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Your Update from Ron Hays of RON
Tuesday, December 31, 2019
Happy New Year!!!
Our Next Email Update Will Be
Just Hours Left in 2019- Today, We Offer Our Top Ag Stories of the Year!
As we sorted through our coverage of 2019, several stories surfaced as being very important in one way or another to the farm/ranch community here in Oklahoma- and across the country.
Our top story for the year has continued to roll along with fresh updates even into this morning- and we will update you on that in just a moment.
I do want to remind you that Ag Futures will have a full day of trading today on this December 31st- as will the Stock Market.
Most of our Livestock Auction Markets continue to be off this week- and sales will resume next week- starting Monday, January 6th.
Tomorrow is a Federal holiday- local, state and federal government offices will be closed- banks as well and most service type businesses- lots of retail will be open- hoping you will part with your Christmas cash not yet spent.
Thank you for your support in 2019- and my hopes and prayers for you and yours is that 2020 will be a great year and a great start to the new decade!!!
Now- let's talk about the best and most impactful stories of 2019!!!!
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For a lot of 2019- it has been a frustrating ride for US Agriculture as the ups and huge downs came in waves.
The easy lift was expected to be NAFTA- renegotiated by the Trump Administration in 2018- and agreed to towards the end of last year- then the waiting began as Speaker Nancy Pelosi said it wasn't good enough and demanded changes- and then the
AFL-CIO got involved and demanded that the Speaker play hard ball on a couple of their labor issues and that slowed the process again.
Finally- as the holidays arrived- suddenly we also had a breakthrough arrive. Congressman Frank Lucas was one of many who praised the deal- "Today's announcement that negotiations around USMCA have concluded is excellent news for trade
in North America. America's farmers and manufacturers have waited far too long for a modernized trade agreement guaranteed to increase agricultural exports and spread economic prosperity across the country."
Lucas added that getting USMCA done tells the world we can do deals- "Immediate passage of this monumental agreement not only ensures the best for American trade, it strengthens our negotiation positions for other ongoing trade discussions. As China continues
to distort trade relationships across the globe, the United States remains vigilant in protecting fair trade, competition, and free enterprise no matter the trading partner."
here for our December 13th Email with the first four stories telling the story and the reaction of the USMCA breakthrough that led to an
easy vote for President Trump's deal- 385 to 41.
Then there was Japan- in late August- we got news from President Trump that a partial trade agreement had been put together with Japan- one that was EXTREMELY important for US Beef and Pork producers as it would mean that our products would get a level playing
deal with other countries exporting to Japan- our most important export market.
Click or tap here to hear Dan Halstrom of the USMEF call this HUGE News.
In October- President Trump signed the deal- and confirmed that no Congressional Action was needed- then the word December 4th was that the Japanese Diet gave a thumbs up as well- According to Nippon.Com- "The Diet, Japan's parliament, approved
Wednesday a recently signed trade agreement between Japan and the United States, with Tokyo and Washington expected to put it into effect on Jan. 1, 2020, after necessary adjustments.
Read - again from our email- in the December 4th edition-
click or tap here.
As for the rest of the Trade Story- we jump to our Next Headline to deal with China!
The battle of wills between President Trump and Chinese
President Xi has been a tug of war for all of 2019 and even before that- and several times it was thought that we might have a deal- but as was the case back this past May- it looked like a deal until China said it was not-
click or tap here for the conversation we had with Kent Bacus of NCBA on the tensions that eased- then ramped back up quicker than you can say fake meat.
June and July the standoff continued- but there were some signs things might be looking a little more promising by August into September- then October arrived and so did an
announcement by President Donald Trump- The President said of the deal itself "We have come to a deal, pretty much, subject to getting it written. It'll take probably three weeks, four weeks, or five weeks." The areas impacted include
intellectual property, finances and agriculture.
Regarding Agriculture- here is the what the President said of the deal- including the point where he called uoin Trade
Ambassador Robert Lighthizer for clarification of some of the points:
"A tremendous deal for the farmers. A purchase of - from 40 to 50 billion dollars' worth of agricultural products. To show you how big that is, that would be two and a half, three times what China had purchased at its highest point thus far."
