewhere between hollow stem,

that's when that growing point is above the soil surface,

which most of the state is at right now,

to a couple weeks afterwards.

So, somewhere we have about a joint,

maybe that heading is about four to six inches

above that soil surface.

We can get pretty good recovery.

>>> So for a good portion of this state,

there's still that window of opportunity

over the next couple of weeks or so.

>>> Yeah, there's still that window of opportunity

but make sure your growth stage is out there.

Another thing to keep in mind

is the applicator you're using to apply.

Once we have that growing point

above the soil surface,

that whole stem is above the soil surface,

whenever you step or drive over the wheat,

it will terminate that wheat.

It will kill that growing point

so trafficking has to be considered.

>>> Okay, well great conversation today.

Thanks for this guidance and we will see you again soon.

For a link to Brian's new blog and more details

on what we discussed today,

go to

Market Monitor

>>> The USDA released planted acre estimates recently

and Kim, how close were those numbers

compared to what the market was expecting?

>>> Well I think there's enough difference there

that may cause some impact on the prices.

You look at wheat, the USDA came out at 44,655,000 acres.

The trade was at 44,982,000.

That's 330,000 less acres than the trade expected.

Corn came in 2.66 million acres more

than the trade expected at 96,990,000 acres.

Soybeans came in at 1.36 million acres less

than expected at 83,510,000.

So, I think it's positive for wheat and beans

and negative for corn.

>>> They also released the quarterly grain stocks also.

Was there any news in that?

>>> There wasn't much news for wheat and beans

but I think there is some impact for corn.

You had wheat come in at 1.4 billion,

soybeans came in at 2.25 billion,

just right close to trades expectations.

But corn came in 170,000,000 bushels less than expected.

That may offset some of those higher acres

but I don't think it will totally offset it.

>>> So what's with all the chatter of higher prices in wheat?

>>> Well this last week, hadn't been much there,

you know wheat price, it just wandered around,

now buyers of wheat around the world are having

to pay higher prices than they did two or three weeks ago

but I think what's happened is around the world people

are hoarding bread, pasta, flour, rice,

so you've got the bakers, they're trying to catch up

with demand, you've got the millers trying to catch up

with demand and therefore you've got the,

they're buying more wheat and then

you're having some problems with transportation,

I think it's all in the market right now

and the price is just wandering around

but you've got other things going in the market

like Russia and India are both releasing their reserves

to try to keep their bread prices

and their flour prices lower for their consumers.

>>> Okay, thank you very much Dr. Kim Anderson,

Grain Marketing Specialist here

at Oklahoma State University.

And now here's Dr. Amy Hagerman with information on

the passage of the recent economic recovery package.


The CARES Act & Agriculute

>>> So on Friday March 27th Congress signed The CARES Act

which is the Coronavirus Aid Relief

and Economic Security Act.

So about $9.5 billion was set aside

for agricultural programs and so our agricultural producers,

we don't know exactly what those programs

are gonna look like yet or how the sign ups will work

but the money is going to be there to provide some relief

for the impacts that coronavirus

has had economically on agriculture.

A second pot of money, $14 billion was set aside to go

into the Commodity Credit Corp Program.

This is that pot of money that includes

all of our disaster relief like WHIP+ or more recently

the market facilitation program

and that funding is a little bit different.

It's specifically for fiscal year 20

and it's designed to cover those overages

that we would expect to see because of what's happening

in our markets right now.

So this is really just aid for our agricultural producers

but they would also still be eligible for the individual aid

that would come through IRS to households.

There's certainly a recognition that we can't wait

a long time for some of this aid,

for our agricultural producers.

So I would expect to see some announcements

in a pretty short timeline on what the programs

will look like and announce the starter

of the signup periods.

I don't know how long that signup period will last

at this point because again they're trying to overcome

some hurdles on how to do signup in an automated process

that doesn't include the social interaction

that it has historically.

So I think in the coming weeks certainly

we'll get more details from USDA on exactly how

they're going to implement these programs

in addition to the details from IRS on how

the individual programs and then also

the small business programs will be implemented as well.

(upbeat music)


>>> That will do it for our show this week.

For more in depth versions of today's segments

go to our YouTube channel

I'm Lyndall Stout, take care everyone

and remember Oklahoma agriculture starts at SUNUP.

(upbeat music) 


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