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November 24, 2018

Transcript to come.

This show includes the following segments: 

  • Wildlife food plot management pt. 1
  • Summer and winter crops
  • Cattle and wheat pasture
  • Cow-Calf Corner
  • Livestock Marketing
  • Mesonet Weather and 
  • Market Monitor


(upbeat music)

Wildlife food plot management pt. 1

>>> Hello, everyone, and welcome to SUNUP.

I'm Lyndall Stout.

We talk a lot on our show about managing

the nutrient needs of your wheat fields.

Well, it turns out you can take a similar approach

with your wildlife food plots.

To learn more, here's our extension wildlife specialist,

Dwayne Elmore.

>>> Some of the plants that you might want to use

to attract deer or turkey

are pretty grazing sensitive.

They can be eliminated during the first few weeks

when they're trying to get established,

things like chicory and clover,

or during the summer, maybe if you're planting soybean,

so when using some of these plants,

especially in areas that have high deer density,

you might consider planting a nurse crop

with the chicory or the clover, or the soybean.

In this particular case, we're in a chicory plot,

but we've also planted wheat,

and the wheat helps take some of the pressure,

the grazing pressure from the deer,

off the chicory until the chicory

has a well-established root system

and can handle more herbivory from the deer.

So the wheat will fall out of the system next year,

and the chicory is a perennial, so it will persist.

Another thing that you need to consider

is being able to monitor how much deer use

you're getting on the plot, but if you look behind me

at the forage cage that we've established,

you can see this plot is producing a lot of biomass.

The wheat and the chicory are eight to 10 inches tall,

so this is actually just the effect of the deer

and this is a good way to evaluate

how much deer pressure is on the plot,

and also how well the plot actually established.

So I'd highly encourage you to put a cage,

probably several cages on the plot

to be able to monitor over the course of the season

how much deer activity

you're getting on that site,

and that'll help you determine if maybe

the plot needs to be bigger or perhaps

if you need to reduce deer density in that area.

So obviously before you plant your food plot,

controlling competing weeds in that site

is really important, and most people spray

or cultivate the site to try to manage for those weeds,

but once the plot's established,

you're gonna have some other plants come in the plot

besides what you planted.

Now, some of these, perhaps are desirable.

For example, there's a lot of passionflower

in this cool season plot, but this is a deer plot,

so I'm not gonna control passionflower

because it's a really valuable deer plant

that I got for free by disturbing this site.

But there's other plants in here that are problems,

like musk thistle, which you're required

by law to control that one.

There's also some nightshades in here,

which tend to increase over time.

These are perennial nightshades,

and they tend to accumulate and compete

with the desirable plants.

So you may have to do some spot-spraying

once the plot is established.

Thistle is best controlled in the fall,

when it first germinates.

They're much easier to kill at that time,

and in this particular plot,

it's a mix of

wheat and chicory, which there's a lot of

things that are desirable about having a

mixed forage plot like that, but one of the downsides

is that when you have a grass and a broadleaf plant,

herbicide control becomes really difficult.

I can't come out and spray this entire plot

with a broadleaf selective herbicide

to kill the musk thistle without also killing the chicory.

But do be diligent in controlling the problem plants,

but also if it's a plant that is not

particularly a problem, or is a desirable wildlife plant,

then you can leave that because it may be

attracting deer just as much

as what you intentionally planted.

(upbeat music)


Summer and winter crops

>>> It's finally drying out in Oklahoma,

and producers are able to get into the field

and get some harvesting done.

Josh, where are we with the summer crops?

>>> Yeah, it's been a long year,

it's been a long harvest, and there's a lot of folks

that are finally kinda getting to that home stretch.

And it's weird to say that we're in that

Thanksgiving week, when we're finally

getting our summer crops out,

but that's kind of where we've been this year.

You know, the rain's pushed us back,

the maturity of a lot of the crop has pushed us back,

and we're kinda getting there

as far as getting to the back end.

Our soybean crop out in the panhandle,

we're getting the bulk and majority of it done.

They've got fairly good conditions.

I know that from rumors that I'm hearing,

the yields are fairly good,

the test weights are down a lot,

and we talk about soybean, and we start

moving towards the eastern side of the state.

That's where we've still had a lot of struggles

getting the crops out.

The moisture's been really high.

The environmental conditions, just not being able

to get equipment into the field

has really been challenging for us.

