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Articles of Interest- Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Articles of Interest- Wednesday, August 7, 2019

EU Wheat Harvest Well Advanced as Heatwave Enabled Rapid Work

Reuters – 08/07/2019

The summer heatwave has enabled west Europe’s farmers make rapid progress with wheat harvesting, but rain in recent days has slowed progress in some countries, experts said on Wednesday. The top four growers France, Germany, Britain and Poland are expected to reap larger crops after drought damage last year. But late rain in Germany is hindering the final stages of work. In the EU’s largest wheat producer France, harvesting is ending with expectations of a big crop. The farm ministry raised its 2019 soft wheat crop estimate to a four-year high of 38.2 million tonnes, 12% above last year. That was still below market estimates of around 39 million tonnes, which would be the second-largest crop on record. “The wheat harvest is being rounded off, with a few thousand hectares remaining in coastal areas,” one trader said. “Some people in the market are working with a 39.5-40 million tonne range for the crop.” The French harvest shows reasonable wheat quality, including adequate protein content of 11% or above, traders said. In the second largest producer Germany, traders estimate over 85% of wheat has been harvested.

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Wheat Farmers Dissapointed in Congress’ Failure to Vote for Trade

Washington Association of Wheat Growers – 08/05/2019

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 expeditedvote 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-China Trade War Expected to Hit Washington Farmers Hard

MYNorthwest – 08/06/2019

Washington’s farmers were dealt another blow this week when China announced it was pulling out of the U.S agriculture market. The move came in response to President Trump’s plans for the US to impose a 10 percent tariff on $300 billion worth of Chinese goods starting in September. Among those most affected by the escalating trade war are the Pacific Northwest’s cherry farmers who rely on China as their top customer overseas. The Northwest Horticultural Council told The Seattle Times approximately $130 million worth of the of the region’s cherries went to China last year. Meanwhile, Washington’s wheat farmers haven’t had any business from China since the first round of tariffs came down in 2018. “At the time they were the fifth largest market,” said Glen Squires, Washington Grain Commission CEO. “It’s not good if you have a major buyer that’s not buying.” Squires said 90 percent of Washington’s wheat is exported. The Philippines is the number one buyer followed by Japan and South Korea. About 75 percent of the crop goes to Asia, according to Squires. “And we were exporting soft white wheat out of the Pacific Northwest (to China) up to 300,000 metric tons so it’s been a hit,” Squires said.

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US Winter Wheat Harvest Reaches 82%, Trails Market Expectations

S&P Global – 08/06/2019

The US winter wheat harvest for the 2019-2020 crop (June-May) reached 82% in the week to August 4, with states such as Idaho and South Dakota seeing a slower harvest than last year, US Department of Agriculture data show. The winter wheat harvest in Idaho reached 15% in the latest week, down from 45% a year ago. The harvest in South Dakota still trails last year’s levels, hitting 49%, compared with 88% a year earlier, the data show. The wheat harvest in Kansas — the country’s largest winter wheat producing state — is 100% complete, along with other major producing states such as Texas and Oklahoma, US Wheat Associates said. Overall US winter wheat harvest in the latest week was just below market expectations of 84%, and behind the five-year average of 92%.

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Okarche Wheat Growers Daniel Crossley Shares His Eye-Opening Experience Visiting the Wheat Marketing Center

Oklahoma Farm Report- 08/06/2019

Daniel Crossley of Okarche, Okla. is a fifth-generation wheat farmer with property in both Canadian and Kingfisher Counties. During a recent trip with the Oklahoma Wheat Commission to the Wheat Marketing Center in Portland, Ore. for the 2019 Wheat Export and Technical Marketing Producer Workshop, Crossley had the opportunity to learn a great deal about the different varieties of wheat produced around the country and how the WMC works with the industry to help identify each region’s best marketing opportunities.  “For somebody who has grown up in Oklahoma dealing specifically with HRW wheat, it was just really an eye-opening experience seeing all the variations and classes of it and what that stuff goes toward,” Crossley said. “It’s amazing that even though it’s all wheat flour, the different variations and what it can actually go to.” Crossely learned that the WMC helps the industry organize the various wheat varieties available today and identifies their specific and unique characteristics. 

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Source: U.S. Wheat Associates