ASI Weekly – August 16, 2019
Administration Rolls Out ESA Modernization
On Monday, U.S. Department of Interior Sec. David Bernhardt rolled out the final Federal Rule modernizing the Endangered Species Act. The three rules are the culmination of work by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration.
American Sheep Industry Association President Benny Cox said this represents a huge step in the right direction.
“We greatly appreciate Sec. Bernhardt and President Donald Trump for taking this action,” said Cox. “America’s sheep industry has been set back many times by the irregular and unpredictable enforcement of the Endangered Species Act. These rules represent tremendous progress toward not only regulatory certainty for our producers, but true recovery for listed wildlife species.
“Through these rules, the administration has done everything it can to promote the recovery of species through a collaborative effort, and we will continue to work with Congress to support fundamental ESA reform.”
The ESA was last authorized by Congress in 1988, and has a less than 3 percent recovery rate.
EPA Reevaluating Use of M-44
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler announced on Thursday that the EPA would reevaluate the use of M-44 devices to control wild animals that prey on livestock and other animals.
“I am announcing a withdrawal of EPA’s interim registration review decision on sodium cyanide, the compound used in M-44 devices to control wild predators,” he said. “This issue warrants further analysis and additional discussions by EPA with the registrants of this predacide. USDA is the primary registrant, along with five other state departments of agriculture: Montana, New Mexico, South Dakota, Texas and Wyoming.
“I look forward to continuing this dialogue to ensure U.S. livestock remain well-protected from dangerous predators while simultaneously minimizing off-target impacts on both humans and non-predatory animals.”
The American Sheep Industry Association fully supports the M-44 and Livestock Protection Collar. The M-44 and LPC are the most targeted and environmentally friendly predator control products available to producers, and ASI will work closely with the EPA and the administration as they conduct this further review.
Center of Nation Educational Presentations Available Online
For those who were not able to attend educational sessions at the National Sheep Improvement Program’s Center of the Nation Sale in Spencer, Iowa, in late July, the presentations are now available for viewing online.
A New Direction in Sheep Breeding was sponsored in part by the American Sheep Industry Association’s Let’s Grow Program and organized by the United Suffolk Sheep Association.
Video presentations available for viewing include one for seedstock breeders and one for commercial breeders. PowerPoint presentations from the speakers in each program are also available online.
Farm/Ranch Tours Showcase American Lamb
Farm and ranch tours have proven an effective means to educating professional chefs about American lamb. For that reason, the American Lamb Board is increasing its efforts among chefs to showcase American lamb and develop a preference when compared to imported choices.
Sheep producers interested in hosting a group of chefs on their farm or ranch should email Rae Maestas at email@example.com. ALB can also provide information on additional resources and programs offered by the group.
Last week, ALB hosted an event at Lighting Ridge Farm near Sherborn, Mass. More than 50 chefs representing at least 30 New England restaurants attended the field trip. Nancy Miniter of Lightning Ridge Farm was the host and offered an engaging tour of her farm followed by interactive American lamb educational demonstrations and a barbecue lunch.
Inspirational sessions featured lamb charcuterie techniques and open-fire grilling presentations. A popular demonstration focused on the economics of whole animal butchery led by Ben Lloyd of Salted Slate in Boston. He focused on ways that chefs can maximize profits by utilizing whole lamb carcasses at their restaurants.
Click Here to watch video clips from the day-long event taken by David Dadekian of EatDrinkRI. https://www.instagram.com/p/B0wztrnH4Zs/
Montana State Has Sheep Production Opening
Montana State University has an opening for an assistant or associate professor of animal science/sheep production.
This is an academic year (nine month) tenure-track faculty position at the assistant or associate professor level in the Department of Animal and Range Sciences. The appointment will be 60 percent research, 30 percent teaching, and 10 percent service funded by the Montana Agricultural Experiment Station and the College of Agriculture. This position will require close working relationships with faculty in the department, the college, other departments on the MSU campus (including the cross college Sustainable Food and BioEnergy Systems degree program), other land grant universities, experiment station livestock operations team, and Montana sheep producers.
