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|Oklahoma's Latest Farm and Ranch News
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON
Monday, June 3, 2019
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued a final rule that will allow consumers uninterrupted access to E15 all year long. Vital.com says the announcement comes just in time for the official start of the summer driving season.
The new EPA rule changes a nearly ten-year-old limitation on year-round E15, which restricted E15 sales in most markets from June 1 to September 15. U.S. renewable fuels supporters are hopeful that this will get things going in the right direction for boosting ethanol sales across the country and give a much-needed shot-in-the-arm to the struggling ag economy.
While more than 1,800 fuel stations across the country in 31 states currently offer E15, that number will likely get much bigger because of the new ruling. Industry experts say many more retail chains will likely install E15 pumps in the months ahead.
Click here to read more about the EPA's decision to implement this new rule.
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.
Biofuel industry advocates welcomed the EPA's new rule to allow the year-round sale of E15 fuel blends, calling the decision a milestone for the industry that ends a decade of work by many people, including congressional members, farmers, and biofuels advocates from across rural America.
Among those organizations to chime in after the rule was first announced was the American Farm Bureau. AFBF President Zippy Duvall released a statement applauding the EPA's action.
"Removing outdated barriers and regulations is a commitment that this Administration continues to make good on," Duvall stated. "As our country has worked on breaking our dependency on foreign oil, our farmers have played a major role in helping us become more energy independent."
EPA's rule also won the praise of some of the nation's leaders in the ethanol industry, like Mike Lorenz, Executive Vice President for Sheetz.
"This fix provides major regulatory relief for all retailers seeking to offer lower-cost, higher-octane options at the fuel pump," Lorenz said. "For too long, retailers had to pay millions to retool and relabel pumps each summer and fall, which creates needless confusion for drivers. Now our customers will have uninterrupted, year-round access to E15 and a chance to save money during the busy summer travel season."
Lorenz joined Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor in a joint statement Friday, cheering the new rule.
"We are grateful to President Trump for delivering on his promise to unleash the power of E15 all year-long," said Skor. "The approval of year-round E15 is an incredible milestone for the biofuels industry, and the result of over a decade of hard work by Growth Energy, our members, our congressional champions, and folks all across rural America who made their voices heard."
Jeff Broin, CEO of POET, the world's largest biofuel producer, in response to the announcement offered his own complimentary remarks.
"The Trump Administration's year-round E15 rule is a huge win for farmers, clean fuels and consumer choice. Millions of drivers will now have the freedom to choose cleaner-burning E15 and enjoy greater savings at the pump when they need it most - during the summer driving season when fuel prices peak."
The Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service is asking for your input in order to plan for the future and continue to meet the needs of Oklahomans. Local Extension educators throughout the state will host community forums in May and June, and all forums are free and open to the public.
"These forums will allow people throughout Oklahoma to share their visions for OSU Extension and help identify the initiatives in which we can help lead the way," said Damona Doye, associate vice president, Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service.
Those attending the forums will take part in small-group discussions about ways in which OSU Extension can further strengthen Oklahoma communities, families, farms, youth, leaders and businesses. Feedback will help determine future programs, services and funding priorities.
Each forum will last about three hours, with meals or light refreshments provided. Those interested in attending should contact their local county OSU Extension office to RSVP. More information including the dates, times and locations of upcoming forums may be found by clicking here.
President Trump announced his intention to impose a five percent tariff on Mexican imports because of illegal immigration. He vows to keep those tariffs in place until Mexico stops illegal immigrants from entering the U.S. through the southern border. The proposed move will take effect on June 10 and doesn't give Mexico a lot of time to react to it. Trump says the levy "would gradually increase until the illegal immigration problem is remedied, at which time the tariff will be removed." The tariffs could potentially go as high as 25 percent by October 1.
The move comes just days after Trump removed the tariffs on steel and aluminum imports that caused direct retaliation against U.S. farm goods. Economists are warning that the move could be extremely negative for both countries. Bloomberg describes the initial reaction from Mexican officials as "measured." Mexican President Obrador said in a letter to Trump on Twitter that he "doesn't want confrontation."
Mexico's foreign minister and other officials were scheduled to visit Washington D.C. last week in order to come to an agreement. Mexico's undersecretary for foreign relations for North America told reporters that Mexico wouldn't retaliate before discussing the matter with the U.S. However, if Trump follows through on the threat, the undersecretary says that "would be a very serious matter."
The U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) and the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) remarked in a joint-release that they are "shocked and dismayed by President Donald Trump's unilateral step" to impose a five percent tariff on all Mexican goods imported by the United States.
The organizations cautioned the administration, asserting that this action threatens to undermine the approval of the U.S-Mexico-Canada Agreement, and puts crucial wheat demand in Mexico at great risk.
"The potential fallout from new tariffs is like struggling to survive a flood then getting hit by a tornado," said Chris Kolstad, chairman of USW and a wheat farmer from Ledger, Mont.
Ben Scholz, president of NAWG and a wheat farmer from Lavon, Tex. also stated, "We call on the President to rescind this threat immediately. We've been hit by low prices; we've been hit by rain and flooding that is hurting what was an excellent wheat crop; and now we've been hit again by the actions of our own government. We need to end indiscriminate use of tariffs now, one way or another."
