Subject: Oklahoma's Farm News Update
From: Ron Hays <>
Date: 12/18/2019, 5:48 AM

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We invite you to listen to us on great radio stations across the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network weekdays- if you missed this morning's Farm News - or you are in an area where you can't hear it- click or tap here for this morning's Farm news from Ron Hays on RON.

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:
mornings with cash and futures reviewed- includes where the Cash Cattle market stands, the latest Feeder Cattle Markets Etc.

At OKC West in El Reno steer calves traded 2.00-4.00 higher and heifer calves sold steady to 1.00 higher with exception of light weight heifers under 500 lbs selling with a sharply lower undertone - click here to review the complete sale report from the USDA. has 878 head of cattle on their showlist for the upcoming Wednesday, December 18th sale of finished cattle - click here to jump to the website. 
Each afternoon we are posting a recap of that day's markets as analyzed by Justin Lewis of KIS futures- click or tap here for the report posted yesterday afternoon around 3:30 PM.
Okla Cash Grain:  
Daily Oklahoma Cash Grain Prices- as reported by the Oklahoma Dept. of Agriculture on Tuesday, December 17th.
Futures Wrap:  
Our Daily Market Wrapup from the Radio Oklahoma Network - analyzing the Futures Markets from the previous Day.
Feeder Cattle Recap:  
The National Daily Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary- as prepared by USDA.
Slaughter Cattle Recap: 
The National Daily Slaughter Cattle Summary- as prepared by the USDA.
TCFA Feedlot Recap:  
Finally, here is the Daily Volume and Price Summary from the Texas Cattle Feeders Association.

Our Oklahoma Farm Report Team!!!!
Ron Hays, Senior Farm Director and Editor
Pam Arterburn, Calendar and Template Manager
Dave Lanning, Markets and Production

Kane Kinion, Web and Email Editorial Assistant

Oklahoma's Latest Farm and Ranch News
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON
   Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Howdy Neighbors! 

Here is your daily Oklahoma farm and ranch news update. 
One Featured Story:

For the ninth year, the folks at the Oklahoma National Stockyards stopped their final sale of the year and did a special fundraiser for the All American Beef Battalion.

The General Manager of the Oklahoma National Stockyards, Kelli Payne, stopped to talk with me to talk about this unique tradition. "Yeah, it's just really a great thing. We really believe in it. The commission firms, the order buyers, and our customers. It's just really nice to stop and give back. One thing that's always been interesting to me in watching this, when the auctioneer starts the introduction, he always has asked the crowd to stand up anyone who has been in service previously. It's really, really heartfelt, and really amazing to see how many of the folks that are actually sitting in the seats have served our country. So they continue on, a lot of veterans who are farmers and ranchers. So it's a way to just give back all the way around."

Annually, this is the largest fundraiser for the All American Beef Battalion that was founded by Bill Broady, so he's always very appreciative of that, Payne says its become a great tradition, "Yes, it's great to see everybody come together and it has become a real tradition for that final sale of the year for us to pause and give thanks. The National family of companies has been wonderful in promoting this, and it's great to reach across the aisle and do work with them on this and helping get the word out. Folks around the state come in and see, I tell you I've got some news crews here today and a representative from the Department of Agriculture and it's just wonderful to have everybody stop and really think about why we're here and what we're doing."

You can listen to the entire conversation between Payne and I on Tuesday's Beef Buzz - here

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Thirty youth from across Oklahoma competed in the 2019 Tulsa Farm Show Livestock Handling Scholarship Contest Dec. 13. Sponsored by American Farmers & Ranchers/Oklahoma Farmers Union (AFR/OFU), the annual competition showcases the skills of young 4-H and FFA members in practical, real-life cattle handling scenarios, such as weighing for accurate dosage, vaccinating and tagging calves in a hydraulic chute. Contestants are judged on skill, accuracy and efficiency as they process the animals.   

