Recent news and highlights from around the U.S. wheat industry.
Speaking of Wheat
“We are a family farm raising wheat for a global market, working diligently to be sustainable. Our desire is to share our slice of heaven with others while maintaining our farming heritage so that we can pass it to the next generation in a better state.” – The Heideman Family, Blown Away Ranch, Ione, Oregon
U.S. Thanksgiving Office and Publication Schedules
Thanksgiving is a time set aside as a U.S. holiday the last Thursday of November. The U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) Headquarters and West Coast Offices will be closed Thursday, Nov. 24 and Friday, Nov. 25. In addition, the next Wheat Letter newsletter will be sent December 1 but you can keep up with posts in the Wheat Letter Blog at https://www.uswheat.org/wheat-letter/. In addition, the USW Price Report will not be published Friday, Nov. 25.
U.S. Winter Wheat Ratings Improve Slightly
While most U.S. winter wheat is planted and fighting dry conditions to be established before dormancy, USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service reported a slight uptick in good to excellent crop conditions. Hard red winter and winter soft white wheat is off to a good start, industry sources say. Still, winter wheat conditions are still the lowest in many years at this time. At the USW Fall Board Meeting this week, farmers in Texas and Oklahoma said recent rain his keeping them from finishing their wheat planting, but they have several days available before they must declare “prevented planting” on those fields under USDA farm service programs. See the NASS report here.
Rail Labor Letter
With two unions voting not to ratify the tentative U.S. rail labor agreement and a Nov. 19 deadline for when a strike/lockout could occur, the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) and other members of an Agricultural Transportation Working Group sent a letter to Congress urging swift action to avert a rail strike. Read the industry letter here.
Can the UN Hold the Black Sea Grain Initiative Together?
Agri-Pulse reports that UN Under Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs Martin Griffiths has stated a commitment to removing the remaining obstacles to the exports of Russian food and fertilizer. He also stressed that negotiations would resume with Russia to try to assure that the deal that keeps millions of tons of Ukrainian grain exports flowing will not expire on Nov. 19. Government officials have not suggested that a deal to extend the Black Sea Grain Initiative and Russian demands for better access to international markets for its fertilizer are connected, but both have become a priority for the UN, which brokered the Initiative with Russia, Ukraine and Turkey.
USDA Drops U.S. Wheat Stocks But Increases Global Supply Estimate
USDA’s World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report for November not suggests lower U.S. ending stocks for 2022/23 based mostly on increased domestic use. USDA held the line on expected U.S. wheat exports at 21.09 million metric tons (MMT). Projected 2022/23 ending stocks would be the lowest level since 2007/08. U.S. wheat futures prices were down slightly midday on Nov. 10 following the report. The USDA’s latest global wheat outlook for 2022/23 is for increased supplies, consumption, trade, and ending stocks. Read more here and in the USW Supply and Demand Report.
South Dakota Cooperative Invests in EGT Export Business
World Grain reported that Agtegra Cooperative announced has finalized a minority stake in EGT, LLC, which operates an export grain terminal in Longview, Wash., on the Columbia River that is fed by four high-capacity elevators in Montana. “We are very excited to become a partner in EGT to provide Agtegra customers greater access to the global market,” said Agtegra CEO Jason Klootwyk. Read more here.
USW Board of Directors Meet
U.S. wheat farmers representing 17 state wheat commission member organizations on the USW Board of Directors met for their Fall meeting Nov. 6 to 9, 2022, in Salt Lake City, Utah. This was a joint board meeting with the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) and included two joint committee meetings on International Trade Policy and Wheat Innovation. The USW and NAWG boards of directors will hold their next joint meeting Jan. 30 to Feb. 3, 2023, in Washington, D.C.
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USW publishes various reports and content available to subscribe to, including a bi-weekly newsletter highlighting recent Wheat Letter blog posts and wheat industry news, the weekly Price Report, and the weekly Harvest Report (available May to October). Subscribe here.