Interview: Taiwan Flour Millers Tour Oklahoma Wheat Industry During Trade Mission That Saw the Millers Pledge to Buy 66 Million Bushels of US Wheat
Oklahoma Farm Report – 09/23/2019
Representatives of Taiwan’s Flour Mill Industry traveled to Oklahoma this past week, learning about the Oklahoma wheat industry. The team were interacted with Oklahoma State University wheat researchers, toured the Food and Ag Producers Center on campus in Stillwater, visited the Farmers Coop Association and Elevator in Ponca City, Oklahoma and spent time on the Don Schieber Farm just west of Ponca City in Kildaire. While on campus Friday, the delegation participated in a signing ceremony with Oklahoma Secretary of Ag Blayne Arthur pledging to work closely with the Oklahoma wheat industry. Ahead of that signing ceremony, Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays talked with the Country Director in Taiwan for US Wheat Associates, Bo-Yuan Chen.
U.S., Canadian Spring Wheat Quality Hurt by Wet Harvest Conditions
Successful Farming – 09/20/2019
Excessively wet conditions in the northern U.S. Plains and Canadian Prairies have hurt the quality of the region’s spring and durum wheat crops, potentially tightening supplies of top grades of the grains, handlers and agronomists said. Rains and heavy dew have slowed the harvest and, worse, caused mature, un-harvested wheat kernels in some areas to begin to sprout, severely damaging quality and triggering steep discounts from grain buyers of $1 or more per bushel. “It’s really bad news in a year like this, when commodity prices are so low to begin with,” said Joel Ransom, an agronomist with North Dakota State University in Fargo. Farmers in North Dakota, by far the largest U.S. spring wheat producer, have already endured low prices for soybeans, the state’s top-grossing crop. Soy surpluses in North Dakota and elsewhere have ballooned due to several years of bumper harvests coupled with slowing export demand as the U.S trade war with top soy buyer China enters its second year.
Ag Plays a Major Role in US-China Trade Talks This Week
Agri-Pulse – 09/19/2019
High-level U.S. and Chinese agricultural trade officials are prominent in the bilateral trade talks this week as Gregg Doud, the top ag negotiator for the U.S. Trade Representative, and Han Jun, China’s vice minister of agriculture and rural affairs, met together with others at USTR’s Washington headquarters Thursday. If all goes well with the talks this week, USTR Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are expected to sit down with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He and others in early October. A specific date has not yet been set, one U.S. government official said. Talks this week to try to end the trade war and set up higher-level meetings next month will continue through Friday, but Agri-Pulse has learned that Han will remain in the U.S. after the dialogue. The vice minister is scheduled to visit farming operations in Montana and Nebraska next week, according to government and industry sources.
Optimisim for Durum Starting to Fade Slightly
AgUpdate – 09/21/2019
The optimism that many producers felt going into durum harvest, with a pretty good looking crop with good yield potential, has dimmed somewhat as late season rain and cool temperatures have raised quality concerns. “Certainly there was some heightened concern with disease pressure, lower protein and hard counts due to yield potential, but since we’ve turned the corner into September and approached the middle of the month, there’s a lot of crop out there that has declined in quality,” said Jim Peterson, marketing director for the North Dakota Wheat Commission. “The degree of decline is the debate right now. It’s to the point where some of those unharvested bushels probably are going to be rolled up into bales for livestock feed or just not harvested until sometime in early October after farmers harvest lesser damaged crops off and the weather pattern changes.” As of Sept. 16, about 50 percent of the North Dakota durum crop was harvested, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service. In some areas in the northwest corner of North Dakota where over half the durum is produced, there was no more than 15 percent harvested.
A Tough Year for Wheat Farmers
The Bismarck Tribune – 09/22/2019
Aaron Kjelland says he’s “inherently an optimist.” That’s a good thing, even a necessity, in modern agriculture. But it’s especially important this growing season — one that began for Kjelland with too little rain and that’s now plagued with excess moisture, harvest delays and major quality concerns in his wheat crop. “It’s been a challenging year, that’s for sure. And there are farmers who’ve had greater challenges than we’ve had,” said the 38-year-old who farms with his father, Orville, near Park River in northeastern North Dakota. Spring wheat farmers across the Upper Midwest — producers throughout North Dakota, in much of Montana and South Dakota and in northwest Minnesota grow the crop — have struggled in 2019.
Source: U.S. Wheat Associates