Subject: Oklahoma's Farm News Update
From: Ron Hays <>
Date: 3/24/2020, 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 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.
Each afternoon we are posting a recap of that day's markets as analyzed by Justin Lewis of KIS futures- click 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.
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

KC Sheperd, Associate Farm Director and Editor

Sam Knipp, Farm Editor
Pam Arterburn, Calendar and Template Manager
Dave Lanning, Markets and Production

Oklahoma's Latest Farm and Ranch News
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON
   Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Howdy Neighbors! 

Here is your daily Oklahoma farm and ranch news update. 
One Featured Story: Feeder Cattle Markets WAY UP- Beef Trade Keeps Soaring as Well

After several weeks of falling cattle markets- cattle producers said enough is enough- and simply stopped bringing cattle to town last week- auction numbers were at some of the lowest numbers seen at a time of the year when we normally have a lot of cattle coming off wheat pasture and moving further down the beef pipeline. 

The extremely light numbers continued on Monday in three of more significant auction barns- but this time- buyers wanted cattle and they were bidding aggressively for the animals available.

Oklahoma National, Tulsa and Joplin all had limited numbers- but way up versus a week ago.

Oklahoma National Stockyards got a test on yearlings- Feeder Steers were$15 to $19 higher with seven weight steers ranging from $126 to $138.75, and eight weight steers from $114 to $128.

Joplin Regional had enough steer calves to get a price test- under 700 steers went $15 to $25 higher- five weight steers ranged from $148 to $176 with six weight steers from $145 to $152.

Tulsa also reported a light test- with steers up $11 to $16 and heifers $7 to $12 higher. 

Click on the market name above to see the report from USDA Market News. 

Meanwhile, the Boxed Beef Trade did not slow one little bit- Choice Beef at $257.32- higher by $3.57 while Select Beef jumped $4.97 to $245.14.  236 Loads were reported by USDA in their Monday afternoon report. 

Cassie Fish, in her daily commentary called The Beef, called it a "wow" kind of day.

"Cutout values surge to the highest point in March for any time in history, not all that far from the all-time high for the choice cutout at just over $265 posted in 2015.

"History is being made each day at a mind-boggling rate of speed and scope.

"On the futures side, CME cattle futures are ridiculously discount to cash prices and unable to close the gap because of the 300-point limit. At least tomorrow(Tuesday) expanded limits will get April LC to $106.15, still $15 below where this week's cash price will likely be established at the minimum. Open interest has plunged, now at 277k the lowest since 2016 as multiple traders head for the door.

"It's now become clear that grocery stores will feed the U.S. through the coronavirus pandemic and all the stops have been pulled out to resupply then continue to support record retail consumer demand. The biggest driver in growth has been ground beef, which has resulted in prices for end meats and grinds to skyrocket. Some sources report fresh beef sales for the week ended March 15 were up 73.1% and fresh beef volume gained 59.2%.

"Those that believe this is a short-lived bump in cutout values are very likely underestimating this unprecedented demand surge. Given that many American households are staying home, replenishing supplies over the next couple of months is a necessity.

"Last week's cattle slaughter was 653k head, up 20k from the prior week and up 27k from a year ago. This week look for 665k to 663k head as packers race to meet demand and maximize record profits.

"Cash cattle prices this week will be higher, though how much higher is much debated. Packers may have purchased close to 150k head nationally last week, but with runaway cutout values, prices paid will be dollars higher than last week's $113 top, possibly over $120."

I agree with Cassie- WOW! 

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Agriculture Secretary Blayne Arthur has written the following letter to the livestock markets and producers encouraging them to keep agriculture commerce moving by continuing operating, while adhering to slight modifications and suggestions by the CDC to keep everyone safe and healthy.

March 23, 2020

Livestock market operators and producers,

As the worry and fear has spread across our state and nation and has caused a cancellation of almost every event, I, along with our Governor, understand that agriculture doesn't stop and we are working to keep agriculture commerce moving. I encourage markets to continue operating and producers to continue to fuel these sales, while adhering to slight modifications and suggestions by the CDC to keep everyone safe and healthy.

