Our guest for this week’s Open Mic is Jim Sumner, president of the USA Poultry and Egg Export Council. While the poultry industry faces similar challenges to others in the agriculture industry during the COVID-19 emergency here at home, there have been positive developments in export channels for U.S. products. As a result of China’s challenges with African Swine Fever and recent negotiations to open their borders, Sumner says U.S. poultry is filling a void for Chinese consumers. Sumner says USAPEEC is grateful for the effort of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to see agriculture included in trade negotiations with the European Union and holds hope for new export opportunities resulting from trade talks with the United Kingdom.
This week’s Open Mic guest is Corey Rosenbush, president and CEO of The Fertilizer Institute. Few questions loom larger than the price and availability of nutrients for the 2022 crop year. In this interview, Rosenbush shares the global storm of circumstances that have brought tight supplies and high prices for U.S. farmers. Issues of trade, tariffs, energy prices, transportation costs and weather events mark a long list of market dynamics that ultimately may influence farmer planting decisions for the coming season.
This week’s Open Mic guest is Jon Doggett, CEO of the National Corn Growers Association. The nation’s corn farmers have concerns about supply chain issues and the availability of fertilizer and crop protection products for the 2022 crop season. Doggett says it's important for farmer voices to be heard on fertilizer tariffs that limit supply and EPA protocols when considering the environmental impact on endangered species. Doggett says farmers and rural investors have fulfilled their obligation to provide feedstock and processing capacity to meet the volume goals for renewable fuels established in the Renewable Fuel Standard, and they’d like the EPA to enforce the law. He wants to see a regulatory environment for carbon sequestration and compensation and is hopeful the Biden administration will be aggressive in maintaining and growing global market opportunities for U.S. corn supplies.
This week’s Open Mic guest is Brad Nordholm, president and CEO of Farmer Mac. Farmland values have seen a tremendous appreciation over the past several months despite questions over the outlook for commodity prices and current inflationary pressures. In this interview, Nordholm discusses the similarities and differences between the farm economy of the 1980s and today. Nordholm applauds congressional approval of the infrastructure bill and questions if carbon capture will prove a meaningful source of income for farmers. He also embraces the challenge of bringing in the next generation of farmers and ranchers in this economic climate and is keeping a watchful eye on the extended drought in the West.
This week’s Open Mic guest is Jim Matheson, CEO of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. The 900 consumer-owned coops in the nation are generally on solid footing and able to meet the needs of rural communities in the 47 states they serve. However, meeting the need for additional power demands will mean a significant investment in securing the base load as well as infrastructure. Matheson says over 60% of the current electric supply is being met with the burning of fossil fuels. Additional demand will need to be met with a reliable power supply. Electric cooperatives are assisting rural residents to gain access to broadband and Matheson hopes more cooperatives will expand service to more residents and at higher speeds.
This week’s Open Mic guest is Mike Seyfert, President and CEO of the National Grain and Feed Association. NFGA celebrates its 125th anniversary this week and maintains the same objectives and mission statement that brought the group together over a century ago. Seyfert says NGFA members celebrate House approval of the Infrastructure Bill and look forward to much needed improvements in the nation’s roads, bridges and waterways. Seyfert says NGFA supports competition in the rail industry and continued service to local elevators even to the last mile of service. NGFA supports funding toward expansion of conservation practices on working lands but is concerned with programs that would idle additional acres. Seyfert echoes comments from legislators that congressional ag leaders should be responsible for amending farm programs. NGFA supports free trade and would welcome attempts to see the U.S. join the CPTPP.