November 3, 2017
We hope you enjoy this week’s edition of KAWG E-News.
2017 Census of Agriculture
Kansas farmers and ranchers have the opportunity to make a positive impact on their communities by participating in the 2017 Census of Agriculture. Conducted every five years by the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), the Census of Agriculture is a complete count of all U.S. farms and ranches as well as those who operate them.
Census forms will be mailed to producers in December. Completed forms are due by February 5, 2018. Producers may report via secure website to complete the Census, or return their forms by mail. Federal law requires all agricultural producers to participate in the Census and requires NASS to keep all individual information confidential.
For more information, please visit www.agcensus.usda.gov.
Mexican millers seeking to add ‘Australia, Germany, Poland to wheat origins’
Mexican millers, historically the biggest buyers of US wheat, are lining up a second purchase of Argentine wheat before they have even received the first – and are investigating purchases from Australia, Germany and Poland too.
Talk suggests that Mexico’s millers – which have been already been reported as having bought one 30,000-tonne cargo of Argentine wheat, the first on record – are “in the process of purchasing one additional shipment” from the South American country.
“Depending on the results of this test, more shipments are possible if the price and timing are right.” The first one is scheduled to arrive in late December.
U.S. Sen. Roberts calls for campaign to fight derailment of NAFTA
U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts called for a robust public education campaign Tuesday to deflate claims by President Donald Trump and others the North American Free Trade Agreement was a disaster for the United States and that concessions from Canada and Mexico must be extracted through renegotiation.
Roberts, the Kansas Republican who chairs the Senate’s agriculture committee, said in a speech to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C., that trade inspired by NAFTA had been a powerful economic force for Kansas agriculture. He said export markets in Mexico and Canada were essential to stave off further erosion in the price producers received in crop and livestock markets.
House Science Committee Spotlights Agro-Defense Research
Democrats will delay Brownback vote over gay rights record
Senate Democrats will delay the confirmation of Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback as ambassador for religious liberty because of his record on gay rights.
Democrats plan to force Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to take extra procedural steps on the Brownback nomination in order to get him confirmed, a Democratic aide told The Kansas City Star.
Senate Democrats, though, will have trouble blocking a final confirmation vote. Under current rules, executive appointees such as Brownback only need 51 votes to overcome additional hurdles for confirmation. Republicans control 52 of the Senate’s 100 seats.
Moran, Marshall introduce legislation to help with wildfire losses
from The Hutchinson News
After two years of wildfire disasters on the rural plains, two Kansas lawmakers are working to address the federal government’s rigid rules and red tape that has been a hindrance to the rebuilding efforts.
Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kansas, introduced four bills Thursday to address the problems with Farm Service Agency programs that help pay for fences and cattle losses when such incidents occur. Republican Rep. Roger Marshall introduced the same legislation Thursday in the House, Moran told The News Thursday morning.
“This legislation is the result of conversations with people affected – veterinarians, bankers, livestock producers,” said Moran, adding he has visited Clark County four times since the fires.
News from National Association of Wheat Growers
NAWG Officially Announces David Schemm’s Resignation as President
NAWG has announced the resignation of former NAWG President, David Schemm, who is pursuing other professional opportunities in his home state of Kansas. NAWG’s Past President and Montana farmer Gordon Stoner has been chosen to assume the duties and role of the President until the next officer election at the 2018 Commodity Classic. Read NAWG’s release here.
NAWG President Defends NAFTA During U.S. Chamber of Commerce Panel
NAWG President Gordon Stoner, along with other agricultural representatives, participated in a NAFTA panel titled “The Future of NAFTA: The Stakes for American Agriculture and Business” this past Tuesday. Gordon defended NAFTA by stressing the importance of international markets for U.S. wheat growers, especially during a time of financial distress within our farm economy. He continued with statements regarding how Mexican millers have already begun sourcing wheat from other countries. Read NAWG’s release here.
