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Meat plant closings, market disruptions and the slow recovery in cattle prices this spring — largely attributable to the coronavirus pandemic — have hit beef producers hard, with those in the Oklahoma Panhandle being among the most significantly affected.

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LAHOMA, Okla. — Few things are business as usual amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, but Oklahoma State University Extension managed to maintain the integrity of the experience of one of the state’s longest-standing wheat field days, the annual Lahoma Field Day.

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For the past few years rallies have come after harvest, but were short lived and difficult to capture. Storage is a silent enemy that is likened to paying interest to own wheat.

Grape jelly?? I still can hear myself questioning the older couple selling handmade bird feeders with cups for grape jelly at the Farmers’ Market in Wichita.

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Backyard poultry producers may find themselves able to offset increased prices for eggs as Oklahoma and the nation deal with COVID-19 concerns.

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Tucked inside a $2 trillion COVID-19 stimulus package signed into law nearly a month ago are funds designed to help farmers, ranchers and the food supply chain to survive the pandemic’s blow.

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Today, we need to restart the Victory Garden campaign. We need the faithful American spirit, the desperation in our core to fight the enemy, no matter what it is, and the boost of morale and pride that being part of something greater than ourselves gives.

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Many ranchers and farmers across Oklahoma and the Midwest are praying they can just hang on until the economy rebounds.

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A perfect storm of low gas prices and an unstable economy have led to severe reduction of ethanol production. For cattle producers, this means a reduction or even loss of ethanol byproducts as a feed or supplement for the time being.

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The research conducted by Oklahoma State University identified revenue losses of $3.7 billion so far this year in the cow-calf sector alone, the equivalent of $112 per head for each breeding animal in the country.

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NextEra Energy Resour­ces, through the NextEra Energy Foundation, has donated $10,000 to Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma to support the nonprofit’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt warned that even if lawmakers exhaust the remainder of the state’s savings — $534 million — they’ll still have 7.5% less to spend as they write the upcoming fiscal year 2021 budget that must be finalized by late May.

Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry (ODAFF) has approved a temporary exception for take-home exams for those needing to become a private applicator. Since the first of the year, all pesticide applicators needing to become certified are required to use the third-party testin…

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A small shift in the molecular structure of the spike, and you may end up with a virus that can affect a different part of the body or different species.

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All of this is a reminder that in the midst of all the coronavirus fears, God is faithful to keep our planet going in its seasons. My hope is that more people will decide they want to give gardening another chance. Getting back to the way grandma did things may be the best tonic for the blues you may have through social distancing.

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❝This is unchartered territory. I’m 69 years old and I’ve been through five oil and gas depressions, but I’ve never been in this territory before. This is a double whammy no one has seen before. Nobody can make money at $25 a barrel.❞ — Mike Cantrell, chairman of Postwood Oil in Ada

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“We hope such a buyer would retain our employees for its operations. In the event that is not the case, we will assist with job searches, unemployment registration, and other benefits.” — Vince Trotta, president of GEFCO

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With his plans to expand his operation, and due to the labor-intensive process of growing a marijuana crop, Joey Meibergen said he’s constantly looking for more workers. ❝In the middle of the coronavirus crisis, when people are laying off workers, I’m still trying to hire people.❞

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“We are steadfastly committed to doing everything we can to assist the most vulnerable in our communities as we all work through this unsettling and difficult time together. Simply put, it’s the right thing to do, and I strongly encourage other businesses to join this effort.” — NextEra Energy Chairman and CEO Jim Robo

As a person who was raised in the ag industry, I understand that no matter what is going on in the world around us, agriculture continues. Calves will be born, and crops will be planted. The grass will grow, and cows will be moved to new pastures.

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The ongoing human health issue, known as COVID-19, serves as a reminder to cattle ranchers about the importance of sound, common sense biosecurity measures that can aid in reducing the risk of a disease outbreak in the new 2020 calf crop.

April is on the horizon market watchers. However, the peak of the COVID-19 spread in our country is unfortunately not. The same week that China closed the last temporary hospital as new cases have supposedly ceased, the total U.S. cases have surpassed those in China and Italy, as numbers cli…

The column I had submitted for this weekend was about Garfield County Master Gardeners’ spring workshop. Unfortunately, the event, like so many others, has been canceled.

“Re-wilding” is the trend toward diversifying traditional lawns by putting in native plants that flower and fruit, boosting wildlife populations. It returns more control of the home landscape to nature.

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For more than 47 years, animal handling expert Temple Grandin has guided the cattle industry through improved corporate facilities, animal welfare awareness and on-farm animal management. Recently, at the Spring Forage Conference in Springfield, Mo., Grandin shared some of her new findings a…

It’s that time of year when many producers are applying inputs to pastures and hay fields. The two main management decisions that are critical to achieving desired forage potential would be fertility and weed control.

Oklahoma Proven is a plant promotion program coordinated by faculty in the Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture at Oklahoma State University.

Spring is around the corner, and the sound of lawnmowers soon will fill the air. Before starting the engine, these tips will ensure a successful season of lawn care.

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Four area high school students will receive awards Monday for their accomplishments in agriculture.

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Obituaries

ENID - Funeral services will be Tuesday, June 2, 2020 at 2:00 p.m., Stittsworth Memory Chapel, Pastor Lester L. Lowry officiating. Burial will follow in Enid Cemetery, under the kind guidance of Amy Stittsworth Funeral Service. www.stittsworthfuneralservices.com