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Okla Cash Grain:
Feeder Cattle Recap:
Slaughter Cattle Recap:
TCFA Feedlot Recap:
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|Oklahoma's Latest Farm and Ranch News
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON
Wednesday, September 14, 2016
US Trade Representative Froman Announces US Complaint Filed with WTO Over Chinese Use of Excessive Market Price Supports
The Obama Administration has launched a new trade enforcement action against the People's Republic of China at the World Trade Organization (WTO) concerning excessive government support provided for Chinese production of rice, wheat, and corn. United States Trade Representative Michael Froman and United States Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack were joined by bipartisan members of Congress in announcing the complaint which challenges China's use of "market price support" for three key crops (rice, wheat, and corn) in excess of China's commitments under WTO rules.
In 2015, China's "market price support" for these products is estimated to be nearly $100 billion in excess of the levels China committed to during its accession. China's excessive market price support for rice, wheat, and corn inflates Chinese prices above market levels, creating artificial government incentives for Chinese farmers to increase production. The United States is challenging China's government support on behalf of American rice, wheat, and corn farmers to help reduce distortions for rice, wheat, and corn, and help American farmers to compete on a more level playing field.
"These programs distort Chinese prices, undercut American farmers, and clearly break the limits China committed to when they joined the WTO. As this Administration has consistently and repeatedly shown, we will not stand by when our trading partners fail to follow the rules like everyone else," said Ambassador Froman. "We will aggressively pursue this challenge on behalf of American farmers and hold the Chinese government accountable to the standards of fair global trade."
"Through tariff cuts and the removal of other trade barriers, China has gone from a $2-billion-a-year market for U.S. agricultural products to a $20-billion-plus market," said Agriculture Secretary Vilsack. "But we could be doing much better, particularly if our grain exports could compete in China on a level playing field. Unfortunately, China's price supports have encouraged wheat, corn and rice production in China that has displaced imports. When China joined the WTO, it committed to limit this kind of trade-distorting support, which it has failed to do. This has resulted in significant losses to American producers. We see substantial opportunities to meet import demand for grains in China if China is willing to operate a WTO-consistent trade regime."
Click here to read more about the United States' complaint against China's excessive government support for rice, wheat and corn.
In our story on the web- we include a link back to a story from September 2015(posted EXACTLY a year ago) with Dalton Henry of US Wheat Associates- US Wheat was clearly the lead ag group on this issue- as they sponsored a study done by Dermot Hayes of Iowa State about the subsidies given to farmers in China and three other countries- and how those subsidies were costing US Wheat Farmers a BILLION dollars annually. Click here for that story from a year ago- congrats to US WHEAT and the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION of WHEAT GROWERS for doing this research and pushing this issue until they got what they said had to happen- a complaint filed with the WTO.
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|National Ag Trade Organizations Support US Complaint Against China's Excessive Subsidy Levels
U.S. House Agriculture Committee Chairman K. Michael Conaway (R-TX) joined U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and a bipartisan group of members of Congress Tuesday in announcing the U.S. has launched a new trade enforcement action against China at the World Trade Organization (WTO) as a result of China's excessive government support for corn, rice, and wheat production.
"I appreciate Ambassador Froman and Secretary Vilsack's work to begin to draw attention to-and to challenge-high and rising foreign subsidies, tariffs, and other barriers to trade, and particularly those of China," Conaway said. "I also want to thank Ambassadors Darci Vetter and Michael Punke for their tireless work on these important issues."
Click here to read Rep. Conaway's complete statement.
Several national agricultural organizations voiced their support for the trade enforcement action.
"The World Trade Organization's Agreement on Agriculture applies to all members. Each country must follow agreed upon levels of domestic support. Violation of domestic support levels can lead to overproduction and price-depressing surpluses that affect farmers worldwide," said AFBF President Zippy Duvall.
