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Oklahoma's Latest Farm and Ranch News
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON
Vilsack Offers Thirty Day Extension to Comply With Actively Engaged
Rule- Farm Bureau Praises Extension
Vilsack Friday announced a one-time, 30-day extension
to the June 1 deadline for recording farm organization structures
related to Actively
Engaged in Farming determinations. This date is used
to determine the level of interest an individual holds in a legal
entity for the applicable program year. Farming operations will now
have until July 1 to complete their restructuring or finalize any
operational change. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued
the extension in response to farmers and ranchers who requested more
time to comply, and to assure that everyone has enough time to
provide their information under the new rules.
"Most farming and ranching organizations have been able to
comply with the actively engaged rule," said Vilsack. "This
one-time extension should give producers who may still need to update
their farm structure information the additional time to do so."
The 2014 Farm Bill provided the Secretary with the direction and
authority to amend the Actively Engaged in Farming rules related to
management. The final rule established limits on the number of
individuals who can qualify as actively engaged using only
management. Only one payment limit for management is allowed under
the rule, with the ability to request up to two additional qualifying
managers operations for large and complex operations.
The rule does not apply to farming operations comprised entirely of
family members. The rule also does not change the existing
regulations related to contributions of land, capital, equipment or
labor, or the existing regulations related to landowners with a risk
in the crop or to spouses. Producers that planted fall crops have
until the 2017 crop year to comply with the new rules. The payment
limit associated with Farm Service Agency farm payments is generally
limited annually to $125,000 per individual or entity.
here to read more about the extension and the support from AFBF.
AgCredit serves rural Oklahoma communities
and agriculture with loans and financial services. Providing loans
for rural property, farm and ranch land, country homes, livestock,
equipment and operating costs is all we do.
We are the state's
largest agricultural lending cooperative, serving 60 Oklahoma
Counties. To learn more about Oklahoma AgCredit, click here for our
website or call 866-245-3633.
Some Go- Many Places a No- But Most of Oklahoma Oh So Close
Usually by the last day of May, wheat harvest is active
in at least some of the southern half of Oklahoma- but that is not
what we are finding here in 2016.
We would normally be running combines by now in
southwestern parts of Oklahoma- but in making calls, checking in via
social media and via email- I am finding very little wheat that has
been cut over the Memorial Day weekend.
Jimmy Kinder in
the Walters area tells us he has wheat ripe- but muddy fields have
been a problem- and then the humidity on Monday was a further issue-
making Memorial Day a no go.
Matt Muller in
the Altus area also indicates that while he has ripe wheat- the mud
has been a problem and that when he tried to cut on Monday- he got 17
to 18 percent moisture readings- so that's a no go.
The only location in southwestern Oklahoma I got
indications that we had some wheat being cut- Brandon Winters
who manages Tillman Producers Coop with grain elevators in Frederick
and Davidson tells us that they took in wheat on Sunday- and was
expecting at least some later on Monday- Brandon says of the loads
they took in "Test weights all over the place 56-62 avg 60,
protein 10-12 avg 11.3"
In central Oklahoma- we do have some wheat being
with the Oklahoma Wheat Commission reports late Monday night
"Around the Okarche and Kingfisher areas probably 15 to 20
producers were cutting. Rains in the North and Western
parts of the state as well as the wheat not being completely ripened
has kept harvest from progressing in these regions. Test weights in
the central part of the state coming in very positive hearing ranges
mostly from 62 to 65 pounds. Yields in the region being
reported from 30 to mid 50's with a lot of reports favoring more
towards the mid 40's to the mid 50's."
Mark Hodges with Plains Grains concurs with Mike on the
Central Oklahoma harvest- saying there is harvest underway in
multiple places in central Oklahoma rolling where the wheat has
ripened and the fields are dry enough to support the weight of the
combines. Mark thinks that harvest could be happening in
southwestern Oklahoma today if things will improve on the humidity
We did check in with Clint and Jessica Wilcox
in Major County- Jessica says they were checking their fields on
Memorial Day but they are not quite ripe yet- the cooler and wet May
apparently slowing the final maturity of the crop at their
Biggest worry- more rain
in the mix for today into Wednesday- chances of rain in the Oklahoma
wheat belt- 70% today and tonight- slightly less than that- fifty
percent chances on Wednesday.
