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Oklahoma's Latest Farm and Ranch News
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON
Tuesday, February 2, 2016
Mary Fallin Offers a Courageous and Controversial State of the State-
Ag Groups React
That description of Governor
Mary Fallin's State of the State that was delivered
on Monday afternoon came from former State Lawmaker and current
Lobbyist for American Farmers and Ranchers, Tommy Thomas.
Thomas told us that it was courageous for the Governor's willingness
to talk about how to take on several sacred cows- and controversial
because she talked about taking on several sacred cows.
Thomas questions whether you save enough money by across the board
consolidation of the dependent K-8 School Districts into the area
K-12 Independent School Districts to offset the loss of identity of
some of the smaller towns in our state. Thomas also worries
about the Governor and lawmakers wanting to eliminate sales tax
exemptions for agricultural inputs bought in state- and also about
the re-purposing of ad valorem taxes. Our visit with Thomas can be
heard by clicking
We also talked with the President of the Oklahoma Farm Bureau, Tom Buchanan
of Jackson County about the State of the State- and clearly the worry
of Buchanan and the Farm Bureau begins with the possibility of the
state aligning Property Taxes.
In a statement released last night, Buchanan says:
"As landowners, Oklahoma's farmers and ranchers know and
understand that school district buildings belong to the patrons, or
landowners, of the school district. Therefore, it is the patron's
responsibility to either build new buildings or maintain the existing
buildings. The state's current ad valorem, or property, tax process
has served Oklahoma school districts well.
"When a school district proposes a bond issue, it identifies the
purpose of the tax, the total cost of the tax, and how long the tax
will be in place. This allows school district voters to make an
educated decision on each individual issue.
"Oklahoma Farm Bureau is very supportive of the existing ad
valorem tax system. We
are concerned that changing the system to allow for ongoing budgetary
expenses would drastically alter the historically successful system."
We also talked with Tom yesterday afternoon- and you can click
or tap here to hear our conversation with him and also read the
balance of their statement on the State of the State.
Finally- we have posted on our website a statement
offered to us from the Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association on the
State of the State.
Their EVP Michael
Kelsey salutes the Governor for her "can
do" attitude on the challenges of 2016- but also express worry-
saying "Her proposal to look at all sales tax exemptions
could adversely affect cattle producers as well as her ideas
regarding ad valorem taxes."
You can read the Governor's State of the State for yourself by clicking
And- the Democratic response to the State of the State was harsh-
House Minority Leader Scott
Inman called the State of the State speech an
admission by the Governor of total
Fiscal Failure- and chastised the Governor for tax
revenue ideas that will harm farmers and ranchers. He also
blasted her for being silent on the rise of earthquakes in the
state. His full analysis of the speech can be read by clicking
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New Cattlemen's Beef
Board Chair Anne Anderson Says Research and Outreach Key to Future
The new chairman of the Cattlemen's Beef Board
touts the value and importance of the nation's beef checkoff. Anne Anderson,
a cattle producer from Austin, Texas, believes the industry needs the
beef checkoff to promote, as well as stand up against the attacks to
the protein source. For more than 25 years, the beef checkoff has
supported beef promotion, education and research. She said the
checkoff has been crucial in funding research to show the nutritional
value of beef, as well as taking on the cholesterol fight, the cancer
fight and most recently the development of the nation's dietary
guidelines. She said all of those have needed the research from the
industry and she wonders where beef would be right now, without these
Promoting the beef industry requires a team effort. Anderson said it
starts with the producer leaders that serve on the Cattlemen's Beef
Board that provide the plan, direction and allocate the funding for
research, promotion and educational efforts. The board works with
contractors to carry out that plan, such as the National Cattlemen's Beef
Association (NCBA). The next important component is
the message to the consumer. Anderson said there isn't a conduit to
the individuals that are making the rules or policy. That's why it's
important to have relationships with producer organizations, like the
Cattlemen's Association (OCA) to carry that message
to the individuals making those decisions.
