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Transcript for August 8, 2020

This show includes the following segments: 

  • Preventing Wheat Smut & Bunt
  • Soil pH & Cotton
  • Mesonet Weather
  • Market Monitor
  • Cow-Calf Corner
  • Livestock Marketing
  • The Benefits of Open Forest Canopies


 (upbeat music)

>>> Hello everyone and welcome to SUNUP.

I'm Lyndall Stout.

We begin today with a conversation about wheat disease

and what you can do right now to prevent it

in next year's crop.

OSU Extension Wheat Pathologist Dr. Bob Hunger

has dome examples.



Preventing Wheat Smut & Bunt

>>> Well Lyndall, here I have two samples of wheat.

In my left hand is a sample of healthy wheat kernels

that were harvested this last season.

In my right hand is a sample of wheat that was

heavily infested with common bunt,

also called stinking smut.

And there's importance with those

this year is that we had a much higher incidence

than usual of not only this bunt, the common bunt,

but also of loose smut was in the field

quite a bit in the spring.

>>> Do you have an idea of why it was higher this year?

>>> No, we really don't.

These are two of these bunts and smuts

are diseases that kinda sneak up on people.

They can be easily controlled with seed treatments

but people tend to forget or just don't use 'em

every year because of the cost involved

with applying a seed treatment.

So they kind of build up a little bit

and then all of a sudden you'll have a year

where it'll explode like it did this year

with common bunt.

>>> Now you brought these examples but you also have

some photos to kind of go into more detail

about another type you want us to learn about.

>>> Right, the loose smut is the one that's

not quite as damaging.

That's where the heads are replaced with massive amounts

of black spores and you don't have any

kernels formed, at all.

And the thing about loose smut is that

that fungus will infect the seed and be inside of the seed

so if you take that seed to the elevator,

it's not detected, it doesn't cause any problems

in milling and baking, and it just goes on through.

The only problem with loose smut infections

is if you try to use that seed as seed wheat

because then you'll have infected plants next year.

With common bunt or stinking smut, it's a little bit

different because that fungus survives

on the seed, itself, in the form of spores

or in the soil again, in the form of spores

and it infects the wheat when it germinates

in the fall and is just coming up through the ground.

They're both important diseases but the common bunt

stinking smut is the one

that has exploded the most this past year.

>>> You mention kinda some hot spots around Oklahoma,

really detrimental for folks whose ultimate goal

is to get that wheat to the grain elevator.

>>> Oh, without a doubt, because northwest Oklahoma.

western Oklahoma, north-central Oklahoma,

there were some hot spots of common bunt

or stinking smut around.

Of course, when they take wheat like this to the elevator,

it's gonna either be docked or just totally

outright rejected because it's not really of quality

to be able to use in milling and baking.

>>> What do people need to be thinking about now

as they're making seed choices and preparing

for fall planting?

>>> Well if you had a problem with either loose smut

or common bunt, don't use that seed that you harvest,

that grain that you harvest as seed wheat

for the next year.

If you're in a situation, when we've been in this situation

in the past where there's a shortage of seed

then you may have to use some of that seed,

but if you do, make sure it's treated

with the highest rate on the label of a fungicide

that'll address and manage, and control

the bunts and the smuts.

There's a lot of different ones that are available.

The 2020 Extension Agent's Handbook on pages 262, 263

has a list of seed treatments.

>>> Okay Bob, great information.

Thank you very much.

And for a link to those resources that Bob mentioned,

go to

(upbeat music)


Bunt, Soil pH & Cotton

>>> Over the past few years, cotton has actually

been moving into traditionally wheat country

and Brian, different crops require

different nutrients in the soil.

You're conducting an experiment right now on cotton.

>>> Yeah, we're looking at the impact of soil pH

on cotton production, cotton yield, and cotton quality.

Why we do that is, as we've moved

into the traditional wheat area like you've talked about,

is that wheat has been bred to have

a good aluminum tolerance and that it can manage

in low soil pH realms and yield quite well.

So we've got quite a bit of ground out there

that cotton moved into that just

hadn't been limed like traditionally.

And so the Oklahoma Cotton Support Group came and helped us

do trials for the last two years

to look at the impact of soil pH variety on this.

And so out here at E-Fall, we've created a range

of soil pH(s) that go from a 4 to an 8, and we're able

to look at two different cultivars at each pH.

