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Your Update from Ron Hays of RON
Monday, December 3, 2018
|TRUCE!!! President Trump Won't Up Tariffs January One- and President Xi Promises to Start Buying US Ag Products Again
In a two hour plus meeting over the weekend in Buenos Aires- President Donald Trump apparently got the Chinese to blink- "China will agree to purchase a not yet agreed upon, but very substantial, amount of agricultural, energy, industrial, and other product from the United States to reduce the trade imbalance between our two countries."
The White House also stated Saturday evening "China has agreed to start purchasing agricultural product from our farmers immediately."
According to Karen Braun with Reuters- besides the pledge from China to buy American once again- The President seemed to do well- "China will be opening up. China will be getting rid of tariffs." while our US President wont raise tariff rates on Jan 1 as planned.
In the overnight electronic trade that kicked off at 7:00 PM Central time Sunday evening- soybeans shot 20 cents higher as the market showed hope for success- meanwhile the American Soybean Association is one of the first ag groups to release a statement on the positives coming from Trump and Xi.
John Heisdorffer, a soybean grower from Keota, Iowa, and ASA president said, "This is the first positive news we've seen after months of downturned prices and halted shipments. If this suspension of tariff increases leads to a longer-term agreement, it will be extremely positive for the soy industry. We want to begin repairing damage done to our trade relations with China, which has been essential to successful soybean exports for years."
Under the agreement reached on Saturday, tariffs on $200 billion worth of goods will not increase to 25 percent on January 1 from the current 10 percent level. Details have not been announced regarding the quantity of U.S. goods that China will purchase, but the White House statement indicated that purchases of ag products would begin immediately.
Click or tap here for the complete statement from the American Soybean Association on the developments of the US-China meeting Saturday in Buenos Aires.
"During the 90-day negotiating period, ASA hopes to see China reopen its market to significant U.S. soybean imports as a key confidence-building step that will help restore our trade relationship," Heisdorffer said. "This is an important opportunity to demonstrate positive momentum that will strengthen efforts on both sides to restore economic relations that are mutually beneficial."
Meanwhile- the other major Ag commodity most hurt by the tit for tat tariffs with China is pork- and Dr. Dermot Hayes of Iowa State estimates U.S. pork producer losses of $ 1 billion, or $8 per animal, from the ongoing trade dispute with China.
|US Mexico Canada Trade Pact Signed by Leaders of the Three Nations
U.S. President Donald Trump, Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto signed a new trade agreement on Friday known as the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).
Before he signed, Trudeau told Trump the two needed to keep working together to remove tariffs on steel and aluminum.
"This has been a battle, and battles sometimes make great friendships," Trump said at the start of the signing ceremony. In addition, Trump said of the USMCA, "It is probably the largest trade deal ever made."
The USMCA replaces the North American Free Trade Agreement, which had created a free trade zone between the three countries back in 1994. The deal will require ratification by all three countries' legislatures before taking effect.
To watch a video of the signing ceremony or to review a Fact Sheet on the Agricultural highlights of the trade deal released by the USTR's Office - click or tap here.
US Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue remarked on the event, calling it yet another promise kept by President Trump.
"I have often said that we live in the best neighborhood on Earth - North America - and the signing of a new trade agreement with Mexico and Canada helps cement our highly integrated relationship as nations.
President Trump has fulfilled a promise, which many said couldn't be done, to renegotiate NAFTA and improve the standing of the entire American economy, including the agriculture sector," Perdue stated.
"This is good news for American farmers and we now need Congress to follow suit and enact the necessary implementing legislation. I commend President Trump and our U.S. Trade Representative, Ambassador Lighthizer, for their perseverance, leadership, and hard work."
Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee Mike Conaway added his two cents as well, calling for the pact's swift ratification.
"Farmers, ranchers and agribusiness in general will benefit from a strengthened trilateral trade agreement with Canada and Mexico, and today President Trump brought our nation one step closer to realizing this important victory," stated Conaway. "There are several important wins for our producers in this deal, and I look forward to Congress swiftly approving the agreement in the new year."
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Ag Industry Cheers Movement on the USMCA Trade Deal
US Agriculture has been generally supportive of the USMCA Trade Agreement that was signed last week by the leaders of the three member nations. That sentiment was expressed in the reactions of industry leaders given after Friday's signing ceremony.
"We applaud the many members of the Trump Administration, as well as their Mexican and Canadian colleagues, who worked diligently to negotiate this agreement," stated U.S. Grains Council President and CEO Tom Sleight. "We see its forward movement as a sign our countries will continue our robust relationship, as business partners and friends." "This agreement includes important provisions for wheat farmers. Most notably, USMCA retains tariff-free access to imported U.S. wheat for our long-time flour milling customers in Mexico. That is a crucial step toward rebuilding trust in U.S. wheat as a reliable supplier in this important, neighboring market," commented the National Association of Wheat Growers and US Wheat Associates in a joint-release issued Friday, adding. "In the meantime, U.S. wheat farmers are excited to see the Administration build on the momentum of USMCA by initiating negotiations with Japan. That is needed to end the threat of major wheat export losses without a new trade agreement. USW and NAWG are anxious for a quick deal and policies that would provide long-term stability in the critical Japanese market." "U.S. corn farmers are proud of the strong trading relationships NAFTA has enabled us to build with our North American trading partners, exporting more than $3 billion of corn and corn products to Mexico and Canada last year," remarked National Corn Growers Association President Lynn Chrisp. "Today's signing is an important step toward cementing a modernized relationship with these important partners. NCGA commends leaders from all three nations and looks forward to engaging on next steps as the USMCA moves to Congress for consideration." "With the signing of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), U.S. beef producers are one step closer to knowing that unrestricted, science-based trade will continue in North America," said National Cattlemen's Beef Association President Kevin Kester. "The agreement brings the trading relationship with our neighbors into the 21st century - and clearly rejects the failed beef and cattle trade policies of the past. Open markets have helped U.S. producers flourish and created billion-dollar markets for U.S. beef. We look forward to working with Congress to get USMCA passed into law as quickly as possible."
