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Oklahoma's Latest Farm and Ranch News
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON
Administration Drops Appeal in Texas Federal Court of Lesser Prairie
Chicken Case- Senators Inhofe and Moran Pleased- But Watchful of FWS
Two of the lawmakers that had worked for years on the Lesser Prairie
Chicken status were pleased with the word that came on Wednesday
afternoon that the Obama Administration had decided not to appeal a
ruling from a Texas court that had basically ended the Threatened
Status of the Lesser Prairie Chicken.
This decision comes after U.S. District Judge Robert A. Junell, of
Midland, Texas, overturned the listing of the LPC as a threatened
species on Sept. 3, 2015. The LPC was listed as threatened in 2014 by
the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), affecting regions in Texas,
New Mexico, Oklahoma, Kansas and Colorado.
Inhofe of Oklahoma has used his Chairmanship of the
Environment and Public Works Committee to keep this issue front and
center with the Fish and Wildlife Service.
"The Obama administration's decision not to appeal a district
court ruling, throwing out the listing of the lesser prairie-chicken
as a threatened species, is welcome and different news from this administration,"
Inhofe said. "The court's decision to vacate the listing is a
win for Oklahoma, the four other states conservation agencies and our
local and industry partners who have committed funding and other
resources to implement a conservation plan without the federal
government's interference. However, even with this win, I will be
looking to put safeguards in place to block the U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service from revisiting the issue until the states' plan has
time to develop and show its success."
or tap here to see the complete statement from Senator Inhofe.
Moran of Kansas is thinking along similar lines with
his colleague from Oklahoma- happy that Obama's lawyers have backed
off in this case- but wary about any sort of end run that the Fish
and Wildlife Service might pull on behalf of the this little critter.
"My fear is USFWS made a strategic decision to restart the
listing process for the bird instead of continuing to fight a losing
battle in court. It is incumbent on USFWS to be open and transparent
about its future intentions for the LPC listing. I have asked for
answers from USFWS, and will continue to advocate for policies that
prevent the service from pursuing future efforts to re-list the
here for the full statement released by Senator Moran's office.
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Cattle Groups Cheer the
End of Threatened Status for Lesser Prairie Chicken
NCBA, TSCRA and
the OCA were quick to cheer the word that the Obama
Administration will not appeal the Texas court ruling that basically
ends the Threatened Listing of the Lesser Prairie Chicken in five
states- including parts of western Oklahoma.
of the Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association emailed us "We are
pleased to learn that the Administration is dropping their appeal
regarding the Lesser Prairie Chicken. Oklahoma ranchers have for
generations employed stewardship practices that have benefited the
land, water and wildlife including the Lesser Prairie Chicken.
Private landowner stewardship again shows it is most effective in
preserving and protecting our natural resources."
the new President of the TSCRA- says in a statement from the Cattle
Raisers "I am pleased the administration decided to drop their
appeal of the 2015 federal district court decision that removed the
lesser prairie-chicken from the threatened list. This means the
chicken is no longer federally protected under the endangered species
act, providing major relief for ranchers who have long worried about
the additional layer of federal regulations that came along with the
listing of the LPC."
here for the complete release from TSCRA.
Nationally- the NCBA and Public Lands Council's Ethan Lane
says he is pleased with this outcome- saying "Voluntary
conservation efforts like the Range-Wide Plan are working to recover
the species and must be given an opportunity to succeed without the
unnecessary burden of a federal ESA listing."
here for the NCBA statement.
OSU Wheat Breeder Brett
Carver Likes His Two Newest Varieties- Red and White!
The 2016 series of OSU Wheat Plot Tours are in full swing- and on
Wednesday morning, we participated in the stop at the Don Schieber
farm just outside of Kildare in Kay County. About fifty farmers and
wheat industry leaders gathered for breakfast and a chance to look at
varieties nearing maturity from Oklahoma State and the private
breeding programs Westbred, Agripro and Limagrain.
One of those talking with producers about the
varieties was the wheat breeder responsible for the OSU lineup- Dr. Brett Carver.
Dr. Carver provided an update about the five experimental lines being
grown in the replicated plots on the Schieber farm this year,
including one that is a combination of red and white wheat, as well
as two Clearfield culitvars- one of which could be the next
Clearfield line to follow up behind Doublestop.
