Much Work Ahead if U.S. Grain Exporters Hope to Meet Government Target
Reuters – 03/06/2019
As they continue to navigate the ongoing trade war with key partner China, U.S. grain shippers will need to post big numbers in the months ahead to meet government export forecasts for the current marketing year…The 2018-19 wheat marketing year ends on May 31, and wheat shipments in the final three months must average around 3.3 million tonnes per month to reach the 1 billion-bushel target set by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. That would be the strongest pace for the period since 2011.
Egypt Aims to Procure 3.6 Mln Tonnes of Wheat this Harvest Season
Reuters – 03/06/2019
Egypt, the world’s largest wheat buyer, aims to procure 3.6 million tonnes of wheat from local farmers in the coming season that starts in April, the supply minister said on Wednesday. The state will pay farmers between 655-685 Egyptian pounds($38-$39) per ardeb (150 kilograms) of wheat depending on quality, Ali Moselhy said. “This is a fair and special price … We are targeting [a procurement of] 3.6 million tonnes and the funds from the finance ministry have been secured,” Moselhy said, in footage broadcast by state TV. The head of the farmers’ union, however, told Reuters that farmers had requested the government pay 800 Egyptian pounds per ardeb and that the current price would drive farmers away from growing wheat. “I expect the crop to fall this year due to the spread of yellow rust and climate change, which will increase the losses incurred by farmers,” Hussein Abu Saddam said.
New Wheat Variety is Defense Against Celiac Disease, Clemson
Agfax – 03/07/2019
A Clemson University researcher is using state-of-the-art facilities at the Pee Dee Research and Education Center (REC) to help develop a new wheat variety that’s safe for people who suffer from celiac disease to eat. Sachin Rustgi, an assistant professor for molecular breeding, altered the wheat genome to create the new variety, which has a built-in defense against celiac disease. Rustgi uses laboratories provided by Clemson’s Advanced Plant Technology Program (APT) to conduct his research…The new wheat variety contains two enzymes: one from barley that attacks gluten, the protein that gives breads, pasta and cereal a chewy, crunchy texture; and another from the bacterium Flavobacterium meningosepticum.
Federal Changes Mean More Consistency in Falling Number Tests
Capital Press – 03/05/2019
Two federally mandated changes in falling number tests will mean more consistency when technicians check wheat samples for starch damage, Washington state’s grain inspection manager says. Beginning May 1, the Federal Grain Inspection Service will correct for the barometric pressure at all laboratory sites when running the industry standard falling numbers test. Labs at an elevation higher than 2,000 feet above sea level have already been adjusting for the elevation and corresponding barometric pressure. The barometric pressure impacts the boiling point of water and the falling number test score. In the falling number test, a slurry of wheat and water is heated in a bath of boiling water. In general, the higher the elevation, the higher the falling number, according to the FGIS. Now all falling number scores will be corrected to the barometric pressure at sea level using a formula developed by the Agricultural Research Service, according to the FGIS.
U.S. Flour Production to New High
World-Grain – 03/06/2019
Wheat flour production by U.S. flour mills in 2018 totaled a record 426.871 million cwts, up 472,000 cwts, or 0.1%, from the previous high of 426.399 million in 2017, according to data issued March 1 by the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Cheer from the new peak was diminished by a weak fourth quarter and perilously low mill operating rates…While reaching new records, flour production growth in recent years has been anything but robust. The 2018 figure was up only 0.5% from indicated production in 2014 (pre-NASS data) of 424.95 million cwts, suggesting that a generally flat trend in U.S. flour production remains in place. Indeed, it has now been six years since the annual flour production change was greater than 1%.
Source: U.S. Wheat Associates