Oklahoma's Latest Farm

And Ranch News

Wednesday, February 7, 2024

Howdy Neighbors!

Here is Your Daily Oklahoma Farm and Ranch News Update: 


  • Weakened Commodity Prices Cast a Shadow on Farmer Sentiment in CME/Purdue Ag Barometer

  • Michael Kelsey Talks Disease Traceability Policy Put in Place at 2024 CattleCon

  • Identifying The Right Bull for Your Operation

  • NCC Highlights Chicken Industry’s Efforts to Reduce Food Waste

  • Great Plains Manufacturing Provides Farmers With Sustainable and Regenerative Solutions to Agriculture

  • AFBF Market Intel Addresses Cattle Inventory Numbers

  • NASDA Remembers Former NASDA President and Longtime Industry Leader Bill Northey

  • USDA Issuing $306 Million in Final Disaster Payments This Week Under ERP

  • We Welcome Ben Hale to Our Lineup of Market Analysts

Weakened Commodity Prices Cast a Shadow on Farmer Sentiment

The most recent findings from the Purdue University/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer reveal a downturn in farmer sentiment at the start of 2024.

The January barometer fell to a reading of 106, 8 points lower than in December. Producers expressed a more pessimistic perspective about their farms’ current situation and future prospects. The Current Conditions Index fell 9 points, and the Future Expectations Index dropped by 7, both compared to December. The anticipation of weaker farm income in 2024 contributed to the overall decline, reflected in the Farm Financial Performance Index at 85, a 12-point decrease from the previous month. This month’s Ag Economy Barometer survey was conducted from Jan. 15-19.

“The number of producers pointing to lower commodity prices and lower farm income in 2024 significantly influenced the decline across all indices,” said James Mintert, the barometer’s principal investigator and director of Purdue University’s Center for Commercial Agriculture.

There was an increase in the proportion of producers anticipating a decline in financial performance for the upcoming year, with the figure rising from 20% in December to 31% in January. Concurrently, the percentage of those expecting income levels to remain stable decreased from 63% to 53%.

Click here to read more about a downturn in farmer sentiment.

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Michael Kelsey Talks Disease Traceability Policy Put in Place at 2024 CattleCon

At the 2024 CattleCon held in Orlando, Florida, I caught up with the Executive Vice President of the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association, Michael Kelsey, about animal disease traceability.

Our coverage from the 2024 Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA Trade Show in Orlando is being powered by Farm Data Services of Stillwater.

There was wide discussion regarding support for enhanced animal disease traceability systems at the 2024 CattleCon, and Kelsey said one particular measure could be a big part of the solution.

One proposal not adopted at the end of the day aimed to have disease traceability measures in place for all cattle by 2024, breeding cattle over 18 months, and feeder and stocker cattle by 2026.

“The final result is a really good piece of policy,” Kelsey said. “In our opinion, it matched OCA policy very well. It takes out all the feeder cattle. We are not going to talk about feeder cattle, yearling cattle, any of those cattle right now under this policy.”

Kelsey said the policy passed focused on sexually intact 18-month-old and older cattle. In Oklahoma, Kelsey said many producers have already begun to utilize EID tags.

Click here to read more and listen to Michael Kelsey talk about disease traceability. 

Identifying The Right Bull for Your Operation

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 how to select a good bull for your operation.

This week I address some questions received in response to my two most recent Cow-calf Corner Articles.

What is considered a “Good Bull”?

The article outlined the following criteria to meet “Good Bull” status:

  • A bull that sells with a registration paper which includes pedigree information and a complete set of genetic values (including EPDs and Bio-economic indices) to be considered in the selection process.
  • A bull that has passed a Breeding Soundness Exam (BSE) and selling with a breeding soundness warranty (terms will vary).

In addition, it is important to identify the right bull for your operation. Bull selection is not a “one size fits all” proposition. Whether you are buying out of a live auction or private treaty it is critical to access your own unique operation in order to determine the attributes your next bull needs to add value to the calf crop he will sire. This needs to be done before you go bull shopping. 

Click here to read more from Mark Johnson on how to select a good bull for your operation
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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

NCC Highlights Chicken Industry’s Efforts to Reduce Food Waste

In comments submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Chicken Council (NCC) outlined the many ways in which chicken producers reduce food waste, recycle byproducts and utilize products that would otherwise be destined for landfills. The comments were in response to the agency’s proposed Draft National Strategy for Reducing Food Loss and Waste and Recycling Organics.

