Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Grasshopper Survey Shows Increased Numbers for 2010


A federal survey of 17 states taken last fall reveals critically high numbers of grasshoppers across the West, which could devastate millions of acres of crops and grazing land. Affected areas include Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, South Dakota, North Dakota and Nebraska.

The Idaho Department of Agriculture (ISDA) has purchased 200,000 pounds of grasshopper bait for the 2010 season. ISDA and The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) rely on farmers and ranchers to report locations of grasshopper infestations.

Be Vigilant

Start to look for the first grasshoppers to hatch in mid spring. The warmer and drier the spring the earlier hatching will occur and the better the nymphs will thrive. Often times a late spring freeze will disrupt the cycle, killing the young hoppers. An early spring followed by cloudy, damp weather encourages diseases that sicken and kill them. Long hot summers provide a bountiful food supply for grasshoppers. This encourages early maturing of grasshoppers and an extended long egg-laying period. Cool summers and early fall conditions slow down grasshopper maturity resulting in a reduced time period for laying eggs.

Grasshopper Facts

Adult grasshoppers can fly miles in search of food.
They can eat half their body weight in foliage each day.
If foliage is not available, they will eat wood and paint.
Some hot spots can hold 1,000 baby grasshoppers per square yard.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Container Shortage Hurts Ag Exports


Oceangoing bulk containers are again in short supply in the U.S. and rates are soaring. From the West Coast to Asia, they’re up about $200 per 20-foot unit since June, talk is that carriers will hike rates by at least $240 more in April, space on ships is short, too. Carriers have stopped taking some bookings and revoked others. 93% of containerized ag exports go to East and Southeast Asia.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Spring Starts Out Well for Wheat


DTN Analyst Bryce Anderson writes three years ago, bad weather in the U.S. and Australia helped spike commodity prices at the time.

There is no major threat to wheat from a weather standpoint starting out spring. This year, conditions are completely opposite. Weather trends for North America's wheat crop moving into the spring 2010 season are generally bearish from a market weather standpoint.

"Wheat is very dependent on row-crop markets for any sort of rally," said Telvent DTN Analyst John Sanow. "We just have so much wheat around."

U.S. wheat stocks at the end of the 2009-10 marketing year are estimated at more than 1 billion bushels, in spite of only 37 million planted acres, the lowest acreage since 1972.

GOOD WEATHER FOR WHEAT

A favorable post-winter weather pattern will help the crop. Telvent DTN Ag Meteorologist Mike Palmerino said the last winter may be unprecedented for its generally ample moisture provisions across the central U.S.

"How often historically do you come out of spring and look at adequate to surplus soil moisture in every wheat area of the U.S.?" Palmerino asked. "At this point, you're looking at virtually every major wheat area -- and even some minor areas -- looking so good that, even where wheat is just a cover crop for something else, they (producers) don't want to tear it up."

For the largest-quantity wheat variety in the U.S. -- hard red winter wheat -- conditions are looking promising as spring begins. In Kansas, 88 percent of the state's wheat crop rated fair or better as of March 1. In Nebraska, that fair or better rating total stood at 92 percent. Oklahoma's wheat crop March 15 was fair or better on 94 percent of the acreage. In Texas, the overall wheat condition index of 74 on March 14 was double the value of 37 posted in mid-March last year.

Palmerino is also optimistic about the prospect for wheat in the Canadian Prairies for 2010.

"Right now, the Prairies are fairly dry," Palmerino said. "But that's probably a good thing, because the drier conditions will allow producers to get into the fields and get their wheat planted for this year. My overall feeling is that the rains will continue to develop in most of the Prairies as the storm track shifts northward late spring into early summer."

Other major wheat areas share a similar favorable trend. Australia, for example, had a disastrous crop in 2007-08. This year, the Australia harvest is almost double the shortfall two years ago.

There is one possible threat to wheat that could bring on a rally in Palmerino's view: if wetter conditions set in similar to a persistent rain pattern that occurred in 2008.

