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Today's First Look:
mornings with cash and futures reviewed- includes where the Cash Cattle market stands, the latest Feeder Cattle Markets Etc.
sold cattle on Thursday- at higher prices across the board- click or tap here
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Okla Cash Grain:
Feeder Cattle Recap:
Slaughter Cattle Recap:
TCFA Feedlot Recap:
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|Oklahoma's Latest Farm and Ranch News
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON
Friday, March 27, 2020
| As House Vote Nears- Ag Groups Praise Economic Stimulus Package
With drama building over exactly how the House will get the CARES act across the finish line- one of the Oklahoma Congressional Delegation, Congressman Frank Lucas released the following statement after the U.S. Senate passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act by a vote of 96-0.
"The CARES Act provides direct financial help for the American people, ensures rapid relief for small businesses and their employees, takes significant steps to stabilize the American economy while protecting jobs, and supports our nation's healthcare professionals and patients who are combating the coronavirus within our communities.
"Today, the Senate took additional steps to ensure American workers, families, and business owners no longer have to tackle this economic crisis alone. I applaud my colleagues in the U.S. Senate for passing this bold piece of legislation that will deliver much-needed relief to the American people."
Click here for the complete statement from Congressman Lucas.
We offered you comment from several groups in yesterday's email- more have arrived in our inbox that we share with you this morning-
The National Cattlemen s Beef Association is supportive-
NCBA Vice President of Government Affairs, Ethan Lane,
says "The passage of the CARES Act by the Senate represents the culmination of more than a week of unprecedented bipartisan work on behalf of the American people. This bill marks an important step toward ensuring America's cattlemen and women will be able to continue the critical work of feeding the nation during this time of crisis." Click here for their complete statement- and click or tap here for our conversation with Ethan about exactly help for cattle producers may be developed in the very near future.
One of our state ag groups- AFR/OFU- has weighed in- In comments from their President Scott Blubaugh, he tells us that the group is pleased with the Senate vote- "We have already received some regulatory relief and we're pleased to see financial relief is on the horizon. "We hope USDA will focus its stimulus relief on programs that will benefit all producers and that the funding reaches those who need it most. Hopefully, these relief funds will be enough to keep our farmers and ranchers afloat and that Oklahoma's rural communities will benefit greatly."
The National Group that AFR-OFU aligns with is the National Farmers Union- according to the NFU President Rob Larew, the bill "would address many of our most urgent concerns," primarily ensuring that rural hospitals are adequately prepared to handle this crisis and that our food system can continue to operate."
for more from the NFU release of yesterday morning.
Also weighing in was the National Milk Producers Federation Vice President of Government relations Paul Bleiberg released the following statement, "
"There are absolutely going to be further legislative efforts," Bleiberg said. "Congress may take a recess for a couple of weeks, maybe around the Easter recess, and it may be a little bit longer than it normally is, but I think that work behind the scenes is going to continue." Click here for their complete statement.
And U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry said, "This health care crisis is affecting every family across the country. The relief package will provide stability for our farmers and ensure the American people have a safe and stable food supply. Our bipartisan agreement includes targeted assistance to farmers who are experiencing severe financial losses during the pandemic, including fruit and vegetable growers, dairy farmers, and local food producers.
The vision of the Oklahoma Beef Council is to be a positive difference for Oklahoma's farming and ranching families and the greater beef community and its mission is to enhance beef demand by strengthening consumer trust and exceeding consumer expectations. To learn more, visit www.oklabeef.org. Also, don't forget to like its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/oklabeef for stories on Oklahoma's ranching families and great beef recipes.
Rural Oklahoma has not yet experienced a major COVID-19 outbreak, but Oklahoma Secretary of Health Jerome Loughridge says our rural health care system is gearing up for this vicious enemy. I talked with the Stitt Administration appointee late Thursday and he expressed optimism about the current state of readiness.
The rural hospitals have really stepped up and are making excellent plans on how to handle an outbreak, Loughridge said.
He advised we are at the very early stages of this and we may have weeks, if not months left.
The good news, Loughridge said, is that the vast majority of those infected will recover, and this will move through about like the seasonal flu. He is most concerned about the more vulnerable people, especially those in our long-term care facilities.
The real temptation for rural areas is to become complacent if your area doesn't have a major outbreak. Especially now that the weather is warming, and we want to do things together again.
"Science tells us if we just lock down for the next three weeks, hit it hard, Loughridge said, and if get a chin shot in early, the opponent is weakened for the duration."
The Health Secretary said there is valid logic why they have not locked down the entire state.
We are really fighting a two-prong attack, he said, one on the health front and one on the economic front.
It really comes down to persevering economic activity as much as possible so when we come out on the other end of this thing, the economic engine will be at least warm and not need a cold start.
AND- a reminder- our current Road to Rural Prosperity
is also about RURAL HEALTHCARE- Click here to go take a listen
to AJ Griffin and Janet Pulliam
with the American Cancer Society talk rural healthcare challenges in our state.
USDA's Farm Service Agency (FSA) county offices are open by phone appointment only until further notice, and FSA staff are available to continue helping agricultural producers with program signups, loan servicing and other important actions. Additionally, FSA is relaxing the loan-making process and adding flexibilities for servicing direct and guaranteed loans to provide credit to producers in need.
FSA Service Centers are open for business by phone appointment only. While our program delivery staff will continue to come into to the office, they will be working with our agricultural producers by phone and using email and online tools whenever possible.