This is a primary time for income for the livestock business and livestock auction markets are an integral part of Oklahoma agriculture - you all are key for true price discovery. We ask that while these times are unprecedented and the word 'challenging' is an understatement, you continue to operate while taking precautions to mitigate the risk of COVID-19.

Attached to this letter, you will find a one-page guideline sheet on recommended practices for your sales. Please print these flyers and post them throughout your facility for your guests to read.

We suggest implementing the following practices at your production sale:
* Hand washing stations and hand sanitizers
* Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth
* Stay home when you are sick
* Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects - special attention to frequently utilized areas
* Keeping human numbers in the auction barn to a minimum
* Advise customers to view the auctions online
* Customers can make arrangements to pick up checks in the parking lot if they can't wait for the mail
* For food services, consider boxed-type meals and individually packaged items

Tough times don't last, but tough people do. Farmers, ranchers and agriculturists of all kinds are tough people. We will get through the weather, a pandemic and difficult market conditions, but it will be much easier with your help by continuing your essential role in our industry.

As always, if you have questions or concerns, reach out to me at


Blayne Arthur
Oklahoma Secretary of Agriculture

To read the PDF on Important Information for Livestock

Mondays, Dr. Derrell Peel, Oklahoma State University Extension Livestock Marketing Specialist, offers his economic analysis of the beef cattle industry. This analysis is a part of the weekly series known as the "Cow Calf Corner" published electronically by Dr. Peel and Glenn Selk. Today, Dr. Peel talks about the record meat supplies so far in 2020.

Disruptions in normal activities due to COVID-19 have produced a surge in at-home food demand. Recent reports indicate a 77 percent year over year increase in grocery meat sales in mid-March. The spike in grocery demand has overwhelmed the retail meat supply chain resulting in temporary shortages of meat in many grocery stores. The shortages are due to the tremendous logistical challenges of shifting meat supplies from food service channels to retail grocery channels.

It is critical for consumers to know that there is no shortage of meat in the U.S. In fact, production of beef, pork and poultry are projected at record levels in 2020 and are at record levels in the first quarter of the year. Production of all meat is projected at 109.3 billion pounds in 2020, up 4.3 percent year over year. Total meat production in the first quarter of 2020 is estimated at 26.9 billion pounds, up 6.9 percent year over year. Total meat production includes, beef, veal, pork, lamb and mutton, broiler, other chicken and turkey.

Broiler production, which represents about 88 percent of total poultry production, is projected at 46.0 billion pounds in 2020, up 5.8 percent year over year. Broiler production is up due to both increased slaughter and heavier bird weights so far this year. Broiler production in the first quarter is up 7.7 percent year over year.

Pork production in 2020 is projected to total 28.9 billion pounds, up 4.4 percent year over year.   Hog slaughter is up 4.7 percent thus far in 2020 and carcass weights are heavier this year. First quarter pork production is estimated to be 7.6 percent higher year over year compared to one year ago.

Beef production is projected to be 1.9 percent higher year over year in 2020, totaling 27.7 billion pounds. Increased beef production is concentrated in the first half of the year. Total steer and heifer slaughter is up 3.9 percent year over year for the year to date. Steer carcass weights for the year to date are up over 21 pounds year over year with heifer carcass weights up over 12 pounds. First quarter beef production is estimated to increase 6.6 percent year over year over last year.

Poultry, pork and beef production are all at record levels of production. Total domestic meat consumption in 2020 is projected at 228.2 pounds per capita (retail weight), up 2.1 percent year over year and a record level. While COVID-19 is changing how and where meat consumption happens and is temporarily overwhelming certain supply chains, supplies of all meats are assured in 2020.

U.S. Department of Agriculture Service Centers are encouraging visitors to take proactive protective measures to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

As part of our commitment to farmers and ranchers, USDA Service Centers will continue to be open for business by phone appointment only and field work will continue with appropriate social distancing.

While our FSA and NRCS program delivery staff at the Service Centers will continue to come into the office, they will be working with our producers by phone, and using online tools whenever possible.