"The only adverse issues would be if it stays wet long enough to where you could have some disease or harvest issues in late spring or early summer," Palmerino said.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Whole Grain Foods Are Key to a Healthy Lifestyle


It has become popular to blame farmers and food processors for the increased obesity of the American public. Indeed, Americans are fortunate to have bountiful quantities of healthy, wholesome food.

According to Dr. Julie Miller Jones, however, the obesity epidemic that plagues this nation is due solely to overeating and an increasingly sedentary lifestyle. Jones, who is distinguished scholar and professor emeritus of nutrition in the Department of Family, Consumer and Nutritional Sciences at the St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minnesota, was a guest speaker at the Kansas State University Department of Grain Science and Industry Centennial Lecture Series in Manhattan in February.

It is little wonder that obesity in America is on the rise. According to Jones, in 2000, 13% of Americans were considered obese, up from 6% in 1965. For every 100 additional calories an average American consumes in one day, he will gain 10 pounds in one year if he doesn’t increase physical activity. In 1977, the average American consumed 1,876 calories per day; in 1995, that number increased to 2,043 calories. Moreover, today’s average child burns 700 fewer calories per day than he did 20 years ago.

A diet rich in whole grains is important when promoting human health. Whole grain foods are filling, they decrease cholesterol, reduce the risk of some cancers, coronary disease and diabetes. Just one of every 10 Americans eat the amount of whole grains they think they should eat; yet 70% of the people think they consume enough whole grains, Jones says.

“What I would like people to do is eat the right amount of grains, not necessarily more. The word more in America terrifies me, just because some people take more as an excuse to overeat. I would like people to eat the right amount of grains for their age and activity level. For most of us, that is 5 to 6 servings of grains a day. I would like half of those to be whole grain,” Jones explains.

Jones says the concept of serving size can be confusing. Portion sizes for the average American are far larger than USDA dietary guidelines suggest. A serving size is a slice of bread, or an ounce of cereal. Many people eat multiple servings per meal, but oftentimes those servings are not whole grains. Simply choosing foods with whole grain ingredients can help consumers lead a healthier lifestyle. It’s not easy; consumers must study nutrition labels and look carefully for those that feature whole grains. But in the end, it’s a much easier task than adopting a completely different food regimen.

“Getting people to switch to whole grains is a much easier dietary change than teaching people to eat more eggplant, more fruits and vegetables. It simply means when you order a sandwich, choose whole wheat bread. When you choose a cereal, choose a whole grain cereal. When you go to parties, take whole grain crackers. It is simply what you are already eating, only substituting part of what you’re eating with whole grain products. It’s a much easier dietary change, but a doable one,” she says.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Per Capita flour consumption in U.S. declines again


The Economic Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture in its Wheat Outlook confirmed per capita all-wheat flour consumption in the United States declined for a second consecutive year. The ERS estimated 2009 per capita all-wheat flour consumption at 134.7 pounds, down 1.8 pounds from 136.5 pounds in 2008 and down 3.4 pounds from 138.1 pounds in 2007.

Flour use rose for two years in a row from the recent low of 134.3 pounds in 2005 to 138.1 pounds (in 2007). This 2005 low was reached after sharp declines in per capita use from 146.3 pounds in 2000, apparently due to increased consumer interest in low-carbohydrate diets.

The decline in per capita all-wheat flour consumption contributed to a reduction in the USDA’s forecast of food use of wheat in 2009-10.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

New Online Calculator Helps Growers Analyze Natural Resource Use


Farmers will now be able to analyze their natural resource use and key crop production inputs using a new online tool introduced by Field to Market, The Keystone Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture.

The Fieldprint Calculator is a free, confidential online tool developed with input from a diverse group of grower organizations, agribusinesses, food companies, economists and conservation groups, to help farmers evaluate natural resource use on their operation compared to industry averages. These measures could help improve production efficiencies and profit potential. The calculator will be available at http://www.fieldtomarket.org/ beginning March 15 for grower testing and feedback.

The new data-driven calculator illustrates the connection between resource and economic sustainability, so growers can more easily see how their choices impact natural resources, production levels and ultimately the efficiency of their operation.

