Oklahoma's Latest Farm
And Ranch News

Monday, April 17, 2023

Howdy Neighbors!

Here is your daily Oklahoma farm and ranch news update. 


  • Michael Kelsey Chimes in on 2023 WOTUS Rule Preliminary Injunction

  • Monumental Task Underway to Dispose of 18,000 Dairy Cows Killed in Texas Explosion

  • Introducing Logan Hering of the Perkins-Tryon FFA Chapter, Your 2023 Central Area Star in Agricultural Placement

  • Oklahoma Wheat Commission District 3 Election Coming Up

  • Oklahoma’s Wheat Crop is in Bad Shape, says Kim Anderson, As Rain Has Been in Short Supply

  • Young Beef Advocates Selected in Annual Oklahoma Cattlewomen Beef Advocates Contest

  • OSU's Department of Animal and Food Sciences Celebrated Friday Night at Their Annual Banquet- Thanks for the Special Recognition

  • Drought Conditions in Over Half the State Brings Hard Times for Farmers and Ranchers

Michael Kelsey Chimes in on 2023 WOTUS Rule Injunction

In this episode of Beef Buzz, I am visiting with the executive vice president of the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association, Michael Kelsey, about the preliminary injunction granted to over half of the states in the U.S. regarding the 2023 Waters of the U.S. Rule from taking effect.

Earlier this week, The U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota granted a preliminary injunction halting the 2023 WOTUS rule from taking effect in 24 states. With the court’s action and a recent decision from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, WOTUS has now been put on hold in 26 states: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia and Wyoming.

The back-and-forth on regulations pertaining to WOTUS and the Clean Water Act with each administration, Kelsey said, has gone on for too long.

“This new rule was very egregious, and it went back to, in large part, to the old Obama era rule,” Kelsey said. “There were some minor tweaks regarding some ponds and some of those types of things, but still the main language of those waterways that happen when it rains- and it will rain again sometime- those types of things, and just trying to do some water management on a farm or ranch, to prepare for drought and some of those types of things are just way out of bounds.”

Click here to read more and listen to Michael Kelsey talk about the 2023 WOTUS rule injunction.
Sponsor Spotlight

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Monumental Task Underway to Dispose of 18,000 Dairy Cows Killed in Texas Explosion

The fire of a week ago that killed 18,000 dairy cows in a West Texas farm has been extinguished and the staggering death count revealed. 

Now, he messy, unprecedented task of disposing of them is underway. 

Saqib Mukhtar, an associate dean at the University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension and a cattle disposal expert was quoted by USA Today over the weekend- calling it a monumental task of disposing of this many cattle from one incident,

"I really don’t know, if [the cows] were all intact, how in the world you can manage this even within a month," said Mukhtar, who previously worked at Texas A&M University and helped dispose of thousands of cattle drowned by Hurricane Ike in 2008. 

Tyne Morgan wrote about the fire for AgWeb and quoted sources who suspect that non fire proof insulation caught fire- spread quickly and caused a enormous amount of black smoke- and the thousands of cattle burned and suffocated. One worker was trapped inside- but rescued and taken to a hospital in Lubbock.

This two million square foot building was only a few years old- and was a cross ventilated barn. According to the AgWeb story- "Cross ventilated barns are typically large and have hundreds of fans to help control the climate with cow comfort in mind. With that many fans in a barn, it's possible once the fire spread so quickly, the hundreds of fans within the barn blew out the smoke, creating such a big smoke cloud that could be seen from miles away."

Texas officials continue to investigate the fire even as the difficult task of removing animals from the huge building continues.

A few years ago- I was on a hog farm in northwest Oklahoma that was in the path of a massive wildfire- and the work of disposing of thousands of pigs caught in the buildings that burned was a massive undertaking- this fire in Texas is a much more massive event- and the disposal will challenge all those involved.

Introducing Logan Hering of the Perkins-Tryon FFA Chapter, Your 2023 Central Area Star in Agricultural Placement

During the month of April, the Radio Oklahoma Ag Network and Oklahoma Farm Report are spotlighting the 17 Area Stars of Oklahoma FFA that are among the highest achievers in the organization.

