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Articles of Interest- Thursday, August 1, 2019

Articles of Interest- Thursday, August 1, 2019

NAWG Member Testifies on Importance of Grain Inspection System for U.S. Export Markets

NAWG – 07/31/2019

Today, the Senate Committee on Agriculture held a hearinglooking at perspectives around reauthorizing the Grain Standards Act. Brian Linin, a wheat farmer from Goodland, Kansas, testified on behalf of the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) on the importance of reauthorizing the Grain Standards Act. Linin also serves as a board member of the U.S. Wheat Associates and works for Frontier Ag, Inc. Highlights from his testimony can be found below: “The Grain Standards Act serves a critical role in exporting grains and oilseeds, including U.S. wheat, of which about 50% is exported each year. With such a large volume of wheat being exported, our export markets are critical to wheat farmers’ bottom lines…“The grain inspection system is one that is valued by our overseas customers and adds value to our commodities. Foreign customers can be assured that an independent agency has certified shipments to meet the grade requirements specified in a contract. This certainty and reliability has helped wheat and other U.S. commodities to grow our export markets and serves as a significant advantage of purchasing U.S. wheat versus wheat from other origins…

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USMCA Vote Delayed: Wheat Farmers Dissapointed in Congress’ Failure to Vote for Trade

Capital Press – 07/31/2019

The failure of Congress to approve the USMCA trade agreement with Mexico and Canada prior to the August recess jeopardizes trade with two of America’s most reliable customers as it threatens wheat shipments to our most important market. The Washington Grain Commission (WGC) and the Washington Association of Wheat Growers (WAWG) urge Congress to schedule an expedited vote on the important trade agreement. Although the Pacific Northwest exports little grain to Mexico, wheat is traded on the world market and undermining America’s No. 1 customer—Mexico—will depress prices further for all wheat farmers. “Congress must rise above the current red/blue political environment which pits Democrats and Republicans as opposing forces, rather than as Americans with differing points of view,” said Michelle Hennings, executive director of WAWG. Glen Squires, CEO of the WGC, urged Washington’s Congressional representatives to confer with their colleagues on both sides of the aisle in order to make the treaty acceptable for passage by all parties.

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US and China Agree to More Trade Talks in September

Agri-Pulse – 07/31/2019

The U.S. and China have wrapped up their first round of face-to-face trade negotiations since talks fell apart in May and both sides agreed to meet again in September as President Donald Trump continues to tone down expectations of a quick resolution. According to a statement from the White House, the Chinese again agreed to increase purchases of U.S. agricultural commodities during this latest round of talks in Shanghai, but no details were provided. The visiting U.S. team was led by U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, neither of whom have commented directly on progress from the two days of talks Tuesday and Wednesday. “The Chinese side confirmed their commitment to increase purchases of United States agricultural exports,” the White House said in a brief statement Wednesday. “The meetings were constructive, and we expect negotiations on an enforceable trade deal to continue in Washington, D.C., in early September.”

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U.S. Organic Hard Red Winter Wheat Down Sharply in May-June

World-Grain – 07/31/2019

The average price for organic food-grade hard red winter wheat in May-June declined sharply from the prior two-month period while other wheat classes were unquoted, according to Mercaris, the organic and non-GMO trading platform and market information company. Organic food-grade soybean prices also were lower in the latest period while corn was unquoted. Organic food-grade hard red winter wheat averaged $9.77 per bushel in May-June, down $3.82 from March-April, down $4.44 from January-February and down 95¢ from May-June 2018. Hard red spring wheat, soft red winter wheat and durum were unquoted for the May-June period, an indication of insufficient trading volume on the Mercaris platform. Durum was quoted at $15.75 per bushel in April May. In May-June of 2018, hard red winter wheat was quoted at $10.72 per bushel, hard red spring at $16.68 per bushel, soft red winter at $10.85 per bushel and durum at $19.54 per bushel.

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Promising Wheat Harvest Despite Late Start

AgUpdate – 07/31/2019

As field work was delayed in getting crops planted this spring, so too has been the story for harvesting wheat in the Midwest. It took a couple weeks of hot, dry weather to really get the crop ready. “Harvest is progressing rapidly now with the hot dry weather,” said Royce Schaneman, executive director of the Nebraska Wheat Board. “As we reached harvest — about 10-14 days behind normal — the crop was slow to mature and cutting conditions were difficult early. In the last two weeks, weather has sped the harvest progress and dried fields quickly.” Schaneman is projecting a 50 million bushel crop on 1 million acres harvested.

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Source: U.S. Wheat Associates