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Oklahoma's Latest Farm and Ranch News
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON
Attorney General Scott Pruitt Talks WOTUS and State Question 777 at
Oklahoma Farm Bureau Legislative Conference
Making an appearance at the Oklahoma Farm Bureau annual Legislative
Conference, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt talked regulatory
overkill by the Obama Administration- and the challenges facing
getting a yes vote this coming November on State Question 777. After
his comments and question and answer time, Pruitt talked with us
about WOTUS as well as State Question 777.
Pruitt told me he believes that is safe to expect the Sixth Circuit
Court of Appeals will leave the stay on the implementation of the EPA
Waters of the US Clean Water Rule in place until after it has heard
arguments on the merits of the case against the rule and issued their
findings. That will take months- and should run the clock out on the
Obama Adminstration and EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. Depending on
what the court decides on the litigation against WOTUS, that would
mean the next resident of the White House and who they choose to head
up the Environmental Protection Agency will have the decision whether
to appeal an unfavorable verdict or pull the rule as currently
written and start over.
here to read more from our conversation- and for a chance to hear
the AG weigh in on both WOTUS and State Question 777.
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Weekly Crop Weather
Reports Kick Off- Oklahoma Wheat Crop Slips Compared to End of February
From now through the end of November- USDA will be releasing weekly
crop weather updates in most states- states like Missouri won't be
releasing weekly updates for a few more weeks- but with the winter
wheat crop coming out of what dormancy we had this year- the
monitoring of the crop now begins in the southern Plains states of
Oklahoma, Kansas and Texas.
compared to the February report issued a week ago- the Oklahoma wheat
crop has slipped a couple of points in the good to excellent readings
from 68% to 66%. Canola has slipped four percentage points to
63% good to excellent- and our early look at pasture and range
conditions show a one point drop from 37% to 36% in the good to
excellent category- and the poor to very poor readings moved from 15%
to 17% this week versus last.
here for the complete weekly report on Oklahoma crop conditions
and the report released yesterday afternoon.
While the Kansas report was not available on line as of early this
morning- the Texas
report is out and shows that the wheat crop has
improved from a week ago by two percentage points- from 40% good to
excellent to now 42% good to excellent in the report out yesterday
here for the Texas numbers.
Beef and Pork Officially
Removed from COOL Regulations- Vilsack Speculates on Voluntary
Beef and Pork are officially no longer a part of the Country of
Origin regulations. This past week, USDA Agricultural Marketing
Service (AMS) published a final rule in the March 2, 2016, edition of
the Federal Register to amend their country-of-origin labeling (COOL)
regulations in response to statutory changes. The final rule
officially removes beef and pork muscle cuts and ground beef and pork
from the list of covered commodities subject to the COOL regulation.
USDA stopped enforcing the COOL requirements for beef and pork on
Dec. 18, 2015, after the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016 was
signed into law. A provision in that law amended a previous statute
by removing beef and pork from the list of products that must carry a
COOL label. The US Congress responded to pressure from Canada and
Mexico- the two countries that won multiple rounds of trade rulings
against the United States over our COOL regulations for beef and
At this past Friday's News Conference with USDA Secretary of
Vilsack answered a question raised by yours truly
about the possibility of a voluntary COOL program- as Hays asked the
Secretary if there was a proposal out there that would not cause
Canada and/or Mexico to revive the tariffs they could still impose on
His answer can be heard in this edition of the Beef Buzz- as
broadcast around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Ag Network.
here for this edition of the Beef Buzz.
OSU's Dr. Derrell Peel Offers
a Herd Expansion Progress Report
Mondays, Dr. 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 where the beef
cattle industry stands in accomplishing herd expansion.
"We are now two years into herd expansion and that leads to
questions of how much more herd expansion is ahead and, to a lesser
degree, questions about how fast remaining herd expansion will occur.
Beginning with a January, 2014 low of 29.1 million head, the beef cow
herd expanded (based on USDA-NASS revised 2015 numbers) 217 thousand
head in 2014 and another 1.03 million head in 2015. The January 2016
total of 30.3 million beef cows represented a 3.5 percent year over
year increase in the beef cow herd, an undeniably aggressive rate of
herd expansion. The sharp adjustment in cattle prices in late 2015
has been viewed by some as a result of this large herd increase and
the feeling that it was, perhaps, too much, too soon and a sign that
herd expansion is mostly over. I don't believe that is the case. It
looks now (with the benefit of hindsight) that the spike in feeder
cattle prices from 2013 through 2014 was a market signal to ensure
that herd expansion got an aggressive jump-start. Having succeeded in
that, market prices have adjusted back to levels that allow the
industry to follow through with what has been started. Therein lies
the question of how much more expansion will occur."
