Oklahoma's Latest Farm
And Ranch News

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Howdy Neighbors!

Here is your daily Oklahoma farm and ranch news update. 


  • Sirloin Club Celebrates 2023 OYE Success with Their Gallery of Grands

  • Corey Rosenbusch Pushes for More Regulatory Certainty in Fertilizer Industry

  • Family Cattle Operations Must Tell Their Story As Biden Administration Pushes Higher Taxes

  • Selection of Replacement Heifers and Reproductive Tract Scoring this Spring with Mark Johnson

  • How To Use Your Best Stockmanship When Moving to Greener Pastures

  • Emergency Drought Commission Works to Ensure Drought Relief Needs of Producers are Met

  • OSU researchers bringing more flower power to special occasions

  • Oklahoma Grassroots Rural & Ag Business Accelerators 2023 program application deadline is May 19

Sirloin Club Celebrates 2023 OYE Success with Their Gallery of Grands

The Sirloin Club hosted an evening of celebration after a successful 2023 Oklahoma Youth Expo back in March- as well as publicly recognizing five high achievers in their corner of the ag world with the 2023 Agriculturalists Under 40 Awards- and raising some money for next year's OYE.

After a couple of years of working around the pandemic- the longtime support group for the OYE tried a new timeframe- after the annual Oklahoma Youth Expo- and a new venue- the Express Ranch Sale Facility and had a great gathering of supporters of the "Greatest Show" including more than twenty current and past Sirloin Club Show Honorees (pictured above).

Randy Pirtle and Greg Ramsey were honored as the 2023 Show Honorees. The Sirloin Club President's Award was presented to the Oklahoma Oil and Natural Gas industry and there were five Agriculturalists Under 40 honored. They included:

Ag Educator- Alisen Anderson

Crop Farmer- Brittany Hukill

Livestock Producer- Braeton Kimble

Ag Professional- Kylee Dinez

Ag Business- Dr. Joe Freeman

Editor's Note- We will have stories on each of these winners in the next few days.

As for raising money- over $35,000 was raised during the evening that will be earmarked for the Sirloin Club to support 4-H and FFA youth at the 2024 Oklahoma Youth Expo.

Oh- I almost forgot the food part- five competitors cooked up vittles and competed in a People's Choice Cook-Off. The groups that stepped up and competed included Farm Credit of Western Oklahoma, Oklahoma Rural Water Association, P&K Equipment, Oklahoma Pork Council and the Oklahoma Farm Bureau. (plus the Oklahoma Wheat Commission brought desserts) After sampling them all- the audience selected P&K as the winner- I especially liked their bacon wrapped jalapeno poppers- really tasty!

Sponsor Spotlight

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To learn more, visit www.oklabeef.org. Also, don't forget to like its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/oklabeef for stories on Oklahoma's ranching families and great beef recipes. 

And Check out this video below that helps you learn more about the Beef Checkoff.

Corey Rosenbusch Pushes for More Regulatory Certainty in Fertilizer Industry

While in Washington, D.C., Farm Director KC Sheperd talked with the president of The Fertilizer Institute, Corey Rosenbusch, about the latest in the fertilizer industry.

The fertilizer market softened around January and February, Rosenbusch said, but now that planting has begun, there will be an uptick in market demand.

“At the end of the day, global stocks to use ratios are still very tight,” Rosenbusch said. “We still have strong commodity prices, and we are expecting high planted acres, so we are going to see the demand for fertilizer this spring.”

A big concern of his, Rosenbusch said, is whether or not farmers made commitments early enough to ensure supply is positioned.

“Just to be clear, we are not going to have supply issues,” Rosenbusch said. “Just-in-time delivery is going to dictate whether that product is where it needs to be for the farmer.”

Rosenbusch also talked about his recent comments with the House Ag Committee.

“The most important thing they can do for the fertilizer industry is to provide regulatory certainty,” Rosenbusch said. “When you talk about a nitrogen facility, it is three to four billion dollars to build. Those kinds of investments are made on the back of regulatory certainty, and we need Congress and this administration to deliver that for the industry.”

