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Steer and heifer calves were too lightly tested for an accurate trend during Tuesday's sale at
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Okla Cash Grain:
Feeder Cattle Recap:
Slaughter Cattle Recap:
TCFA Feedlot Recap:
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Ron Hays, Senior Farm Director and Editor
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Oklahoma's Latest Farm and Ranch News
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON
Wednesday, August 7, 2019
The Purdue University/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer reading jumped to 153 in July, up 27 points from June, and up 52 points from May. However, it's safe to expect a decline in the August report. While the Market Facilitation Program payments are
a positive to farmers, this week's announcement that China will stop all purchases of U.S. ag products is a significant market loss.
Barometer results are based on a survey of 400 producers across the U.S. conducted from July 15 through July 19, 2019, which was before USDA's announcement of 2019 MFP payment rates. A big driver of sentiment was producers' improved expectations
for current economic conditions.
The Index of Current Conditions, a sub-index of the ag barometer, increased 44 points in July to a reading of 141, marking the largest one-month improvement since data collection began in October of 2015. The barometer's other sub-index, the Index
of Future Expectations also increased, up 18 points from June, to a reading of 159 in July.
You can read more about the Purdue University/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer,
by clicking or tapping here.
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June Sees US Beef and Pork Exports Jumping Above Year Ago Levels
U.S. pork and beef exports were above year-ago levels in both volume and value in June, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation. Led by a rebound in
Mexico and China, pork export value was the highest in 14 months, while strong results in
South Korea and Taiwan pushed beef export value to the fourth-highest total on record.
Beef exports were up 3% year-over-year in June to 118,677 mt. Export value ($724.8 million) increased just 1% from a year ago but trailed only August 2018, May 2019, and October 2018 for the highest monthly value total on record. First-half beef exports were
down 2% from a year ago in volume (648,765 mt) but held steady with last year's record value pace at $4.03 billion.
Beef export value per head of fed slaughter averaged $325.10 in June, up 4% from a year ago, while first-half export value averaged $312.06 per head, down 2%. June exports accounted for 15.4% of total U.S. beef production, up nearly a full percentage point
from last year.
June pork exports posted double-digit gains in both volume and value, reaching 212,887 metric tons (mt), up 11% year-over-year, valued at $569.2 million (up 12%). For the first half of 2019, pork exports remained 2% below last year in volume (1.25 million mt)
and were down 6% in value to $3.14 billion.
The sore spot for both beef and pork is the problem that we see with Japan- the export numbers are slipping as multiple countries are cheaper than we are because of the CPTPP tariff advantage- and that is costing US producers sales into this meat loving market.
or tap here to read the complete review of the June numbers for Beef, Pork and Lamb.
Daniel Crossley of Okarche, Okla. is a fifth-generation wheat farmer with property in both Canadian and Kingfisher Counties. During a recent trip with the Oklahoma Wheat Commission to the Wheat Marketing Center in Portland, Ore. for the 2019
Wheat Export and Technical Marketing Producer Workshop, Crossley had the opportunity to learn a great deal about the different varieties of wheat produced around the country and how the WMC works with the industry to help identify each region's best marketing
opportunities. He sat down with me to talk about his experience during this trip and the takeaways he gleaned from it.
"For somebody who has grown up in Oklahoma dealing specifically with HRW wheat, it was just really an eye-opening experience seeing all the variations and classes of it and what that stuff goes toward," Crossley said. "It's amazing that even though it's
all wheat flour, the different variations and what it can actually go to."
Crossely learned that the WMC helps the industry organize the various wheat varieties available today and identifies their specific and unique characteristics. Through that process, the WMC also helps determine which products and markets each variety
is best suited. It can also advise producers on how to improve or change their agronomic practices in order to maximize their crop's potential marketing opportunities.
or tap here to listen to the whole entire conversation between Crossley and I regarding the Wheat Marketing Center.
Scott Yager, chief environmental counsel for the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, has been following the repeal process of the Waters of the United States (WOTUS), which has been years in the making. Yager says as far as the Obama-era WOTUS
rule is concerned, though, it is very near its end. At present, the rule's repeal paperwork is being reviewed by the White House's Office of Management & Budget where it is expected to be advanced sometime this month.
"When that comes back to the EPA, Administrator Andrew Wheeler will sign it, it's then official and that kills the 2015 rule and gets it off the books officially," Yager explained. "If that wasn't enough, our lawsuit in Texas
got a good decision about a month ago and the judge there said that the WOTUS rule was illegal and remanded it back the EPA. So, we've got multiple layers here of fixes that prevent it from ever coming back into play."
Add to that yet another layer in the form of a bill introduced last week by Senators Joni Ernst of Iowa and Mike Braun of Indiana, the Define WOTUS Act, which will codify a definition of the
Waters of the U.S. Rule and reassert Congressional authority to define the term. Yager says this bill aligns many of the concepts that NCBA has supported as means to improve the rule. Yager adds that once the repeal is made final, it is likely following that
before the year's end that the Administration will put forward a replacement WOTUS rule. The early drafts of this rule are a significant improvement from the previous version implemented by the Obama Environmental Protection Agency, Yager asserts, but says
he is hopeful that the Administration will be open to even further improvements that will guarantee the least regulatory burden on landowners as possible. However, he says the process is likely to drag out with the imminent wave of litigation that without
a doubt will be levied by detractors.
