News and Information from Around the Wheat Industry
Speaking of Wheat
“Without a trade agenda that also advances U.S. economic interests by addressing barriers to U.S. exports through free trade agreements, the United States will lose influence globally. Other countries welcome U.S. products and benefit from the two-way relationship that free trade agreements promote. The U.S. government’s trade policy should be comprehensive … strengthening our global economic presence through proactive policies that support our export competitive industries such as U.S. food and agriculture.” – Sharon Bomer Lauritsen, founder of AgTrade Strategies and former assistant USTR for agricultural affairs and commodity policy, in a story by Agri-Pulse Trade Reporter Bill Tomson.
President Peterson Looks at Wheat Export Opportunities
U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) President Vince Peterson was in Montana this week for a meeting of the Montana Wheat and Barley Committee. He was interviewed by local media about the current challenges to U.S. wheat exports and future opportunities. “We’re trying to work in that environment where we’re facing a lot of competition globally,” Peterson said. “But at the same time, the carrot is out there … We’re going to have nearly 10 billion people by 2050, we’re going to consume a billion tons of wheat globally, and we’re going to have to trade 350 million tons of that globally.” Read more here.
University of Illinois FarmDoc says as of middle June, much of the U.S. corn production region is either dry or in drought according to the U.S. Drought Monitor, raising the prospects of a serious drought like that which occurred in 2012. Typically, prices continue to rise in drought years and, as an alternative to corn as a feed grain, winter wheat’s weather market appears to have momentum. European analyst Strategie Grains mentioned wheat production is confirmed at low levels in Spain and North Africa, and drought is starting to take hold across northern Europe, affecting yield potentials.
EU Softening Toward Gene Editing?
Agri-Pulse reported this week that a European Commission draft proposal could lead to a loosening of regulations on new genetic engineering techniques like gene editing. A draft regulatory document leaked and posted online by advocacy group ARC2020 proposes a streamlined path for certain new genomic techniques, or NGTs. An official proposal is expected early next month. “To see the European Commission edging toward welcoming gene editing is just a great thing,” Matthias Berninger, Bayer Crop Protection’s senior vice president of public affairs, science and sustainability, told Agri-Pulse at the company’s Crop Science Innovation Summit in New York City. Read more here.
NAWG: Dam Removal Endangers U.S. Wheat Export Competitiveness
At a at a Congressional Western Caucus Forum on the Importance of Hydropower to Rural Communities, National Association of Wheat Growers Chandler Goule provided a wheat perspective on the importance of the river system and barging play in helping feed the world. “The Lower Snake River Dams are a critical infrastructure system required to move U.S.-grown wheat to high-value markets around the world,” said Chandler Goule. “More than 55 percent of all U.S. wheat exports move through the Snake River system by barge or rail. Specifically, 10 percent of wheat that is exported from the United States passes through the four locks and dams along the Lower Snake River. This corridor is the third-largest grain export corridor in the world and is the single largest corridor for U.S. wheat exports.” NAWG remains opposed to breaching the dams as the agricultural, clean energy, and transportation benefits from the lock and dam system are irreplaceable and will continue to advocate on behalf of wheat growers to maintain this vital infrastructure. Read more here.
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