Not Much Substance
Having spent more than a decade in close contact with South Dakota's grain and livestock producers as a broker and cattle feeder, I'd say the burden of regulations is meaningful enough, but not really the issue. EPA and USDA regulations can often be a pain, but those regulations didn't cause the halving of corn and feeder cattle prices during the past few years. Rounds somewhat helplessly acknowledges that producers "may continue to see low commodity prices in 2017," a likelihood borne out by prices in the futures markets. That's a reflection of the lack of enthusiasm for the Trump administration and its political handmaidens, our Congressional trio of Rounds, Thune and Noem included. They're mired in mixed signals about the future of corn-based ethanol, which uses about a third of our corn production. As to the outlook for
|Noem, Rounds, Thune|
Say, What's Up With COOL?
Mike Rounds bypassed those compelling issues but singled out "economic growth" and "consumer demand" as the basis for better prices. Actually, we've had excellent consumer demand and a steadily growing economy during the past few years and the ag markets did nothing but go down. Domestic issues aren't the drivers of commodity prices that they once were, mainly because trade expansion has been the name of the game for the ag industry, which has to compete in a take-no-prisoners global environment. Markets are skittish about the big policy picture, particularly trade, which Rounds and his fellow SD congressional reps continue to ignore.
ADDENDUM. And from today's New York Times: Mexico is about to play the corn card in trade talks.