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|Oklahoma's Latest Farm and Ranch News
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON
Tuesday, December 26, 2017
Market Watcher Derrell Peel Reacts to Surprisingly Bearish December 2017 Cattle on Feed Report
The USDA released the December 2017 Cattle on Feed report on the morning of last Friday, just before Christmas. I reached out to our friend at OSU Dr. Derrell Peel for his reaction to the numbers in this month's report.
"The December Cattle on Feed report will certainly be considered a surprise," Peel said. "The placements were up sharply higher going into this report at 14 percent year-over-year. Marketings came in just about exactly as expected at about three percent up year-over-year. And, so, the big increase in placements pushed the December on feed inventory up to 108 percent of last year."
According to the report, cattle and calves on feed for the slaughter market in the United States for feedlots with capacity of 1,000 or more head totaled 11.5 million head on December 1, 2017. The inventory was 8 percent above December 1, 2016.
Placements in feedlots during November totaled 2.10 million head, 14 percent above 2016. Net placements were 2.03 million head. During November, placements of cattle and calves weighing less than 600 pounds were 610,000 head, 600-699 pounds were 545,000 head, 700-799 pounds were 455,000 head, 800-899 pounds were 294,000 head, 900-999 pounds were 75,000 head, and 1,000 pounds and greater were 120,000 head.
Marketings of fed cattle during November totaled 1.84 million head, 3 percent above 2016. Marketings were the highest for November since the series began in 1996.
Peel says the surprise in this report came, as it typically does, from the lighter end. He suspects dry conditions and the slow development of wheat pasture across the Plains had a role in the numbers seen in this report.
"The biggest percent increase in year-over-year was in the lightweight category - cattle placed under 600 lbs.," he reported. "Of course, November is the height of the calf run. So, what this says is feedlots took advantage of large calf numbers. Given that they've got favorable cost of gain going through the winter - they really loaded up the feedlots on these lightweight calves."
He offered some final thoughts on the actual impact of this report, given the timing of its release just before the Christmas holiday.
"The report will certainly be viewed negatively," he concluded. "But, it came out just before Christmas, so a lot of traders really were in Holiday Mode, which may mute it a little bit. By the time they get back and have a little time to think about it, there may be a little less reaction than you might expect."
to listen to Peel's complete analysis of the report as he and I break down the numbers in an interview from Friday after the release of the report. Click here
, to see the report for yourself.
It's great to have the Livestock Exchange at the Oklahoma National Stockyards as a sponsor for our daily email. The eight Commission firms at the Stockyards make up the exchange- and they are committed to work hard to get you top dollar when you consign your cattle with them. They will present your cattle to the buyers gathered each Monday or Tuesday at one of the largest stocker and feeder cattle auctions in the world.
Click here for a complete list of the Commission firms that make up the Livestock Exchange at the Oklahoma National Stockyards- still the best place to sell your cattle- and at the heart of Stockyards City, where you can go around the corner enjoy a great steak and shop for the very best in western wear.
|US and Oklahoma Hog Inventories Edge Higher as 2017 Comes to a Close
As of December 1 this year, U.S. farms were home to 73.2 million hogs and pigs, 2 percent higher than the same time in 2016. The Quarterly Hog and Pig Report, released Friday says that number is slightly lower than September 1 of this year. Of the 73.2 million hogs, 67.1 million were market hogs, 6.18 million were kept for breeding, and 33.4 million pigs were weaned on U.S. farms between September and November of this year, 3 percent higher than a year ago at this time.
Over that same time period this year, producers weaned an average of 10.74 pigs per litter. U.S. hog producers intend to farrow over 3 million sows between December 2017 and February of next year.
Oklahoma continues to rank in the top ten total hog inventory states- and number five in the number of sows in the breeding herd. total hog numbers in Oklahoma were up two percent as of December first at 2.2 million head. The Oklahoma Sow herd totals 460,000 head as of December first- up two percent from a year ago and keeps the state just ahead of Missouri's 450,000 sow herd, the sixth largest in the country.
Rainfall across Oklahoma has at best stalled drought conditions in the state from intensifying for at least a little while, according to State Climatologist Gary McManus
in his latest Mesonet Ticker report. Especially in the southeast part of the state where conditions are the worst.
Unfortunately, he doubts it will do much more than that to improve the current situation. However, the chance of heavier rains in the forecast down the road may be able to make some inroads there.
As of this report, the current conditions in the state were reported as 100 percent of the state in abnormally dry conditions, 65 percent in moderate drought, 37 percent in severe drought, just over 1 percent in extreme drought - an so far no cases of exceptional drought.
One thing he is certain about though is that we will definitely be seeing more cold temperatures in our near future.
You can read more details about our current weather and drought conditions in the state, by clicking here to read McManus' complete report, and to view a larger image of the latest Drought Monitor report.
The House of Representatives won the applause of the National Cotton Council this past week, for its action to advance the Supplemental Appropriations bill which includes policy that will restore cotton's eligibility for Title I ARC/PLC programs of the farm bill.
