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Wheat takes Washington, confirmation hearings and more in this KAWG E-Update

Wheat takes Washington, confirmation hearings and more in this KAWG E-Update


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


The Nation’s Wheat Growers Take on Capitol Hill to Talk Farm Bill

Visiting almost all House and Senate Agriculture Committee Members and their offices, the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) concluded its annual policy Fly-in today. From September 26-27, 2017, NAWG hosted around thirty growers from twelve top wheat producing states who spoke on the importance of the Farm Bill.


Kansas grower leaders visited, Rep. Roger Marshall, Rep. Ron Estes, Rep. Lynn Jenkins, Rep. Kevin Yoder, Senator Jerry Moran and Senator Pat Roberts.


“We are nearing the end of 2017 and with the Ag Committee working on drafting their versions of the Farm Bill, it was critical for NAWG’s grower leaders to meet and discuss our priorities with key agriculture members and their staff,” stated NAWG’s President and Sharon Springs, KS farmer David Schemm. “During these past two days, NAWG’s growers were able to visit with just about every Member of Congress that sits on both the House and Senate Agriculture Committees.”


In discussions, NAWG stressed that crop insurance is the most important risk management tool for growers and that it is vital to have a strong safety net program in the Farm Bill. Growers also urged members to maintain producer choice between revenue-based (Agriculture Risk Coverage) and price-based (Price Loss Coverage) programs and to make adjustments to enable them to function more effectively for wheat farmers. Other issues brought up during meetings included the need to double funding for MAP and FMD trade programs and to prioritize working lands conservation programs in the Conservation Title of the Farm Bill.


“It’s important that Members hear from growers firsthand on the how the Farm Bill is working for them,” stated Schemm. “This is the best way to get the legislation passed quickly and working for all farmers.”

Confirmation Hearing Set for Northey, Ibach

Via The Progressive Farmer

Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan., said Thursday that the committee will focus in the short term on the nominations for positions at the Agriculture Department that President Donald Trump has sent forward.


Roberts and Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., later announced a confirmation hearing Oct. 5 for Bill Northey to be undersecretary for production agriculture and conservation and on Greg Ibach to be undersecretary for marketing and regulatory services.


Roberts also told reporters he hopes to hold a committee vote off the Senate floor on Trump’s nominations of Steve Censky to be Agriculture deputy secretary and Ted McKinney to be undersecretary for trade and foreign agricultural affairs.


Roberts said the committee still needs more paper work to consider the nomination of Sam Clovis to be undersecretary for research education and economics.


Roberts made the comments to reporters at the conclusion of a hearing on rural development and energy programs. Roberts said it was the last of the hearings on farm bill titles but that the committee will hold a hearing on regulatory reform and possibly on other topics before writing the bill.


Senators Press on Rural Development

During Thursday’s hearing, Anne Hazlett, assistant to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue on rural development, came under pressure from several senators over whether she will push for money for programs that President Donald Trump proposed eliminating, and on whether the USDA will formally weigh in with the Federal Communications Commission on fixed vs. wireless broadband internet access. [Read more]


News from National Association of Wheat Growers

Wheat Organizations Applaud Trump Administration’s Aggressive Trade Enforcement at the WTO

On September 27, 2017, U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) and the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) issued a release welcoming the decision by the Trump Administration to make sure China is living up to its commitments on wheat trade. In response to action by the Administration, the World Trade Organization (WTO) Dispute Settlement Body has established a panel to rule on a complaint filed in December 2016 by the United States Trade Representative (USTR) regarding China’s administration of its tariff rate quotas (TRQs) for wheat and other agricultural products. USW and NAWG are very pleased with the Trump Administration’s aggressive use of the WTO dispute settlement mechanism on behalf of wheat farmers. Read the joint release here.

