Tougher Quality Checks, Stronger Rouble Slow Russian Grain Exports
Reuters 
– 9/25/2018
Russia’s grain exports are slowing due to tougher quality controls at ports following complaints from major buyers, along with a stronger rouble currency, analysts, traders and an industry lobby said. Russia’s food safety watchdog beefed up quality controls on grain exports after complaints from major buyers about falling crop standards in mid-September, adding that the more stringent checks were not aimed at limiting grain exports.

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Rains Improve Conditions for Winter Grain Sowing in Russia, Ukraine 
Successful Farming – 9/25/2018 

Recent rains across Ukraine and Russia have improved conditions for 2018’s winter grain sowing and the prospects for the next year’s harvest, weather forecasters said on Tuesday. Russia and Ukraine, major global wheat exporters via the Black Sea, were previously sowing winter grains for the 2019 crop amid dry weather and a risk to next year’s crop after a decline in the 2018 crop.

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U.S., South Korea Sign Off On Free Trade Agreement
Agri-Pulse 
– 9/24/2018
President Donald Trump and South Korea President Moon Jae-in today signed off on the renegotiated U.S.–Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS), putting an end to concerns from the U.S. farm sector about possibly losing the six-year old pact that has spurred American agricultural exports. Shockwaves rippled through the U.S. ag sector last year when Trump threatened to pull out of the agreement that helped boost exports of U.S. beef, pork, wheat, corn, sorghum and other ag commodities. KORUS may have resulted in increased ag exports, but overall the U.S. still imported more than it exported to South Korea.

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Pressure Mounts for NAFTA Deal with Canada
Agri-Pulse 
– 9/26/2018
Yet another deadline is looming for U.S. and Canadian negotiators this week as they struggle to find compromises for a deal to make the North American Free Trade Agreement whole again and avert the unknown territory of trying to convert a three-party pact into a two-party accord. Sept. 30 is the deadline that would allow the U.S., Mexico and Canada to complete the review and congressional approval of the deal under the U.S. Trade Promotion Authority in time for Mexico’s outgoing president, Enrique Peña Nieto, to sign it before the new administration takes over on Dec. 1.

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Perennial Grain Crops Inch Toward Genetic and Commercial Success
Agri-Pulse 
– 9/26/2018
Look for commercially successful perennial wheat varieties – the Holy Grail for a few of the world’s wheat breeders and conservation-minded farmers for decades – to remain in the experimental realm a while longer. But some of the plant’s “cousins” are already showing up in breads and beer and tried out as dual-purpose forage/grain crops. That’s what we gleaned from several interviews and results of a seven-year study on which 17 scientists collaborated in experiments using 47 hybrid strains of perennial wheat, rye and barley, planting them all in several of 21 selected cold and temperate climate trial sites on four continents. The researchers scored several aspects of the perennial crops’ performance across early generations.

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Source: U.S. Wheat Associates