>>> 2018, we opened sesame a lot

into the state of Oklahoma.

Where are we with that crop?

>>> Yeah, sesame was really big this year.

We went from it being in very isolated acres

to almost tending 100,000 acres we had in the state,

and so we have a lot of growers

that are running through that sesame gamut

for the first time this year,

and sesame's one that is harvested later.

We typically need a really good killing frost

for that crop to dry down the rest of the way

and get that green material out of the plant

and get that seed dried down.

We need to reach about the moisture of 7%

for Sesaco to really like to take that sesame seed.

It's been slow, the good thing is

we haven't heard anything on declining oil.

We haven't heard on declining quality.

The sesame's holding really good in the field.

>>> Speaking of getting out of the field,

we're wanting to get some seed into the field.

Where are we with the winter crops across Oklahoma?

>>> Yeah, that's where we've kinda

hit a standstill as well is

oftentimes we had a day or two much of this fall

that we needed to either take some things

out of the field, get some things harvested,

or our growers had to plant.

What we're seeing in the field is that

our canola is very small. 

>>> Right.

>>> But that's a good thing.

We're at that critical stage.

Usually that six to eight leaf stage

is where we want to be.

We're actually going into these freezes

in a really good spot, and if we look at

the 10-day forecast for canola,

it looks really good because we're getting cold

and we're staying cool.

Our acres are probably gonna be down

'cause the growers weren't able to get in

everything that they wanted to,

but those that got it in, it looks really good.

It's a little hard to think about nitrogen management now,

but make sure, you know, if you have those

enriched strips out, make sure you're

going and checking them because as early as

some of these early green-ups in December and January,

we could potentially be running into

a time to fertilize, though.

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

cropping system specialist here

at Oklahoma State University.

(upbeat music)


Cattle and wheat pasture

>>> We want to talk now about introducing

cattle on wheat pasture with Paul Beck,

our extension livestock specialist,

and Paul, welcome to Oklahoma State.

>>> Well, it's great to be back in Oklahoma, thank you.

>>> Let's talk about kind of an unusual year

in terms of getting cattle

actually out on wheat pasture

a little later than normal.

>>> Yes, this fall we've had

outstanding weather

to produce fall wheat forage.

You can see here we've got wheat

that's about 12 inches tall

and you know, highly productive.

We've got a closed canopy of wheat forage here,

allowing us to build up a lot of forage growth

like what we have here.

>>> The wheat is looking great,

but there are some things to think about

in terms of stocking rates and forage availability.

Dive into that for us.

>>> So the rule of thumb

that we've always worked by

is using about two acres

per stocker calf on wheat pasture,

and that's worked well for us in Oklahoma in the past.

But when we have a lot of forage growth

like what we have this year,

we can further tweak that stocking rate

to better utilize the forage

and possibly increase our stocking rates

by placing more calves out there.

I've done quite a bit of research

over the years, and if we can start cattle out

on wheat pasture with about 3 1/2 or four pounds

of forage dry matter per pound of calf body weight,

then we should be able to maximize

our average daily gain.

You know, look at this forage we have here.

It's about 12 inches deep, and

for every inch in height,

wheat forage would be about 150 to

350 pounds of dry matter.

You know, we're looking at about two to 200,

or 2500 pounds of forage dry matter per acre.

So we can easily, on a 500 pound calf,

we can easily go to one calf per acre,

and still have expectations of very high performance

on these types of pastures.

>>> These cattle are getting a complete

change of diet in a matter of a few days

when they're introduced to wheat pasture.

Kinda talk about that and some things

for producers to keep in mind.

>>> So, this time of year, everything the cattle

would be coming from, whether it's a dry hay diet

in the dry lot or if they're out

on summer grass and grazing some stock-piled,

warm-season grasses, they're going from a dry diet

with very low moisture in that diet

to a diet like this wheat field

that has a lotta moisture in it.

There's a lot of soluble sugars

and soluble proteins in that, so it's a complete

change in diet for these cattle.

If we turn cattle out for just a short period of time,

our performance over 30 days is gonna be very low.

We've weighed cattle off from wheat grazing experiments

where, after 35 days, they only gained about a pound a day.

If we're able to extend that out to 70 or 80 days,

like we normally would see on fall and winter wheat pasture,

then those cattle for the next 35 or 40 days

will gain two and a half or three pounds a day,

giving us our average expected performance of over

two pounds a day for the entire grazing period.