Farmers strive to be good stewards of the land. Sustainable agriculture must make sense economically as well as environmentally or it’s not sustainable. This calculator will help farmers understand how being sustainable on the farm today, while providing insight for future improvements that can benefit the environment and their bottom line.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Extended lock closure update


The Corps is working to keep stakeholders abreast of the latest information regarding the Columbia Snake River System's extended lock closure beginning December 2010. They have been providing the latest information to river users in an effort to minimize impacts of the extended closure. In their most recent update the Corps included the following scheduling information:

• The navigation locks at The Dalles, John Day and Lower Monumental dams will close December 10, 2010, for major repair outages of 14, 14 and 13 weeks, respectively.
• The locks at McNary and Lower Granite dams are slated to close February 6, 2011, for five-week maintenance outages.
• The lock at Ice Harbor Dam is slated to close February 13, 2011, for a four-week maintenance outage.
• The locks at Bonneville and Little Goose dams will close February 27, 2011, for two-week maintenance outages.
• The lock at Lower Monumental and all locks undergoing maintenance outages are scheduled to reopen March 13, 2011.
• The locks at The Dalles and John Day are scheduled to reopen March 18, 2011.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Biotech Wheat Pipeline


The possibility of biotech wheat continues to be a major topic of discussion in international and local wheat circles. At this point there are no biotech wheats and likely will not be for another 8-10 years.

Why all the interest in biotech wheat in the U.S. and around the world?

“In the U.S. wheat production returns are being eclipsed by biotech corn and soybeans and wheat production continues to decline,” says Oades, US Wheat Associates. Wheat grower leaders are looking for solutions that will help keep wheat viable as a production alternative. Both biotech and conventionally grown wheat can provide solutions.”

Declining Wheat Acres
Over the last 25 years U.S. harvested wheat acres have declined roughly 20%, while harvested soybean acres have increased roughly 30%. For the same time wheat yields have increased about 16%, while corn yields increased around 28%. As a result, soybeans and corn production continue to push westward and northward from traditional mid-west production areas into what was previously “wheat country”. Notably, both corn and soybean gains are being driven in large part by trait advantages made available through biotechnology.

“Biotechnology has risen both in the level of attention and acceptance as a direct result of the 2007 world wheat shortage,” says John Oades. “Research on biotech wheat appears to be underway in all major wheat exporting nations, along with importing countries such as Egypt and largely wheat self sufficient nations such as China and India. The primary interest has to do with feeding people as world population continues to grow.”

As with all breeding work, it will take many years to develop biotech traits to make them available in locally adapted germplasm. The US wheat industry supports conventionally bred and biotech wheats. There is a place for both. The important thing is to find a way to keep them segregated.

Traits of Interests
A lot of media attention has been focused on Roundup Ready crops, where a herbicide can be sprayed on plants that will kill the weeds but not hurt the crop plant. Currently, Roundup ready wheat is not on the drawing board.

The wheat biotech pipeline is really under construction. There is nothing in the pipeline right now. Entities involved are still in the discussion and decision phase and have reached the point where tech providers have decided that this is a technology that makes economic sense for them to pursue.

Discussions are underway about what traits would be the most beneficial. Recently the Joint Biotech Committee representing both US Wheat Associates and National Association of Wheat Growers compiled a list of traits of interest to growers at this point. Among those cited were:

Drought tolerance
Improved yield
Disease tolerance (especially fusarium)
Nitrogen use efficiency (NUE)
Cold/freeze tolerance
Nutritional improvements
Protein quality & quantity
Flavor and color improvements
Herbicide tolerance
Insect resistance

At this point options are open on what will be the first products through the line.
“The availability of varieties with a wide range of traits produced both through conventional and biotech methods means more choice in the market place,” says Mark Darrington, Chairman of the Joint Biotech Committee. “This will allow farmers to select products with traits that best suit their needs and meet buyer’s demands.”
Work on the wheat biotech pipeline continues. As connections are made and the line strengthened, traits helpful to consumers and growers alike will start moving down the line.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Spring Starts Out Well for Wheat


DTN Analyst Bryce Anderson writes three years ago, bad weather in the U.S. and Australia helped spike commodity prices at the time.

