Oklahoma's Latest Farm
And Ranch News

Wednesday, April 5, 2023

Howdy Neighbors!

Here is your daily Oklahoma farm and ranch news update. 


  • Senator Lankford says 2023 Farm Bill Must Make Room for SNAP Program Reforms

  • Senator Mullin Seeks to Reverse Endangered Species Listing of Northern Long Earred Bat

  • Ethan Lane Advocates for Beef as ESG Conversations Pick Up Speed

  • Fertilizer at Half Price with Mark Johnson

  • Biodiversity, Birds and BirdNET (and Why They All Matter)

  • Corn Grower Leaders to EPA: Maintaining Consumer Access to E15 Increases Fuel Supply

  • Two Ellis County men charged in cattle theft case

Senator Lankford says 2023 Farm Bill Must Make Room for SNAP Program Reforms

Farm Director KC Sheperd sat down and talked with U.S. Senator James Lankford about a few issues directly impacting rural America and Oklahoma including the farm bill, inflation, education, daylight savings and more.

Regarding the USDA investing $14 million to help start and expand independent meat processors in the state, Lankford said this will help increase competition for some of the bigger packers. The funding will also help beef and poultry plants in Oklahoma build facilities, develop retail markets, and upgrade equipment.

“It is a very good thing for the state,” Lankford said. “It is something we have worked on for a long time, and it is giving the opportunity for more small to medium-sized processors to be able to grow, or to be able to expand or to be able to add extra hours.”

As Lankford hears firsthand the concerns of those in the ag industry, he said the farm bill is one of the biggest priorities of many ag groups.

“Everyone is absolutely panicked about the giant number that came out on the SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) Program,” Lankford said. “The SNAP program before was around 700 billion dollars. This new number is 1.2 trillion dollars. It is a really big jump.”

Click here to read more and listen to James Lankford talk about the latest issues relating to rural Oklahoma and America
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Senator Mullin Seeks to Reverse Endangered Species Listing of Northern Long Earred Bat

Oklahoma Senator Markwayne Mullin believes the Biden administration is again guilty of overreaching in its listing of an eastern Oklahoma bat as endangered under the Endangered Species Act.

He, along with Oklahoma’s Senior Senator James Lankford, and a handful of others in Congress filed a Congressional Review Act resolution disapproving of the move to protect the northern long-eared bat which is found in the Ozark highlands and Ouachita Mountains regions in eastern Oklahoma. The Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation Department indicated that at least nine northern long-eared bat hibernacula are known in Oklahoma, though multiple individuals have been documented at additional cave locations.

Sen. Mullin contends the decision will have serious consequences for infrastructure projects across Oklahoma.

“There is no reason to disproportionately increase regulatory burden and hinder economic development when this rule will not affect the primary cause of decline for the northern long-eared bat. I am strongly against one-size-fits-all regulation from Washington bureaucrats, and this is no different,” said the Senator in announcing his filing of the resolution.

Read More about the Northern Long Earred Bat that is found in much of the continental US- and the CRA filed by Senator Mullin  

Ethan Lane Advocates for Beef as ESG Conversations Pick Up Speed

In this episode of Beef Buzz, I am back with the vice president of governmental affairs at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Ethan Lane, talking about government spending, cell-based meat, and more.

There are politicians on both sides of the aisle looking for more money for their particular projects. One of the big battles the cattle industry has been involved in recent years is protecting the death tax exemption.

“Whenever you start talking about large expenditures, whenever you start talking about the cost of doing business in Washington, we get into these conversations about revenue raisers,” Lane said.

Lane said those who work to lower the death tax exemption are simply looking for more money to fund their budgetary priorities.

Lane also talked about his response to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Robert Califf’s comments on cell-cultured meat.

“These congressional hearings can feel a little dry sometimes, but they are incredibly helpful,” Lane said. “Every once and a while, you get somebody testifying that gives you a peak into their true thoughts on an issue, and that was certainly the case with administrator Califf from the FDA earlier this week in his budget testimony.”

Click here to read more and listen to Ethan Lane talk about government spending and cell-based meat
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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

Fertilizer at Half Price with Mark Johnson

Mark Johnson, Oklahoma State University Extension Beef Cattle Breeding Specialist, offers herd health advice as part of the weekly series known as the “Cow Calf Corner” published electronically by Dr. Peel, Mark Johnson, and Paul Beck. Today, Johnson is talking about fertilizer improved grasses.

During a time of drought, inflation, low hay inventories and high input costs, when I recently checked the price of urea fertilizer and learned it was selling at 43% of the cost of one year ago, I felt like someone had just handed me a winning lottery ticket! As follow up to last week, we dig a little deeper into the importance of fertilization of improved grass pastures. Bermudagrass, Crab grass and Old World Bluestem are examples. First, native range grass pasture is wonderful for beef production. It does not require fertilization, it is resilient, requires less management and input, and with proper management and grazing pressure is more consistent in the amount of beef produced per acre from year to year. That being said, this article addresses fertilization of improved grasses. Improved grasses require intense management, equipment, weed control and with ample fertilization and moisture have the potential to produce higher amounts of forage dry matter and beef per acre than native grasses. The charts below show the level of production that can be achieved (with ample moisture) from improved grasses relative to the amount of nitrogen applied per year.