Producers can find their Service Center's phone number at and more information about Coronavirus and USDA Service Centers at

You know- I don't think I ever imagined that I would be using the phrase "Social Distancing" as we report on the business of agriculture- strange times indeed. 

Sponsor Spotlight

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Rains across the region continued to advance the winter wheat and pasture conditions this past week. According to the latest USDA Crop Progress Report in Oklahoma, 77 percent of the wheat crop is rated in the good to excellent category (last week it was 67 percent), 20 percent in the fair category (17 percent last week) and only three percent of the wheat crop is rated poor to very poor this week., compared to 16 percent last week.

For the week of March 16-22, the Oklahoma pasture and range conditions are rated 53 percent in the good to excellent category this week, about the same as last week, 43 percent fair this week, compare to 40 percent last week, and only 4 percent is rated poor this week.

Livestock conditions dropped slightly this week, as they are reported at 65 percent good to excellent (72 percent last week), 32 percent fair (25 percent last week) and 3 percent poor, the same as last week.

In Kansas the wheat conditions are rated 48 percent good to excellent this week, (46 percent last week), 38 percent in the fair category (40 percent last week) and 14 percent poor to very poor (last week it was 18 percent).

For Texas, most of the state received from trace amounts to upwards of 3.0 inches of precipitation March 16-22. Some areas in the Low Plains, the Cross Timbers, the Blacklands, the Edwards Plateau, South Central Texas, South and East Texas received in excess of 2.0 to 8.0 inches. There were 4.3 days suitable for fieldwork.

Small grains continued to develop in most areas of the state due to increased moisture. Meanwhile, wheat in some areas of South Texas reached the heading stage prematurely due to dry conditions.

The Texas wheat crop is rated 49 percent in the good to excellent category this week, compared to 36 percent last week, 33 percent fair this week, a 3 percent improvement from last week, and 18 percent in the poor to very category this week, compared to 32 percent last week.

The Texas range pasture conditions this week are rated 42 percent good to excellent ( 32 percent last week), 34 percent is fair (36 percent last week), and 24 percent is rated poor to very poor (32 percent last week).

On today's Beef Buzz, I talk with Kent Bacus, senior director of international trade and market access for the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, about increasing trade with China. This good news comes at a time when we could all use some positive information.

China is making progress in implementing the phase one agreement of the trade package by eliminating non-trade tariff barriers.

"We couldn't be more excited," Bacus said.

He noted the barriers meant the U.S. had no real incentive to sell beef to China.

Bacus said the two biggest barriers to trade have been dropped. These include removing the BSE, 30-month restriction on cattle, and the establishment of maximum residue levels for three commonly used hormones.

China now recognizes the safety of our cattle, Bacus said.
These hormones are safe, FDA approved and have been used in the industry for decades, Bacus said. This is reflective of international standards. China is getting on board with the science-based process.

"This is a major shift in Chinese policy," Bacus said.

The NCBA official added it is still going to take time to build the market in China but this will give U.S. beef producers much better access to the global market.

The National Milk Producers Federation's coronavirus webpage is expanding further, adding a farmer handbook to address dairy production needs and launching a podcast series featuring experts discussing crucial issues faced by dairy farmers and the broader industry as they work to feed the U.S. and the world.

"Dairy farmers are working hard to provide consumers a safe and abundant supply of milk, and they critically need resources to help them manage in a fast-changing environment. To assist them, we're working our hardest to keep up with those needs," said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of the National Milk Producers Federation. "This COVID-19 resource,, is a valuable tool both for farmers to manage their operations and for the broader industry and consumer community to understand what's happening in dairy and respond appropriately."

The handbook, drafted by members of the National Dairy FARM (Farmers Assuring Responsible Management) program, addresses topics from preventing coronavirus transmission in the workplace to proper workforce management in a pandemic. It's part of a wide range of resources on the site, which first launched March 6 and since then has continually added content that aids aid the dairy community from farm to consumer as the coronavirus crisis has deepened, including links to key government documents and information for processors.

Our thanks to Midwest Farms Shows, P & K Equipment, AFR Insurance, Oklahoma Farm Bureau, Great Plains Kubota, Stillwater 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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