>>> So you need to give it some time

before you see the results.

>>> Right.

They don't just go to it and start performing right away.

>>> Great, well, keep us posted, and we'll look forward

to telling our SUNUP viewers all about it.

>>> All right, thank you very much.

>>> Thanks a lot, Paul.

(bright music)


Cow-Calf Corner

>>> Most of Oklahoma looks to have the prospects

for pretty good wheat pasture this year.

And I realize that most of the wheat pasture

that will be grazed will be grazed by stocker calves

or, in some cases, replacement heifers.

But there'll be a few instances where cow-calf producers

will be putting cows out on wheat pasture

as we get a little bit closer to the calving season.

We wanna remember that wheat pasture

is notoriously low in a couple of minerals,

and those minerals are magnesium and calcium.

If the cows are truly low in that two minerals

going into their diet, then at calving time,

we have the possibility of a situation

called hypomagnesia, otherwise known as grass tetany.

Now, the other part of this story

that we need to understand is that wheat pasture is always

going to be high in the element potassium,

and it serves as an antagonist, or it tends

to block the absorption of magnesium.

So there's kind of a double whammy taking place here.

This is really a concern for any older cows

that are going to be out on straight wheat pasture

as their diet as they're calving

and into the first part of lactation.

It's a problem with older cows

because their skeletal system is less capable

of mobilizing these particular minerals, magnesium, calcium,

into the bloodstream as it might be needed.

So, if we're have any thoughts of perhaps

having some mature cows out on wheat pasture this winter

going into the spring calving season,

then I would suggest we start now

putting out a mineral mix that can help

to alleviate the potential for grass tetany,

a mineral mix that contains about 12

to 15% magnesium and about 7% calcium,

and that'll go a long ways to helping

prevent this particular problem.

I like to put it out now so that those cows

are used to consuming the mineral mix on a regular basis.

We'd like to get that intake up to three

to four ounces per head per day.

I think if we'll do that and get it started now,

we'll have a better chance of preventing

this particular situation called grass tetany.

And if you'd like to learn a little more

about vitamin and mineral nutrition,

then I'd encourage you to go to the SUNUP website,

that's, and look under Show Links,

and there we'll have a link to a very, very good bulletin

called Vitamin and Mineral Nutrition of Grazing Cattle.

It was produced here at Oklahoma State University.

You'll find a lot of great information about

mineral nutrition of cattle in that particular bulletin.

Hey, we look forward to visiting with you

again next week on SUNUP's Cow-Calf Corner.

(bright music)


Livestock Marketing

>>> There've been a lotta challenges

with wheat pasture this fall.

So, Derrell, what's the situation

now that we're well into November?

>>> Well, we're finally getting there.

We're really getting to take advantage.

A lotta wheat got planted early.

It was growing, but it was very wet and sloppy.

It was hard to receive cattle,

and you couldn't turn cattle out.

Just in the last couple of weeks,

we've started to see a lot of cattle go on wheat,

there is a lot of big wheat.

Of course, there were some producers who didn't get planted

before all that rain came

so we're still finishing up planting

for some of those folks.

But, in general, from a wheat pasture standpoint,

we've got an awfully good start

and we're finally getting to utilize that wheat.

>>> We're getting to the end of 2018,

how would you assess the cattle and beef market so far?

>>> You know, 2018, I've described it for quite a while now

as sort of a case of so far, so good.

You know, we've had bigger beef production,

we know cattle numbers are still growing,

and yet prices are pretty close.

If you look across the board from feeder cattle,

fed cattle, boxed beef,

are all running, you know, just a little below

this time last year,

but really have been pretty close most of the year.

So, you know, we've done well again in 2018

relative to the supply situation.

>>> So, going in 2019, what are you gonna be looking for?

>>> Well, again, we're still gonna see some increase

in beef production although it is moderating.

You know, we're approaching the peak in cattle numbers.

I expect that January, you know, cattle inventory will show

that the herd did grow slightly again in 2018.

So, we'll continue to see increased beef production in 2019.

We're gonna have, you know, slightly bigger feeder supplies

on through 2020.

So, you know, we still have those supply challenges

out there potentially.

They are moderating,

but as long as we continue

with kind of the good demand that we've had,

then we can maintain these prices

and that's kinda what we're expecting at this point.

