Australia Begins Wheat Planting Season on Anzac Day Under Cloud of 3rd Year of Drought
Reuters – 04/25/2019
Australian farmers kicked off this year’s wheat planting season on Anzac Day in bone-dry soil conditions as a third consecutive year of drought across the country’s key growing regions casts a pall over production prospects. In a further blow to Australian farms wilting under the drought, planting season comes even as crop-friendly growing conditions in the northern hemisphere are expected to boost world supplies, keeping a lid on international prices. “Last season was terrible,” said Neil Westcott, a grain farmer in Parkes, nearly 360 kilometres west of Sydney. “If we do not get rains soon…a bad crop will cost me my farm that has been in my family for six generations. I will sow but we are in desperate need of rain.”
Canadian Farmers Intending to Plant More Wheat, Less Canola
The Western Producer – 04/24/2019
Canadian farmers anticipate planting more acres of wheat, corn, dry peas and oats compared to 2018 levels, while seeding intentions for canola, soybeans and lentils have declined, according to a Statistics Canada survey released on Wednesday. The survey, conducted between March 1 to 31, found that the intentions may be influenced by ongoing issues such as lower prices for some crops as a result of global supply, tariffs and decreased foreign demand due to trade issues. Canola in particular, with limited access to the Chinese market, may have some farmers considering seeding fewer acres.
Using Varieties and Genetics to Combat Wheat Production Challenges
Wheat production challenges are found across the globe, and plant breeders are creating solutions to those problems with varieties and genetics. Three wheat experts discuss several hurdles to international wheat production and the solutions that plant breeders have developed to combat these challenges. Five themes emerged: weather, economics, development of hybrid wheat, education and promotion and nutrition and industrial quality…Last year, scientists completed the sequencing of the entire wheat genome. “The wheat genome is huge,” Braun says. “It’s the product of three genomes of three grasses. The wheat genome is five times as big as maize, four times as big as a human’s, and 10 to 20 times bigger than the rice genome.” Because there are three genomes present in wheat, hybridization is difficult. Wheat is a self-pollinated crop, so specific methods are required to generate hybrids. While France and India have some hybrid wheat developed through a chemistry process, it’s only a small part of their market. In developing countries, the complexity of yield stability, which measures the consistency of a crop yield from year to year, is a concern.
Planting Remains at a Standstill in Upper Midwest
AgWeek – 04/23/2019
Planting remained nearly at a standstill across the region last week, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s weekly Crop Progress report. While off the pace of the five-year average, progress is similar to last year’s slow start.The report, released Tuesday, April 23, reflects conditions from April 15-21.For the week ending April 21, North Dakota had only 1.6 days that were suitable for fieldwork, coming after the week prior where only 0.7 days were suitable for fieldwork. South Dakota and Minnesota were worse off, with only 0.8 and 0.5 days, respectively, last week and .1 day for both states the week prior. Montana’s weather was slightly more suitable, with 4.8 days last week and 3.6 days the week before. In North Dakota, producers had made no progress on any of the crops listed on the report: spring wheat, sugar beets, corn, oats and barley. On the five-year average, North Dakota farmers have planted 24% of their spring wheat, 25% of their sugar beets, 1% of corn, 10% of oats and 8% of barley by the third week in April.
Olam International Eyes Nigeria’s Wheat Market with Dangote Flour Mills Deal
Reuters – 04/23/2019
Commodity trader Olam International on Tuesday said it will buy Dangote Flour Mills Plc, as it looks to bolster its position in Nigeria’s wheat market. Olam’s Nigerian unit, which holds a 0.1 percent stake in Dangote Flour Mills, will buy the rest of the company for an enterprise value of 130 billion naira ($425 million). The deal expands Olam’s reach in the pasta market in Nigeria, as it looks to cash in on the growing demand of wheat-based products in the region. The final deal value will be based on net debt and net working capital of Dangote Flour Mills, the company said in a statement. Olam will fund the deal, which is on a debt free and a cash free basis, from internal cash resources and existing borrowing.
Source: U.S. Wheat Associates