Oklahoma's Latest Farm
And Ranch News

Tuesday, April 4, 2023

Howdy Neighbors!

Here is your daily Oklahoma farm and ranch news update. 


  • Oklahoma Cattlemen Urge Producers to Prepare for Dangerous Fire Conditions Immediately

  • Winter Wheat Gets Its Second Worse Start in First Crop Progress Report of the Year

  • Ethan Lane Gives a WOTUS Update After U.S. Senate Resolution to Halt Latest Rule

  • NRCS Announces 2nd EQIP Sign up for Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) for Climate-Smart Agriculture

  • Derrell Peel says Higher Bred Cow Values Ahead

  • Ferguson College of Agriculture announces continuing student scholarships and awards at annual banquet

  • Study Demonstrates Red Meat Exports’ Value to Corn and Soybean Industries

  • Agriculture and the Economy: An Assessment of Our Current Situation Versus the 1980s

Oklahoma Cattlemen Urge Producers to Prepare for Dangerous Fire Conditions Immediately

According to the National Weather Service in Norman- Strong winds today will aid in producing extreme fire weather conditions this afternoon across northwestern Oklahoma and western north Texas, especially northwest of a line from Ponca City to Yukon to Lawton Oklahoma to Seymour Texas. Southwest winds of 25 to 40 mph are expected, and will be strongest in the west. Wind gusts up to 60 mph will be possible in far western portions of Oklahoma and north Texas.

On Monday- The Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association released a statement that based on the dangerous weather conditions in central and western Oklahoma- "Cattle producers are encouraged to prepare immediately as much as possible considering the extreme fire danger conditions predicted for tomorrow – high winds, high temperatures and low humidity.

“We pray that there isn’t a fire outbreak but want cattlemen to be prepared in an effort to protect their livelihood,” said OCA Executive Vice President Michael Kelsey. “ODAFF officials are warning that conditions are right to repeat the Rhea Fire from 2018 where over 200,000 acres were affected.”

Examples of preparation include:

  • Moving cattle to a smaller, enclosed location such as pens to be able to manage them more quickly if needed.
  • Have tanks of water filled and ready for deployment.
  • Avoid any activity that would create a spark in range land settings.
  • Check with neighbors today to discuss any immediate needs you or they might have as well as potential strategies in vulnerable spots (canyons, hard to reach areas, etc.).
  • Inventory your livestock, equipment, and personal items.

Should you see smoke, call 911 immediately; they will dispatch local first responders. If you find yourself in the line of fire, remember your personal safety.

MEANWHILE- there is now officially a Red Flag Warning for a hunk of Oklahoma and parts of north Texas- (see the map below) A Red Flag Warning means that critical fire weather conditions

are either occurring now, or will shortly. A combination of strong winds, low relative humidity, and warm temperatures will contribute to extreme fire behavior. (details can be had by clicking on the map below- the counties in red are the Red Flag Warning- which is in effect from Noon today til 11 PM tonight)

Sponsor Spotlight

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For more information on our services or to find a location near you, visit our website here.

Winter Wheat Gets Its Second Worse Start in First Crop Progress Report of the Year

USDA has now restarted the closely-watched weekly Crop Progress report. The last 18 state estimate for winter wheat ratings was on November 27 at 34 percent good to excellent. U.S. winter wheat condition was rated 28 percent good to excellent as of Sunday, April 2, down from 30 percent at same time last year, according to USDA NASS’ first weekly national Crop Progress report of the year. Winter wheat headed was 6 percent, ahead of the five-year average of 2 percent.

According to the Oklahoma Crop Progress and Condition Report released on April 3, 2023, winter wheat was rated 26 percent good to excellent, 34 percent fair, and 40 percent poor to very poor. Last week rated 34 percent good to excellent, 34 percent fair, and 32 percent poor to very poor. Winter wheat jointing reached 34 percent, up 17 points from the previous year but down 10 points from normal.

Pasture and Range Conditions rated 14 percent good to excellent, 23 percent fair, and 63 percent poor to very poor. Last week’s conditions rated 14 percent good to excellent, 28 percent fair, and 58 percent poor to very poor.

Livestock Conditions rated 38 percent good to excellent, 42 percent fair, and 20 percent poor to very poor. Last week’s conditions rated 39 percent good to excellent, 44 percent fair, and 17 percent poor to very poor.

