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Oklahoma's Latest Farm and Ranch News
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON
Wednesday, August 3, 2016
Ag Still Matters-
Incumbent Congressman Tim Huelskamp told by Kansas Primary Election
Voters- You're Fired!
our part of the world- there are two districts that have always had
their Congressman as a member of the House Ag Committee. Here in
Oklahoma- it has been whatever number you want to assign the huge
northwestern half of the state. Today- it's the third district, held
by former House Ag Committee Chairman Frank Lucas. In previous years-
it has been the fifth district and back in the days of Congressman Glenn English,
who sat on the House Ag Committee and was a part of its leadership
from the Democratic side of the aisle- it was the sixth district.
Just across the state line in Kansas- the district that has
"always" had a seat at the House Ag Committee table has
kept it's district number- the first district. It's been referred to
as long as I can remember as the Big First District- and the alums
of that Congressional seat include the two current members of the
Senate from Kansas- and both real champions of agriculture.
Six years ago- things changed when Tim Huelskamp rode into Dodge
(and other Big First towns) with his Tea Party ideas- angered GOP
Leadership- especially then Speaker John Boehner- to the point where
they pulled his man card when it comes to this agriculturally
oriented Congressional seat. They yanked him off of Frank
Lucas' Committee just as his Oklahoma neighbor was preparing to write
the 2014 Farm Bill.
The bill for breaking with the leadership came due last night- and
Congressman Huelskamp will be looking for other opportunities after
the first of the year.
Elected as the GOP nominee for the seat is Dr. Roger Marshall
of Great Bend. His Twitter description says he's a cattle
feeder and fifth generation farm kid- he is also an OBGYN and has as
his new best friends farm groups like the Kansas Farm Bureau, the
Kansas Livestock Association and the National Association of Wheat
According to Chris
Clayton with DTN- there's a reason for that.
"The Kansas First Congressional District is the #1 congressional
district in the country for value of livestock sold, according to the
2012 Ag Census. The district is the third-ranked congressional
district nationally for all agricultural products sold."
Come the first of the year- Dr. Marshall may well be one of the new
members of the House Ag Committee- and this OBGYN may be helping Mike
Conaway and others on the Committee deliver a new baby called the
2018 Farm Bill into the world.
AgCredit serves rural Oklahoma communities
and agriculture with loans and financial services. Providing loans
for rural property, farm and ranch land, country homes, livestock,
equipment and operating costs is all we do.
We are the state's
largest agricultural lending cooperative, serving 60 Oklahoma
Counties. To learn more about Oklahoma AgCredit, click here for our
website or call 866-245-3633.
Cash In and Clean Up Your
Wheat By Rotating with Canola
has had a bit of a weed and rye issue in some of its wheat fields
across the state lately, says Dr. Ron Sholar of the Great
Plains Canola Association. If your farm suffers from this problem, he
believes he might have a solution for you that will not only clean up
your wheat crop, but may even add a little extra to your pocket.
"A farmer was telling me how clean his wheat fields were
following canola," Sholar said. "We could clean up those
In addition to cleaner fields, Sholar says farmers will enjoy a
premium for their canola, which he says has held up very well this
year just coming off a really good crop.
"The best price for canola is right off the combine,"
Sholar said. "We've said for a long time you need about a $2 per
bushel premium on canola over wheat and we've been at least $3 a
bushel canola over wheat all this year and at times even as much as
$4 per bushel. That should incentivize some people to get back into
canola... or try it for the first time."
Sholar alluded to other rotation crops like alfalfa and soybeans but
dismissed them as impractical alternatives compared to canola for
farmers looking for a suitable rotation. He cited one farmer who
harvested 70 to 80 bushels per acre of wheat following a canola crop,
which was a 15 to 20 bushel bump from their back-to-back wheat crops.
"More people need to hear that story and capture the benefits of
the great rotation," Sholar said. "There's just nothing
here to listen to Dr. Sholar talk with me more about the benefits
of rotating canola.
EPA Accused of Setting
Dangerous Precedent For All Crop Protection Tools
A recent Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) draft
report on atrazine ignores a large body of scientific evidence
affirming the herbicide's safety, setting a dangerous precedent for
all crop protection tools, says Brent Hostetler, a farmer from
Plain City, Ohio, and chair of the National Corn Growers
Association's Production and Stewardship Action Team.
