USTR Makes USMCA Pitch to House Democrats
Agri-Pulse – 03/13/2019
The Trump administration, seeking to gain support for the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement from apprehensive House Democrats, sent its chief trade adviser to Capitol Hill Wednesday morning to try to sell the pact and address lawmakers’ concerns. “This was just the opening opportunity to try to persuade (Democrats),” House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal, D-Mass., told Agri-Pulse after the meeting with Lighthizer. “There was some vigorous discussion in the room.” Lighthizer declined to comment to reporters, but in the closed-door meeting he did tell lawmakers that “he was open to suggestions,” Neal said.
Hoeven Meets with Trump on USMCA, China Negotiations
North Dakota Ag Connection – 03/14/2019
Senator John Hoeven, chairman of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee and a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, Wednesday met with the President at the White House to help advance consideration of the U.S-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) and to encourage the Administration to finalize trade negotiations with China… Hoeven worked to ensure that the USMCA eliminates Canada’s automatic downgrade of imported U.S. wheat to feed grade to help make certain that grading standards and services are non-discriminatory.
Drought Stricken Wheat Belts Offered a Thorny Solution from Argentina
Bloomberg – 03/12/2019
Argentina thinks it has a solution to droughts that’ve plagued blockbuster wheat producers from the Black Sea to Australia. The problem? Acceptance won’t come easy. Agtech startup Bioceres has developed a genetically-modified wheat plant that can withstand drought and offer farmers higher yields. But while GMO soybeans and corn, mainly used for animal feed, are widely planted and traded, the agriculture industry has been loathe to take the plunge with wheat, which is directly consumed by humans. Argentina’s government and agriculture industry want to foster the nation’s potential as a global leader in seed and farm technology. But growing GMO wheat could cause global buyers to shun Argentine supplies.
Farmer Owned and Globally Connected- How CHS Southwest Grain Moves 40 Million Bushels a Year
Agweek – 03/12/2019
From the light brownish gray loam soil of a Taylor, N.D., wheat field to the fresh loaves of bread on a bakery shelf in China’s Jiangsu Province, American wheat travels far and wide.
Farmers obviously aren’t trading their products directly with local Chinese bakers, which raises the legitimate question—how does North Dakota wheat end up abroad? “We buy the grain from local farmers,” Delane Thom, general manager of CHS Southwest Grain, said. “From there we condition it, load it and ship it out. We provide services to markets that wouldn’t typically be possible for local farmers on their own.” Thom outlined how one specific transport of North Dakota wheat ended up in Nantong, China. In the example he provided, a farmer delivered his spring wheat to his local co-op facility in Taylor, where it was purchased by CHS Southwest Grain. Once Southwest Grain had enough to fill a “shuttle quantity,” or 410,000 bushels, the wheat is then transported by rail to TEMCO, a CHS joint-venture export terminal in Kalama, Wash.
Cigi Recieves C$62 Million in Funding
World-Grain – 03/14/2019
he Agriculture and Agri-Food (AAFC) is investing up to C$6.2 million to help the Canadian International Grains Institute (Cigi) expand the market for Canadian wheat through technical support, market research, employee exchanges and customized training for customers and commercial partners in over 50 countries. According to AAFC, the grain sector is a key driver of Canada’s economic growth, exporting 20.5 million tonnes of wheat in 2017 and C$21 billion in exports sales.
Source: U.S. Wheat Associates