From: Ron Hays [] on behalf of Ron Hays []
Sent: Wednesday, December 24, 2014 6:22 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.



Let's Check the Markets!  



Today's First Look:  


Ron on RON Markets as heard on K101  

mornings with cash and futures reviewed- includes where the Cash Cattle market stands, the latest Feeder Cattle Markets Etc.



We have a new market feature on a daily basis- each afternoon we are posting a recap of that day's markets as analyzed by Justin Lewis of KIS Futuresclick 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.



Canola Prices:  

Cash price for canola was $6.84 per bushel- based on delivery to the Oklahoma City elevator yesterday. The full listing of cash canola bids at country points in Oklahoma can now be found in the daily Oklahoma Cash Grain report- linked above.



Futures Wrap:  

Our Daily Market Wrapup from the Radio Oklahoma Network with Leslie Smith and Justin Lewis - 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.


Oklahoma's Latest Farm and Ranch News

Presented by

Okla Farm Bureau    

Your Update from Ron Hays of RON
   Wednesday, December 24, 2014
Howdy Neighbors! 

Here is your daily Oklahoma farm and ranch news update. 
ChristmasFeatured Story:
Merry Christmas!!! 


On behalf of our Radio Oklahoma Ag Network/ Oklahoma Farm Report family, I want to wish you and yours a Merry Christmas on this Christmas Eve 2014.  

It's been a good year and we are grateful for your support of this daily email- and of all the many ways that we utilize to share the latest agricultural news with you. 

Your interest in what we write and say on the website, in this email, on Twitter, Facebook, on radio stations across the southern great plains and on TV in Oklahoma City and Tulsa is truly appreciated.

A couple of notes- ag futures wrap up trade early today and will be closed on Thursday for Christmas- they reopen on Friday morning in the 8 AM hour.

We will have no radio reports on Thursday- but are back on our great radio stations on Friday.  And- we are taking both Thursday and Friday off from writing this daily email to you- we return on Monday, December 29 bright and early.

We have a few agricultural news items for you today in this email- but I would ask that you look at and read our seventh story today as we reflect on the real reason for the season- looking at the Christmas Story through the eyes of Bernie, who might have been an eye witness two thousand years ago to the singular even that has changed the world like no other.  I think you'll enjoy his take on those events so long ago.


Sponsor Spotlight


We are delighted 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.




P&K Equipment has ten locations in Oklahoma and as the state's largest John Deere dealer, has been bringing you the best in John Deere equipment, parts, service, and solutions for nearly 30 years.  The P&K team operates with honesty and a sense of urgency... getting you what you need, when you need it.  With an additional nine stores in Iowa, P&K has the extra inventory and resources, to provide you, the customer, with a better experience all around. Click here to visit P&K on the web... where you can locate the store nearest you, view their new and used inventory, and check out the latest deals.    


Oklahoma Cattle Producers Have Received $833 Million In Livestock Disaster Help From Uncle Sam


One of the programs that was reinstated earlier this year as the 2014 Farm Bill became law was the Livestock Disaster Assistance Program. The help for livestock producers had lapsed two years earlier and the 2014 Farm Law went backwards and picked up those years and made help available to mostly cattle producers.

As Chairman of the House Ag Committee, Oklahoma Congressman Frank Lucas fought hard to get that program put back onto the table- and he was even successful in getting it made permanent.

As it turns out, the years where USDA was not making payments happened to find Oklahoma as GROUND ZERO for the drought that hit the southern great plains really hard.

Because of the extended drought that hit Oklahoma farmers so hard in 2011, 2012 and 2013- payments handed out this calendar year for the Livestock Forage Program- reimbursing farmers for some of their losses due to drought- found Oklahoma ranchers getting big payments.

Total outlay in the Livestock Disaster Assistance programs thus far have topped four billion dollars- a lot more than the federal government had guessed the payments would be- and Oklahoma is the state getting the most money to date- $833 million. Other states receiving the most assistance for their livestock producers include Texas ($592 million), Nebraska ($513 million), and Kansas ($451 million).   


We also talked  with Colin Woodall of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association about these payments.  Click here to listen to his comments about how the program is helping cattle producers.


