U.S. Wheat Associates Hosts Mexico Wheat Trade Conference in Cancun
AgInfo.net – 06/04/2019
The U.S. wheat industry is in the spotlight this week in Cancun, Mexico as the U.S Wheat Associates hosts the Mexico Wheat Trade Conference. Chris Kolstad is U.S. Wheat’s chairman from Ledger, Montana and says Mexico continues to be a very important market for U.S wheat.
“Mexico has been a good friend of ours for a lot of years” said Kolstad. “They’re our southern border friend and one of our top five importers of U.S. wheat around the world. So, they’re a very important market for us.” Mitch Skalicky is U.S. Wheat’s regional vice president in its Mexico City office and explains why Mexico likes having a trading relationship with the U.S. wheat industry. “I think they like it because it’s very good quality wheat” said Skalicky. “It’s a uniform, predictable quality of wheat. It’s close, it’s convenient and it’s easy to receive through various logistical channels both by water meaning boat or by rail.” Kolstad says there’s good reason why checkoff dollars that he other farmers invest are used to growing important export markets like Mexico. “The export markets are very important to the United States” said Kolstad. “We grow approximately 50 million metric tons a year of wheat and over half of that has to be exported. And with 95 percent of the world’s consumers living outside of our borders, we have to get to these other countries and sell our wheat. If we only sell within our domestic markets, the prices are going to just go down, down and down. And we don’t need that.”
New Trading Partners Arise in Southeast Asia Amid Ongoing Global Trade Tensions
U.S. Grains Council – 05/30/2019
U.S. producers need alternative demand sources for the crops they plant this spring as global trade tensions remain. The demographics in Southeast Asia present a viable alternate and the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) is strategically positioned to capitalize on this potential for U.S. farmers and agribusinesses. “Unique to many other mature markets around the world, frontier markets in Southeast Asia are still primed to experience exponential consumer growth,” said Cary Sifferath, USGC senior director of global programs. “The influx of funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Agricultural Trade Promotion (ATP) program provides the tools to accelerate our programming efforts to show we can deliver consistent, quality grain supplies to the region.” Myanmar is one such frontier market with tremendous potential – home to 54 million people, a rising middle class and a lack of cultural dietary restrictions. Yet, political turbulence within Myanmar led to restrictions on foreign investment, particularly from the United States. However, Directive 25/2018, passed in 2018, liberalized foreign investment. For the first time in recent history, U.S. companies can invest in on-the-ground assets needed to import, handle and distribute U.S. agricultural products.
Durum Not Following Along with Other Wheat Classes
AgUpdate – 06/02/2019
As other wheat classes, including spring wheat and winter wheat, are riding the coattails of the corn market in its recent rally, durum is not following suit. “Durum is probably one of the few wheat classes that has failed to follow on the coattails of the corn planting delays or disease issues in winter wheat,” said Jim Peterson, marketing director for the North Dakota Wheat Commission. “I guess that’s not overly surprising, just because with durum there’s not a lot of cross-substitution for end products and its planting area is more isolated geographically. “But durum prices have actually slipped about 15 cents a bushel since March 1. Since May 1, we really haven’t seen any shift in prices at all,” he said, adding that prices are still ranging in the $4.50-$4.65 range across the region.
“That’s not to say it couldn’t change, because if you look at the planting progress for durum in North Dakota and Montana, as of May 20 both states were at 50 percent complete in planting which is slightly behind normal,” he continued. “Emergence is probably a bigger concern. We’ve seen some spotty emergence and certainly slow emergence. North Dakota’s durum crop was only 7 percent emerged at that time.”
Texas Wheat Tour Showcases Quality Varieties
High Plains Journal – 06/03/2019
For the first time, the Texas A&M AgriLife Wheat Field Day at the Bushland, Texas, Agricultural Experiment Station “took the show on the road” with a bus tour of wheat plots across the Panhandle. Stops included irrigated wheat trials at Bushland and near Dalhart, triticale plots near Conlen, and dryland wheat trials near Groom. This way, participants could see the variety trials in many environments and conditions. Among the varieties on display were the two newest releases out of the Texas A&M AgriLife Wheat Improvement Program—TAM 115 and TAM 205. Both varieties offer quality characteristics that farmers may be able to capture added value from, explained Jackie Rudd, Texas A&M wheat breeder. While farmers get paid on yield, not quality, it’s the program’s hope that by releasing wheats with high quality characteristics that farmers can see their local basis at elevators rise and capture the value of these quality characteristics. If a region gets a reputation for quality wheat, buyers pay attention and will source from that region, Rudd explained.
Historic Flooding Hits Farmers in South-Central US
The Progressive Farmer – 06/03/2019
Farmers from Oklahoma to Mississippi are facing crop disasters as flooding continues along the Arkansas River and Mississippi River. Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson sent a federal disaster request on Wednesday to President Donald Trump, citing damage in at least 15 counties. At a news conference Wednesday, Hutchinson said, “This is a flood of historic magnitude. It surpasses all Arkansas River flooding in our recorded history,” according to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Hutchinson added, “So there is a lot of unknowns in what we face as the state. The levee system is strained to the limit. While it is holding in most areas, there are breaches and overflows, and we are watching very carefully.” The levee system along the Arkansas River was not built for the level of expected flooding, the governor wrote in his letter to the president. Flooding has essentially struck agriculture hard throughout the Mississippi and Missouri River watersheds from Minnesota down to the Gulf of Mexico as intense storms have continued to pound the Midwest, Plains and now south-central U.S. In the latest stretch of storms along the Arkansas River watershed, thousands of people have lost their homes in Oklahoma and Arkansas…In Oklahoma, Mike Schulte, executive director of the Oklahoma Wheat Commission, told DTN, the rain, floods, tornadoes and hail have probably reduced the expected winter wheat crop as much as 20% right now. Oklahoma earlier had perfect grain-fill weather and was forecast last month at 119 million bushels of wheat crop, Schulte said.
Source: U.S. Wheat Associates