USMCA Is Still a Top Priority for US Wheat
Brownfield Ag News – 09/26/2019 The vice president of communications for the US Wheat Associates says the US Mexico Canada Agreement continues to be a priority for the wheat industry. Steve Mercer says Mexico is the largest buyer of US wheat. “That market’s growing, it’s in our backyard and they’re going to continue to be a very good market,” he says. “Mexico is critical because it gives us the opportunity to continue competing there without having a tariff on our exports.” Mexico is a significant buyer of soft red winter wheat. “That’s indicative of what’s happening in Latin America in general,” He says. “There’s a lot of growth in the foods that use the kind of flour that’s made from soft red winter including cookies, crackers, and blending for bread.”
Snow to Stall Wheat, Canola Harvest in Canada, Montana
Reuters – 09/27/2019 A weekend storm is poised to bring more than a foot (30.5 cm) of snow to parts of Montana and the Canadian prairies, putting portions of the region’s spring wheat and canola crops at risk, a meteorologist said. Excessively wet conditions in the region this month have already slowed fieldwork and hurt spring wheat quality on both sides of the border. Snow is expected to fall from Saturday night through Monday, dumping four to 12 inches (10 to 30 cm) broadly across southern Alberta and southwest Saskatchewan. A few areas close to the U.S. border are likely to receive 18 inches through Monday, said Nick Vita, a meteorologist with the Commodity Weather Group. “We’re thinking about 10 to 15 percent of the Canadian spring wheat and canola is at risk to see 5 to 10 percent losses due to lodging from the snow,” said Vita. Lodging occurs when plants get knocked over, making them difficult to harvest. Montana’s spring wheat harvest was 80% complete by Sept. 22, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said, limiting the amount of crops still vulnerable to the weather there.
U.S. Signs Trade Deal With Japan, Securing Important Market for Washington Wheat
Spokesman- Review – 09/25/2019 The Washington wheat industry got its first good news in more than two years Wednesday when President Donald Trump announced a new bilateral trade deal with Japan, which traditionally has been among the biggest importers of the region’s wheat. Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced the agreement, which eliminates tariffs for agricultural and industrial goods, and digital trade, on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly. Trump earlier had put Washington wheat markets in jeopardy when he decided in 2017 to pull the United States out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which put U.S. wheat farmers at a graduating trade disadvantage to both Canada and Australia. “This is great. We are excited,” said Glen Squires, CEO of the Washington Wheat Commission. “We have been working on this for some time.” As part of the announcement, Trump said U.S. officials are still negotiating toward a bigger deal with Japan, one of the world’s largest economies. “This is a big chunk, but in the fairly near future we’re going to be having a lot more comprehensive deals signed with Japan,” Trump said.
The Wheat is Soft But So Are the Prices
The Lewiston Tribune- 09/28/2019 It was a good harvest for Idaho farm crops this year, Idaho Wheat Commission Executive Director Blaine Jacobson said. But wheat prices as of late have not been as encouraging as the grain in the bin. “Overall for Idaho we had an above-average crop,” Jacobson said. “Not as high yields as last year, but last year was an all-time record. This year the quality is good and yields are above average, so overall we’re very happy with it.” The harvest was later than usual, Jacobson noted; about two weeks behind the normal harvesting dates for both winter and spring wheat because of the cooler, wetter spring. But that later starting date did not result in problems with pests or sprout damage. The main issue has been the prices that have remained below $5 a bushel — a benchmark some farmers consider their break-even point.
Columbia River Lock Reopens for Barge Traffic as Northwest Wheat Harvest Finishes Up
Spokane Public Radio – 09/29/2019 A critical navigation lock on the lower Columbia River reopened Friday night, Sept. 27, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The Corps previously said the river would reopen Sept. 30, but crews were able to finish work a few days early. That means barges full of grain and other materials waiting to get from Inland Northwest ports to Vancouver and Portland and out to export markets can resume. Boat traffic on the international trade route has been stopped since September 5 to repair a lock at Bonneville Dam. Crews with the Army Corps’ Portland division have been working around-the-clock the past three weeks to open the channel. “In the October – November time frame, that’s when some of the most wheat goes down the river. Because it’s right after harvest. All of the grain has been collected into these ports, and it’s ready for shipment,” according to correspondent Anna King, who covers regional agriculture. “And a lot of the countries have been waiting for these new wheat products to come out. And they’re ready to re-up their stores.”
Source: U.S. Wheat Associates