FSA Announces Farmers Can Update Yield History


U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator Val Dolcini Monday offered farmers new information to update program payment yields that will help them better select protections offered by the Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs. The new programs, established by the 2014 Farm Bill, are cornerstones of the commodity farm safety, offering farmers protection when market forces cause substantial drops in crop prices and revenues.

"The Farm Bill provided landowners with the option of updating their farm program payment yields. This is the first time that many producers have been able to update yields since 1986," said Dolcini. "We've worked with the Risk Management Agency to make available certified yield data that producers can use to better calculate how the new safety net programs can offer the best protection against market swings."

Producers can check with their local FSA county office to see if data is available for them. This data belongs to the producer and only the producer associated with the crop insurance records will be provided this service. Updating yield history or reallocating base acres can occur until Feb. 27, 2015. 



FSA also issued a reminder that from Nov. 17, 2014, to March 31, 2015, producers will make a one-time election of either ARC or PLC for the 2014 through 2018 crop years.  Click here to read more about the 2014 Farm Bill programs.


NCBAonWOTUSNCBA Applauds Congress for Taking a Whack at WOTUS  


It's unlikely to slow down Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy very much, but Congress did take a shot or two at the 'Waters of the US' (WOTUS) proposed rule during the appropriations process earlier this month. National Cattlemen's Beef Association Vice President of Government Affairs Colin Woodall said Congress went specifically after the so called 'interpretive rule' of WOTUS that was issued last summer by EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers.

"This is basically where they laid out how farmers and ranchers can utilize NRCS procedures and processes in order to try to exempt themselves from the 'Waters of the United States' proposal," Woodall said. "We never thought it was strong enough. We thought there were way too many loop holes that could be used against cattle producers and most people including our friends on Capitol Hill felt it was a kind of a disingenuous way by EPA to try to make us happy in the agriculture world. So we worked very hard to remove that particular rule and the language in the omnibus does that. It requires both EPA and the Corps of Engineers to rescind that rule and get rid of it." 

This does not completely get kill the 'WOTUS' proposal, but it is a severe blow to EPA and will slow down the process. In looking at 2015 and the new Congress, this will be a top priority. US Senator Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma takes over as Chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. Woodall said Senator Inhofe has said he aims to fix the rule, as he does not want this rule to move forward.   


EPA Administrator McCarthy has said she will be moving forward on the rule.  In my interview with Woodall he addresses how NCBA will working to stop this regulation through Congress.  Click here to listen to my Beef Buzz audio segment with Woodall.    



Kelsey2014Kelsey Reviews 2014: An Amazing Year for Cattle Producers


The year 2014 will be one to remember for the cattle industry for a long time to come. Oklahoma producers got some weather relief from the ongoing drought, grass and hay production was plentiful and the cattle market showed amazing strength throughout the year. Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association Executive Vice President Michael Kelsey said 2014 was an amazing year especially from a marketing and price perspective.

"Prices have just been phenomenal, whether you are talking feeder cattle, or fed cattle or even replacement cattle, heifers and cows," Kelsey said. "Boy, there toward the latter two-thirds of the year, replacement females were just sky rocketing. They have softened a bit since then, but they are still very competitive in terms of price." 

Oklahomans have also enjoyed a favorable climate with timely rains this summer. Kelsey said western Oklahoma continues to suffer from drought, but the drought impact has lessened in comparison to the exceptional year in 2011. With good rains he said the state has had better hay and forage production, which is lowering feed costs to producers.  



Regulations were a major challenge for cattlemen in 2014.  In my interview with Kelsey he talks about regulatory challenges and what lies ahead for cattle producers in 2015.  Click here to listen to my interview. 



Kelsey will also join me for the weekly In the Field report Saturday morning at 6:40 am on KWTV News9 in Oklahoma City.  


NewLeadersPgmOklahoma Couple Part of NCGA DuPont New Leaders Program


An Oklahoma couple has been accepted into the 2015 National Corn Growers Association leadership program. Cody and Ashley Sloan are among the participants in the 2015 class of the NCGA DuPont New Leaders Program. This is the second year the program has been offered to help farming couples and individuals become better communicators and leaders. Thirty-five participants representing 16 states will be involved in the program next year.

