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Your Update from Ron Hays of RON
Thursday, July 5, 2018
GOP Gubernatorial Front-Runner Mick Cornett Shares Ideas on Growing Oklahoma's Ag Economy
We had the opportunity earlier this week to sit down with the front-runner of the GOP gubernatorial candidates, Mick Cornett, at our studios where we took time to talk about his thoughts on Oklahoma's ag economy and how he might work to improve it if he were to win the race for Governor this November.
While Mr. Cornett admits he is not himself from a rural background, he says he is learning about the challenges Oklahomans in the industry are facing. He has taken it upon himself to meet with OSU economists and local farmers and ranchers themselves to listen to their concerns and ask their advice in how to fix the problems they're dealing with. Coupled with that approach, Cornett says he is also well-equipped, both in applicable work experience and in character, to tackle these challenges as Oklahoma's next Governor. During our interview, he laid out his vision for progressing Oklahoma's ag industry and how that ties into his overall strategy for improving the state's current position and setting it up for continued success in the future.
"We ought to be growing our economy through ag-related investments. The state is spending a lot of money on agriculture and education involved in the ag industry and we ought to be creating more 'spin-off' businesses and keep more of the economy in the state," he explained. "In other words, we grow a lot of crops, but then we send a lot of crops out into other states for the next level of processing. I'd like to see us figure out a way to create industries here that can keep more of the dollars inside the state."
In addition, Cornett says he be a champion of change, specifically in two areas in which he believes will benefit the state's collective interests - those areas being education and healthcare.
"I want to be the champion for health and education and try to bring people together," he said. "And then outside of the state, defend the state when necessary, but be the champion who can promote Oklahoma not just nationally, but internationally."
Click here to read more or listen to our complete conversation as Mayor Mick Cornett describes his plans to move Oklahoma forward.
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Producer Sentiment Inches Up Despite Commodity Price Decline and Continued Trade War Concerns
The Purdue University/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer rose slightly in the month of June, coming in at an index of 143, two points higher than May. Ag producers' sentiment rose slightly in spite of economic challenges like retaliatory tariffs from American trading partners.
This month's slight rise in the index was surprising given a collapse in prices for some of the key agricultural commodities. For example, corn, soybeans, and wheat prices peaked in May before dropping somewhat in early June. Prices tumbled in mid-June when it became apparent that the trade war with China would not be resolved before tariffs kicked in.
The small rise in sentiment masks a larger fear among producers about the uncertainty of future conditions. Producers are less optimistic, shown by the number of respondents who expect good times in the year ahead dropping from 32 percent in May to 26 percent in June.
When farmers were asked about future growth opportunities in their operations, most respondents don't expect to increase the acreage on their farms over the next 12 months.
Click here to read the full story for more insights into this small uptick in producer sentiment regarding the ag economy.
|Final Harvest Report for 2018 by Oklahoma Wheat Commission Matches Up with USDA- Calls Harvest 98% Done
The following is the final wheat harvest report of the season to be released by the Oklahoma Wheat Commission:
"Despite the scattered rains across parts of Northern Oklahoma this week, harvest progressed in most areas. Rainfall in the Panhandle region was limited and this allowed harvesters to get a majority of the irrigated wheat out of the fields. It is reported across the Panhandle and in North Central Oklahoma that approximately 5% of the crop is left in the field to harvest.
"In Northern Oklahoma the issue now is muddy fields, but producers are hopeful they will get back in these areas by the end of the weekend to finish this 2018 season. Test weights declined in Northern Oklahoma this past couple weeks with all the moisture. Most elevators are reporting that since the majority of the crop was harvested before the rains, overall it is not going to impact the final averages. Grain quality for the 2018 wheat crop across Oklahoma will be favorable with high test weights and high proteins. Test weights on average will range from 60 to 62 lbs./bu., with reports on protein running 12.5 to 13%.
"While quality will be high, the amount USDA currently estimates the Oklahoma Wheat crop at is 52 million bushels, down 47 percent from last year. Yield per acre is expected at 26 bushels, with 2 million acres that will be harvested. This will be the last harvest report published by the Oklahoma Wheat Commission for the 2018 season."
Click or tap here to see the harvest done numbers by region- statewide- the total agrees with USDA from their Monday Crop Progress report that 98% of the Oklahoma Wheat Crop is now in the grain bin.
