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Transcript for July 6, 2019

Transcript to come.

This show includes the following segments: 

  • Harvesting Flooded Wheat in Eastern Oklahoma
  • Market Monitor 
  • Cow-Calf Corner
  • Bringing in the Wheat Crop at Age 100


Harvesting Flooded Wheat in Eastern Oklahoma

(upbeat guitar music)

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

I'm Lyndall Stout.

Oklahoma producers have been cutting wheat

much later than usual this year

because of the unusually wet Spring.

And it's been especially challenging in Eastern Oklahoma

where the Oklahoma Wheat Commission says as of July 1st,

they're at about the halfway mark with harvest.

Today, SUNUP's Kurtis Hare takes us to Wagoner County

to meet the producer whose weather not only rains

but also flooding to make a crop this year.

>>> [Kurtis] At Livesay Orchards,

peaches have made this farming family famous.

While tours from all over

come to Wagoner County for the fruit,

the Livesay family grows

just about every Oklahoma crop you can think of.

Blackberries, apples, squash, corn, soybeans,

and even a crop not typically grown in Eastern Oklahoma,


>>> There's a lot of different jobs

to be done throughout the year,

and it also makes it a little easier

a lot of the times if you have different weather,

if it's dry or if it's wet,

if it's bad for one crop you're working on,

hopefully it might be good for another crop

you're gonna work on later,

so it can kinda take the edge off

of some weather events sometimes.

>>> [Kurtis] Brian Livesay manages the field crops

at the farm.

If having a diverse production

takes the edge off of weather events,

it sure came in handy this year.

>>> Yeah, well, I mean it's not unusual

for us to have enough rain

that keeps us out of the field a while,

but this year it kept us out of the field

on and on and on and then we'd have maybe a day or two

and then it'd rain again.

It was just a really abnormally wet year

for how long it stayed wet.

>>> [Kurtis] In the past 180 days,

about 30 inches of rain fell in Wagoner County.

To make matters worse,

Brian's production sits right next to the Arkansas River.

>>> Well about 15 to 20% of our wheat acres got flooded out

and they were under water and we're just not gonna be able,

like some of it's sprouting,

we're just not gonna be able to cut it and sell it really.

Same on the corn, about 15 to 20%

of the corn we planted got flooded.

We had to replant that but we were able to replant it.

On the wheat, it's late enough

we just couldn't do anything with it really.

>>> We're standing probably,

oh in the neighborhood of about a hundred yards off

of the river bank here from the Arkansas River

and in Wagoner County we have two river basins

that run through our county,

so we have a lot of, and a lake also, Lake Fort Gibson,

we have a lot of water resources here

that we have to deal with.

>>> I haven't seen anything like this.

I was born in 1990.

In 1986 that was the last time

we had a major flood of the Arkansas River

and my Dad remembers that very well.

I think the water was about the same height

that flooded some of the same areas

but this year they opened up the gates really slowly

and in '86 they had to open 'em up in a big hurry

so it really cut up the field a lot worse,

had to do a whole lot of dirt work

to try to level stuff back up.

>>> Unfortunately, we are a reservoir

that drains a lot of the country in Oklahoma,

and even into parts of Kansas, so when it rains in Kansas,

we basically have to deal with that run off too

that comes down the Verdigris.

That's the issues that we're facing right now

and our rivers are still running full

and every time we come up with a three or four inch rain,

we have flash flood problems right now.

>>> While the flooding caused Brian to lose some of his crop,

it's also impacted where he can take his grain

after it's harvested.

>>> Well our local port we normally haul stuff to

is the Port of Duncan between Coweta and Wagoner,

but it got flooded up into the bends, all the bends,

and it's kind of a smaller port

so it's not like a high priority one to get fixed,

so it's not running yet,

but the one down at Webbers Falls,

they've gotten back open so we've been hauling down there

and we've been emptying out our bin,

running back down to Webber,

but it is maybe 30 minutes farther than the Port of Duncan,

don't know exactly but it's really pretty good

because we had, it was never really drought stressed at all,

so what we do have is maybe not our best yield,

but it's doing to be a pretty good yield overall,

where we're able to cut.

>>> [Kurtis] Brian still has a few hundred acres left to cut,

and he's hoping for a few more consecutive dry days.

With all the stress with the wheat this year,

it won't be long until he can shift his focus

to another crop,

and he wouldn't have it any other way.

