The Trouble with Tariffs
Lewiston Tribune – 8/19/2018
This season’s harvest appears to be “phenomenal,” with high yields and excellent quality. The question is: Who will buy it? Farmers in Idaho and Washington face steep unknowns when they go to sell their wheat because of tariffs imposed by the Trump administration on certain buyers of American products, primarily China. In early July President Donald Trump levied trade tariffs on imports of commodities, including steel and aluminum. The nations singled out by the tariffs, including China, Canada, Mexico and the European Union, struck back by targeting food producers across the U.S. with stiff retaliatory tariffs on exports of corn, soybeans, wheat, cotton, sorghum, pork, poultry, fish and a number of nuts, fruits, vegetables and other agricultural products. The tariff adds 25 percent to the cost of soft white wheat sold to China. The crop represents one of the region’s most commonly grown grains.
EU Wheat Harvests Shrink, But Quality Remains Good – Analysts
Reuters – 8/17/2018
Wheat harvests in major European Union countries are winding down with drought having shrunk crop sizes but quality generally good, analysts said on Friday. “The market consensus emerging is that German new-crop wheat is generally decent quality with good protein content,” one German analyst said, referring to production in the European Union’s second-largest producer.
Australia Pledges $1.3 Billion to Help Drought-Striken Farmers
Bloomberg – 8/18/2018
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has pledged extra funding for Australia’s rural communities ravaged by the worst drought in 50 years, boosting the government’s support package to A$1.8 billion ($1.3 billion). “We’re determined to ensure that we get behind our farmers and help them,” Turnbull said in a Facebook post. “This is the worst drought in this part of the country, in New South Wales in particular, since the 1960s.”
Wheat Market Regains Footing
Successful Farming – 8/17/2018
After last week’s shelling following a surprisingly bearish supply/demand report, wheat markets regained last week’s losses as the bullish fundamentals resurfaced. While USDA opted to not reduce Black Sea exports, or even Australian production or exports, this week’s news wires reminded us that world wheat supplies are in fast retreat and export activity is migrating to the US.
Whole Wheat: Complete Genome Expected to Spark Research
KUNC – 8/17/2018
After 13 years of work, a consortium of 200 scientists from 20 countries has released the first complete genome sequence for wheat. The discovery sets the stage for advances in a staple crop at a time when rising temperatures are beginning to threaten global production. The wheat genome has lagged behind its peers in commodity agriculture. Corn was sequenced in 2009, soybeans in 2008 and rice in 2002. But wheat is more complex: It contains five-times the DNA of the human genome. “We were told most of my career that wheat would never be sequenced, and now it’s done,” University of Nebraska-Lincoln wheat breeder Stephen Baenziger said Friday. He compared working without the genome sequence to driving down a freeway with no road signs.
Grain Harvest Wrapping Up
KPVI – 8/20/2018
Grain harvest is finishing up across much of the Magic Valley and growers are largely happy with how the season turned out. Cool, wet weather early in the season helped small grain crops tiller well early in the season. Even though July has been hot and dry, most of the kernels had filled before the heat set in. Larry Meyer, of Filer, wrapped up his malt barley harvest the week of August 10th. He was a little later harvesting than some of his neighbors, which meant he didn’t have to wait to unload grain at the elevator. Like most barley growers, he was happy with the quality of the grain.
Source: U.S. Wheat Associates