Subject: Oklahoma's Farm News Update
From: Ron Hays <>
Date: 12/20/2018, 6:31 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 Carson Horn on RON.
MarketLinksLet'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. offered 225 head with 0 head actually selling on Wednesday's sale.  Click here to see their complete market results.

OKC West sold feeder steers sold 1.00-3.00 higher and heifers traded 2.00-3.00 lower on Wednesday- click or tap here to read the full report from USDA Market News.

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 futuresclick 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 Wednesday, December 19th.
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

Carson Horn, Associate Farm Director and 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
   Thursday, December 20, 2018

Howdy Neighbors! 

Here is your daily Oklahoma farm and ranch news update. 
One Featured Story:
Garfield and Grant Counties Remain the Top Wheat Producing Counties in Oklahoma in 2018

The 2018 Oklahoma Winter Wheat Crop was thirty percent smaller than the 2017 Crop- coming in at seventy million bushels based on 2.5 million acres harvested and a final statewide yield of 28 bushels per acre. Both the harvested acres and yield per acre were under a year ago- 2017's crop saw 2.9 million acres harvested for grain with a 34 bushels per acre yield. 

2018 was the second year in a row that saw harvested acres fall under three million acres. USDA has just released the county by county wheat production figures- and Garfield and Grant Counties were the statewide leaders in total wheat production, just as they were in 2017- but with far smaller production totals than a year earlier. Garfield County ended up with a 6.65 million bushel crop in 2018, versus a 9.6 million bushel crop in 2017. Grant County produced 5.7 million bushels in 2018 versus 8.3 million bushels a year earlier. 

Three counties in the top twelve actually produced more wheat in 2018 compared to 2017- with the most impressive gain seen in Cotton County- with total production up 87% in 2018 versus a year ago. 

For a complete look at the top twelve counties in wheat production in the state for 2018- or to review the complete county production totals for Oklahoma winter wheat for 2018 and 2017, click or tap here.

Sponsor Spotlight
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Click here to learn more about the Oklahoma Pork Council. 


The Hill, published this week an op-ed piece by Rep. Mike Conaway and Zippy Duvall, president American Farm Bureau Association entitled, Clear Water Rule means relief for farmers, ranchers. In it, the pair embraced the new Clean Water Rule proposed by the EPA, while at the same time denouncing the original rule that was implemented by the agency during the Obama Administration in 2015.

The authors contend that the original rule was "so broad and vague that almost any spot where rainwater flows or pools might be tagged as a federally protected body of water." Once officially replaced, though, the new rule they say, will clearly define what is and what isn't a protected body of water - effectively clearing up any confusion and frustration caused by its predecessor. The article explained the importance of ensuring clarity in this rule.

"The Clean Water Act is a flagship statute-and like many laws, it works best when its requirements are clear. This law carries penalties north of $50,000 for any activity that puts any 'pollutant'-including dirt-into any regulated water. It certainly seems fair to let the people who make a living on the land know where those regulated waters are, especially when civil and criminal penalties come into play. What's more, by telling people where the federally regulated waters are, we give them the information they need to comply with the law."

The authors claim the new rule is "broad enough to be very protective. It draws a clear enough line to provide fair notice. And it focuses mostly on things that look like water-not regulating land... "Now, farmers, ranchers, and other small business owners will be able to look at their land and know-without a team of scientists and attorneys-which parts of their land are regulated by the Clean Water Act."

Read the full op-ed piece, penned by House Ag Chair Mike Conaway and AFBF President Zippy Duvall, by clicking here.

Oklahoma House Speaker Charles McCall announced on Wednesday of this week, the chairs and vice chairs for the standing House committees and appropriation subcommittees of the 57th Oklahoma Legislature. Included in that list were the new Chair and Vice Chair for the Agriculture & Rural Development Committee. According to a release from McCall's office, those positions will be filled by Rep. Dell Kerbs, R-Shawnee and Rep. Jim Grego, R-Wilburton, respectively. In addition, Speaker McCall named the assistant floor leaders and assistant whips. 

"I am very grateful that each of these members is willing to serve the citizens of this state on these important committees," said McCall, R-Atoka. "We have a lot of work to do, and I believe these members are ready to use their backgrounds, experience and knowledge to promote a legislative agenda that moves our state forward and makes our citizens safer and more prosperous."

