Oklahoma's Latest Farm
And Ranch News

Tuesday, May 9, 2023

Howdy Neighbors!

Here is your daily Oklahoma farm and ranch news update. 


  • Winter Wheat Drops to 7 Percent Good to Excellent in Oklahoma This Week

  • Blayne Arthur Talks Highlights from the Latest Emergency Drought Commission Meeting

  • Kent Bacus Hopes to See U.S. Empowering Beef Demand by Leading More Trade Conversations

  • Summer Grilling Season is Near- and That Matters for Beef Demand

  • Wrap of the ANCW Region IV and WIRED Events with Oklahoma CattleWomen’s Cheyenne Sparks

  • Cattle raisers applaud Texas Legislature for passage of strengthened Right to Farm provisions for rural Texas

  • 2023 Summit keynote speakers discuss strategic attack on animal agriculture

Winter Wheat Drops to 7 Percent Good to Excellent in Oklahoma This Week

Parts of Oklahoma received rainfall and experienced warmer temperatures last week. Rainfall totals in the state averaged 0.52 of an inch. The warmer temperatures caused small grains to progress quickly. Producers are continuing to cut small grains for hay, due to little grain development.

Winter wheat jointing reached 98 percent, up 4 points from the previous year. Winter wheat headed reached 77 percent, up 20 points from the previous year and up 4 points from normal. Winter wheat conditions rated 7 percent good to excellent, 29 percent fair, and 64 percent poor to very poor. Last week’s conditions rated 9 percent good to excellent, 30 percent fair, and 61 percent poor to very poor.

Corn planted reached 41 percent, up 4 points from the previous year but down 6 points from normal. Corn emerged reached 27 percent, 11 points from the previous year and up 6 points from normal.

Sorghum planted reached 20 percent, up 15 points from the previous year and up 10 points from normal.

Soybeans planted reached 8 percent, down 10 points from the previous year and down 9 points from normal.


Pasture and range conditions rated 19 percent good to excellent, 27 percent fair and 54 percent poor to very poor. Last week’s conditions rated 16 percent good to excellent, 26 percent fair and 58 percent poor to very poor. 

Click here to read crop progress summaries from the U.S., Oklahoma, Kansas and Texas along with this week's report
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.

Blayne Arthur Talks Highlights from the Latest Emergency Drought Commission Meeting

Following the latest Oklahoma Emergency Drought Commission meeting, Farm Director KC Sheperd caught up with Ag Secretary Blayne Arthur and talked about the highlights from the meeting.

“Our last meeting was in January, and certainly, we have gotten some moisture across different parts of the state, which we are very excited about, but Trey Lam gave us an update, and there are about eight million dollars that still need to go out the door in the different districts across the state,” Arthur said.

There was plenty of discussion during the meeting, Arthur said, about completing some of those projects for which funds were allocated.

“We know it is still difficult to get some of those wells drilled, so we want to give those extensions there, but on the pond cleanout, if you got rain, which hopefully you did, it makes it a little tough to complete those pond cleanouts,” Arthur said. “Doing some adjustments and hopefully giving some direction to the districts that if folks need to put a timeline on when they might utilize some of those funds, and if they are unable to, then we can move down that list to other producers to really get those dollars out the door.”

Click here to read more and listen to KC Sheperd talk with Blayne Arthur following the latest Emergency Drought Commission meeting

Kent Bacus Hopes to See U.S. Empowering Beef Demand by Leading More Trade Conversations

In this episode of Beef Buzz, I am featuring comments from Farm Director KC Sheperd’s interview with the National Cattlemen’s Association executive director of government affairs, Kent Bacus. Bacus talks about trade issues in the beef industry.

“Over the last several years, we have seen a very aggressive approach from the U.S. government as far as negotiating new market access for our exports,” Bacus said. “Because of that, we have been able to benefit from a lot of that strong foreign demand for our products. Unfortunately, the Biden administration has decided to take a big step back, and in many ways, take a different approach altogether where treaty agreements are no longer the ‘norm.’”

As the Biden administration aims to have conversations about regulatory changes and adopting science-based standards, Bacus said they are giving no incentive or reason to go through with these practices.

Market access has been taken off the table, Bacus said, which means tariff reductions.

“That means even though Thailand may be willing to adopt a science-based provision or two related to beef, they are still going to have a fifty percent tariff on some of our cuts that are going in there,” Bacus said. “It is really hard to move the needle to capture that foreign demand if we don’t have real access. By that, I mean comprehensive that includes both tariff and non-tariff issues.”

