US Ag Economic Outlook Seen as Positive but with Slow Growth
High Plains Journal – 03/04/2019
Fiscal year 2019 agricultural exports are projected at $141.5 billion, as grain and feed exports are forecast down $100 million to $33.7 billion. Oilseeds and products exports are projected at $27.8 billion, down $100 million from November expectations, driven by lower soybean volumes.The U.S. Department of Agriculture expects U.S. farmers to plant only 85 million acres of soybean acres in 2019, down 4.7 percent, thanks to falling commodity prices and ballooning stocks amid a trade war with China. Corn acres are projected to take over most of those lost bean acres and rise 3.3 percent to 92 million acres this spring.
Indonesia, Australia Sign Partnership in Bid to Boost Trade, Services
Reuters – 03/03/2019
Indonesia and Australia on Monday signed an economic partnership agreement aimed at stepping up trade and investment between them in areas ranging from cattle to education and cars to wheat…Indonesia is already the largest buyer of Australian wheat, purchasing A$950 million in 2017-2018, while beef exports were around A$800 million last year and sugar exports $181 million. Andrew Weidemann, a grain farmer in the Australian state of Victoria, said the agreement was a rare bight spot for an industry crushed by prolonged drought on the east coast.
Negotiators Struggle Over Details of China Deal
Agri-Pulse – 03/03/2019
With President Donald Trump having dropped the threat of expanded tariffs for now, U.S. and Chinese negotiators continue work on details of an agreement that he and Chinese President Xi Jinping could potentially seal later this month in Florida. “I’m feeling more optimistic,” Ted McKinney, USDA’s undersecretary for trade, said this weekend in an interview with Agri-Pulse in Orlando, Fla., on the sidelines of Commodity Classic, the annual meeting of grain and soybean producers, along with the Association of Equipment Manufacturers. The negotiations were carried out by long distance last week as officials in the two governments worked to iron out details of issues to which the main negotiators had broadly agreed to, said McKinney said.
Purdue Economists Say Agriculture Still Benefits if US Re-enters TPP
The Progressive Farmer – 03/04/2019
Backing out of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), an ongoing trade battle with China and resulting retaliatory tariffs against the United States are all trade policies that are costing U.S. farmers dearly, according to an updated Purdue University analysis released on Monday. An initial analysis was completed by Purdue economists Maksym Chepeliev, Wallace E. Tyner and Dominique van der Mensbrugghe in October 2018. The updated study said a U.S. re-entry into TPP would turn a current agriculture trade loss into a gain. In addition, the study says that backing out of NAFTA and failure to implement the USMCA, would lead to an additional $12 billion in annual losses in agriculture export revenues.
Addressing Microbial Challenges in Wheat
Baking Business – 03/04/2019
Researchers at the University of Nebraska are looking for ways to reduce the presence of contaminants and pathogens in wheat to better protect consumers. Andreia Bianchini, Ph.D., associate professor at the department of food science and technology at the University of Nebraska, briefed attendees of the American Society of Baking’s BakingTech on Feb. 25 in Chicago. Dr. Bianchini presented research specifically focused on the harvest and milling of wheat and how bakers can ensure contaminants like cloriforms and molds are reduced or eliminated entirely prior to the mixing process. By tracking wheat or grain’s journey from the field, to the mill and bakery, and eventually, the consumer, baking companies can avoid devastating recalls.
Source: U.S. Wheat Associates