"While stress-free processing has always been a goal of good cattlemen, proper and efficient handling has become even more important in the modern age of livestock production," said AFR/OFU Cooperative President Scott Blubaugh. "With an increased need to diversify herds, producers can now expect cattle of all ages and backgrounds to be sent through the chute. It's vital that young producers understand the needs of each animal."

The annual contest begins in July with a written exam that measures students' knowledge of livestock handling practices. At the state level, the competition emphasizes the application of classroom study to actual agricultural production scenarios. In order to excel, students must take knowledge out of the classroom and apply it in a real world situation.

You can read more about the 2019 Tulsa Farm Show Livestock Handling Contest winners, by jumping over to our website

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) seeks public comments on its interim rule for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), USDA's flagship program that helps producers plan and implement 150-plus conservation practices on working lands. The rule - now available on the Federal Register - takes effect upon publication and includes changes to the program prescribed by the 2018 Farm Bill.

"The Environmental Quality Incentives Program gives farmers/ ranchers/ forest landowners the tools they need to improve their agricultural operations while conserving natural resources," said Gary O'Neill, NRCS state conservationist in Oklahoma. "The 2018 Farm Bill further strengthens this popular conservation program to enable NRCS to better support locally led conservation efforts while also expanding producers' ability to address significant resource concerns."

NRCS will make available $1.2 billion nationwide for interested producers in fiscal 2020. Oklahoma NRCS state office will announce signup periods for EQIP in the coming weeks.

Changes to EQIP include:

- Creating incentive contracts and payments for incentive practices to better support locally led conservation needs.
- Requiring NRCS to offer an advance payment option for historically underserved producers.
- Raising the payment cap for producers participating in the Organic Initiative to $140,000 for contracts entered into between fiscal 2019 through 2023.
- Expanding the Conservation Innovation Grant program, which is funded through EQIP, to include opportunities for On-Farm Conservation Innovation Trials and Soil Health Demonstration Trials.

Click here to read more from NRCS regarding the changes to EQIP and how you can submit comments and signup. 

I caught up with the Senior Director of Public Policy for Oklahoma Farm Bureau, Steve Thompson, at the Tulsa Farm show last weekend.

Thompson told me that as we wrap up 2019, the big story this year was the first year of a new administration and a record class, of new legislators, "I think there's so many new faces in and around the capital both from an Ag policy perspective, and a state public policy perspective, that everybody kind of got their feet wet. The Governor and his team did a remarkable job of trying to address some of the problems that maybe have gone unaddressed for a number of years. We're so very fortunate to have an ambassador like Secretary Blayne Arthur in the agriculture slot, and she's done a remarkable job with the Department of Agriculture and been such a good voice for us in the Governor's cabinet room. Those are the things that we look back and think there was a lot of good work done, but most of that was really just step one. I know that there are a number of things that we talk about in agriculture that we're really stressed with right now both economically and from livestock perspective, trying to prepare for the what-if events. That if you read the headlines nationally and internationally, we know there are lots of problems both from animal health and from international trade. So I think when we look back in 2019, it was trying to get this new crop of folks both within the administration and the state legislature; get them acclimated and on balance. It was a very, very good year, but it was just the first step into trying to dig into things on behalf of Oklahoma agriculture."

This year it seems that lawmakers have sorted through several issues this past session, and more dollars have been available for agriculture. Thompson says that makes a world of difference, "Truly that changed the climate in state government more than anything I've seen in a long, long time, but you know if you look at your household budget or your business budget if you have a deficit life's pretty tough. If you have a surplus, its a lot easier to have a smile on your face. This year at the capital, there was a surplus. They made a record investment in the rainy day fund, and they were able to put some money aside, which I think is a very wise investment. It was controversial in some quarters, but we're very proud of the diligence that they showed to be responsible there, and we were able to invest a little bit both in a second straight year of teachers' pay raises, and a few of our core agencies that we rely on. Both the Department of Ag, they were able to get some money for their laboratory and their state veterinarian's office and the critical team at the Conservation Commission and the conservation districts. They got a little bit of targeted money that they desperately needed to put on the ground to do good work in Oklahoma. That changed the tone; you know whenever there is money in your bank account at the end of the month, life is a lot better than then whenever there's a deficit, and we saw the upside of that for the first time in a long time in 2019."

