From: Ron Hays [] on behalf of Ron Hays []
Sent: Thursday, December 31, 2015 6:39 AM
To: Hays, Ron
Subject: Oklahoma's Farm News Update

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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.
Big Iron   
Let's Check the Markets!  
Today's First Look:  
mornings with cash and futures reviewed- includes where the Cash Cattle market stands, the latest Feeder Cattle Markets Etc.

Okla Cash Grain:  
Daily Oklahoma Cash Grain Prices from Wednesday 12/30- as reported by the Oklahoma Dept. of Agriculture.

Futures Wrap:  
Our Daily Market Wrapup from the Radio Oklahoma Network with Leslie Smith and Tom Leffler- 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 Editor and Writer
Pam Arterburn, Calendar and Template Manager
Dave Lanning, Markets and Production
Leslie Smith, Editor and Contributor

Oklahoma's Latest Farm and Ranch News

Presented by

Okla Farm Bureau  
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON
   Thursday, December 31, 2015
Howdy Neighbors! 

Here is your daily Oklahoma farm and ranch news update. 
BigStoriesFeatured Story:
The Big 3 Stories of 2015 We Remember- SQ777, COOL Repeal and WOTUS Steamroll  

We are down to the final hours of 2015- and while we have covered literally hundreds of farm and ranch news stories for you over the last twelve months- three stories came to the top of pile for the old year.

One of the stories has a happy ending for many in livestock agriculture- the other two have yet to have their stories finished as 2015 slips away.

First- the story that came to an abrupt end. 

COOL Repeal is Done. 

In the Monday, December 21st email- not that long ago- I wrote "After reporting on the contentious battle over Country of Origin labeling for meat for years, it's suddenly over. (I may have withdraws!) On Friday, the House voted, the Senate voted and the President signed the Omnibus and COOL for beef and pork was history.

After those votes, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack released a statement confirming he got the memo- saying "Effective immediately, USDA is not enforcing the COOL requirements for muscle cut and ground beef and pork outlined in the January 2009 and May 2013 final rules."

"USDA will be amending the COOL regulations as expeditiously as possible to reflect the repeal of the beef and pork provisions. In addition, all imported and domestic meat will continue to be subject to rigorous inspections by USDA to ensure food safety."

Above, I have the link to that December 21st email where the top 2 stories are about COOL repeal- Vilsack's reaction- Mexico and Canada's Response and details on how ag groups reacted to the end of mandatory COOL.

Stick a fork in it- it's done.


The two other top of mind stories for 2015 will be talked about a great deal in 2016.

One is state specific- I am referring to the passage of HJR 1012 by the Oklahoma legislature that authorized a vote in November 2016 on a constitutional amendment that would put  Right to Farm in the state Constitution.

Out of 1012 came State Question 777- and we have seen the supporters of SQ777 step forward and begin the process of getting a "Yes" vote in November.  However, we also covered the news conference of the folks against State Question 777 this fall- and it is very likely that they will have a lot of money to spend in opposition of SQ777.

I have several links to share about State Question 777 to remind you where we are-

In late spring- we featured one of the key authors of 1012 on In the Field- State Rep Scott Biggs- click here to take a look and listen.

In July, we moderated an industry panel explaining State Question 777 at the Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association Convention- click here to read more and take a listen to that extended conversation.

In October- we talked about the educational effort underway for State Question 777- as we visited with Oklahoma Farm Bureau President Tom Buchanan- click here for that Q&A.

In mid November- the opposition to State Question 777 did a media event at the State Capitol- and we were there- talking to former State Attorney General Drew Edmondson about how the Oklahoma Stewardship Council hopes to convince folks to vote no on State Question 777. Click here for our story that includes our Q&A with the former AG.

Finally- for agriculture- there is unfinished business as it relates to the EPA's Clean Water Rule- WOTUS.  This was also one of the major stories of 2014- so on and on it goes.

In late May- EPA, released their final language on WOTUS- and a lot of people reacted with anger over what they called an EPA land grab.  We featured the EPA release and lots of react to it in our May 28th email- click here to take a read.

In late August- EPA made the rule final- but Gina McCarthy did not get a complete victory.  We wrote in our August 28th email "We have been talking about this day coming for several years now- and with the arrival of August 28th- the EPA has achieved a dream of more control across the American landscape with their Clean Water Rule now law in 37 of the 50 US states.

"Only a Federal District Judge in North Dakota has kept EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy from claiming a total victory- as Judge Ralph Erickson said the administration had overstepped its bounds in trying yet another end run around Congress.

