Oklahoma's Latest Farm

And Ranch News

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Howdy Neighbors!

Here is Your Daily Oklahoma Farm and Ranch News Update: 


  • Emergency Drought Commission Meets to Discuss Remaining Projects and Funding for 2024 Fiscal Year

  • Randy Blach of Cattle Fax Talks Beef Demand, Value-Added Programs and More

  • Oklahoma Farm Bureau Legal Foundation Continues Battle to Derail State Question 832

  • Across Breed EPD Adjustment Factors with OSU’s Mark Johnson

  • U.S. Cotton Protocol’s Tillman White Outlines Upcoming Deadlines for Producers

  • USDA Authorizes CRP Graze and Hay Donations to Wildfire- Impacted Producers in Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas

  • 45 Groups Press EPA to Strengthen Water Pollution Standards for Slaughterhouses

  • AFR's Youth Agriculture Achievement Contest Results Announced

Emergency Drought Commission Meets to Discuss Remaining Projects and Funding for 2024 Fiscal Year

On Tuesday, March 26, the Emergency Drought Commission met at the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture and Food Forestry to discuss the progress of drought relief projects across the state funded by the legislature and plans for the fiscal year of 2024. Following the meeting, Associate Farm Editor caught up with Ag Secretary Blayne Arthur and talked about the highlights from the meeting.

The meeting began with remarks from Oklahoma State Forester Mark Goeller, who gave an update on fire statistics in the state. For the past few years, Goeller said Oklahoma has been a top-ten state in the U.S. for the number of wildfires, and the dry conditions haven’t helped. Goeller expressed the forestry department’s need for wildfire response funding, explaining that local fire departments are great for initial attack response. Still, the forestry department is essential in the extended attack, as some fires last for days.

Regarding projects funded through the Oklahoma Emergency Drought Commission, Oklahoma Conservation Commission’s Trey Lam gave the numbers for practices installed across the state, and the budget. With the funds allocated for drought relief, Lam said 5,694 practices have been installed so far, including projects such as water wells, pond cleanouts, cover crops, forest establishment, and more.

Six conservation districts have finished implementation of practices, and there are now 1,993 remaining projects to be completed. Of those remaining projects, Lam said 658 are pond cleanouts and 494 are water wells.

Click here to read more about the emergency Drought Commission meeting.

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.


Randy Blach of Cattle Fax Talks Beef Demand, Value-Added Programs and More

At the 2024 Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Convention, I had the chance to catch up with the President and CEO of CattleFax, Randy Blach, and talk about supply and demand in the beef industry.

“We have just got to stay focused and listen to the consumer,” Blach said. “They have rewarded us with some tremendous demand over the last decade or two decades now. Producers should be emboldened by seeing the way that consumers are acting toward the quality of product we are producing.”

While demand for high-end beef products has been slower due to price increases, Blach said other types of beef remain strongly sought after.

“If you look at a wholesale level, January and February demand numbers were excellent,” Blach said.

When significant declines in production are seen on an annual basis, Blach said the prices will reflect that. Therefore, Blach said it is no surprise when demand slows down due to higher prices.

“You have got to go all the way back since 2015 since these cow-calf producers really made any money,” Blach said. “They made a little money last fall, but it has been a grinder for these folks, and they need to make a run of three to four years of significant profitability to retire some debt that has accumulated and get some confidence that they can reinvest in these herds.”

Click here to read more and listen to Randy Blach talk beef demand, value added programs and more.

Oklahoma Farm Bureau Legal Foundation Continues Battle to Derail State Question 832

The Oklahoma Farm Bureau Legal Foundation continues to partner with the Oklahoma State Chamber of Commerce in filing a petition for a rehearing of a legal challenge to the initiative petition asking voters to put a state question on the ballot to raise the minimum wage in Oklahoma.

Earlier this week, Secretary of State Josh Cockroft set the start of signature gathering on State Question 832 as April 8. He pulled back on the start date due to the renewed legal challenge from Farm Bureau and the State Chamber.

According to the State Secretary of State's website- the current status is "Petition for rehearing filed with the Supreme Court, Monday, March 25, 2024 (Supreme Court case no. 121777); The signature circulation date previously assigned is no longer effective and cannot be reassigned until all challenges have been resolved with the Supreme Court."

Last fall, the Legal Foundation announced their concern over this drive to uncouple the Oklahoma minimum wage from the Federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. Among other things- it would end the exemption from the minimum wage law for certain ag workers.

The Farm Bureau Legal Foundation says the initiative seeks to double the minimum wage by 2029 and increase it annually beginning in 2030 based on the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers. This change would remove the responsibility of determining a minimum wage from the Oklahoma legislature and instead tie it to national economic projections that do not accurately reflect Oklahoma’s economy.

