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Okla Cash Grain:
Feeder Cattle Recap:
Slaughter Cattle Recap:
TCFA Feedlot Recap:
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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
Monday, April 20, 2020
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced Friday the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP). This new U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) program will take several actions to assist farmers, ranchers, and consumers in response to the COVID-19 national emergency. President Trump directed USDA to craft this $19 billion immediate relief program to provide critical support to our farmers and ranchers, maintain the integrity of our food supply chain, and ensure every American continues to receive and have access to the food they need.
As for the direct payments, North Dakota Senator John Hoeven, Chairman of the Senate Ag Appropriations Committee explained the $16 billion in direct payments to farmers and ranchers includes:
$9.6 billion for the livestock industry ($5.1 billion for cattle, $2.9 billion for dairy, $1.6 billion for hogs),
$3.9 billion for row crops,
$2.1 billion for specialty crops, and
$500 million for other crops.
On Friday evening- Secretary Perdue held a teleconference for media to offer more explanation of the efforts- our audio plus some details are available by clicking or tapping here.
One of the things that Secretary Perdue discussed Friday night was a time frame for payments- saying that he would like to get help to producers before the end of May. He also explained that he had to get creative in putting together $16 billion for farmers and ranchers right away since there was only $9.5 billion in the CARES bill passed by Congress.
More details are also contained in his story on our website.
Midwest Farm Shows is proud to produce the two best Farm Shows in the State of Oklahoma annually- the Tulsa Farm Show each December and the Oklahoma City Farm Show each April.
They would like to thank all of you who participated in their 2019 Tulsa City Farm Show.
Up next will be the Oklahoma City's premier spring agricultural and ranching event with returns to the State Fair Park June 18-19-20, 2020.
Now is the ideal time to contact the Midwest Farm Show Office at 507-437-7969 and book space at the 2020 Oklahoma City Farm Show. To learn more about the Oklahoma City Farm Show, click here.
| Ag Groups Respond to COVID-19 Relief Program
Several Agriculture groups have expressed their appreciation to Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue for including Agriculture in the disaster assistance package.
The American Farm Bureau Federation applauds the economic aid package. AFBF Federation President Zippy Duvall says the program will "help keep food on Americans' tables by providing a lifeline to farm families that were already hit by trade wars and severe weather."
The National Farmers Union
says the relief cannot come soon enough. NFU President Rob Larew recently urged Secretary Perdue in a letter to "swiftly and efficiently implement assistance and distribute resources." Larew expressed appreciation for the agency's efforts and reiterated the importance of dividing aid fairly and establishing longer-term solutions to market challenges.
The National Milk Producers Federation said, "
"Federal dairy assistance is critically needed as the nation's dairy farmers face an unprecedented collapse of markets resulting from the shutdown of much of the economy," said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of NMPF, the largest U.S. dairy-farmer organization.
The National Pork Council responded with, ""We fear the lifeline so desperately needed will fall short of what is truly needed. While the direct payments to hog farmers will offset some losses for some farmers, they are not sufficient to sustain the varied market participants, including those who own hogs as well as thousands of contract growers who care for pigs. All of these participants have made sizable investments in a U.S. pork production system that is the envy of the world. Many generational family farms will go bankrupt without immediate financial aid.
The National Cattlemen's Beef Association gave these comments, attributed to President Marty Smith of Florida:,
"We appreciate Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue's announcement that the agency will soon distribute funding to the cattlemen and cattlewomen who desperately need help during this national emergency. We applaud USDA's work to quickly craft a plan to distribute the funds to those who need it most and we look forward to learning more about that plan very soon."
The ranking member of the House Committee on Agriculture, Mike Conaway, said, ""Tonight's announcement of $19 billion in relief for U.S. farmers and ranchers is an important down payment. Secretary Perdue was spot-on when he indicated that significant additional support will be absolutely necessary to see our farmers and ranchers through the coronavirus crisis."
However, the Ethanol Industry feels this was a missed Opportunity, "
USDA missed a crucial opportunity to lend a helping hand to an industry that is suffering the worst economic crisis in its history. Roughly half of the ethanol industry is shut down today, as fuel demand has collapsed in response to COVID-19. Corn demand and prices have plummeted as plants across the country are idling. Jobs are being lost, grain markets are being ravaged, rural communities are being destabilized, and the long-term future of homegrown renewable fuels hangs in the balance."
And, Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, a Kansas Republican, says, "Delivering this much needed relief expediently and efficiently will help producers manage their operations, as well as put food on the tables of folks who need it most."
The closure of meat packing plants due to the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak should only be temporary, Colin Woodall, CEO of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, optimistically said.
Announcements in recent days from Smithfield Foods, Tyson, JBS and other processors that they would close because many of their workers are sick with COVID-19 has sent shockwaves through the industry.
We are finding that line workers and management staff at the JBS plant in Greeley, Colo., were infected, Woodall said. This is a scenario where JBS would like to keep the plant running but they can't get the manpower to keep the plant open.
That's significant because it processes about 5 percent of the total daily kill for our industry, Woodall said.
This issue is different than what confronted the industry when fire closed the Tyson plant in Holcomb, Ks., last year.
When you look at the Holcomb fire, that was just one plant, and when it went down, other plants were able to absorb a lot of those cattle, Woodall said. The problem here is that other plants are also infected, and they have slowed their line speed, Woodall said.
The problem now is where do we take the cattle, Woodall said. We can only haul them so far to find a plant to process them.
Woodall said the good news from the JBS plant in Greeley is they plan to reopen April 27.
Hopefully we can get through this two-week timeframe without any other plants going down.