And you see as we go down here, on the end,

that's our four, so we have two plots down there

at a pH of 4, we take stand counts and we have

less than one plant per 10 feet a row,

regardless of our cultivar.

As we move up, moving into this realm,

we have a 4.5.

And that 4.5, we still don't have anything growing.

We've got one or two more plants per row,

not a big increase.

But right here in front of me is where we're

gettin' into the 5.

And compared to what's back there, this is lush,

this is luxurious, we have a great stand,

and we're moving about six to eight plants

per 10 foot a row.

But they're still suffering.

We have skiffs, we have short plants,

and it's just not moving.

And you move from this 5 to right over here

to a 5.5, and you really find that transitional mark.

I mean, the plants from here to here

are night and day differences.

This isn't the cultivar difference, this is soil pH.

And so what we've seen, at least in our first couple years

of the study, is that that critical threshold for this crop

is somewhere between a 5.5 and a 6.

Anything below that, we have significant stand loss,

we have significantly less bolls,

our nodes are not, we are not putting on the nodes

that we need to, and so we have that reduction in yield.

We've not seen in the first year data

any reduction in quality, so at least that's a benefit

that we might be losing yield,

but we're not losing quality,

but this is a drastic example of

why soil testing is so important.

Getting a good soil sample across the field,

whether it's a single composite zones or grid

and treating that pH 'cause not only

is it impacting the grow crop growth,

the crop stands for crop survivability

but it's also impacting the herbicides that we're using,

that we're needing for residual herbicide

to keep the weeds down.

>>> Say, you're a producer,

that's traditionally done wheat

and they're wanting to try cotton one year,

what should they do leading into that?

And then secondly, what are their benefits from going

from cotton back to wheat as far as pH the following year?

>>> So, as soon as the wheat's out,

and wheat's a great crop to follow

for wheat-cotton on the stubble.

I like having stubble where I'm planting cotton

'cause cotton does not leave a lot of residue.

So having that and you come out of the wheat crop in June

or July and you're able to take soil samples

and immediately get in with Lyme.

So that Lyme has time to react over the winter

when you're starting to plant the cotton in the spring.

So that's one thing important,

if you have any idea of going into cotton crop,

take samples as soon as that wheat crop is out.

So if you need lyme, you can get it on, get incorporated.

Now, as far as rotation,

what we see is that that following the rotation,

once we get the lyme in the ground,

we may not benefit quick grain yield drastically,

but we really benefit forage production.

We see a massive benefit from forage production,

when we raise the soil pH from say a five to 5.5.

And so that does help survivability,

that does help some stand establishment.

And if you're a grazer,

you definitely want more forage.

>>> Okay. Thank you very much, Dr. Brian O'Neill,

Extension Precision Nutrient Specialist here

at Oklahoma State University.

(upbeat music)


Mesonet Weather

>>> Welcome to the Mesonet Weather Report.

I'm Wes Lee.

Much cooler than normal temperatures continued

through the middle of this week.

On Wednesday morning, the lows were quite comfortable

being in the low sixties for most of the state.

In the Northeast, temperatures dropped

even into the fifties.

Miami was a coolest at 54 degrees.

If you're wondering, if this set new low records,

the answer is no,

but we came close in a few locations as seen

in this historical low record map for August 5th.

This long lasting cool front started

in the latter part of July.

It was potent enough to make the entire monthly average

finish on the cool side for most of the state.

Unfortunately, a good thing usually doesn't last forever.

By the end of the week, we had returned to either normal

or slightly higher than normal temperatures.

On Saturday the forecasted highs are expected

to be in the triple digit range

in the Western tier of counties.

This returning heat should stay around

for at least the near future.

The national weather service forecast

for the upcoming week looks to be slightly higher

than normal for Oklahoma.

We see tan and red colors,

that means warmer than normal is expected for our area.

The good news is we're now past

our long term average hottest days of the year.

Gary is up now with some positive rainfall news

for the state.


>>> Thanks, Wes.

And good morning, everyone.

Well, as Wes explained,

we've had a lot of great temperatures lately.

We've also had a lot of great rainfall,

especially during July.

It's made a big difference in that drought picture.

Let's get it right to the new drought monitor map

and see what we have.

As you can see a greatly improved drought picture

from the drought monitor,

really just a few splotches of drought.

