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Transcript for November 30, 2019

This show includes the following segments: 

  • Beckham County Cotton
  • Mesonet Weather
  • Wheat Update
  • Controlling Italian Ryegrass
  • Cow-Calf Corner
  • Market Monitor
  • Market Facilitation Program Reminder


Beckham County Cotton

(upbeat music)

>>> Hello everyone and welcome to SUNUP.

I'm Lyndall Stout.

Oklahoma cotton producers are putting the wraps

on this year's crop that definitely saw

it's s share of challenges,

from a rainy start to an early freeze

that damaged thousands of acres.

This week, SUNUP's Kurtis Hair

is in western Oklahoma

visiting with a producer who overcame

some of those weather obstacles.

>>> [Kurtis] An aching, wet north wind

rolls over Jimmy Smith's farm in Beckham County,

hitting the pause button on cotton harvest.

For Jimmy, starting and stopping has become normal

since firing up the stripper.

>>> Yeah, we started harvesting probably three weeks ago

and when we first started,

we had defoliated everything

but we were getting these, well,

days similar to today

and we could only run four hours a day

and it's hard to get anything done.

>>> [Kurtis] Although there's been batches of days like this,

recently a full week of great weather

allowed Jimmy to cover a lot of ground.

>>> We're about probably two thirds done.

We've had some really good weather this past week to get it.

Weather like this, we just can't do anything.

>>> [Kurtis] The fact Jimmy has a crop to worry about at all

is amazing considering the situation he was facing

the last time we spoke with him.

Beckham County bore the brunt of the late spring rains

that pummeled the state,

delaying planting and leaving producers like Jimmy

wondering if they would even have a crop to harvest.

>>> We were so wet out here, we got so much rain

that it delayed us probably two weeks in planting

and even then, like this particular field here,

we were having to go through taris channels

that were plumbed full of water,

raising our planter up and planting it back

and it was just planted in pure mud, some of it.

But hey, it was that time of year.

We had to get it in the ground.

>>> [Kurtis] It wasn't just the amount of precipitation

that was the problem,

but also how the rain fell.

>>> We do all no till and you can kind of see

some of our rye out here.

Some of this ground was so compacted

because of the hard rain

that we didn't get a good stand on our cover crop

so after harvest, we're having to come back in here

and spot in some of our cover crop.

But, after that wet period, we kind of got a dry period then

and the stuff started to grow.

And I'll be danged,

it's not a fantastic crop but we've got a crop.

>>> [Kurtis] But just as the cotton was coming along,

an unexpected October freeze put his crop in jeopardy.

>>> Luckily, we had everything defoliated

but I think when we defoliated a lot of this cotton,

the weather was already kind of cool

because we were a little late in the game

so that's the reason you see a lot of leaves out here.

And then we got that freeze

and it just stuck the leaves to it.

>>> Despite the early summer rainfall

and the unpredictable October freeze,

Jimmy was able to pull off a crop.

Beckham County Extension Director, Greg Hartman

says some producers in surrounding areas

weren't as fortunate.

>>> A lot of guys hadn't already

got their prep put down.

A lot of the bowls never did open back up.

And by about the 13th or 14th of October,

all the cotton was already blacking

and it was starting to die off

and so we got a lot of bowls that just never did open

and so the cotton crop never got a chance.

>>> Well, I'm in my 60s and been farming all my life

with my dad and my grandad.

I have to say, this is probably the weirdest year

I've ever seen.

I am really surprised.

When we were planting this stuff in muddy conditions,

I honestly thought it would be a crop insurance year

where we didn't harvest anything.

>>> [Kurtis] For Jimmy, though it might not be the best crop,

it's a crop.

With about a third of it left to go,

he needs just a few more days of dry weather

so he can hit the play button on harvest.

>>> Hopefully this weekend,

they're talking like good sunny weather.

Maybe we can get started again maybe this weekend.

Within the next week, they're talking a little bit more rain

so I don't know.

You never know.

That's just the way farming is.

>>> So Seth, talking with Jimmy,

he was lucky enough to get some harvest days

before that big freeze happened in October

but other producers weren't as lucky.

How big of an impact did that mid October freeze

have on the cotton crop

now that we're getting into harvest?

>>> Yeah, you certainly saw at least a visual impact so far.

We're getting some grades back.

I'll say that the cotton that didn't get

that harvested application on

were probably, in a lot of areas,

just getting into that crop.

A lot of the crop that saw harvest day application

was our better cotton.