"Federal law requires the EPA to base its decisions on science.
And the science on this is pretty clear," said Hostetler.
"Atrazine is one of the safest and most effective crop
management tools farmers have. It's also one of the most studied
pesticides in history-and more than 50 years' worth of data show it
EPA released its draft ecological risk assessment for atrazine in
June 2016. All pesticides sold or distributed in the U.S. must be
registered by EPA and re-registered every 15 years. Ecological risk
assessments are one step of that registration process. EPA is
accepting public comments on the ecological assessment through
In the report, EPA recommends an aquatic life level of concern (LOC)
be set at 3.4 parts per billion (ppb) on a 60-day average. EPA's
current LOC for atrazine is 10 ppb; however, scientific evidence
points to a safe aquatic life LOC at 25 ppb or greater.
In drafting this assessment, EPA discounted several high-quality
studies showing atrazine to be safe, relying instead on studies its
own Science Advisory Panel deemed "flawed" in 2012.
"This sets a dangerous precedent for all crop protection
tools," said Hostetler. "Atrazine deserves a thorough
review based on sound science. This report does not meet that
Farmers are urged to contact the EPA to voice their concerns at www.FightEPA.com.
Board Has Tough Decisions to Make to Keep US Beef Ahead of the Curve
beef is the main niche market for the U.S. cattle industry and is
what keeps us winning over our biggest competitor, Australia,
Anderson, Cattlemen's Beef Board (CBB) Chair.
However, she also says what is really making the difference in the
value of beef is that we have managed to maintain a strong market for
our offal products.
"In the U.S. they have almost no value, I mean cents,"
Anderson said. "But if for tripe we can get $1.50 if it goes
south of our border, that's just fabulous news. Lots of
Currently, there is a tremendous opportunity in the global
marketplace opening up that would allow the industry to further the
international push of products. The CBB is a major contributor to the
U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) which Anderson says is imperative
to help global expansion of the market. The only problem is; the
budget this year is down approximately $4M since cattle prices have
"Cattle numbers were down; people have held a lot of heifers
back," Anderson said. "So it's going to be a real push in
the Operating Committee to see how this money gets split up."
The committee is scheduled to meet in the weeks ahead and will begin
a scoring process that will ultimately decide what areas such as
global growth, digital promotion, new product development, nutrition
research, etc. to invest in with the goal of getting the most bang
for their buck. It is the mission of the committee to determine what
proposed strategies will best fit their long-term goals and plans and
how it will deliver the board's message.
"Everything ties to the strategic plan. Is it reach, is it
advocacy, what is it and what are we getting for it?" Anderson
said. "We are giving the Operating Committee more tools, more
producer input to try to make the right decisions for the industry.
The real bottom line is the producers.
to Anderson go more in depth about the Cattlemen's Beef Board and
what it is doing to promote beef in the global marketplace during the
latest Beef Buzz.
Genetics is proud to represent the tremendous
wheat varieties that have been developed by the Wheat Improvement
Team at Oklahoma State University. Varieties like Iba,
Gallagher and now Bentley are the result of years of breeding
research designed to help wheat producers in the southern plains to
grow high yielding, high quality winter wheat.
To learn more
about each of the varieties OGI represents, click here for their website.
You will find a "Seed Source" with a list of where seed for
each variety can be purchased for the 2017 wheat planting season.
Snake Spotting - What to
Look For When Identifying Venomous Snakes
Most snakes are harmless to humans. They pose no real
threat, lack venom and are oftentimes very docile.
However, a few species in Oklahoma do need some special attention.
Rather than finding out the hard way, by being bitten and rushed to
the emergency room, Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension
Wildlife Specialist Dwayne
Elmore offered some helpful tips for identifying
the seven venomous snakes in the state.
One of the more famous and easily recognizable venomous Oklahoma
snakes is the copperhead.
