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Oklahoma's Latest Farm and Ranch News
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON
Tuesday, February 23, 2016
State Question 777- Terry, Roy Lee, Michael, RJ and Scott Look for
Support at AFR Convention on Saturday
Last July, the Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association had a panel of ag
industry leaders discuss the genesis of the Right to Farm proposal,
why it is needed and how to get the resulting State Question 777
across the finish line with the approval of state voters in November.
Since that time, multiple groups have followed suit with sessions
explaining its importance and issuing a call to action to their
members to support SQ777, educate themselves about it and write a
check to support the campaign that is now underway.
At the 111th Annual Meeting of the American Farmers and Ranchers in
Norman, the session on State Question 777 came Saturday afternoon,
with AFR President Terry
Detrick serving as the moderator. Detrick introduced Roy Lee Lindsay
of the Oklahoma Pork Council, Michael
Kelsey, Executive Vice President of the Oklahoma
Cattlemen's Association and RJ
Gray, Executive Director of the Oklahoma Association
of Ag Cooperatives. At the end of the presentation and questions for
this panel, Detrick offered the mic to Oklahoma State Representative Scott Biggs,
who was one of the authors of the underlying legislation for Right to
We have the audio of the session- which is
available here. Take a listen and if you have more questions, you
can jump over to the Yes Campaign website by clicking here.
sponsor of our daily email is the Oklahoma Farm Bureau - a
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the Lives of Rural Oklahomans." Farm Bureau, as the
state's largest general farm organization, is active at the State
Capitol fighting for the best interests of its members and working
with other groups to make certain that the interests of rural
Oklahoma are protected. Click here for their website to
learn more about the organization and how it can benefit you to be a
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We Talk Voluntary COOL,
TPP, Crop Insurance, the EWG and More With Chandler Coule of
(COOL) is not dead. The U.S. mandatory COOL program was determined to
be not in compliance with the World
Trade Organization (WTO) and it was repealed by
Congress in December, but the movement to get a voluntary COOL
program continues to be pushed by the National Farmers Union
organization. In speaking at the American Farmers and Ranchers annual
meeting in Norman this past Saturday, NFU Sr. Vice President of
Goule told AFR members and then afterwards, yours
truly, "find me one single consumer that says they want to
know less about their food, where it came from or any of its
ingredients." He said there is plenty of support for a voluntary
COOL program, but to move forward it will have to be done in a way
that does not violate WTO rules.
I also visited with Chandler about TPP, the Trans Pacific
Partnership. NFU is one of the few agricultural groups that is
actively opposing the ratification of the TPP, Goule saying the key
to their opposition is the fact that the agreement does not address
NFU and it's Oklahoma affiliate, AFR-OFU, often do not agree on
issues- but one that they do agree on is the need to protect Crop
Insurance funding from Uncle Sam. I raised that issue with
Goule and I got a strong defense for Crop Insurance and a extended
rant on the EWG, a major critic of Crop Insurance support by the
Federal Government- as well as every other safety net program that
have been in Farm Bills for years. It's worth listening to our
conversation for Chandler's rant on this subject- and we featured a
hunk of that this
morning in our Farm and Ranch News heard on Radio Oklahoma Ag
Network radio stations across the state.
I caught up with Goule on Satruday at the 111th American Farmers
& Ranchers Convention in Norman, Oklahoma. Click
or tap here to hear more about the 2014 Farm Bill, the attacks on
crop insurance funding, the upcoming elections and the 2016 NFU
annual convention in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Peel Finds Imports of
Mexican Cattle Likely to Decrease
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.
Glenn Selk. Today, Dr. Peel looks
at cattle trade between the United States and our neighbor to the
"The U.S. and Mexican cattle and beef industries
continue to integrate, building on a long history of trade between
the two countries. Mexico has exported feeder cattle to the U.S. for
more than a century and continues to do so today. After increasing in
the mid-1980s, U.S. imports of Mexican cattle have averaged 1.08
million head for the last 30 years. In the most recent ten years, the
average has been slightly higher at 1.14 million head per year. Mexican
cattle have added an average of 2.9 percent annually to the U.S. calf
crop for the past 30 years, with the percentage slightly higher in
recent years as U.S. cattle inventories have declined.
