Recent news and highlights from around the wheat industry.
Speaking of Wheat: “The U.S. farmer is still holding about half a [hard red] spring wheat crop from last year that will provide some decent quality supplies. Canada, on the other hand, was an aggressive exporter of wheat last year; a poor quality crop will reduce their exportable supplies in this marketing year.” – Michael Krueger, Independent Market Analyst.
Columbia River Reopens to Barge Traffic. A critical navigation lock on the lower Columbia River reopened Sept. 27, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. That means barges full of grain and other materials waiting to get from Inland Northwest ports to Vancouver and Portland and out to export markets can resume. Boat traffic on the international trade route has been stopped since September 5 to repair a lock at Bonneville Dam. Crews with the Army Corps’ Portland division have been working around-the-clock the past three weeks to open the channel. Read more here.
New Partner in New Grain Trade Initiative. Glencore Agriculture Ltd. is joining several other major grain traders in the industry’s initiative to modernize global agricultural commodity trade operations. The initiative is looking at such new technologies as blockchain and artificial intelligence to automate grain and oilseed post-trade execution processes, reducing costs needed to move agricultural and food products around the globe. The group is projecting launch of a new platform in the second half of 2020 subject to regulatory approval. Read more from a joint news release here.
More Women Are Running U.S. Farms. According to the most recent USDA Census of Agriculture, over the last five years, the number of female farmers in the United States has increased, while the number of male farmers declined. Women now represent 36% of farmers, a 27% increase from 2012. Now, 56% of farms have at least one female producer, although only 38% have a female primary producer, the person who makes the most decisions on the farm. USW looks forward to sharing the story of several women engaged in wheat production in 2020. Currently, two female farm owners serve as directors of USW: Rhonda K. Larson grows HRS wheat in northwestern Minnesota and was elected as USW Secretary-Treasurer for 2019/20; Denise Conover grows HRS and HRW wheat in south central Montana. Past Chairperson Janice Mattson of Chester, Mont., served as USW director and an officer, holding the chair in 2009/10.
Oregon Wheat Seeking New Chief Executive Officer. The Oregon Wheat Commission and Oregon Wheat Growers League are seeking a dynamic and proven Chief Executive Officer (CEO) to provide leadership, vision, focus, and unity to their organizations, following the announcement that Blake Rowe plans to retire from the position. The CEO will serve as the principal administrator of both the OWC and OWGL, operating under the direction of the OWC and the Board of Directors of the OWGL, respectively. The full job announcement and position description can be found at www.owgl.org/careers. Applications must be submitted by 4:00 PM on Oct. 20, 2019.
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