MN Wheat Weekly Update
National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) Update
NAWG Holds Virtual Hill Week, Talks Priorities
- This week the National Association of Wheat Growers and its state associations virtually hit the Hill to talk with policymakers about the organization’s 2021 policy priorities. Participants discussed farm support programs, trade & market access, and climate, sustainability & regulatory policy. As part of its work, NAWG’s officers and staff met with majority and minority staff for the House and Senate Agriculture Committees, and throughout the week, NAWG and its state associations met with over 45 Congressional offices. THANK YOU to our members that participated this week and to the Members of Congress and their staff who met with us.
NAWG/USW Applaud Break in U.S.-EU Dispute
- Last Friday, NAWG and U.S. Wheat Associates issued a joint press release on a four-month agreement between the United States and European Union to set aside retaliatory tariffs that arose from the Boeing/Airbus dispute. While this is not a permanent resolution, the four-month suspension will provide immediate relief for U.S. hard red spring wheat imports by EU countries. In terms of next steps, it is critical that a long-term agreement be found to avoid future disruptions.
COVID Relief Package Includes $800 Million for International Food Aid
- A key provision included in the American Rescue Plan Act is $800 million in funding for the Food for Peace Act. Since the onset of COVID-19, NAWG and other food and agricultural organizations have sought additional international food aid funding. Most recently, on January 25, 2021, 40 food and agriculture organizations – including NAWG – sent a letter to appropriators requesting additional funding to procure U.S. commodities through food aid programs to address the immediate global hunger crisis that COVID-19 has exacerbated. The American Rescue Plan Act was signed into law earlier today.
Quality Loss Adjustment (QLA) Program Sign-up Deadline Extended
- Last Friday, FSA had announced an extension of the deadline to sign up for the Quality Loss Adjustment (QLA) program to April 9, 2021 and indicated that the agency had clarified policy. The program is intended to provide assistance to growers suffering poor quality as a result of extreme weather conditions in 2018 and 2019. NAWG has been working with other stakeholders on some issues related to the documentation required for the program, and seeking additional information from the agency about the policy clarifications that were noted as having been announced.
US Wheat Associates, Weekly Price Report
- All wheat futures prices fell on the week due to lower global wheat prices and the anticipation of significant, much-needed precipitation across most winter and spring wheat-producing regions in the Great Plains (see below). CBOT May soft red winter (SRW) futures prices fell 14 cents to end at $6.38/bu. KCBT hard red winter (HRW) futures slipped 23 cents to close at $6.03/bu. MGE hard red spring (HRS) futures dropped 11 cents to end at $6.34/bu. CBOT corn futures fell 6 cents to close at $5.39/bu. CBOT soybean futures slipped 17 cents to end at $14.
- Commercial Sales: This week’s commercial sales of 329,000 metric tons (MT) for delivery in 2020/21 were up 50% from last week’s 219,000 MT and on the high end of trade expectations of 150,000 MT to 350,000 MT. Year-to-date sales of 24.1 MMT are 2% ahead of last year’s pace. USDA forecasts total U.S. wheat exports will reach 26.8 MMT in 2020/21, 2% ahead of last year, if realized. View the most recent USW Commercial Sales report here.
U.S. Drought Monitor
- Moderate to heavy precipitation is expected over the weekend across most of the Southern to Northern Plains. While several feet of snow are expected in some areas, temperatures are not expected to reach levels that could damage winter wheat, said DTN. The much-needed precipitation will replenish soil moisture levels across much of the country’s wheat growing regions.
(MN Farm Bureau Federation IMPACT)
PLC and ARC Enrollment
- March 15 is the deadline to enroll in the Price Loss Coverage (PLC) or Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) programs for 2021. Program enrollment, which farmers can do on a commodity-by-commodity basis, is required to participate in the programs this year. ARC and PLC are Title I commodity safety net programs established in the 2018 farm bill (What’s in Title I of the 2018 Farm Bill for Field Crops? ). For the 2021/22 crop year, farmers can change their coverage options from what they selected in 2019 for each of the commodities and base acres enrolled.
- Read more in AFBF’s Market Intel report
Ag Workers Now Eligible for COVID-19 Vaccine
- Governor Tim Walz announced that Minnesota is expanding COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to include a segment of Minnesota’s food and agriculture sector.
- Starting Wednesday, March 10, vaccine eligibility will expand to the next two phases which will include farmers, farmworkers, food processing plant workers and other essential agriculture workers.
Other Items of Interest
NCI Cereal Innovators Webinar Series
- Please join AURI on April 14th at 9:30 am (CST) at the Northern Crops Institute’s “Cereal Innovators” webinar. Dr. George Annor, cereal chemist in the Department of Food Science and Nutrition at the University of Minnesota, and Dr. James Anderson, Professor of Wheat Breeding and Genetics at the University of Minnesota, will cover insights from research funded through the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Growth, Research, and Innovation (AGRI) Grant.