"This enforcement action shows a welcome willingness to defend farmers against governments that blatantly disregard the rules of the road under their trade agreements," said NAWG President Gordon Stoner, a wheat grower from Outlook, MT. "It comes at a critical time for farmers who have seen market prices collapse to unsustainable levels in recent years."
Click here to read the complete statement from U.S. Wheat Associates and the National Association of Wheat Growers.
"The National Corn Growers Association is committed to the development and maintenance of fair and open global trade practices and policies as part of our efforts to feed and fuel a growing world. We believe in both strong trade policy and market development," said NCGA President Chip Bowling. "China is an important trading partner for U.S. agriculture, and we continue to support a trading relationship between our two nations that is long-term, stable, and mutually beneficial."
"The U.S. Grains Council believes in free and open trade and the importance of both strong trade policy and market development. These are the guiding principles of our relationship with China, a complex and important trading partner for U.S. agriculture," said USGC President and CEO Tom Sleight. "We also believe the WTO provides structure and accountability for global trade. Consultations and negotiations are integral parts of the WTO process, and we welcome USTR's and USDA's move on this critical issue."
Click here to read the complete statement from USGC.
|Cotton's Top Man Says China Challenge Reflects Global Desire to Address Ag Market Policies
National Cotton Council President/CEO Dr. Gary Adams says, "The U.S. decision to pursue a challenge against Chinese agricultural subsidies for grain crops reflects a growing desire in the United States and abroad to address more effectively the range of policies in major developing countries that affect agricultural markets."
He further noted that through the semi-annual dedicated discussions established by the World Trade Organization (WTO) in December 2013, cotton is the only agricultural commodity with an explicit mechanism that allows for the multilateral evaluation of domestic support, export subsidies and market access.
"These discussions provide the venue to scrutinize and question China's cotton target price program, reserve stocks policy and import quota administration, along with support prices and fertilizer subsidies in countries such as India," Adams said. "However, to identify and understand all of the factors affecting global cotton markets, a thorough and comprehensive examination of all policies affecting global fiber production and trade - including synthetics - is required."
Adams also emphasized that, "Global synthetic fiber production capacity is three times the level of world cotton production. With U.S. cotton area down almost one-third since 2011 and the fundamental changes in the safety net included in the 2014 farm bill, an honest critique of the global cotton market must include cotton policies in the developing world as well as subsidies provided to synthetic fibers."
Click here to read more the U.S. cotton industry's concerns about global ag policies.
|Make It Metric - Tangible Measurements Make Up the Nuts and Bolts of Sustainability
When it comes to the beef industry, Dr. Sara Place of Oklahoma State University says producers need to understand the importance of sustainability and how to be transparent about their production practices. She explained that in most cases, producers already have sustainable practices in use on their operation. And while there is always room for improvement, producers need to take advantage of every opportunity to share the good work they are doing with their communities. She insists this will help in the long run.
"People are interested where their food comes from and they want to know," Place said.
To effectively show what you are doing on your operation and how you are making improvements, Place says you need to keep regular documentation, or "metrics."
"This idea of metrics is specific things you can measure over time and show improvement, or no improvement - but you need something tangible to actually measure," Place said. "It's important to take that long-term view if you're looking at metrics and not just a snapshot in time, because that might not tell you as much information as if you measure something many, many times repeatedly."
According to Place, being proactive about transparency will give producers a leg up when it comes to sustainability discussions that involve opponents. She says if you are not involved and unaware of what is happening, the other side will in effect have a louder voice.
"I think getting out ahead of the issue and trying to make sure that the beef industry and producers are more proactive rather than reacting to everything that is happening," Place said, "that's going to put beef producers in a much better position going forward."
Listen to Dr. Place explain the importance of sustainability and transparency in the beef industry during the latest Beef Buzz.
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|Multi-State Team of Experts Collaborating to Research Crop-Jumping Pests After Sorghum Infestation
It is a growing problem across an increasing area of the southern United States: Sugarcane aphids discovering sorghum is an equally yummy crop to infest.
