AgriTalk: Pruitt "Going to Have to Pay for His Personal Baggage"

AgriTalk April 30 2018
( AgriTalk )

EPA Administer Scott Pruitt’s name is making news again. Pruitt is facing scrutiny on multiple fronts in regards to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS)

There are now claims that a waiver was given to a refinery owned by billionaire Carl Icahn.

Pro Farmer analyst Jim Wiesemeyer sees this as one more step towards Pruitt’s ultimate demise.

“I usually hate to get into these topics, but I think the odds are growing that he will be the next cabinet official to head for the exits,” said Wiesemeyer.

AgriTalk host Chip Flory said that if this particular waiver was issued while Icahn was operating in an official role with the Trump administration—there could be more trouble on the horizon.

Chinese Trade Meeting

If time heals all wounds, things may get better soon for China-U.S. trade relations, as each side prepares to meet in China.

“The big potential concession, is they want to announce talks of a U.S.-China free trade deal,” said Wiesemeyer.

Flory said there are a lot of if’s with this meeting.

 “the first thing on the list is lets avoid implementation of the tariffs, and get some concessions from China in exchange for it,” said Flory.

Flory asked Wiesemeyer if he thinks it will be a successful trip. Wiesemeyer said he doesn’t believe the U.S. would send delegates if they didn’t believe there was a foundation for a new accord with China.


An agreement in principle may be coming soon.

“The technocrats, which really do the work, are meeting every day this week, so they are going to get most of this done,“ said Wiesemeyer. “The principles will meet, probably the week of May 7,  and that’s when we could have an announcement by the end of the week, maybe, on an agreement in principle.”

In regards to dairy he said to expect a side agreement to address those issues.

Farm Bill

There has been little to no movement from Democrats in the House, as they stand firmly opposed to the farm bill. The bill itself is getting closer to a vote

“If you hear [Rep.] Conaway say we are going to have a floor vote [on] X date, that means they have the votes,” said Wiesemeyer. “If they don’t give a specific date, they are still whipping this vote.”

There have been some amendments proposed by Republicans in the House, but Wiesemeyer said he disagrees with a proposal to only allow amendments to come from House members that actually plan on voting on the bill.

Interest Rates

The Fed will have meetings in the near future. Flory said that it doesn’t look like interest rates will be increasing.

Wiesemeyer agrees the dollar has rallied and the Fed is currently building in the higher interest rates.

Machinery Pete

It’s not always about the auctions for Machinery Pete. He tells us that he has been keeping his eye on the used cotton market.

He said right now there is such a run on good used cotton equipment that one dealership in Texas has even had to move to a lottery system for their customers.

Pete’s Pick of the Week is a rare Steiger 4WD tractor that sold in Saskatchewan. You can find more at

Click on the player above to listen to the full AgriTalk discussion.