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Articles of Interest- Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Articles of Interest- Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Lankford Says NAFTA Replacement a “Big Deal” for Oklahoma

Grand Lake News – 08/20/2019

Oklahoma U.S. Senator James Lankford made a stop in Grove last week and told members of the Grove Rotary Club that Oklahoma will see many benefits from a proposed replacement for the NAFTA trade agreement. Lankford noted that Mexico and Canada now are the United States largest trading partners as a result of the agreement between the three countries that took effect in 1994. It resulted in the reduction and elimination of some trade barriers and investment among the three countries. Lankford noted the agreement needed to be updated partly because eCommerce has exploded during the intervening years. In the fall of 2018, the three countries agreed to replace the agreement and Lankford says it will be called the USMCA agreement (United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement)…He pointed out one benefit for Oklahoma agriculture will be wheat exports to Canada. “Canada will no longer be able to label Oklahoma wheat as “livestock grade” which will increase profits for wheat farmers.” In addition, Oklahoma exports many pork products to Mexico. Tariffs on pork products have been subjected to a high tariff. Under the new agreement, those will be reduced and stabilized.

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S&W Adds Wheat Program to Expand Australian Market Presence

SeedWorld – 08/20/2019

S&W Seed Company announced the expansion of its Australian agriculture market presence through the addition of elite wheat germplasm to its portfolio of products. Under its exclusive, prepaid license from Corteva Agriscience, S&W will immediately offer a number of commercialized varieties to the Australian market. S&W will also continue a breeding program for varieties, which S&W believes have the potential to offer a number of benefits to Australian wheat growers as compared to existing commercial varieties, including superior disease resistance, superior yields and grain quality to suit the diverse Australian conditions. The addition of wheat to the S&W portfolio, which also includes sorghum, alfalfa and sunflower, advances S&W’s strategic objective to become one of the leading suppliers of elite seed genetics to Australian farmers. The license has an initial term of 15 years. S&W will own any new distinct wheat varieties generated from its breeding program.

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Northwest Farmers Wrap Wheat Harvest as Prices Depress

Spokane Public Radio – 08/20/2019

There’s a lot of time to think while sitting behind the wheel of a combine.  Right now, Northwest wheat farmers are wrapping up their harvest in many areas. But across the country, farmers are losing money on every load of that golden grain. “You have to be wired differently to do this work,” says farmer and grain consultant Kevin Duling, of Maupin, Ore. “It’s very frustrating. It’s very stressful.” The wheat price was already suffering under President Donald Trump’s trade wars and robust global competition. The Northwest used to export the vast majority of its grain, largely to Pacific Rim countries and China, according to the Washington Grain Commission. The National Association of Wheat Growers estimates that since last year, U.S. wheat farmers have lost about $430 million in trade to China. But then, the U.S. Department of Agriculture released a report that said farmers are expected to harvest a lot of corn and wheat this season. The corn futures market dropped 25 cents a bushel the day the report came out, according to Nels Solberg, a grain merchandiser with Tri-Cities Grain. He says then futures on white and red wheat both dropped about 30 cents. 

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US Spring Wheat Harvest at a Slower Pace on Year, Crop Conditions Improve Slightly

Hellenic Shipping News – 08/21/2019

The US spring wheat harvest for the 2019-2020 crop (June-May) reached 16% in the week to August 18, with harvest in Minnesota and South Dakota continuing at a slower pace than last year, US Department of Agriculture data showed. Spring wheat harvest in the latest week is trailing the year-ago pace of 56% and the five-year average pace of 49%, according to the data released late Monday. Spring wheat harvest in Minnesota, which is expected to account for the second-largest spring wheat crop in the US in 2019-20, reached 14% in the latest week, down sharply from 72% a year ago. The USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service in a separate report said Minnesota’s spring wheat harvest was two weeks behind normal. The harvest in South Dakota is “well behind” the crop progress seen last year, NASS said in a state crop progress report. Spring wheat crop conditions across the six key states improved marginally, with 70% of the crop rated in good to excellent conditions, up from 69% a week earlier.

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What Happens When GMO Wheat is Discovered

Capital Press – 08/19/2019

Genetically engineered crops are also known as GE, GM or GMO, for genetically modi ed organism. The GE trait is referred to as an event. GMO wheat was previously discovered in Oregon in 2013, Montana in 2014 and Washington in 2016. When discoveries are made, Pacific Northwest growers worry they will disrupt the export market for their wheat. Key wheat-buying countries such as Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and the Philippines will not buy GMO wheat. Japan and South Korea test every shipment. “Consumers just don’t want GM wheat,” said Glen Squires, CEO of the Washington Grain Commission. “Which is sometimes a little odd — they consume GE corn, soybeans, sugar, papayas, but (countries) are responding to consumers who don’t want GM wheat.”
There is no GMO wheat for sale or in commercial production in the U.S. at this time. GMO has been previously tested.

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Source: U.S. Wheat Associates