Click here to rad more and listen to Kent Bacus talking about U.S. beef trade
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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

Summer Grilling Season is Near- And That Matters for Beef Demand

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 is talking about beef demand.

May is upon us with all the weather uncertainty that is typical of the month but also the assurance that summer is coming. The Memorial Day holiday at the end of the month will kick of the summer grilling season. Lots of attention is being focused on beef demand as the tightening of beef supplies will increase the pressure for higher wholesale and retail beef prices. How high can they go and how fast?

In the first full week of May, Choice boxed beef prices averaged $309.41/cwt., up over 9 percent from the beginning of the year and 20 percent higher year over year. The boxed beef price increase thus far in 2023 is following quite close to an average seasonal pattern as shown in Figure 1. Boxed beef prices typically peak in May with wholesale buying ahead of summer grilling season, before dropping lower in the second half of the year.  The seasonal pattern of boxed beef prices reflects the net impact of seasonal demands for the various beef products that are included in the boxed beef price as reported by the Agricultural Marketing Service (USDA-AMS). Current daily boxed beef reports include prices for more than 40 different beef cuts and subprimals. The price seasonality of each of these products varies according to the different uses of the products and the alternative supply chains in which they are mostly marketed. Beef products may flow primarily through the supply chains of retail grocery, food service (including restaurants) or export markets. Nearly all of the reported wholesale beef prices are currently higher year over year.

Click here to read more from Derrell Peel on beef demand

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.
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Sponsor Spotlight

Oklahoma AgCredit supports rural Oklahoma with reliable and consistent credit, today and tomorrow. We offer loans for land, livestock, equipment, operating costs and country homes (NMLSR #809962) to farmers, ranchers and rural businesses across 60 counties. As a cooperative, we are owned by the members we serve. Through our Patronage Program, we have returned more than $74 million to our members since 1997.

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

McClain Farms Ghost Cattle Scheme- An Update

As reported on Monday here in our email- this cattle scheme is apparently a fifty to one hundred million dollar swindle on over a hundred creditors. In talking to some of those involved, the first hint may have come this past December when, according to a lawsuit filed by Rabo Agrifinance on April 25 against McClain Farms and associated businesses that revealed over $51 million was owed. The filing reported that in December 2022, 89,522 head of cattle with a borrowing base of $97.2 million were listed as collateral for McClain. By February 2023, there were only 37,992 cattle with a borrowing base of $36.7 million. "In other words, the loan parties themselves reported a decrease in owned cattle of 51,350 and a corresponding decrease in cattle valuation of over $60 million," the lawsuit states.

People who had been doing business with McClain as far back as 2014 say that the large number of cattle mentioned in December did not line up with the capacity in his grow yards in Texas and Kentucky. That may have been one of the early red flags.

In the McClain business- he was feeding cattle on a custom basis for people in several states including Oklahoma. The losses that they are facing will likely push the overall size of this to well over $100 million dollars- and with assets listed in the bankruptcy filings of a million to ten million dollars- many who considered Brian McClain a friend are facing devastating financial losses.

McClain was active in the Team Penning sport- and was a world champion in 2018- and also served as President of the US Team Penning Association a couple of years back.

This is likely the second largest(in dollars) of any cattle theft scheme in the US- second only to the Easterday Ranch scheme that involved $244 million dollars in fraudulent actitivity. In March 2021, Easterday pleaded guilty to wire fraud for the charges on approximately 265,000 head of cattle that simply did not exist.

The McClain case is likely bigger than the Eastern Cattle Fraud case from 2010 that also had Oklahomans defrauded.

Stay tuned- this story has a lot of layers to it.

Wrap of the ANCW Region IV and WIRED Events with Oklahoma CattleWomen’s Cheyenne Sparks

At the 2023 Oklahoma WIRED event hosted at the Payne Ranch and Growing Paynes in Mustang, Oklahoma, Farm Director KC Sheperd caught up with Oklahoma CattleWomen president, Cheyenne Sparks and talked about the Region IV ANCW (American National CattleWomwn, Inc.) meeting and Saturday’s WIRED festivities.

“Oklahoma was excited to host the Region IV meeting for 2023,” Sparks said. “In our region, that is Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Texas, so we had women from all three of those states join us.”

The Region IV meeting was held at the Cattlemen’s Special Event Center in the Oklahoma National Stockyards, Sparks said, and featured a group of dynamic speakers.

