Oklahoma

Seth Bodine / Harvest Public Media

 

There’s no shortage of peanuts on Loyd Lasley’s farm. Come September, he hopes to harvest about 160,000 pounds of them. Many of the peanuts are roasted and put on shelves at the Made In Oklahoma booth at the state fair. 

With many state fairs across the country being canceled due to COVID-19, many small business owners like the Lasleys will miss out on sales. The family typically makes about $5,000 from sales at the fair every year. It’s not a lot, but it helps, Loyd says. 

Kristofor Husted / Harvest Public Media file photo

Algal blooms in bodies of water often caused by runoff of manure and fertilizer on crop lands have a high price tag. 

An economic analysis by the nonprofit Environmental Working Group found that 22 states have spent more than $1 billion altogether since 2010. Kansas, Iowa and Texas are among the states that have spent millions clearing the algae. Of the Midwestern states in the study, Iowa has spent the most — more than $40 million across six sites since 2010. 

Oklahoma Department of Agriculture

Unsolicited packages of seeds from China are arriving in mailboxes around the country. More than 20 state departments of agriculture, including Oklahoma, Iowa and Nebraska are warning that the seeds could potentially be harmful. 

Seth Bodine / Harvest Public Media

Philip Kelly says there’s always something that needs to be fixed in Yale, Oklahoma. 

As both the police chief and interim city manager of the town of about 1,300, he can point out all the projects in town: from tearing down the crumbling century-old buildings to improving the sidewalks and curbs on the main road. Sometimes, the amount of fixes needed can be overwhelming. 

Courtesy of Sheri Glazier

Sheri Glazier is used to seeing dry conditions on the family farm in central Oklahoma around wheat harvesting time in June. But this year, the heat came faster than normal. She remembers the unusually early heat one day while driving the combine in the wheat field.

“I was extremely worried about heat strokes that day, and I don't ever remember truly being that early in June, being that extremely concerned about ‘where's the water, where's the Gatorade, where's the fire extinguishers?’ All in one day, that early in wheat harvest,” Glazier says.

Rachel Hubbard / KOSU

 

Even as more people bake during the pandemic, some wheat farmers may need help to break even this year.

Jimmy Kinder, a farmer from southwestern Oklahoma, is in what he calls “wheat crop mode.” Kinder, a fourth-generation farmer, mainly grows wheat and raises cattle. Like many farmers across Oklahoma and the Great Plains region right now, Kinder’s wheat is ready to harvest. 

Protecting the Renewable Fuel Standard is a priority for officials from corn-producing states, as shown by this sign at an RFS rally in Iowa a few years ago.
File: Amy Mayer / Harvest Public Media

Updated Nov. 30 with EPA decision — Midwestern U.S. senators’ lobbying campaign paid off Thursday for farmers who supply the renewable fuel industry.

Companies that invest in wind energy production say the proposed tax reform bill passed last week in the U.S. House would cost the country jobs and investment.
Amy Mayer / file: Harvest Public Media

The tax reform bill passed Nov. 16 by the U.S. House could slow development in the wind energy sector by reopening a two-year-old deal.

One industry leader says they’ll need the Senate in their court to protect their current agreement, which phases out production and investment tax credits through 2020.


On a brisk and busy January morning at the Oklahoma National Stockyards, cattle arrive for auction in trailers pulled by pickup trucks — and leave in double-decker cars towed by semis.

A ranch foreman unloads a trailer of Red Angus to winter in a pasture near Alva, Okla.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

A federal investigation has been launched into the alleged embezzlement of $2.6 million by an employee of an obscure state board that promotes the beef industry, money created by a mandatory government program funded by farmers and ranchers.