"NCC has been working with Congress for over two years to seek a legislative solution to improve the effectiveness of the cotton safety net in the current farm bill," said NCC Chairman Ronnie Lee, a Georgia producer and ginner. "We look forward to continuing to work with both the Senate and the House to ensure a final legislative measure is enacted in the near future that includes cotton policy to help stabilize the industry in the face of these challenging financial conditions."
In his statement, Lee thanked several congressman, including House Ag Chairman Mike Conaway (R-TX), and Sub-Committee Chairman Robert Aderholt (R-AL), among others for their parts played in the advancement of this bill. Lee described the current plight of cotton producing families across the Cotton Belt who he says continues to suffer with low prices and increased input costs.
The impact of these economic pressures, he says have been compounded this year by natural disasters in major cotton-producing areas.
Click here to read Lee's full statement on the House of Representative's Supplemental Appropriations bill.
We are pleased to have American 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!
The USDA's Risk Management Agency announced last week that changes to the Federal crop insurance program initiated in 2017 will continue into 2018. The RMA hopes to continue to improve the program and increase its availability and effectiveness as a risk management tool while safeguarding the integrity of the program.
The statement announcing the RMA's stay in the changes made, highlighted some of the agency's accomplishments in 2017.
Some highlights from 2017 included improvements to the agency's customer service - working with Approved Insurance Providers, agents, and stakeholder groups to respond to Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, as well as a number of severe wildfires and other disasters throughout the year. More than $3.4 billion in indemnities have been paid thus far for 2017.
RMA also offered some expanded options to provide increased flexibility to producers to customize their insurance coverage to best meet their risk management needs.
The agency made further improvements to the efficiency and integrity of their programs - by adding flexibility, streamlining processes and have reduced improper payment rates from 5.58 percent in 2014 to 1.96 percent in 2017, a decline of 65 percent. As a result, RMA received the Office of Management and Budget's approval to remove the program from the improper payment "high-priority" program list.
Click here to read the full story, on our website for more details on the changes made by RMA and what the agency has managed to accomplish with them.
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After an extensive search, the Cattlemen's Beef Promotion & Research Board (CBB) has named Scott Stuart
of Colorado as the new chief executive officer, effective February 1, 2018.
Stuart has an extensive background in the livestock industry, including board management and as a contractor to the beef board. He currently serves as the President and CEO of the National Livestock Producers Association (NLPA), which comprises several regional livestock marketing cooperatives marketing over 2.5 million cattle annually. In his first few months at the CBB, Stuart says he wants to spend some time getting acquainted with the organization and its people.
"I want to get to know the leaders very well and know what gets them up in the morning, what their motivation is," he said. "And, I want to know what they truly expect of me. I want people to know me; know I'm fully invested in what I'm doing - know that I'm approachable. And that's from the smallest investment in the Checkoff to the largest."
For Stuart, he says his motivation comes from the inspiring work of the producers that take and make the time, to get involved in the operation and direction of the Beef Checkoff. Those are the people he wants to serve. He says, much like them, he is a producer. He says his best self and best thinking comes when he gets up in the morning to do his chores. He believes such work gets you closer to what life is all about, and the work that sustains his and his colleagues' livelihoods. As he prepares to take on his new role, Stuart has reflected on what lies ahead for him - the challenges that wait to be tackled to make the CBB better than he found it.
"The next five years is not unlike the last five years," Stuart said. "When we're limited on resources, that makes it tougher and tougher. As we go forward, every year gets tougher."
Stuart says he hopes to explore and discuss any and every new way to use the Checkoff's resources more efficiently and stretch what it has to do more. He says the key is keeping producers invested, financially and as industry partners. The return on investment that the Checkoff offers producers, he says, speaks for itself. By doing that, he says the Checkoff will maintain and continue to grow and advance its mission to promote beef.
CBB's former CEO, Polly Ruhland
, served as CEO for six years before accepting a similar position at the United Soybean Board in November. CBB's Chief Financial Officer, Katherine Ayers
, has been acting CEO during this transition.
Listen to the CBB's new CEO, Scott Stuart
, talk about his vision for the future of the Beef Checkoff, with me, on Friday's Beef Buzz - click here.
Agricultural producers and others interested in learning the latest information about best crop production practices for southwestern Oklahoma and the Texas Rolling Plains should register now to attend the Jan. 17-18 Red River Crops Conference in Altus.
The two-day conference in Altus, Oklahoma, will take place at the Southwest Technology Center, 711 W. Tamarack, situated north of Highway 62 and west of Main Street. Both days will begin with registration at 8 a.m. and conclude at approximately 4 p.m.
Cost is $25 per participant and includes both days. Registration forms are available through OSU Cooperative Extension and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension county offices.
The Jan. 17 conference sessions will focus on cotton and will be led by experts from academia and industry. Topics will include an overview of today's cotton market, herbicide and weed control options, new technologies relative to cotton production, the latest information about cotton varieties and useful cover crops in cotton production, among others.
In-season and summer crops will be featured on Jan. 18. Discussion topics will include cool season forage production; converting crop production land to perennial grass crops; updates and research-based insights relative to canola, sorghum, sesame and wheat production; livestock and grain markets; and a farm bill update.
Those interested in attending the conference are encouraged to pre-register. For additional information about the conference and instructions on how to register, jump over to the full story on our website, by clicking here.
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