"The copperhead is a medium-sized snake, usually between 1-3
feet in length, with light and dark tan or chestnut-colored,
hourglass-shaped bands that wrap all the way around the body,"
Elmore said. "It is the only snake in Oklahoma with that color
Juvenile copperhead snakes may have a yellow or green tip of the
tail, but that goes away as the snake matures. A bite from one of
theses snakes will require a visit to the hospital, but is usually
The cottonmouth, or water-moccasin, is one of the most difficult
venomous snakes to identify (unless its open mouth can be viewed)
because it can have a variety of color patterns. They can be earth
tone, red or brown and have grayish banding.
"There is a dark band that runs on the side of its face, under
the eye. There are no other water snakes that have this band,"
Elmore said. "This species is confined to eastern and
southeastern Oklahoma and is easily identified by the signature white
lining of the mouth."
here for more helpful information about identifying venomous
snakes in Oklahoma.
to Have the Latest Energy News Delivered to Your Inbox Daily?
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Bohnen has spent years learning and understanding how
to cover the energy business here in the southern plains- Click here to subscribe to
his daily update of top Energy News.
Releases Minutes from Third FIFRA SAP Questioning Role of Epidemiological
July 20, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the minutes from
a Federal Insecticide, Fungicide & Rodenticide Act (FIFRA)
Scientific Advisory Panel (SAP) titled,"Chlorpyrifos: Analysis
of Biomonitoring Data." During an open public meeting held
by the SAP on April 19-21, panel members listened to comments from a
diverse audience regarding EPA's proposed use of an epidemiological
study produced by the Columbia Center for Children' s Environmental
Health (CCCEH) in human health risk assessments. The minutes, dated
July 15, and the final transcript confirm that the SAP
questioned the usefulness of the outcomes from this specific
"We see yet again, in the minutes submitted to EPA by the SAP,
that the panelists question EPA's shift to the use of certain
epidemiological study outcomes, rather than toxicological data, in
human health risk assessments," stated Jay Vroom,
president and CEO of CropLife America (CLA). "In our written
comments submitted to the SAP, we specifically asked panelists to
examine the question, 'Can these epidemiological studies be
appropriately used for quantitative risk assessment purposes?' The
answer is loud and clear - a resounding no. The crop protection
industry now calls on EPA to base regulatory decision-making on hard
toxicological data, helping farmers get and keep access to highly
advanced products and keeping our food production standards
Highlights from the SAP minutes include:
The SAP agrees with EPA that applying additional safety factors to
the existing point of departure to account for a potential new mode
of action would be problematic due to the challenges in justifying
any particular value for such an adjustment;
Some SAP members stated that the sample size may have limited the
CCCEH study's ability to examine the association of chlorpyrifos
blood concentration on neurodevelopment in more vulnerable
With respect to fetal exposure, the Panel noted that much uncertainty
in the use of cord blood as a measure would be removed if the raw
data from CCCEH were provided for reanalysis.
here to continue reading about the use of epidemiological
studies and find a link to the minutes.
Josh Bushong Receives
2016 Mark C. Boyles Oilseed Industry Meritorious Service Award
Northwest Area Agronomist for OSU, has been named as the 2016
recipient of the Mark C. Boyles Oilseed Industry Meritorious Service
Award. The award is presented annually by the Oklahoma Oilseed
It is named in honor of Boyles, who was instrumental in establishing
the Oklahoma canola industry more than a decade ago. Bushong was
recognized for displaying the same commitment and passion for the
industry that characterized Mark's service. Bushong served as OSU
Extension Canola Specialist before accepting the Area Agronomist
position in Enid.
The award was presented at the Canola Educational Session in Lahoma
yesterday- here's a pic of Josh being presented the award by Oilseed
Commission Chairman Brent Rendel and Commission member Matt Gard.
Comfort Index Does Not Look Comfortable for Cattle Any Time Soon-
Heat Danger is Huge
Comfort Index continues to max out this week- and the
graphic we have for you this morning is for the Friday August 5th
time period- when Alva and Cherokee share the honors of the highest
and most dangerous cattle comfort indicator- 120- which is the
reddest of the red- the rest of the state looks bad as well:
The keys to
keeping your cattle going in these hot conditions- the availability
of cool water, shade and breeze.
thanks to Midwest Farms Shows, P & K Equipment,
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& Ranchers, Stillwater Milling Company, Oklahoma
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