Oklahoma's Latest Farm

And Ranch News

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Coming this Thursday-Saturday- the 2023 Tulsa Farm Show

Howdy Neighbors!

Here is Your Daily Oklahoma Farm and Ranch News Update: 


  • Farm Bill Deep-Dive with Congressman Frank Lucas

  • OKFB Hosts Oklahoma Grassroots Rural & Ag Business Accelerators Demo Day

  • USDA’s Marcia Bunger Highlights Value of Livestock Risk Management Products

  • Dairy MAX Launches ‘Level Unlocked’ to Empower Healthier Lifestyles within the Gaming Community

  • Derrell Peel- Feedlot Trends in Management and Productivity

  • Wheat Food Council Launches U.S. Campaign Highlighting Nutritional Power Of Wheat Foods

  • Texas Tech Researchers Awarded $4.9M to Explore Climate Smart Crops

  • Southern Plains Perspective: Are we seeing a fundamental shift in the cattle industry?

Farm Bill Deep-Dive with Congressman Frank Lucas

I recently had the chance to visit with Congressman Frank Lucas about the farm bill and the Weather Reauthorization Act.

Aside from serving as the U.S. representative for Oklahoma’s 3rd Congressional district, Lucas is the former chair of the House Agriculture Committee and currently chairs the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology.

Lucas first gave an update on the ag appropriations bill.

“I think the appropriators want to do not just the bill that contains the ag money, but they want to do all twelve,” Lucas said. “We are operating under something called a CR: a continuing resolution to fund the government at last year’s levels through essentially the end of January.”

Lucas said that according to Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, if the regular appropriations order cannot be finished, it will be time to start the new appropriations process for 2025.

“He would expect some kind of bill to fund things to finish out the regular bookkeeping year, the regular fiscal year, which is the last day of September 2024,” Lucas said. “We are funded, and we are going to stay funded. It is just what kind of process it is going to be that is the real question.”

As for the writing of a new farm bill- Lucas is convinced that there will be a window of opportunity to do a full five year renewal in the first few months of 2024- he's just not certain where the money will be found to increase base reference prices to improve the federal farm safety net.

Click here to read more and listen to Frank Lucas talk about the Farm Bill and the Weather Reauthorization Act

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.

OKFB Hosts Oklahoma Grassroots Rural & Ag Business Accelerators Demo Day

At the Hamm Institute for American Energy, the Oklahoma Farm Bureau hosted a demo day for the Oklahoma Grassroots Rural and Ag Business Accelerators. At the event, members from the Activate Oklahoma cohort and Customized Development had the chance to present and answer questions in front of an audience of rural Oklahoma advocates and investors before receiving their certificates of graduation.

The Oklahoma Grassroots Rural & Ag Business Accelerators program is a collaborative rural development initiative from the Oklahoma Farm Bureau and national and state-level partners developing Oklahoma-based innovators creating ideas, technologies, and products creating economic Opportunities in rural Oklahoma.

Oklahoma Farm Bureau’s rural economic development coordinator, Amarie Bartel, led the event and visited with associate farm editor Reagan Calk about the program’s success.

Bartel said state leadership at OKFB saw a need for rural development through information gathered by the USDA Census of Agriculture.

“The census was coming back to us and letting us know that two-thirds of Oklahoma counties were experiencing a population decline,” Bartel said. “The USDA also started reporting that 96 percent of farm families derive a portion of their income from an off-farm source, and then lastly, through conversations, it was discovered that less than 1 percent of venture capital is deployed in a rural community.”

Click here to read more and listen to Amarie Bartel talk about the Oklahoma Grassroots Rural & Ag Accelerators demo day

USDA’s Marcia Bunger Highlights Value of Livestock Risk Management Products

In this episode of Beef Buzz, I am visiting with the head of USDA’s risk management agency, Marcia Bunger, about livestock risk management products.

The growth of livestock risk management products, Bunger said, has been astronomical.

“When I take a look at some of the most recent data, I now believe that LRP (Livestock Risk Protection), one of the livestock products, is now in the top ten of all of the policies that we sell, which is just phenomenal,” Bunger said.

The LRP program, Bunger said, is driven by the Chicago Board of Trade and can be sold by insurance agents and brokers.

“It is a revenue product, so it is protecting the bottom for producers,” Bunger said. “It is relatively easy to purchase, and the broker, the agent, tracks the price, and you, the producer, if you wish to pull the trigger, you just need to get ahold of your agent, your broker. You are locking in rates for price.”