>>> Yeah I don't really remember

but my Mom said at Kindergarten graduation

whenever they had everybody say what they wanted to be,

or they announce what everybody wanted to be,

I said I wanted to be a farmer back then

and I really don't know if I hadn't grown up on a farm,

what in the world I would've done with my life

'cause there's not a whole lot else

that appealed to me as far as something

that I could do as a job to make money.

>>> [Kurtis] In Wagoner County, I'm Kurtis Hare.


Market Monitor

>>> We're here now with Kim Anderson,

our crop marketing specialist.

Kim, we're basically down

to the last 10% of harvest overall.

The big question, how did it all turn out?

>>> Well, I think it turned out relatively good.

We could have had better protein

and slightly better test weight,

but I think our test weight's gonna be up around

59 pounds, and if we can get 59 or better,

we're pretty good with test weight.

Protein a little low,

but at least it's not as it was back in 14 and 15

when it was below 11.

Probably gonna come in 11 five, 11 eight,

something like that.

Bad news on wheat as you go on further north

or in other surrounding areas,

the protein may not be as good.

But Oklahoma crop, more bushels than expected, I think,

and quality acceptable not exceptional.

>>> But pretty good, especially considering all the challenges

with the weather.

>>> Oh, you bet, and the protein's a little low,

but the early reports are

it's a good milling quality protein.

May not be as high as we like,

but at least it's a good quality milling protein.

>>> Let's expand it out and look at the U.S. picture

and how things are looking overall in the country.

>>> Well, if you look at the overall U.S. wheat production,

the condition report came out a little higher than expected,

and I think that had some impact on the market

this last week,

but the crops look relatively good.

Slightly higher wheat production for the United States

than we had at this time last year.

>>> And then, of course, the world picture.

Let's look at everything.

>>> The world's got a record crop coming on.

I know the U.S., our production's right at

1.9 billion bushels.

The world crop at 2.7 plus billion.

Another record crop coming on in the world,

unless something happens weather-wise.

And of course, we've got in about 25% of the world's crop

right now, so we've got another 75 to go.

>>> Let's talk corn now. The USDA planting report is in.

How is corn impacting wheat prices?

>>> Boy, that was really the talk in the market this week.

You know, those corn planted acres came in over

91 million acres as expected 89 or so.

There's word, you know, "Does the market believe that

the corn?"

Remember, last week we were talking about corn prices high,

five year high, and that we were feeding wheat.

I think if these more planted acres are there,

and the corn's in good condition,

I think the market's afraid we're not gonna

feed as much wheat,

and I think that had a negative impact on our wheat prices.

>>> What else is impacting prices?

>>> Well, you gotta look at what's going on in the Black Sea.

Right now Ukraine's got about 15% of their harvest in.

Their looking at a record crop of about 1.1 billion.

It may be their first time for over a billion bushels.

The Russian crop higher than last year,

lower than two years ago,

but it's come in two eight, two nine.

Together Ukraine and Russia are about 4 billion bushel crop.

The thing is, I was watching this week,

and I've seen it over the last few weeks,

is Romania

has exported

two cargos of or so

two cargos of wheat to Egypt.

I tried to look up Romania's wheat exports,

I couldn't find them on our USDA records.

So, that's telling you what's going on in the world

with wheat production and wheat exports.

We've got Russia, Ukraine, the Black Sea area.

We got Romania. We got everybody and their dog

entering the export market with wheat,

and naturally that's having a negative impact on our prices.

>>> You mentioned kind of the negative, is there any hope,

something we can look forward to?

>>> Well, it's gotta be in the world.

Romania, they sold that wheat at $196 a metric ton.

Russia sold around 195 a metric ton into FOB Egypt.

That's about $4 plus wheat in Oklahoma,

that's about where we are.

I think our prices fell because

we were above the export market.

I think we're near that level now.

It's dry, it's hot in Russia.

Hopefully they'll lose some acres

and lose some production there,

and prices, if we lose some crop in Russia,

then prices could come back up.

>>> Considering this scenario you painted overall,

what marketing strategy do you offer for Oklahoma producers?

>>> Well, I felt much better about this when we had $4 and 60

to $4.70 wheat rather than $4 and 10 to $4 and 15,

but you look back over history over the last 11 years,

you sell the wheat before September 30, or August 30 really,

nine out of those 11 years you sell early.

I think go ahead and move some wheat.

I'd move some wheat into the market.