And so far on that,

and even some of that wasn't ideal,

that a freeze may have came within a week or 10 days

of an application.

But, so far, both our yields are okay,

they're not where we thought they would be.

But our grades are lookin' pretty good.

>>> Yeah, moving on to the like overall picture,

how far, you know, are we along in harvest going right now,

or, you know, toward getting into December?

>>> Yeah, so we've gotten most of the irrigated crop out.

And what you'll normally see is that

the irrigated crop is usually our one

we're gonna try to get to first.

It's usually our better cotton, obviously,

and higher quality.

A lot of areas where you have more predominant dry land,

they're still gonna stick to that

better end of the dry land scale first.

So in the southwest corner, we're just, we're having

to spend a lot of time recently.

Most of the irrigated crop is out.

A lot of folks have moved on to the dry land side.

But there's still some pivots left

that need to be picked or stripped.

As you move further north and sorta the west-central area,

same general thing, we're getting

a lot of the irrigated out still.

And you do have big pockets there of dry land

where we are seeing some of that crop come out.

And then, in other areas where we don't have a lotta,

a whole lotta cotton, there's been a lot of areas

that are probably, you know, what little cotton they has,

such as the Panhandle, or other areas.

It's almost all out by now.

And again, luckily we're seeing grades

come back on what we've got so far,

and everything, as far as quality-wise,

is looking really good.

And, so after the rough start of the year,

and the rough sort of end of the year,

that's a good sign so far.

>>> Yeah, you know talking with Jimmy,

he's been farming pretty much his entire life,

he's, you know, in his sixties,

he said this is one of the weirdest years he's ever seen.

>>> Yeah

>>> You know, in your opinion, how, like are you surprised

that the cotton is maybe as good as it is

considering, you know, the elements that it's had to face?

>>> Yeah.

Well, I'll say that I was certainly surprised

if we go to September, how good we were looking.

And then, I think now, a lot of us are surprised

on how light it seems to be weighing.

You look at a field that you think is gonna be, you know,

a three and a half bale field

and it's come in three bales or less.

And, we're not seeing it, you know,

a lot of times you'll see low mike cause low weight.

And we're not seeing that.

Our micronaire is good, it's a mature crop,

So I think we've kind of, it's been a roller coaster year.

We started pretty low and we kinda got kinda excited.

And then, you know, the heat turned on.

We got worried and then we got excited again near the end.

And now we're harvesting and we're not sure

what to think.

>>> All right.

Thanks Seth.

Seth Byrd, Cotton Extension Specialist

here at Oklahoma State University.

(country music)


Mesonet Weather

>>> Hello!

Wes Lee here with your weekly Mesonet Weather Report.

On this Thanksgiving week, I am thankful for the rainfall

that drives our crop production.

As of Tuesday morning, that rainfall was pretty scarce

for the past five days in the western half of Oklahoma.

Hopefully, expected rainfall later in the week

will add to this total.

Rainfall probabilities for the first week of December

have a big N over the state, indicating equal chances

of wetter or drier than normal conditions.

Rain is important, but even more so,

is how much of it moves into the soil profile

for future crop use.

To determine this, we use a series of soil sensors

in our Mesonet system.

They're located at four different depths,

two, four, 10, and 24 inches under a grass sod

at each tower.

Along with that, we also have a four-inch sensor

under a bare soil plot.

This map is the inches of available water

on Tuesday in the top four inches of soil.

The red color showed the driest areas,

like the Panhandle and the far southwest.

Plant available water is very dependent

on the soil makeup analyzed at each Mesonet tower.

For example, a clay soil might be able to hold

three times more moisture than a sandy soil.

A second way to look at the data

is with percent plant available water.

Here, inches of water available

are compared to the maximum holding capacity of the soil

and converted to a percent.

The percent plant available water map for Tuesday

at four inches shows 100% plant available water

throughout most of the eastern two-thirds of the state.

But goes all the way down to 8% in Boise City.

This picture gives us an illustration

of how plant available water is determined.

I like to think of it as a measurement

of a slice of soil.

For the four-inch slice of soil,

it uses a two-inch sensor.

It is located in the middle of the four-inch slice

to get the best estimation of what is going on

above and below the sensor.

This is kinda like placing a thermometer

in the middle of a turkey to estimate the temperature

of the entire bird.

The 16-inch plant available water uses

both the two and the 10-inch sensors to get

the estimation of the water in this slice.

The 32 uses three sensors.

The third way that Mesonet presents soil moisture

is with a fractional water index map.