The switch was first noticed widely in 2013, with significant sorghum yield losses occurring in Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi. That same year, the aphids switch to sorghum was noticed in Oklahoma, though with far less significant - but still disturbing - yield loss.
"We only found aphid infestations in sorghum in one county in 2013, but it was clear we needed to prepare for what was likely coming our way," said Tom Royer, Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension Integrated Pest Management coordinator. "By 2015, we found the sugarcane aphid in 27 counties, infesting a minimum of 200,000 acres statewide."
Sugarcane aphids can be extremely damaging to sorghum grown for grain and forage, and are capable of increasing into large numbers quickly. It is not uncommon to find thousands of aphids per field.
"The aphids damage plants directly through their feeding, sometimes killing leaves outright if the infestation is significant enough," said Ali Zarrabi, a researcher with OSU's IPM team. "They also damage plants indirectly by coating leaves and seed panicles with honeydew which serves as a substrate for sooty mold and ultimately interferes with harvest operations, adding to operational costs that most producers can ill afford."
Click here to read more about efforts to combat sugarcane aphids.
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|Owasso FFA to Host "Let's E.A.T" Event to Enhance Agricultural Literacy in Their Community
The Owasso FFA Chapter announced Tuesday that it will be hosting its inaugural agricultural literacy event next month in October. The event, being called "Let's E.A.T." Experience Agriculture Today - is an educational opportunity for families and citizens of all ages designed to enhance agricultural literacy in Owasso and the surrounding community, according to Owasso FFA Advisor Jonathan Holloway.
The members and advisors of the FFA chapter, who are organizing the entire event, hope representatives from all Oklahoma agriculture commodity groups, organizations and area agribusinesses will join them for the opportunity to share the agriculture industry's story to a largely uniformed and disconnected urban population.
The event will take place on the nine acre Owasso FFA Agriculture Education Facility, located adjacent to the Owasso High School. The event will be open to the public, free of charge. Exhibitors of all agricultural sectors are invited to attend with a booth, games and activities, and educational literature or handouts - also free of charge. Be sure to take a guided tour of the facilities from the local FFA members, too. The well-known agriculture advocate, Trent Loos, will also be in attendance, broadcasting his radio show live and on location to a million listeners nationwide.
Click here for event details and for booth registration information.
|BREAKING NEWS!!! Monsanto Says Yes to Bayer- Pricetag- $66 Billion
As we were putting this morning's email to bed- we saw a tweet that confirms what was talked about at the start of the week- Monsanto has decided to say yes to a deal with Bayer
. The news organization that apparently has broken the story is the BBC- they posted a story around 5:30 AM central time this morning- here's a portion of what they were saying:
"Monsanto has accepted a takeover offer from Germany's Bayer at $128 a share, the BBC has learned.
"The move would be the biggest all-cash deal ever and will form the world's biggest seeds and pesticides company worth $66bn (£50bn).
"As well as farm-products, Bayer also sells healthcare products including Alka-Seltzer.
"Monsanto is known for its genetically modified seeds for crops including corn, soybeans, cotton and wheat.
"The tie-up, which will give the new company control of more than 25% of the world's supply of seeds and pesticides, comes amid a wave of mergers in the agriculture sector.
"Rivals including Dow Chemical, DuPont and Syngenta have all announced tie-ups recently, although some have yet to be cleared by regulators.
"Bayer's takeover of Monsanto could draw close scrutiny from anti-competition regulators because of the sheer size of the combined company and the control it would have over the global seeds and sprays markets.
"Farming groups have raised concerns that such mergers could lead to fewer choices and higher prices while opponents of genetically modified food in Europe worry about Monsanto's influence on the continent.
"There is a $2bn break fee if the deal does not complete."
If true- that would make this a hundred billion dollar week for ag mergers- first Potash and Agrium on Monday- and now Bayer and Monsanto.
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