Click here to access reports from Oklahoma, Texas and Kansas and read crop progress summaries

Ethan Lane Gives a WOTUS Update After U.S. Senate Resolution to Halt Latest Rule

In this episode of Beef Buzz, I am visiting with the vice president of governmental affairs at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Ethan Lane, talking about the latest on WOTUS (Waters of the U.S.)

Recently, the U.S. Senate passed a resolution to stop the Biden administration’s latest WOTUS rule. Senators from both parties, Lane said, are recognizing the issues the new WOTUS rule will create.

“It definitely was gratifying to see, even though we know the president is not going to sign this CRA (Congressional Review Act), obviously, most of the time you don’t see a president sign a Congressional Review Act to roll back their own legislative priorities, but it sends a very clear message to the administration that this is not a popular rulemaking,” Lane said. “In fact, it is losing popularity as this issue continues to lag on year after year.”

The light at the end of the tunnel, Lane said, is waiting to see what the Supreme Court will decide on WOTUS.

“We were denied an injunction in Federal Court on this rule a few weeks ago, except in two states, so the rule is in effect now in 48 states,” Lane said. “We have always had a problem with that, just based on the fact that we think it is highly likely that the 6/3 conservative Supreme Court will weigh in on that significant nexus test and possibly create a situation where this newly promulgated rule is simply not valid.”

Click here to read more and listen to Ron and Ethan Lane talk about the latest on WOTUS
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For our farmers who have either- always have had cotton on their farms- or those who have more recently have added the fiber crop to their operations- we have a daily report heard on several of our Radio Stations- It's Called Cotton Talk!

Click on the Button below to listen to our most recent report
Click here for our Latest Cotton Talk- Hosted by KC Sheperd

NRCS Announces 2nd EQIP Sign up for Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) for Climate-Smart Agriculture

Kristina “Tina” Jerome, Acting State Conservationist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), announced a second sign up for the Inflation Reduction Act

(IRA) Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). 

The funding for NRCS-OK includes an additional 3.3 million for IRA-EQIP. IRA funding levels are proposed to dramatically increase in Fiscal Year 2024.

Acting State Conservationist Jerome was informed that some producers did not receive the information regarding Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack’s IRA Funding announcement in February. “It is a top priority in Oklahoma for all landowners and producers to have equal opportunity to participate in programs,” Jerome said.  

Oklahomans whose land use includes cropland, rangeland, pasture and private non-industrial forestland are eligible to apply. Second-round applications will be accepted through Monday, May 1, 2023.

EQIP activities are carried out according to a site-specific conservation plan developed in conjunction with the producer. Any funded conservation practices will be installed according to NRCS standards and specifications.

Click here to read more bout applying for the second round of EQIP

We invite you to listen to us on great radio stations across the region on the Radio Oklahoma Ag Network weekdays-

if you missed this morning's Farm News - or you are in an area where you can't hear it- click below for this morning's Farm news from Ron Hays and KC Sheperd on RON.
Listen to the Tuesday April 4, 2023 Farm and Ranch News with Ron Hays
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Sponsor Spotlight

Oklahoma Farm Bureau works to improve the lives of all Oklahomans by supporting our state’s agriculture community. As Oklahoma’s largest general farm organization led by Oklahoma farmers and ranchers, OKFB takes grassroots values and advocates for agriculture at the state Capitol and in Washington, D.C., to ensure our way of life continues for generations to come. Farm Bureau hosts leadership events, supports our state’s agricultural youth and connects consumers with agriculture in order to build a brighter future for our state. Become an OKFB member today online at okfarmbureau.org/join. Together, we are rural Oklahoma.

Derrell Peel Sees Higher Bred Cow Values Ahead

Dr. Derrell Peel, Oklahoma State University Extension Livestock Marketing Specialist, offers his economic analysis of the beef cattle industry as part of the weekly series known as the “Cow Calf Corner” published electronically by Dr. Peel and Mark Johnson. Today, Dr. Peel talks about values for bred cows.

Cattle prices are advancing for all classes of cattle. Prices for Oklahoma feeder steers (under 700 pounds) and heifers (under 650 pounds) have increased 12-20 percent since the end of 2022. Bigger steers and heifer prices have increased five to eight percent, still weighed down by high corn prices. Fed cattle prices at the end of March are up about 6 percent from December 2022. 

