E-News: NAWG in DC, NWF Yield Contest, US Wheat Forecast & more in this weeks edition!
May 14, 2018
WHEAT GROWERS TALK FARM BILL WITH LAWMAKERS IN WASHINGTON, D.C.
Officers of the National Association of Wheat Growers are in Washington, D.C. this week meeting with members of Congress.
The wheat growers are stressing the importance of passing a farm bill this year. NAWG President Jimmie Musick of Oklahoma says its “critical” to talk with lawmakers about completing the farm bill reauthorization before the current farm bill expires.
Members of the Kansas Association of Wheat Growers, Texas Wheat Producers Association, and Washington Association of Wheat Growers were joining the national officers on Capitol Hill.
The Association notes that net farm income of wheat farmers is expected to decline more than 21 percent this year from last year, combining with low commodity prices and a suffering ag economy, all reasons “strong farm bill programs are key” to allow growers to continue farming.
House Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway is hoping to bring the new farm bill to the full House of Representatives for consideration as early as next week.
Report: US Winter Wheat Forecast Down Amid Drought, Surplus
U.S. farmers are expected to harvest their smallest winter wheat crop in more than a decade amid an ongoing drought that has devastated fields across the nation’s breadbasket and a global surplus of the grain that has depressed prices, according to government report released Thursday.
The National Agricultural Statistics Service forecast the size of the nation’s 2018 wheat crop at 1.19 billion bushels. If realized, that would be down 6 percent from the previous year.
The last time the nation’s farmers harvested such a small wheat crop was in 2002, when U.S. production fell to 1.137 billion bushels, said Marsha Boswell, spokeswoman for the industry group Kansas Wheat.
“It is not a surprise that production is down, the market is not really telling people to plant wheat. There is a surplus of wheat in the world,” Boswell said.
Not only are projected U.S. wheat yields down to an average 48 bushels per acre, but the agency is also forecasting that just 24.8 million acres of wheat will be harvested – a record low harvested acreage for the United States, according to the report.
Kansas remained the nation’s top winter wheat producer even in a dry year like this one, with the government estimating that state’s growers will bring in 270.1 million bushels. That’s compared to the 333.6 million bushels harvested last year in Kansas.
NWF National Wheat Yield Contest: Winter Wheat Deadline – May 15!
Via National Wheat Foundation
The National Wheat Foundation’s (NWF) annual National Wheat Yield Contest continues to drive innovation in the industry by spotlighting the best practices among American wheat growers. In its third year, the contest added a quality requirement, raising the bar for what constitutes the greater grain among U.S. wheat growers. For more information on contest guidelines, deadlines and how to apply, visit https://yieldcontest.wheatfoundation.org/. The deadline for Winter Wheat submissions is May 15th!
NAWG Weekly Update
Via National Association of Wheat Growers
NAWG/USW Respond to USTR Challenge to India’s Farm Subsidy Report
On Wednesday, May 9th, Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced that the United States has challenged India’s report to the World Trade Organization on its levels of market price support for wheat and rice. In a joint release, U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) and the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) commended the Administration on this move and consider the counter notification “an appropriate and welcome step that further brings transparency to countries’ farm support programs.” Read the release in its entirety here.
NWF Blog: NAWG’s Craig Berning Shares His Experience of the 2018 Kansas Wheat Quality Tour
Last week, NAWG’s Coordinator of Federal Government Relations Craig Berning participated in the Hard Red Winter Wheat Quality Tour of Kansas. Hosted by the Wheat Quality Council, the tour left Manhattan on Monday, swinging west to the town of Colby on Tuesday and then south to Wichita on Wednesday, before ending back in Manhattan. Berning provided updates of the tour along the way through his posts on @wheatworld and #WheatTour18 but also recapped his experience in a recent National Wheat Foundation blog.