Other than that, a spot in far West central

into Southwest Oklahoma, where we still see

some moderate to severe drought

and ended up in the far Western Panhandle that persistent,

moderate to extreme drought that we see in that area.

And we can see those great changes

on the drought monitor change map from last week.

So, lots of those areas across Western Oklahoma,

even across the Eastern parts of the state.

So, a dramatic improvements really knocked the intensity

of that drought down as well as reduced the coverage.

So the July rainfall,

I know we received some rainfall during August,

but the bulk of the rains

have improve the drought build are in July.

And we can see those wonderful numbers

on the new July Mesonet map for rainfall.

North central, Oklahoma, a good seven to 10 inches,

even as much as 12 inches of rain.

So a foot of rain in North central Oklahoma,

a lot of the Northern half of the state

saw between five and 10 inches.

We can see the greatest amounts on the departure

from normal map for July, from the Mesonet.

Again, up in the North central Oklahoma

from five to nearly nine plus inches of rainfall

across the good area.

And in much of the Northern half of the state,

two to three to four inches above normal,

lots of those great amounts,

also out in the Panhandle

and down in South central Oklahoma,

we still see the deficits in across Western Oklahoma

and down in Southeast Oklahoma, but they're not huge.

They're just around an inch or so,

so that can certainly be overcome with some good rains.

That's it for this time.

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


Market Monitor

>>> Crop prices have taken a beating lately.

So Kim, what are the price levels at right now?

>>> Well, price is below $4 in most of Oklahoma

and around three 90.

If you go down and Snyder that area, it's a $4 and a nickel.

You look at corn, it's below three bucks at 2.95,

but sorghum and milo, I mean that's 3.61.

And who would expect for (indistinct) prices

to be a good 65 cents above corn prices.

Soybeans right down near $8 at 8.08.

Cotton prices, they're holding steady around 64 cents.

>>> So sticking with wheat,

wheat prices were already kind of

on the low end of the scale.

So, why are they continuing to fall?

>>> What is massive world stocks?

You look at a world wheat production, 28.3 billion bushels

it's probably gonna be a little higher than that.

You look at a world ending stocks, 11.6 billion bushels,

10.9 billion bushel record last year.

The five year average is 10 billion.

That's 1.6 billion bushels above the five year average.

And you look at Russian and white production

they raised it to over 2.9 billion bushels this week.

And of course they increased

the expected Russian wheat exports.

>>> So besides Russia, is there any other news

going on in the world wheat market?

>>> Yeah, there's quite a bit of news coming in

Frances' wheat Production

is expected to be 25% less than last year

'cause it's soft red winter wheat.

Germany wheat production down 12% from last year.

Romania wheat production is lower than last year

and Romania exported wheat last year, that's good.

Australia's expectations unchanged,

but that's 955 million bushels compared to 558 last year.

And then you've got Russian wheat quality.

Russian wheat proteins is down this year.

And I don't think the market's realized that yet.

>>> It might not seem like it 'cause all these months and days

are all going together in this time

but it's been a while since we talked about canola prices.

So, how does canola compare with wheat?

>>> Well, if you look canola prices

about $5.60 cents a bushel compared to 390 for wheat.

If you look at a canola planted acres this year,

there, you only had 12,000 acres planted

and you harvested 9,000 acres.

So, you harvested three fourths of your planted canola acres

but canola price relative to wheat price is relatively high

and canola production around the world is low this year.

That may indicate

how canola prices next year relative the wheat.

>>> So going back to corn,

why were corn prices lower than three dollars?

>>> Well, with the rain

that we've had around the United States,

most analysts have raised the yield per acre for corn

and they've increased that production

above that 15 billion bushel mark.

And that's had a big hit on corn prices.

>>> And finally, we're moving into the summer

late, late summer, so cotton's

gonna be on the mind of a lot of producers.

What's the cotton price holding up like?

>>> Well, let's hold on up there on their future is at 64.

That's about 61 cents in Oklahoma.

I think the market feels comfortable

with their projected production

and so the cotton prices just mean moving sideways.

>>> Alrighty Kim.

Dr. Kim Anderson, Green Marketing Specialist

here in Oklahoma State university.

(energetic music)


Cow-Calf Corner

>>> We've talked before on the Cow-Calf Corner

about late summer supplementation of young growing cattle.

One of the groups of cattle on most ranching operations

is going to be bred replacement heifers.