"In 2015, imports of Mexican cattle were 1.15 million head, up
3.5 percent year over year and just slightly higher than the ten year
average. Imports dropped sharply at the end of 2015, with November
down 29.7 percent and December down 36.4 percent compared to the same
months one year earlier. This decrease in imports of Mexican cattle
at the end of 2015 no doubt reflects lower U.S. cattle prices but
also likely is a result of tight cattle supplies in Mexico. Lower
U.S. cattle prices reduce the incentive to export cattle from Mexico
but this is partially offset by the rapid erosion in the value of the
Mexican Peso at the end of 2015, which keeps U.S. cattle prices
relatively higher in Mexico. Despite indications of declining cattle
numbers in Mexico, record high U.S. prices combined with a weakening
Peso kept U.S. imports of Mexican cattle high through 2014 and most
of 2015. Domestic Mexican cattle supplies have also been boosted by
increased imports of cattle from Central America.
or tap here to read more about a pronounced seasonal pattern
with exports sharply lower from June through September and the
outlook for U.S. imports of Mexican cattle.
Representative Scott Biggs Says Threats Offer Preview of State
Oklahoma State Representative Scott
Biggs is standing up for Oklahomans and is making some
enemies in the process. A proposed law that would prohibit
animal-rights organizations from raising funds in this state to spend
in another state or on political campaigns has gotten the attention
of the Humane
Society of the United States (HSUS). House Bill 2250
introduced by State
Representative Brian Renegar would forbid any
animal-rights charitable organization, professional fund-raiser or
professional solicitor engaged by such an organization, from soliciting
contributions in Oklahoma for use on "program services or
functional expenses outside of this state, or for political purposes
inside or outside this state."
The bill was brought up recently by the House Agriculture Committee.
During the meeting, questions were asked about HSUS and what happened
following the Moore tornado disaster. Biggs said HSUS was running
television ads, benefit concerts and were sending emails to solicit
support. He said it has been reported that HSUS raised $1.7 million
and spent only $110,000 of that money on animals and shelters in
"Of course those facts were embarrassing to them (HSUS), so
instead of responding, they responded by way of threatening letters,
with threats of lawsuits, demands that we apologize and retract
statements and basically attempted to silence our voice in pursuing
legislation that protects Oklahomans," Biggs said.
I interviewed Oklahoma State Representative Scott
or tap here to listen to the interview.
We are happy to
have the Oklahoma
Cattlemen's Association as a part of our great lineup
of email sponsors. They do a tremendous job of representing cattle
producers at the state capitol as well as in our nation's capitol.
They seek to educate OCA members on the latest production techniques
for maximum profitability and to communicate with the public on
issues of importance to the beef industry. Click here for their
website to learn more about the OCA.
Co-ops and NAWG Applaud Chairman Roberts' Labeling Proposal
Association of Wheat Growers and National Council of Farmer
Cooperatives Friday applauded U.S. Senate Agriculture
Pat Roberts for his proposal to establish a national
voluntary labeling standard for bioengineered foods, and for other
Vermont's mandatory law requiring on-package labels of foods containing
biotech-derived ingredients takes effect in July, and unless Congress
acts swiftly, families, farmers and their cooperatives will face
chaos in the market and higher costs. Multiple studies have shown
that the associated costs with Vermont's GMO-labeling law and a
subsequent patchwork of state laws will cost American families
hundreds of dollars more in groceries each year - hitting low-income
Americans the hardest.
"A patchwork of state-by-state food labeling is unworkable, so
it is urgent that Congress take action on the national issue of
transparent food labeling," said NAWG President Brett Blankenship,
wheat grower from Washtucna, WA. "Wheat growers are grateful to
Chairman Roberts for his leadership to find a common-sense, uniform
national food labeling standard, and we look forward to working to
ensure this legislation is approved by Congress as quickly as
or tap here to read more NAWG.