“Taking a closer look at the CPI reveals it excludes all of rural Oklahoma,” said Steve Thompson, OKFB vice president of public policy. “One of our primary concerns is how the buying power of rural Oklahomans could be affected by an index that does not consider the unique needs of rural life.”

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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

The latest news from the Oklahoma State Capitol is available daily on the Radio Oklahoma News Network.

Click on the blue button to hear Capitol Reporter Albert Castellanos' report.

Click here for the latest report from the State Capitol on RON

Across Breed EPD Adjustment Factors with OSU’s 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 breed EPD adjustment factors.

National Cattle Evaluation (NCE), and the resulting Expected Progeny differences (EPDs), have resulted in substantial genetic change since their inception. Typically EPDs are only comparable within breed; however, since 1993 the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center (USMARC) has produced a table of additive adjustment factors which can be used to compare the genetic values of individual animals across breeds. These adjustment factors are available for each of the 18 breeds included in the USMARC database.

When producers find themselves in a bull selection situation including multiple breeds, the EPDs can be compared by adding/subtracting the appropriate adjustment factors to the EPDs resulting from the most recent genetic evaluations for each of the 18 breeds. Traits for which factors are estimated include birth weight, weaning weight, yearling weight, milk, marbling score, ribeye area, fat thickness and carcass weight. These factors adjust the EPDs to an Angus basis.

Click here to read more about breed EPD adjustments.

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

As the premier John Deere dealer across Oklahoma & Arkansas, P&K Equipment is proud to serve our 20 communities and the surrounding areas. From residential, small ag & hay, large ag, & compact construction equipment- the P&K team makes it easy to buy & own your John Deere equipment. You’ll find transparent pricing & easy financing options on the website & in stores. You’ll have technology, sales, parts, and service support long after the sale. So when you’re ready to experience the ease of operating John Deere equipment- you can trust the experts at P&K Equipment.

U.S. Cotton Protocol’s Tillman White Outlines Upcoming Deadlines for Producers

KC Sheperd, Farm Director, is visiting with the Program Operations Manager for the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol, Tillman White, talking about a few deadlines coming up for cotton producers.

“The enrollment period for 2024 U.S. cotton producers who want to enroll in the Trust Protocol is currently open, and the application for the U.S. Climate Smart Cotton Program is also available during the enrollment period.”

Growers who completed their enrollment during the 2023 period are able to reenroll this year, Tillman added.

Beginning in January, U.S. cotton growers can enroll in the Trust Protocol. Those who have completed data entry and bale uploads for the 2023 crop are also eligible to apply for the Climate Smart Cotton Program until midnight on April 30.

The U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol is proud to lead the Climate Smart Cotton Program, which aims to improve the carbon footprint of the U.S. cotton industry. It is a five-year initiative that presents a transformative opportunity for U.S. cotton growers to enhance their profitability, operations, and environmental stewardship. For brands and retailers, the program will support efforts to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and allow reporting against Scope 3 emissions reductions for cotton used in products.

Producers who have completed enrollment in the Trust Protocol, which includes data entry and bale uploads, are eligible to apply for the Climate Smart Cotton Program.

Click here to read more and listen to Tillman White talk about upcomind deadlines for cotton producers.

USDA Okays CRP Graze and Hay Donations to Wildfire- Impacted Livestock Producers in Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) authorizes the release of emergency haying and grazing of Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acres nationwide, including CRP acres in Oklahoma, to livestock producers affected by the recent wildfires in Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas.  

“Many ranchers in Nebraska, Texas and Oklahoma impacted by the recent, devastating wildfires are in need of grazing acres and hay resources to sustain their herds while they work over the coming months to restore their operations,” said Steve Kouplen, State Executive Director for USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) in Oklahoma. “If you have Conservation Reserve Program acres that you are willing to donate to these livestock producers for the purpose of grazing and haying, please contact your local FSA office. Your donations are needed and greatly appreciated.” States and counties currently affected by wildfire include: 

  • Nebraska: Custer, Lincoln and Logan
  • Oklahoma: Beaver, Dewey, Ellis, Harper, Kay, Roger Mills, Texas, Woods and Woodward.
  • Texas: Armstrong, Carson, Gray, Hartley, Hemphill, Hutchinson, Lipscomb, Moore, Ochiltree, Oldham, Potter, Roberts and Wheeler.

Online Wildfire Recovery Resources  

On farmers.gov, the Wildfire Recovery Webpage,Disaster Assistance Discovery Tool,Disaster Assistance-at-a Glance fact sheet, and Loan Assistance Tool can help producers and landowners determine program or loan options. For assistance with a crop insurance claim, producers and landowners should contact their crop insurance agent. For FSA and NRCS programs, they should contact their local USDA Service Center.  

Click here to read more about CRP hay and graze donations to producers in need after the wildfires.

