“Crude Oil in the last 52 weeks is up almost 40%, in the last month its up almost 12,”, according to Real Agricultures Shaun Haney on Friday’s AgriTalk Radio Show. The question is what can Trump do to help relieve that price at the pump for consumers? The President did tweet Friday saying that OPEC was keeping crude prices, “artificially high.” Pro Farmer Policy Analyst Jim Wiesemeyer says the tweet reflects the President’s “populist perspective.” AgriTalk Host Chip Flory says the oil futures are giving, “frackers the opportunity to lock in the price, lock in the profit, and increase the supply of oil coming to the US.”. There has been talk of year-round E15, which could help the price at the pump and give a boost to the ethanol industry, but Iowa farmer Pam Johnson seems guarded on the issue. Johnson says, “Once again I think we are in trust and verify. I would love to be optimistic.”
There is some welcome news for Midwest farmers as temperatures are warming up and there is rain in the forecast. Flory asks whether or not these rains could make some farmers rethink their planting plans. However, the AgriTalk group says that trade conditions could affect those decisions. Johnson says, “You start to wonder what our options are no matter where you are in the country,” because she says one study predicts that “we are going to lose 65% of our soy exports to China if this trade war escalates, and more importantly 37% of our market globally.” Haney says he falls back on the notion that Trump’s bark is likely worse than his bite when it comes to enforcing strict policies on China.
The group also touches on the TPP, NAFTA, and the farm bill. Regarding NAFTA, Wiesemeyer agrees with statements from Vice President Mike Pence, who seems to believe that good news is coming. With TPP, Pam Johnson says what concerns her the most is whether decision makers realize how important agriculture really is to national security.
Finally, Flory describes the farm bill markup process this week as “heart breaking” because, “in the past you could see how bills were made by watching the House ag committee, how good legislation was made.”. The bill passed through committee entirely on party lines, and Democrats say they will not budge on the bill.
Click on the player above to listen to the full AgriTalk discussion.