This method converts moisture into a scale

that ranges from zero to one.

Zero is the driest end of the scale,

and one is the wettest.

On Tuesday, we see at four inches most of the

state is at .9 or 1, indicating wet soils.

However, in the far west and especially in the panhandle,

the numbers drop all the way to zero.

Fractional water index is not a slice of soil,

but a measurement at a particular depth.

Think of it as how wet the sensor is

at any of the four depths.

The soil type does not influence this number.

That's all for now,

and I will see you next week on the Mesonet weather report.


Wheat Update

>>> We wanna get an update, now, on Oklahoma's wheat crop

with our Extensions small grain specialist, Amanda Silva.

Dr. Silva, give us an idea of how things are looking

across Oklahoma as we wind down November and

kick start December.

>>> Yes, so, the temperatures have been

a little cooler than normal

so some areas of the state like North,

North Central, the growth is not,

like, forage production is not as expected.

So, we have seen some slow growth.

However, in some areas that producers got planted,

were able to plant earlier,

we've been seeing some good top growth.

As you can see here.

>>> So, overall, the quality of the wheat looking

okay as we kinda head into Winter?

>>> Yes, so it's been a very quiet Fall as far as

diseases and pests, so we are not finding any

diseases yet, any pests, other than the infestations

that we had with faux armyworm early in the season.

So, for now it's being quiet.

>>> Did the early freeze have any impact on the wheat?

>>> Yeah so we see some leaf,

we saw some yellow bands in the leaves,

some brown, burn, off that cold, some symptoms.

But the wheat should be okay

and should grow out of it.

>>> So these are your forage trials here.

Talk about what you have set up here and

kind of this is indicative of what we'll see

around Oklahoma depending on when people planted.

>>> Yeah, so here we have the forage trials so

we planted about September 20th or so,

and then those over there we planted a month after.

So, as you can see, in areas where producers

were able to get that wheat planted,

good soil moisture, we should be seeing good top growth.

And I think we'll be

we'll have some cattle out soon and start grazing.

And things to keep in mind when considering to

putting the cattle out, is check that top growth,

about six to eight inches of top growth.

But, also check the below ground.

The crown, root, if it's developed,

to make sure the plant is well anchored

in the soil and so the plant, the cattle will

not pull out the whole plant when they are eating.

>>> What guidance do you have for producers, then,

as we head into these colder months?

>>> So, one of the things to keep an eye on

it's, I've heard about people concerned about

nitrogen deficiency and so some areas that

got a lot of rain maybe are showing some yellowing,

so nitrogen maybe got leached out.

Keep your eyes on those cow pocks in the field

as they can be an indicator of nitrogen deficiency.

>>> Okay, thanks a lot Amanda.

We'll see you soon.

(upbeat music)


Controlling Italian Ryegrass

>>> Italian rye grass has been a problem for wheat

growers across the state forever, and Misha

kinda talk about where we're at

and what you're doing here.

>>> Yeah, so this is our favorite Italian rye grass field.

Mostly 'cause the PH is really low, and rye grass,

we have a good rye grass population,

it competes well with the wheat.

We're looking at herbicide applications

at different timings,

at the delayed pre-timing, right after wheat has come up,

and then also after wheat has come up.

>>> What are you finding just in what you've

done the applications for this year?

>>> Yeah, so our delayed pre-timings, if they get

incorporated by rain, which we have had rain this

season, they have been doing very well.

And those are a lot of the cleaner plots that you

see out here.

But, we're past that timing for most folks that

have wheat in the ground and that's already

emerged and rye grass is up too.

So, if your rye grass is up, the kind of

go-to post-emergence application

that we have is Pinoxaden, sold as Axial.

And still doing a pretty good job,

but we have documented two counties in Oklahoma,

Grady and Caddo County,

that do have resistance to the product.

So, if you are in a county

where you suspect resistance,

of course send it in to our lab

and that is something that we can confirm

and find out for you.

>>> Moving forward through the wheat-growing season,

when would be some good time for applications

throughout the season?

>>> Yeah, so with rye grass,

we usually get more than one flush.

Some folks like to go out in the late winter, early spring

'cause they don't wanna go out twice,

which is understandable.

For other species that are more fall germinators,

some folks like to go out in the winter.

Fall, winter.

Like feral rye, that usually has one flush.

Some of our bromes have one flush.

You have to balance, that if you want 'til the spring,

you have that competition all the way until the spring.

But, if you wait,

you likely are gonna get that whole population.

