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|Oklahoma's Latest Farm and Ranch News
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON
Thursday, January 2, 2020
Happy News Year!!!
| Featured Story:
President Donald Trump has tweeted that the Phase One Trade Deal with China is complete and will be signed in the new year. His tweet reads "I will be signing our very large and comprehensive Phase One Trade Deal with China on January 15. The ceremony will take place at the White House. High level representatives of China will be present. At a later date I will be going to Beijing where talks will begin on Phase Two!"
The two sides announced earlier this month they had reached a preliminary agreement on a raft of issues including increased agricultural purchases by China, financial services market openings, forced technology transfer, intellectual property protection and currency manipulation.
The Phase One trade agreement between China and the U.S. has the two nations in "close contact" ahead of that January 15th signing. U.S. Chief Ag Negotiator Gregg Doud says the agreement between the world's two largest economies will mean big numbers of Chinese agricultural purchases of U.S. ag commodities. Doud says "China's purchase commitment is built upon a base year of $24 billion in ag purchases, which occurred in 2017. What China has agreed to do is buy an additional $32 billion over the next two years on top of that $24 billion mark."
You can read more about phase one of the trade deal with China, by jumping over to our website.
Dating back to 1891, Stillwater Milling Company has been supplying ranchers with the highest quality feeds made from the highest quality ingredients. Their full line of A & M Feeds can be delivered direct to your farm, found at their Agri-Center stores in Stillwater, Davis, Claremore and Perry or at more than 125 dealers in Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas and Texas.
We appreciate Stillwater Milling Company's long time support of the Radio Oklahoma Ag Network and we encourage you to click here to learn more about their products and services.
It's not just farmers experiencing lower returns this past year, according to CoBank grain elevators could see their margins drop compared to 2018. Higher basis for corn, soybeans and wheat bear the brunt of the blame for elevators' anticipated lower returns.
"In addition to having to buy more expensive basis, grain elevators are offering farmers incentives to sell bushels such as lower rates on storage, free delayed pricing and free grain drying," said Tanner Ehmke, with CoBank's knowledge exchange division. "Lower-quality and high-moisture grain coming in from wet fields also raises management costs."
Propane shortages earlier this year and now also continue to challenge elevator revenue. In addition, drying wet grain could lead to shrinkage or mystery loss, adding to bushels lost and overall cost for elevators.
Click here to read more from CoBank regarding the margins for grain elevators in 2019.
| Express Clydesdales Help Represent Oklahoma at the 2020 Rose Bowl Parade
On the first morning of the New Year- Oklahoma had several proud representatives in the Rose Bowl Parade along the five mile parade route in Pasadena, California.
First mention of Oklahoma came quickly as the marching band from Owasso High School was seen.
Not too much later in the globally seen parade was the Express Stagecoach pulled by eight Clydesdales- and among the passengers waving to the crowd- the Governor of Oklahoma- Kevin Stitt, Bob Funk of Express Personnel- and of course, owner of Express Ranches and Jarold Callahan, President of Express Ranches.
The ladies handling the play by play of the parade for RFD-TV did the best job of talking about the Express Clydesdales team- they even named all eight of the horses pulled the historic stagecoach.
Later in the parade, Express was once again featured as a pair of their horses were pulled a sleigh on wheels ahead of a special performance by the Frozen II cast.
A good first day of 2020 for sure.
Dr. Dan Moser, the President of Angus Genetics says the amount of information available to seedstock or commercial cattle producers is amazing with Genomic EPDs. He tells me that there's a lot of exciting things going on in the whole arena of genomics. And it seems like we are just moving faster and faster all of the time. Moser says as the technology becomes more powerful and also more affordable that we are seeing more and more utilization in genomics, "It is really becoming, for a lot of our members, the standard operating procedure. Genomic testing along with data collection and all of the other things they do."
Some of the important things that are helping Angus breeders and their customers are some of these dollar value signs. They have released a couple, and more are coming. Moser says "We've just updated Angus Dollar values. We've had these, basically EPD's for profit. They combine traits together to help producers, whether seed stock breeders or commercial producers make selections about which bulls might fit their breeding program. Those have been around since 2004, but we just recently updated them this year."
Dollar B is the terminal Sire index that has been around that the industry knows very well. They have a new maternal number that Moser thinks is going a better job describing cow efficiently called Dollar M, or Dollar Maternal. Moser added, "We are also working on a combined index that puts those two together and weights them so that producers that not only have a cow herd, but also feed their cattle, can find the bulls that do all things the best."
You can listen to the entire conversation between Moser and I on Tuesday's Beef Buzz - here.
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.
| Amazing Reading for the Opening Days of 2020- an Inside China Perspective of African Swine Fever
It's a really fascinating opinion piece written in the New York Times as we begin the New Year- entitled "Why Did One-Quarter of the World's Pigs Die in a Year?"
Yanzhong Huang is a senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations and a professor at Seton Hall University's School of Diplomacy and International Relations- and he went home last fall to China and talked with relatives who had skin in the game as African Swine Fever changed the hog industry in China forever.
Huang writes of the forty percent of the Chinese hog population that was killed from August 2018 to August 2019- which included the 150 pigs that his brother had on his farm. His family's story explains why the disease ended up being so widespread. ""We lost hundreds of thousands of yuan," my sister-in-law bemoaned, several tens of thousands of dollars. "Haven't you been compensated by the government for the dead pigs?" I asked. "Only 100 yuan per head," less than $15, she said, "That didn't help."
"She wasn't being entirely forthright. The government said that it would hand out 1,200 yuan
(about $170) per animal culled, but her calculation was based on the total number of pigs she and my brother lost to swine fever. For a time, the two of them tried to furtively bury the dead pigs, hoping they might be able to quickly sell off the ones that were still alive, sick or not.
"My brother's and his wife's losses, as well as their attempts to prevent them, are emblematic of what the epidemic has brought out across China. A crisis that might have been manageable quickly became a small catastrophe because of how the Chinese state operates."
| Speaking of ASF- China Bans Pork Imports from Indonesia Due to ASF
As China tries to rebuild their hog herds after the losses from African Swine Fever, Government officials claim they are doing everything they can to rebound from the African Swine Fever epidemic that decimated its hog herds. Chinese customs officials say they've banned imports of pigs, wild boars, and related products from Indonesia due to the ASF virus outbreak in the northern part of the country.
Beijing has recently issued a series of new measures to boost pig production, while also maintaining strict prevention and control measures designed to prevent new outbreaks of the disease. China's General Administration of Customs says on its website that as of December 17, Indonesia had reported almost 400 cases of African Swine Fever outbreaks.
As of mid-December, official reports say the virus has killed almost 30,000 pigs across a province in north Indonesia. Authorities are still trying to quarantine the area, which has suffered millions of dollars in economic losses.
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