>>> You know, 2018 brought some volatility in the market.

Is there anything, any concerns,

that you have going in 2019?

>>> Well, again, we already alluded to the fact

that demand has been a key in 2017 and 2018

in this larger supply situation.

That will certainly continue to be true in 2019.

And, you know, I'm nervous about some things.

There's some potential threats out there.

They haven't been a problem thus far,

but the economy is kinda fragile,

it's been strong but the stock market

has certainly been more nervous here lately.

You know, as we go forward,

the longer this trade war drags out,

the tariff impacts will continue to express themselves

in the economy.

You know, a lot of these consumer goods that are tariffed

will eventually begin to show price increases,

and so there's some reason to stay tuned in.

I don't think producers should probably change

their plans very much,

but I think they should definitely stay tune

to these external factors

and be prepared to react as they can

if that situation should change.

>>> Alrighty, thanks, Derrell.

Derrell Peel, Live Stock Marketing Specialist

in Oklahoma State University.

(chill music)


Mesonet Weather

>>> Hi, Wes Lee with the weekly Mesonet Weather Report.

Occasionally, with the system as large and robust

as the Oklahoma Mesonet,

there will be issues with data collection.

If you ever see a map with red dots,

it's stations instead of weather data,

that means there is a temporary issue with the data.

This wind speed map from Tuesday shows red dot

at six Mesonet sites.

No need to report issues such as this to us

as there are operators who know immediately

when an issue occurs.

There are many reasons for a station

to misreporting weather data.

One of the most common would be that a technician

is working at the site.

The Mesonet system has four technicians

that travel the state everyday working on maintenance,

sensor repair, or vegetation management.

The second most common reason for a loss of data

would be a poor communication issue.

Our Mesonet sites are at remote locations

and communicate via either VHF radio or cell phone modems.

There are many weather factors that can affect these,

including temperature inversions, strong fronts,

extremely dry weather, and ice.

The interruption may be at the local Mesonet site

or it may be at a repeater tower

we use to relay the signals.

Some less common data issues include rodents, lightning,

tornadoes, and livestock.

Rodents can play havoc with our electronic equipment.

Our solar centers have been specially vulnerable

to attack by gophers over the years.

All of our sites have lightning rods installed

but they are not 100% effective.

These anemometer shows the effect of a direct hit

in August of this year.

Solar centers are also a likely victim

as they act as a grounding source for the lightning.

We have had four Mesonet sites directly

or indirectly damaged by tornadoes in the past 10 years.

One is recent as a few months ago at El Reno.

A couple of hits completely destroyed the Mesonet tower.

Here you can see the Fort Cobb site in 2011

when a tornado dropped a center pivot irrigation tower

directly on the site.

Issues with livestock are rare but occasionally happen.

These have included goats, cattle, and even bison

at the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge.

All of the Mesonet sites are currently fenced

with cattle panels to help stop livestock problems.

The good news with the loss of data

is that it is usually temporary.

Data loggers on site almost always

transmit the missed data

as soon as communication is restored.

There are 120 public Mesonet sites,

each with approximately 15 sensors

that record weather conditions.

They transmit every five minutes, 24 hours a day.

In this week of Thanksgiving, I for one

am thankful that the Mesonet system is

up and running over 99% of the time.

That will do it for this week.

See ya next week for another Mesonet weather report.

(upbeat music)


Market Monitor

>>> It seems like every week on the show

we get down into the numbers of the week

and how the different commodities are doing.

Kim, let's just do an overall overview

of the different commodities.

Let's start with wheat.

>>> Well, you look at wheat, wheat's in a short rundown trend.

It's not moving down fast, but it's just,

it just seems like every day it's just

a penny or two lower, and so wheat's just wandering around.

In that March contract, the market's rolling over.

It's below $5, and that $5 has just

always been a magic mark.

You look at corn, corn prices are,

if you had to put a label on it,

probably moving sideways at the bottom end of the track,

so it's moved from the upper end down to the bottom end.

So you know, a slight down-trend there,

but mostly sideways.

The soybeans, price in the tank on the futures market.

It's a sideways market, and it's just moved sideways

and there's really nothing out there

that we can see to get excited about

either going up or down on beans.

Of course the big, bad news on the beans,

besides the futures price is the basis is in the tank

because the shortage of the demand,

if you want to put it that way.