Today's beef checkoff efforts look different today, then even just a
few years ago. In making the switch to digital promotion, Anderson
said that was a big leap of faith for the operating committee that
made that decision to move from traditional media outlets to online
advertising. She said that was difficult, because those are the
outlets that are the most visible. While it was a
major change, she said it was very worthwhile. This was an important
switch in order to reach the millennial generation. Anderson said
this generation wants to know where their product comes from. That
requires cattle producers to get involved in talking with
I also talked with Anne about importance of the beef checkoff in
funding human nutrition research, sustainability and she provides her
goals as CBB Chairman for 2016. Click
or tap here to listen to the interview.
Cattle Inventory: Telling
the New Story and Retelling the Old One
Derrell Peel, Oklahoma State
University Extension Livestock Marketing Specialist, offers his
economic analysis of the beef cattle industry. This analysis is a
part of the weekly series known as the "Cow Calf Corner"
published electronically by Dr. Peel and Dr.
The annual USDA Cattle report contains new numbers on
cattle inventories and significant revisions to the 2015 numbers.
It's important to consider the revisions when interpreting the new
numbers. In general, the report confirms, as expected, that cattle
inventories in the U.S. grew in 2015. However, the magnitude of the
changes is somewhat different than expected in some cases and
reflects the impacts of the revisions in last year's values. It's
important to look back at how the 2014 story changes as a part of
understanding the 2015 story.
The latest report pegs the January 1, 2016 all cattle and calves
inventory at 92.0 million head, up 3.2 percent from one year ago.
This increase was larger than expected but the 2015 total was revised
down by roughly 650 thousand head implying that total herd growth in
2014 was 0.7 percent rather than the previously reported 1.4 percent
year over year increase. The overall increase over the two year
period is close to expectations but the report now says that more
growth occurred in 2015 and less in 2014.
The beef cow herd was up 3.5 percent, adding just over one million
head to the herd inventory as expected. However, the 2015 beef cow
total was revised down nearly 400 thousand head, indicating that 2014
herd growth was only 0.7 percent rather than 2.1 percent as earlier
reported. Thus, the herd growth in 2015 was equal to my expectations
but the 2016 level of 30.33 million head is smaller than I
or tap here to read more from Derrell Peel.
Launches TV, Digital Campaign Touting American Made Ethanol
launched a significant, six-figure television and digital ad campaign
highlighting ethanol's contribution to a cleaner, more prosperous,
more secure America. The spot features Iowa farmer Chris Soules,
star of hit shows The Bachelor and Dancing with the Stars. The ad
will appear nationwide on Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC.
The ads convey the importance of American-made ethanol and the
benefits it provides to our country. The campaign comes as all eyes
turn toward Iowa for the first-of-the-nation caucuses, where there
has been an outpouring of support for clean, secure, American ethanol
and the Renewable
Fuel Standard (RFS) from Iowa voters alongside 12 of
the 14 presidential candidates.
"Thanks to homegrown ethanol, we're seeing major economic and
environmental benefits," said Tom Buis, co-chair of Growth
Energy. "American-made ethanol cuts our dependence on foreign
oil and reduces greenhouse gas emissions, creates jobs and provides
consumers with a choice at the pump. Ethanol and the RFS are crucial
to continue allowing America's farmers and innovators to produce
clean, renewable energy here at home. It's no coincidence that an
overwhelming, bipartisan majority of candidates for president have
all realized the immense benefits and potential of ethanol."
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Oklahoma and Kansas Wheat
Crops Better Off Than Last Year
Overall, Oklahoma experienced normal weather for the
month of January. In the monthly crop weather report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture
finds the heaviest rains were received in the West Central and
Southeast districts. Topsoil and subsoil moisture conditions
were rated mostly adequate to short. Conditions of small grains
were rated mostly good to fair. Winter wheat grazed reached 49
percent, up 11 points from the previous year. The state's wheat crop
was rated ten percent in excellent condition, 64 percent in good, 25
in fair and one percent in poor to very poor. Last year at this
time, 13 percent of the crop was in poor to very poor
condition. The state's canola crop was rated 15 percent in
excellent condition, 63 percent in good, 22 in fair and none in poor
to very poor condition. Last year, 34 percent of the crop was
rated in poor to very poor condition. Pasture and range
conditions were rated mostly fair to good with 11 percent rated poor
to very poor. Click
here to read the full Oklahoma report.