Prices for Boning slaughter cows in Oklahoma are up almost 39 percent from December and were $98.24/cwt. at the end of March for average dressing cows. Average dressing Breaking cows were $104.74/cwt. and average dressing Lean cows were $92.69/cwt. at the end of March.

Bred cow values are seasonally higher going into April but it appears that the lingering drought conditions is holding bred cow values somewhat lower than otherwise for this time of year. Given growing expectations that drought conditions will moderate through the coming months, bred cow and heifer values are likely to increase sharply by this fall.

Click here to read more from Derrell Peel about values for bred cows

Ferguson College of Agriculture announces continuing student scholarships and awards at annual banquet

The Oklahoma State Ferguson College of Agriculture presented scholarships to more than 150 continuing students at the annual Ferguson College of Agriculture Scholarships and Awards Banquet on March 30.

The scholarships, made possible by the generosity of alumni, friends, faculty and staff, are part of the $1.8 million in total scholarships students will receive during the 2023-2024 academic year from the college and its academic departments.

Others recognized Thursday included students, faculty and staff for their accomplishments and contributions to the Ferguson College, as well as alumni for success in their respective industries.

“The banquet is our time to celebrate our outstanding students, faculty, staff and alumni for their hard work and accomplishments each year,” said Dr. Cynda Clary, associate dean of academic programs. “Through their broad collection of perspectives, experiences and contributions, these individuals reflect our college’s dedication to academics, leadership, research and service.”

Click here to read awards given and names of award winners

Study Demonstrates Red Meat Exports’ Value to Corn and Soybean Industries

A record value of beef and pork exports brought significant returns to the U.S. corn and soybean industries in 2022, according to an independent study conducted by World Perspectives, Inc. and released by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). U.S. pork and beef exports contributed an estimated total economic impact of 15% per bushel to the value of corn and 13% per bushel to soybeans in 2022, according to the study.

“For every bushel of corn we marketed in 2022, a little over $1 was attributed to red meat exports and with soybeans, pork exports contributed $1.94 per bushel,” says USMEF Chair Dean Meyer, who produces corn, soybeans, cattle and hogs near Rock Rapids, Iowa. “Pork and beef exports bring critical support to our bottom lines.”

Corn and soybean growers support the international promotion of U.S. pork, beef and lamb by investing a portion of their checkoff dollars in market development efforts conducted by USMEF.

“We are a major exporter of corn and soybeans, but this study reminds us of the value of our indirect exports of corn and soybeans through pork and beef,” says Dave Juday, senior analyst for World Perspectives. “The contributions of pork and beef exports to the per-bushel value of U.S. corn and soybeans in 2022 were the highest estimates we’ve seen to date. And that was critically important, as corn and soybean farmers worked to maintain margins with higher input costs across the board.”

Click here to read key findings from the study

Agriculture and the Economy: An Assessment of Our Current Situation Versus the 1980s

The following is a brief analysis by Krista Swanson, the lead economist for the National Corn Growers Association:

The recent banking fallout and economic comparisons to the 1980s are likely to grab the attention of anyone in agriculture. Fortunately, the general economic environment and financial positioning of farmers is quite different than that period. Here is a look at three key points, with data to assess the current conditions as compared to the 1980s.

Highest Farm Debt Since 1980, But Stronger Farm Solvency

The USDA has forecast total real (inflation adjusted) farm debt at $535.1 billion for 2023, continuing what has been a relatively steady upward trend throughout the 2000s. Up until 2020, farm debt remained below the 1980 inflation adjusted peak of $501.7 billion. Since 2020, farm debt levels have been higher, but near the peak points of the earlier era. The comparison of today’s farm debt levels to 1980 may be concerning, but other important values differ.

In the 1980s, real estate accounted for only half of total farm debt. For 2023, real estate accounts for 70% of total farm debt. Current high debt levels are more concentrated in real estate debt backed by high value and generally stable farm assets, particularly farmland. Additionally, farm debt of the earlier era accrued rapidly, jumping 27.3% from 1976 to 1979. In contrast, farm debt levels have risen 5.8% from 2020 to 2023, consistent with the gradual growth pace over the past two decades.