House Ag Approps Approves FY19 bill
The House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee on Wednesday approved the fiscal year 2019 appropriations bill for the Agriculture Department, the Food and Drug Administration, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Farm Credit Administration. The full House Appropriations Committee is expected to take up the bill next week. Total discretionary funding in the legislation is $23.27 billion, which is $14 million above the fiscal year 2018 enacted level. In total, the bill allows for $145.09 billion in both discretionary and mandatory funding – $922 million below the fiscal year 2018 enacted level. Bill text can be found here and highlights are here.
House Panel OK’s Bill to Ax WOTUS
As reported in AgriPulse, the House Appropriations Committee’s energy and water subcommittee advanced a spending bill for fiscal year 2019 that would increase funding for the Army Corps of Engineers and repeal the “waters of the U.S.” rule…EPA and the Corps have not finalized their proposal to rescind the rule, which means they also have not offered a replacement. The energy and water spending bill would repeal WOTUS until the agencies come up with a new rule. The bill would fund the Corps at $7.28 billion, an increase of $451 million from the current fiscal year.
On another note, a new WOTUS rule won’t be final until September 2019, nine months later than EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has told Congress the agency would come up with one. That’s according to the latest regulatory agenda released by the Trump administration. EPA plans to issue a proposed rule in August and a final rule in September 2019, according to the agenda.
House Ag Releases Farm Bill Report, Dissenting Views
House Agriculture Committee Michael Conaway, R-Texas, filed report language on the farm bill that the committee recently passed, along with dissenting views. The report can be found here.
Agri-Pulse Publishes Fourth Article in “Export or Bust” Trade Series
Agri-Pulse has published its fourth in a new series of Agri-Pulse in-depth stories, “Export or Bust,” dealing with the challenges and opportunities for U.S. agriculture when it comes to selling more commodities and value-added products to overseas customers. This piece focuses on Brazil’s “agricultural revolution” and the steps its taking to boost exports. Read Brazil, Other Competitors Aim to Win U.S. Export Markets.
Ag Groups Urge Trump to Support Farmers and Biofuels
On May 7th, NAWG, the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), American Farm Bureau Federation, National Farmers Union, and the American Soybean Association sent a letter to the President expressing concerns about how farmers have been negatively impacted by recent EPA actions in light of the lowest net farm income in over a decade expected this year. They asked the White House to allow sales of E15 all year, halt the abuse of “small refinery exemptions,” and uphold a strong Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), without “causing additional harm to the farm economy.” Read here for more details.
Wheat Commentary: WHEAT PRICE DETERIORATED THIS WEEK
It was a bearish week for the wheat price as bullish traders’ unloaded positons across the wheat complex. As an example, the July Kansas City wheat lost 37 ¾ cents this week. The volume of trading was heavy at times.
The wheat rally that started the middle of March ended last Friday. The poor crop condition across our southern plains allowed fundamental bullish traders to become active. These bullish traders drove the price 90 cents higher in two months allowing for a hedging opportunity.
The first of the month wheat tours across the southern plains recorded yield potential below average. Dry condition started over the winter and extended into the Spring Time. The wheat is a tough plant but it still needs moisture to produce. Once the tour was over, a lack of fresh news took its toll on the wheat price. By the end of this week, extended forecasts both the 6 to 10 day and the 11 to 14 day forecast showed good chances for above normal precipitation in the southern plains. This was enough to send bullish wheat traders into the market liquidating their positions.
What lies ahead for the wheat price? I am afraid our pre-harvest rallied is over. The idea of a large world inventory of wheat and an improvement in Australia’s and Russia’s weather conditions is enough to send price lower. The first objected for the July Kansas City wheat price is the $5.00 area, next the $4.75, the last reaction low and finally the December low at $4.40. I believe this is worst case scenario but still a possibility.
For wheat producers, hedging some wheat is recommended especially bushels that would be sold across the scale. In addition, wheat producers should look ahead at the July 2019 Kansas City wheat contract. This contract is trading around $5.95 at Friday’s close. Wheat producers should consider hedging inn this area. This is not a long term hedge but for coverage into the seasonal low that can occur in the first part of August.
Source: Kansas Wheat