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Let's Check the Markets!
Finished cattle prices
sunk lower Wednesday on FedCattleExchange.com - 1,287 cattle were sold with prices ranging from $132.00 to $138.72 - weighted average price this week was $136.65. Click here to see their complete market results.
Today's First Look:
mornings with cash and futures reviewed- includes where the Cash Cattle market stands, the latest Feeder Cattle Markets Etc.
Each afternoon we are posting a recap of that day's markets as analyzed by Justin Lewis of KIS futures
- click or tap here
for the report posted yesterday afternoon around 3:30 PM.
Okla Cash Grain:
Feeder Cattle Recap:
Slaughter Cattle Recap:
TCFA Feedlot Recap:
Our Oklahoma Farm Report Team!!!!
Ron Hays, Senior Farm Director and Editor
Carson Horn, Associate Farm Director and Editor
Pam Arterburn, Calendar and Template Manager
Dave Lanning, Markets and Production
|Oklahoma's Latest Farm and Ranch News
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON
Thursday, May 11, 2017
On Wednesday, US Attorneys in the Federal District Court in OKC formally filed charges against former employee, Melissa Morton, who was accused last summer of embezzling $2.68 million from the Beef Council over a seven year period.
Right now the folks at OBC are being tight-lipped about this case as the matter is still under investigation and OBC is limited in the details they can share at this time. However, its board of directors yesterday released a statement signaling criminal charges being filed against its former employee yesterday.
The next step of the process will likely consist of a hearing involving a plea entered by the defendant- that could happen in about a week.
"According to Tom Fanning, a cattleman and the chairman of the Oklahoma Beef Council, "it is important to know since we turned this situation over to authorities, one of our overriding goals has been to work towards justice for our organization and the farming and ranching community we serve. Today's charges are a major move forward towards reaching that goal. We will continue to keep Oklahoma's beef producers apprised of the situation as it proceeds."
As far as anyone knows, this is the only case of embezzlement from a state checkoff program. With this threat now exposed, the OBC has taken measures to strengthen the security of their accounting system and hired an independent audit firm to provide further oversight.
Click or tap here
for the complete statement from the OBC Board of Directors and links back to our earlier reporting on this case that first surfaced last September.
The Oklahoma Farm Bureau - a grassroots organization that has for its Mission Statement- Improving the Lives of Rural Oklahomans." Farm Bureau, as the state's largest general farm organization, is active at the State Capitol fighting for the best interests of its members and working with other groups to make certain that the interests of rural Oklahoma are protected. Click here for their website to learn more about the organization and how it can benefit you to be a part of Farm Bureau.
|More on Embezzlement Case- Attorney Says Morton "Regrets Her Actions" as OCA Says Cattle Producers Seek Justice
According to an email from the attorney representing Melissa Morton, Peter Scimeca
, Morton is regretful- stating "Mrs. Morton profoundly regrets her actions during employment with the Oklahoma Beef Council. She accepts responsibility and has and continues to fully cooperate with the FBI, U.S. attorney's office, IRS and Oklahoma Beef Council in an aggressive effort to quickly pay back as much money as possible."
According to the court charges against Morton, available here
, the Accounting and Compliance Manager for the Beef Council forged about 790 checks from August of 2009 to July 2016- making those checks out to herself- all without the permission of the Beef Council.
The Documents state that "these unauthorized checks from the Beef Council to Morton totaled approximately $2,681,400.73."
The charges do not go into how Morton beat the system but simply states "Morton made false accounting entries in the Beef Council's general ledger to disguise these forged checks made payable to herself."
The court documents state she used the money for personal purposes- including the funding of a retail clothing business.
MEANWHILE- Charlie Swanson, Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association President
, has released a brief statement of support for the charges filed on Wednesday-
""Today the Oklahoma beef cattle industry moves a step closer to justice regarding the embezzlement of Oklahoma Beef Council funds by a former employee. The US Attorney has filed criminal charges against the former Beef Council employee who stole Oklahoma beef producer dollars. We appreciate the Oklahoma Beef Council Board of Directors and Staff in remaining vigilant to seek justice by working very closely with the US Attorney's office. Additionally, we sincerely appreciate their strong commitment and expert talent in continuing the outstanding mission of the beef checkoff which is to educate consumers about beef and the people who raise it."
Yesterday, the USDA released its first official guess as to what the US wheat crop might produce this year. USDA is calling the southern Great Plains wheat crop much smaller than a year ago- with the Kansas crop cut by 39%, Oklahoma by 35% and Texas by 23%. The Kansas crop is at risk of falling even more, since the snow event of last week occurred after the first of May, which is USDA's deadline for the basis of information used in this report.
For Oklahoma, the USDA report falls short of the 2017 Oklahoma Wheat Crop Estimate made by the Oklahoma Grain and Feed Association last week. The major difference between the USDA and the OGFA are the number of acres they believe will be harvested. The industry guesstimate was thinking 2.97 million acres will be harvested, while USDA sees only 2.7 million acres being cut for grain- USDA sees a yield of 33 bushels per acre while the guess by the industry last week was pegged at 33.7 bushels per acre- The OGFA estimate for Oklahoma was 100.14 million bushels while USDA sees only 89.1 million bushels that will be combined- if their estimate is realized. The 2017 Oklahoma crop has a fifteen percent smaller yield predicted in 2017 versus 2016's record of 39 bushels per acre.
