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Feeder Cattle Recap:
Slaughter Cattle Recap:
TCFA Feedlot Recap:
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|Oklahoma's Latest Farm and Ranch News
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON
Friday, June 29, 2018
Oklahoma Senators Say No No- But Full Senate Offers Thumbs Up on Farm Bill 86 to 11
Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan., and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., were all smiles as they watched the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 passed the Senate on a strong bipartisan 86-11 vote. While Senator Roberts got the vote of confidence he wanted heading into a conference with the House- as he looks south across the state line- he sees a demand for more reforms in the final product as both Oklahoma Senators voted NO.
"Today marks an important day for farm country. We are one step closer to providing farmers and ranchers a Farm Bill with the certainty and predictability they deserve," said Chairman Roberts. "I thank my partner in this journey, Ranking Member Stabenow, as well as many of our Senate colleagues who offered leadership and expertise. I am proud we have a strong, budget neutral Farm Bill with broad support."
Even as the vote was underway, we got a call from Oklahoma's junior Senator, James Lankford, who told us that more reform has to happen before he could support a final product. The Senator said that if you can't reform the SNAP program right now with the economy producing more jobs than people to fill them- there will never be a time to achieve reform.
Senator Lankford offered this tweet which further explains his vote: "I strongly support the important work of our #farmers and ranchers in #Oklahoma. The Farm Bill has a nice-sounding name- the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018- but the bill doesn't make real improvements and reforms to our federal agriculture policy."
Lankford explained his "No" vote on the bill itself in his phone with us, as well as the "No" vote he cast on the Lee-Booker amendment that would have resulted in no group or other entity that has Lobbyists from being able to contract with a Checkoff Group to accomplish the goals of improving demand for producers. Click or tap here to read more and to listen to Senator Lankford defend his "NO" vote on the bill to the farm community.
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|Ag Groups Delighted that Senate Advances 2018 Farm Bill to a Conference with House This Summer
State and National Ag Groups have quickly offered statements on the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill in the US Senate on Thursday.
At the State Level- Both of Oklahoma's general farm organizations cheered the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill across the Senate floor on Thursday afternoon by a 86 to 11 margin without mentioning that neither Oklahoma Senator voted in favor of the bill.
Oklahoma Senators Jim Inhofe and James Lankford were two of the "no" votes that were recorded on Thursday.
Rodd Moesel, President of the Oklahoma Farm Bureau issued the following statement on Thursday afternoon:
"Oklahoma Farm Bureau members today are thankful the Senate understood the urgent need to support those who produce our nation's food, fiber and fuel. Any further delay in the 2018 farm bill would be a disservice to America's farmers and ranchers facing a farm economy in crisis.
"We are grateful for all the senators who voted to advance the 2018 farm bill. Today's act is a victory for American agriculture, but we understand much work remains as the bill moves to conference committee. We look forward to completion of a farm bill for farmers, ranchers, rural Americans and all consumers before the end of September."
Terry Detrick, the President of the AFR/OFU, says "We are pleased the U.S. Senate passed the farm bill in a timely manner.
"We are grateful several amendments that could have hurt agriculture were defeated.
"We encourage Congress to reconcile the House and Senate bills and pass a final measure quickly."
Oklahoma wheat farmer Jimmie Musick of Sentinel- currently serving as President of the National Association of Wheat Growers also weighed in:
"NAWG commends the Senate for working together in a bipartisan fashion to move the Farm Bill forward, out of the chamber and on to conference. It's vital for a final Farm Bill to be reauthorized before the September 30th deadline, so that farmers can have certainty that a safety net and strong risk management tools will continue to be in place during these uncertain economic times in farm country. "
Click or tap here to read Musick's full statement.
We have posted several other group's comments released on Thursday afternoon- click on the name of the group to see their affirmation of the work done by the Senate.