The list of House committees and committee leadership, as well as the full floor leader and whip teams for the 57th Oklahoma Legislature, can be found in the original story. Click here to jump there now.

By the way- I reached out to AFR, Farm Bureau and OCA- and all came back with glowing comments about Chairman Designate Kerbs. 

AFR President Terry Detrick says "
Rep. Kerbs has been a good friend to AFR and agriculture since he entered the Legislature. We're excited  and look forward to working with him in that new position."

Michael Kelsey of OCA texted us with "OCA is thrilled with both the Senate and House Committee Leadership. All four leaders are OCA members and have a commitment to the success of Oklahoma Agriculture. We look forward to their leadership and working with them the for the next two years."

Rodd Moesel of Oklahoma Farm Bureau got back to me on our cell phones- telling me that Farm Bureau is excited about Rep. Dell Kerbs being named the House Ag Committee chair- that he has been engaged with Farm Bureau members in his district- that his kids have been engaged in showing livestock in 4-H and FFA and that Farm Bureau expects to have a great working relationship with him as he takes on this Committee Chairmanship.

A coalition of agriculture groups is asking the Trump administration to keep pushing agriculture issues in the European Union-U.S. trade talks. In a letter sent to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, 53 organizations, led by the National Pork Producers Council, urged the Trump administration "to continue stressing" that only a "truly comprehensive agreement will be acceptable." 

The EU has expressed reluctance to include agriculture as it did during earlier negotiations on the U.S.-EU Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, knowing it would require lifting import barriers that protect EU farmers and removing regulatory measures that are scientifically unjustified or overly restrictive.

Because of the EU's barriers, the United States had a trade deficit in food and agricultural goods of nearly $11 billion last year. That deficit was $1.8 billion in 2000.

NPPC President Jim Heimerl says he and others expect the Trump administration "to require the EU to negotiate on agriculture and to eliminate all tariff and non-tariff barriers to U.S. pork and other agricultural products."

Click here to learn more or to read the letter sent to the Trump Administration in full.

Sponsor Spotlight

As Oklahoma's largest John Deere dealer, P&K Equipment is proud to be your local expert source for equipment, parts, and service. As an Oklahoma-based, family-run company, the P&K network consists of 16 locations in Oklahoma, 2 locations in Arkansas, and 9 locations in Iowa. Our Oklahoma and agricultural roots run deep and our history spans over 30 years.
At P&K, we make it our mission to provide you with top-notch solutions and unbeatable customer service at a price you CAN afford. Visit and you'll have it all at your fingertips: request a quote, schedule service, get a value for your trade, find current promotions, and shop for parts online. Stop by one of our locations today to meet the P&K team. You'll see why around here, John Deere starts with P&K.

Five OK Beef Quality Assurance Coordinator Bob LeValley on BQA Certification for Oklahoma Producers

An article in this week's Cow/Calf Corner newsletter, contributed by Oklahoma Beef Quality Assurance Coordinator Bob LeValley, explained the value that beef producers will receive by obtaining their Beef Quality Assurance Certification.

According to LeValley, several beef packers will soon require BQA certification from their suppliers. The packers have indicated this initiative is being driven by retailers and consumers. The BQA program has been in place for many years and is a nationally coordinated, state implemented program that provides information to U.S. beef producers and beef consumers of how common-sense production techniques can be coupled with accepted scientific knowledge to raise cattle under optimum management and environmental conditions.

"While BQA certification is voluntary for cow/calf producers and stocker cattle operators, it is often just good business," LeValley writes. "Good management practices are the core of the Beef Quality Assurance program, and often add value to cattle as they progress through the marketing channels."

Cattle producers and industry personnel can become BQA certified in Oklahoma by in-person training, or on-line. For additional information about how to become BQA certified, click over to our website to read LeValley's complete article.

Six Producers Prove Very Cooperative Under FDA Veterinary Feed Directive and Judicious Antibiotic Use

For a little over a year now, the Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) has been in effect. Under this directive by the Food & Drug Administration, livestock producers have been obliged to work with their local veterinarians to authorize the owner or caretaker of animals to obtain and use animal feed containing VFD drugs to treat their animals in accordance with the FDA-approved directions for use. Dr. Peggy Thompson, professional services veterinarian at Boehringer Ingelheim, in a recent conversation with our own Carson Horn, talked about the VFD's success and the progress that has been made in changing the industry's culture of antibiotic use.