NAWG Submits Comments on EPA Withdrawal of WOTUS

On September 25, 2017, the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) submitted comments on the withdrawal of the Waters of the U.S Regulation, Docket Number: EPA-HQ-OW-2017-0203. In its comments, NAWG expressed support for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s action to withdraw and revise the regulation. NAWG also reiterated its concerns about the broad reach of WOTUS and areas of land that would come under jurisdiction outlined in the regulation. In a release, NAWG President and Sharon Springs, KS farmer David Schemm stated that “our growers are seeking clarity in understanding which waters come under the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act and the regulation finalized in 2015 does not provide that clarification…The 2015 regulation also oversteps the federal role and should allow for state actions and respect the roles of cooperative federalism.” Read the release here.



NAWG Past President Don Loeslie to Give Speech on Food and Peace

Minnesota wheat grower and NAWG Past President Don Loeslie be giving a speech on September 28th on how food can become an ultimate weapon for peace in the post-World War II era. The speech will be taking place at the Dole Institute in Lawrence, KS. It will be streamed live through this link:


Conaway, Peterson Announce Farm Bill Listening Session in NY
House Agriculture Committee Chairman K. Michael Conaway (TX-11) and Ranking Member Collin Peterson (MN-7) announced a committee listening session of the committee’s efforts to gather input for the upcoming farm bill. They stated the listening sessions have been opportunities to hear from producers and stakeholders and their experiences. [The Next Farm Bill, Conversations in the Field, Cobleskill, New York, October 9, 2017]


Trilateral Statement on the Conclusion of the Third Round of NAFTA Negotiations

In its recent release, the U.S. Trade Representative announced that Canada, Mexico, and the U.S. successfully concluded the third round of the renegotiation and modernization of North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The round took place in Ottawa, Canada from September 23 to 27, 2017.  Negotiators made significant progress in several areas through the consolidation of text proposals, narrowing gaps and agreeing to elements of the negotiating text. Negotiators are now working from consolidated texts in most areas, demonstrating a commitment from all parties to advance discussions in the near term. Read the release here.


National Wheat Yield Contest – October 01, 2017 Deadline
Harvest Data for the National Wheat Yield Contest must be submitted by October 01, 2017. For more information visit



Jerry Minore Memorial Scholarship Opportunity for Students in Agriculture
Jerry Minore was a longtime friend of the wheat industry and advocate for wheat farmers. To honor his work and life, his company, BASF, has partnered with the National Wheat Foundation to establish a scholarship for students with connections to the wheat industry who are planning careers in agriculture. The Minore Memorial Scholarship will fund four college scholarships for the 2018-2019 academic year: two $1,500 scholarships and two $1,000 scholarships. Deadline for applications is December 31, 2017. For more information on how to apply, visit the National Wheat Foundation site.



The wheat price improved this week which is a continuation of the recent price trend.  The buying was in small lots but it was steady.  Short covering would describe most of the activity in the wheat as funds unloaded some of their large amount of net short positions.


The friendly fundamental news came in small tidbits.  The weekly export sales number of 436,000 metric tons was at the high end of the range of the estimates.  The number of countries increased and included; Philippines, Dominic Republic, Japan, Taiwan and Bangladesh.


Friday was Grain Report Day for the USDA.  Summarizing the grain reports; 2017 All Wheat production number came in at 1.741billion bushels which compared to the pre-report estimate of 1.724 billion bushels.  Hard red winter wheat production came in at 750 million bushels which was 8 million below the estimate and the August number.


Spring wheat numbers were the focus for wheat traders.  Spring wheat production for 2017 is 416 million bushels.  The trade expected 384 million bushels.  Last month report showed a 402 million production number.  It was the spring wheat surprise that sent sellers into the wheat complex on Friday.  Minneapolis wheat futures led the wheat complex to the downside to end the week.


Despite Friday’s correction in the wheat price, I believe there is upside price potential going into the end of the year.  Wheat stocks in the United States are almost 200 million bushels below last year in Friday’s Quarterly Stocks Report.  With some problems surfacing in the Southern Hemisphere wheat production and our wheat stocks in the United States at a manageable level, the current wheat price seems undervalued.





Source: Kansas Association of Wheat Growers