Click here to read more and listen to KC Sheperd talk with Corey Rosenbusch of The Fertilizer Institute

Looking for Ways to Pay for Their Agenda- Biden Administration Pushes Higher Taxes

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, talking about tax policy.

“I think we have a lot of concerns with this administration’s approach to tax policy,” Bacus said. “They want to, in the name of equity and inclusion and building from the bottom up, they are taking out a lot of our smaller producers with some of these tax proposals.”

Many of these changes the Biden administration is pushing, Bacus said, are going to make it tough for family cattle operations to say in business.

“While that may not be their intent, that is the reality if these policies go through,” Bacus said. “This is where we need people to engage. We need you to tell your story, we need you to talk about what the estate tax has done to you, what it could do to you, what it could do to your children. We need you to talk about the importance of all of these relief measures because they will pass the buck onto something else. They want to fund a lot of these big programs, and they will do it on your backs unless you stand up to them and say, ‘No, that is not how we are going to do things.’”

Bacus said a pro-growth economy is not achieved through large tax increases.

Click here to read more and listen to Kent Bacus talking about the tax policy’s impact on the beef industry
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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

Selection of Replacement Heifers and Reproductive Tract Scoring this Spring 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 talks about replacement heifer selection and RTS.

In a normal year in Oklahoma, sometime during the spring, replacement heifers would be selected from the yearling females coming off wheat pasture. Individual producers selection criteria and breeding objectives would determine which heifers were to be retained. It would be safe to assume most heifers coming off wheat pasture would have achieved a target weight of reaching 65% of their mature weight by 14-15 months of age and accordingly, over 90% would be fully pubertal and ready for their first breeding season. At worst (in a normal year), heifers would reach 55% of their mature weight and the majority of those heifers would be ready for breeding. However, the past year or two haven’t been “normal” with regard to precipitation and wheat pasture grazing. As a result producers may be evaluating a group of replacement heifers that are a little behind schedule with regard to target weights and body condition. 

If this sounds familiar there is a management tool available that can be very helpful in determining if heifers are ready for breeding. Reproductive Tract Scoring (RTS) is the management tool. RTS is a subjective measurement which involves the rectal palpation of the heifer reproductive tract (uterine horns and ovarian structures) and the subsequent assignment of a reproductive tract score, ranging from 1 to 5 (1 = immature; 5 = presence of a corpus luteum), to assist the producer in making replacement heifer decisions. Since age at puberty is difficult to measure directly, RTS can estimate pubertal status, and if performed before the onset of the breeding season, can be a predictor of heifer reproductive performance allowing for heifers with a poor breeding potential to be removed from the breeding group before any further costs are incurred. The RTS system has been shown to be a repeatable measure between and within practitioners and to be moderately heritable.  

Click here to read more and listen to Mark Johnson talk about replacement heifer selection and RTS

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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How To Use Your Best Stockmanship When Moving to Greener Pastures

Regardless of ranch size or management methods, stockmanship serves as a cornerstone of ranching. For more intensively managed operations utilizing regenerative grazing methods, however, proper livestock handling and close observation are essential, and in turn drive and inform many herd-management decisions.

“Stockmanship becomes a priority, because your animals will tell you when they’re content, and they will tell you when something is insufficient — whether that be forage availability or nutrition,” says Caitlin Hebbert, livestock consultant for Noble Research Institute. Proper stockmanship also can pay off in reduced labor, improved animal comfort and performance and, ultimately, an improved bottom line.

Contented creatures are a good sign

Hebbert uses contentedness as a critical metric for evaluating grazing management on the Noble Ranches. The body language and habits of the animals serve as cues for observant ranchers.

“You’ll notice whether the cattle are comfortable whenever you move pastures,” Hebbert says. “Understanding body language and cues, such as if they’re meeting you at the gate ready to move or bawling before you even get there, lets you know if the cattle have been on a pasture too long or are getting enough to eat.”

Simple habitual indicators also help ranch managers tell if their animals are content. Ruminants often go out and graze before bedding down midday to rest, digest and ruminate. Taking note of these “ruminating” periods (timing, frequency and duration) can tell a manager a lot about their animals’ grazing patterns.

