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Feeder Cattle Recap:
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TCFA Feedlot Recap:
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|Oklahoma's Latest Farm and Ranch News
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON
Monday, May 7, 2018
USMEF Reports New Record Month in Beef Export Value for March with Pork Exports Also Strong
USDA and the US Meat Export Federation reported strong results for red meat exports in March of this year, capping an excellent first quarter. Beef exports set a new monthly value record in March and pork export value reached the second-highest level on record. Both beef and pork exports have sold at mostly higher prices - a clear sign of solid international demand.
March beef export value was $693.1 million, up 18 percent year-over-year and topping the previous high set in October 2014. Export volume was 111,994 metric tons (mt), up 6 percent from a year ago. For the first quarter of 2018, exports were 9 percent ahead of last year's pace in volume (318,073 mt) and jumped 19 percent in value ($1.92 billion).
March was the final month in which the higher safeguard tariff rate (50 percent versus the normal 38.5 percent) was applied to Japan's imports of frozen U.S. beef. The higher rate took effect in August and expired on April 1 with the beginning of the new Japanese fiscal year.
In our morning farm and ranch news being heard on the Radio Oklahoma Ag Network- we are featuring comments from USMEF Economist Erin Borror on the great start to 2018 for beef exports
- click here
to take a listen.
On the pork side, March export volume was steady with last year at 227,363 mt, while value increased 4 percent to $610.4 million - trailing only the November 2017 record of $615.8 million. For the January-March quarter, volume increased 1 percent year-over-year to 636,297 mt, while value was up 8 percent to $1.7 billion.
"While beef exports to Japan held up well during those eight months, the higher tariff rate certainly weighed on exports of frozen cuts such as short plate," explained USMEF President and CEO Dan Halstrom. "U.S. short plate is an essential ingredient for Japan's gyudon restaurants, which are part of a highly competitive fast-casual dining sector. We are pleased to have the higher safeguard tariff rate behind us, though U.S. beef still faces a widening tariff rate gap in Japan compared to Australian beef, and U.S. beef remains subject to Japan's quarterly safeguard mechanisms for chilled and frozen imports. USMEF continues to monitor this situation, and we are hopeful that the frozen beef safeguard will not be triggered this year."
to read more highlights from this report detailing the March export activity.
The Oklahoma Farm Bureau - a grassroots organization that has for its Mission Statement- Improving the Lives of Rural Oklahomans." Farm Bureau, as the state's largest general farm organization, is active at the State Capitol fighting for the best interests of its members and working with other groups to make certain that the interests of rural Oklahoma are protected.
Click here for their website to learn more about the organization and how it can benefit you to be a part of Farm Bureau.
|US Roundtable for Sustainable Beef Releases First-Ever National Framework for Beef Sustainability
The U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef Thursday opened a 60-day public comment period on the group's Sustainability Framework, which has been in the works for over three years with more than 200 individual industry stakeholders contributing to its development. The Sustainability Framework is a set of resources developed to assist ranchers, cattle auction markets, feedyards, packers, processors, and retail and food service organizations in their efforts to continuously improve the sustainability of U.S. beef. Roundtable chair, Kim Stackhouse-Lawson spoke with us about the framework, which she says should "serve as an invaluable tool in enhancing U.S. beef sustainability."
"From the rancher to the consumer purchasing beef for their family meal, everyone plays a unique and important role in beef sustainability. The USRSB Framework was intentionally designed to apply to all sizes and types of operations and companies, no matter where they are in their sustainability journey," Stackhouse-Lawson said. "This approach celebrates the diversity of the U.S. beef community, while providing enough flexibility to address the unique sustainability challenges across our national production system."
The key areas identified by the group as being important to the sustainability of beef are referred to as High-Priority Indicators. These include: animal health and well-being, efficiency and yield, employee safety and well-being, land resources, water resources, and air and greenhouse gas emissions. The Public Comment Period will end July first. More information on the framework and how comments may be submitted can be found here.
