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Articles of Interest- Friday, November 8, 2019

Articles of Interest- Friday, November 8, 2019

Canada: Falling Number Discounts Surprise Producers

The Western Producer – 11/07/2019

Poor falling numbers in the Canadian wheat crop have growers scrutinizing their sales contracts because deliveries that fail to meet minimum falling number commitments are being dumped into the feed bin regardless of what they look like. “If farmers are observing something unusual or something they haven’t seen before, it’s advisable for them to look around to see what other grain companies in their area might be doing because not everybody is handing the falling number problem the same way,” said Wade Sobkowich, executive director of the Western Grain Elevator Association. Todd Hames, who farms near Lloydminster, Alta., and sits on Cereals Canada’s board as producer representative from the Alberta Wheat Commission, said producers are upset their grain is being discounted so drastically.

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China: Trade War Tariffs to be Cut

Agri-Pulse – 11/07/2019

U.S. and Chinese negotiators have agreed to eliminate some tariffs “in phases” as talks continue to finalize a partial Phase One trade deal, a spokesman for China’s Commerce Ministry said Thursday at a press conference in Beijing. Negotiations are not yet finished, said spokesman Gao Feng, who warned that the deal would not be agreed to if the tariff cuts are not proportional. Both countries agreeing to tariff cuts are a necessary “precondition” for the success of Phase One, Gao said. “On the tariffs, the Chinese position is clear and strong,” Gao said through a translator on a government-run broadcast. “This trade war will end if all the tariffs are removed.”

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Origin of Deadly Wheat Pathogen Revealed

University of Minnesota – 11/07/2019

Stem rust is a devastating wheat disease that has caused famines and undermined economies around the world for centuries.  One particular strain of the stem rust fungus, dubbed “Ug99,” threatens the global wheat supply because it can attack more than 80% of all varieties planted across the world. The ability of Ug99 to attack so many wheat varieties has confounded scientists and farmers since its discovery in Africa two decades ago.  Now, a team of researchers has uncovered the basis of Ug99’s wide virulence by examining the pathogen’s genome. They determined that the pathogen’s ability to attack so many wheats can be traced to a rarely observed phenomenon where two different rust strains fuse together and exchange intact nuclei. This event creates a hybrid strain with a wider host range than its original parents. 

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Forecasts Mixed for Arizona Wheat Production

FarmProgress – 11/06/2019

Eric Wilkey, national chairman of the North American Grain and Feed Association, is also President of Arizona Grain, a company that purchases, conditions, and markets varieties of grains. “Durum is the predominant grain production wheat in Arizona, a cash crop that works well as a rotation crop for vegetables or grown for forage,” he says.  The most recent National Agricultural Statistics Service numbers show 44,000 acres of durum harvested this year (compared to 70,000 acres in 2018).  Arizona has harvested as many as 150,000 acres of durum (2008) and production varies depending on the world’s supply. “Demand for Arizona production has been all over the board depending on a myriad of variables, the most important being crop quality elsewhere like in  major North American production areas,” he adds. “If Mother Nature treats them well and their quality is good, millers don’t need to come to Arizona for our product.  But if bad weather shows up, we’re the fall-back guys for quality — and additional quantity.”

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Spring Wheat Prices Weaken Slightly

AgUpdate – 11/07/2019

Better than expected progress on the delayed U.S. and Canadian spring wheat crops, as well as slightly less demand, weakened prices as October came to a close. “In spring wheat, our price strength that we had going into the middle of October has weakened a bit,” said Jim Peterson, marketing director for the North Dakota Wheat Commission. “We’re seeing no real big demand coming into the U.S. market or from overseas buying, and at the same time, some tightness for near-term quality needs to U.S. mills seems to have eased a bit, so the market has fallen back some.” Prices for 14 percent protein spring wheat across the region range anywhere from as low as $4.40 to as high as $5.30 in parts of Montana. The average is about $4.75.

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Source: U.S. Wheat Associates