Click here to read the full article from the Noble Research Institute

Emergency Drought Commission Works to Ensure Drought Relief Needs of Producers are Met

At the Oklahoma Emergency Drought Commission meeting on Monday, Farm Director KC Sheperd visited with the Executive Director of the Oklahoma Conservation Commission, Trey Lam, about the meeting highlights and the needs of producers in Oklahoma due to the dry conditions.

“We had over 6,000 applications originally and with the maximum of 7500 dollars per producer,” Lam said. “We still had probably 17 million dollars’ worth of applications that we currently have that we aren’t able to fund.”

Some producers who have not yet been funded, Lam said, have already completed their drought relief projects.

“We are really optimistic that the legislature will provide some funding to clean up those applications, but we are also a little concerned that maybe we need to move some funds from areas where it has rained, where the drought has been relieved, which is east and southeast, especially of the Oklahoma City area,” Lam said.

Lam said there are some districts with up to 100 open applications.

“These are folks that have either spent money or need to get something done,” Lam said. “We would hate to see them not funded, but there is a couple of different ways. One is to move money around, and another is to get another appropriation from the legislature.”

Click here to read more and listen to Trey Lam talk about drought relief in Oklahoma

OSU researchers bringing more flower power to special occasions

This weekend, moms all over the nation will receive bouquets of flowers for their special day. But what if you could give mom flowers she could enjoy day and night?

Researchers in the Oklahoma State University Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture are studying how flowers can shine as bright in the night as they do in the daytime.

“I’ve always had an interest in glow-in-the-dark plants,” said Professor Bruce Dunn. “When you receive a flower arrangement, you only get to enjoy it for 10 to 14 days, so you should get to see it during the day and at night. This quality would give it increased value.”

Abby Pace, an OSU undergraduate student who entered the Horticulture Research and Extension Experience for Undergraduates program during her sophomore year, was given the task of researching how white carnations could glow in the dark.

“No one has really done anything related to glow-in-the-dark applications,” Dunn said. “When you tint a flower, you increase its economic value, but most tinting that has been done to flowers has just been normal coloring of flowers. We wanted to achieve that glow-in-dark factor.”

Click here to read more about glow-in-the-dark plants from OSU

Oklahoma Grassroots Rural & Ag Business Accelerators 2023 program application deadline is May 19

Oklahoma innovators have until Friday, May 19, to apply for an opportunity to receive business support and resources as part of the inaugural Oklahoma Grassroots Rural & Ag Business Accelerators cohorts.

The program is coordinated by Oklahoma Farm Bureau along with state and national partners and consists of two unique business development pipelines that will connect rural Oklahoma innovators and ventures with business support and potential investment.

The Cultivate Oklahoma agricultural innovation pipeline – powered by national partner AgLaunch Initiative working with Ag Ventures Alliance, a farmer cooperative that invests in ag tech startups – will focus on innovations and technologies that have on-farm or production agriculture applications to provide new opportunities for Oklahoma farmers.

The Activate Oklahoma rural innovation pipeline connects rural entrepreneurs with Oklahoma-based resources through curriculum provided by Oklahoma Small Business Development Centers created to help innovators navigate the business landscape to bring their ideas and technologies to market.

Each pipeline starts with a bootcamp-style program featuring a diverse curriculum that provides businesses with business resources, input from business development experts and mentorship connections. Cultivate Oklahoma programming runs from June to September, and Activate Oklahoma programming is planned to run from June through November, but is subject to change based on programming needs.

Click here to read more about the Oklahoma Grassroots Rural & Ag Business Accelerators 2023 program
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 lower- Choice Beef was down $1.18 and Select Beef was down 23 cents on Tuesday 05/09/2023.

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

Boxed Beef Report

Oklahoma National Stockyards had a final count of 8,319 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 May 8, 2023

No Report from USDA on the Tuesday calf market at the OKC West in El Reno market for May 9th.

For the yearling sale today- Wednesday 05/10/23

Expecting 5,000

1,700 Feeder Heifers @ 9:00am

3,300 Feeder Steers @ 12:30pm

Click on the button below for details of the trade as compiled by the USDA Market News Service. (Last week's report)

OKC West in El Reno Market Report from 5/02 and 5/03/2023
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 05/09/2023
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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