I might buy some cost to cover that,

but I think you need to stagger it in the market,

at least over the next three months.

If we're gonna have higher prices,

it's going to be out in the November, December time period,

but the odds of that are extremely small.

>>> Okay, Kim, thanks a lot.

Now we want to take a look back

at some of our favorite stories from harvest,

from over the years.

First up, our chance encounter with some custom cutters

from South Africa.


(engines running)

The Garfield County fairgrounds in Enid

use this staging area for the cutting crew

that caravanned into town just the day before.

Young men from South Africa, here in America,

working for Olsen Custom Farms out of Minnesota.

>>> I'm from the Limpopo.

It's up against the border of Botswana and Mozambique.

>>> [Narrator] 22-year-old Chris Pistorius is the foreman.

His family has a cattle ranch and grows

a little bit of tobacco back home.

>>> I'm in charge of all the crew.

That's two guys with the same house,

one grain cart and two combines.

And I run a combine myself.

>>> [Narrator] This is his forth Oklahoma harvest.

>>> It's a different experience every year.

It's never the same.

>>> [Narrator] It's also good money for a guy his age.

>>> For every dollar we make here we make seven back home,

with the exchange rate.

>>> [Narrator] After this equipment's organized,

the crew head south to El Reno to get started.

And then work their way back north.

>>> We'll start in El Reno and then start working

up wherever stops are ready and then start going

to Kansas and good old

experience up to Canada

and go back to Minnesota and do the fall out there.

>>> [Narrator] Finally they rap up the fall

harvesting corn and beans.

For Chris and the other guys it's an opportunity

to make a living in the U.S. and lay the groundwork

for a permanent career running their family farms

back in South Africa.

(strumming percussive music)


Cow-Calf Corner

>>> Those producers with foal-calving herds

have recently weaned those foal-born calves

and they'll be saving some replacement heifers out of those

recently-weaned calves.

Those replacement heifers are going to have to grow

enough to go into a breeding season say in late November,

perhaps early December.

Those replacement heifers need to gain

about a pound-and-a-half between now and the start

of that breeding season.

As they go through the summer,

in most of Oklahoma they're going to have adequate forage

to graze on, but we want to remember that as we go

further into July, August and September,

that forage is going to get drier, hotter and more mature.

And it's going to lose some of its protein content.

These young cattle will need just a little bit

of additional protein in order to best utilize

that standing forage that's available to them.

That's where a good supplementation program

for these young replacement heifers

can really be beneficial.

You know, for years we've talked

about the Oklahoma Gold Program

for stocker cattle in late summer grazing,

here in this state.

Well it works the same way for those replacement heifers

that we're gonna breed next fall.

Putting together a package with a small amount

of a high-protein supplement

will help those young heifers,

and the microbes in the rumen,

to digest that more mature forage

as we go into the late summer, early fall months.

What I'm talking about is feeding some place

for around one to two pounds of a 38 to say 45%

crude protein supplement.

In some cases we may want to add

the feed ingredient and ionophore.

Such things as Lasalocid or Monensin.

Those particular ingredients will help those replacement

heifers do a little better job of digesting that forage,

plus they will help in terms of preventing Coccidiosis

in those young cattle.

Also, research back in the seventies done at Texas A-and-M,

indicated that heifers that received an ionophore

for about a hundred days reached puberty on the average

about two weeks earlier than did counterparts

that got exactly the same supplement, same pasture,

but did not get the ionophore.

And so that could be important in terms of getting

a high percentage of those heifers

cycling at the start of a breeding season,

especially if you're going to use artificial insemination.

Keep that in mind,

I think it'll help in terms of getting a higher

percentage of these heifers bred,

and you'll be on your way to a good group

of replacement heifers to go into your herd in the future.

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

on SUNUPs' Cow-Calf Corner.


>>> Now to another We Harvest favorite.

This one from 2016 in Noble county.


(mechanical noises)

>>> [Male voiceover] Things are pausing for a moment.

>>> Improvising on the farm


We do a lot of that it seems like.

>>> [Male Voiceover] For what turned out to be--

(engine revs)

>>> just the fuel line.

(engine rattles)

This is Pete.

His brother Chance is still cutting while Pete

is fixing the wheat truck.

(bonnet door slams)

They were paused,

but not stopped.

Now the old wheat truck is back in business

and Pete is back in the place that he loves,

the driver's seat of a Gleaner combine.