And I think now's the time of the year

when we really wanna do a good job

of planning the growing program

for these bred replacement heifers

so that they're in the proper body condition next February

when those heifers calf for the very first time.

You see, we want those heifers

to be in a body condition score of about a six

or to be moderately fleshy.

This is an example here on the screen of a heifer

that's in that proper body condition.

We want this much body condition or far on her

to help her get through that situation where she's calving.

We want her to give the maximum first amount of milk

that she's genetically capable of doing

that colostrum to get her baby calf off

to a good healthy start.

Plus she has to have the energy to repair

the reproductive track in a about a month and a half,

and then begin to recycle to have a chance to re breed

for the following year's calf crop.

And that all requires some energy.

That's why we want some stored body energy

on those two-year old replacement heifers at calving time.

Between now, when she's just coming out

of the breeding season and next February,

when she's going to calf,

we need to have that heifer growing at a rate

of one to one and a half pounds per head per day.

That means, that those cattle need a diet

that's about 10% crude protein.

If a heifer weighs 850 to 900 pounds at this time a year,

she's capable of consuming 2% of her body weight,

or let's say about 18 pounds on a dry matter basis

of the forage that's either in the terms of pasture

or in stored grass hay that we might feed to her

later this fall and into the winter.

From that hay, if it's just average quality hay,

she'll get about one pound of crude protein

and that heifer needs two pounds

of crude protein per head per day,

to keep that growing program that we desire.

So, to make up the difference stand,

it requires a little supplementation.

If we've got a one pound of protein

that we need to get supplemented to that heifer every day,

if it's going to be fed via a 40% crude protein supplement,

then it takes about two and a thirds pounds

of that supplement per head per day

to meet her protein needs.

If you're using a lower protein higher energy supplement,

then obviously it's going to take more.

If you're using 20% range cubes

it's going to take about twice as much.

So, I think it's important that we keep in mind

that we want this growing program

for these bread replacement heifers to meet their needs,

to continue to grow, and to be in adequate body condition

next February, at the start of the calving season,

so that she calves in that body condition score six,

and does the job that we want her to do,

for not only this calf crop,

but next year's calf crop as well.

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

on SunUp's, Cow Calf Corner.

(happy music)


Livestock Marketing

>>> Derrell Peel our Livestock Marketing Specialist

joins us now.

Derrell, hard to believe

we're well into the third quarter of 2020,

are cattle market's approaching anything

that looks close to normal?

>>> Well, I don't think normal

is a word we get to use very much in our world these days.

But compared to the first half of the year,

we are beginning to see something,

at least more stability in these cattle markets.

You know, we've been through a lot of turbulence.

That's mostly settled down now.

We're seeing kind of a, sort of a normal balance

come back into play with wholesale beef markets.

At least we're kind of operating

with a little more stability now,

certainly with an eye to what comes next.

But compared to what we've been in, it's a lot better now.

>>> It has been an extraordinary year.

What can producers kinda keep in mind

as we look at the second half of the year?

>>> You know, for fed cattle markets, per se,

the biggest issue we have right now

is still trying to get caught up on this backlog

of fed cattle that we created in April and May

when the slaughter plants had reduced capacity.

Once we get past that, then, you know,

really most of the feeder cattle,

or the cattle market fundamentals are again,

kind of back in sort of balance.

So the bigger issues that I think

will continue to be with us, for the foreseeable future,

really are sort of the macro economic things.

We're in a recession.

The second quarter was awful.

We're gonna be in a recession for the rest of the year.

What we're really trying to do

is figure out from a beef industry standpoint,

what does that mean for beef demand?

So we're watching that going forward.

So all of those issues related to,

you know, not only the virus,

and the continued impacts there,

but you know, the, the macroeconomic conditions,

unemployment, stimulus, unemployment benefits,

which is gonna have a lot to do

with what consumers have for money to spend.

And so all of those things are gonna be

really critical going forward.

>>> A lot of cow calf producers, of course,

looking at fall calving,

and the market prospects for fall calves,

what's your take there?

Well, you know, given where we are right now,

again, we've kind of seen a,

sort of a slow grind this summer

with prices for feeder cattle moving up.

Calf prices normally don't increase this time of the year.

They tend to be lower in the second half of the year.

But seasonal patterns haven't meant a whole lot this year.

And so I'm not, you know, that's one factor to keep in mind.