You can read Dr. Peel's answer to that question by
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issues of importance to the beef industry.
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their website to learn more about the OCA.
Work Continues in the
Senate on a GMO Labeling Bill
According to Agri-Pulse, there is progress happening
in Washington on getting a deal done in the Senate on GMO Labeling.
report "Advocates for legislation to block state GMO labeling
laws say they're optimistic they will reach a deal that can that can
pass the Senate before the Easter recess. The negotiations are
continuing today, and Senate Agriculture Chairman Pat Roberts
says there's a "great sense of urgency" about getting a
"He says Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell
is determined to pass the legislation by next week, the last
week before the recess.
Russell, a top industry lobbyist, says the talks are
making good progress. "I'm optimistic we're going to get a
"A Democratic senator at the center of the negotiations, Joe Donnelly, says
he could have some news on the issue in the next couple of days. The
negotiations center on the fine details of a disclosure system for
foods that contain GMO ingredients. Donnelly and other Democrats are
insisting that the disclosure system become mandatory at some point.
A key question is whether there would be some kind of trigger in the
legislation for making the disclosure mandatory if enough companies
don't follow through voluntarily.
"Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack
used his keynote address to the National Farmers Union yesterday to
make a pitch for the mandatory disclosure plan. "I think what
Congress should consider is first of all a mandatory process, not
something where you might want to do or think about doing it. We
ought to just basically say this is the way it's got to be."
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BASF Unveils Crop
Management Platform MAGLIS at Commodity Classic
announced this past week the global launch of Maglis, an online
agricultural platform designed to help farmers manage crops more
effectively and efficiently.
Connecting technology, data and people, Maglis allows farmers to
gather, interpret and monitor a range of crop-related data that helps
them make better agronomic decisions.
U.S. Vice President for Crop Protection with BASF told me that he
sees Maglis as the perfect vehicle for BASF to best serve today's
farmer, as it provides a way to allow BASF professionals a way to
"help them from an efficiency standpoint, manage risk and
Kay adds that Maglis will enable farmers to have a plan, which will
then allow them to adapt more easily when Mother Nature changes
external conditions. He says that "I think because the plan is
farmer created- it is even more powerful."
here to listen to our conversation with Scott Kay about MAGLIS-
and you can also read more and jump over to the BASF website to go
deeper on this new informational platform rolled out this past week
in New Orleans.
This N That, Farm Bureau
Champions, 74-51 Red Dirt Bulls and Rainfall Keeps Falling as Storms
Go In and Out
Last night, the Oklahoma Farm Bureau honored one state wide official
and eleven lawmakers with their "Champion" Award.
The award was presented to state leaders who demonstrated an
exceptional commitment to protecting agriculture and rural Oklahoma
in the 2015 legislative session.
The 12 state leaders receiving the award include Attorney General Scott Pruitt;
Rep. Scott Biggs, Chickasha; Rep. James Leewright, Bristow; Rep.
Charles McCall, Atoka; Rep. Tom Newell, Seminole; Rep. Charles
Ortega, Altus; Rep. Roger Thompson, Okemah; Sen. Don Barrington,
Lawton; Sen. Brian Bingman, Sapulpa; Sen. Ron Justice, Chickasha;
Sen. Mike Schulz, Altus; and Sen. Jason Smalley, Stroud.
The fourth annual Red
Dirt Bull Sale is set for this coming Friday, March 11th
at the 74-51
Cattle Company Ranch just outside Marshall, Oklahoma.
Over 200 Red Dirt Bulls will be sold at High Noon on Friday- you can
attend the sale in person at the ranch or you can watch and
participate online on LiveAuctions.TV.
here for a sale catalog and more details about the sale- which is
being coordinated by Matt Sims.
You can also go to the Ranch website to learn more about this year's
sale by clicking here.
One rain making system is exiting the state into Arkansas and
Missouri this morning- and another system has already rolled into
southwestern Oklahoma and is moving northeast.
from this first storm topped two inches in a couple of locations- Ada
and Sulphur- and many more locations got more than an
inch of rainfall.
is the realtime rainfall map that shows you how rainfall is
coming along- western counties have little to brag about to this
point- but rain chances continue all week so the hope is western and
north central counties will get their share sooner rather than later.
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& Ranchers, Stillwater Milling Company, Oklahoma AgCredit, the Oklahoma Cattlemens
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