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Articles of Interest- Friday, November 22, 2019

Articles of Interest- Friday, November 22, 2019

Black Sea Wheat Crop Faces Potential Problems

The Western Producer – 11/21/2019

Grain markets are warned to pay close attention to the questionable start to the 2019-20 crop in Russia and Ukraine. There are mixed reports on the condition of this year’s Black Sea winter wheat crop. “The soils in parts of Russia and Ukraine have been really fairly dry in the planting season,” said Bruce Burnett, analyst with MarketsFarm. That is causing concern over crop establishment in the premier winter wheat growing region of the world. “The emergence and germination are probably a little poorer than normal,” he said. “I wouldn’t say that it’s a crisis or anything, it’s just something to keep an eye on.” The dry conditions extend into eastern Europe, which is another important winter wheat growing area. Burnett is not waving any red flags yet, but he thinks grain markets should be paying close attention to the questionable start to the 2019-20 wheat crop.
He believes acres in the Black Sea region will be similar to last year because prices are about the same. Andrey Sizov, managing director of SovEcon, a Russian agricultural consultancy, agreed that seeded acreage in Ukraine and Russia will be similar to last year.

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Editorial: It’s Time to Vote on USMCA

Capital Press– 11/21/2019

We have been skeptical that there could be Congressional approval of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA, before next year’s election given the great partisan divide between the White House and Congressional Democrats. But last week, even as the House was deep into televised impeachment hearings, Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Democrats were close to a deal with the Trump administration that would add more protections for the environment and workers to the pact. That’s good news if the pact comes up for a vote and is ratified. People have been complaining about various provisions in the North American Free Trade Agreement since the first President Bush negotiated it and President Clinton signed it. It was one of the trade deals Donald Trump railed against in the 2016 campaign. Farmers in the United States generally have benefited from NAFTA. But there are sticking points. Wheat growers, for example, say the pact has opened up the Mexican market, increasing exports by 400%.

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Kansas Wheat Crop in Need of Fall Moisture

Kansas Wheat Commission – 11/21/2019

Wheat is a resilient crop, thanks in part to the cutting edge genetics that modern varieties have, but even the hardiest of plants need a rain every now and then. At the November 19th meeting of the Kansas Association of Wheat Growers, board members from across the state reported on current crop conditions and expected acres in their areas. One theme through the meeting was the need for a refreshing drink for newly planted wheat. While subsoil moisture is adequate in many areas of the state, the moisture below our feet is quickly being used up while the top soil statewide is ‘bone dry.’ Michael Jordan, Beloit, reported that his local weather station has only recorded one precipitation event of 0.02”  of moisture since his wheat was planted. Chris Tanner, Norton, said that his area has seen no measurable precipitation since the third week of August.

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Spring Wheat Futures Market a Bit Frustrating

AgUpdate – 11/21/2019

Given the issues producers have faced with this year’s hard red spring wheat crop, many people thought it might lead to much stronger prices than they are, but that hasn’t been the case.
“Spring wheat futures prices are trending slightly lower and that’s somewhat frustrating,” said Erica Olson, marketing specialist for the North Dakota Wheat Commission. “With the harvest issues and corresponding quality issues – although they’re not as severe as with durum – many would anticipate higher prices. However, overall supply factors are weighing on prices. “World stocks continue to increase and also spring wheat stocks are at the highest level we’ve seen in recent years. That’s kept the futures prices even, but we’re finally seeing some response in local basis levels.”

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Millers Focus on Flour Safety

World-Grain – 11/21/2019

With increasing concerns about flour safety, the demands for milling equipment that can meet ever-more stringent requirements are also increasing, necessitating constant innovation by the world’s equipment suppliers. One supplier in World Grain’s annual survey of the international milling industry’s equipment and service suppliers said it is designing equipment to provide mills the highest safety parameters, eliminating any possible infestation points of the equipment and even changing the material of some.

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Source: U.S. Wheat Associates