There is no major threat to wheat from a weather standpoint starting out spring. This year, conditions are completely opposite. Weather trends for North America's wheat crop moving into the spring 2010 season are generally bearish from a market weather standpoint.

"Wheat is very dependent on row-crop markets for any sort of rally," said Telvent DTN Analyst John Sanow. "We just have so much wheat around."

U.S. wheat stocks at the end of the 2009-10 marketing year are estimated at more than 1 billion bushels, in spite of only 37 million planted acres, the lowest acreage since 1972.

GOOD WEATHER FOR WHEAT

A favorable post-winter weather pattern will help the crop. Telvent DTN Ag Meteorologist Mike Palmerino said the last winter may be unprecedented for its generally ample moisture provisions across the central U.S.

"How often historically do you come out of spring and look at adequate to surplus soil moisture in every wheat area of the U.S.?" Palmerino asked. "At this point, you're looking at virtually every major wheat area -- and even some minor areas -- looking so good that, even where wheat is just a cover crop for something else, they (producers) don't want to tear it up."

For the largest-quantity wheat variety in the U.S. -- hard red winter wheat -- conditions are looking promising as spring begins. In Kansas, 88 percent of the state's wheat crop rated fair or better as of March 1. In Nebraska, that fair or better rating total stood at 92 percent. Oklahoma's wheat crop March 15 was fair or better on 94 percent of the acreage. In Texas, the overall wheat condition index of 74 on March 14 was double the value of 37 posted in mid-March last year.

Palmerino is also optimistic about the prospect for wheat in the Canadian Prairies for 2010.

"Right now, the Prairies are fairly dry," Palmerino said. "But that's probably a good thing, because the drier conditions will allow producers to get into the fields and get their wheat planted for this year. My overall feeling is that the rains will continue to develop in most of the Prairies as the storm track shifts northward late spring into early summer."

Other major wheat areas share a similar favorable trend. Australia, for example, had a disastrous crop in 2007-08. This year, the Australia harvest is almost double the shortfall two years ago.

There is one possible threat to wheat that could bring on a rally in Palmerino's view: if wetter conditions set in similar to a persistent rain pattern that occurred in 2008.

"The only adverse issues would be if it stays wet long enough to where you could have some disease or harvest issues in late spring or early summer," Palmerino said.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Building Better Wheats for Growers – New Varieties


Several new UI wheat variety releases offer growers the opportunity to improve efficiency and crop value. In the months ahead, as you review variety performance information, drive by test plots or attend summer field days, check out these varieties in your area for agronomic traits and pest and disease resistance.

UICF Brundage: Soft White Winter
UICF Brundage is a non-transgenic, herbicide resistant, soft white wheat cultivar with the same agronomic and quality characteristics as Brundage and Brundage 96. This imazamox resistant line can be used in areas with hard to control grassy weeds, such as jointed goat grass, as part of a control management program in fields where either Brundage or Brundage 96 is grown.

Bruneau: Soft White Winter
The three B’s – Bruneau, Bitterroot and Brundage, have similar quality characteristics. Bruneau has greater yield potential in northern Idaho and eastern Washington. With its good stripe rust resistance, adaption to high rain fed and irrigated growing conditions it makes a good companion planting with Brundage.

UICF Grace (IDO651): Hard White Winter
UICF Grace is the first hard white Clearfield winter wheat in Idaho. Clearfield wheats allow growers to use the herbicide imazamox with little or no damage to the crop. UICF Grace has excellent end use quality, high temperature adult plant (HTAP) resistance to stripe rust and moderate resistance to dwarf bunt and good yield performance. UICF Grace is tall and due to its height it may have a lodging problem when grown under irrigated conditions. Adaptation to Idaho’s intermediate and low rainfed regions is best.

