Argentina Wheat Farmers Eye Record Harvest as Bad Crop Weather Hits Rivals
Reuters – 07/29/2019
Argentine wheat farmers are preparing for a record harvest, even as global rivals see crop yield prospects cut amid floods in the United States, searing heat in Europe and drought in Australia. The grain bounty in the world’s No. 6 wheat exporter will boost the South American country in global markets, while wheat incomes that will start to flow at the turn of the year will boost whoever wins presidential elections in October. “Wheat is going to be money in our pocket in December,” said Francisco Santillan, a grower in the bread basket farming town of Pergamino who is expecting a bumper harvest. The country’s grains exchanges and analysts predict a wheat harvest of around 21-22 million tonnes, beating the previous season’s record 19 million tonnes of the crop. Planting is almost complete and has been helped by good weather. Global rivals, meanwhile, are falling back.
The International Grains Council (IGC) on Thursday cut its world wheat production forecast for the 2019/2020 season by 6 million tonnes, reflecting diminished crop outlooks in key production areas such as Russia, Europe and Canada.
French 2019 Soft Wheat Crop to be 2nd Largest in History
Reuters – 07/30/2019
Farmers in France, the European Union’s largest grain producer, will harvest their second largest soft wheat crop in history this year at 39.17 million tonnes, as a record-breaking heatwave failed to hurt yields, consultancy Agritel said on Tuesday. That would be up 14.9% from last year’s weather-hit crop. Agritel projected the national yield of the ongoing harvest at 7.82 tonnes per hectare, 12% above last year’s poor crop and 7.5% above the average of the past five years when excluding the exceptionally high and low harvests in 2015 and 2016. “Although the harvest is not fully over in the regions near the Channel, reported yields remain particularly good, completely wiping out concerns of an impact of the end-of-cycle heatwave on grain filling,” Agritel Director General Michel Portier said in a statement. The area sown also rose, up 2.66% to 5 million hectares, its highest level in three years, Agritel said.
Red River Valley Soils Bursting with Wheat Underscore Record Bearish Bet
Bloomberg – 07/29/2019
More than 60 analysts, traders, grain millers and bakers who traversed North Dakota wheat fields for three days through Thursday, July 25, expect bountiful yields, up about 5% from last season. The darker the better. That’s generally the case when it comes to crop soils, where rich hues signal fertile ground. In North Dakota this year, the fields in the Red River Valley look they’re covered in cast-iron black carpet. The saturated soils are bursting with life. Spring wheat plants are a vibrant yellowish-green, growing to around thigh-high heights. Although many fields were planted late, some of the heads of grain are starting to brown, an indication that crops are nearing maturity. A deluge of rains has now given way to mostly dry top ground. In most fields, you don’t even need boots to stay clean. But there’s an abundance of mosquitoes, reflecting the showers from earlier in the season that helped enrich the soil. A cohort of more than 60 analysts, traders, grain millers and bakers traversed North Dakota fields for three days through Thursday, July 25. They were assessing spring wheat plants, the variety used to make pizza crusts. Fields were so thick that the crop scouts, as they’re known, had to use their measuring sticks to push aside plants in order to make their way through. What they found: yields will be bountiful this year at 43.1 bushels an acre, up about 5% from last season.
US Winter Wheat Harvest Reached 75% in Latest Week, Spring Wheat Crop Ratings Decline
S&P Global – 07/30/2019
The pace of US winter wheat harvest for the 2019-2020 crop (June-May) slowed in the week ended July 28, reaching 75%, with harvest in states like Nebraska and Michigan still catching up with the year-ago pace, data from the US Department of Agriculture showed late Monday. Winter wheat harvest in Nebraska reached 55% in the latest week, down from 88% a year ago. Recent rains in the state had caused harvest delays, according to US Wheat Associates. While winter wheat harvest continued at a fast pace in Michigan in the latest week, reaching 45%, it is still behind the year-ago pace of 85%, the USDA data showed. Wheat harvest in Kansas, the country’s largest winter wheat producing state, reached 98% from 96% in the week ended July 21. Kansas struggled with severe wet conditions in May and early June, slowing down crop development in the region earlier. Overall US winter wheat harvest in the latest week was below market expectations of 81%, and behind the year-ago pace of 84%.
MFP Payment Details
The Progressive Farmer – 07/29/2019
UDSA’s Market Facilitation Program payment rates will range from $15 and $150 per acre and will be made in three parts, with the first and largest payment expected in mid-August. Sign-up for the program begins on Monday, July 29, and ends on Dec. 6, USDA leadership said on a press call. USDA Undersecretary for Farm Production and Conservation Bill Northey said the agency most likely already has the data it needs from producers since the payments are based on certified acreage of qualifying crops…National Association of Wheat Growers President and Lavon, Texas, farmer Ben Scholz, said MFP payments provide necessary assistance to growers affected by lower prices resulting in part from tariffs. “However, this is a Band-Aid when we really need a long-term fix,” Scholz said. “NAWG understands holding China accountable for its WTO violations and unfair trade practices, but a trade war is not the solution, especially when farmers are the casualties.”
Source: U.S. Wheat Associates