Weather conditions were near normal for Kansas in
January. USDA reports temperatures averaged two degrees above
normal in the western half of the state, but were near normal in the
east. The heaviest precipitation fell in the central portions
of the state. Top soil and subsoil conditions were ranked
mostly adequate. The Kansas wheat crop was rated six percent in
excellent condition, 49 percent good, 37 fair and eight percent poor
to very poor. Last year, 13 percent of the crop was in poor to
very poor condition. Click
here to read the full Kansas report.
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Serves Important Role in Soil Health
Tutorial courtesy of Eddie
Funderburg of Noble Foundation
Of all the components of soil, organic matter is probably the most
important and most misunderstood. Organic matter serves as a
reservoir of nutrients and water in the soil, aids in reducing
compaction and surface crusting, and increases water infiltration
into the soil. Yet, it's often ignored and neglected. Let's examine
the contributions of soil organic matter and talk about how to
maintain or increase it.
What is organic
Many times we think of organic matter as the plant and animal
residues we incorporate into the soil. We see a pile of leaves,
manure or plant parts and think, "Wow! I'm adding a lot of
organic matter to the soil." This stuff is actually organic
material, not organic matter.
What's the difference between organic material and organic matter?
Organic material is anything that was alive and is now in or on the
soil. For it to become organic matter, it must be decomposed into
humus. Humus is organic material that has been converted by
microorganisms to a resistant state of decomposition. Organic
material is unstable in the soil, changing form and mass readily as
it decomposes. As much as 90 percent disappears quickly because of
or tap here to read more about role of organic matter in soil
Holding Meeting Tonight on TMDL Ruling in Southern Okla Blaming
Cattle for Elevated Bacterial Levels
Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association (OCA) is hosting a meeting TONIGHT,
Tuesday, Feb. 2, 6:30 p.m., at the Wapanucka Public School Cafeteria,
to discuss a Public Notice issued by the Oklahoma Department of
Environmental Quality that directly affects cattle producers in the
counties of Bryan, Coal, western Atoka, eastern Johnston, southern
Hughes, and southwestern Pittsburg.
Specifically, the area covered in the notice is: Blue, Muddy
Boggy and Clear Boggy watersheds in south central Oklahoma. The
Public Notice issued on December 22, is entitled "The
Availability of Draft Bacterial TMDLs for the Lower Red River Study
Area" and suggests that cattle are the primary cause for
elevated bacterial levels within the sampled watershed.
with OCA says the state is wrongly blaming cattle- "OCA
disagrees with the conclusions of this notice. Beyond deer, the
report does not consider wildlife such as feral swine, birds or small
mammals. It does not consider the drought conditions of the past
several years. There is also question regarding other sampling
techniques that should be clarified before blame is assigned,"
More details are available by clicking
This N That- Boxed Beef Report
Shows Seasonal Jump in Outfront Sales and Roger Mills County
Cattlemen Bull Sale
with the USDA Market News office in Amarillo compiles each week an
analysis of the Boxed Beef trade across the country.
Here's some of the highlights of Ed's weekly boxed beef trade report
for the week ending January 30th. The daily spot Choice box beef
cutout ended the week last Friday at $218.85 which was $5.98 lower
compared to previous Friday. The daily Choice cutout has dropped $17
in the last 11 days. There were 691 loads sold for the week in the
daily box beef cutout which was almost 11 percent of the total
Read his full report and you can also listen to his commentary by clicking
here for his summary found on our website.
More later in the week on this coming Saturday's Roger Mills County Cattlemen's
Association annual Bull Sale- but did want to point
you to our Calendar Page where you can see details of who is
consigning and now includes a link to the PDF of the catalog listing
each lot that will be sold.
all of that out by clicking here.
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& Ranchers, Stillwater Milling Company, Oklahoma AgCredit, the Oklahoma Cattlemens
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