UI Silver (IDO658): Hard White Winter
UI Silver has resistance to stripe rust, stem rust and dwarf bunt, excellent end use quality for bread, buns and Asian noodles, and consistent good yield potential in both rainfed and irrigated production. It is one of only a handful of US wheat varieties that carry the SrTmp gene, conveying resistance to a globally threatening race of stem rust called TTKS. It is also resistant to fusarium head blight. The shorter stature of Silver allows it to be grown under irrigation however, it is susceptible to bacterial leaf blight and so is better adapted to dryland conditions in intermountain west.

Winchester: Hard Red Spring
UI Winchester can be grown in both irrigated and rainfed conditions but is better adapted to the rainfed production systems of the intermountain west. It has a combination of adult plant resistance to stripe rust, excellent resistance to Hessian fly, good yield and desirable bread end use quality. It has fast coleoptiles growth and can be planted late and is tolerant to moisture and heat stress. Maturity is the same or earlier than Jefferson, Jerome and WB936 in rainfed trails.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Carbon Management is the Key


by Joe Anderson, Chairman Idaho Wheat Commission

As we hear about the horrors that may befall us as a result of climate change brought on by mankind’s utilization of fossil fuels, I become concerned that we may do some of the right stuff but for the wrong reasons. And even more worrisome is that we may do a lot of the wrong stuff.

We must greatly reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. However, there are ample reasons to reduce fossil fuel use that go far beyond concerns with climate change.

There is limited understanding of what carbon is, what the carbon cycle is, and what role man plays. I am an American farmer, not an organic chemist nor a climatologist. But, I see the miracle of how carbon dioxide (CO2), through photosynthesis, is utilized by the green plant to convert the energy of the sun to food, fiber and energy. Carbon is the building block of life. All living things are made of carbon (organic) compounds. When organic compounds are consumed, burned or decompose, oxygen (O2) is taken from the atmosphere and CO2 is released. The CO2 is then available for other green plants to convert the sun’s energy. Plant residue left on the soil is used as food for microorganisms. Soil organic matter is produced. Soil organic matter provides for soil health. A healthy soil can hold water and manage nutrients for plant growth. Hence we have a Carbon Cycle. A more complete and sophisticated description can be found at:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_cycle.

There are the same number of atoms of carbon in the world today as when God built it. Carbon takes the form of CO2; organic compounds in living and dead things, along with the products they produce; and fossil fuels that were living things eons ago. Long ago, instead of there being petroleum, coal and natural gas buried in the ground, the Earth’s carbon was above the ground. The atmosphere was rich in CO2 and green plant growth was lush.

Much of the discussion on climate change is centered on how CO2 can be stored. These discussions range from producing biochar to injecting CO2 into old oil wells to mixing it with cement and burying it. All of these options come at considerable cost. There are proposals to either cap or tax those that emit CO2 to encourage them to either use less carbon or use some of these questionable methods to store CO2. Other proposals would enable emitters to buy offsets from those that store CO2.

Our challenge should not be how can we store CO2. Our objective should be to manage carbon to better utilize the miraculous capability of the green plant to covert CO2 and the sun’s energy and to enhance soil qualities that provide for optimum plant growth.

By some estimates, only four percent of the energy from the sun that strikes the Earth’s surface is converted by green plants. What if we could make that six or eight percent? If we increase yields, or plants grow under less hospitable conditions, not only would more CO2 be converted by the sun’s energy, but less of that energy would be reflected in the form of heat.

We are going to have to figure this out. Within fifty years there will be twice as many people to feed. We may well need all the atmospheric CO2 we can find to meet this challenge. Remember, there are a finite number of carbon atoms on Earth and all living things contain and consume a lot of carbon.

We need a massive effort to increase efficiencies of photosynthesis, nutrient use, water use, etc. of green plants. Increased efficiencies can only happen through science and education. But, we keep constraining our ability to meet this challenge because of budget issues.

We need to expend and focus our energies and resources to increase the efficiency and ability of green plants to convert the energy of the sun into food, fiber and energy. Options that focus on storing carbon are ill-conceived and short sighted. Using less fossil fuel has many positive benefits that may or may not include concerns of climate change. In any event, the miracle of green plant growth provides our most promising alternative.