Click here to read the complete statement from the USW and NAWG.
It's great to have one of the premiere businesses in the cattle business partner with us in helping bring you our daily Farm and Ranch News Email- National Livestock Credit Corporation. National Livestock has been around since 1932- and they have worked with livestock producers to help them secure credit and to buy or sell cattle through the National Livestock Commission Company. They also own and operate the Southern Oklahoma Livestock Market in Ada, Superior Livestock, which continues to operate independently and have a major stake in OKC West in El Reno. To learn more about how these folks can help you succeed in the cattle business, click here for their website or call the Oklahoma City office at 1-800-310-0220.
President Trump's decision to levy a five percent tariff on all Mexican imports last week came under fire from the US Grains Council, which condemned the action in a statement from the organization's President/CEO Tom Sleight.
Sleight opined as to why President Trump would opt to take this course of action at such a critical time for U.S. farmers, just days after the removal of his steel and aluminum tariffs. Sleight argued that new talk of tariffs on Mexican products challenges the complex relationship between the US and its top international buyers of US grains and related products.
"We agree continued negotiations are the correct path to ensure stability in our markets, particularly as South American corn becomes a viable option for Mexican customers," Sleight stated. "As this political and market situation develops, we will remain in close touch with our stakeholders here at home and in Mexico to help maintain the stability of our longstanding partnership."
Click here to read the full statement from USGC President/CEO Tom Sleight.
| China's African Swine Fever Problem Largely Seen as a Positive for US Ag- But What's the Downside
China's ongoing case of African Swine Fever has been a major topic of discussion among ag industry stakeholders, not just in the pork segments but beef and poultry as well. All those concerned have speculated on the impact this disease outbreak and the resulting destruction of the Chinese hog herd will have as its effects ripple out across the global ag trade. As the world's largest pork producer, historically responsible for 50 percent of the world's total pork production, OSU's Dr. Derrell Peel says the impact will certainly be felt and potentially offer some profitable opportunities for US livestock producers with an estimated one-third of their herd most likely to be eliminated.
"They're going to be in the market for protein. If not from us, from other places," Peel said. "But, whether it's here or there, it's still going to create that demand effect and it won't just be pork protein that the Chinese will be looking for. They will also be looking at beef and poultry as well. How much of that might be directly from the US in terms of beef is hard to say at this point but certainly in total - the entire protein complex stands to see some increased demand."
Erin Borror of the US Meat Export Federation concurs with Peel's assessment, asserting that there will be fundamental changes that occur in the consumption patterns of China's consumers now limited in their domestic pork supply. However, CoBank's Lead Animal Protein Economist Will Sawyer says that this situation will also facilitate a negative impact on the US ag economy. In a recent report, Sawyer explained how China's reduced animal production would lower the demand for US feed grain and be especially tenuous on elevators, crushers and feed mills focused on the Chinese market. Click here to listen to last Friday's Beef Buzz to hear more from Peel, Borror and Sawyer as they discuss the potential impact that China's ASF outbreak may have on the US ag industry.
| Three Counties Called Major Disaster Areas by President Trump
President Donald J. Trump declared that a major disaster exists in the State of Oklahoma and ordered Federal assistance to supplement State, tribal, and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by severe storms, straight-line winds, tornadoes, and flooding beginning on May 7, 2019, and continuing.
The President's action makes Federal funding available to affected individuals in the counties of Muskogee, Tulsa, and Wagoner.
Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.
Federal funding also is available to State, tribal, and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for debris removal and emergency protective measures, including direct Federal assistance, in the counties of Muskogee, Tulsa, and Wagoner.
Emergency protective measures, limited to direct federal assistance, will be provided in the counties of Haskell, Kay, Le Flore, Noble, Osage, Pawnee, and Sequoyah.
Governor Kevin Stitt says the state will be asking for additional help from the feds for several additional counties.
|Secretary Blayne Arthur Meets with Oklahoma Independent Stock Growers Association
Oklahoma Secretary of Agriculture Blayne Arthur met with several members of the Oklahoma Independent Stockgrowers Association on Friday afternoon at the Oklahoma Department of Ag- after that meeting, Andrea Hutchison, one of the founders of the OISA provided us a statement via text message- here's that statement as provided:
"The Oklahoma Independent Stockgrowers' Association Board members met with Secretary of Ag, Blayne Arthur Friday, May 31, 2019 to discuss issues facing the Oklahoma cattle producer. The repeal of Country of Origin Labeling/ truth in labeling and the influx of foreign beef being labeled Product of US disrupting competition in our markets; the vertical integration of our industry being implemented under the guise of the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef consortium and how these issues will affect whether our children will be able to return to our family farms and ranches. These issues and how we address them today will determine the future of rural Oklahoma.
"Commissioner Arthur assured OISA that she is aware of our concerns and is doing what she can to keep rural Oklahoma and Ag productive for the next generations as she has young children she would like to see have the opportunity to stay in agriculture."
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