We talked with Dr. Carver about the two most recent OSU wheat variety
releases, Bentley and Stardust. Bentley, which had a limited amount
of seed available to farmers last fall, appears to be a really strong
candidate to be used on a lot of acres across the southern plains-
offering lots of yield potential and the ability to handle late
freeze conditions better than many of its peers.
We also talked with Carver about Stardust- the new white wheat that
the OSU Wheat Improvement Team is touting- and we also discussed the
bigger picture of the relationships that continue to evolve between
public and private breeding programs.
and Bentley will be on display at the Lahoma Wheat Field Day- set for
tomorrow. Start time is 9:00 AM with the first tours to head
out at 9:20 AM. Registration will begin by 8:40 AM.
The OSU wheat breeding program is one of the strongest public
programs- and to this point- has steered clear of any exclusive deals
with a private company. You can hear Dr. Carver's thought on
the state of the breeding program- and where the wheat industry is
headed in this regard by clicking
here to jump to our Top Ag Story of the morning.
Growth Energy Says
Latest Move to Dismantle RFS "Incredibly Flawed"
The latest effort to pull back the Renewable Fuel Standard was
introduced this week in Congress- HR 5180, the Food and Fuel Consumer
Protection Act of 2016 would limit the total volume of ethanol
contained in transportation fuel to 9.7 percent.
As you might expect- Tom
Buis of Growth Energy is not a fan. He says
"This bill is incredibly flawed because the ethanol industry is
already producing over the bill's 9.7 percent threshold and growing.
Perhaps more importantly this bill would deal a blow to American
consumers who have embraced ethanol as a less expensive, 21st century
fuel that is higher performing and allows for consumer choice."
or tap here to read his complete statement expressing his unhappiness
over this proposal that would mandate maximum blend rates.
We are pleased to
Farmers & Ranchers Mutual Insurance Company as
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levels, full-time staff members serve as a "watchdog" for
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life company members.
Click here to go
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to serve rural America!
Strategic DeWorming Can
Make You Money- We Talk to Harold Newcombe of Merck
For a beef cattle producer, the reality is that parasites are a
concern from the day that beef cow or stocker takes their first bite
of grass to the day that they take their last bite of grass. Dr. Harold Newcomb,
Technical Services Manager for Merck Animal Health, believes that a
priority rightly needs to be placed on effective control of parasites
because "they are not just hurting us in weight gains- they can
actually affect things like conception rates in a cow herd, grazing
weight gains on stocker calves as well as affect that animal's
ability to respond to certain diseases- they can actually impact the
We talked with Dr. Newcomb about the development of a strategy by
beef cattle producers to best manage parasites in their herds. Dr. Newcomb
believes that producers should consider multiple treatments- one at
the beginning of the grazing season- then a second treatment six to
eight weeks would follow after cattle have been grazing which
"allows those cattle to go out and harvest those parasites off
the pasture- and right before they ready to make a turn and start
producing eggs- you go in and deworm them and we kill off those worms
so we have actually lowered the parasite burden on the pasture."
or tap here to read more- and to listen to our full conversation
with Harold about dealing with parasites- his comments featured in
the Beef Buzz part of
our website- OklahomaFarmReport.Com
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Roberts and Stabenow
Continue to do the GMO Labeling Two Step
Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts wants any GMO
labeling proposal from the Committee's ranking Democrat Debbie Stabenow
vetted by agriculture groups. Chairman Roberts says any GMO labeling
bill needs the approval from agriculture and food groups to be successful
in the U.S. Senate, according to Politico.
Roberts says "we can't get anywhere" unless the majority of
the 800 agriculture and food groups approve of a GMO labeling
proposal, adding "should that be the case, I'm ready to
Roberts says he is still unclear what Stabenow is willing to agree
with to set a national standard on GMOs. Staff members for both
lawmakers are reportedly hammering out the details for a bill with
the hope of getting a proposal on the Senate floor before Vermont's
labeling law takes effect in July.
Raindrops Keep Falling on
My Head- Multiple Inches Worth in Next Seven Days
The latest seven day national rainfall map shows a lot of rain across
parts of several states in the middle of the country- including
It looks like a location not far from Tulsa could get over three
inches by next Thursday. The current seven day forecast from
and the News
on 6 show rain chances virtually every day through the middle of
next week- mostly set at 40%.
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