"The USRSB Public Comment Period is an opportunity for us to listen. As we open this conversation to the public, we will build upon the USRSB's foundational work with the important input from interested stakeholders," said Stackhouse-Lawson. "Our journey is not complete after the comment period. The USRSB's mission is to continuously improve, meaning we will always need to evaluate, assess, and adapt to ensure the U.S. beef value chain remains the trusted global leader in sustainable beef production."
Listen to our conversation with Chairwoman Kim Stackhouse-Lawson about the USRSB Framework - click here.
|National FFA's Man on Capitol Hill, Riley Pagett of Woodward, Shares His Full-Circle FFA Experience
Not long ago, Riley Pagett of Woodward, Okla. was travelling around the country speaking to FFA members as their National President. These days, he stays mostly in Washington, DC and rather than speaking to members - he speaks on their behalf as National FFA's Director of Advocacy & Government Affairs.
"It's been a really cool opportunity to go back and work for National FFA in Washington, DC," Pagett said, reflecting on his career. "It's just been a really cool full-circle moment getting to go into some those offices on the Hill and interact with our government, representatives and elected officials to tell the story of agriculture education, agriculture career and tech ed and then of course FFA."
In DC, Pagett runs into nearly every level of ag-literacy when advocating for the organization and its mission. No matter the extent to which a person understands agriculture and the industry's priorities, Pagett says one thing is constant - the recognition of the good that comes from the young people who don the blue and gold jackets. Pagett says he simply has to fill in the holes of that visual with details on how the organization has accomplished such success at grooming and preparing future generations of leaders in the ag industry.
"It's a fun job for me, but I think it's a really cool opportunity and a much needed one," he said. "When we're able to get FFA members in those meetings and tell them our story and how FFA has benefited us and how we're better served because of the programs in which we participated in."
To hear mine and Riley's complete conversation or to continue reading about how National FFA is working to modernize the organization's federal charter and strengthen its ties with the USDA, click here.
|Secretary Perdue Applauds President Trump's Selection for USDA's Under Secretary for Food Safety
President Donald Trump nominated Dr. Mindy Brashears to be the Under Secretary for Food Safety. Brashears would be the first person in that position since Elizabeth Hagen left the job during the Obama Administration in 2013.
Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue says the president made a good choice in picking Brashears.
"Food safety is directly at the core of USDA's mission because it directly affects the health and well-being of millions of Americans," Perdue says. "Dr. Brashears has spent decades finding ways to improve food safety standards through things like innovation, invention, and leadership on research missions across the globe."
Brashears is a food safety and public health professor at Texas Tech University, where she also works as the school's director of the International Center for Food Industry Excellence. Her research focuses on improving food safety standards and making an impact on public health.
Some of her research work has led to the commercialization of a pre-harvest feed additive that can reduce E. Coli and Salmonella in cattle. She also leads international research teams to Mexico, along with Central, and South America, to improve food safety and security and to set up sustainable agriculture systems in impoverished areas.
Click here to read more about Dr. Brashears and her new appointment.
The Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association is the trusted voice of the Oklahoma Cattle Industry. With headquarters in Oklahoma City, the OCA has a regular presence at the State Capitol to protect and defend the interests of cattlemen and cattlewomen.
Their Vision Statement explains the highest priority of the organization- "Leadership that serves, strengthens and advocates for the Oklahoma cattle industry."
To learn more about the OCA and how you can be a part of this forward-looking group of cattle producers, click here for their website
. For more information- call 405-235-4391.
|Jane Testerman of Hollis, Okla. Recognized as a Significant Woman in Agriculture by OK Dept. of Ag
This past week, Jane Testerman of Hollis, Okla. was recognized by the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture as a Significant Woman in Agriculture.
Testerman, who helps her husband Charlie full time with his three businesses - Testerman Farms, Circle T Trucking, and Testerman and Son Harvesting - spent much of her professional life serving a lengthy career in teaching.
