No Clear Winners or Losers in China Trade Dispute, WSU Expert Says
The Spokesman Review – 05/08/2019
The short-term results of President Donald Trump’s trade disputes with China are clear for Eastern Washington: The value of agricultural exports including wheat, apples and cherries will be reduced. T. Randall Fortenbery, the Thomas B. Mick economics endowed chair at Washington State University, studied the impacts and said those damaging effects for Washington state are evident. But he noted those advocating for this tough approach with China would likely say the short-term costs may be worth the long-term strategy. What the future holds, however, is unclear. “There isn’t a winner so far,” Fortenbery said of the row between the U.S. and China. “That’s kind of a function of whether or not we continue to escalate the trade war or whether we are able to come to some sort of terms that result in us normalizing trade.” The stock markets have taken a hit since Trump announced the new tariffs in a tweet Sunday. The tariffs are scheduled to go into effect Friday. “The 10% will go up to 25% on Friday,” Trump tweeted. “325 Billion Dollars of additional goods sent to us by China remain untaxed, but will be shortly, at a rate of 25%. The Tariffs paid to the USA have had little impact on product cost, mostly borne by China.
K-State Joins Heartland Plant Innovations, Others to Explore Breeding Platform
Midwest Messenger– 05/08/2019
The southern Great Plains has a reputation for growing a large percentage of the U.S. wheat crop that is so important to millers and bakers around the globe who depend on it for making bread and general purpose flour. But because of lower prices, compounded by weather challenges in recent years, fewer and fewer overall acres have been planted to wheat. A February report by USDA estimated U.S. winter wheat planted area at a 110-year low.
One part of the wheat industry bucking that trend is organic wheat production. While still a tiny part of overall U.S. wheat output, organic production — wheat certified by the USDA to be grown free of chemical pesticides and fertilizers — grew by more than 11 percent to 10.5 million bushels, according to the USDA’s most recent report. That crop was grown on more than 336,550 acres.
Spring Wheat Begins to Merge in the US
Farms.com – 05/08/2019
America’s 2019 spring wheat crop is starting to emerge. About 4 percent of the total U.S. spring wheat acres are up, the USDA’s Weekly Weather and Crop Bulletin said on May 7. That number is on par with last year. Wheat in Washington is the furthest along at 34 percent emerged, which is down from 46 percent last year. Spring wheat in Idaho is 21 percent emerged, down from 33 percent last year, the USDA said. Rain is to blame for the lack of progress. Fields have received too much moisture which is delaying planting and therefore emergence, said Bill Flory, chairman of Idaho Wheat. “We are 28 to 35 days late getting started at all,” he told Farms.com. “It’s been a challenging spring with lots of rain. The wheat that has emerged around the state looks good and is uniform. Wheat that was planted early is almost big enough to be sprayed, but for those of us that are late we’re going to need some timely rains in late May and early June.”
Podcast: A Visit to Lo Mo, the Apollo 11 of Snake River Dams
Washington Grain Commission – 04/30/2019
It’s been 50 years since the first barge passed through the lock at Lower Monumental Dam on April 15, 1969, only a few months before the first moon landing, which is why episode 123 of Wheat All About It! is entitled: A Visit To Lo Mo, the Apollo 11 of Snake River Dams. During the coordinated three week outage of river traffic on the Columbia/Snake river system in March, a tour organized by the Pacific Northwest Waterways Association and the Corps of Engineers, Walla Walla District, allowed visitors to view the on-going maintenance and repairs that are necessary as part of operations at the aging infrastructure. Join Scott Yates, director of communications and producer relations for the Washington Grain Commission, as dam staff detail lock operations at the remote, but crucial link in the PNW grain chain.
Oregon May Allow Lawsuits Over Genetically Engineered Crops
Capital Press – 05/08/2019
The Oregon Legislature is considering a bill that would let farmers sue companies, such as Bayer and Syngenta, that hold patents on genetically engineered seeds if crops grown from those seeds contaminate other crops. The Statesman Journal reports that contamination from genetically engineered crops can make organic and conventional crops unable to be sold. GE crops also can escape their fields and become a nuisance for other farmers that is hard to eradicate. House Bill 2882 would allow landowners or tenants to seek three times actual economic damages if GE organisms, also called GMOs, are present on their land without permission. It also would allow residents to sue the corporations if GE organisms are found on land owned or occupied by a public body in the area where they live. The legislation is nearly identical to a bill considered in the 2017 Legislative session. That bill died in committee.
Source: U.S. Wheat Associates