45 Groups Press EPA to Strengthen Water Pollution Control Standards for Slaughterhouses and Animal Rendering Facilities

Forty-five community, environmental, and animal welfare organizations—together representing tens of millions of people across the United States—filed public comments yesterday with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, pressing for strong protections against water pollution from slaughterhouses and animal rendering facilities. The EPA published a proposal to strengthen existing protections in January 2024, following lawsuits from several of the commenting organizations. Yesterday’s comments emphasized that the EPA must improve its proposal to address environmental injustice and reduce harm to people and the environment.

Food & Water Watch Attorney Dani Replogle said: “EPA’s preference for weak slaughterhouse regulations privileges the health of a polluting industry over that of frontline communities and our nation’s waters. To adopt anything less than the most stringent clean water protections in the agency’s final rule would be a missed opportunity and a big mistake.”

Click here to read more about organizations urging higher water pollution control standards for slaughterhouses and animal rendering facilities.

AFR's Youth Agriculture Achievement Contest Winners Announced

Ten agricultural youth from across Oklahoma have earned top placings in the 2024 American Farmers & Ranchers (AFR) Agricultural Achievement Contest. The contest was conducted in conjunction with the Oklahoma Youth Expo (OYE) in Oklahoma City March 13-22. This year, AFR presented $5,000 in prizes to contestants prior to the Oklahoma Youth Expo Grand Drive March 21.

The AFR Agricultural Achievement Contest recognizes outstanding youth in Oklahoma who display exceptional showmanship skills and possess extensive knowledge of the livestock industry, including production, management, processing and end product utilization.

The 2024 AFR Ag Achievement Top Ten are:

First Place: Ryne Crosthwait, Stillwater

Second Place: Addyson Schneberger, Hydro-Eakly

Third Place: Aubrie McEndoo, Stillwater

Fourth Place: Cooper Kline, North Rock Creek

Fifth Place: Kyriana Beard, Stillwater

Sixth Place: Emma Yates, Stillwater

Seventh Place: Paisley Beshear, Wister

Eighth Place: Kynseth Zubrod, Guthrie

Ninth Place: Dade DeLozier, Adair

Tenth Place: Breya Sargent, Norman

Click here to read more about the AFR Oklahoma Youth Top Agriculture Achievement Contest.
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 mixed- Choice Beef was up 20 cents and Select Beef was down $1.70 on Friday 11/20/2020.

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

Boxed Beef Report

OKC West in El Reno had 1,800 head of calves that cold on Tuesday, March 26th.

Compared to last week: Steer and heifer calves sold 5.00-10.00 lower. Demand moderate. The CME Live and Feeder Cattle contracts on the CME closed sharply lower. Supply included: 100% Feeder Cattle (50% Steers, 40% Heifers, 10% Bulls). Feeder cattle supply over 600 lbs was 16%

Looking ahead to today's yearling sale-

Expecting 4,000

1,200 Feeder Heifers

2,800 Feeder Steers

Click below for the complete closing report.

OKC West in El Reno Calf Market Report from 03/26/2024

On Tuesdays, Ron Hays gets the latest market commentary from Ben Hale of Western Livestock Auctions.


This commentary 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 3/26/2024
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 3/26/2024
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

Podcasts From Oklahoma Farm Report and More

Two of our regular reports are also podcasts that you can subscribe to- Our daily Farm and Ranch News with KC Sheperdavailable here on the Apple Podcast Platform

The second is our daily Beef Buzz with Ron Haysavailable here on the Apple Podcast Platform

Periodically- we offer interviews on our Ag Perspectives Podcast series- this podcast is available here.

Ron has also has a series of podcasts from interviews with newsmakers at the Cattlemen's Congress- Click here or you can find them on your favorite Podcast platform- look for them by searching for Cattlemen's Congress Conversations.

We are making plans to jump back into regular installments of what has been called the Road to Rural Prosperity- a new name and fresh content is in the works- for now- click on the blue button below for one of our favorites that is a timeless classic.

Listen to Episode 86 with Ron Hays talking with one of the legends in the Beef Cattle Business- Bob Drake of Davis, Oklahoma
Listen to Ron
Beef Buzz
Blue Green Gazette
Market Links
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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, the Oklahoma Cattlemens Association, Invenergy Oklahoma and  KIS Futures for their support of our daily Farm News Update.

For your convenience, we have our sponsors' websites linked here- just click on their name to jump to their website- check their sites out and let these folks know you appreciate the support of this daily email, as their sponsorship helps us keep this arriving in your inbox on a regular basis- at NO Charge!

We also appreciate our Market Links Sponsor - OKC West Livestock! 

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
God Bless!
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Tim West
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Rural Oklahoma Networks



Mike Henderson
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KC Sheperd
Farm Director
Radio Oklahoma Ag Network


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Ron Hays
Senior Farm/Ranch Broadcaster
Radio Oklahoma Ag Network

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