Aside from the everyday record-keeping and directing trucks, Testerman's role in the management of her family's operation has grown since retiring from her career in education. She now keeps all computer software up-to-date for accounting purposes for all three businesses. As technology has advanced, she now enters the amount of fertilizer and water used by each sprayer into a computer system. She picks up parts and runs the hired hands around - who say they would rather have Charlie in charge because Jane works them too hard.
Although having recently made the conscious decision to cut back on some of their custom work with the hope of spending more time at home, the Testermans currently still custom harvest 10,000 to 12,000 acres, all within a 60-mile radius of home and the Texas Panhandle.
FFA and 4-H are very important to the Testermans, who are currently working with the superintendent to build a multi-purpose facility. Martin Lewis, Doug's first cousin, passed away this past year and left money to be donated to a good cause, which involved youth and/or animals. The Testermans chose to use that money for the facility, and this enabled the school to start building.
You can read more about Testerman's story and what makes her a Significant Woman in Agriculture, by clicking or tapping here.
|Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City Reports that Farm Loan Interest Rates Edged Higher During Q1
Interest rates on most types of farm loans continued to move higher. A Kansas City Fed report says, following modest increases in short-term rates, commercial banks raised interest rates on loans used to finance various farm-sector purchases.
Following a period of historically-low rates, interest rates increased most significantly on loans used to finance operating expenses. Operating loan interest rates have increased from a low level of 3.5 percent in 2015 to 4.9 percent in early 2018. Interest rates on other types of loans have also increased since 2015 but at a slower rate.
In addition to the steady increase in interest rates, very few loans in the first quarter of this year were made at less than four percent interest. Back in 2015, more than 40 percent of farm loans that were used to finance non-real estate originated with an interest rate of less than four percent. Back in 2015, only ten percent of farm loans carried an interest rate of more than six percent.
In the first quarter of this year, only 21 percent of non-real estate farm loans were originated with an interest rate of less than four percent. About 22 percent of the loans originated this year had an interest rate of more than six percent.
Read more about the Federal Reserve Bank's First Quarter findings for 2018 and check out the complete report for yourself, by clicking here.
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|This Week - Oklahoma Wheat Commission Board Meeting and Election is Today- and Governor's Excellence in Ag Awards to be Presented Wednesday
The Oklahoma Wheat Commission May board meeting and District III election will take place in Kingfisher at the Kingfisher County Fairgrounds inside the Exhibit Building- THIS MORNING- May 7th- the board meeting starting at 8:00 AM central. Executive Director Mike Schulte writes "We are planning to be out in time for the OSU Kingfisher County Variety Trial at 11:00 a.m. Lunch will be provided after the variety trial at 12:00 noon in the Exhibit Building courtesy of the OWGA.
"We will also have Dr. Brian Arnall as our featured speaker, discussing Apps, Tools and Techniques for Wheat Production.
"The District III election will begin promptly at 1:00 p.m. We look forward to seeing all that can attend!"
By the way- the address for the Kingfisher County Fairgrounds is 300 South 13th Street in Kingfisher.
The Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry announced last week a last minute change in location for the Governor's Excellence in Agriculture Awards ceremony happening this Wednesday, May 9th at 2:30 p.m.
The new location of the Governor's Excellence in Agriculture Awards ceremony will be in Senate Room 535 at the state Capitol.
The public is encouraged to attend the event to help recognize this year's recipients: Keith Kisling of Burlington, Governor's Outstanding Achievement in Agriculture Award; Jimmy Kinder of Walters, Governor's Agriculture Environmental Stewardship Award; Randy Gilbert of Tecumseh, Governor's Outstanding Public Service in Agriculture Award; and Larry Watkins of Stillwater who will posthumously be recognized with the Governor's Outstanding Legacy in Agriculture Award.
With the possible adjournment of the Legislature, Ag Day at the state Capitol events including the vendor fair, previously scheduled for earlier in the day, have been cancelled.
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