Ukraine Exports Ahead of Last Year’s Pace
World-Grain – 04/10/2019
Ukraine exported 38.6 million tonnes of grain from July 1, 2018, through April 9, 2019, a 20% increase compared to the same period in the previous year, according to a Reutersreport. More than 20 million tonnes of corn have been exported thus far in 2018-19. However, wheat shipments during that period fell by 7.6%, to 13.3 million tonnes, including 8.6 million tonnes of food grade wheat, according to Reuters. Ukraine exported 3.2 million tonnes of barley, down 20% from same period in 2017-18.
Trade will Help Grain Producers, Congressman Says
High Plains Journal– 04/08/2019
A Kansas Republican who serves on the House Agriculture Committee believes that getting a trade agreement with Canada and Mexico and resolving a dispute with China will help farmers and ranchers. Rep. Roger Marshall said President Donald Trump understands the stress farmers and ranchers are facing and quickly notes their continued support. Trump said that addressing trade inequalities with the long term in mind should serve all sectors of the United States economy. The president believes the United States-Mexico-Canada trade agreement, which still needs congressional approval, is a better overall pact for the U.S. than the North American Free Trade Agreement. “I told him failure is not an option,” Marshall said. He has been supportive of the new agreement and hopes it will receive bipartisan support. The president, he said, has listened to farmers and ranchers as the USMCA trade pact retains much of the provisions that made agricultural trade favorable with Mexico and Canada while addressing manufacturing and intellectual property manners that did need updating, Marshall said.
EU Clears Way for Start of Formal Trade Talks with U.S.
Reuters – 04/11/2019
The European Commission, which coordinates trade policy for the 28 member European Union, has sought clearance for two negotiating mandates — one to cut tariffs on industrial goods, the other to make it easier for companies to show products meet EU or U.S. standards. The Commission presented its mandates in January and found support from most EU members. France resisted, however, insisting that agriculture should not feature in the talks but that climate change provisions should — a difficult demand given U.S. President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement. The European Union and the United States reached a detente last July when Trump agreed to hold off from imposing punitive tariffs on EU cars as the two sides sought to improve economic ties.
International Team Decodes the Durum Wheat Genome
phys.org – 04/08/2019
An international consortium has sequenced the entire genome of durum wheat—the source of semolina for pasta, a food staple for the world’s population, according to an article published today in Nature Genetics. The team has also discovered how to significantly reduce cadmium levels in durum grain, ensuring the safety and nutritional value of the grain through selective breeding. “This ground-breaking work will lead to new standards for durum breeding and safety of durum-derived products, paving the way for production of durum wheat varieties better adapted to climate challenges, with higher yields, enhanced nutritional quality, and improved sustainability,” said Luigi Cattivelli of Italy’s Council for Agricultural Research and Economics (CREA).
Census of Agriculture Shows Continued Decline in Number of US Farms
CNBC – 04/11/2019
The 2017 Census of Agriculture released Thursday shows the amount of total land devoted to agricultural use continues to decline in the U.S. and the number of farms is declining. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, there were 2.04 million farms and ranches in the U.S. in 2017, down more than 3% from 2012. It said the land devoted to agriculture declined by about 2% to 900.2 million acres from 914.5 million acres in 2012. “We had really high levels of acreage in the 1980s, and then we ended up putting away 25 million to 30 million acres into the Conservation Reserve Program,” said Joseph Glauber, a senior research fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute and a former chief economist at the USDA. The census shows the average size of farms in 2017 was 441 acres, slightly above 434 acres in the 2012 census. The report indicated 96% of farms and ranches in the nation are family-owned.
Source: U.S. Wheat Associates