"FSA programs and loans are critical to America's farmers and ranchers, and we want to continue our work with customers while taking precautionary measures to help prevent the spread of coronavirus," FSA Administrator Richard Fordyce said. "We recognize that farm loans are critical for annual operating and family living expenses, emergency needs and cash flow through times like this. FSA is working to find and use every option and flexibility to provide producers with credit options and other program benefits."
FSA is extending deadlines for producers to respond to loan servicing actions, including loan deferral consideration for financially distressed and delinquent borrowers.
FSA will temporarily suspend loan accelerations, non-judicial foreclosures, and referring foreclosures to the Department of Justice. The U.S. Attorney's Office will make the determination whether to stop foreclosures and evictions on accounts under its jurisdiction.
Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, many businesses and schools have closed down to practice social distancing. Many parents are at home with their kiddos wondering "What do we do now?" Oklahoma Ag in the Classroom has come up with some excellent daily activities you can do with your kids and family. The following is an example of some activities that Ag in the Classroom provides daily on their facebook page.
Join us on Facebook each day and share activities with your students. We would like to provide fun, educational activities for families and we need you to help spread the word! Each weekday on Facebook we will share a fun agriculture AGtivity. Here is our plan:
mAGnificent Mondays: We will highlight one of our student agriculture magazines each week.
Ag Technology Tuesdays- We will share agriculture games from either our website, My American Farm, Minnesota's online ag games, or Kahoot.
Ag around the World Wednesday-We will share videos of agriculture from across the nation and around the world- and compare them to Oklahoma agriculture.
Thinking About Ag Thursday- Every week we will do share some kind of STEM activity.
Farm Fun Friday- Cooking, Germination, etc.
Other Activities include Ag Bingo, Building your own Cotton Board, Ag Challenges, and more! You can check on their facebook page HERE: and their classroom site, HERE.
We are part of the rural communities we serve and understand that vibrant rural communities need strong, modern infrastructure. Farm Credit loans finance the rural infrastructure providers that provide reliable power, modern telecommunications, clean water, and other vital community services.
For more information, click here
to go to our Oklahoma AgCredit
Today I chat with Dr. Jessica Watson, associate director of Animal Health Policy for NCBA. Dr. Watson provides an update on animal electronic ID and traceability.
Watson said the USDA has "paused" animal ID electronic tag implementation first proposed in April 2019. She said the USDA program is focused on currently covered cattle which include sexually intact cattle 18 months or older, all male dairy cattle born after March 2015 and all female dairy cattle.
Last October President Trump issued an executive order to give guidance to federal agencies, providing clarity and to keep the agencies from enforcing rules without public comment.
Watson said NCBA members are most concerned about re-tagging cattle. She assured producers they are working to "grandfather in" cattle with an official ID. This would include either branding or ear tags, depending on state laws.
Are the traditional metal ear tags a relic of the past?
Watson said the USDA may provide the metal tags for another year and we're hoping electronic tags will be available. However, that is not official and with the COVID-19 crisis all bets are off regarding an exact timeline.
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue has announced the acceptance of more than 3.4 million acres in the general Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) signup recently completed, the first general signup enrollments since 2016.
In Oklahoma, there were 129,627 acres offered- and 94% of those acres were accepted into the program- 122,132 to be exact. Those acres came from 940 offers- and the Oklahoma acceptance rate was higher than the national acceptance rate of 89%.
Our neighbors to the north and south, Texas and Kansas, were the two largest states in the number of acres accepted in the general signup- Texas will have 540,481 acres entering the CRP while Kansas will have 436,120 acres newly going into CRP.
Through CRP, farmers and ranchers receive an annual rental payment for establishing long-term, resource-conserving plant species, such as approved grasses or trees, to control soil erosion, improve water quality and enhance wildlife habitat on cropland. Farmers and ranchers who participate in CRP help provide numerous benefits to the nation's environment and economy.
"The Conservation Reserve Program is one of our nation's largest conservation endeavors and is critical in helping producers better manage their operations while conserving valuable natural resources," Perdue said. "The program marked its 35th anniversary this year, and we were quite pleased to see one of our largest signups in many years."
The 2018 Farm Bill established a nationwide acreage limit for CRP, with the total number of acres that may be enrolled capped at 24.5 million acres in 2020 and growing to 27 million by 2023.
While the deadline for general CRP signup was February 28, 2020, signups for continuous CRP, Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program, CRP Grasslands and the Soil Health and Income Protection Program (SHIPP) are ongoing. The CRP Grasslands deadline is May 15, and the SHIPP signup begins March 30, 2020, and ends August 21, 2020.
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The latest drought monitor map released March 26 still shows a small section of the far western Oklahoma Panhandle and a small area in southwest Oklahoma continuing to need a good drink of water.
The dry areas in southwest Oklahoma that we have been watching did not shrink as much as expected given the recent storms. Tillman County saw some improvement, moving from a small patch of moderate drought (D1) to abnormally dry (D0). Much of Greer County continues to show D0 to D1, centered on Mangum. The abnormally dry area overlaps the edges of Kiowa and Jackson Counties.
Statewide today, the overall improvement is noticeable as we see about 6 percent of the state in the abnormally dry area, an improvement from almost 8 percent last week. The worse drought in Oklahoma is D2- Severe Drought and it currently is found only in the northwestern tip of Cimarron County and accounts for less than one percent of the state's total land area, the same percentage as last week.
Sadly, those driest areas will not receive much help in the coming days as the NOAA weather precipitation forecast map shows little to no additional moisture.
The U.S. Drought Monitor Map is developed through a partnership between the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
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