"Judge Erickson called the Environmental Protection Agency's attempt "inexplicable, arbitrary and devoid of a reasoned process," and issued an injunction preventing the EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from claiming oversight of millions of acres of land that contain small bodies of water.

"The EPA, though, said it will only honor the injunction in the 13 states that had sued, and will move forward with the rules in the rest of the country. "

Later in the year- the Sixth Circuit Court in Cincinnati extended the original injunction against WOTUS to the entire country- which is where the current litigation now stands.  Meanwhile Congress punted and did not address funding for WOTUS in the massive Omnibus earlier this month.  We were told the White House got a pass on funding for WOTUS in exchange for an okay on the end of oil exports.

OF COURSE- we covered so much more in 2015- and we want to say THANK YOU for the opportunity to stop by and visit with you daily via this email and on the radio and on the web and on the TV.  It's because of you that we do what we do- you are a blessing to me.

Sponsor Spotlight
The presenting sponsor of our daily email is the Oklahoma Farm Bureau - a grassroots organization that has for its Mission Statement- Improving the Lives of Rural Oklahomans."  Farm Bureau, as the state's largest general farm organization, is active at the State Capitol fighting for the best interests of its members and working with other groups to make certain that the interests of rural Oklahoma are protected. 

Click here
 for their website to learn more about the organization and how it can benefit you to be a part of Farm Bureau.
WildHogsODAFF Unveils Tough Feral Swine Control Rule- Designed to Make the State of Oklahoma Free of Wild Hogs  
 The Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry has released their proposed rule on controlling wild hogs- or feral swine- in the state of Oklahoma. In the purpose that is at the top of the proposal- the Agency says that the rule is to implement the Feral Swine Control Act and (in new proposed language) "to adopt aggressive measures for the eradication of all feral swine in the State of Oklahoma." The purpose goes on to state that "Feral swine pose a health risk to humans, livestock, companion animals and native wildlife. The Department's goal is to render the State of Oklahoma free of feral swine."

We talked yesterday with Deputy Commissioner of Agriculture Blayne Arthur about the proposed rule- and she says that the Department is proposing the total elimination of feral hogs from the state- and that within the proposal, there is new language that "will hopefully start slowly working us toward that goal over the next few years."

One of the brand new ideas being floated in this proposed rule is a Feral Swine Free Zone- which will encompass 11 counties in northwestern Oklahoma- with the hope that this will be the first hunk of Oklahoma where wild hogs can be pushed totally out of the countryside.

Click here to read more- and to listen to our conversation with Blayne Arthur on the proposed rule- which will be open to public comment starting January 15th.

BlizzardImpactAfter the Storm- Blizzard Reports from Feedlot Country and Mud Reports from Grady County 
The latest winter storm hit the southern plains feedlot region right after Christmas- and USDA market news reporter Ed Czerwein, based in Amarillo, says that the worst conditions of this storm were seen south and west of Amarillo.Czerwein expects that the storm will impact the marketing of cattle coming out of the feedlots of the Texas Panhandle, eastern New Mexico, the Oklahoma Panhandle and southern Kansas for weeks to come.

You can read more from Czerwein and hear his comments after the blizzard by clicking here- he has talked to many of his feedlot contacts since the storm and offers those insights in his report.

Meanwhile in Ninnekah, dairy producer Brett Morris says the storm did mean more time with his animals- and that there is a lot of mud to deal with- but he considers himself lucky that he did not lose electricity which made life a lot easier in his twice a day milking world.

Morris was visited after the storm by Sam Knipp of AFR- and you can hear their conversation by clicking here.

BlueBellFeds Investigate Blue Bell Over Food Safety Snafu

It almost appears that the Feds are a little late to the party- BUT- CBS News is reporting this week that "the Department of Justice has started an investigation into Blue Bell after their ice cream was linked to a deadly Listeria outbreak earlier this year that killed three people."

This is the outbreak that resulted in Blue Bell ice cream being removed from store shelves back in the spring.

We had a story May 14th where the Oklahoma Department of Ag signed an agreement with Blue Bell.  "The Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food, and Forestry has entered into a voluntary agreement with Blue Bell Creameries outlining steps and actions that Blue Bell will take to ensure the production of safe ice cream. As Blue Bell prepares to resume production, these measures will ensure a much more rigorous food safety plan for the Blue Bell ice cream processing facilities."

The CBS story this week says "Sources tell CBS News that the Department of Justice is trying to determine what Blue Bell management knew about potentially deadly hazards in their plants, and when they knew it."