The cup is half full, not half empty!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

“Dinner on the Farm” Highlights Idaho Agriculture


Idaho farmwife, Gayle Anderson put her culinary talents to work to teach non-farmers about agriculture. Last year, Gayle began the “Dinner on the Farm” series where she and wheat farmer/husband Joe Anderson invite a small group of “city folk” to their home for dinner. The event allows non-farmers a chance to learn about where their food comes from. There is no charge to attend these by invitation only dinners.

Joe and Gayle farm with brother, Jay Anderson and his wife, Lisa. Together the family partnership farms 4,150 acres in Genesee, Idaho. They grow winter wheat, spring wheat, garbanzo beans and occasionally raise barley, mustard or lentils.

When guests arrive on the farm, they are greeted by the Andersons and one other farm couple and then head out to the field to explore farm machinery and ride in the combine. The dinner menu highlights food grown on the Anderson farm. Conversation focuses on learning/sharing about farming. Questions range from day to day operations to GMO’s (genetically modified organisms).

“I want to put a face to the farm,” said Gayle Anderson. “We’re not a huge corporation, we’re a family farm. I want to get the message out that farmers are good stewards of the land who work diligently to provide the safest and best quality food available. As we invite people into our home who don’t have a farm background, we hope we can demonstrate to them that we care for our land and our resources.”

Gayle has also begun a blog entitled, “A Glorious Life of an Idaho Farmwife” (www.idahofarmwife.net) where she shares about farm life, daily activities, and some of her favorite recipes. She hopes that other farmers in Idaho will see the importance of getting accurate information out about farming to the non-farm population. The “Dinner on the Farm” series has created a forum where city people can see firsthand how their food is grown and meet the people who grow it.

The Andersons will continue to host the farm dinners on a yearly basis and currently have a waiting list for the 2010 dinner series. This event can easily be replicated and the Andersons are willing to share their experiences as well as offer helpful tips, recipes and any other information needed. For further information, please contact Gayle at idahofarmwife@gmail.com or call her at 208-285-1501.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Wheat Growers Address RMA on Falling Numbers Discount


National Association of Wheat Grower's (NAWG) President Karl Scronce urged the administrator of the Risk Management Agency (RMA) to take steps to ensure discounts due to falling numbers irregularities are included in crop insurance coverage for the 2011 year.

The so-called “falling numbers” test is typically done at elevators to examine wheat quality. It specifically measures the amount of enzyme activity in a wheat kernel which is an early indicator of sprout.

Discounts due to falling numbers are not fully considered in crop insurance, leaving growers unable to recover any portion of that quality loss through risk management products in those years that they experience the quality problem.

NAWG staff and grower-leaders have been talking with the Agency for a number of months about the issue, which particularly affects growers in the Northern Plains and the Pacific Northwest. RMA is working to finalize special provisions for the 2011crop insurance year, and, in the letter sent by Scronce, he described the necessity of reexamining how the falling numbers issue is treated.

The letter said, in part:

“RMA has been working closely with the Farm Service Agency (FSA) in order to utilize the falling number discount charts used by that Agency for purposes of administering the commodity loan program. …We urge RMA and FSA will work closely together to make this process as streamlined and comprehensive as possible in order to provide needed consistency for our growers.”

Scronce’s letter is available in full at www.wheatworld.org/riskmanagement.

Monday, March 15, 2010

First Dry Fertilizer Application for 2010

Genesee wheat farmer Joe Anderson sent us this home made video of his first fertilizer application for 2010.

Joe's been hard at work spreading 70# Ammonium Sulfate Feb 22,23 on winter wheat at his Tammany(Lewiston) farm.

March 1, before he left for the Commodity Classic in S. California, he sprayed 2 ww stubble fields with glyphosate. Later that week, his brother and farm partner, Jay Anderson, seeded them to DNS (Jefferson was the variety).

During the same week, Dave Barton of North Star Guidance, installed another layer of GPS(8 section Autoboom) on his Genesee sprayer.

