NAWG Weekly Wheat Digest
NAWG in the News
Capital Ag Press (July 18, 2017) Wheat Industry Voices Goals for NAFTA Talks
U.S. wheat growers are urging the Trump administration to maintain the current advantages of the North American Free Trade Agreement and level the playing field with Canada and Mexico in other areas. “After months of unknown, it is refreshing to see the proposed NAFTA objectives identify agriculture as one of the sectors that have benefited from the decades-old trade deal, something we have reiterated since the beginning of renegotiation rumors,” said David Schemm, president of the National Association of Wheat Growers and a Sandy Springs, Kan., wheat farmer.
High Plains Journal (July 18, 2017) ASA CEO Censky Nominated for Deputy Ag Secretary
President Donald Trump July 13 announced his selection of Stephen Censky, CEO of the American Soybean Association, for the last 21 years, for the position of deputy secretary of agriculture….Even the leader of another commodity group found favor with the selection of Censky. Chandler Goule, CEO of the National Association of Wheat Growers, said in approving of Censky’s nomination, “NAWG extends our congratulations to Steve Censky. His experience as a farmer and vast understanding of agriculture sector make him an ideal candidate for this role.”
Successful Farming (July 19, 2017) Nothing Too Surprising in U.S. Trade’s Agriculture Goals for NAFTA Renegotiation
…The National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) said in a statement that it is “happy” to see that item in the list of goals. “Because NAFTA helped make Mexico one of the most important export markets for U.S. wheat, our main priority right now is to do no harm to wheat trade,” NAWG president and wheat grower David Schemm said. “We are happy to see that the objectives call for maintaining existing reciprocal duty-free market access for agricultural goods. Mexican buyers import more of the wheat my neighbors and I grow than any other country, and we can’t afford to risk interrupting that positive relationship with our customers.”
Wheat in the News
Huffington Post (July 07, 2017) Global Dry Conditions Are Affecting Crop Population
For the international grains and oilseeds market, the weather is currently the only game in town and may have notable implication on the South African market. This goes for the Americas and Europe too, and not in a good way from a crop production perspective. There have been reports of persistent dryness in the US, Europe and Black Sea region. This comes as spring crops are approaching pollination stage, which requires moisture…In the US, persistent dryness is starting to show an effect on crops. At the time of writing (July 18), data from the USDA showed that 64 percent of maize crop was rated good or excellent, which is 12 percent below the corresponding period last year. Moreover, only 34 percent of spring wheat was rated good or excellent, compared to 69 percent in the same period last year. Some 61 percent of the soybean crop was rated good or excellent, 10 percent below last year. It is not much different in some parts of the European Union.
Nebraska.TC (July 20, 2017) After Record-Setting Production in 2016, NE Wheat Yield Expected to be Lower for 2017
Coming off of a record-setting year for winter wheat production, Nebraska growers are expected to see lower yields in 2017. In 2016, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says 70,740,000 bushels of wheat were harvested in the Cornhusker State. This season, the Ag Department estimates Nebraska growers will take in about 46 million bushels, just above the 2015 harvest of 45,980,000 bushels.
Oklahoma Farm Report (July 20, 2017) Plains Grains Executive Director Mark Hodges Reflects on the 2017 Wheat Harvest in Oklahoma
Mark Hodges, executive director of the non-profit wheat marketing organization, Plains Grains, stopped by the Radio Oklahoma Ag Network studios this week to visit with Farm Director Ron Hays, about the 2017 winter wheat crop, now that harvest in the Southern Plains has had time to be processed some in the minds of farmers and elevator managers.
Reuters (July 18, 2017) Dry Weather Threatens Top-Quality Wheat in World Awash With Grain
Hot, dry weather has seen high-protein wheat emerge as the one tight spot in a global grains market swamped with abundant stocks, after four years of bumper harvests. Droughts are shriveling high-quality wheat crops in key breadbaskets, sending prices to multi-year highs as bread makers scramble for supplies. Low prices against a backdrop of plentiful supply had discouraged U.S. farmers from planting wheat, and dry weather is now exacerbating the shortage from North America to Australia. Canada’s Alberta province, another top wheat producer, is also suffering from unusually dry weather.
Wheat Industry News
KIMAtv.com (July 20, 2017) Washington Assoc. of Wheat Growers Battles Funding Cuts of Two Agriculture Programs
Leaders with the Washington Association of Wheat Growers are fighting to protect crop insurance and agricultural trade that they said is vital to the state’s economy. Industry leaders said funding from the Market Access Program (MAP) and the Foreign Market Development (FMD) Program were used to develop new agriculture markets and support existing ones.
The New York Times (July 15, 2017) Drought in High Plains the Worst Some Farmers Have Ever Seen
Drought in North Dakota is laying waste to fields of normally bountiful food and hay crops and searing pastures that typically would be home to multitudes of grazing cattle. Some longtime farmers and ranchers say it’s the worst conditions they’ve seen in decades — possibly their lifetimes — and simple survival has become their goal as a dry summer drags on without a raincloud in sight…John Weinand has had less than 2.5 inches of rain on his farm near Beulah, which is northwest of Bismarck, since the beginning of May. He’s used to getting more than 3 inches in June alone.
Weinand figures his wheat crop will be half what it usually is. As for his field peas, he expects to harvest fewer than 100 pounds per acre, compared with a typical 3,000 pounds per acre. He won’t even try to sell his barley; he’s already rolled it up into hay to feed his cows.
The Spokesman-Review (July 16, 2017) The World of Wheat: Growing Grain in Washington
Wheat is one of Washington’s most valuable farm products, ranked among apples, milk, cattle and potatoes. Roughly 2.3 million acres in the state are put into wheat production each year. The industry employs thousands of Washingtonians and contributes hundreds of millions of dollars to the state’s economy. Yet farmers say it’s no easy way to make a living. Because up to 90 percent of the state’s wheat is exported, their profits are at the mercy of a competitive global market. And to ensure a good crop, they must constantly protect their plants from diseases and pests – and hope for good weather…. With the rising cost of equipment and maintenance, the average farmer in the state needs about $6 per bushel to break even, said Michelle Hennings, the executive director of the Washington Association of Wheat Growers. “We have no way of passing on that cost to the consumer as you would do with other commodities,” she said.
Source: National Association of Wheat Growers