While there are some requirements regarding how long livestock have been owned, Bunger said LRP can be tailored to fit an individual operation.

Click here to read more and listen to USDA’s Marcia Bunger talk about livestock risk management
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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

Dairy MAX Launches ‘Level Unlocked’ to Empower Healthier Lifestyles within the Gaming Community

Dairy MAX announced the launch of Level Unlocked, a brand designed with GameSquare subsidiary ZONED Gaming to educate the gaming community on the essential role dairy plays in their overall performance. Dairy MAX is working with a diverse group of gaming creators from OpTic Gaming and Complexity Gaming, to highlight how nutrient-rich dairy keeps them energized and focused on achieving that next level victory.

In 2021, Dairy MAX became The Official Nutrition Partner of Complexity Gaming and an Official Nutrition Partner of OpTic Gaming, two prominent esports gaming organizations, with a goal to create a seamless connection between the gaming community and dairy nutrition. With over 214 million people in the U.S. playing video games and Gen Z accounting for 96% of that audience, the gaming community offers a vast, diverse and engaged audience.

“Dairy plays a pivotal role in nutrition and athletic performance – and that’s a key message we’re committed to sharing with athletes, fans and the entire esports industry,” stated Mike Konkle, chief executive officer of Dairy MAX. “Esports offers a platform of inclusivity, attracting students who may not be involved in traditional athletic programs or school activities. This partnership gives dairy farmers the opportunity to connect with younger audiences in a virtual space where they are most receptive and deliver messaging about how dairy positively impacts their overall performance.”

Click here to read more about the launch of Level Unlocked

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 latest Farm and Ranch News for Tuesday 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- Feedlot Trends in Management and Productivity

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 feedlot trends.

Feedlot production continues to develop and reflect changes in cattle genetics and feeding technology and management. This article summarizes trends in production and productivity in Kansas feedlots over the last 15 years. The data is from the Focus on Feedlots survey compiled by Kansas State University. Figures 1-6 depict data as twelve-month moving averages, which smooths month-to-month and seasonal variation to focus on underlying trends. This article focuses on steers but data on heifers indicates similar trends over time.

Figure 1 shows how feedlot placement and finishing weights have changed over time. Average final weights the last twelve months have been 1419 pounds, up 80 pounds from the average final weight in 2010. Average initial weights have been lower in recent years, averaging 757 pounds the last year, and down by 43 pounds from the 2010 level. Both initial and final weights are impacted by cyclical variation in cattle numbers and by feed costs.  

Click here to read more from Derrell Peel on feedlot trends

Wheat Food Council Launches U.S. Campaign Highlighting Nutritional Power Of Wheat Foods

Recognizing the increased emphasis consumers are placing on nutrition, the Wheat Foods Council (WFC) launched a social media campaign that educates fitness professionals and trainers about the benefits of incorporating wheat foods into healthy diets.

U.S. Wheat Associates and the WFC are both U.S. farmer-led organizations that promote the value and benefits of U.S. wheat. International customers of U.S. wheat are encouraged to look to the WFC for resources and ideas to increase awareness of wheat foods nutrition.

Wheat’s Nutritional Role:

The new WFC campaign on Facebook and Instagram officially launched Nov. 20. It provides evidence-based information on the nutritional and performance advantages of wheat foods. Among those advantages is how wheat foods serve as a reliable and efficient source of energy. The campaign also helps dispel myths about wheat foods and fosters a deeper understanding of the positive impact they have on performance and overall wellbeing.

Instagram users are able to follow the campaign on @wheatfoodscouncil. Users can post the hashtag #WonderofWheat to share and view experiences and recipes.

“By harnessing the power of social media, the campaign creates a dialogue, encourage knowledge-sharing, and inspire a paradigm shift in how the fitness industry views the role of wheat foods in a healthy lifestyle,” WFC President Tim O’Connor said. “The Wheat Foods Council, along with our partners, are committed to fostering a community of educated and informed fitness professionals who understand the crucial connection between nutrition with wheat foods and fitness.”

Click here to read more about U.S. wheat's campaign on the Nutritional Power Of Wheat Foods

Texas Tech Researchers Awarded $4.9M to Explore Climate Smart Crops

A new study led by Texas Tech University agricultural scientists presents a unique opportunity to derive low-cost proxies for greenhouse gas emissions and establish targeted climate-smart commodities to strengthen economic and environmental sustainability on the Texas High Plains.

