Nigeria Seeks to Cut Wheat Imports By Boosting Local Output
Bloomberg – 9/3/2018
Wheat farmers in Nigeria are planting new varieties more suited to the tropics to boost local production and help cut imports costing more than $4 billion a year, a farmers group said. Two new strains of the grain identified as Reyna-28 and Norman Borlaug, developed by the Lake Chad Research Institute, a government-owned agricultural research agency, yields more than 3 metric tons per hectare (2.5 acres), compared with 1 ton per hectare harvested from the older types, according to Salim Mohammed, president of the Wheat Farmers Association of Nigeria. South Africa, a major wheat producer in sub-Saharan Africa, estimates average yield for the 2018 production season at 3.6 tons per hectare.
Russian Wheat Export Restrictions Expected
AgWeek – 9/2/2018
The last couple of weeks have seen some news out of Russia that have resulted in dramatic price swings. To catch up, a few Fridays ago rumors begin to circulate that the Russian Agriculture Ministry intended to curb wheat export demand by placing limits on shipments once exporters hit 30 million metric tons of exports. This hit the news not by an official announcement from the Russian government, but from a word-of-mouth exchange with one of the exporters allegedly present during a discussion about this potential policy. Prices climbed immediately on this news, as the total wheat supply situation is contracting this year due to poor crops in the European Union and Eastern Australia. If another top exporting country (Russia) is pulling itself out of the market, it puts more demand on the U.S. and Canada to fill global demand.
Argentine Farmers Seen Delaying Wheat Sales Under New Tax Regime
Reuters – 9/4/2018
Argentine farmers may delay wheat sales and plant less corn this year after the government announced a roughly 10 percent export tax on the grains on Monday as part of an austerity program designed to halt a run on the peso currency, growers and consultants said. The measures announced by President Mauricio Macri’s government include a tax of four pesos per dollar on wheat and corn shipments. That is currently equivalent to about 10 percent but it would decline if the peso keeps falling.
U.S. Ag Secretary Says Deadlines Helpful in Trade Negotiations
Radio Iowa – 9/4/2018
U.S. Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue says trade talks go better when negotiators face deadlines. Perdue was in Iowa last week, sounding hopeful a trade pact with Mexico and Canada might be imminent. “The Mexico announcement was great,” Perdue said. “If we can put Canada in the bag, that’ll be even better.” This past weekend, President Trump indicated he was prepared to leave Canada out of the deal — and Trump warned congress not to interfere if he decides to terminate the North American Free Trade Agreement. Perdue told reporters in Iowa it’s crucial to get the NAFTA re-negotiations wrapped up soon, so congress can vote on the new deal before a new congress takes office in January.
Congress, Farm Groups, Others, React to Trump Farmer Bailout Plan
High Plains Journal – 9/1/2018
Reaction was mixed to the announcement Aug. 27 of a $6.110 billion plan by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue to assist farmers affected by Trump administration moves on foreign trade and subsequent retaliation by those nations. Overall, the USDA plan is allowed to authorize up to $12 billion in programs, consistent with World Trade Organization obligations, according to a USDA release. Senate Agriculture Committee chairman Pat Roberts, R-KS, said in a statement, “I appreciate Secretary Perdue’s efforts to provide temporary relief to our hard-working farmers who are being affected by tariffs.
USDA Researcher Rouse Earns Borlaug Award
Nebraska Farmer – 9/4/2018
Dr. Matthew Rouse, a researcher with the USDA Agricultural Research Service, is the winner of the 2018 Norman Borlaug Award for Field Research and Application, Endowed by the Rockefeller Foundation. “Over the past six years, the World Food Prize Dr. Norman Borlaug Field Award for Field Research and Application has emerged as the premier recognition in the world for young agricultural scientists under the age of 40,” said Ambassador Kenneth Quinn, president of the World Food Prize. “The presentation of the award in this its seventh year to Dr. Matthew Rouse of the Agricultural Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture for his remarkable achievements in fighting the stem rust pathogen further reinforces the significant global importance of his accomplishments and the award itself.”
Source: U.S. Wheat Associates