The stars come from the five areas in four categories- Star in Ag Placement, Star in Agriscience, Star in Agribusiness, and Star in Agricultural Production.

One Star Finalist featured in the coming days from each of the categories will be named the State Star Award Winner during the 97th Oklahoma State FFA Convention coming up on May 2nd and 3rd in Tulsa, Okla.

Last week, our coverage of the 2023 Oklahoma FFA Star Award Finalists concluded with Ag Placement competitor Logan Hering of the Perkins-Tryon FFA chapter representing the Central Area.

Hering said he works at Ralph’s Packing Company for his project.

“Working at Ralph’s Packing Company is my family business,” Hering said. “I would be the first generation working there.”

Click here to read more and listen to KC Sheperd talk with Logan Hering ahead of the 2023 Oklahoma FFA Convention in Tulsa
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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

Oklahoma Wheat Commission District 3 Election Coming Up

The purpose of this meeting is to nominate three people, one of who will be named by Secretary of Agriculture Blayne Arthur to a 5-year term to fill the District 3 Oklahoma Wheat Commission board seat.  The District is composed of Beckham, Blaine, Canadian, Custer, Dewey, Kingfisher, Roger Mills and Washita counties.

All wheat producers within District 3 boundaries who are actively engaged in wheat production, have marketed wheat, and have paid a check-off fee and left that fee with the Commission for the current year are eligible to vote. It will be the responsibility of the producer to prove their eligibility to vote by providing a dated grain elevator receipt including the producer’s name and amount of wheat sold, and a driver’s license or some other form of identification.

Candidates wishing to run in the election must be at least 25 years old, a resident of Oklahoma, engaged in growing wheat in their respective district in the state for at least five years, and must derive a substantial portion of his/her income from growing wheat.

The Commission’s vacancy meeting will feature a presentation by OSU Area Agronomist Josh Bushong, where producers will be eligible to pick up an ODAFF Applicator CEU credit. The course credit qualifies private applicators with one CEU and provides credits for those with commercial licenses. Lunch will be provided beginning at noon, by the Oklahoma Wheat Growers Association, during the CEU course and prior to the election, which will begin promptly at 1 p.m. 

Click here for additional meeting information

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 our Monday morning farm and ranch news with KC Sheperd
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Sponsor Spotlight

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Oklahoma’s Wheat Crop is in Bad Shape, says Kim Anderson, As Rain Has Been in Short Supply

Last week on SUNUP was Oklahoma State University Extension grain market economist Kim Anderson. During this week’s edition, Anderson talks about the latest in the grain markets. 

“I think there were some surprises in this WASDE, and that was that there were really no changes,” Anderson said. “You look at wheat; they increased ending stocks by about 15 million bushels. The Hard Red Winter Wheat ending stocks- they lowered about five million bushels.”

Anderson said that higher U.S. wheat ending stocks were offset by foreign ending stocks being lower by just a bit.

There was no change in U.S. corn and beans, Anderson said, and there was no movement in those markets after the report.

“In May, we could have a surprise because in May they release the ’23-’24 marketing year estimates,” Anderson said.

Regarding the wheat crop in Oklahoma, Anderson said if it is going in any direction, it is probably getting worse.

Click here to listen to Kim Anderson talk about the latest on the grain markets

Young Beef Advocates Selected in Annual Oklahoma Cattlewomen Beef Advocates Contest

Six young people from across Oklahoma were named as the top winners of the 2023 Oklahoma Youth Beef Advocate Contest that was held at OKC West in El Reno on Friday, April 14th.

The contest is organized and run by the Oklahoma Cattlewomen and is sponsored by the Oklahoma Beef Council and checkoff dollars. Cash prizes are awarded to the top three contestants in each division.

The winners are as follows:

Junior Division

Champion- Kade Henrichs, Okarche

Reserve- Taylor Wilson, Bartlesville

Third- Garrett Schoonover, Mulhall

Senior Division (pictured above)

Champion- Morley Griffith, Shawnee

Reserve- Bridger Arrington, Mulhall

Third- Maysen Garrett, Crescent

Thanks to the Oklahoma Cattlewomen for allowing Ron and KC to be a part of the contest- we served as media interviewers for that portion of the event.