The successful candidate will be expected to develop a competitive research program to establish a nationally competitive, independently funded research program in sheep production, targeted grazing and integrated crop livestock systems. The successful candidate will teach a senior level sheep and wool management class, a sophomore level course on livestock in sustainable systems and develop an alternate year graduate course in an area of the successful candidate’s expertise.
He/she will be expected to advise undergraduates in animal and range sciences, mentor graduate and undergraduate research students, and will also be responsible for providing service as applicable to the department, college, university and scientific community. The successful candidate will also be expected to be involved in the decision-making process relative to management of the experiment station’s sheep flock.
Australian Wool Market Suffers Large Losses
The Australian wool market had another tumultuous series, suffering further large losses after those experienced in the previous week. The suspension of wool auctions in South Africa reduced the overall global supply, but this did little to bolster demand in Australia.
Major auction players were again absent and those buyers that were active continually reduced their buying basis, as they accumulated wool. The market opened with prices generally 100 cents below those achieved at the previous sale. The lack of buyer confidence meant that prices deteriorated as the series progressed. By the end of the first day, prices had generally fallen by 110 to 140 cents. The AWEX Eastern Market Indicator fell by 112 Australian cents on the back of the losses – a reduction of 6.7 percent. In percentage terms, this was the largest fall since 2008.
The weakness continued on day two with the market unable to find a solid level, as buyers continued to lower their basis as the sale progressed. The EMI lost a further 51 cents, losing a total of 163 cents for the series and closing the week at 1,513 Australian cents. The EMI fell by 9.7 percent for the series, again the largest weekly fall since 2003. The last time the EMI was at this level was June 2017.
The highlight of the week, in an otherwise gloomy market was the good support for non-mulesed types. A small number of buyers competed strongly for these types, pushing them as much as 200 cents (clean) higher than similar types.
The market downturn was met with firm seller resistance, 16.7 percent of wool was withdrawn prior to sale, followed by a passed in rate of 35.8 percent – the highest figure since 2003.
NCTO Applauds Inclusion of Apparel and Textiles on China Tariff List
The National Council of Textile Organizations – representing the full spectrum of U.S. textiles from fiber though finished sewn products – issued the following statement this week in response to the U.S. Trade Representative Office’s announcement regarding the next steps for the proposed 10-percent tariff on approximately $300 billion of Chinese imports. NCTO testified most recently on June 20, urging the administration to move forward with tariffs on finished apparel and home textile products.
“As U.S. manufacturers that have suffered enormously from China’s illegal IPR activities and state-sponsored export subsidies, we strongly support the administration’s decision to move forward with this next tranche of 301 retaliatory tariffs that will finally cover a significant portion of China’s exports in our sector,” said NCTO President and CEO Kim Glas. “We also believe that the inclusion of products that are within significant Chinese employment sectors like finished apparel, will substantially increase the administration’s negotiating leverage with the Chinese to address systemic trade reforms that are needed. Any such settlement must include short-and long-term reforms that eliminate China’s predatory trade practices in key industrial sectors across the board, such as textiles and apparel.
“We are at a critical juncture in terms of global economic trading patterns. The current trade negotiations with China offer the best opportunity in a generation to restore fairness and market- based competitiveness to a system that has been overwhelmed by China’s illegal and state-planned effort to dominate global manufacturing.
“While we are pleased with today’s announced action, we remain concerned that certain inputs already vetted by the administration and removed from previous retaliatory tariff lists remain on this list for proposed duties. We have long argued that adding tariffs on imports of manufacturing inputs that are not made in the U.S. in effect raises the cost for American companies. We urge the administration to uphold these previous exclusions. We also continue to request that the administration include de minimis shipments below $800 on the retaliatory list. The provision creates a significant loophole at a time when the administration is seeking to address China’s unfair trade practices.”
The American Sheep Industry Association is an NCTO member.