Noble Research Institute Project Yields Cutting-Edge Insight into Better Forage-Based Cattle Systems
Dr. Billy Cook is senior vice president and director of the agricultural division of the Noble Research Institute. One of the projects Cook has been involved with is the research that's been going on for several years now with GrowSafe Systems - a Calgary-based technology company that has put the Institute on the cutting-edge of measuring what's going on with forage-based cattle systems. He recently explained to us some of the work that has been going on there in Ardmore related to this project.
"We deployed, initially, technology in a confined feeding situation to get an idea of body weight on a more frequent basis, but also the concept of understanding actual intake," Cook said. "With that experience, we've evolved some of that technology on to a forage-based situation in the pasture."
While Noble researchers do not have the capability to actually measure daily intake of cattle on pasture - something of a holy grail in the research world - Cook says the capacity is there to get daily body weight on pasture and he adds how confident he is in their ability to do that. With that knowledge and continuing research being done to strengthen what they already know, Cook says they have at least half of the equation figured out when it comes to understanding efficiency in the pasture.
"When you look at the whole concept of forage efficiency, it probably lets you do a couple of things," he said. "One is, if I have 100 cattle and 10 percent are more efficient than what I had in the past... then maybe I can run 10 percent more cattle on the same acreage."
The other thing, says Cook, is that forage resources are always impacted by so many variables that affect how producers should manage them. The more we understand them, he says, the better we can utilize them and thusly, return more dollars back to the producer's hand. Cook described what his vision is at the end of the day for this type of research and how it can be applied to improve a producer's operation.
"I think my vision would be to accurately understand the interplay between our soils and how that's directly impacting the forages we're producing," he said, "and then how we efficiently use those with our animals for the long-term economic good of the producer as well as the long-term ecological benefit of that system."
Listen to Cook and I discuss the research being done at Noble to improve producers' grazing systems, on Tuesday's Beef Buzz - click here.
New CoBank Quarterly Economic Outlook Shows US-China Trade War Taking a Toll on Ag Economy
Tomorrow, China will officially implement a 25 percent tariff on $50 billion of US goods, including soybeans among other agricultural products. In addition, Mexico has announced it too will levy new tariffs on American goods. Both of these actions are a direct result of the rising tensions between our international partners who have chosen to retaliate against the Trump administration's trade agenda to create more fairness in global commerce.
This trade war continues to escalate and is expected to get worse if more favorable terms are not soon negotiated. As the target of these tariffs, the US ag industry is faced with intense economic pressure. A new report from CoBank investigated exactly how the trade war has impacted the rural economy thus far. If the situation is not resolved soon, the report suggests future consequences could include the potential loss of market share in emerging markets and shake-ups in historical supply chain commitments amid increased exposure to competition.
"Trade concerns pose the single greatest risk to the projected global economic growth of three to four percent," said Tanner Ehmke, manager of CoBank's Knowledge Exchange Division. "The U.S. and China have been driving the growth, benefitting emerging markets around the globe. A trade war between the two is dangerous for economies around the world."
CoBank's quarterly economic review provides updates and an outlook for the Global and U.S. Economic Environment; U.S. Agricultural Markets; Grains, Biofuels and Farm Supply; Animal Protein; Dairy; Other Crops; Specialty Crops; Rural Infrastructure Industries. Read about some of the key findings of this report as they relate to recent escalations in the US trade war, byclicking here.
The Oklahoma Beef Council is a producer-led, Beef Checkoff-funded organization with a vision of being a positive difference for Oklahoma's farming and ranching families and the greater beef community. It's mission is to enhance beef demand by strengthening consumer trust and exceeding consumer expectation through focusing on three core strategic priorities:
- Grow consumer trust in beef and beef production
- Promote and Strengthen Beef's Value Proposition
- Drive growth in beef exports
To learn more about the Oklahoma Beef Council and its programs visit Cattlemen's Corner on its website at www.oklabeef.org
American Soy Producers Remind Administration: "We Are the People Affected by Trade War Tariffs"
President Trump officially announced on June 15 that the U.S. will implement 25 percent tariffs on an initial list of $34 billion worth of Chinese products under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, effective July 6, citing charges of intellectual property theft by China. China swiftly responded in kind, announcing a retaliatory 25 percent tariff on $34 billion of U.S. imports, also effective July 6th.
