Worst Australian Drought in 50 Years Affects Farm Exports
Business Times – 10/15/2019
Proving to be the worst drought to happen in Australia in over half a century, it has already terribly affected the country’s output of agricultural products that threatens the disruption of global markets that depend on the nation’s imports. The shortage in Australia’s wheat supply already affected Indonesia’s noodle-making industry. The Australian Financial Review reports that flour mills in Indonesia went back to get their supply from Argentina and the Black Sea nations. This move was not received well by customers because wheat from these countries produces a darker color.
To get around this, Indonesian noodle makers had started using chemical additives and a bleaching agent which raised food safety concerns.Just last month, Australia’s Department of Agriculture was on track in producing 33.8 million tons of grain of 12 varieties for the fiscal year ending in June 2020.
Embattled Argentine Farmers Eye Presidential Vote With Fear
ABC News – 10/16/2019
Juan Rossi walks between rows of green wheat at his farm in one of Argentina’s most fertile agricultural regions, worrying about the future of the farming sector that is the main economic engine of this country. When he planted the wheat, he expected conservative Mauricio Macri to be re-elected president of Argentina. Now, farmers like Rossi are bracing for a possible return of the interventionist policies of Macri’s now favored main rival: the presidential ticket of Alberto Fernández and former President Cristina Fernández. Export restrictions imposed during Cristina Fernandez’s 2007-2015 left-of-center government triggered a revolt in 2008 by Argentina’s farmers, who are among the world’s top suppliers of grains. She is now running as vice president with her former aide bidding for the presidency in the Oct. 27 national elections.
Interview: Colorado Wheat Group Optimistic
AGinfo.net – 10/16/2019
On the heels of a very positive grains report for 2018 Colorado Winter Wheat production the Colorado Wheat growers and their representatives are cautious about current plantings due to dry conditions. But they are optimistic about trade and future prices for growers. Brad Erker Executive Director of the combined Colorado Wheat Administrative Committee, Colorado Association of Wheat Growers , and Colorado Wheat Research Foundation says the partial trade deal signed with Japan will win back benefits for American farmers . Japan imports a lot of Soft White wheat and Hard Red Spring Wheat. ERKER: “But they also import a lot of Hard Red Winter which is the class we produce in Colorado. They do most of that out of the Pacific NW and Montana but anything that helps deplete this big supply that we have in the world of Hard Red Winter Wheat is a positive for the price. The price is quite low right now. That was good news on the trade front to get that deal signed with Japan.”
Genetics to Feed the World
Science Daily – 10/15/2019
Wheat provides 20% of the total calories and protein content for the world’s population and is a staple for more than 2.5 billion people around the world. However, the production system for this grain is currently facing several challenges that demand immediate solutions. How can wheat productivity increase in order to feed a population that will reach 9 billion in 2050 and at the same time deal with limited farmland and the harsh effects of climate change? Not to mention the threat of pests, for which it is necessary to find sustainable means instead of using harmful products.
The importance of this grain in the world’s diet makes the search for the solutions to these challenges a matter of great urgency. In recently published research in the journal Nature Genetics, an international scientific team, including University of Cordoba researcher Carlos Guzmán, looked into the validity of genomic selection to improve wheat on a genetic level in order to cope with these problems. “We are talking about testing whether it is possible to use information available in the genome to predict how productive a variety of wheat will be, if it will be drought- or heat-resistant and what quality its grain will have,” explains Guzmán.
Moisture Boost to Help Wheat Farmers This Planting Season
The Oklahoman – 10/13/2019
A year ago, Oklahoma wheat farmers faced bone-dry conditions. But not this planting season.
Things are markedly improved, thanks to an exceptionally wet 2019. Heavy rainfall in north-central and northeastern portions of Oklahoma has increased statewide rainfall averages to 10 inches above normal in some places. According to Wes Lee, agriculture coordinator with the Oklahoma Mesonet, wheat growers are getting a nice boost going into planting season. “In my opinion, the soil moisture is in pretty good shape, statewide,” Lee said.“Like the drought map, there are pockets that are drier than other parts of the state. “The northeast and north-central areas, where they’ve been getting excessive rainfall, soil moisture is at full saturation, as wet as it can get. The state’s wheat belt is in good shape, he said.
Source: U.S. Wheat Associates