You can listen to the whole conversation between Yager and I on Tuesday's Beef Buzz -
Earlier this week, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler announced the appointment of
Ken McQueen of New Mexico to become regional administrator for Region 6. Mr. McQueen will oversee environmental protection efforts in the states of
Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico and Texas and in 66 Tribal Nations.
McQueen has extensive experience in public service and industry working in the south central region of the United States on water, natural resource and energy issues. Mr. McQueen will join the agency having most recently worked as the state of New Mexico Cabinet
Secretary for the Energy, Minerals, and Natural Resources Department (EMNRD) from 2016 to 2018. During his tenure as cabinet secretary, he worked to streamline rules and regulations. Prior to serving as New Mexico's EMNRD Cabinet Secretary, Mr. McQueen
worked as Vice President of Williams / WPX Energy from 2002 to 2016 where he managed the company's assets in New Mexico, Colorado and Wyoming.
"Ken's experience in public service and familiarity with natural resource issues make him an excellent choice to lead the Region 6 office," said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. "I look forward to working with Ken to advance the Agency's mission and
protect human health and the environment for our south central residents."
You can read more about the appointment of McQueen as the administrator for Region 6 of the EPA,
by clicking or tapping here.
The vision of the Oklahoma Beef Council is to be a positive difference for Oklahoma's farming and ranching families and the greater beef community and its mission is to enhance beef demand by strengthening consumer trust and exceeding
To learn more, visit www.oklabeef.org
click on Cattlemen's Corner. Also, don't forget to like its Facebook page at
for stories on Oklahoma's ranching families and great beef recipes.
Yesterday, Rep. K. Michael Conaway (TX-11), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Agriculture and Rep. Frank Lucas (OK-03), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology issued statements after Dr.
Bart Fischer of Tillman County Oklahoma was named co-director of the Agricultural and Food Policy Center (AFPC) at Texas A&M University starting September 1, 2019.
Dr. Fischer currently serves as Rep. Conaway's deputy staff director and chief economist at the House Committee on Agriculture. He joined the committee in 2011 as the chief economist under the leadership of then-Chairman, Rep. Lucas. He helped both chairmen
craft the 2018 and 2014 Farm Bills.
Their praise of Dr. Fischer goes back several years, when he credited his success back to FFA.
Click or tap here to listen to that conversation.
"While he undoubtedly will be missed at the House Agriculture Committee, I look forward to continuing to work with Bart in his new role on all issues that are important to America's farmers and ranchers," said Rep. Lucas.
You can read more Fischer's departure,
by jumping over to our website.
During the 2019 Oklahoma Pork Congress, Oklahoma pork industry stakeholders heard from Cody McKinley, assistant vice president of state and national relations for the National Pork Producers Council, about the current US
trade relations situation and how that is impacting the US pork industry. According to him, some movement has been made in recent months yet the Administration continues to struggle to move passed the negotiating table. McKinley sat down with Associate Farm
Director Carson Horn after his presentation to discuss further the impact that these ongoing trade barriers is having on American pork producers.
"Producers have been battling trade barriers here for a long time now and this Administration has had a few hiccups but we understand where the President is at and we hope is going in the right direction," McKinley said. "The President came in and has
really been focused on righting some of these trade deficits with countries we have an imbalance with. And to get them to the table he's had to use tariffs which is clearly an effective practice."
Using tariffs however, McKinley explains, is a tactic that has cost not only our reluctant trading partners but domestic producers as well. The President's 20% metal tariffs on Mexico and Canada we particularly harmful to the pork industry. Earlier this
year, those tariffs were finally lifted. McKinley says the NPPC was integral in convincing the President to do so in order to relieve diplomatic tensions and pave the way forward on the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement, which he agrees is the lynchpin to getting
negotiations with other foreign entities like Japan and the European Union underway. Mexico has already ratified the USMCA and Canada's Parliament would likely call a special session to do the same if Congress can ever move forward on its own vote. Once that
happens and the USMCA is ratified, McKinley says the Administration would be free to turn its attention on negotiating other agreements. But, when this will all come to pass McKinley says remains a mystery.
You can listen to their entire conversation regarding ongoing trade barriers and how they are impacting U.S. pork producers,
by clicking or tapping here.
Monday marked the closing of comment period for the U.S Department of Agriculture's proposed rule changes to regulations in 7 CFR part 340, "Introductions of Organisms and Products Altered or Produced Through Genetic Engineering Which are Plant Pests
or Which There is Reason to Believe are Plant Pests."
USDA intends to focus on the plant pest risk of each product, instead of the method used to create it. USDA has proposal a path moving forward that would advance plant breeding innovation while ensuring a responsible degree of oversight.
National Association of Wheat Growers President Ben Scholz issued a
statement on the comments submitted by the organization.
"NAWG believes USDA APHIS is correct in its work to update and revise the current regulations and commends their effort to streamline the process," he said. "Modern biotechnology (transgenesis and gene editing) helps achieve an increase in
food production without the need for more land area for agriculture."
National Corn Growers Association also submitted comments to the USDA regarding the proposed rule. The submission voiced support for the proposed rule while also offering several suggestions that would strengthen the final rule.
"Corn farmers have a strong interest in the availability of new technologies to enhance the sustainability, productivity and competitiveness of U.S. agriculture. Agriculture biotechnology and next generation breeding techniques allow growers to increase
yields while decreasing inputs," NCGA states. "Meeting demand, improving processes and minimizing environmental impacts are what make modern corn production a dynamic industry. The proposed rule, in large part, demonstrates an underlying agreement with the
basis of NCGA's stance and strives to create a more efficient regulatory process allowing growers greater access to new products."
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