>>> I'm a fourth generation.

My dad, Bob, was farmin' all this prior to that.

And then my grandpa, Rex, was prior to him

and then Andrew was the original

Matthiessen that came to Oklahoma.

He immigrated from Denmark

to Moline Kansas and then in the land run,

he came down and settled what's our home place.

And then he built the house and the barns

and that's been the main operation since the land run.

This year, I've got about 850 acres of wheat

I haven't had any thickets yet,

but at the very least side of it,

I think it's gonna be in the upper forties,

just based on the number of carts we took to town.

>>> This one is my favorite, the red one is my nemesis.

His grandpa bought it brand new

and so it's had a lot of drivers

and I actually didn't even know how to drive a standard.

So Pete's dad and is brother, Trenton,

taught me how to drive a standard.

It's a big deal in a little town,

whoever brings in the first load of wheat

gets to be in the paper.

So for years, it was always a certain family

and so last year and this year, we go to do it.

It's pretty exciting.

>>> [Narrator] This fourth generation of Matthiessen

knows that their growing a wheat crop

on these acres in northern Oklahoma,

but they're also digging the roots of their family

deeper into the red dirt that they love.

>>> [Matthiessen] Chance and I have been cutting wheat,

have been doing this, since we were nine years old.

My dad started us out on the grain cart when we were nine,

and so we- the two of us have been doing this together

for quite a few years,

and it's fun to get out and be out in the field

working with each other.

My son will turn ten in September

and I think next year he'll be mature enough

that he can get out and start helping

with the grain cart.

I would be very blessed if him or my daughter, Lily,

wanna do this when I'm old and retired

and I can sit out like my Granddad did in a chair

and drink tea and watch.

>>> [Narrator] In Nobble County, I'm Dave Deken.

(upbeat music)


>>> [Narrator] Whitney Krehbiel is no stranger

to wheat harvest.

And no stranger to combines.

As she takes me on a couple of rounds,

we talk crop quality.

>>> I was hoping it was like this,

hoping and praying that it was good

and it's been a blessing to see that it is.

>>> [Narrator] And what it takes to keep

this massive machine running smoothly.

>>> Trying to keep it in the wheat,

not in the dirt.

>>> That's the main thing.

>>> Yeah.

>>> Across the field, that's also the main objective

for Brittany's grandpa, Wayne Krehbiel,

who at age 82, spent a lot of years on open air combines.

>>> I'm probably still suffering from the days

when no cabs on the combines,

you're sitting in that dirt for hours and hours

but I loved it anyway.

>>> [Narrator] That shared love of the land

and harvesting what you've sewn

is already shaping Brittany's future.

>>> Why are you doing this?

>>> I rode with my Grandpa and my Dad a lot when I was little

and I have memories of falling asleep

in that same passenger seat

or doing combine math and slowly but surely,

I started to fall in love with it.

>>> [Narrator] In fact, 10 years ago, this week,

her mom Karen snapped this picture of Brittany at age 7.

Side by side with her dad, Jeff in the field.

>>> I've always tried a little bit to play devil's advocate

and say you can be anything you want to be,

you can go anywhere you want to be,

that decision is always yours to make.

Just because your ancestors have farmed

does not mean you have to,

if you want to, we will support you.

I've always tried to give her that option,

that it was her choice.

>>> [Narrator] A decision Brittany confirmed as Jeff,

her father, was dying of cancer.

I remember in like the last month he was alive,

he turned to me and looked at me

and grabbed my hand and he said, Are you gonna come back?

And even though I knew before then

that I wanted to come back, that really solidified my choice

that this is where I need to be.

>>> [Narrator] On the land that would've been her father's

and will now go to her.

The fifth generation of Krehbiel to harvest wheat

on these very acres.

>>> And to be able to pass that on to another generation

is very satisfying.

>>> [Narrator] Hard to believe Brittany is only 17

and will be a senior at Hinton High School this Fall.

>>> They put their entire lives into working

to make these farms run

and to see that pay off, I think is a great success

for them to know that somebody's gonna carry on

what they loved too.

>>> [Lyndall] And no doubt that someone, Brittany,

is making all those who came before her pretty proud.


>>> Today at this moment we are harvesting

what's called head rows.

It's about the half-way point of the breeding program.

This is where we're starting

to first really get the separate lines

of where it's segregating,

so we're having to harvest single rows to keep it pure

and try to really segregate everything.