Click here to read more from Mark Johnson on fertilizer and improved grasses

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.
Click to listen to the Wednesday Farm and Ranch News with KC Sheperd
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Sponsor Spotlight

Midwest Farm Shows is proud to produce the two best Farm Shows in the State of Oklahoma annually- the Tulsa Farm Show each December and the Oklahoma City Farm Show each April. 


They would like to thank all of you who participated in their 2022 Tulsa City Farm Show. 


Up next will be the Oklahoma City’s premier spring agricultural and ranching event with returns to the State Fair Park April 13-14-15, 2023.


Now is the ideal time to contact the Midwest Farm Show Office at 507-437-7969 and book space at the 2023 Oklahoma City Farm Show.  To learn more about the Oklahoma City Farm Show, click here


Biodiversity, Birds and BirdNET (and Why They All Matter)

In the context of sustainable agricultural production, biodiversity is important in several ways. As biodiversity increases, ecosystem functions improve, ecosystem stability improves and overall production increases.

But how do we know if these things are increasing and improving?

While it may be hard to fully understand and quantify ecosystem functions and stability, that’s not the case with production. Production is where we get all our food and fiber and is therefore the ultimate goal of agriculture in general. We’re fairly skilled at weighing, counting and otherwise measuring production.

Production, however, doesn’t tell the whole story, and is a lagging indicator — the answer comes after all the dust has settled. There may be lots of good things happening in terms of biodiversity, but they won’t necessarily be reflected in production — at least not for a while, maybe even for several years. Production may actually decline while we transition to a more sustainable production system.

Measuring production, therefore, while informative for other purposes, doesn’t tell you much about biodiversity, especially in real time. Measuring biodiversity is hard. It requires considerable effort, some training, and, if really detailed data is needed, advanced training.

Click here to read more from the Noble Research Institute on measuring biodiversity

Corn Grower Leaders to EPA: Maintaining Consumer Access to E15 Increases Fuel Supply

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency should use its authority under the Clean Air Act to provide consumers with continued access to low-cost, low-emission E15 during the summer months, according to a letter sent today from corn grower leaders to EPA administrator Michael S. Regan.

The president of the National Corn Growers Association, joined by leaders from 18 state corn grower groups, signed the letter, which called on EPA to replicate its actions from last year and ensure uninterrupted access to E15 through the summer.

“At a time when fuel supplies remain constrained and prices remain high, consumers and retailers need all fuel choices available, especially as seasonal demand increases during the summer,” the farmer leaders stated. “Fuel market conditions that warranted EPA’s actions last summer are expected to continue this summer, and Russia’s war in Ukraine continues to disrupt global energy markets.”

EPA approved E15, or 15 percent ethanol blends, in 2011 for use in all 2001 and newer vehicles, which account for more than 96 percent of vehicles on the road today. Retailers have increased availability of E15, often marketed as Unleaded 88, to offer consumers choice and lower fuel costs, as well as increase the fuel supply. E15 has been sold year-round for the past four years, but outdated regulatory barriers continue to hinder permanent full-market access to E15.

Click here to read more about NCGA's letter to the EPA about E15

Two Ellis County men charged in cattle theft case

Joey Lee Barnett and Heath Thomas Barton charged for stealing and selling cattle in Oklahoma.

Two Ellis County, Oklahoma, residents, Joey Lee Barnett and Heath Thomas Barton were charged with larceny of domestic animals. The charges filed are the result of an investigation led by Texas & Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association Special Ranger Ben Eggleston.

In February, Special Ranger Eggleston received a call from a rancher in Ellis County, Oklahoma, who was missing four heifers. The rancher said the heifers were Romagnola-Angus crossbred cattle with the rancher’s brand on the left hip.

Eggleston initiated an investigation, looking at livestock auctions in the area for the stolen cattle.

The investigation revealed heifers matching the rancher’s description had been sold at a nearby livestock auction by Barnett and Barton. Eggleston soon learned Barnett and Barton were previous caretakers of the cattle.

Eggleston, along with the Ellis County Sheriff’s Office, charged Barnett and Barton with larceny of domestic animals. Barnett was already in custody for unrelated charges and Barton surrendered to authorities March 25. He was released on $15,000 bond.

Texas & Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association Special Ranger team would like to thank the Ellis County Sheriff’s Office and the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture for their joint effort in the investigation.

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 $2.85 and Select Beef was up $3.77 on Tuesday 04/04/2023.

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

Boxed Beef Report

OKC West in El Reno had 1,800 head on Tuesday for their calf sale.

Compared to last week: Steer and heifer calves under 500 lbs sold sharply higher instances of 15.00-20.00 higher, over 500 lbs mostly 3.00- 6.00 higher. Demand very good. High winds and little moisture has the trade area in early stages of drought and wildfire dangers.

Looking ahead to their Wednesday yearling sale- Expecting 4,500

1,500 Feeder Heifers

3,000 Feeder Steers

Sale starts at 9:00am.

Click below for the complete closing report.

OKC West in El Reno Calf Market Report from Tuesday April 4th
Tulsa Cattle Auction Report for Monday April 3, 2023- Steers Higher
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 04/04/2023
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 04/04/2023
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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