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Today's First Look:
mornings with cash and futures reviewed- includes where the Cash Cattle market stands, the latest Feeder Cattle Markets Etc.
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Okla Cash Grain:
Feeder Cattle Recap:
Slaughter Cattle Recap:
TCFA Feedlot Recap:
Our Oklahoma Farm Report Team!!!!
Ron Hays, Senior Farm Director and Editor
Carson Horn, Associate Farm Director and Editor
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Dave Lanning, Markets and Production
|Oklahoma's Latest Farm and Ranch News
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON
Tuesday, March 13, 2018
|USDA Decides Not to Impose Additional Regulatory Requirements for Organic Producers and Handlers
The Department of Agriculture Monday announced the formal process to withdraw the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices final rule. Published January 19th last year, the last-minute Obama-era rule would have increased federal regulation of livestock and poultry for certified organic producers and handlers, according to USDA.
The withdrawal becomes effective May 13th, 2018. Following review last year, USDA claims the rule exceeds the federal agency's statutory authority, and that the changes to the existing organic regulations could have a negative effect on voluntary participation in the National Organic Program.
USDA Marketing and Regulatory Program Undersecretary Greg Ibach said in the announcement that existing organic livestock and poultry regulations are "robust" and "effective."
According to USDA reports for 2017, the number of certified organic operations increased domestically by seven percent and globally by 11 percent. Industry estimates show that organic sales in the United States reached almost $47 billion in 2016, reflecting an increase of almost $3.7 billion since 2015.
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|Ag Industry Has Mixed Reactions Towards USDA's Withdrawal of Organic Livestock Standards Rule
Several of our ag industry associations chimed in after the announcement came from the USDA that Secretary Sonny Perdue had signed off on the decision to withdraw the department's Organic Livestock and Poultry Rule. The decision got mostly positive reviews from producer organizations. However, there were those that felt the rule had merit, and expressed disappointment with the USDA's final choice to withdraw.
"Livestock health and well-being is a priority for all farmers and ranchers. We rely on trained professionals, including animal scientists, nutritionists and veterinarians, to ensure the health and safety of our food," said American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall
in a statement
. "The rule did not promote food safety or animal welfare. It went beyond the intent of the Organic Production Act by allowing for animal welfare standards and metrics to become part of the organic label."
Duvall claims that if the rule had been allowed to go into effect, it would have put many organic producers out of business.
The National Cattlemen's Beef Association applauded the move as well, calling it a triumph for common sense.
"Not only did USDA not have the legal authority to implement animal-welfare regulations, but the rule would have also vilified conventionally raised livestock without recognizing our commitment to raise all cattle humanely, regardless of the marketing program they're in," stated
NCBA President Kevin Kester
. "Secretary Sonny Perdue
deserves a lot of credit for yet another common-sense decision that will benefit America's cattle producers."
From a different angle, Roger Johnson, president of the National Farmers Union says the rule's withdrawal comes at the detriment of family farmers.
"USDA's action to withdraw the OLPP rule is a mistake that will cost the family producers who already adhere to strict standards in order to meet 'organic' standards," he said in a response
to USDA. "It puts them on an uneven playing field with the types of operations who skirt the rules, yet also benefit from the same USDA organic label."
|From the OYE- Supreme Female and Showmanship Champs Galore
It was a busy day at the 2018 Oklahoma Youth Expo- as the breeding animal shows wind down- and the start of the market animals being shown ready to start this morning as the Market Barrow Show starts bright and early at 8 AM.
On Monday- the show that drew the most interest was the Supreme Champion Drive for Purebred Beef Heifer- with that honor claimed by the young lady showing the Champion Angus Heifer- Rayli Cunningham of Laverne FFA.
Read more about the Beef Heifer Show by clicking or tapping here- and to learn who won the Supreme Commercial Beef Heifer Competition as well as the winner of the Supreme Beef Breed Influence Beef Heifer Drive.
Click here to find out all the details of the Supreme Champion Purebred Ewe lineup- won by Johnna Stottlemeyer of Luther FFA.
We also have stories on the Sheep Showmanship and Swine Showmanship Contests- and we have posted over 200 more photos from the day- our complete FLICKR album of pictures from the 2018 OYE can be accessed by clicking or tapping here.
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|As Drought Conditions Intensify, Derrell Peel Says Large Herd Liquidation Not Yet Likely at this Point
In this week's article for his Cow/Calf Corner newsletter, Dr. Derrell Peel of OSU addresses how intensifying drought conditions are impacting the state's cattle industry. He says while recent rains have eliminated or at least greatly reduced drought in the eastern half of Oklahoma, conditions in the western half of the state continue to worsen. Nine counties of northwestern Oklahoma and the panhandle have gone 155 days or more with less than 0.25 inches of rain. According to the Oklahoma Mesonet, the last 120 days in the Oklahoma Panhandle have seen a total of 0.12 inches of rain, just four percent of normal, making it the driest for the data period back to 1921.
"I don't believe that significant cattle liquidations are imminent at this point," he writes. "Moreover, the recent improvement in drought conditions to the east significantly reduces the number of cattle potentially impacted in the remaining drought area. The western drought region has considerably lower stocking rates due to the semi-arid climate and thus fewer cattle stand to be impacted. While a huge challenge for affected operations, the potential for general market impacts is reduced should cattle liquidation eventually happen.It's not a crisis yet but thinking ahead is important. Hoping for the best while planning for the worst is a great strategy in this situation."
