Start of 2018 Presents Challenges for Wheat Market
Midwest Messenger – 2/20/2018
After seeing some strength in the middle of January the wheat market has had a tough go of things during the past few weeks as a fair amount of selling put some pressure on the futures market. The local basis levels held steady but, nonetheless, the market did see most prices drop about 20 cents from the middle of the month and maybe down 30 cents from their highs in early January, according to Jim Peterson, marketing director for the North Dakota Wheat Commission. “As we flipped into the first week of February we’ve seen a little recovery,” Peterson said. “Fortunately for the Minneapolis market that $6 support level, at least for the time being, seems to have held which I think was pretty critical to preventing an even sharper sell-off.”
Russia, U.S. Wheat Acreage Gap Seen Widening
Successful Farming – 2/20/2018
The answer to the question, “How did it happen that Russia and Ukraine increased their wheat production during the last 10 to 15 years?” is this: They have their huge territories. Russia is the biggest country in the world in the sense of its area and Ukraine is the biggest country in Europe. What other crops but grain can be grown in rural areas of tens of millions acres? Grain is simple to grow, store, and transport compared with other crops such as fruits and vegetables. Russia and Ukraine are located very close to the important wheat markets in the Middle East and North Africa. They have also expanded their wheat exports to east and southeast Asia.
Winter Wheat Drying Up in Top States
Agrinews – 2/19/2018
he U.S. Department of Agriculture’s first look at winter wheat production for this growing season is three months away, but the agency’s Feb. 8 report noted deteriorating conditions in top-producing states. During the last week of January, the majority of the winter wheat acreage in reporting states was estimated to be in fair to good condition. However, USDA noted that drought conditions in Kansas persisted, leading to 55 percent of the state’s winter wheat acreage to be rated in fair to good condition and decrease of 30 percentage points from December.
MSU Spring Wheat Breeding Program Responds to a Warmer Montana
Montana State University – 2/20/2018
Montana State University’s spring wheat breeding program is working to meet a warmer future. Luther Talbert, spring wheat breeder in MSU’s Department of Plant Sciences and Plant Pathology in the College of Agriculture, shared research highlights at a January lecture about Montana’s cornerstone cereal crop faring in a variable and warming climate. The lecture, hosted by the Montana Institute on Ecosystems, a statewide institute on ecosystem sciences housed at MSU, focused on traditional wheat breeding techniques that can help Montana grain growers remain profitable despite increasing temperatures and the challenges that come with a longer growing season.
Foreign Agricultural Service: Contributing to U.S. Export Success in 2017
Global Trade – 2/21/2018
International trade was once again an engine for economic growth in rural America in 2017, with US farm and food exports reaching $140.5 billion for the fiscal year, the third-highest total on record. “As we wrap up another banner year for US agricultural exports, I’m proud of the role that Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) has played,” said FAS Acting Administrator Holly Higgins, “especially since those exports generate 20 percent of US farm income, stimulate rural economic activity and support more than a million American jobs.
Grains Council Touts Market Development Study Showing 20:1 Return
Agri-Pulse – 2/21/2018
A new study will arm supporters looking to increase funding for the Foreign Market Development (FMD) and Market Access Programs (MAP) through the next farm bill. According to a study from Cornell professor Harry Kaiser, each taxpayer dollar spent on MAP and FMD yielded about $19.76 in federal and state tax revenues, giving the programs roughly a 20:1 return on investment ratio. Kaiser also estimated that slashing funding to the Foreign Agricultural Service could result in a $1.7 billion loss in farm receipts and an increase in $76.6 million more in annual government farm payments.
Source: U.S. Wheat Associates