Low Wheat Prices May Not be the Cure for Low Prices
Southwest Farm Press – 03/22/2019
An old cliché says, “The cure for low prices is low prices.” In today’s world wheat market, this may not be true. The belief that higher wheat production results in lower prices also may not always be true. Current wheat prices may be a result of too much wheat in storage and/or poor milling quality wheat, plus the fact that the Black Sea exporters (Russia, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan) have been dominating the wheat market. Using the 10-year average, demand for U.S. hard red winter (HRW) wheat is about 46 percent export and 54 percent domestic. Domestic use is made up of food (46%), seed (4%), and feed and residual (4%).
International Project Working to Beat Wheat Rust
The Weekly Times – 03/21/2019
The collaboration between CSIRO and the University of Minnesota known as 2Blades has recently demonstrated strong field resistance to stem rust disease in wheat plants containing a stack of five resistance genes. Since 2008, 2Blades has led an international wheat rust consortium with the aim of fighting wheat stem and stripe rusts by sourcing and combining resistance genes from wheat and its relatives. CSIRO research director Steve Swain said the institute had a big focus on crop diseases. “Our biggest focus is on wheat and rust … wheat is Australia’s largest field crop, and rust is one of the most serious threats to our wheat crop,” Dr Swain said. “We have a pretty well-established reputation regarding rust. We do a lot of work to help identify normal sources of germplasm thanks to a partnership with GRDC and the University of Sydney.” The project has been ongoing for a number of years, with a field trial recently undertaken over the past year at a site in Minnesota in the US. The CSIRO has developed a number of wheat lines that carry a cassette of five or more individual genes for stem rust resistance, with some lines then tested in the field for the first time in the past year.
Spring Wheat Breeder Brings Important Varieties to Producers
Farm & Ranch Guide – 03/24/2019
olden spring wheat heads sparkle like crystals in the mid-day sun at NDSU’s Hettinger Research Extension Center field days in 2018, with many varieties growing next to each other for comparisons – some tall, some short and bushy, and some ‘getting ready for prime time.’ These varieties at the HREC nursery are the result of NDSU’s Hard Spring Wheat program, led by the hard-working NDSU HSW breeder Andrew Green. He is also a NDSU Department of Plant Sciences assistant professor For the last three years, Green has been leading the spring wheat program, and he brings a wealth of knowledge honed from wheat breeders/mentors/teachers with high reputations in the wheat world.
Heavy N. Dakota Snows Threaten Wheat Planting in Latest U.S. Weather Woes
Reuters – 03/25/2019
A blanket of heavy, wet snow covering most of North Dakota, the top U.S. wheat state, threatens to delay planting of spring wheat in another blow to a U.S. farm belt already facing billions of dollars in damage from flooding. Farmers from Missouri to South Dakota have seen their corn and soybean fields flooded by swollen rivers as winter snow melts, a sign of what may be in store for North Dakota when temperatures warm. “How quickly the flooding and devastation came to Nebraska and Iowa was an eye-opener, especially for our producers who are close to rivers,” said Jim Peterson, marketing director for the North Dakota Wheat Commission.
Bullock Signs Bill to Boost Funding Potential for Marketing and Research in Wheat, Barley
The Fairfield Sun Times – 03/24/2019
A bill sponsored by Rep. Ross Fitzgerald, R-Fairfield, will double the maximum cap on how much those grain farmers can be charged for the checkoff. Gov. Steve Bullock signed it into law last Wednesday….Last year, the committee budgeted $1 million into market development.
Establishing new markets is especially necessary given economic uncertainty amid recent trade wars. China, traditionally a significant market for Montana spring wheat, didn’t purchase any last year due to tariffs slapped on the U.S. in retaliation to trade restrictions the Trump administration imposed on Chinese goods. U.S. wheat sales to Japan—the largest American wheat importer of the last five years—are also set to plummet. The Trump administration decided against joining the massive trade agreement succeeding the Trans-Pacific Partnership, unlike Australia, Canada and Japan. The first two countries can therefore sell wheat to the third without markups, providing little reason for Japan to purchase the more expensive U.S. product. So, Montana wheat needs somewhere else to go. The committee pays for memberships to groups like the U.S. Wheat Associates, which has nine foreign offices that serve as headquarters to establish new markets.
Source: U.S. Wheat Associates