Click here to see charts and read full the full analysis
Let's Check The Markets!
OKC West is our Market Links Sponsor- they sell cattle three days a week- Cows on Mondays, Stockers on Tuesday and Feeders on Wednesday- Call 405-262-8800 to learn more.
Today's First Look:
Ron on RON Markets as heard on K101  
mornings with cash and futures reviewed- includes where the Cash Cattle market stands, the latest Feeder Cattle Markets Etc.
Hear Today's First Look

Wholesale Boxed Beef Prices were higher- Choice Beef was up $3.02 and Select Beef was up $3.46 on Monday 04/03/2023.

Click on the Button below for the latest report from USDA Market News

Boxed Beef Report

Oklahoma National Stockyards had 7.750 head on Monday, April 3, 2023.

Compared to last week: Feeder steers and heifers 3.00 - 6.00 higher, with instances 8.00 higher. Steer and heifer calves 6.00 - 10.00 higher,

with instances 15.00 higher. Demand moderate to good. Quality average to attractive. Strong winds and dry conditions continue to cause

early drought conditions.

Click below for the complete closing report.

Oklahoma National Stockyards Market Report for April 3, 2023

The Joplin Regional Stockyards had a total run of 9,088 head for Monday, April 3, 2023.

Compared to last week feeder steers sold 3.00-8.00 higher. Feeder heifers sold 4.00-7.00 higher. Supply was heavy with very good demand

Click on the button below for details of the trade as compiled by the USDA Market News Service.

Joplin Regional Stockyards Market from Monday 04/03/2023
OKC West in El Reno Cow and Bull Market Report for April 3, 2023- Slaughter Cows $1 to $3 Lower
Each afternoon we are posting a recap of that day's markets as analyzed by Justin Lewis of KIS futuresclick below for the latest update on the Livestock and Grain Futures Trade..
Click Here to Listen to Justin's Commentary From 04/03/2023
Okla Cash Grain:  
Daily Oklahoma Cash Grain Prices- as reported by the Oklahoma Dept. of Agriculture- The report available after the close of the Futures Trade for that day.
Read  Cash Grains Report from 04/03/2023
Our Daily Market Wrapup from the Radio Oklahoma Ag Network - analyzing the Futures Markets for that trading day- as reported by KC Sheperd.
Click to Listen to Our Weekday Wrap with KC
Slaughter Cattle Recap: 
The National Daily Slaughter Cattle Summary- as prepared by the USDA Market News
Read Report
TCFA Feedlot Recap:  
Finally, here is the Daily Volume and Price Summary from the Texas Cattle Feeders Association.
Read Report
Our Oklahoma Farm Report Team!!!!
Ron Hays, Senior Farm/Ranch Broadcaster and Editor
KC Sheperd, Farm Director and Editor

Dave Lanning, Markets and Production

Reagan Calk, Farm News and Email Editor

Pam Arterburn, Calendar and Template Manager

Rural Oklahoma is full of some of the greatest success stories throughout the entire state and is a big reason why Oklahoma is on track to become a top 10 state. 

The Road to Rural Prosperity dives into these stories, bringing you stories covering rural life, agriculture, energy, healthcare, tourism, and politics affecting rural America. 

The Road to Rural Prosperity is here to tell stories about rural America, for rural America.

Since the legalization of Medical Marijuana in Oklahoma with State Question 788- criminals have flocked to the state to set up illegal grow houses because of cheap permits, cheap land and lax rules allowing them to get into the business of growing marijuana in Oklahoma- supposedly for the in state Medical Marijuana market.

Ron Hays talks with Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics spokesman Mark Woodward about how these enterprises have invaded Oklahoma- the magnitude of the current problem and how the state is pushing back on thousands of bad people who have set up shop in the state- with the hope to reduce the number of these operations dramatically in the days to come. It's a huge problem all across rural Oklahoma but Woodward believes progress is being made to reign in these illegal marijuana farms.

Search for Road to Rural Prosperity and subscribe on your favorite Podcast platform.

To hear this podcast, you can click here or tap below:

Listen to Episode 85 with Ron Hays talking Criminals in Oklahoma Growing Marijuana with Mark Woodward of the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics
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