Recent news and highlights from around the wheat industry.
Quote of the Week: “Storms are always very concerning for those of us in agriculture. It was very unfortunate, especially for our wheat producers here in Oklahoma, to have this much rain this close to harvest.” – Blayne Arthur, Oklahoma Secretary of Agriculture, on the effects of constant rain and severe flooding that may significantly reduce final wheat yield potential in Oklahoma and many other states this year.
Best Wishes to Ben Conner who is leaving his position as U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) Vice President of Policy on June 7, 2019, to become a partner at DTB Associates, Washington, D.C. Continuing the legacy of his predecessors at USW, Ben’s work the past five years has focused on reducing barriers to international trade for U.S. wheat farmers. Notable examples include Ben’s successful stewardship of USW’s positions on: WTO cases against China’s non-compliant domestic wheat support and its imported wheat tariff rate quota (TRQ); Brazil’s agreement to implement its WTO obligation to import 750,000 metric tons of wheat duty-free from non-Mercosur countries; potential long-term consequences from using a Section 232 national security exemption to implement tariffs on steel and aluminum imports; and unfair restrictions on U.S. farmers when selling their wheat across the border to nearby Canadian elevators compared to Canadian farmers who sell their wheat to U.S. elevators. We thank you, Ben, for all you’ve done for U.S. wheat producers, and for being such a dedicated and supportive colleague.
Spring Wheat Planting Progress. North Dakota Wheat Commission reported that farmers make some progress planting hard red spring (HRS) wheat since last week. Percent of the U.S. spring wheat crop planted has now reached 84 percent, compared to 91 percent on average. However, some acres will not get planted due to overly wet conditions in South Dakota and southern North Dakota. Read more here.
U.S.–Colombia FTA Pays Dividends. From USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service, since the U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement (CTPA) entered into force May 15, 2012, U.S. agricultural exports to Colombia nearly tripled to $2.9 billion in 2018. Colombia, the third-largest economy in South America, now purchases half its agricultural imports from the United States. Preferential access from CTPA and a strong and changing Colombian economy will keep demand for high-quality U.S. wheat and other products strong. Please click here to read more.
Borlaug Dialogue. Amb. Kenneth M. Quinn, president of the World Food Prize Foundation, recently announced the opening of registration for the 2019 Borlaug Dialogue International Symposium, Pax Agricultura: Peace Through Agriculture, Oct. 16 to18, 2019, in Des Moines, Iowa. Through the Borlaug Dialogue, the World Food Prize Foundation helps build alliances in the struggle against world hunger and malnutrition. Read the release here.
Sincere Sympathies to our colleague Joshua Tonsager, Vice President of Policy and Communications with the National Association of Wheat Growers, and his family on the passing of his father Dallas Tonsager, chairman of the U.S. Farm Credit Administration since 2016, former Undersecretary for Rural Development at USDA and a South Dakota farmer. Read more here.
Baking with Whole Wheat and Whole Grains Course. The Northern Crops Institute is hosting a course focused on the utilization of whole wheat flour made from hard red spring (HRS) wheat and how to incorporate other whole grain ingredients into wheat-based products. The July 30 to Aug. 2, 2019 course will be at its facilities in Fargo, N.D. Click here to learn more and register by Monday, July 8.
IAOM-KSU Flour and Dough Analysis. The IAOM-KSU Flour and Dough Analysis short course will be held at the IGP Institute in Manhattan, Kan., Sept. 10 to 12, 2019. The course will focus on flour and dough analysis practices and methods and correct interpretation and understanding of the results. Click here to learn more and register.