There has been a lot of debate over the ability and willingness of the Chinese to buy the levels of ag products being talked about- time will tell- but literally in the last day we have had word the deal is done- and
a signing is imminent for this Phase One Deal.
White House Trade Adviser Peter Navarro said on Monday afternoon that the Phase One trade deal with China is wrapped up. "That's a done deal," Navarro says. "You can put that one in the bag."
Reports surfaced early on Monday that the Chinese Vice Premier Liu will lead a delegation to Washington, D.C., to sign the Phase One trade deal. A source close to the situation tells the South China Morning Post that Liu will fly to Washington
on Saturday to sign the agreement. The source said the U.S. extended the invitation and Liu has accepted.
So- USMCA about DONE- Japan DONE and now perhaps China Phase One DONE- and don't forget the exclusive US Beef Quota agreed to by the EU- and 2020 looking really good on the Trade RollerCoaster.
Tyson Fire is Number Two Top Story- Three is Weather and Four are MFP Payments
Our Number TWO Story of 2019- After trade- the cattle industry had a second roller coaster that it took a ride on- the fire at the Tyson Beef Processing Plant in Holcomb, Kansas in mid August. Up in smoke went about 5% of
the US beef cattle slaughter capacity- and the cattle markets tanked while wholesale boxed beef trade soared just ahead of Labor Day.
Cattle Producers howled at this market shock- and many pointed the finger at the packers for profiting at the expense of cattle producers- but time helped pull the markets back into balance and here at the end of the year- the plant is back on line at a partial
level- and is expected to be fully processing beef cattle early in January at full speed.
here for our story from mid August on the impacts of the fire- and then you can
click or tap here for a report that we posted at the end of August that had USDA
Secretary Sonny Perdue announcing an investigation into the impacts of the Holcomb fire- a report that we are still waiting for.
In October- we updated folks on the market impact of the fire- comments came from
Dr. Derrell Peel-
click here for that story.
Our Number THREE Story of the Year- and again it as a complex story that hit many aspects of ag- the Weather of 2019. We had floods, late planting, delayed harvest of the wheat crop in June and then all growing season- a behind normal corn
and soybean crop.
We had millions of acres of prevent planting in the midwest- both corn and soybean acres were impacted.
And in the middle of all the challenges- Oklahoma managed to have a record average yield of 40 bushels an acre on the 2019 wheat crop.
Among the links we wanted to share with you- an article developed by Rob Hatchett of Doane Advisory Services on the 2019 Soybean Crop-
Much of the spring and early summer- we reported about the lateness of the crops-
click here for a typical update from our May 21st email.
We mentioned above that the Oklahoma wheat harvest was slowed by rains- on June 11th- we had just 4% of the crop harvested-
click here for that report.
Our Number FOUR story of the year relates back to our top story- TRADE- and how the Trump Administration bought time to keep negotiating with the Chinese primarily- and that was through the MFP program.
The first MFP was in 2018- a second round of the Market Facilitation Program came to farmers in 2019 as
President Trump once again directed Secretary Sonny to use some of the monies from the Tariff War to help farmers as negotiations continued with China. That public directive happened in late May of this year.
Official Signup for this second round was July 31th-
click here for details from USDA. Then in November- the second half of the 2019 MFP was announced- again by Secretary Sonny-
here's the details that were released on November 15th.
Could there be a third round of MFP? With the word that we could have a signing of the Phase One Trade Deal this coming weekend, an additional round of payments to farmers is in doubt- BUT 2020 is an election year- so maybe a little more cash may be handed
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Rounding Out the Top Ten Farm and Ranch Stories of 2019- Obama WOTUS
Number FIVE for 2019- the Obama Era WOTUS is officially dead as the Trump Administration works to get new language into place.
We talked to Scott Yager of NCBA in early August about the Obama Era WOTUS being almost gone-
click here to read more and listen to that conversation- then September 12th arrived with word from EPA and the Army Corps that the Obama Era WOTUS was officially kaput- and that they were moving forward in the rewrite of what the Waters of the US rule
should be in their view under the Clean Water Act-
click or tap here for that story which was applauded by multiple ag groups.
Number SIX Story of 2019- Last January as we started 2019- the Federal Government was involved in a partial shutdown- Some USDA services were open at least part of the time- as the shutdown neared its end- Secretary Sonny Perdue announced that
FSA offices would be reopened at least part of the time-
details of that available here.