In its comments, NCC emphasized several important points and areas for enhancing the National Strategy, including:

  • The Use of Byproducts. A perfect example of minimizing food waste is the use of various byproducts in chicken feed, including bakery meal, animal proteins/fats, distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS), and peanut meal. By nature, chickens are excellent at upcycling as they can readily digest these byproducts that would otherwise go to waste and turn them into protein for energy.

Click here to read more about the NCC's outline of reducing food waste.

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 Wednesday morning farm and ranch news with KC Sheperd
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Sponsor Spotlight

Dating back to 1891, Stillwater Milling Company has been supplying ranchers with the highest quality feeds made from the highest quality ingredients. Their full line of A & M Feeds can be delivered direct to your farm, found at their Agri-Center stores in Stillwater, Davis, Claremore and Perry or at more than 125 dealers in Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas and Texas. We appreciate Stillwater Milling Company’s long time support of the Radio Oklahoma Ag Network and we encourage you to click here to learn more about their products and services.


Great Plains Manufacturing Provides Farmers With Sustainable and Regenerative Solutions to Agriculture

Oklahoma Farm Reporter Maci Carter is talking with James Shurts of Great Plains Manufacturing about providing farmers with sustainable solutions to agriculture.

“We are a strong ag brand, but we are actually part of a much bigger organization,” Shurts said. “Back in 2007, we created a relationship with Kubota, a comarketing agreement, and a lot of people don’t realize we have been part of the Kubota family since 2016.”

While they are a completely different brand, Shurts said they reap the benefits of tapping into a global base of technology research.

“What we do is we provide agronomic solutions to farmers,” Shurts said. “Not only in the U.S., but globally. Whether it is focusing on box drill solutions or tillage solutions, we really provide probably the most complete offering out there of any of the short line manufacturers.”

Shurts said Great Plains Manufacturing was one of the first entities to dive into sustainable agriculture. In the 80s, no-till soybean drill was unheard of, Shurts said, and Great Plains Manufacturing was the first to market the practice.

Click here to read more and listen to Maci Carter talk with James Shurts of Great Plains Manufacturing.

AFBF Market Intel Addresses Cattle Inventory Numbers

U.S. Cattle Inventory Smallest in 73 years

USDA’s January and July Cattle Inventory reports, released toward the end of each respective month, provide the total inventory of beef cows, milk cows, bulls, replacement heifers, other steers and heifers, and the calf crop for the current year. With drought and high input costs compelling farmers to market a higher-than-normal percentage of female cattle, the most recent cattle inventory dropped to lows not seen in decades. This Market Intel will provide analysis of the Jan. 1 inventory, which will set the tone for cattle markets in 2024.

The Report

This is a bullish report. All cattle and calves in the United States on Jan. 1, 2024, were 87.2 million head, 2% lower than this time in 2023. This is the lowest Jan. 1 inventory since USDA’s 82.08 million estimate in 1951 (Figure 1). The calf crop is estimated at 33.6 million head, down 2% from last year and the smallest calf crop since 33.1 million in 1948.

To understand the implications of this report we need to break down the individual inventories including all beef cattle and beef heifers for replacement (Figure 2). The inventory of all U.S. beef cattle on Jan. 1, 2024, was 28.2 million head, down 2%, or 700,000 head, from Jan. 1, 2023. The 2024 decline follows a 4% drop in the beef herd inventory from 2022 to 2023. This is the smallest U.S. beef herd since 1951.

Click here to read more about the AFBF cattle industry report.

NASDA commemorates the loss of former NASDA president and longtime industry leader Bill Northey

NASDA sends our deepest condolences to the family of Bill Northey, CEO of Iowa Association of Agribusiness, who recently passed. As former Iowa Secretary of Agriculture, Bill was a NASDA member from 2007 – 2018 and served as NASDA President from 2011 – 2012.


NASDA CEO Ted McKinney and NASDA President, Oklahoma Secretary of Agriculture, Blayne Arthur reflected on the personal impact Bill made in their lives and for the industry.


“Bill Northey was my good friend as he was to so very many others. We have lost a titan in U.S. agriculture. All of NASDA expresses sorrow for his loss and our love and support go out to his wife Cindy and his family. As a lifelong leader in the industry, Bill had an immense depth of knowledge and experience that he shared to benefit all of agriculture,” McKinney said.


“Bill was well known for his care for others, love of learning and deep appreciation for agriculture and those who work to feed the world. His heart and experience as a fourth-generation farmer made him a one-of-a-kind leader for agriculture,” Arthur said.