Read More about the Beef Advocate's Contest Here

OSU Animal and Food Sciences Department Named Top Seniors at Annual Banquet- and Honored Ron as Well

The largest Department at Oklahoma State University- the Ferguson College of Ag's Department of Animal and Food Sciences- celebrated this past Friday evening at the Wes Watkins Center on campus as they honored students winning scholarships totaling right at $500,000- named their outstanding Seniors for 2023 and handed out several additional awards as well.

Our congratulations go to Grace Harris- who was named the Outstanding Senior in the Department for 2023. Three others were given the Award of Merit as a Senior- Megan Newton, Elizabeth Pribil and Cal Schultz.

I was honored to receive one of those additional awards- their award for Distinguished Service. This award has been given since 1978- the first recipient being cattle producer Wray Finney- a former President of the National Cattlemen's Association and cattleman from Caddo County. In more recent years- hose receiving this award include folks like Bob Funk, Jim Birdwell, Don Ramsey, Barry Pollard, John Patrick Lopez, Roy Lee Lindsey, Mike and Martha Armitage and Kenneth Eng. I am humbled to have my name even mentioned with folks like these- and I want to say thank you to the Department for such recognition. The pic of me grinning below after the event includes OSU graduate and new Head of the Department Dr. Richard Coffey and Dean and Vice President for the Ferguson College of Ag and DASNR Dr. Tom Coon.

Drought Conditions in Over Half the State Brings Hard Times for Farmers and Ranchers

Editor's Note- we had a technical glitch on Friday with this story featuring our conversation with Clay Burtrum- so we are repeating it this morning and the link to the audio below is working!)

Forty percent of Oklahoma is out of the drought zone, while another seven to eight percent are in the abnormally dry range. Over half of the state is still suffering from significant drought.

In this episode of Beef Buzz, I am featuring comments from the vice president of operations at Farm Data Services, Clay Burtrum, about his experience with handling the drought in the short and long term.

Burtrum farms and ranches within the territory that is under significant drought conditions. A big issue Burtrum is dealing with, he said, is adjusting for the lack of water availability.

“If you look at the Mesonet- less than a quarter inch of rain in over 60 days right there in Payne County,” Burtrum said. “I farm in Payne, Pawnee, and Noble. I haven’t had significant rainfall in over 60 days.”

One way Burtrum has adjusted his property to utilize rainfall for long-term relief includes cleaning out ponds.

“I used the drought commission money as it was commissioned to us to do,” Burtrum said. “We have done those programs with the conservation commission, but now you look here we are in the middle of April- no significant rains to fill the ponds.”

Click here to read more and Listen to Clay Burtrum talk about drought conditions in Oklahoma
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 $2.20 and Select Beef was up 49 cents on Friday 04/14/2023.

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

Boxed Beef Report

Oklahoma National Stockyards had 8,452 head as of 9 PM Sunday evening- they are expecting to start the sale at 6:30 AM this morning with about 8,500 head.

Compared to last week: Feeder steers and heifers 5.00 - 9.00 higher, with instances as high as 12.00 higher. Light weight Steer calves 6.00- 800 lower, steer calves 500-600 lbs suitable for pasture sold 8.00-10.00 higher. Heifers calves lightly tested with a steady to 1.00 higher undertone noted. Demand moderate to good. Quality average to attractive

Click below for the complete closing report.

Oklahoma National Stockyards Market Report from 04/10/2023

Here's our regular feature that is a part of the Monday Daily Email- market commentary from Bob Rodenberger, a partner with Stockman Oklahoma Livestock Marketing.

Bob is talking Fridays with our own KC Sheperd with his commentary and is posted on our website-click here for this week's update

We share a link to it Mondays here in our market section of the daily email.

Learn more about Stockman Oklahoma by clicking here.

Listen to KC Sheperd talk about last week's auction markets with Bob Rodenberger
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 04/14/2023
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 04/14/2023
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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We invite you to check out our website at the link below too that includes an archive of these daily emails, audio reports and top farm news story links from around the globe.
Head to Our Website OklahomaFarmReport.Com
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