Farmers and ranchers are being encouraged to consider utilizing the financial and technical assistance of USDA's NRCS program called Environmental Quality Incentives Program, or EQIP, to help establish habitat that benefits Monarch butterflies and other wildlife as part of the Monarch Butterfly Habitat Project. By increasing Milkweed and other nectar-rich plants, land owners and manager can provide food for Monarchs and other pollinators, such as honey bees, that are vital to agriculture. Producers can accomplish this in a variety of ways, such as brush management, prescribed burning, prescribed grazing, and monarch plantings.
Milkweed is in the heart of the butterfly's habitat and migration corridor. Milkweed also provides homes for beneficial insects that control the spread of destructive insects. Conservation practices that provide benefits for pollinators also help reduce erosion, increase soil health, control invasive species, provide quality forage for livestock and make agricultural operations more resilient and productive. These reasons alone, make the re-establishment of such habitat critically important to agriculture in Oklahoma and across the nation.
According to NRCS State Conservationist Gary O'Neill,
pollinator plantings can be placed in areas that won't inconvenience farmers and that they can also help producers manage their pasture and rangeland. NRCS accepts applications on a continuous basis, but only applications filed by December 21 are eligible for the next round of funding through EQIP. For more information about the Monarch Butterfly Habitat Project or wildlife habitat assistance, click here.
|Oklahoma breeder John Pfeiffer was recently elected the president of the American Angus Association. In a recent conversation with us, he mentioned that he is very excited about some of the projects the breed association is doing on behalf of their membership, including its newest program - Angus Link. The program was launched only about two months ago, but Pfeiffer says it is already having early signs of success.
"The way it stands right now is all black cattle are created equally and we want to show those that are more Angus have a higher carcass ability and higher gain ability," he explained. "Another part of this will occur in about a year where we will actually be able to score maternal ability on these cows, as well."
Pfeiffer says the Angus herd has come a long way - even since he first started in the business. He adds that the breed continues to work to improve its genetics with more programs in development even now.
"This is not my grandad's Angus breed of cattle, or my dad's breed of cattle," he said. "It's not even the same type of cattle I would have started out with. We have lots of tools and we're working on some new indexes that possibly will eventually be released."
Listen to our full discussion about how the American Angus Association is bringing innovation into the industry for its members, on this past Friday's Beef Buzz - click here.
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.
Pecan growers in Oklahoma have enough to worry about, with the weather, disease and everything else that can have a damaging impact on a pecan crop. Unfortunately, producers are now facing yet another threat and one that is growing more and more concerning - wild pigs. As an easily accessible and abundant food source, wild hog populations are decimating pecan crops in the state, especially along the northern edge of the Red River where pecans are readily grown and where some of the highest densities of wild pigs occur.
With sparked interest, the Noble Research Institute and Oklahoma State University initiated a study to investigate wild pig habitat use, ecology and damage within agricultural landscapes where pecans are actively grown and harvested. This study has allowed researchers to better understand the behavior of wild pigs in these areas, which will hopefully help producers better protect their crops and control hog populations in the future. However, researchers say while the study has been insightful, there is still a lot to learn.
"Despite what we learned about wild pigs, which we can use to our advantage, there are still many factors that make population control difficult," said Stephen Webb, Ph.D., Noble Research Institute ag systems technology manager. "There is always something new to learn about these creatures, so we are continuing our efforts into wild pig control and research."
For the full story on this research and its findings, or to read more about wild pigs, click here.
|Microsoft's Connect Americans Now Initiative Holds Power to Unlock Rural America's Full Potential
Today, 34 million Americans lack an affordable and reliable broadband connection. Of these, 19.4 million live in rural areas. This digital divide means they are unable to take advantage of economic, health and educational opportunities that exist in other connected communities. Connect Americans Now (CAN) is a Microsoft supported community of concerned citizens, local organizations, rural advocates, and leading innovators committed to taking action to eliminate the digital divide that is holding rural America back. Earlier this month, our Associate Farm Director Carson Horn, had the chance to speak with Zachary Cikanek, national spokesperson for Connect Americans Now. According to him, it is CAN's mission to eliminate the rural digital divide by utilizing a model that includes fiber-based, satellite and wireless technologies, leveraging a range of frequencies including TV white spaces. By adopting a solution that brings a wide array of stakeholders to the table, he says it will be possible to connect millions of Americans in a cost-effective manner over the course of a few years rather than a few decades.
"High-speed broadband internet access for any household is no longer a luxury. It's a necessity in the 21st Century," Cikanek said, remarking on the opportunities that will become available to agricultural producers in these affected areas as a result of gaining access to reliable internet. "If you are not using precision agriculture today, you are going to struggle continuously to stay competitive in a global economy. Farmers in the United States have seen their incomes fall 47 percent over the last five years and the way to succeed requires access to customers around the world. Having robust internet infrastructure is vital to taking advantage of those tools and staying competitive."
Not only will this benefit farmers, it will have a significant impact on the rural communities themselves, allowing communities to take advantage of opportunities such as telemedicine, empowering students to become more informed in critical areas like math and science and also enable small businesses to expand their customer base and attract new industries to their rural communities.
Listen to their complete conversation, by clicking or tapping here, to learn more about Connect Americans Now.
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