Iowa Secretary of Agriculture and NASDA member Mike Naig also released a statement sharing his sentiments.

Click here to read more about NASDA's commemoration of Bill Northey.

USDA to Issue $306 Million in Final Payments to Producers Impacted by 2020 and 2021 Natural Disasters

The U. S Department of Agriculture (USDA) is issuing final Emergency Relief Program (ERP) payments totaling approximately $306 million to eligible commodity and specialty crop producers who incurred losses due to natural disasters in 2020 and 2021. USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) will begin issuing these additional payments to eligible producers this week.

“In the natural disaster recovery process, every little bit of available assistance helps offset the financial toll that these catastrophic events have taken on agricultural producers, their families, and their operations,” said FSA Administrator Zach Ducheneaux. “With remaining funds after initial factoring, USDA was able to put additional money back in the hands of the producers as we strive for the most fair and equitable distribution of available funds to as many producers as possible.”

Recipients of the additional payment are limited to those producers who received ERP Phase One payments from FSA that were calculated based on crop insurance indemnities. Initially, ERP Phase One payments to producers who were indemnified through Federal crop insurance, were subject to a 75% payment factor. FSA has since determined that adequate funding exists to provide an additional 3.5% ERP Phase One payment to producers who had crop insurance increasing the overall payment factor to 78.5%. 

Read the full release from USDA on the latest ERP Payments

We Welcome Ben Hale to Our Lineup of Market Analysts

Ben Hale with Western Livestock Auctions will be giving us his perspective on the cattle markets on a weekly basis- starting this morning in our Markets Section of the email on the right hand column of our daily email. Ben and his family operate the Western Livestock Commission Firm at the Oklahoma National Stockyards where they sell cattle on Mondays and Tuesdays. They sell cattle at the Comanche Livestock Auction on Wednesdays and Thursdays at the Woodward Livestock Auction. We will be talking with Ben to get his take on the cattle market on Tuesdays which will be posted on our website and that conversation will be available Wednesdays here in our email.

Other Market analysts that can be read and/or heard via our email include:

Justin Lewis with KIS Futures offers a DAILY review of the futures markets- posted in the afternoons on the web and each morning here in the email.

Bill Barnhart with OKC West offers his commentary on their weekly market and the big picture of the cattle market each Thursday morning in our daily email's OKC West Market Report.

Bob Rodenberger with Stockman Oklahoma and the Apache Livestock Auction is featured each Friday on our website as he talks with KC Sheperd about that week's markets- and his comments are then available to you in the Monday email weekly.

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 59 cents and Select Beef was up 83 cents on Tuesday, 2/6/2024.

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

Boxed Beef Report

OKC West in El Reno had 4,500 head of Calves on Tuesday.

Compared to last week: Steer and heifer calves sold 3.00-6.00 higher following last weeks sharply higher market. Demand very good for calves. Both Live and Feeder Cattle contracts on the CME closed sharply higher today. Supply included: 100% Feeder Cattle (48% Steers, 50% Heifers, 2% Bulls). Feeder cattle supply over 600 lbs was 27%.

For Wednesday 2/7/24

Expecting 7,000 head

2,800 Feeder Heifers @ 9:00

4,200 Feeder Steers @ 12:30

Click below for the complete closing report.

OKC West in El Reno Calf Market Report from 02/06/2024

Here's our BRAND NEW regular feature that will be a part of the Wednesday Daily Email- market commentary from Ben Hale of Western Livestock Auctions.


Hale talks on Tuesdays with Ron Hays with his commentary and is posted on our website-click here for this Tuesday's story featuring Hale's comments.



Learn more about Western Livestock Auctions, Click Here

Listen to Ron Hays talk with Ben Hale about the cattle markets
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 2/6/2024
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 2/6/2024
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:

Listen to Episode 86 with Ron Hays talking with one of the legends in the Beef Cattle Business- Bob Drake of Davis, Oklahoma
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Our thanks to Midwest Farms Shows, P & K Equipment, Oklahoma Farm BureauOklahoma Ag Mediation ProgramGreat Plains KubotaStillwater Milling CompanyNational Livestock Credit CorporationOklahoma Beef CouncilOklahoma AgCredit, Oklahoma Pork Council, the Oklahoma Cattlemens Association, and  KIS Futures for their support of our daily Farm News Update.

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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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Radio Oklahoma Ag Network


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