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Oklahoma's Latest Farm and Ranch News
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON
Stories Told About Water Quality Improvement During Oklahoma
Conservation Day at the Capitol
There were another seven "success stories" told on
Wednesday during the 2016 Conservation Day at the Oklahoma State
Capitol. The Oklahoma Conservation Commission, along with the Natural
Resource Conservation Service and the Oklahoma Association of
Conservation Districts reported that the Commission plans to take
data to EPA this summer to delist seven streams in the state that
they say have been cleaned up from a variety of water quality
The streams that Oklahoma says they will supply EPA with data on this
summer in hopes of getting them delisted from the EPA Impaired Stream
Canadian Sandy Creek, Pontotoc and Garvin Counties
Caney Boggy Creek, Hughes, Coal, and Pittsburg Counties
Delaware Creek, Osage and Tulsa Counties
Upper Honey Creek, Delaware County
Main Creek, Major County
Otter Creek, Kiowa and Tillman Counties
Stillwater Creek, Payne County
We talked about these efforts with Shannon Phillips of the Oklahoma
Conservation Commission- click
here for our story that includes our conversation with her.
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AFBF Spring Picnic
Marketbasket Survey Shows Slight Price Decrease
Lower retail prices for several foods, including salad, orange juice,
shredded cheddar, ground chuck, sirloin tip roast, vegetable oil,
white bread, ground chuck, deli ham and orange juice, resulted in a
slight decrease in the American
Farm Bureau Federation's Spring Picnic Marketbasket Survey.
The informal survey shows the total cost of 16 food items that can be
used to prepare one or more meals was $53.28, down $.59 or about 1%
compared to a survey conducted a year ago. Of the 16 items surveyed,
ten decreased and six increased in average price.
Items showing retail price decreases from a year ago included:
-Bagged salad, down 11% to $2.20 per pound
-Orange juice, down 8% to $3.21 per half-gallon
-Shredded cheddar cheese, down 7% to $4.29 per pound
-Whole milk, down 6% to $3.23 per gallon
-Ground chuck, down 5% to $4.36 per pound
-Vegetable oil, down 5% to $2.55 for a 32-ounce bottle
-White bread, down 3% to $1.69 per 20-ounce loaf
-Flour, down 1% to $2.49 for a 5-pound bag
-Sirloin tip roast, down 1% to $5.65 per pound
-Potatoes, down 1% to $2.71 for a 5-pound bag
Read more- including which foods were higher this year versus last-
the full story is available
Cover Crop/No Till Guru
Gabe Brown in Oklahoma Next Week to Tout Soil Health
For those of you that have attended No Till on the Plains or other
national No TIll Conferences- you may have heard Gabe Brown
speak. Well, for the rest of you- your chance is coming next week
when the North Dakota rancher/farmer will be one of the keynoters at
two Soil Health events planned for Alva on Wednesday and El Reno on
Fifteen years ago Gabe Brown's soil organic matter was under two
percent, today it is over six percent. He has accomplished this with
cover crops and grazing. Last year his corn crop was better than his
home county average and all he purchased was seed. At six per cent
organic matter, his soil provided all the nutrients and water he
Brown and NRCS Soil Health Guru Ray Archuleta share top billing
for these two meetings, being presented by the Oklahoma Land
Stewardship Alliance, NRCS and OSU Extension.
Warren is also an important part of the program- as
he has the latest on the ongoing cover crop research from Lahoma at
the OSU Research Station.
The Alva Meeting on March 30 is at NW Technology Center located at
1801 S. 11th Street while the El Reno meeting is at Redlands
Community Conference Center located at 1300 S. Country Club
Contact Kim Barker for more info- his number is 580-732-0244.
More details about both conferences are available
NPPC To USDA: Defend
'Other White Meat' Sale
In a meeting on Wednesday with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's
Office of General Counsel, representatives of the National Pork
Producers Council demanded that the agency defend the purchase by the
National Pork Board from NPPC of the Pork. The Other White Meat
NPPC sold to the Pork Board in 2006 The Other White Meat® slogan and
pork chop logo for about $35 million. NPPC financed the purchase over
20 years, making the Pork Board's annual payment $3 million. The sale
was an arms-length transaction with a lengthy negotiation in which
both parties were represented by legal counsel, and USDA, which
oversees the federal Pork Checkoff program administered by the Pork
Board, approved the purchase.