On the other hand,

if you look at where the futures markets are,

so feeder cattle futures are more optimistic than that.

And if you look at the lightweight calves,

with a normal basis, kind of a consideration,

you can actually make an argument for slightly higher prices

as we go into the fall.

So there's some unknowns,

but I think there's some reasons

to be a little bit optimistic

as we look towards these fall markets.

>>> Now, wheat, stock, or producers, of course,

will start thinking about putting cattle on wheat

in a couple of months.

What are the prospects looking like

for grazing cattle on wheat?

>>> Well, obviously the first challenge we always have

is getting wheat pasture established.

And so, you know, we've had some good rains recently,

if we don't use up all that moisture

with some late summer heat,

we may have some decent prospects there.

But beyond that, in terms of the economic conditions,

you know, I just said,

we might see slightly higher calf prices in the fall.

That would mean these stockers might cost a little bit more,

but again, if you take the futures markets,

and go ahead and look out to next spring,

those March feeder futures, actually, I,

you can kind of put together a tentative budget

that looks fairly attractive at this point.

So, you know, we're gonna have to keep an eye on it,

but I think there's some opportunities there.

Cow calf producers may actually want to consider

retained ownership of these calves,

at least in a stocker backgrounding sense, this fall.

Again, depending on what those spring markets look like

compared to the markets this fall.

>>> Okay, Derrell Peel,

we appreciate your perspective as always.

We'll see you again soon.

Thank you.

(happy music)


The Benefits of Open Forest Canopies

>>> We're standing in a Woodland

in the cross timber forest.

And Dwayne, it hasn't always actually looked like this here.

>>> Yeah, so historically,

a lot of our forests in Oklahoma were open

with lots of sunlight coming through the canopy,

and a lot of herbaceous, you know, grasses

and flowering plants.

But because of fire suppression primarily,

while this forest closed in.

And so now if you drive through, you know,

most of the central part of the state,

you'll see lots of shade,

and not a lot of plants in the understory.

>>>So you have actually had some research here

for the past couple of years of thinning this out,

doing some fire suppression.

But why, why is it important to actually do, to do this.

>>> So there is are a lot of plants

and wild life species that need

sunlight in these forest.

So thinning the over story

and getting more sunlight on the forest floor

can really change what plants

and animals are gonna be on that site.

But it also has a lot of use for land owners

that might want to have a different type of

forest on their property.

>>> So what type of uses would that be?

>>> Well we could actually graze this now.

If your a live stock producer where as before

You know when it was mostly shaded.

You know, there's no way anybody

would have had cows on this site.

You know there's probably a hundred pounds

of cattle forage per acre at best.

Where as now, you know so we're

at least in order of magnitude

higher so this, these are grazable acres.

Also, from a hunting stand point

the Deer and the Turkey habitat has increased tremendously.

So there is a lot more potential for game species.

That people might be interested in and

there is also the aesthetics. You know research has shown

that most people prefer kind of an open forest

where they can see you know for great distances.

So it even has some of aesthetic value

just around your property.

>>> So in what's so interesting is

We've over the years we've

shot with you in this area, quite a few times

and you've actually shown our viewers how to thin out

a really thick forested area

and but this is now what it looks like

and it's pretty amazing to see just the growth

and the openness and how much sun lights coming through.

>>> Yeah and there's nothing wrong with having

forest that are closed canopy and shaded.

But we have a lot of forest like that in Oklahoma.

We don't have a lot of forest that look like this

and if your interested in you know

Turkey, Deer, Cattle grazing or Butterfly's.

I mean there's all kinds of pollinating insects

flying around in this area because

now we have flowering plants.

So this has a lot of value and it might maybe something

you know a land owner should consider

if they would like to implement on their property.

>>> And also it think it's also important

with Eastern red cedar because in this area

as we talked about in the past Eastern red cedar

was a huge problem with this.

>>> Yeah if you thin the over story and then don't burn

it's just gonna come back in Eastern red cedar.

So before you do that initial thinning

you have to make sure that you are able and willing

to use periodic prescribed fire.

But if you can, you know you can have tremendous benefits

from wild life and also livestock production standpoint.

>>> Alrighty, Dwane.

Dwane Elmore Extension Wildlife Specialist

here at Oklahoma State University.

(up beat music)


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

remember you can find us anytime online 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.

(up beat music)


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