House GOP Releases Tax Reform Legislation
Today, the House of Representatives released its 429-page “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” which includes a broad set of proposed changes to the corporate and individual tax system. Visit the House Ways and Means Committee page to read the bill and news from the Committee.
Senate Confirms Ibach, Not Northey
On October 26, 2017, the Senate confirmed Greg Ibach’s nomination to serve as Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). However, they did not act on the nomination of Bill Northey as Agriculture undersecretary for farm production and conservation. The Senate Ag Committee approved both nominations but Northey’s nomination has become an issue due to the dispute over the Renewable Fuel Standard. According to AgriPulse, “Oil Senators wrote President Trump demanding a meeting with him to talk about changes to the RFS.” On October 30, 2017, Greg Ibach was sworn into his post at the USDA.
Clovis, Linked to Mueller Probe, Withdraws Nomination for USDA Top Scientist Post
On November 02, 2017, Sam Clovis has withdrawn his name from consideration as the president’s pick to be the Department of Agriculture’s chief scientist. The withdrawal came just days after Clovis had been questioned by special counsel Robert Mueller’s team and testified before the grand jury. NBC News reported the story.
Mexico Begins Sourcing Wheat from Argentina
Mexico has issued an approval to import Argentine wheat decreasing the country’s dependence on U.S. wheat farmers during the increasingly turbulent renegotiation of NAFTA, AgriPulse recently reported. Mexico has reached agreement on a phytosanitary protocol to import wheat from Argentina, and that one trial shipment is scheduled for later this year. Mexican millers have stated that these new purchases do not reflect the anticipation of Trump’s administration decision to pull out of NAFTA but rather the current economic factors and market forces.
House Science to Holds Ag Research Hearing
On Thursday, November 02, 2017, The House Committee on Science, Space, & Technology held a Research Technology Subcommittee hearing titled “Putting Food on the Table – A Review of the Importance of Agriculture Research.” Witnesses included: Dr. Daniel Gerstein, senior policy researcher, RAND Corporation; Dr. Stephen Higgs, associate vice president for research and director, Biosecurity Research Institute, Kansas State University; Dr. Stephen P. Moose, Denton and Elizabeth Alexander Professor, maize breeding and genetics, Department of Crop Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; and Dr. Elizabeth Wagstrom, chief veterinarian, National Pork Producers Council. Watch the webcast here.
New Month, Better Wheat Prices 11/3/2017
Down in August, up in September, down in October was the activity for the wheat price. Maybe there is a price cycle established as wheat prices traded high to start the month of November. Trading on Thursday of this week recorded a double digit gain for the December Kansas City wheat price. Friday’s price action was mixed but a round of buying at the close allowed for a small advance.
One of the reasons for this week’s rally is the action of large traders. The funds were holding a large net short position in the wheat at the end of October. They decided to cover some of those positions and thus, a rally. The advance on Thursday did turn short-term technical indicators to the upside. Buy stops triggered and the caution flag was raised for the bearish technical traders.
Bullish demand news did surface. World wheat export trade is on the rise. Some large wheat importers secured wheat in the last two weeks. Most of this wheat because of price was sourced out of the Black Sea Region with Russia receiving the largest amounts. The Russian Agriculture Minister updated his wheat production estimate to 87.9 million metric tons. This is 12.1 million metric tons above last year. Russia will remain the major source of world wheat exports for the next several months as their wheat price is the cheapest in the world.
This Black Sea wheat price will keep the United States out of the cheaper world wheat trade. We will remain active in the high quality wheat market but this demand is limited. This week, Iraq and Taiwan bought U.S. wheat.
On the supply side, there is talk of wheat producers in Kansas and Oklahoma reducing their winter wheat plantings. Moisture conditions are good but many wheat fields were planted late. Because of the late planting, some producers decided to utilize the land for falls crops next year. The amount of acres is up for debate.
Source: Kansas Association of Wheat Growers