With an academic and agribusiness background that spans from Oklahoma to Asia, Brady Sidwell brings deep global expertise to the Oklahoma City Branch Board of Directors of the Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank.
Sidwell, an international economics scholar who worked in China for 10 years, is founder and president of Sidwell Strategies in Enid, Oklahoma. The company provides risk management and marketing solutions for food and agriculture enterprises. It also handles futures and options trading in the commodities markets.
"We're agriculture-focused," Sidwell said. "We're here to provide professional value-added products and services to farmers, ranchers and agribusiness."
Sidwell has founded, helped launch or serves as chief executive of several other businesses in the fields of agriculture, finance, food and technology. He said that serving on the Board allows him to draw on that experience.
"Essentially my voice is the agriculture voice," Sidwell said. "It's also about gaining insight as to where other industries are relative to agriculture, and hopefully being able to generate ideas and have input into how the economic model is evolving."
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April is Made in Oklahoma Month, and the Oklahoma State University Robert M. Kerr Food and Agricultural Products Center is encouraging Oklahomans to support local food companies, even during this time of national crisis.
Andrea Graves, FAPC business planning and marketing specialist, said it is more important now than ever to support local food businesses during the coronavirus pandemic.
"Many local food companies are feeling financial strain right now and are concerned about what the future holds," Graves said. "Local businesses are essential for our economy by bringing growth and innovation to our communities, providing employment and creating entrepreneurship opportunities."
Graves recommends the following five ways to support local food companies and celebrate Made in Oklahoma Month, but also practice social distancing.
1. Order from your favorite restaurant once per week. Many places are offering pick-up and delivery.
2. Browse small businesses' websites and order online for their products.
3. Buy gift cards or credit to use later.
4. Share a local food company's website on social media, as well as restaurant delivery or pick-up menus.
5. Give a donation; cash is always appreciated.
The Oklahoma Youth Expo has awarded 100, $1,000 scholarships to Oklahoma high school seniors who had planned to exhibit a market animal at the 2020 OYE.
"Closing the doors early on the 2020 OYE was one of the hardest things we've ever had to do," said Tyler Norvell, President of the Onward Endowment. "When the dust settled, we knew we wanted to support the seniors who missed out on the opportunity to show one last time at OYE."
"With the help of many of our generous sponsors, the 2020 Financial Hardship Scholarship was created to help seniors who had planned to exhibit a market animal at OYE," Norvell said. "In less than a day, $100,000 was pledged to the scholarship fund."
To be eligible to apply, seniors had to have entered a market animal in the 2020 Oklahoma Youth Expo and have experienced significant financial loss by not being able to show. Seniors must have at least a 2.5 or higher GPA and must be planning to continue their education at a higher education institution or career/technical school.
In addition to the Financial Hardship Scholarship, all 2020 high school seniors will have the opportunity to exhibit market animals at the 2021 Oklahoma Youth Expo.
Cattle raisers know all about the best-laid plans. Because it seems if it's not Mother Nature wreaking havoc, market volatility steps in. This spring, COVID-19 has been the culprit.
With uncertainty in the markets, many have elected to delay selling. But what happens if their loan payment is due soon?
Ken Leiber, a Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association director and president of National Finance Credit Corporation of Texas, said communication is key - and the last thing lenders want is to be surprised.
"You can lay out your plan, but in the cattle business, you still have to react and adjust along the way," Leiber said. "It's your business to manage as the producer, but when you change your mind and your plans, it's time to talk to your lender. Tell him what you're thinking and why you're thinking that."
|Remembering Lew Meibergen- Including Audio from 2010
A life that was lived to it's fullest came to an end this past Thursday as Joseph "Lew" Lewis Meibergen passed away at the age of 88.
Lew was a force of nature in the world of agriculture in our state. What was written about him in 2010 when he was inducted as the first person in agribusiness into the Oklahoma Ag Hall of Fame describes a few of his contributions.
"Mr. Meibergen grew up raising livestock and working in his father's feed store and he later earned a degree from Oklahoma A&M in Animal Science. After a two year stint in the Army where he rose to the rank of Captain, he returned to Oklahoma and began managing the grain company his grandfather had founded in 1893 in Enid.
"In 1960 he was chosen by Governor Henry Bellmon to serve as Oklahoma Commissioner of Agriculture. Afterward, he had a highly successful career in the banking industry. This success later allowed him to purchase controlling interest in the family business, the W.B. Johnston Grain Company.
"Over the years Mr. Meibergen expanded the company to become the largest independent grain company in the state.
One of Mr. Meibergen's greatest achievements was the result of changes made in the railroad rate structure in 1983 that caused freight service to turn away from wheat to more profitable products. With the ability to ship wheat out of state for export limited, wheat began piling up at state elevators.
"At a meeting in the Oklahoma State University Student Union, he wrote a contract on a napkin to lease a port facility east of Tulsa. River transport solved the shipping problems and today that port it is the largest bulk handling port in the state.
His success quickly opened the way for more port operations and he was given the opportunity to manage the "Port of Muskogee and consequently built expansive fertilizer storage facilities there. Not only could wheat farmers now economically ship wheat to gulf export facilities, fertilizer costs were lowered due to lower shipping charges."
At the day of celebration in 2010 when Lew received his award signifying his Hall of Fame lifetime of achievements- we talked with him a few moments- click or tap here to read that story and listen to his comments
ten years ago- they are insightful even today. (The pic here is from the award presentation day a decade ago)
Lew Meibergen will be missed- the Enid News article of his passing quotes a lot of great folks reflecting on his life- click here for that.
And- click here for the Obit
on the Funeral Home's website to learn more about the family legacy this man leaves in and around Enid.
Thank you Lew for caring about the farmers of this state- and helping them be more prosperous through your efforts.
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