The Humane Society of the United States, a lone Iowa farmer and the
Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement in 2012 filed a lawsuit
against USDA, seeking to have the sale rescinded. Initially, USDA
defended the lawsuit, and a U.S. District Court dismissed it for lack
of standing, but a federal appeals court in August 2015 reinstated
the suit. But before any court proceedings on the merits of the suit,
USDA inexplicably changed course and entered into settlement talks
According to NPPC President John
Weber, a pork producer from Dysart, Iowa, and CEO Neil Dierks,
who met with USDA's general counsel and reiterated the pork
industry's objection to any settlement, there was no indication where
the agency stands on the case. "We're concerned that even though
USDA has a very strong legal position, it isn't defending a contract
it approved," said Weber. "We're concerned that it already
has thrown in the towel."
More of NPPC's concerns about the dealings between USDA and HSUS are available
We are pleased to
Farmers & Ranchers Mutual Insurance Company as
a regular sponsor of our daily update. On both the state and national
levels, full-time staff members serve as a "watchdog" for
family agriculture producers, mutual insurance company members and
life company members.
Click here to go
to their AFR website to learn more about their efforts
to serve rural America!
Helps Cattle Producers React to Trends in Food Business
Everyday- consumers' eating behaviors are evolving and those
behaviors create trends that the food business has to consider and
respond to. This was a topic that was covered by the founder and CEO
of Encore Food Solutions, Paul
Heinrich, at the 2016 Cattlemen's Day hosted recently
by Kansas State University.
One example of a food trend that is not based on science, but sounds
"back to nature" is how good of a product is grass fed
beef. Heinrich says that consumer beliefs about grass fed beef are
often off base from reality.
The food industry consultant says that cattle producers should make
the effort to keep up with the current thinking of today's consumers,
especially younger adults- as he believes that knowing, and then
responding to what consumers are thinking is how cattlemen and
cattlewomen educating should address current trends.
Paul Heinrich is our guest on the Beef Buzz- read more and listen to
his thoughts about staying up with what is driving consumers these
days by clicking
to Have the Latest Energy News Delivered to Your Inbox Daily?
broadcast journalist Jerry
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.
Land Grants in the Region
to Study Ag Sustainability in the Eight States that Sit on Top of the
For more than 80 years, the Ogallala
Aquifer, the largest freshwater aquifer in the world,
has been the main source of agricultural and public water for the
Texas Panhandle, western Oklahoma, western Kansas and parts of five
other states in the Great Plains.
Now, researchers from the leading land grant schools in the region
will play an important role within a U.S. Department of
Agriculture-National Institute of Food and Agriculture-funded
university consortium to address agricultural sustainability on the
aquifer. More than 90 percent of the water pumped from the Ogallala
Aquifer is used for irrigated agriculture.
The consortium, led by Colorado
State University and includes Oklahoma State University,
University and five other universities as well as
USDA's Agricultural Research Service, has been awarded a USDA Water
for Agriculture Challenge Area Coordinated Agriculture Project grant
that will provide $10 million over four years for innovative research
and extension activities to address water challenges in the Ogallala
here to read more about these research efforts to help maintain
the viability of high plains agriculture in the Ogallala region.
This N That- Superior
Livestock Offering 27,300 Head Tomorrow and One Man's Worries About
Every other Friday, the folks at Superior Livestock hold their
regular Feeder Cattle online auction- and they have over 27,000 ready
to sell tomorrow, starting at 8:00 AM central.
Included in the totals this week:
7,700 Yearling Steers, 4,800 Yearling Heifers, 9,900 Weaned Calves
and 3,200 Calves on Cows
Call Superior if you have questions about how to buy or sell- that
number is 800-422-2117.
here for the webpage with more details about tomrrow's sale.
As various companies continue to cave to Vermont over their GMO
labeling law that kicks in July first- this in the vacuum of Senate's
failure to move forward with a national labeling response- there are
also concerns by some folks over organic foods found in stores today.
Plant Pathologist Dr.
Steve Savage writes in Forbes on his problems with
organic- he says "I don't buy organic foods. In fact I
specifically avoid doing so. It's not my place to tell anyone else
what to do, but I'd like to lay out three, seriously considered
factors that have shaped my personal stance on organic:
confidence that we are safe buying "conventional"
that some of the best farming practices from an environmental
perspective are not always allowed or practical under the
ethical problem with the tactics that some organic advocates and
marketers employ which seriously misrepresents their
You can read his entire opinion piece at the Forbes
website by clicking
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& Ranchers, Stillwater Milling Company, Oklahoma AgCredit, the Oklahoma Cattlemens
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