Taiwan Wheat Millers Visit Northwest
Capital Press – 09/13/2019
Taiwan Flour Mills Association representatives are touring the Pacific Northwest and Washington, D.C., during a visit that will culminate in a new two-year agreement to buy U.S. wheat. One of the stops they made was in the Lewiston, Idaho, area on Sept. 6-9. They saw how growers maintain high crop quality, the Idaho Wheat Commission said in a news release, including how wheat is tested, stored and prepared for delivery by barge on the Snake and Columbia rivers. Sponsored by the commission and U.S. Wheat Associates, they visited Lewis-Clark Terminal at the Port of Lewiston, a lab where wheat protein and moisture levels are analyzed, the Uniontown, Wash., Co-op and farms. They also attended the Lewiston Roundup rodeo as guests of its governing board.
Argentinian Farmers Hold on to Grains as Political Uncertainty Prevails
S&P Global – 09/13/2019
Argentinian farmers are holding on to grains as political uncertainty ahead of the general election in October has led the peso to slide. Farmers have been skeptical of trading ever since President Mauricio Macri, known to be more trade friendly than his predecessors, was beaten by Peronist Alberto Fernandez in primary presidential elections on August 11, causing the Argentinian peso and stock market to crash. Macri has removed taxes on exports that had marred Argentina’s grain trade, with agriculture an important part of the country’s economy. Investors fear a return of opposition Peronists to power will bring back interventionist economic policies that could be a setback for grain exports, as well as other populist measures. Farmers do not want to sell grains, as the peso is losing value, INTL FCStone chief commodities economist Arlan Suderman told S&P Global Platts. This may cause grain exports from the South American country to slow until the general elections, scheduled on October 27, analysts said.
The Road to China Runs Through USMCA, Say Backers
Successful Farming – 09/13/2019
At a farm group rally on Thursday for approval of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, two senior members of the U.S. House said that action on the USMCA would carry benefits in resolving the Sino-U.S. trade war. Ratification of the trade pact, the first submitted to Congress by the Trump administration, would show U.S. commitment to free trade and allow the White House to focus on China, they said. House Agriculture Committee chairman Collin Peterson said he expects a vote on the USMCA within a month or two, and asked for patience as the final provisions are worked out. House Democrats are negotiating with the White House over labor, environmental, pharmaceutical, and enforcement language. Congressional Republicans and farm groups have pressed for months for a vote. Analysts say the USMCA will bring modest gains in U.S. exports and will preserve duty-free access for most U.S. farm goods to Canada and Mexico.
Like the Russia Grain Embargo of 1980s, China Trade War Again Taking its Toll on Farmers
Duluth News Tribune – 09/16/2019
While experts say today’s hardships for U.S. farmers aren’t as widespread or deep, there is a growing worry about the collateral damage of a trade war with China. Government actions – both in the U.S. and abroad – effectively shot American farmers in the foot, leading to economic traumas in the 1980s. It seems to be doing the same today with its vast Chinese soybean market, says a North Dakota State University agricultural economist. U.S. interventions backfired 40 years ago, and seem to be doing the same again. In the 1980s, a partial embargo destroyed long-term commodities markets says William Wilson, a distinguished professor who advises numerous international companies in the U.S. and abroad. It was one of the factors that led to the credit crisis that spanned the decade of the 1980s. In North Dakota, the number of farms fell 10 percent from 1978 to 1982, and by 23 percent by 1992, when things started to turn around. The Trump administration now has cast a pall on U.S. soybean exports to China with his trade war, Wilson says.
U of I-led Team Identifies, Clones Gene to Protect Wheat, Barley from Major Disease
Univerisy of Idaho – 09/13/2019
A University of Idaho-led team of international researchers identified and cloned a gene that can fend off a major disease threat to wheat and barley. The fungus can cut yields by half or more during severe outbreaks. The genetic advance promises to improve development of new wheat varieties that will produce more dependable yields and reduce the need for pesticides to combat the fungal disease, according to the report co-authored by 23 researchers and recently published in Nature Communications, a major scientific journal. Stripe rust threatens production in major wheat producing regions in Australia, Canada, China, France, India, the U.S. and many other nations The researchers work at U of I, Washington State University, University of California, Davis and two Chinese universities, Shandong Agricultural University and Sichuan Agricultural University.
Source: U.S. Wheat Associates