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Wheat Letter – April 19, 2018

Wheat Letter – April 19, 2018

Competing for Acres: 
2018/19 Global Wheat Production to Fall

By Stephanie Bryant-Erdmann USW Market Analyst

At first glance, the USDA April 10 World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) held very few surprises for wheat. Most reviewers would consider this a bearish report with another increase in predicted U.S. and global wheat ending stocks. However, a somewhat unnoticed factor was increased global wheat feed use, now forecast at 146 million metric tons (MMT), 7 percent above the 5-year average. This was due largely to shrinking supplies of traditional feed grains. With an average 19 percent of global wheat production being used as feed each year, the current feed grain supply and demand situation has implications for wheat. Read the full article here.

Northern Crops Institute Continues Tradition of Adding Value to U.S. Spring Wheat and Durum

By Amanda J. Spoo, USW Assistant Director of Communications

Global demand for wheat food grows stronger every year, making exports vitally important to U.S. wheat farmers. As the export market development organization for the U.S. wheat industry, U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) works to help wheat buyers, millers, bakers, wheat food processors and government officials understand the quality, value and reliability of all six U.S. wheat classes. USW relies on its successful working relationships with world-class educational partners that, through courses, workshops and seminars, enhance the technical and trade service assistance to help separate U.S. wheat from its competitors. One of those partners is the Northern Crops Institute (NCI), in Fargo, N.D. Read the full article here.


All photos courtesy of the Northern Crops Institute

Importance of International Trade and Agriculture to North Dakota

By Neal Fisher, Administrator, North Dakota Wheat Commission; Reprinted from “Dakota Gold”

International trade and those affected by it have become a prominent main street topic in recent weeks as the United States and U.S. trading partners wrestle with an increasingly contentious global trade atmosphere. There have been some positive outcomes in recent negotiations, with revisions and updates to KORUS, the U.S.-Korean trade agreement, cited by U.S. trade officials as an example. South Korea is a very important export market for U.S. wheat (fifth largest), beef (largest) and other agricultural products. Read the full article here.

Hoping for New Opportunities as Castro Steps Down

By Ben Conner, USW Vice President of Policy

Cuban President Raúl Castro stepped down this week, closing a six-decade chapter in Cuban history with a Castro leading the communist island nation. During Raúl Castro’s tenure, Cuba’s government has very slowly transitioned to authorize some private sector activity and taken modest steps towards improving relations with the United States. Read the full article here.

(Left) Kansas wheat farmer Doug Keesling and

(right) USW Vice President of Policy Ben Conner

in Cuba in 2015.

Raúl Castro. Photo source.


Wheat Organizations Applauded Decision to Negotiate for TPP Membership

U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) and the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG), were very happy last week that President Trump directed U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer and National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow to open a process to consider having the United States join the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Read the full article here.

Making the Case for Supporting Agricultural Export Market Development Funding

The U.S. Congress is at the beginning of a long process to gain enactment of a new Farm Bill due by the end of the current fiscal year on Sept. 30, 2018. As a member of the Agribusiness Coalition for Foreign Market Development and the Coalition to Promote U.S. Agricultural Exports, U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) provides information to the coalitions and to the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) needed to present priorities to U.S. legislators. Read the full article here.

“It’s important to recognize the costs and risks of failing to explore the use of new tools such as CRISPR for global health and development. The benefits of emerging technologies should not be reserved only for people in developed countries. Nor should decisions about whether to take advantage of them. Used responsibly, gene editing holds the potential to save millions of lives and empower millions of people to lift themselves out of poverty. It would be a tragedy to pass up the opportunity.”  Bill Gates, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, in an article in “Foreign Affairs.” 

Agriculture and Trade Series. “Agri-Pulse” has posted the first of a six-part series of in-depth stories, called “Export or Bust?” dealing with the challenges and opportunities for U.S. agriculture to selling more commodities and value-added products to overseas customers. Part one looks at the importance of international markets for a wide variety of farmers, ranchers and value-added producers.

From Field to Flour. In January, Washington Association of Wheat Growers Executive Director Michelle Hennings accompanied the Washington Grain Commission and an USW delegation to the Philippines and Japan to see firsthand how U.S. wheat customers view the U.S. wheat industry and bring that information back to share with U.S. wheat growers and policymakers. Read her editorial about her experience here.

U.S. HRW Wheat Crop in the News. A struggling wheat crop in the Plains is adding to the anxiety of weak prices for Kansas wheat farmers. “We’ve had a number of conditions on our wheat crop this year that have been difficult for it to get through,” said Justin Knopf, a farmer in Saline County, Kansas. “It is a resilient crop, but there are a lot of things outside of our control that are adding to the stress of raising a profitable crop this year.” Watch this video report from “U.S. Farm Report” online.


Source: U.S. Wheat Associates