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Latest from K-State Agronomy and more in KAWG E-News

Latest from K-State Agronomy and more in KAWG E-News

October 20, 2017


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

Replanting decisions for winter wheat

Via K-State Agronomy E-Update

Many Kansas wheat fields planted prior to late-September 2017 have poor stands. The poor emergence tends to be spotty, often with lower areas in the field exhibiting the worst stand establishment. These low-lying areas are typically not as well-drained as other areas in the field, which contributes to the poor emergence. The main reason for reduced emergence in the 2017-18 cropping season is the excessive rainfall during the first half of October, which may have led to poor soil aeration and seedling death. Also, some fields have been crusted by heavy rains after planting, which can prevent the coleoptile from breaking through the soil surface. If the coleoptile stays below the soil surface for more than a week or so, it will start losing viability. At that point, the producer will need to consider replanting. (Read more.)

News from National Association of Wheat Growers

Domestic and Trade Policy Committee
NAWG’s Domestic and Trade Policy Committee discussed a number of topics in preparation for development of the 2018 Farm Bill. The Committee discussed the economic conditions in wheat country and how this is driving discussions around the Fam Bill. NAWG staff also provided the Committee with an overview of the bill’s status on the Hill and NAWG’s priorities around the legislation. The group focused its conversation and debate on Crop Insurance, Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs, base acres, and MAP/FMD.


NAWG’s Molly O’Connor provided the group with an update on NAFTA, KORUS, and the WTO case against China.


Lastly, Robert Blair, former NAWG Director, provided a presentation on behalf of the AGree Initiative. The AGree Initiative is housed at the Meridian Institute, a facilitation and mediation organization specializing in Food and Agriculture issues. Robert provided a brief overview for the Committee on AGree’s activities and issues they are exploring.


Environment and Renewable Resources Committee
Environment and Renewable Resources Committee met on Wednesday this week to discuss conservation and the next Farm Bill, regulatory reform, and other policy issues. Committee members also heard from guest speakers Kim Magin, Monsanto, Jim McCarthy, North American Millers Association, and Rob MacKie, American Bakers Association. The committee also discussed the current status of the USDA Reorganization process. Lastly, National Wheat Foundation Chair Phil McClain provided an update to the Committee on the Foundation’s recent activities.


Research and Technology Committee 
The Research and Technology Committee met this week at NAWG’s Fall Wheat Conference and Board meeting. On Wednesday, the Committee listened to a presentation by Jose Costa, National Program Leader Grain Crops at the USDA, on budgetary issues affecting wheat research.


NAWG’s Josh Tonsager provided the group with an update on the Farm Bill Research Title. The group also discussed the language around “quality” for the Farm Bill Research Title.


Lastly, the Committee had a briefing on the Glyphosate residue issue and California’s Proposition 65.


Joint International Trade Policy Committee
NAWG along with the US Wheat Associates (USW) held a Joint Committee meeting on Wednesday October 18th at the 2017 Fall Wheat Conference. Ben Conner from USW provided the group with an update on the Administration’s work to renegotiate NAFTA and its consideration to withdraw or renegotiate KORUS. The group also discussed ways to push the Administration towards new creating new Free Trade Agreements. Julia Doherty, Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative, talked over the current trade concerns around MRLs. NAWG’s Molly O’Connor provided the group with an update on the Administration’s work to expand its trade program with Cuba. She also discussed NAWG’s current engagement with Congress and the Administration on several trade issues including NAFTA, KORUS, MAP, and FMD.


Wheat Breeding Innovation Committee
The Joint Biotech Committee was called to order Wednesday afternoon where they heard a few company updates from Syngenta. NAWG’s Molly O’Connor discussed with the Committee how USDA plans on issuing its proposed federal GMO labeling rule in the fall of 2017 (which will be subject to public comment). O’Connor also provided an update to APHIS 340.

Wheat Growers Organizations Dispute Corker’s Food Aid Position
NAWG and U.S. Wheat Associates issued a release today in response to remarks made at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) by Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) stating that he has talked to farmers and that farmers “do not care” about U.S. in-kind food aid. Read the joint release here.


Senate Agriculture Committee Sends USDA Nominees Ibach, Northey to Full Senate
U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan., and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., today announced the Committee voted to favorably report nominees Gregory Ibach, of Nebraska, to be Under Secretary of Agriculture for Marketing and Regulatory Programs; and William Northey, of Iowa, to be Under Secretary of Agriculture for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services within the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Both Ibach and Northey may now be considered by the full U.S. Senate for confirmation.


Celebrating the World Food Prize this Week
The 2017 World Food Prize events kicked off on this week in Des Moines, Iowa. The Borlaug Dialogues took place on Wednesday, October 18, 2017 and began with opening remarks from Ambassador Kenneth M. Quinn, President of the World Food Prize Foundation. Also on Wednesday, Akinwumi Adesina, president of the African Development Bank, received the 2017 World Food Prize award and delivered his keynote address. For more, visit the World Food Prize site here and follow @worldfoodprize on Twitter using #FoodPrize2017.


USDA’s NASS Gets Experts’ Advice for Improved Surveys 
AgriPulse recently reported that USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) needs an array of updated and alternative tools and new statistical models to achieve 21st century bean counting on American farms and ranches, says the National Academy of Sciences in a report. The report, “Improving Crop Estimates by Integrating Multiple Data Sources,” sets up hurdles for NASS to clear to improve its surveys and analysis by 2025. It portends a whole lot of work and costs at NASS and other USDA agencies to implement its findings, as well as inevitable adjustments in county crop statistics used to set insured yields for crop insurance, for example, and other USDA crop and livestock assistance levels…it also recommends that NASS adopt “high-quality, model-based estimates that synthesize multiple data sources,” bringing the quality of its survey findings to up to standards the U.S. Office of Management and Budget wants to see in federal agency reports.


This week, the sellers had control of the wheat market.  Late Friday, they flexed their muscles and established a new low for the move.  Last week’s reaction low was exceeded.  Fridays closing price is only 2 ¾ of a cent away from the contract low made on august 29, 2017.


Open interest climbed this week in the wheat futures.  With the decrease in the price, this indicates that funds added to their net short position.  It is a bad combination when both the technical traders and the fundamental traders are on the same side.


All the fundamental traders can think about is the record supply of world wheat held in inventory.  This is the third year in a row that world wheat stocks have inflated.  There is a larger than normal amount of feed wheat in the mix around the world. Despite a lower than normal amount of high quality wheat, the wheat market trades bushels. Wheat feeding needs to increase to help deplete the large pile of wheat.


This was an active week for world wheat export business.  Algeria, Egypt, Ethiopia, and Jordan either issued a wheat tender or secured wheat this week.  Most of this wheat business sourced out of Russia, France or Argentina.  The weekly wheat sales report for the United States listed 615,000 metric tons.  This exceeded the range of estimates.  China was on the list for 120,000 metric tons.  China’s wheat business this year is above recent years but they still are not a major player in our wheat trade.


To rally the wheat price, two factors need to happen.  First, the wheat export trade needs to stay strong on a weekly basis.  We need week after week of strong sales.  Second, the technical traders need to be chased out of their short positions.  This group makes their trading decision off of the charts.  We need to keep an eye on the charts for a hint of a rally.


Yes, the fundamental news is bearish but this news is old news.  This information should be built into the current wheat price.




Source: Kansas Association of Wheat Growers