Plains Cotton, Inc
American Farm Bureau
National Sorghum Producers
National Corn Growers Association
National Farmers Union
National Cattlemen's Beef Association
As debate continued in the US Senate over the chamber's proposed Farm Bill for 2018 on Thursday, one issue that emerged in discussion that quite frankly has many in the ag community concerned, is an amendment recently introduced by Senators Mike Lee (R-UT) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) that would fundamentally change how agricultural commodity Checkoff programs operate.
On Thursday- the Senate defeated the amendment by a vote of 38 ayes and 57 nays.
In a conversation I had ahead of the vote with Colin Woodall of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association's DC office, he explained his belief that neither of these senators realize what they are being steered into doing by their anti-agriculture activist supporters."(They) have introduced legislation which would prevent any organization that employs lobbyists from being a contractor to a Checkoff," Woodall explained. "This really is driven by the HSUS and other extremist groups who are funded by HSUS and it is concerning to NCBA for several reasons."Primarily concerning, Woodall says, because NCBA is the National Beef Checkoff's largest contractor. According to Woodall, HSUS and its affiliates have attempted to subvert the integrity of NCBA and the Checkoff with this legislation by making false accusations that Checkoff dollars are being funneled into the lobbying efforts of NCBA. Woodall adamantly insists that has not happened, citing federal audits that have conclusively determined this fact which is prevented in any case by an institutional firewall between the two entities. Similar legislation was introduced this session in the House, but was quickly withdrawn by its sponsor when it became apparent the measure had no legs - a point Woodall and his team are working aggressively on currently to strike down this measure before it gains traction through the poor alliances of uninformed lawmakers."We have an activist group that is using two senators that have no connection to agriculture whatsoever... moving forward with an HSUS sponsored attempt to try to take out all the commodity groups," he said. "We need to send a very clear signal that these two senators are wrong in their assumptions, wrong in their understanding of these programs and at the end of the day - these are not tax dollars being used to support these programs. These are producer dollars and we have three out of four producers out there who are very happy with how the Checkoff works."Listen to Woodall and I discuss activists' latest attempts at hindering the livestock industry through furtive legislation on yesterday's Beef Buzz - click here.
Significant Rainfall Recorded Over Past Week Melts Drought Area in Oklahoma Down to 54 Percent
At long last, drought's grip in Oklahoma has been loosened after some significant rainfall this past week. It's moisturizing effects are reflected in this week's Drought Monitor, which shows some drastic improvements around the state. However, there are still some areas on the state's periphery that continue to suffer from persistent dryness around the western Panhandle, northeast corner and along the Red River.
Progress seems as though it's being made with the size of the drought area reduced now down to about 54 percent statewide, with 28 percent of that total accounting for the least severe category. However, State Climatologist Gary McManus is worried that forecasts which call for a couple weeks of dry, hot weather will send some of those areas back into drought or intensify the existing hot spots.
For a closer look at this week's Drought Monitor map or to review the latest edition of the Mesonet Ticker newsletter from McManus, click here.
|Kim Anderson Says Wheat Market is Building a Floor with Higher Than Expected Yields and Quality in Oklahoma
This week on SUNUP - OSU Extension Grain Market Economist Dr. Kim Anderson is reporting higher than expected yield and quality in terms of Oklahoma's wheat crop this harvest season. In his weekly chat with the SUNUP team, Anderson will share his notes from the field which he says highlight an average protein level in this crop well-above that of 12 percent. In addition, he says the markets will be pleased to find test weights logged at around 59 lbs. per bushel.
Producers will also be relieved to hear that wheat prices, after months of weakness, are finally beginning to build a floor at around $5.50 to $5.60 a bushel, having recently dropped off about a dollar in the last several days. However, Anderson does mention that the protein premium has held on and still remains strong.
Globally, the Russians are reporting some bad news related to their crop, still suffering from dry conditions. Anderson says the Russians are expecting this year's crop to fall short of last year's record production of 3.1 billion bushels, by about 400 million which will leave them with a total production this year of approximately 2.6 to 2.7 billion bushels. Nonetheless, the Russians are aggressively working to maintain their claim as top wheat exporter, having just shipped a large order of wheat to Brazil in another move to increase its South American market share following last year's dealings with long-time American customer Venezuela.
