The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association summer business conference got underway this week in Denver.
Discussions at the conference include: U.S. trade with China, the repeal of Waters of the U.S. rule (WOTUS) and the delay of electronic logging devices mandate. National Cattlemen’s Beef Association President Craig Uden, of Nebraska, spoke with Ron Hays, Radio Oklahoma Network Farm Director.
Uden said there is a lot to celebrate at this year’s meeting.
“We’ve had a lot of successes this year,” Uden said. “There are a lot of good things, even as we’re here at this convention. Trade’s been very, very beneficial.”
Indeed, trade with China has been a dominant talking point in industry discussions as of late, but Uden says it goes beyond that.
“It’s not only with China. We’ve had exports as high as 20 percent this year. We’re up 46 percent with Japan right now,” Uden said, insisting that a bilateral agreement with Japan is a top priority at NCBA. “We’re going to keep that front and center because we don’t want to back track from what we’ve gained this year.”
Still, Uden says having access to China’s market now is a “golden opportunity,” although it will take time for the market to fully mature – much the same as other Asian markets, like Korea, have in the past.
“I think the benefit is two to three years down the way,” Uden said. “It’s a trust factor we have to continue to build.”
Considering the developments with the repeal of WOTUS, Uden says at long last, producers will have a seat at the table when discussions begin.
“Administrator Pruitt has invited our input into this rewrite of the Waters of the U.S. rule,” he said. “Consequently, we are adamantly working on the rewrite with many different states and producers, so we can get a bill out there that we can live with in our production models.”
As the conference kicked off this week, word from Washington arrived that a delay on the electronic logging devices mandate, currently hindering the ability of cattlemen to transport their livestock, may be in the works.
“Just visiting with people in Michigan – when I happened to be up there – they have a hard time getting cattle from feedlots to the packer under this new rule,” Uden said, explaining that transporters have a limited time to load, travel and unload the livestock during the course of a day when there could be extended miles to travel. “It’s very detrimental, and we’re going to continue to stay engaged on that. It’s a big item to a lot of producers in the United States.”