House Majority Leader Mike Sanders, R-Kingfisher, received a perfect score from the non-partisan Research Institute for Economic Development (RIED) organization in its annual report.
An Oklahoma beef task force designed to analyze problems in marketing and processing beef has been organized by Representative Justin Humphrey (R), Lane and Senator David Bullard (R), Durant. The two legislators have invited independent ranchers, meat buyers, meat processors, livestock auction owners and meat inspectors to convene and identify financial obstacles and structured solutions that will provide a process for long term financial gain for Oklahoma farmers and ranchers. Representative Humphrey stated, “Four major meat packers, Tyson Foods, Cargill, JBS (Brazilian owned) and National Beef are controlling about 87 percent of beef processing and sales. They have considerable control over what ranchers are paid for cattle and what consumers pay for meat. The beef price is very low for ranchers and extremely high for consumers while meat packers are making millions of dollars. This is not acceptable.”
As expected, the Oklahoma Energy Index contracted sharply in April. Oil and natural gas activity fell by 14.3 percent to an index reading of 102.8 – just above the baseline of 100 indexed to the base year of 2000. Total energy activity in the state is now down 44 percent from a year ago with the pace of decline accelerating into the deepest contraction in the last 20 years.
The Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, or CFAP, has issued over $150 million to Oklahoma’s farmers and ranchers in its first three weeks, but wheat advocates are still pushing for inclusion of hard red winter wheat into the program.
Fires continue to ravish area farmers during dry conditions last week. Area firemen have been called out for more than eight consecutive days for fires in adjoining counties.