If you are a wheat farmer or involved in custom harvest
efforts- drop me an email and let me know how things
are in your neck of the woods- that will be a great help in our
efforts to paint a picture of harvest for 2016!
Oklahoma Wheat Research
Focused on Meeting Consumer Demands
Wheat Commission Executive Director Mike Schulte says investing in
research to meet today's changing consumer demands is a priority for
OWC and its members.
Schulte says at least 20 percent of the OWC's annual budget helps
fund the OSU Wheat Improvement Team, a public breeding program for
variety development and improving milling and baking characteristics.
On average, OSU is releasing a variety a year through the public
Producing varieties that meet end-use qualities can make a difference
in the world marketplace. U.S. Wheat Associates, a national
organization funded by 19 state wheat commissions, is currently
looking at different strategies to increase U.S. wheat's market
Schulte says more than forty years ago, the U.S. held 75 to 80
percent of the global export market share. Today that number is
closer to 35 percent.
"Other countries are raising wheat that weren't raising wheat
during that time in the 60s, so we have more competition from Russia
and Australia," he says. "But we also are seeing other
parts of the world try to capitalize on the end-use qualities, and so
as we move forward, I think that you're going to see more coming out
of breeding program trying to capitalize on those efforts of what the
millers and bakers actually want."
Schulte points to a new variety of hard white wheat - Stardust - as
an example. He says Stardust not only meets domestic market demands,
but also appeals to Mexico, Central America and South America.
"Part of it is because it makes a more palatable product; it has
a less bitter taste; there are things that can be done with it on the
functionality end that give it longer shelf life," he says.
"As well as things can be done with tortillas and pasta making
that necessarily can't be done with the hard red winter wheat."
Farmer Veteran Coalition
Program - Homegrown by Heroes - Coming to Oklahoma
As veterans they stood for you, now as consumers you
have a chance to stand by them - through agriculture. Coming soon to
farmers markets and grocery stores across Oklahoma is a new label
that will inform consumers that they are purchasing their food
straight from veterans. Homegrown
by Heroes (HBH) is the official farmer veteran
branding program of America through the Farmer Veteran Coalition
The FVC's mission is "To mobilize veterans to feed
America." The coalition believes how important therapeutic
agriculture careers are to veterans and how the agriculture producer
population is aging and needs replacing, the combination of the two
is the perfect fit.
One farmer veteran who was quoted on farmvetco.org said,
"This program gives me a sense of purpose and fulfillment while
producing a quality product. It allows us to have a sense of peace
again. This is what I needed to heal."
This program is coming to Oklahoma through a partnership of the
Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry (ODAFF) and the
Oklahoma Farm Bureau. According tofarmvetco.org, "The HBH logo
serves to inform consumers that products donning the logo were
produced by military veterans. The program is available to farmers,
ranchers, fishermen, and value-added producers of all branches and
eras of military service."
here for more information about supporting or participating
in the program.
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Promoting the Industry As
a Whole - JBS's Cameron Bruett Talks Grass-Fed and Conventional Beef
As consumer preference for grass-fed beef rises, Cameron Bruett,
head of corporate affairs for JBS, says it's important to promote the
products without "vilifying the great work we're doing in other
areas of agriculture."
"This is a great opportunity for us as an industry, don't get me
wrong. It's a great marketing opportunity; it's a great way to get
premiums for certain types of products," he says. "But we need
to construct a narrative that that's just basically a choice based on
maybe taste or quality or things of that nature, but it's not about
good versus evil or bad versus good."
Bruett says he does not believe in the notion that grass-fed beef is
better than conventionally raised beef - and vice versa.
"I think anyone who is involved in American agriculture is
producing wonderful products that people should enjoy," he says.
"And there should also be choices in the meat cases in the
grocery store, whether that's grass-fed or conventional."
When it comes to sustainability, Bruett says it's hard to make a
blanket statement that grass-fed beef is better for the environment
than conventional beef. Instead, it depends on a variety of factors
specific to each operation.
"You have to look at the geographical region that you're located
in; the challenges of that particular ranch. You've got to look at
the water table. I mean there is lot that goes into this," he
says. "It's foolish to think that you can simply say one process
is the solution to all of these challenges because it's not - it's
individualized to that operation."
talks more about grass-fed and conventional production methods during
the latest Beef Buzz.