"We are out of time, and Congress needs to
quickly take action on a uniform, national standard for labeling
foods containing GMO ingredients. Chairman Roberts' proposal is a
welcome and encouraging event for farmer co-ops and their
producer-owners who otherwise will be forced to alter their
production methods and segregate their supply chains in order to
comply with Vermont's labeling mandate," said NCFC President and CEO Chuck
Conner. "I would like to thank Chairman Roberts
for his leadership on this issue, and I look forward to working with
him to ensure legislation is approved by Congress as soon as
The Senate Agriculture Committee is scheduled to mark-up the proposal
at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, February 25.
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Weather Confusing Oklahoma
Canola Crop, OSU's Josh Bushong Offers Crop Management Outlook
Oklahoma's canola crop looks to be in great condition
as the crop comes out of winter. That's according to Oklahoma State University
Winter Canola Extension Specialist Josh Bushong. He said the crop
looks much improved over the last few years. With a mild winter, he
said the crop wasn't fully dormant. The crop started to go into
dormancy with the freezing weather, then warmer temperatures returned
and the crop started to grow again. He said the weather has confused
the crop, that's why there are some fields of purple canola.
While the crop has good stands and yield potential, it will need some
help from Mother Nature to finish strong. Bushong said the top couple
of inches of soil has dried out, so rain is needed. Rain is also
needed to top dress fields with nitrogen fertilizer. He said now is
also the time to scout fields for weeds and pests. Bushong has seen
diamondback moth larvae and aphids, so farmers may consider applying
an insecticide and herbicide at the same time to save a trip across
In looking ahead to harvest, Bushong said every year is different, so
the right decision isn't the same every year. He recommends swathing
the crop in a timely fashion and get it out of the field as soon as
possible. If the spring monsoon rains return, he said that may
require having custom harvest help for direct harvesting. Last year,
a lot of farmers couldn't get the crop swathed before the rain. But
most importantly, he recommends farmers be flexible and adaptable
with the harvest situation.
I caught up with Bushong at Canola College in Enid on
or tap here to listen to the full interview.
This N That- RAIN, First
Hollow Stem and Quartermaster Sale Tomorrow
As we get ready to send this email to you this morning, we have rain
in the state- primarily south of I-40. The rainfall totals in
real time are available
here- and as of 6 AM- we have four Mesonet stations with more
than an inch of rain thus far- Idabel with 1.27 inches, Newport with
1.19, Durant at 1.02 and Pauls Valley with 1.03 inches of the wet
The forecasts show a cold, windy, wet kind of a day- temps will not
get out of the 40s today.
Rainfall totals are not expected to be all that great north of I-40-
and since everybody across the state could use a good soaking rain-
that is really disappointing.
Dr. Jeff Edwards
of OSU updated folks this past Friday- and reminds wheat farmers who
are grazing cattle- first
hollow stem is upon us.
Dr. Edwards writes "The First Hollow Stem Advisor on the
Oklahoma Mesonet indicates that early varieties in southern
Oklahoma are likely past first hollow stem and that early varieties
in central Oklahoma will reach this point within a week."
He adds that scouts have indicated that early planted Gallagher wheat
has already reach first hollow stem in Altus.
To read more about this signal to remove cattle from wheat pasture if
you intend to harvest that wheat for grain come June- click
Tomorrow is sale day for Mike
and Annie Switzer of Leedey- as the Spring Bull Sale
for the Quartermaster
Creek Angus Ranch is set for 12:30 PM at the ranch
near Leedey, Oklahoma.
The Switzers have 85 two year old bulls that will sell- and 80
yearling Heifers they will be offering as well.
here for our Auction Listing where you can find an online catalog
for the sale- if you have the February edition of the Cowman
magazine, you can check out their ad on page 43.
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