Just a couple of days later- the federal government shutdown was over and Secretary
Perdue signaled USDA would be quickly getting back to work- with USDA Reports to get cranked back up as well as the work of implementing the 2018 Farm Law signed just ahead of Christmas 2018.
Number Seven Story of 2019- African Swine Fever- The news of African Swine Fever actually broke in 2018- but the problem kept getting bigger and bigger as 2019 unfolded- Rabobank offered several updates on ASF- typical of what we were reporting from them came
click here for the report that showed at least 35% of the Chinese hog herd was wiped out.
By the fall- the concensus was a reduction approaching 50% to 60% of the Chinese hog herd has been killed-
we talked with Don Close of RaboAgriFinance who said that efforts were starting to surface of repopulating the herd in areas where the disease had devastated production. Close also talked about how the Chinese were scrambling to get meat protein for their
This story will continue to a MAJOR EVENT in 2020.
Number Eight Story in 2019- OYE Spotlighted by Governor Kevin Stitt as an example of Excellence- Governor Stitt named the Oklahoma Youth Expo as an elite organization in Oklahoma with the ability to deliver top ten results in his State
of the State address.
"Today OYE is not just the number 1 junior livestock show in America, it is the largest in the world." said Governor Kevin Stitt. "OYE garners young participants from all 77 counties, awards hundreds of thousands of dollars in education scholarships
and has shown a $22 million economic impact on Oklahoma City."
Read more by
Number NINE Story of 2019- Oklahoma now has a State Steak (as passed by the Legislature and Signed into Law by the Governor)- It's the Ribeye and the Cattle Industry is VERY happy-
"Beef cattle farmers and ranchers represent the largest sector of Oklahoma agriculture," said Michael Kelsey, OCA Executive Vice President. "Highlighting the most popular steak, the ribeye steak, as the official
steak of Oklahoma is a great opportunity to promote Oklahoma and our great beef industry."
here for the details.
Number TEN Story of 2019- Fake Meat. 2019 saw the state of Oklahoma put into place a state law that would require labeling of plant based or cell based protein to not use terms associated with beef and other meat proteins.
Click here to listen to our conversation with Michael Kelsey about the passage of Senate Bill 392.
At the National level- the National Cattlemen's Beef Association was on the front line on the fake meat issue- they rolled out a campaign to educate consumers on this issue-
click here for that February story- then later in the year- Danielle Beck of NCBA was in Oklahoma for the Cattle Industry Convention held by OCA- we talked to her and you can hear her comments by
clicking or tapping here.
In November- we featured some research done by K-State's Dr. Glynn Tonsor about alternative meat protein-
click or tap here for his comments.
Again- this is another issue that will continue to be front and center in 2020.
That's our Top Ten Stories- let us know what you like about our list or what things we should have spotlighted- shoot me an EMAIL
and let me know!
On a weekly basis, Dr. Derrell Peel, Oklahoma State University Extension Livestock Marketing Specialist, offers his economic analysis of the beef cattle industry. This analysis is a part of the weekly series known as the "Cow Calf Corner"
published electronically by Dr. Peel and Dr. Glenn Selk. Today, Dr. Peel reflects about this past year as 2019 comes to a close.
"This final newsletter for 2019 is a good time to encourage cattle producers to reflect on the past year as you think ahead to the coming year. No matter how you judge the past year; good, just okay or disappointing, there is value in taking some time
to analyze the reasons for the outcome. What factors contributed to profitability or to the lack of profitability? Inevitably weather and markets have a big impact on the returns to cattle production. Producers do not control either of them and both were important
factors in 2019, as they are most years in one way or another.
"However, you do control how you were prepared for those impacts; how you anticipated those conditions and how you reacted as situations unfolded. What went right and what could have been handled differently? Let's focus on cow-calf operations and consider
a few of the questions in three broad categories: production; inputs; and marketing. Each of these deserves separate consideration while recognizing that they are ultimately interrelated."
or tap here to read more about the questions that Dr. Peel believes that every cow-calf operator needs to ponder to help make your ranch a more low cost operation in 2020 and the years to come- thus helping you have the best chance to survive and thrive.
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