U.S. Farmers Raise Objections to Tariff on Mexican Imports
The Lewiston Tribune – 06/06/2019
Farmers in the region and around the country are calling on the Trump administration to back away from threats to impose a 5 percent tariff on all Mexican goods entering the United States. Likening it to “struggling to survive a flood, then getting hit by a tornado,” the U.S. Wheat Associates issued a news release saying growers are “shocked and dismayed” by the tariff threat. “We call on the president to rescind this threat immediately,” said Ben Scholz, a wheat farmer from Lavon, Texas, and president of the National Association of Wheat Growers. “We’ve been hit by low prices; we’ve been hit by rain and flooding that is hurting what was an excellent wheat crop; and now we’ve been hit again by the actions of our own government. We need to end indiscriminate use of tariffs now, one way or another.” Although most of the wheat grown in the Pacific Northwest goes to Pacific Rim countries rather than Mexico, Glen Squires, chief executive officer of the Washington Grain Commission, said the overall effect of unsystematic tariffs on trade relations between the U.S. and other countries is disheartening. “The problem is,” Squires said, Mexico is “right next door and they’re a huge buyer of our wheat. And when stuff like this happens, that’s why you see this frustration. They need reliability and consistency and when this happens, they’re not sure what the costs are and they go somewhere else.”
Noodle Demand Boosts Wheat Export
The West Australian – 06/06/2019
One of the most familiar meals for uni students — mi goreng — is also playing a crucial role in maintaining demand for Australian wheat in its biggest market. New analysis from Australian Export Grains Innovation Centre has shown the true importance of the Indonesian noodle market to Australian wheat exports, and the challenges being faced. A whopping 13 billion packets of instant noodles are sold in Indonesia each year, accounting for 15 per cent of all instant noodle consumption on earth, AEGIC chief economist Ross Kingwell, pictured, says. “Indonesia imports 3-3.5 million of wheat for noodles each year, largely from their preferred supplier, Australia,” he said.
“Due to its stability and magnitude, Indonesia’s noodle market, especially its instant noodle market, will remain a major source of Indonesia’s demand for Australian wheat.” Professor Kingwell said instant noodles were “by far” the most popular form of noodles eaten in Indonesia, but fresh noodles still “formed a relatively small but still important segment”. While the story was a positive one for Australia, it was “far from simple”, Mr Kingwell said. “Noodle consumption per person has gone through incredible growth over the past few decades, however that growth has now plateaued,” he said. “Nevertheless, due to Indonesia’s strong population growth, overall demand for wheat for instant noodles will continue to grow by 350,000 tonnes by 2030.”
Planting is Pretty Much a Wrap in North Dakota, Minnesota
Duluth News Tribune – 06/05/2019
Most of the small grains crops in northeast North Dakota and northwest Minnesota are in the ground. All of North Dakota’s spring wheat was planted as of June 2, according to the North Dakota Agricultural Statistics Service. In Minnesota, farmers had planted 95% of their spring wheat acreage. “Wheat essentially is finished,” said Chris Kolstoe, CHS Agronomy Department manager in Warren, Minn. Minnesota farmers planned to plant 1.5 million acres of wheat this year and North Dakota farmers planned 7.5 million acres, the U.S. Agriculture Department March planting intentions report said. Farmers may have adjusted the acreage they intended to plant based on field conditions, market prices and availability of seed and fertilizer. While spring wheat planting was finished, row crop planting was wrapping up in CHS’s trade area in northeast North Dakota and northwest Minnesota, Kolstoe said Tuesday. “There are still some edible beans, soybeans, sunflowers, going in,” he said. Though most farmers in northeast North Dakota and northwest Minnesota were able to plant the row crops acres they intended, further south, thousands of acres likely will not be planted.
Oregon Wheat CEO to Retire in 2020
Capital Press– 06/04/2019
The top executive of the Oregon wheat industry has announced his plans to retire next year. Blake Rowe plans to depart in 2020 after eight years. The Oregon Wheat CEO oversees both the Oregon Wheat Commission and the Oregon Wheat Growers League. “I just feel like it’s time,” Rowe, 62, told the Capital Press. “I think I’m still effective at doing this, but it’s a big job, it wears on you. … I don’t want to overstay and be that person who works too long and either loses a step or loses the opportunity to enjoy retirement.” Rowe said he has no immediate plans except for spending more time with family. “I was trying actually to hold onto Blake until I left,” said Walter Powell, commission chairman. “It happened again Sunday night — it’s 9:45 and Blake is at his desk working in the evening. He’s a person who is dedicated and used to putting in quality time, and a lot of it. That’s pretty unique today.” Alan von Borstel, president of the league, had also hoped to “squeak through” before Rowe retired. “Blake’s been our consistency,” von Borstel said. “He’s not afraid to speak out when he needs to, he brings the knowledge to the debates that we have. We’re going to miss him.”
Flooding Leads to Mill Closings, Rail Disruptions Across U.S. Midwest
World-Grain – 06/06/2019
At least three flour mills have been forced to close due to flooding along with the Mississippi river, but the impact appears far greater as movement of wheat and other grains to mills and flour and other products out of mills has been disrupted amid numerous railroad delays and service outages.
“Ardent Mills pro-actively took down our Alton and Chester, Illinois, mills in anticipation of severe flooding,” the nation’s largest flour miller said in a statement to Milling & Baking News, a sister publication of World Grain. “This ensures the safety of our employees and products and will help us to resume operations more quickly when the water recedes. We are closely watching the water levels and forecasts to determine when we may be back up in operation. In the meantime, we are using our vast network of mills to keep our customers in supply of flour.” The U.S. Durum Milling, Inc. (Italgrani U.S.A., Inc.) plant in St. Louis, Missouri, also was closed early the week of June 2 because flood waters restricted movement of grain in and products out of the plant, although the plant itself remained operational. Other major milling companies also reported disruptions largely due to railroad service outages, which were common in southeast Nebraska, central Missouri, southeast Kansas, eastern Oklahoma, southern Illinois and much of Arkansas.
Source: U.S. Wheat Associates