"In talking with veterinarians, they are having more touches with those customers and how they are utilizing those antibiotics in the feed. So, I think for the cattle industry itself and hopefully the government is excited - that we are having more input and help with those antibiotics that going in the feed," Dr. Thompson said. "The process has been a little confusing for most - but I think at this point in time, we can say that everybody knows what's expected, that they have to work with their veterinarian. Anytime we bring that kind of practice in line with veterinarians and veterinarians have oversight, it's going to be great for our industry."

Part of the VFD's purpose is of course to promote the practice of what Thompson calls, "judicious use of antibiotics." Essentially, she says that simply means that antibiotics are only used when necessary. Along with that, she adds that it also implies that a producer be responsible when using antibiotics- paying attention and following label directions, administering the correct doses, etc.

"I would say that most producers in this cattle industry are already doing that," she remarked. "But, we're just trying to get the message out of how important it is to follow those label directions. Producers definitely need to get on board with this, because it is super important to consumers."

Listen to Thompson and Carson discuss the VFD further, on yesterday's Beef Buzz- click here.

WOW- A farmer in Missouri is set to lose everything and head to jail over fraud that he has been involved in for more than a decade. 

Federal Prosecutors claim Randy Constant has falsely marketed more than $140 million worth of corn, soybeans and wheat as certified organic grains.

According to a story from AP- "The charging document calls on Constant to forfeit $128 million to the government along with his interest in 70 pieces of farm machinery and equipment."

Three Nebraska farmers who sold their crops to Constant pleaded guilty in October to their roles in the scheme and are awaiting sentencing. One of their attorneys has said that Constant recruited them and that they turned a blind eye to his false marketing practices because they reaped higher profits by passing their grains off as organic.

A farmer that I follow on Twitter- Jerod McDaniel from the Oklahoma Panhandle offered multiple tweets about this situation overnight- and he opines "Horrible example of how the system can be manipulated, & fraud is always wrong... however, it does go to show that there isn't really a material difference in the product other than a "label" and piece of paper backed by somebodies word. Grain is grain."

He adds "If there was such a difference, why wasn't it detected by the end users for almost a decade? If there companies that tout the benefits and swear by their product, but yet rely on only a piece of paper, one has to question their part on this as well... it's just feeding the beast."

And- "If the government is going to sanction a fairytale for the consumers, they should be honest enough to really put some bite into regulating the people who try to be dishonest and not follow the rules of the fairytale."

If you have been to a Whole Foods or Trader Joe's lately- or even a Walmart Supercenter- you can see the huge premiums supermarkets charge for "organic" or "natural" or "Non GMO" or "cage Free" and the marketing phrases go on and on- Part of their ability to get consumers to pay more is to scare the living daylights out of them about how horrible conventionally produced farm products are- and HOW MUCH BETTER organic is. 

The real lesson to consumers of this fraud case should be- if you can't test and find the difference in grains produced organically vs conventional- is there any reason to pay a LOT more because you are told how much better it is for you, your family and the earth. 

This story seems to suggest and offers evidence there is no difference in organic vs conventionally produced grain.

Remember- Grain is Grain.

And for that matter- Eggs are Eggs.

But that's a whole other story for another day.

FarmBillFarm Bill Signing Happening This Afternoon

It has been widely anticipated that President Donald Trump will be signing the 2018 Farm Bill at some point today-making it the 2018 Farm Law.

Word we have is that it will be a public signing ceremony at about 1:30 pm Central Time. 

Roll Call reported yesterday that Senate Ag Chairman Pat Roberts and his ranking member- Debbie Stabenow- plan to to be there.

I suspect Mike Conaway from the House side will be, too.

And- it appears that President Trump will be surrounded by some Blue and Gold- with at least one of those FFA members hailing from Oklahoma. 

Piper Merritt of Owasso has served as the Central Region National Vice President over the last twelve months- and she has let me know that she will be one of those in a Blue and Gold jacket looking on as the President attaches his signature to the bill. 

Our thanks to Midwest Farms Shows, P & K EquipmentLivestock Exchange at the Oklahoma National StockyardsOklahoma Farm BureauStillwater Milling CompanyNational Livestock Credit Corporation, Oklahoma Beef Council, Oklahoma AgCredit, Oklahoma Pork Councilthe 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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