Peel insists that feed management is usually the initial focus of developing drought, and that planning for the prospect of delayed or reduced forage production is important. He advises farmers to evaluate standing forage and hay supplies now in order to plan for how best to utilize and stretch those resources as needed. Alternative feed needs should be carefully evaluated. If drought conditions persist, Peel also says that animal inventory management may be required, too. Alternatively, he suggests relocating cows out of the drought area but maintaining ownership as well. In all cases the goal is to preserve the core breeding herd as much as possible while minimizing the long term financial and production impacts.
to read Peel's full article for more of his advice on how to weather the ongoing drought should such severe conditions persist.
The Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association is the trusted voice of the Oklahoma Cattle Industry. With headquarters in Oklahoma City, the OCA has a regular presence at the State Capitol to protect and defend the interests of cattlemen and cattlewomen.
Their Vision Statement explains the highest priority of the organization- "Leadership that serves, strengthens and advocates for the Oklahoma cattle industry."
To learn more about the OCA and how you can be a part of this forward-looking group of cattle producers, click here for their website
. For more information- call 405-235-4391.
This past week, South Dakota Senator Mike Rounds, subcommittee chair for the Environmental & Public Works committee, held a hearing to discuss CERCLA also known as the Superfund laws that are now requiring cattle producers with herds large enough to produce a certain level of methane emissions from manure, to report their operations to the Environmental Protection Agency and the US Coast Guard. Sen. Rounds is working with his colleagues to resolve this unnecessary action and exempt farmers and ranchers affected by this rule before it can be enforced by the federal courts responding to motion filed by extremist environmental groups pressing for the requirement to stay in effect.
"This affects over 200,000 farms and ranches in the United States. There's no way the Coast Guard is in a position to respond to manure releases from 200,000 farms," Sen. Rounds said. "So, what we've tried to do is share the reason why those rules have been stopped from being in effect for years. We've got about a month left yet, in which we've got to do something before the court would try to make the EPA enforce this."
Essentially, the EPA has in a rare case taken up with agriculture in understanding that CERCLA was never meant to be applicable to beef producers. Therefore, the EPA has never enforced this portion of the rule. Rounds says he and his supporters are working to make what has always been done, legal statute. With this hearing, he says the proper process is being taken to make sure this common-sense measure is approved.
"The challenge is to get enough people on board to get it attached to a piece of legislation that could move forward in a fairly quick fashion," he said. "I think we're moving in the right direction and will be looking at every avenue to accomplish this."
Listen to Senator Rounds discuss his progress on securing a CERCLA exemption for ranchers with me on yesterday's show - click here.
|Concerning Conditions in OK's Wheat Crop See Slight Improvement in this Week's Crop Progress Report
According to this week's Crop Progress Report released by USDA on Monday, March 12, 2018, winter wheat conditions in Oklahoma
improved slightly rated currently at 27 percent very poor down from 36 percent the previous week, 45 percent poor up from 41(72% Poor to very poor versus 77% a week ago), 21 fair up from 17 and 7 percent good to excellent up from 6 percent. Winter wheat jointing reached 13 percent, down 7 points from the previous year but unchanged from normal. For a look at this week's complete crop progress report, click here
Meanwhile, winter wheat's condition in Kansas
is rated this week at 15 percent very poor, 35 poor, 37 fair, 12 good, and 1 excellent. For a look at this week's complete crop progress report, click here
Finally, in Texas
, the lack of rain has continued to impede optimal growing conditions for small grain crops across the Plains while cotton planting is just getting underway in areas of the Lower Valley and South Texas. Wheat's condition in Texas is rated this week at 13 percent good to excellent, 34 fair, 23 poor and 30 very poor. For a look at this week's complete crop progress report, click here
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|OK Ag Leadership Program Class 18 Returns from Central America with International Perspective of Ag
Members of Class XVIII of the Oklahoma Agriculture Leadership Program (OALP) just returned from their capstone component of the course - an international trip to give participants a global perspective on the ag industry. During this trip they trekked across Central America visiting coffee, pineapple and banana plantations in Costa Rica and Nicaragua and even stopped to see the Panama Canal. I caught up with OALP's director, Dr. Edmond Bonjour upon their return, to talk about some of the highlights of this trip and why international experiences like this are so important to the overall content of the program.
"It's very important so that they get a world perspective on how agriculture's role is important in the whole infrastructure in the world," Bonjour asserted. "We get to see different aspects of various farms and ranches. Some are similar to what we do here in the United States. Then, some like the pineapple and coffee plantations that we visit are just totally foreign to us."
However, despite their unique differences, Bonjour says it is uncanny that these enterprises are faced with many of the same issues that farmers deal with here at home; issues such as labor, transportation, infrastructure and marketing. He says it is eye-opening to see that on an international level.
The conclusion of this trip harkens Class XVIII's graduation from OALP, and Bonjour says the group is already searching for new applicants to fill their next class. Applications with more information on OALP are now available, here, and are due by May 1st. To hear more about OALP's trip to Central America as told to me by Bonjour, click here to listen to our full conversation.
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