"We're pleased to see this important program continue for a second year with DuPont's generous support," said Chip Bowling, NCGA president and a corn grower from Maryland. "NCGA has always believed that farmers themselves are the best leaders and spokespersons for agriculture, and this program is designed in particular for those just getting started in visible roles in the ag industry."

"There are many challenges in the agriculture industry today that may be overcome by growers getting involved and telling their stories in Washington D.C., their state governments and local communities," said Doug Dollison, Senior Manager Industry Relations, DuPont Pioneer. "We are proud to support the new leader program, which is teaching the very communications and leadership skills necessary for this success."  



Click here to read more about the participants in the NCGA DuPont New Leaders program.   

BigIronMeet Bernie the good Shepherd of 2,000 Years Ago and His Version of the Christmas Story



When you google The Christmas Story from a Shepherd's point of view- you get 30,000 hits- but one that was close to the top of the list when I googled was a narrative written by a Pastor by the name of Bruce Goettsche of Union Church of La Harpe, Illinois.

Bruce writes about Bernard- or Bernie to Shepherd.  We have his story as our Top Ag Story today on our website- you can go there and hear our audio version of Bernie's account from Bethleham as well as hit the link we have of the full narrative as written by this pastor from rural Illinois.

Here's a short version of what Bernie reported from all of those years ago:

""Most of the people think we are odd. The truth is, we Shepherds probably are a different breed of person. O.K. maybe we are a lot different. Our closest friends are sheep! They are special to us. We are committed to protecting them. (Haven't you ever had a pet?) Sheep are very vulnerable, you know. They are easy prey to wild animals and they aren't very smart. If you don't keep an eye on them, they'll wander off before you know it. They need us.

"When I say we are committed to our sheep you need to know what I mean. A good Shepherd would not only risk his life for his sheep, he would give his life for his sheep.

"Most of the time we work alone. So, we talk to our sheep a great deal.

"Well, anyhow, the night Messiah was born we had combined our flocks and were taking turns at the watch just outside of Bethlehem. A few of our group were already asleep. I and a couple of others were sitting by the fire enjoying a late night snack of cheese and lentils and swapping a few sheep stories. What happened next is something I will never ever forget.

"Suddenly, standing before us was a figure that was radiant and unlike anything we had ever seen before. Instantly, we knew it was a messenger from God and just as instantly we were all petrified.

"The angel spoke and said, "Don't be afraid! I come to bring you good news, news which will bring joy to everyone. Born to you today in Bethlehem is the Savior, he is Christ the Lord and you can find this baby wrapped in cloths and laying in a manger."

"Born to us?" the Messiah? Was this some kind of Heavenly message to the wrong address?

"The sky was suddenly filled with angels who were chanting, "Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom His favor rests." It was incredible. I'm sure we all stood their with our moths open and our eyes as wide as saucers. I'm still not sure any of us had taken a breath. It was unbelievable, and yet none of us doubted it was really happening.

"We could have sat mesmerized all night, and yet, at the same time (PAUSE) it was so intense it was almost painful. And just as suddenly as the angel had appeared the host of Heaven retreated into the sky.

Bernie says that after the Angels left- they sat for several minutes and no one said a word.  Then, "I spoke out next and said, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see the Messiah. I think that is what the angel wanted us to do." And we began walking.

"When we walked into the stable there was a strange sense of God's presence in the place. It looked like an old dirty stable but it was also like stepping into Heaven itself.

"We were startled in some respects by Mary and Joseph. They seemed so young, so ordinary to play such a prominent role in such an awesome event.

"I don't know how long we were there. It seemed like minutes, but I'm sure it was hours. All I remember was the profound reluctance to leave.

Later- Bernie says that he thought a great deal about that night- about the Angels, about the Baby and about God. "Hundreds of times I've asked myself: "Why me?" "Why a Shepherd, out in a field?"

"I don't know, I think the Lord wanted the world to know from the very first moment that the Messiah was for all.

"And as the Angel said- For Unto You- A Savior is Born- A Savior...for You."

And that's how a simple livestock producer of that day- a Shepherd- might explain that night near Bethleham.

Happy Birthday Jesus- and Merry Christmas- to you and to yours.



Our thanks to Midwest Farms Shows,  P & K Equipment, American Farmers & Ranchers, Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association, CROPLAN by WinfieldStillwater Milling Company, Pioneer Cellular  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- FREE!


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 



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