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NAFTA, Ag Secretary Confirmation, Freeze Update & more in the KAWG E-Update

NAFTA, Ag Secretary Confirmation, Freeze Update & more in the KAWG E-Update


We hope you enjoy this week’s edition of KAWG E-News.


KAWG seeks input on policy resolutions

It’s the time of year to begin crafting KAWG policy resolutions, and we need your input! Do you have an idea for a resolution that is important to Kansas wheat farmers? Contact Daniel Heady, Director of Government Affairs for the Kansas Association of Wheat Growers, with your resolution ideas.


Senate confirms Perdue as agriculture secretary

From Washington Post

Former Georgia governor Sonny Perdue was confirmed Monday as secretary of the Agriculture Department, bringing into President Trump’s Cabinet an experienced politician with deep support among agricultural interests.

Perdue faced few obstacles to confirmation – the vote Monday was 87 to 11 – after a collegial confirmation hearing last month before the Senate Agriculture Committee, where senators used their testimony time to raise questions about Trump’s budget. Support for Perdue extended far beyond Washington. The former Georgia governor has received thumbs up from hundreds of food and agricultural groups nationwide, including major groups such as the Farm Bureau and the National Restaurant Association.

(Read more.)

Effect of freeze on April 27, 2017, on wheat in boot and early heading stages

From K-State Research and Extension
Temperatures during the morning of April 27 dropped below freezing and into the lower 30’s or upper 20’s in most of the state. The lowest measured temperature was 24F in north central Kansas (Scandia, Republic Co.), where temperatures were below 32F for as long as 7.3 hours. (Read more.)

Brownback picks Jacob LaTurner as new state treasurer

From Wichita Eagle

Sen. Jacob LaTurner of Pittsburg will be the new state treasurer, replacing Ron Estes, who won the 4th District congressional special election last week.

In picking LaTurner, Gov. Sam Brownback chose someone who has been a reliably conservative vote in the Legislature. This session, LaTurner has sided with the governor on taxes and Medicaid.

LaTurner’s departure could alter the dynamics of the Senate, depending on who replaces him. Republican leaders in LaTurner’s district will gather in the coming days to choose his successor. (Read more.)

Trump Says NAFTA Pullout Still Possible If Renegotiation Fails

From Bloomberg

President Donald Trump said Thursday he’s still ready to pull out of the North American Free Trade Agreement if he can’t renegotiate better terms for the U.S. but that he decided to hold off on a decision after appeals from the leaders of Canada and Mexico.

“I was going to terminate NAFTA as of two or three days from now,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office. But he said he reconsidered after Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau both phoned him Wednesday asking him to renegotiate the deal instead. Those talks will start as soon as today, he said. ( Read more.)

From Washington Post

As news of the president’s plan reached Ottawa and Mexico City in the middle of the week and rattled the markets and Congress, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and others huddled in meetings with Trump, urging him not to sign a document triggering a U.S. withdrawal from NAFTA.

Perdue even brought along a prop to the Oval Office: A map of the United States that illustrated the areas that would be hardest hit, particularly from agriculture and manufacturing losses, and highlighting that many of those states and counties were “Trump country” communities that had voted for the president in November.  (Read more.)


Win Big in Kansas Wheat Yield Contest

Now that the 2017 Kansas wheat crop has received some much-needed rainfall, achieving top yields is on the minds of wheat farmers. With Mother Nature’s help, your best management practices could be just the ticket to earn you a quick $1,750 in cash, if you enter the Kansas Wheat Yield Contest.

The state contest is being held in addition to the National Wheat Yield Contest, which is sponsored by the National Wheat Foundation. Entries for the National Contest are $125 and due by May 1. You must be a member of the state wheat growers association, ages 14 and older, to enter the national contest. The national contest is open to spring and winter wheat, both dryland and irrigated.

Entries for the Kansas Wheat Yield Contest are $50 and due by June 1. The Kansas contest is open to all Kansas wheat farmers, ages 18 and up. Members of the Kansas Association of Wheat Growers receive one free entry in the Kansas contest. The contest is open only to dryland fields in Kansas, planted to certified Hard Red Winter or Hard White winter wheat. (Read more.)


USDA’s Reduction in 2017 Kansas HRW Wheat Loan Rates Effectively Cuts the Wheat Farmer’s Safety Net

From K-State 

The national loan rate for wheat is $2,94, corn $1.95, sorghum $1.95 and soybeans $5.00. These loan rates are set in statue. However, the Secretary then adjusts the local county loan rates so the national average loan rate is $2.94 for wheat.

The 2017 Kansas Hard Red Winter wheat loan rates were cut by 19 cents in all but six counties…(Read more.)


CME Group plans variable storage rate for K.C. wheat futures

From Reuters

CME Group Inc said on Monday it plans to adjust its hard red winter wheat futures contracts, after some U.S. farmers said they had lost faith in the market because it was not converging with local cash prices.

The exchange operator will implement a “variable storage rate” mechanism in the K.C. wheat futures market starting on March 18, 2018, according to a notice sent to clients.


Trump executive order to create agriculture task force

From Washington Examiner

President Trump will establish a task force on Tuesday to examine regulations and laws that hold back American farmers, the White House said Monday evening.

Trump is set to sign an executive order Tuesday that will sunset the White House Rural Council and establish the task force in its stead, said Ray Starling, special assistant to the president for agriculture.

The task force will conduct an 180-day review of whether current U.S. policy “unnecessarily hinders economic growth in the agriculture sector,” Starling said. ( Read more.)




