The farm industry is pushing for tighter right-to-farm laws across the country. What does that mean for farm neighbors?

Every state has a “right-to-farm” law on the books to protect farmers from being sued by their neighbors for the routine smells and sounds created by farming operations. But this year, the agriculture industry has been pushing in several states to amend those laws so that they will effectively prevent neighbors from suing farms at all — even massive industrial livestock operations.

Oklahoma wildfires kill 1,600 cattle

Cattle producers in Oklahoma lost $26 million in stock, fencing, and facilities to wildfires during April, estimated Derrell Peel, a livestock marketing specialist at Oklahoma State University.

Drought fries wheat crop in Kansas and Oklahoma

Kansas will reap its smallest winter wheat crop since 1989 and neighboring Oklahoma will harvest half of its usual total because of a months-long drought in the Plains, crop scouts said on Thursday after touring the winter wheat belt.

Big Beef seeks to expand its tax on Oklahoma ranchers​

Big Ag is back on the offensive in Oklahoma, less than a year after voters defeated a bill that would have stripped the state’s residents of their ability to regulate corporate farming. The Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association wants ranchers to pay an additional $1 tax per head of cattle sold in the state, and will hold a Nov. 1 vote on the tax for Oklahoma cattle producers. Family farm advocates say that much of the money collected under such checkoff taxes is funneled to private industry groups that use it to promote the interests of corporate agriculture over independent farmers.

Inspector general to review Pruitt’s frequent trips to Oklahoma

EPA administrator Scott Pruitt spent 43 days out of a 92-day stretch from March to May in Oklahoma or traveling between his home state and Washington, according to a group of former EPA officials. "Based on congressional requests and a hotline complaint," the EPA inspector general's office said it will investigate Pruitt's frequent trips, reported the Oklahoman.

Oklahoma energy industry behind science and math curriculum

The industry-led Oklahoma Energy Resource Board has spent $50 million since the 1990s training the state's K-12 teachers to teach a science and math curriculum that critics claim is more industry promotion that real education.

Farm groups eager for Pruitt to act at EPA

Confirmed by a 52-48 Senate roll call, Scott Pruitt begins his first workday as EPA administrator today with plans to address agency employees at midday. As attorney general of Oklahoma, Pruitt sued the EPA 14 times and was a leading opponent of its Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule, a regulation that is reviled by farm groups who want to see it ditched.

EPA nominee Pruitt opted for a study in water-pollution case

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt put "the brakes" on state pursuit of a water-pollution suit against poultry processors, said the New York Times in describing how Pruitt "will have the opportunity to engineer a radical shift" in federal policy if he is confirmed as EPA administrator.

Drought spreads in winter wheat states

One-third of the land growing winter wheat is in drought territory, triple the portion that was affected two months ago, says USDA's Ag in Drought report. Dry conditions are a threat to establishment — and potential yields — of the crop, which is planted in the fall, lies dormant during the winter and is harvested in the spring.

Was right-to-farm amendment an over-reach in Oklahoma?

The proposed right-to-farm amendment to Oklahoma's constitution "was a little bit of a gamble and the gamble didn't pay off" in the view of agribusiness professor Derrell Peel of Oklahoma State University, says AgWeb. Voters rejected the amendment by a 3-to-2 margin in a rebuff of the farm and ranch sector last week.

Oklahoma rejects right-to-farm amendment in rebuff of ag lobby

Farm groups that said they wanted protection against out-of-state animal rights activists and anti-GMO campaigners failed to persuade Oklahoma voters, who rejected a proposed right-to-farm amendment to the state constitution by a landslide. The defeat, along with passage of a Massachusetts referendum on livestock welfare, dented the reputation of farm lobby, which failed to stop a nationwide GMO disclosure law in July.

Support crumbles for Oklahoma ‘right-to-farm’ amendment

Conservative voters are turning their backs on a proposed right-to-farm amendment for Oklahoma's state constitution, a possibly pivotal shift in a politically conservative state. The independent Sooner Poll says voter support for the right-to-farm proposal, one of seven constitutional questions on Tuesday's ballot, has plummeted to 37 percent from its July level of 53 percent.

Right-to-farm campaign rolls up funds in Oklahoma; opposition in biggest city

Oklahomans will decide on Nov. 8 whether to become the third state with a constitutional amendment guaranteeing a right to farm and ranch, a campaign whose chief target is animal-rights groups. Proponents have a 3-to-1 advantage in fundraising, says StateImpact Oklahoma, adding, "The issue has attracted more direct donations than any other ballot question, suggesting right-to-farm is high-stakes Oklahoma politics."

Opponents call farm animal referendum in Massachusetts a food tax

Half-a-dozen farm, retail and agribusiness groups say a voter initiative in Massachusetts on animal welfare will drive up production costs and equate to an indirect food tax. The proposal, which had more than 2-to-1 support in a recent opinion poll, would end the use of sow crates, veal calf stalls and battery cages for egg-laying hens.

On state ballots: A soda-tax trifecta and right-to-farm

Voters in three cities in California — San Francisco, Oakland and Albany — will vote on soda tax referendums in the Nov. 8 general election, a potential landmark in the campaign against high-calorie sugary beverages. On the same day, Oklahomans will decide whether to add a right-to-farm amendment to their state constitution, as insulation against "deep-pocketed animal rights groups," according to ag groups.

Yield-cutting fungus spreads through Wheat Belt

Wheat stripe rust, a fungal disease that can reduce yields by 40 percent, has "swept through fields from Oklahoma to Kansas up into the Dakotas and east into the Great Lakes states," says DTN. The disease arrived as the winter wheat crop nears harvest; USDA will update its estimate of the crop on Friday.

Lawmakers push USDA on crop insurance revisions

From Chairman Frank Lucas through junior lawmakers, members of the House Agriculture Committee during a hearing told USDA to speed up a re-calculation of farm yields for crop insurance coverage. The re-calculation, required by the new farm bill, would result in growers being credited with higher yields in many instances and would allow a higher level of coverage.

More than a third of winter wheat is in drought

Some 37 percent of the winter wheat area, mainly the southern Plains, mid-South and inland sections of the Pacific Northwest, is under drought, says a monthly summary by USDA chief meteorologist Brad Rippey.

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