>>> This is kinda like a retailer goin' to market.

The only difference is we created our own market,

so this is the germ plasm

we created from our breeding program

and there's 61,000 of them.

Now we're going through it and shopping.

This is my kind of shopping actually.

I can do this kind of shopping.

I love to do it, but it takes a lot of time

and it takes a lot of energy.

It takes a lot of patience

because there's a lot of material to sift through

and once we sift through that

we know what we're going to come back to the market with.

>>> The seed will be increased and that'll be mowed

to simulate cattle grazing

and then after that it's just gonna keep going

into bulk increases,

and Dr. Carver's going to look at it

and decide which one goes on each year

until we get down to probably only like

four or five varieties or lines for instance

and then eventually if he likes those,

those will be released for the farmers to grow in Oklahoma.

>>> Just to get here it took five years.

We had to make the crosses.

We had to produce the hybrids

and then let the hybrids go

through several years of inbreeding to produce inbred lines

that now appear in this field.

This is the first time we have a true inbred line

that we can look at, evaluate, and decide

which ones of those inbred lines we really want to test

and put a lot of energy into

out in the field across the state.

>>> The overall goal always is

just better yields for the farmers,

and we're also now working on better end-use quality

for bakers and millers, but some of the major things

we focus on is getting better disease resistance

and a better insect resistance.

Those are the major things.

Also, always just good-sized heads, good quality uses,

good protein, just overall good

for baking and milling as well,

so it's not only good for the farmers

but good for the end use.

>>> We had a misery this year.

It was called lack of water,

and this crop also suffered from lack of water

and now we have that imprinted on this crop,

on this set of germ plasm that we can now select for

for better drought tolerance.

So what was really a misery out in the state

turned out to be an excellent opportunity

for us to select varieties better adapted

to these conditions.


>>> Finally today, we enjoy covering wheat harvest

across Oklahoma for a lot of reasons

but mostly because of the people

we have the honor of meeting.

They love and care for their land

oftentimes for generations.

This year Dave Deken takes us to Cimarron County.


Bringing in the Wheat Crop at Age 100

>>> If we could grow it, we didn't have a price.

If we had a price, we couldn't grow it,

but this year the price is come up quite a little bit

and it's been a pretty good year.

>>> It's been really good.

It's test weights, they're great, 64, had some 65.

Yields are good, 50 to 70 probably.

Yeah, for up here, that's real good.

>>> Four generations of Williams

have actually farmed this Cimarron County land

which started with KB just after the dust bowl.

>>> I was graduated from high school in 37.

That was back there when we learned a lot

about the dirt blowing if we didn't get the wheat

to cover the ground you know,

and we generally showed if we got the most

we sold in August back there

just to get the ground covered up.

>>> He worked like people today can't even imagine.

>>> Well, it's amazing what he can do.

>>> I was never scared of work,

and I just enjoyed farming real well.

>>> It's just all he's done for so long

that he doesn't want to quit.

>>> Not many of 'em still got a grandpa

that's 100 years old runs a combine, but...

>>> [Dave] That's right, Troy said

that his grandpa is 100 years old

and still running a combine.

If you've ever been in the cab watching the header glide

through the wheat across an open prairie,

you know it's a special feeling.

It was the possibility to help with one more wheat harvest

that motivated KB to fight

after he fell and broke his hip a few months ago.

He wanted to get back in the driver's seat

for his 79th wheat harvest.

>>> [KB] Go for it, as long as you can do it.

>>> [Billy] He spent a lot of time on the combine,

and he said as long as he can get in there and sit,

why he was fine.

>>> Well, he loves it so much you know.

I can't tell him no.

>>> He's probably about through with his farming now.

>>> [Dave] When a seed is planted harvest is the goal.

It's only through love,

protection from what the Oklahoma Panhandle can throw at it,

and a little rain, that a seed of wheat

can grow into something bigger than itself.

In a way, KB planted a seed

and it grew into a strong farming family

that takes pride in all that it produces.

If this is his final season to cut wheat,

he sure is making the most of a victory lap

for a Cimarron County farmer that grew more than crops.

KB Williams grew a legacy.

>>> Really it's been a pretty good life.

I wouldn't change it for anything else.

>>> [Dave] From just north of Keys in the Oklahoma Panhandle,

I'm Dave Deken.

(bright music)


>>> And 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.

(bright music)


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