The $4.9 million interdisciplinary project, directed by Krishna Jagadish, the Thornton Distinguished Chair and professor of crop-forage-livestock systems in the Department of Plant and Soil Science, includes 10 faculty and professional staff from across the Davis College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources. Included in the five-year effort will be a diverse combination of 20 producers from 10 counties on the Texas High Plains.

“Participating producers have volunteered to be a part of this effort, which shows their desire and willingness to incorporate climate smart practices into their operations,” Jagadish said.

Three key climate-smart commodities will be examined. They are sorghum-cotton rotation, no till, and multispecies cover crops.

The grant, titled “Establishing climate smart commodities with reduced greenhouse gas footprints to enhance environmental and economic sustainability in the Texas High Plains,” is supported through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Partnerships for Climate Smart Commodities, which is centered on obtaining information on production, energy and water use on diverse producer plots.

Click here to read more about Texas Tech research on climate smart crops

Southern Plains Perspective: Are we seeing a fundamental shift in the cattle industry?

There is a new blog post out at the Southern Plains Perspective. The Southern Plains Perspective is authored by Clay Pope- who farms with his wife Sarah. 

Sometimes when you write a blog like this you feel like a broken record. It seems that some themes keep coming back over and over again.

Case in point—Is something fundamental happening in the U.S. cattle industry?

A little over a year ago I wrote a blog asking if beef production was at a turning point in the Southern Plains (you can check it out at https://wordpress.com/post/southernplainsperspective.wordpress.com/576 if you’re interested). In that piece I talked about how a report from Texas A&M pointed out that when ranchers were culling herds during the extreme dry conditions in 2021 and 2022, they were taking more heifers to the sale barn than they did during the drought that ran from 2011 to 2015.  The premise was that while there was a huge selloff of cattle during both droughts, more replacement heifers were maintained in 2011-15 in the hope of rebuilding herds when conditions got better.  This time, even if conditions miraculously improved, it would take longer for cattle numbers to recover just because the females needed to rebuild the herd simply weren’t there.

That got me thinking—is it possible that some older cattle producers were calling it quits?   Understand, I have nothing to go on other than a gut feeling, but think about it—the average age of agriculture producers in the United States is around 57. That means that half of all farmers and ranchers are older than that. 

If you were in your 60’s or 70’s during the drought of 2011-15 and made it through those record conditions (which most folks thought would be once in a generation) only to get hit with another extreme drought just a decade later, wouldn’t you think twice about sticking around? You could get out, rent (or sell) your land and try to enjoy what few golden years you have left.  If you’re getting older and it looks like you’re going to have to fight this battle all over again, do you really want to?

Fast forward this month to an article from Reuters talking about how we currently have the lowest cattle herd since 1962 and how meat exports from the United States continue to shrink. On top of that, noted livestock market economist Dr. Derrell Peel was quoted this week in the Oklahoma Farm Report as saying that the beef cow herd may shrink to the lowest levels since 1961. He went on to say that there currently is no pipeline of replacement heifers and that when we do start rebuilding the herd, it will be at least a two-year process to get those heifers into production.

Click here to read the full Southern Plains Perspective blog post
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 $2.47 and Select Beef was down $2.66 on Monday 12/04/2023.

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

Boxed Beef Report

Oklahoma National Stockyards had 12,000 head on Monday, December 4, 2023.

Compared to last week: Feeder steers and heifers were lightly tested however, few trades sold 1.00-3.00 lower. Steer and heifer calves sold 4.00-9.00 lower. Demand light to moderate. The Oklahoma Angus Association held their bi-annual sale and these cattle are all reported as Value Added. CME Feeder and Live cattle contracts are closed sharply lower today. Warmer than average temperatures are expected for later in the week. 

Click below for the complete closing report.

Oklahoma National Stockyards Market Report from 12/04/2023

The Joplin Regional Stockyards had a total run of 8,473 head on Monday December 4th.

Compared to last week feeder steers sold 4.00-10.00 higher. Feeder heifers sold steady to 5.00 higher. Supply was heavy with 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 12/04/2023
OKC West in El Reno Cow and Bull Market Report from 12/04/23- Slaughter Cows $2 to $4 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 12/04/2023
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 12/04/2023
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.

Cattle Industry Leader Bob Drake sits down and talks with Ron Hays about his lifetime of service in the cattle business. Drake has served as the President of the Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association, the last President of the old National Cattlemen's Association and Vice President of the Oklahoma Farm Bureau.

He loves politics and being a change agent for the cattle producer back up at the fork of the creek. Drake had a front row seat as the Beef Checkoff was approved by cattle producers and he believes it's way past time to find a way to get a second dollar at the national level.

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

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

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