>>> When it comes down to it,

weed seeds can actually stay in the ground for a long time

and that's why we're constantly battling them.

>>> Yes, weed seed bank dynamics is kind of

a complicated topic that's not easy to study.

They can hang out in the soil for several years

depending on the species and sometimes they go dormant

and you don't see them in one year

and then they resurface or they come out of dormancy

and we see them.

If you do have a dense population of a weed,

like we do in this field,

unfortunately it's not gonna be one season

that eliminate that weed.

But, if you intensively manage it,

for let's say a couple years or three years,

you can see some serious gains.

>>> Well thank you very much, Dr. Misha Manuchehri,

Extension Weed Specialist here at Oklahoma State University.

(happy, bluegrass music)


Cow-Calf Corner

>>> As we go into these fall and winter months,

this is a really critical time for the nutrition

of those bred heifers.

Now those that are gonna be those two year olds

next January, February, March.

And having their first baby calf.

It's going to be very, very important

what the body condition of those heifers are

at the time that they calve.

And that's for several reasons.

Body condition, or the fatness of those heifers,

the day that they calve, will go a long ways

to determining how long it will take that heifer

to recycle, to have a chance to rebreed

for next year's calf crop.

If you look at these two pictures,

you'll see one heifer that's in excellent body condition.

We'd call her a six on our one through nine scale.

And then the thinner heifer is a heifer

that's a three or a four on our one through nine scale

and I think is just way too thin

to be in that kind of condition at calving time.

As you compare those two, I would expect something

in the neighborhood of at least a month,

perhaps even 60 days difference,

in how long it will take them to recycle,

to have a chance to rebreed for next year's calf crop.

That means that that thinner heifer, the following year,

her calf is either going to come very late,

or we'll find her open, or non-pregnant,

at preg checking time.

That's not the only difference.

When those cows calve, giving that first milk

that's so critical to the health of that baby calf,

the heifer that's in good body condition

will be able to produce her genetic maximum,

in terms of the amount of milk,

and therefore the amount of colostrum

that her baby will receive.

The heifer that's thin at calving time

will have less than her genetic capability

of how much colostrum she can provide.

Therefore her calf may be cheated

and that calf is more likely then,

to become sick due to pathogens

that are in the environment that can cause

calf diarrhea or calf scours.

And therefore, we'll have a greater chance

of having a sick calf from that thin heifer

and perhaps even losing that calf.

So there's several good reasons in my mind

that we want to make sure as we go through

the fall and winter months,

that we're getting the kind of feed, supplement, and hay

available to those

bred heifers

so that when they're two year olds

and having that first calf,

they're in good body condition.

We want to make sure they're getting enough energy

and protein this winter

so that they maintain that good body condition

that they came out of the summer

and going into the fall with.

Keep that in mind and I think you'll be happier

with certainly the performance of these young cows

this year and on into the rest of their productive lives.

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

on SUNUP's Cow-Calf Corner.


Market Monitor

>>> Earlier in the show we heard from a cotton producer

in Western Oklahoma, and Kim, what can Oklahoma

cotton producers expect for prices?

>>> I think they're gonna stay in the neighborhood

of where they are.

They were up in the 70's and 80's,

and with the massive cotton crop that we're getting in

this year and around the world,

they went down into the 50's for a while.

They're back up in the 60's, and they'll probably stay

in that area for the next few months.

>>> A lot of the cotton grown in this part of the country

actually travels overseas.

Are there markets for the cotton still?

>>> Well, there's markets for cotton.

You know, China's the big cotton buyer,

and the word on the street is that phase one

of that agreement's gonna be signed in the near future,

that we're coming close to that agreement.

Of course we've gotta watch out on the soybean market,

on the cotton markets, on the pork markets.

It may be a case with China where you sell the rumor

and buy the fact, in that when we get that agreement

and people expect higher prices,

they'll hit the market with their commodities,

and it'll actually drive prices down.

So we gotta be careful on our marketing strategies

as we make this agreement because we may not

get price movements like we expect.

>>> Are we seeing any price movements

in the price of wheat right now?

>>> Price of wheat's just kind of wallowing around,

but at least it's going in the right direction slowly.

They are moving slightly higher,

our exports have been relatively good,

and I think that's supporting our prices.

>>> What kind of indicators are you watching for

as that price weaves across the road?

>>> Well, in the short run, I think we look at

what's going on in the world.

We're looking at a record 28 billion-plus crop.

You look at the ending stocks for the world record,

10.6 billion bushels, just a massive crop coming in.