You can listen to the whole conversation between Thompson and I regarding this year's legislative session and what to expect next year, by jumping over to our website

Sponsor Spotlight

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Yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives approved an additional $19.6 million in funding for more agricultural inspectors at land, air and sea ports to prevent African swine fever (ASF) and other foreign animal diseases (FAD) from entering the United States. This funding, included in the fiscal year 2020 Department of Homeland Security appropriations bill, is a top priority for the National Pork Producers Council.

"For more than a year, NPPC has advocated for an increase in the number of agricultural inspectors at our borders," said NPPC President David Herring, a pork producer from Lillington, N.C. "We applaud the House, especially Reps. Vela, Thompson, Peterson, Axne, Carbajal, Gonzalez, Costa, Rouzer and Fortenberry, for approving an essential provision to reduce the risk of ASF and other FADs and to protect the rural economy from a devastating outbreak. We also thank the USDA and Customs and Border Protection for all they have done to strengthen U.S. biosecurity."

The most likely path for a FAD to enter the country would be through the importation of infected animals or contaminated products. An outbreak of certain FADs would immediately close U.S. pork export markets, with significant harm to our farmers, consumers and overall economy. NPPC continues to advocate for other FAD preparedness measures, including establishing a U.S. Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) vaccine bank as provided for in the 2018 Farm Bill. The United States does not currently have access to enough vaccine to quickly contain and eradicate an FMD outbreak.

You can read more about the passage of more ag inspectors, by clicking or tapping here.

The following are estimates from Allendale for the upcoming Cattle on Feed and Cold Storage reports that will be released in the next few days- Cattle on Feed will be released on Friday, December 20th and the Cold Stoarge Report will be out on Monday, December 23rd..

"November placements are expected 7.1% over last year at 2.138 million head. It would be the largest December placement in twenty years. This would mark three months in a row of higher than last year placements. November placements supply a portion of the June through September 2020 finished cattle supply. Kansas State University estimates fed cattle breakevens for that time at $119 per cwt.

"Allendale anticipates a Marketing total in November 2.5% under last year at 1.822 million. The original estimate was lowered by 2.2% due to the calendar adjustment.

"Total Cattle on Feed as of December 1 is 2.8% over last year at 12.066 million. This estimate is the largest in twelve years for this period.

Click here to review more from Allendale and their projections for 2020 cattle on feed. 

"In nature, cattle and other grazing species exist at the bottom of the food chain. From a survival standpoint, they are wired to try to appear healthy and fit until they simply cannot fake it anymore. As a prey species, if cattle appear weak, they become a target for predators. For this reason, owners must be alert to even the most minor signs of illness to initiate treatment early to increase the chance of success.

"With this in mind, we know that very severe illness or injury must be present for an animal to be unwilling or unable to stand. Therefore, anytime an animal is unable to rise, it is critically important to correctly diagnosis the problem as soon as they are found and initiate proper treatment.

"Most of the causes of cattle not being able to stand fall into what veterinarians refer to as the "5 M's of Down Cows." These are categories of disease which help us to develop a list of possible causes and work through each one to determine the cause for each given case. The five m's are: mastitis, metritis, metabolic, musculoskeletal and mystery. Yes, you read that last one correctly!"

You can read more from Jones regarding cattle that can not stand, by jumping over to our website

Our thanks to Midwest Farms Shows, P & K Equipment, AFR Insurance,  Oklahoma Pork CouncilOklahoma Farm BureauStillwater Milling Company, National Livestock Credit CorporationOklahoma Beef Council, Oklahoma AgCredit, Oklahoma Ag Mediation Program, Inc.the Oklahoma Cattlemens Association 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.   

God Bless! You can reach us at the following:  
phone: 405-473-6144


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