Kelsey Reviews 2014: An Amazing Year for Cattle ProducersTue, 23 Dec 2014 17:51:57 CST
The year 2014 will be a year to remember for the cattle industry. Oklahoma producers got some weather relief from the ongoing drought, grass and hay production was plentiful and the cattle market showed amazing strength throughout the year. Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association Executive Vice President Michael Kelsey said 2014 was an amazing year especially from a marketing and price perspective.
"Prices have just been phenomenal, whether you are talking feeder cattle, or fed cattle or even replacement cattle, heifers and cows," Kelsey said. "Boy, there toward the latter two-thirds of the year, replacement females were just sky rocketing. They have softened a bit since then, but they are still very competitive in terms of price."
Radio Oklahoma Network Farm Director Ron Hays interviewed Kelsey about the year. Click or tap on the LISTEN BAR below to listen to the full interview.
Oklahomans have also enjoyed a favorable climate with timely rains this summer. Kelsey said western Oklahoma continues to suffer from drought, but the drought impact has lessened in comparison to the exceptional year in 2011. With good rains he said the state has had better hay and forage production, which is lowering feed costs to producers.
Cattle producers did find their livelihood under attack in 2014 from a regulatory front. Kelsey said key issues included the 'Waters of the US' proposal, the potential to import beef from Brazil and Argentina and the long delay over the tax extenders package. He said Congress waited until the very end of the session to extend the 2013 legislation. That will allow producers to reinvest into their operation by buying equipment or cattle to expand their herd.
Producers also received drought assistance from the federal government with passage of the 2014 Farm Bill. Kelsey commended House Ag Chairman Frank Lucas for his efforts in getting the Farm Bill signed into law and making the livestock disaster program retroactive. He said this brought much needed assistance from the severe and devastating drought. In talking with many OCA members, especially from western Oklahoma, Kelsey said the drought assistance was integral in keeping families in the cattle business.
Looking ahead to 2015, Kelsey said there is some fantastic momentum in rebuilding the state's cowherd as producers are holding back heifers and cows. He is also seeing a surge of younger individuals getting involved in the beef industry and OCA.
As the Obama Administration has two years left in office, Kelsey said cattlemen need to be prepared for an increase in federal government regulations and rules. This past year OCA commented on 13 different federal rules. They also signed on to many others in voicing their stance on how regulations would impact producers. Kelsey anticipates that number will increase by as much as 50 percent this next year.
In our interview, Kelsey also addressed an effort to provide endangered species protection in Oklahoma and Texas for the Texas horned lizard.
Michael Kelsey will be joining Ron Hays for the weekly In the Field report Saturday morning at 6:40 am on KWTV News9 in Oklahoma City.
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