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Articles of Interest- Monday, July 29, 2019

Articles of Interest- Monday, July 29, 2019

Myanmar Recieves First Shipment of U.S. Bulk Wheat

World-Grain – 07/26/2019

The first bulk grain vessel carrying U.S. wheat docked in Myanmar in mid-May. U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) representatives were present when the shipment carrying U.S. hard red spring (HRS) wheat purchased by a local flour mill arrived. The U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) began intensifying its work in Myanmar when it was announced two deep-water ports were to open in the country. “With the ability only to take container loads, U.S. wheat had to compete with less expensive supplies shipped mainly from nearly Australia,” the USW said. “Still, its political situation was changing and consumer purchasing power was growing.” To lay the groundwork for U.S. wheat bulk shipments to customers in Myanmar, USW hosted a workshop on FGIS inspection and certification in marketing year 2017-18 for three milling companies and government officials. USW separately brought in a private trading company and the USDA FAS staff in Yangon to brief the Myanmar Plant Protection Department about the bulk U.S. wheat export supply system. The briefing provided information to help increase the confidence in purchasing and handling U.S. bulk wheat shipments.

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China Approves Wheat, Soy Imports from Russia

Reuters – 07/26/2019

China has approved wheat imports from the Russian region of Kurgan, the Chinese customs office said on Friday, bringing Russia a step closer to its goal of dramatically increasing grain exports.
It also approved soybean imports from all parts of Russia, the General Administration of Customs said in a separate statement on its website, having all but halted U.S. soy imports as the trade dispute between Beijing and Washington deepened. China was the top buyer of U.S. soybeans until Beijing slapped a 25% tariff on shipments last year in response to U.S. tariffs on a range of Chinese products. Russia, already the world’s top wheat exporter, plans to invest billions of dollars in grain infrastructure and logistics with the aim of raising its exports of the commodity to at least 55.9 million tonnes by 2035. The figure, outlined in a 2035 strategy published by Russia’s agriculture ministry earlier this month, could be as high as 63.6 million tonnes, its “optimistic scenario” forecasts showed.

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Wheat Growers Are Relying on Healthy Trade Relations

Huron Daily Tribune – 07/27/2019

Wheat growers in Michigan and across America depend on healthy trade relations with our neighbors to our north and south for continued job stability, an improved local economy and assurance of affordable consumer food products. In the coming weeks, U.S. House leadership is expected to schedule a vote on the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), a bipartisan trade deal that updates the framework established by the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and greatly improves U.S. trade relations with Canada and Mexico. For wheat producers across Michigan, the benefits of the USMCA’s ratification are too good for Congress to further delay and subsequently pass up. Michigan and its hardworking farmers are looking to Congress to act fast by scheduling a vote and ratifying the USMCA. The USMCA will have a positive effect on Michigan’s economy and, especially, the wheat growing industry. It is imperative for our state to secure the free and fair flow of goods, so that it may benefit all parties involved.

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Woodland’s Wheat Lab Tests for New Varities

AgAlert – 07/26/2019

The state’s wheat growers continue to reap dividends from their investment in quality made a quarter-century ago, when they established a full-service lab and kitchen in Woodland that is able to test their harvest at every step from grain to baked goods. While the forage grain market is largely driven by yield and protein, the various baking markets depend on subtler qualities that can be evaluated at the lab. “We test from the grain, to the milling, to making the products,” said Claudia Carter, executive director of the California Wheat Commission. “There are 17 wheat commissions in the U.S., and we are the only one that owns a lab. The other commissions go to universities for labs, but this is the only wheat lab in California.” The Woodland facility is widely used by growers, but also by many of the other parties down the line who need reliable information about grain quality. “The millers use the lab the most,” Carter said. “They use it often; they send their flour. They use mixes and they want to know what works the best for bread, pizza, tortillas or pasta. We have millers that send samples in every week, every two weeks, or once a month.”

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New Breeding Techniques Can Boost Food Security in Africa

Genetic Literacy Project – 07/29/2019

New breeding techniques can help Africa meet its food security and industrial needs while improving farmer livelihoods, according to a new report. In particular, improved technologies have good potential to adapt traditional durum wheat varieties to all growing conditions of sub-Saharan Africa, according to a report released by the International Center for Agricultural Research in Dry Areas(ICARDA) at the International Wheat Congress in Canada. Currently, wheat is grown on only about 2.6 million hectares of marginal lands on the continent, mostly in Ethiopia, South Africa, Sudan and about a dozen countries in sub-Saharan Africa. These areas have the growing conditions that wheat requires: low night time temperatures and warm, moist weather during early stages of growth, and sunny, dry weather in the later stages of the crop’s four-month life span. As a result of this limited production, Africa spends more than €4 billion ($4.45 billion) importing durum wheat for food every year. “Clearly, there is huge agricultural and commercial scope for expanding domestic production and marketing of durum wheat in sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries,” the report said. “New breeding technologies offer great promise for expanding the area of durum wheat production in SSA.”

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Source: U.S. Wheat Associates