Anderson arrived home from Anaheim on Sunday evening to a sunny 55-60 degree day. Next morning they received a nice rain-about .5” by end of the day.


video

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Precision Agriculture Talks with Idaho Wheat Grower Robert Blair

Robert Blair talks Precision Agriculture at the Commodity Classic held in Anheim, CA last week.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Idaho Wheat Grower Elected to National Office


Wayne Hurst, Burley Idaho wheat grower, was recently elected vice president of the National Association of Wheat Growers at the organization’s Board of Directors meeting.
Hurst operates a diversified, irrigated row crop and dairy farm. He raises wheat, sugar beets, potatoes, dry beans and forage crops and operates the dairy with his father.
Wayne has held a number of leadership positions in agricultural organizations. He is a graduate of the Wheat Industry Leaders of Tomorrow (WILOT) program and the Leadership Idaho Agriculture Program, and has served as an officer for the Idaho Grain Producers Association and on the NAWG Board. Wayne has also served on the NAWG Budget Committee and chaired the NAWG/U.S. Wheat Associates/WETEC consolidation committee in 2006.
The principal trombone in the Magic Philharmonic Orchestra since 1986, Wayne has turned both his profession and his hobby into opportunities for community involvement. Wayne has also held leadership positions in a number of other community organizations and in his church.
Wayne attended Brigham Young University and Idaho State University. Fluent in Spanish, Wayne served two years on a church mission in Concepcion, Chile.
Wayne and his wife, Sherrie, have five children and four grandchildren.
Other members of the 2010 NAWG officer corps elected at Saturday’s meeting include:
• Jerry McReynolds, Woodston, Kansas, president;
• Erik Younggren, Hallock, Minn., second vice president;
• Bing Von Bergen, Moccasin, Mont., secretary-treasurer; and
• Karl Scronce, Klamath Falls, Ore., immediate past president.
NAWG officers typically “run the chairs” for five years after being selected as secretary-treasurer, though they all must be interviewed and recommended by the NAWG Nominating Committee and approved by the NAWG Board of Directors on an annual basis.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Cutting Input Costs


As growers across the state begin spring work, cutting inputs to help the bottom line is a priority this year. But which inputs can you reduce without hurting yields and trimming actually profitability?

Listed below are many helpful resources produced by University of Idaho Research and Extension designed to help you maximize your profitability.

Varieties resistant/susceptible to stripe rust
http://www.cals.uidaho.edu/scseidaho/disease/strst/06_alerts/6-6-06_strst_vars.pdf
Stripe rust management recommendations
http://www.cals.uidaho.edu/scseidaho/disease/strst/06_alerts/6-6-06_recs.pdf
Northern Idaho Soft White Spring Wheat Fertilizer Guide
http://www.cals.uidaho.edu/edComm/pdf/CIS/CIS1101.pdf
Southern Idaho Fertilizer Guide Soft White Spring Wheat
http://www.cals.uidaho.edu/edComm/pdf/CIS/CIS0828.pdf
Estimating Water Requirements of Hard Red Spring Wheat for Final Irrigations
http://www.cals.uidaho.edu/edComm/pdf/BUL/BUL0833.pdf
Nitrogen Management for Hard Red Protein Enhancement
http://www.cals.uidaho.edu/edComm/PDF/PNW/PNW0578.pdf
Pest Management Center
http://www.uihome.uidaho.edu/default.aspx?pid=114003

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Can Wheat Producers Keep Pace with Growing Global Demand?


U.S. wheat export demand is steady for the second straight month in a growing world market according to the World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for March 2010. Producers around the world have responded to growing demand by producing record crops recently. As a result, USDA forecasts that global ending stocks for 2009/10 (June-May) will be 196.8 million metric tons (MMT) up 60 percent from a recent low of 123.3 MMT in 2007/08.

Significantly, though, the March WASDE report calls for world wheat demand to grow again this year. Falling wheat prices since the supply induced shock of 2007/08 are partly responsible, but global demand is growing with population and income in developing countries. Since 1980, in fact, wheat demand in developing countries has grown from 50 MMT to 125 MMT. U.S. Wheat Associates Vice President of Overseas Operations Vince Peterson recently told reporters that at some point only a few years away, demand is likely to exceed production again.