Here on the eve of that day of reckoning, soybean farmers are bracing for the likely economic fallout soon to follow once China's retaliatory tariff kicks in tomorrow. As a major target of the Chines retaliation, soy farmers will be the ones who are hit hardest by the escalating US-China Trade War. For this reason, American soy producers appealed to the Administration on social media this week using the hashtag #FacesofTariffs campaign, to remind leaders that they are the ones who bear the brunt in this endeavor.
American Soybean Association President John Heisdorffer, a soybean producer from Keota, Iowa, commented on being caught in the middle of the trade confrontation between the U.S. and China, saying, "It is imperative that we maintain the robust market we have worked so hard for decades to establish with China. China is our top market, importing 31 percent of our crop last year. They have a sizeable feed industry that's dependent on soybeans, the largest swine herd in the world, the largest global aquaculture industry, and are rapidly modernizing their poultry, egg, dairy, and beef industries. They are a vital trading partner, and we need to continue to do business with China without the sting of these tariffs."
China is the top export market for U.S. soybeans, accounting for almost $14 billion in sales, representing nearly a third of total U.S. soybean production in 2017. Click here to read the original release from the ASA on our website.
Checking In on the Beef Checkoff - Study Shows Lean Beef a Great Addition to a Heart Healthy Diet
Starting this week, we are proud to bring our followers a brand new series entitled, "Checking In on the Checkoff" presented by the Oklahoma Beef Council. In the coming weeks, we invite you to join us for a weekly report offering listeners and readers a glimpse into the activities of your Beef Checkoff and to show how your Checkoff dollars are being spent - invested on producers' behalf to improve demand for beef. This week, we are joined by Heather Buckmaster, executive director of the Oklahoma Beef Council, talking about some of the research efforts that have been funded by the Checkoff.
"Research released this summer by Perdue University and the National Institute of Health found that following a Mediterranean style eating pattern that includes red meats, like lean beef, is just as effective supporting a heart healthy diet as a similar style diet which limits red meats," Buckmaster said. "The most important takeaway from this study, is that Americans trying to eat healthier can enjoy lean beef as part of a Mediterranean style diet and improve cholesterol and blood pressure."
Funding research like this, Buckmaster says, adds another tool to the Beef Council's toolbox when reaching out to consumers as well as influencers such as dietitians and physicians - giving them confidence in recommending lean beef to their patients and clients. Outreach programs like these, are a priority and mainstay in the Beef Checkoff's strategy to promote beef consumption.
Listen to Buckmaster talk more about the health benefits of lean beef as part of a heart healthy diet, and find more stories on the activities of the Oklahoma Beef Council, by clicking here.
Certified Angus Beef Executive Chef Ashley Breneman Networks with Other Chefs to Grow Beef Demand
This week, the folks at Certified Angus Beef shared their story of CAB Executive Chef Ashley Breneman, who is uniquely doing her part in CAB's mission to improve the demand of high-quality Angus beef, by networking and connecting with fellow chefs and introducing them to the incomparable taste and quality of CAB beef.
Breneman's knowledge gained through working directly with the brand has opened her eyes to the under utilization of some of the cheaper cuts of beef. Typically, chefs in restaurants and other food service industries prefer to serve their customers the best products available. As a result, the most expensive cuts of beef will generally steal the show. However, Breneman has taken it upon herself to share her knowledge about how cheaper cuts can be included on a menu and with CAB beef, the customer will enjoy a high level of satisfaction from his or her experience in regard to both their appetite and wallet.
"We're mainly focused on being creative and showing underutilized cuts that they can put on their menus to kind of, you know, spread the word on 'there's more than just a filet' kind of thing," said Breneman. "They test it out in their restaurants and they're able to change a menu option. They're able to save a couple dollars on their menu by switching a specific middle meat to an underutilized cut."
Breneman's work is integral to the CAB mission, as she explains there isn't much innovation or creativity out there when it comes to marketing beef on the food service side of things. By reaching out and educating chefs, Breneman says beef's exposure gets a bit of a boost in the kitchen and in front of customers.
Read more or watch a short video featuring Chef Ashley talk about how CAB works with other chefs to promote high-quality Angus beef, byclicking over to our website.
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