We've essentially got the harvest done.

We're in the last, oh, six, eight percent

down in Argentina and Australia.

Australia, a short crop; Argentina, a record crop.

So watching those relatively close,

and watching the exports.

Exports are being real good for hard red winter wheat,

say, compared to last year.

They've been strong, and if they'll continue strong

I think we'll continue to see this price work up.

Now in the long run, we gotta watch the Black Sea,

and the good news out of the Black Sea is

their ending stock's just slightly over 400 million bushels,

and when you're talking about a four billion bushel crop,

and only 400 million left over,

their stock-to-use ratio is less than 10%.

They don't have any extra wheat,

and if they have a short crop next year

then our prices will go up.

The other things we're watching is of course

the winter wheat plantings for the United States.

The word on the street is that they're gonna be

lower this year, especially hard red winter wheat,

plantings maybe down as low as 10% from last year.

>>> So with all of that involved there, we should hopefully,

it sounds like could be creeping higher with price?

If so, what's it gonna take to bump it up?

>>> Well, I don't think there's very much in the market

that can bump it up, say, over 20 or 30 cents.

Before we get into, oh, late winter or spring,

if we have some problems with this crop,

we have the planted acres less than last year,

we have winter kill on it, we've got some problems,

and not gonna have a very big harvest,

then we could see a run-up in prices

in the March-April time period.

If you're looking at harvest prices and beyond,

then you gotta go to the Black Sea.

We gotta have a crop failure there

before we get $1.00, $2.00, or $3.00 price move.

>>> Okay, thank you very much.

Dr. Kim Anderson, grain marketing specialist

here at Oklahoma State University.


Market Facilitation Program Reminder

>>> Amy Hagerman, our ag policy specialist joins us now.

Amy, we have an important deadline on the horizon.

>>> We sure do.

So December 6th is the deadline to sign up

for the Market Facilitation Program.

Now this is the program that helps offset

some of those losses from trade disputes

that we've had in 2018 and 2019.

So producers need to go in and talk to their FSA office

if they haven't already.

This has been open since earlier in the fall.

If they haven't already gone in to talk to their

USDA FSA office about signing up for this program,

now is the moment to go in.

You don't really wanna miss this.

>>> We've talked about this a few times,

but go ahead and refresh our memory

on who this applies to, and kind of what it involves.

>>> Yeah, absolutely.

And this program is a little different

from the 2018 program for those who signed up for that one.

The 2018 program was one national rate

for a select number of crops, both our row crops

and specialty crops, and some select livestock, as well.

The 2019 program is designed a little bit differently.

You still have a national-level rate for specialty crops

like our pecan producers, for instance,

could sign up for the MFP,

but it's gonna be one national rate,

the same rate for everybody.

Similarly for our dairy and our hog producers.

It's one rate.

They just have to go in and sign up,

and they won't expect to see differences county to county.

Now this time for our crop producers,

it's gonna be different.

Before, they got a payment for each

of their different crops.

This time they're gonna aggregate all of the planted acres

for the covered crops, and there are more this time,

into a single payment,

but it's gonna be a county-level payment.

And this has caused some confusion

around the state of Oklahoma.

Those payments can be as little as $15 per acre,

but we have a county with as high as $115 per acre.

So it changes things up a little bit

in terms of how they expect to get paid,

and what those payments are based on.

>>> Talk about the number of payments.

That varies as well, and that may be contributing

to some of the confusion, as well.

>>> Absolutely.

Now the first payment, which was received back in August

for those who had already signed up for this program

this summer, was at least $15,

and could be as much as 50% of their total county payment.

So if you are in a county that had

just the minimum payment rate,

and some in the northwestern counties of our state

we had several of those counties,

they received their full MFP payment in that first payment,

or what they call traunch, or batches,

whatever you want to call it.

Now the second one is coming up,

should be out this week or next week.

That is going to be an additional 25% of the total payment.

Here's where the confusion comes in:

let's say you're in a county that had a $20 total payment.

You receive $15 the first time around.

So now this additional 25% is actually gonna fill you out

all the way out to your maximum payment for MFP.

And there's the possibility of a third payment in January.

So it's not a simple program at all.

>>> Great, well, I'm sure you'll keep us informed,

so thanks for the great information, as always.

>>> Absolutely, thank you.

>>> And I'm sure we'll see you again soon.

>>> Absolutely

>>> Thank you, Amy.

And that does it for our show this week.

We'll see you next time at SUNUP.

(string flourish) 

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