The Kansas crop is seen slightly higher by USDA compared to the estimate put out by the Wheat Quality Council of last Thursday- which guessed 281.7 million bushels while USDA predicts a total of 289.8 million bushels. Keep in mind USDA did not consider any damage to the Kansas crop from the snow that hit the western third of that state just after May first- while crop scouts attempted to factor in some of that damage while not actually measuring fields that were covered in snow as they traveled in that part of the state.
The Texas wheat crop for 2017 is predicted by USDA at 69 million bushels- compared to the 89.6 million bushels that were produced in 2017- the yield this season is predicted to be 2 bushels per acre smaller compared to 2016, while USDA sees a drop of 500,000 acres harvested this year versus last.
For more highlights of this report or to read the report in its complete form, click or tap here
USDA released another report, yesterday, separate from the one mentioned above in the previous story. According to this month's WASDE report from the USDA, the corn industry can expect another year of high production, but it is unlikely that a record harvest will be set in 2017. The report predicts 14.3 billion total bushels in 2017/18.
This report, projects ethanol use to increase 50 million bushels from the previous year due, in part, to increased fuel consumption and decreased use of sorghum as a feedstock. Projected feed and residual use is 75 million bushels lower than the previous year as ethanol co-products continue to play an important role in livestock feed markets. In addition, USDA is projecting U.S. corn exports to decrease by 350 million bushels next year due to strong competition from Argentinian and Brazilian suppliers.
While this crop may not set a new record, it could still come in as the third-largest corn crop on the books if projections hold. This comes as yield estimates forecast a national average of 170.7 bushels per acre, also the third-highest corn yield in U.S. records.
Read a summary of the report from the National Corn Growers Association, or take a look at the complete report from USDA, by clicking here
The Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association is the trusted voice of the Oklahoma Cattle Industry. With headquarters in Oklahoma City, the OCA has a regular presence at the State Capitol to protect and defend the interests of cattlemen and cattlewomen.
Their Vision Statement explains the highest priority of the organization- "Leadership that serves, strengthens and advocates for the Oklahoma cattle industry."
To learn more about the OCA and how you can be a part of this forward-looking group of cattle producers, click here for their website
. For more information- call 405-235-4391.
The Oklahoma Office of the Secretary of Energy was recently awarded a grant of $855,000 from the EPA to support management of nonpoint-source water pollution. The funding will be used for a variety of projects designed to improve water quality in several priority watersheds.
"Improving the Nation's water is one of EPA's highest priorities under the Trump Administration," said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. "This grant funds state-led programs that are working for communities throughout my home state of Oklahoma."
Nonpoint-source pollution is caused by rainfall or snowmelt moving over the ground. This runoff picks up natural and man-made pollutants as it flows, eventually depositing the material into lakes, rivers, and groundwater. This type of pollution can be difficult to manage since it cannot be traced to a specific source.
"Oklahoma has shown great success in improving water quality by working directly with landowners to reduce non-point source pollution," said Michael Teague, Oklahoma 's Secretary of Energy and Environment. "This award will continue to assist the Oklahoma Conservation Commission and partners to improve our state's waters."
Read the original release from the EPA announcing the agency grant to protect and improve Oklahoma's water quality, on our website, by clicking here
Want to Have the Latest Energy News Delivered to Your Inbox Daily?
Award winning 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.
|Unprecedented Four-Week Run in Fed Cattle Prices Linked to Solid Export Demand and Aggressive Marketing
According to Jim Robb
, executive director of the Livestock Marketing Information Center, the four-week run-up in slaughter cattle markets and higher wholesale boxed beef trade has been unprecedented. He tells me it's because certain factors in the marketplace have converged into the perfect storm, so to speak, that has spurred the dramatic leap in prices. He says in particular, strength in the export market has had a lot to do with it.
"This has been the best March that we've had since 2011 in terms of US beef export tonnage," he said, noting that USDA has reported a 25 percent increase. "That export market is clearly part of the reason that packers have had to chase cattle supplies."
And it's not because of winter weather that producers have seen lower carcass weights being pushed through either. In reality, it has been the because of the aggressive marketing that has been done since last fall.
"Now you've just recently had some very difficult winter weather in Kansas and some of our surrounding states but we've had a pretty mild winter up to this point in time," he said. "The marketing rate causing these cattle weights to come down is unprecedented in my career."
Listen to Robb and I discuss the role export markets have played in the explosion of fed cattle prices and boxed beef trade lately, on yesterday's Beef Buzz - click here
Earlier this week, U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe voted to confirm Dr. Scott Gottlieb as commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, which says will ensure the successful implementation of two important pieces of legislation. Gottlieb was officially confirmed after he received the approval of the full Senate.
"Dr. Gottlieb is a great fit to lead FDA," Inhofe said. "His confirmation ensures the successful rollout of the Republican-led Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) and 21st Century Cures Act, which were passed last Congress and will address the opioid crisis and streamline the FDA to encourage more innovation and research for cures of life-threatening diseases. The successful implementation of both of these laws is particularly important for Oklahoma, which has been hit hard by the opioid epidemic, seeing at least 2,684 opioid overdose deaths in the past three years. The FDA is now in capable hands and I look forward to working with Dr. Gottlieb on these important issues."
The American Feed Industry Association
is also pleased that the Gottlieg confirmation is done- and they say in a statement that they look forward to working with the new Administrator on animal food issues. Click or tap here
for their complete statement.
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