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Growers Welcome MOU with Cuban Agribusiness Group
With a signing ceremony last Thursday, the U.S.
Agriculture Coalition for Cuba (USACC) and Cuba's Grupo Empresarial
Agricola (GEA) formalized an agreement between the two nation's farm
and food industries to re-establish the Cuban marketplace for U.S.
food and agricultural products. As part of the agreement, both USACC
and GEA will meet regularly to ensure that the relationship between
both industries is mutually productive and beneficial. All last week,
American Soybean Association (ASA) Vice President and Roseville,
Ill., farmer Ron
Moore wasin Havana with USACC to interact with Cuban
"Our Cuban partners represent a great deal of promise for the
American soybean industry," said Moore. "The agreement that
USACC is signing on to this morning is something that will help to
ensure both American producers and Cuban buyers have what they need
as our relationship continues to grow together."
ASA supports policy to normalize relations with Cuba, including the
full removal of the embargo.
"So much has changed since the era in which the Cuban embargo
was put in place," said Moore. "Since 1961, our countries
have evolved, our industries have expanded, and our economies have
matured. Cubans have an increasing opportunity to develop their
economy, and Americans have an equally promising opportunity to help
meet that demand. That's why we're here-to meet a burgeoning demand
for meat protein, for cooking oil and for the array of other products
that American producers can provide."
Manager in Response to Undercover Video from Nebraska Sow Farm
This past week- the Animal Legal Defense Fund released
undercover footage obtained at a pork production facility in
Nebraska. Feedstuffs magazine reports the facility is owned and
operated by the Maschoff's
LLC. The Animal Rights Activists contend that the
video depicts animal neglect and violations of laws protecting both
consumers and animals. According to the ALDF, the video shows long
term neglect and a lack of veterinary care.
The initial reaction from the sow farm operator was
that they were investigating the claims- but then a very strong
response was announced by the end of the week. In a news
release on their website- the Maschoffs stated that their policy
is "zero tolerance for any abuse or intentional
mistreatment of its pigs, and is dedicated to achieving high
standards of care consistently and without exception at its
As a result- the releases says "Specifically, the
terminated the farm manager at the sow farm in the video;
conducting a series of independent audits at its Nebraska sow
farms to ensure all animal care standards are being met;
immediately conducting extensive re-training on proper animal
care and handling practices across the company's entire farm
network, with specific focus on the Nebraska area;
launching an intense, internal communications effort to ensure
all employees fully understand their obligations to adhere to as
well as report any instances of animal abuse and neglect; and
done an exhaustive review of the video and its animal welfare
records from the facility to identify issues and critical
The Maschoffs have sow farms in multiple states-
Ranchers Needing Clean Up
Help in Sulphur- Field of Teams Needs Your Help
Clifton gave us a call on Memorial Day- and I want to
pass along her plea to all of you this morning- hoping some of our
farm groups- FFA Chapters- Church Men's Groups and/or others might
give her a call and help her help some ranch families in southern
Oklahoma. You might remember that this is the determined lady who led
a massive cleanup in Canadian County a couple of years back after the
tornado in Canadian County left a huge amount of junk in wheat fields
almost ready for harvest.
Debra is looking for some folks that can help with tornado cleanup in
the Sulphur area on pasture land- fences were torn up- there is a lot
of debris and she is hoping to put folks in place to help with the
cleanup later this week.
Here is her plea on the Facebook page for the Field of Teams:
"calling all youth MISSIONS groups... summer trips etc..
PLEASE... Sulphur OKLAHOMA needs YOU... please consider a weekend to
help us... I have very few committed to coming and we need more than
"thank you IOWA for coming WEDNESDAY!... thank you Father
Patrick! so if you are bored and want to be a part of something
amazing... bring chain saws, trailers, four wheelers, buckets, rakes,
gloves and help us HELP THE FARMERS/Ranchers that got hit THREE WEEKS
AGO by tornadoes!... we need you this week!... PLEASE CALL!!! call
NOW!! please... I am asking you to help us PICK UP AMERICA ONE PIECE
AT A TIME in our rural communities!"
If you want more info about how you can help- her phone number is
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