“I am beyond honored and excited to announce that I will be the 2024 Region IV director coming in at our annual convention in January at Orlando, Florida,” Sparks said.

Sparks said the entire event would not have been possible without the help from the Payne family.

“We are just ecstatic to have them be a part of the CattleWomen and be supportive of us every step of the way,” Sparks said.

On Saturday, Sparks said the women who attended the event had the chance to operate different machinery provided by sponsors and learn and practice a variety of different skills that are valuable on a farm or ranch.

Click here to read more and listen to KC Sheperd talk with Cheyenne Sparks about this weekend’s CattleWomen events

Cattle raisers applaud Texas Legislature for passage of strengthened Right to Farm provisions for rural Texas

Texas & Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) today praised the passage of House Bill (HB) 2308, the Texas Rural Right to Farm Bill. The legislation protects Texas agricultural operations from unwarranted nuisance and other legal and governmental actions.

“Texas is growing at a rapid pace and bringing with it new pressures to cattle raisers across the state,” said TSCRA First Vice-President Carl Ray Polk. “The Right to Farm statute has not been updated in over a decade and does not adequately protect our members from the ever-expanding list of legal challenges used against them. The hard work and leadership of Rep. Trent Ashby and Sen. Charles Perry carried this legislation, as well as the leadership of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Speaker Dade Phelan.”

This legislation provides protections that allow agricultural operations to continue and grow, while simultaneously ensuring the food security of Texas. HB 2308 was championed by Rep. Trent Ashby and Sen. Charles Perry.

“As a private landowner and rural Texan, I was honored to play a role in helping to protect agricultural operations in rural areas from unwarranted nuisance restrictions and other legal challenges,” said Rep. Ashby. “House Bill 2308 not only strengthens protections for agriculture operations, but also reaffirms our commitment to the farmers and ranchers who play a critical role in delivering the food and fiber to our growing population.” 

Click here to read more about the the passage of House Bill (HB) 2308 from TSCRA

2023 Summit keynote speakers discuss strategic attack on animal agriculture

A recording pass to the Animal Agriculture Alliance’s 2023 Stakeholders Summit is available through May 19 to those who were not able to attend in person. Purchase your pass here! The event, themed “Partners in Progress: Building a Sustainable Future for Animal Ag,” was held in Arlington, Va. May 4-5 and attracted nearly 320 attendees. A highlights report with key quotes and takeaways will be available soon.

The premise of Starling’s “Farmers Versus Foodies” concept and the idea behind his book of the same name is that those of us involved in food production are proud of the current state of our food system, while those who are not involved or connected think the system is “broken.” According to Starling, this belief stems from investor influence, policymakers that are increasingly removed from the farm, and legal schools promulgating the notion. “What we are seeing happen on the other side is a strategic, targeted, well-funded, and coordinated attack,” said Starling. He added that we need to be more strategic in influencing the influencers. He concluded with the thought, “Most people actually still like farmers. They are grateful for the system, and they don’t really think a lot about agriculture.”

Click here to read more about the discussoins on the attack on animal agriculture
Let's Check The Markets!
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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 lower- Choice Beef was down 63 cents and Select Beef was down $3.04 on Monday 05/08/2023.

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

Boxed Beef Report

Oklahoma National Stockyards had 7,900 head on Monday, May 8, 2023.

Compared to last week: Feeder steers steady. Feeder heifers steady 2.00 higher, with some instances 800-900 weights 5.00-6.00 lower.

Steer calves on a light test with a steady to 3.00 higher undertone noted. Heifer calves 6.00-8.00 higher. Demand moderate over all. Much needed moisture fell late last week and more is in the forecast late in the week for the trade area.

Click below for the complete closing report.

Oklahoma National Stockyards Market Report from 05/08/2023

The Joplin Regional Stockyards had a total run of 10,252 head for Monday May 8, 2023.

Compared to last week feeder steers under 600 lbs. sold steady to 3.00 lower. Heavier weights sold 4.00-8.00 lower. Feeder heifers under

600 lbs. sold 2.00-8.00 lower with heavier weights 2.00-4.00 higher. Volume this week is 150% over a year ago. Supply was heavy with

moderate demand. S

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

Joplin Regional Stockyards Market from Monday 05/08/2023
OKC West in El Reno Cow and Bull Market Report for Monday 5/8/2023
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 05/08/2023
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 05/08/2023
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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