Argentina Says Brazil to Buy 5.5 MLN Tonnes of its Wheat in 2020
Reuters – 05/30/2019 Brazilian mills will buy at least 5.5 million tonnes of wheat from Argentina in 2020 and 2.25 million tonnes of the grain between June and November this year, the Argentine government said on Thursday after a meeting with counterparts in Brazil. The announcement comes months after Brazil spooked Argentine farmers when it agreed to import 750,000 tons of wheat from the United States and other countries outside the regional Mercosur block, waiving the 10% levy normally applied. Argentina is one of the world’s leading suppliers of wheat and most of its shipments are destined for Brazil. The deal follows a meeting between Argentine officials and the Brazilian Wheat Industry Association (Abitrigo) in Sao Paulo. Abitrigo members estimated their purchases for the 6-month period from June-November this year and “for next year a minimum of 5.5 million tonnes” during the meeting, Argentina’s agriculture secretariat said in a statement.
Farm Groups Praise Aid, President, But Keep Asking for Long-Term Trade Resolution
The Progressive Farmer – 05/30/2019 Leaders of farm groups on Thursday showed they have President Donald Trump’s back as he offered them another $16 billion in federal aid in lieu of anticipated higher exports to China. In response to the new Market Facilitation Program rolled out Thursday, farm groups offered praise to the Trump administration for helping offset export losses, but reiterated that a second consecutive year of trade aid is insufficient to make up for potentially years of lost trade revenue. Farm groups praised the $16 billion in aid, though it is unclear exactly how much farmers will be paid individually. Payments will be based on all planted commodities in a county, yet USDA will only pay crop farmers based on a single county payment rate multiplied by a farm’s total planted acres in 2019. The new MFP payments will be limited to the total amount of eligible acreage a farmer planted in 2018…Ben Scholz, president of the National Association of Wheat Growers and Lavon, Texas, farmer, said wheat growers appreciate the new mitigation program, but it does not make farmers whole. “The U.S. exports 50% of its wheat, which means we need a long-term solution,” Scholz said. “This includes getting the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) across the finish line, completing negotiations with China and supporting our WTO case, and closing a trade deal with Japan.” Scholz said NAWG will work with the Trump administration and USDA on “a relief strategy to ensure that the program works best for wheat farmers.”
Trade Tensions Drive Decline in Latest Export Forecast
Agri-Pulse – 05/30/2019 Trade tensions, African Swine Fever, and weak commodity prices are among the reasons USDA has trimmed its export sales forecasts for fiscal 2019 by $4.5 billion. The May Outlook released Thursday by the Economic Research Service reduced the export forecast to $137 billion, or about 3.2 percent, from the February Outlook’s prediction of $141.5 billion, due to a drop in livestock and commodity exports. Corn exports are predicted to drop by $1.4 billion to $10.4 billion, as U.S. corn continues to be less competitive than South American corn. The sluggish pace of shipments in recent months, and projections for large new-crop supplies in major exporting countries, lowered wheat export forecasts by $1.2 billion to $6.3 billion. Soybean forecasts are down $1.5 billion, to $17 billion. Weaker soybean demand in China has caused many producers to hang on to their crop, weakening prices. However, strong soybean meal demand and lower prices have helped raise crush margins while maintaining export volumes.
Weather-Delayed Wheat Harvest Expected to Put Farmers in a Time Bind
The Oklahoman – 05/31/2019 About half of the wheat in southwestern Oklahoma already should have been harvested and trucked to grain elevators for storage, but only a fraction of that grain has arrived at elevators as growers wait for their fields to dry. Farmers said Thursday they need low humidity and lots of sun to get their fields firm enough to be able to start harvesting. The delay has paused the migration of custom cutting crews who work their way north across the state to help farmers bring the crop in. At the same time, wheat across other parts of the state is ripening for harvest, setting up a situation where the entire crop needs to be harvested at once. “We usually start bringing in wheat on the 20th or 21st of May,” said Brandon Winters, president and CEO of the Tillman Producers Coop. Winters said the first deliveries of about 8,000 bushels of wheat to the cooperative’s elevator in Frederick and in Davidson didn’t happen until Wednesday. He said test weights and kernel qualities looked pretty good. “The question is what its protein levels will look like because of the cool, wet growing season we’ve had.”
Images from Space Could Help Farmers Grow Better Wheat Varieties
Washington State University – 05/29/2019 A team of researchers at Washington State University is putting satellites and drones to work in the hunt for better wheat varieties to help feed a growing world more sustainably. WSU scientists launched a new project this spring, developing techniques that let satellites and flying drones identify and study wheat varieties from overhead. The research is funded by a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Their effort could speed up research into better, more productive wheat varieties and could give growers powerful new tools to improve farming.Grown on more acres than any other crop, wheat is a staple that feeds more than a third of the world’s population. To help meet growing global demand, and keep ahead of devastating pests, pathogens, and a changing environment, wheat breeders develop improved varieties. An important part of that process is phenotyping: measuring the way plant genes are expressed physically, in order to select the best plants to breed for improved yield, grain quality, and resistance to stress and disease. In the past, this work was done by hand. But with modern cameras and sensors, satellites could take phenotyping to a new level, helping scientists and growers quickly and accurately study how wheat varieties are performing in the field.
Source: US Wheat Associates