Cotton, that may be the good news,

is cotton prices are relatively stable.

They're down around 77,

and that's a good price for cotton.

>>> Let's draw that scope out to a year.

Let's go back a year.

How do these prices that we have now

compare to the prices a year ago?

Say, you know, five years too?

>>> Well, if you look at wheat, I guess you could say

there's some good news, 'cause you go this time last year

for wheat, we were looking at below $4 wheat.

Prices got down and as we got into January time period,

around $3.50, you know, up near $5.

That's just relatively good, price speaking.

>>> Right. 

>>> 'Course, we need a little

higher price to make some money out of wheat.

You look at corn, prices are slightly lower,

and of course soybeans, soybeans are what?

$2.50, $3 lower because of the,

we say because of the Chinese deal,

but I think it's because we've had

record soybean production the last couple years in a row.

We've taken our soybean ending stocks

from right around 250 million bushels

to almost a billion bushels now,

and you increase stocks that much,

you're gonna have a significantly lower price,

and it's gonna take us awhile to work out that market.

Cotton, at 77, cotton's lower, you know?

It was up to around 90, good cotton prices,

and so you look at it, cotton's still good,

corn's in the tank, wheat is better than it was,

but still in the tank.

>>> Now, let's look at wheat right there.

Overall, you know, wheat acres

could be about where they are right now

or increasing a little bit over this last year.

There had to be some optimism going in

that we may get a better price for wheat this year.

>>> Well, you've gotta look, when you make

that production decision, it's not what the wheat price is.

It's what the wheat price is relative to the corn price

or what it is to the sesame price,

or what it is to the canola price.

It's a relative, all the prices can be in the tank,

but which one of those in the tank

are gonna help you to lose the least amount of money?

Or which one's gonna give you the most profit?

And so, I think if you look at wheat

relative to corn or sorghum or other commodities

since prices have come down,

wheat's looking relatively good.

Also there's some potential in wheat.

There's, if we can get a quality product test weight

and protein, I think we can get that price up

to where your producers that have your

45, 50 pound yields, they're gonna be making

a profit with wheat, and so the market's getting back

where the upper tier can make a profit.

>>> Okay, thank you much, Kim Anderson,

grain marketing specialist here

at Oklahoma State University.

And now, here's Dwayne Elmore

with more information on food plots.


Wildlife food plot management pt. 2

>>> Cool season food plots are often used

to attract white-tailed deer and wild turkey in Oklahoma.

If you're gonna go to the expense

and effort of planting a forage plot for wildlife,

then make sure you set yourself up for success

by preparing the site properly.

If you look to my right, you can see a site

where the soil and the seed bed

was properly worked up and it was

really in a good situation for planting,

whereas on my left, the site

was not broken up as well.

Both of these plots were planted the same day,

but you can see there's a huge difference

in germination and establishment.

So make sure you have a good, proper seed bed

if you're using conventional tillage.

So you absolutely need to do a soil test before you plant,

and see what kind of amendments are needed.

A lot of the soils in Oklahoma

are highly acidic, and if you're trying to grow a legume,

like clover or soybean, you absolutely have to

get the pH in the right zone,

or that legume is not gonna grow very well.

So you may have to use lime,

and the lime has to be applied

several months before you're going to plant,

so these soil tests need to be done

very early before you're actually going to

establish that plot, and also

just nitrogen is almost always needed on plots,

so make sure you know how much nitrogen to apply

so that you're not wasting fertilizer.

And then once the plot is established,

you might want to monitor for

if you need to add nitrogen throughout the growing season.

And one way to do that is to put out

a fertility strip, where we actually go out in the plot

and apply a small area of nitrogen,

and then you can visually watch

that area, over the course of the winter,

if it's a cool season plot, and see

when that area becomes much darker

than the surrounding food plot,

and that gives you some indication that

the site, the plot, might be becoming nitrogen limited,

and then you can apply nitrogen to the rest of the plot.

But make sure to monitor the fertility

to help maximize how much

production you can get off of that site

and how much wildlife you can support on it.


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

Remember you can find us anytime


and also follow us on YouTube and social media.

From the Wheat Pasture Research Unit at Marshall,

I'm Lyndall Stout.

Have a great week everyone, and remember,

Oklahoma agriculture starts at SUNUP.

(mellow music)


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