NAWG Hosts its Annual Board Officer Retreat
This week NAWG hosted its annual board officers retreat. Board members attended several meetings with the administration, congressional staff, and other commodity groups. Most notably, NAWG’s board officers met with Deputy Chief of Staff Dan Hanlon and additional staff from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to discuss NAWG’s top priorities. The board also met with Ray Starling, Special Assistant to the President for Agriculture, Trade and Food Assistance of the National Economic Council, to discuss the importance of trade to wheat farmers and focused the conversation on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the World Trade Organization’s complaint against China, and general market access. The board also discussed its priorities and concerns for the 2018 Farm Bill reauthorization with majority and minority staff from both the House and Senate Committees on Agriculture.

President Trump Agrees to Not Terminate But Rather Renegotiate NAFTA
On April 26, 2017, President Donald Trump told the leaders of Canada and Mexico Wednesday he was not immediately planning to end the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), according to CNN. “In a description of Trump’s phone calls to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and President Enrique Peña Nieto, the White House said Trump ‘agreed not to terminate NAFTA at this time and the leaders agreed to proceed swiftly, according to their required internal procedures, to enable the renegotiation of the NAFTA deal to the benefit of all three countries.'” Alarmed about possible withdrawal from NAFTA, NAWG, USW, and other commodity groups released statements arguing that withdrawing from NAFTA would be a serious mistake. NAWG and USW sent out a joint release affirming that “withdrawing from NAFTA could lead to new tariffs on U.S. wheat and threaten to undermine the long-standing, loyal relationship U.S. wheat farmers have built with Mexico’s wheat buyers and food industry.”

U.S. Senate Confirms Sonny Perdue as Head of U.S. Department of Agriculture
On Monday, April 24, 2017, The Senate confirmed former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue to serve as Agriculture secretary by a vote of 87-11. In our release, NAWG congratulated Former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue on his confirmation as Secretary of the Department of Agriculture. “His experience as a farmer and a governor of an agriculture state make him an ideal candidate to run the country’s leading authority on food, agriculture, natural resources, rural development, and nutrition policy.”

NAWG Praises Introduction of The Regulatory Accountability Act of 2017
On April 26, 2017, Sens. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) introduced bipartisan legislation to change the way agencies issue rules for the first time in 70 years, according to E&E News. “The long-awaited ‘Regulatory Accountability Act’ would amend the 1946 Administrative Procedure Act by requiring federal agencies to conduct cost-benefit analyses. The proposal would also trigger an automatic review process for major regulations, allow hearings on the most significant federal actions and require agencies to inform the public earlier before they plan to begin working on a new rule.” NAWG issued a release in support of the bill arguing that The RAA will create a better regulatory framework and process from the get go, so wheat growers won’t continue to be faces with increased regulatory burdens that don’t show substantial benefits.

National Wheat Foundation Extends Winter Wheat Deadline to May 15th for the National Wheat Yield Contest
The National Wheat Foundation announces an extension for Winter Wheat enrollment in the National Wheat Yield Contest to May 15th! Growers now have until close of business on May 15th to register a winter wheat variety. This is a two week extension from the original deadline of May 1st. Contest Director, Steve Joehl, reasons, “The spring has been delayed by over two weeks across the northern tier states and winter wheat is just coming out of dormancy. Extra time to assess the wheat crop’s yield potential will be beneficial to attract more entries to the Contest from these states. In addition, growers there are up against spring planting deadlines, and are trying to seed at every opportunity. This extension provides those interested in entering some valuable time to complete the process.” The registration process is all online at!

NAWG Speaks to Kansas State University Honor Students
On Thursday, April 27, the American Bakers Association hosted Kansas State University Grain Science Honor students for a two-day emersion into the convergence of science, industry, legislative policy and government regulation. These students came from three undergraduate majors: milling, baking and feed science. NAWG’s Vice President of Policy and Communications, Josh Tonsager, provided the students an overview of our organization and discussed NAWG’s priorities for 2017..




Larry Glenn, market analyst for Frontier Ag, Oakley and Leffler Commodities, Augusta, provides market analysis for KAWG members. E-mail Larry at


The price moving information recorded this week centered on cold temperatures.  Night time lows this week here in northwest Kansas hovered around the 30 degree mark.  Wednesday night, temperatures in the Beloit area dropped below 28 degrees and stayed for a couple of hours.  So far, freeze damage expected to be light but another shot of cold air moves into the area during the weekend.

This next event calls for moisture and cold temperatures.  The lowest readings forecasted in the western section of Kansas.  The coldest reading occurs on Saturday and Sunday night.  There is a good chance of snowfall to land.  This could be heavy in areas.

Next week, the U. S. Wheat Quality Tour travels through Kansas.  Crop scouts meet on Monday in Manhattan and scout the state of Kansas the next three days.  Usually, representatives from Nebraska, Colorado and Oklahoma issue their reports at this time.  The scouts should see a wheat plant ahead of normal production.  They will see some problems.  The trade will watch closely as to the comments on the Kansas wheat crop.

The July Kansas City wheat price increased 20 cents this week.  This seemed a small amount compared to the talk of cold temperatures and possible damage.  While damage to the wheat crop is important to wheat production in affected areas, the amount of wheat production loss is likely to be small compared to our total United States wheat supply.

This year’s world wheat crop has experienced production problems in areas around the world.  Europe has dry conditions to lower wheat yields.  The Black Sea Region has dealt with cold conditions.  Acreage planted to wheat is reduced.   It looks like this will be a down year for wheat production compared to recent record years.

Although small, the wheat price could be seeing its spring rally.  The recommendation for wheat producers is to get some wheat forward priced especially bushels that would be sold at wheat harvest or shortly after.




Source: Kansas Association of Wheat Growers