You can watch Anderson deliver his report tomorrow or Sunday on SUNUP- but you can hear Kim's comments on these topics and more - and see what else is on the lineup for this week's episode, by clicking here.
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Sen. Inhofe Talks Farm Bill Challenges, Scott Pruitt Rumors, Supreme Court Vacancy with Yours Truly
We had the chance to catch up with our Senior Senator from Oklahoma Jim Inhofe, yesterday morning, over the phone all the way from Washington, DC. We had time to discuss briefly the Senator's thoughts pertaining to the Farm Bill, which was on its way to the Senate Floor for debate prior to our call.
What stuck out in his mind about the Farm Bill this year, as it has in the past it seems, is the contrast in opinions held by his Democrat and Conservative colleagues which seems to be almost irreconcilable between the two parties. It is this partisan divide he says which has caused such difficulty in getting this particularly piece of legislation passed each time it comes up for re-authorization.
"It's a partisan thing," Sen. Inhofe remarked. "How many people out there realize that 80 percent of the money that is in the Farm Bill actually goes to welfare, goes to Food Stamps... Not many and there's a reason for this.
"It's kind of interesting. The Democrats believe that you measure compassion by the number of people on welfare and conservatives believe you measure compassion by the number of people you can get off of welfare. People have to understand there's a great reform that needs to be made."
In addition, the Senator and I touched on his perspective of all the accusations that have been made regarding some of the ethical choices of EPA Administrator and former Oklahoma AG Scott Pruitt. Inhofe admitted he has known Pruitt "forever," and felt as though the accusations he has becoming privy to do not sound like the character of the man he has come to know. However, he decided to to look objectively at the facts and make his own determination. After doing so, Inhofe says he has been able to dismiss these accusations as frivolous and inflammatory. He says anyone that investigates themselves will also find this to be true.
Before hanging up, we also were able to get his reaction to the recently vacated seat at the Supreme Court. He says he is excited to begin the process to confirm another judge of Constitutionalist beliefs and says he thinks the process will happen soon and swiftly.
Listen to Sen. Inhofe speak more in depth on these matters, by simply clicking over to our website to hear the complete interview.
Secretary Perdue Asserts President Trump will Protect Farmers from China During CNBC Appearance
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue says President Donald Trump will protect U.S. farmers from the financial pressures that may result from an trade retaliations by China or any other US trading partners. President Trump has been holding China accountable for its history of unfair trade practices and intellectual property theft. Perdue appeared on CNBC this week with his message of reassurance for farmers and ranchers.
"There is legitimate anxiety when you see prices depressing. But farmers are resilient, they understand China has not been paying fair," Perdue said. "The President has told me to tell (farmers) that he's not going to allow them to bear the brunt of these trade disruptions and to make a plan for mitigation unless we are unable resolve the trade issue. That's obviously what farmers would prefer."
The Department of Agriculture has yet to release its plan to support farmers through a trade war, but Perdue says it's a simple case of 'not releasing your plan when the opposing team is watching.' However, agriculture is eager to see what's in store as trade tensions rise.
In Chicago this week, though, Perdue made mention that his aid program for farmers will be released perhaps by Labor Day and the harvest season telling reporters that while farmers want "trade, not aid," the USDA is following the trade war on a "weekly basis," and assessing the impacts of trade disputes while having a plan ready to assist farmers. Perdue says he and USDA see the trade environment as "temporary."
A 25 percent tariff on U.S. soybeans as part of the trade dispute will take effect next week. While there may not be enough export capacity globally for China to stop all U.S. soybean purchases completely, Brazil's production and exports are growing, and China is seeking alternatives to U.S. agricultural products.
To watch Secretary Perdue's CNBC appearance in its entirety or to read his op-ed piece published in USA Today this week recounting the reasons for the President's actions on China and reminding America's farmers and ranchers that the President stands with them - click here.
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