Blue Bell has cleaned up their plants and has restarted production- and plans to have their Ice Cream back into most of their previous sales territory in the next month or so.

Sponsor Spotlight 
We are happy to have the Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association as a part of our great lineup of email sponsors. They do a tremendous job of representing cattle producers at the state capitol as well as in our nation's capitol.

They seek to educate OCA members on the latest production techniques for maximum profitability and to communicate with the public on issues of importance to the beef industry.  Click here
 for their website to learn more about the OCA. 

JackBlockFormer Ag Secretary John Block Talking Chipotle

On a weekly basis- former Secretary of Agriculture John Block weighs in on a variety of subjects- and we feature his Commentary at the end of each week on our website- OklahomaFarmReport.Com.

This week- the USDA Secretary from the Reagan years is talking about the problems at Chipotle Mexican Grills around the country.

Block says for Chipotle- "the chickens have come home to roost."

He recounts the food safety problems the chain has faced- and says that Chipotle "built their brand by putting down modern food production, boasting about local grown, sustainable, GMO free food" and attacked most food producers along the way.

Secretary Block believes lesson that might be learned from the mess that Chipotle has landed in is that "we should rely on sound science and not listen to some company crow about how superior they are because they ignore modern technology."

You should take a listen to our friend in his end of 2015 commentary- it's a dandy- click here and do just that.

Want to Have the Latest Energy News Delivered to Your Inbox Daily?

Award winning broadcast journalist Jerry Bohnen has spent years learning and understanding how to cover the energy business here in the southern plains-  Click here to subscribe to his daily update of top Energy News.

HannahAnimalAgKeeping Tabs on the Activists- The Job of Hannah Thompson and the Animal Ag Alliance

From earlier this fall, today's Beef Buzz is a "Best of" edition featuring the comments of the Director of Communications for the Animal Ag Alliance, Hannah Thompson. Thompson talked with yours truly about the fact that there are activist groups that don't like modern production agriculture, specifically animal agriculture. Hannah works to keep tabs on animal rights groups that don't like how meat is produced in the U.S.

"Obviously their motive is to end animal agriculture and they put a lot of information out there to try to drive consumers toward that mission," Thompson said.

These animals' rights groups, like the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and PETA, have gone around the legislative process to make changes in food production by pressuring retailers and restaurants to make changes. Animal Rights groups are also targeting other audiences for support of their cause. One new audience is law enforcement. Thompson said different activist groups have been sponsoring awards and offering training on animal cruelty.

Click here to read more and to listen to our visit with Hannah about how she and the Animal Ag Alliance are keeping up with the Animal Rights Activists.

ThisNThatThis and That- Heather Buckmaster Joins Us In the Field, Dee Ellis Says Bye and New Year's Market Reminder

There will be NO email tomorrow morning in your inbox as we celebrate the New Year- we return Monday, January 4th!  In the meantime- we will be In the Field for the New Year on Saturday morning as we welcome Heather Buckmaster, the Executive Director of the Oklahoma Beef Council. 

You can watch our conversation with Heather during the morning news block on KWTV, News9 at approximately 6:40 AM.  Later in the weekend- we will post the video in case you miss it or are outside of the KWTV signal area.


Word comes to us that Dr. Dee Ellis, State Vet for Texas, is stepping down today after serving for several decades at the Texas Animal Health Commission.

Congrats and good wishes to Dee- read more about his retirement and who is stepping into that job on an interim basis by clicking here.


It's a regular close for the Ag Futures today on New Year's Eve- and that is also the case for the Stock Market in New York as well.

Markets are closed tomorrow on January first- then grain futures start trading in the New Year on Sunday evening at 7:00 PM and the Livestock futures get their first taste of 2016 at 9:05 AM central time Monday, January 4th

Auction barns and livestock markets reopen for the New Year on Monday- and we expect a wild week coming up as the calf and yearling bids try to catch up with the much higher livestock futures compared to mid December when those markets began their two week Christmas break.

Our thanks to Midwest Farms Shows, P & K Equipment, American Farmers & Ranchers, CROPLAN by WinfieldKIS Futures, Stillwater Milling Company, Pioneer Cellular, National Livestock Credit Corporation, Farm Assure and the Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association 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 invite you to check out our website at the link below to check out an archive of these daily emails, audio reports and top farm news story links from around the globe.

Click here to check out WWW.OklahomaFarmReport.Com 



God Bless! You can reach us at the following:  


phone: 405-473-6144


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