“We know U.S. producers are planting less wheat on average every year,” Peterson said. “Crops like corn and soybeans offer more income, but that trend exists everywhere wheat is grown, not just in the United States.” Unless technology can drive wheat yields up, Peterson said, supply will fall and prices will rise again. Peterson presented "Global Wheat Supply and Demand Perspectives for Grower" at the Bayer CropScience Ag Media Summit on March 3, 2010, in Anaheim, Calif. A link to a summary and short video about the presentation is posted at www.uswheat.org.

For 2009/10, USDA held its U.S. wheat export forecast steady at 825 million bushels22.5 MMT, which included a 10 million bushel (272,800 MT) increase in hard red winter (HRW) exports offset by the same decrease for white wheat. Commercial U.S. HRW sales for 2009/10 are up 19 percent over 2008/09 to North Asia, up 14 percent to Sub-Saharan Africa, and significantly up in North Africa following recent sales to Morocco. U.S. durum and soft white wheat sales this marketing year have also outpaced 2008/09. USDA forecasts total U.S. wheat exports to end 2009/10 18.5 percent lower than in 2008/09, reflecting greater exportable world supplies.

U.S. Wheat Associates is the industry’s market development organization working in 90countries on behalf of America's wheat producers. The activities of U.S. Wheat Associates are made possible by producer checkoff dollars managed by 18 state wheat commissions and through cost-share funding provided by USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. For more information, visit www.uswheat.org or contact your state wheat commission.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Lack of Winter Snowfall Puts a Damper on Idaho'w Water Supply



Mark Trupp Photo

Snow survey data collected last week across Idaho by the natural Resources Conservation service show February continued this winter’s trend of below normal precipitation. Near record low winter precipitation has resulted in meager snow packs across the state that range from 55 to 75% of average.

“The highest snow packs are along the State’s western and southern edges since they are affected by the major storms hitting the southwestern states,” said Ron Abramovich, Water Supply specialist for NRCS. “That’s the El Nino weather pattern – where the southwest gets above average snowfall and the Pacific Northwest is dry.”
Idaho’s water supply comes from mountain snow packs. The majority of reservoir inflows come from snow packs above 6,000 in southern Idaho and above 4,500 feet in northern Idaho. Given the low snow packs, runoff will be below normal across the state and irrigation water shortages are predicted in many central, southern and eastern Idaho basins.

Two long-term snow measuring stations in the Upper Snake Basin in Yellowstone National Park are the 3rd lowest since records start in 1919. The snow pack in this area affects water supply in eastern Idaho.

“February’s mountain precipitation was ranged from 30-55% of average, adding to below average amount for November, December and January,” said Abramovich. “Because of the low precipitation amounts, stream flow forecasts decreased from February predictions.”

Most reservoirs across the state are storing above average amounts for March 1. However, with well below average stream flow predicted for this summer, irrigation demand will draw down reservoirs to their minimal storage levels by summer’s end and greatly increase the need for good snow next winter.”

“One last hope to salvage this year’s water supply would be to receive a cool and wet spring,” Abramovich added. “Above average precipitation and cool temperatures in April and May would delay snow melt, keeping the snowpack in the high country longer.”

For a summary of water supply outlook by region, follow the link below:

http://www.id.nrcs.usda.gov/news/newsreleases/water_supply0310.html

Monday, March 8, 2010

Computer Program Allows Growers to Track Herbicide Use, Manage Resistance


A new computer program developed by University of Idaho weed scientists is designed to simplify herbicide selection and prevent development of herbicide resistant weeds and damage to future crops.

Weed scientists at the UI developed the program for dryland farmers in northern Idaho, eastern Washington and eastern Oregon. Weed scientist Don Morishita at the Kimberly Research and Extension Center is working to expand the program's use to southern Idaho irrigated crop rotations.

"The goal is to help growers make decisions about which herbicide might best control weed problems and fit into their crop rotations," said Thill, a professor of weed science and superintendent of the Palouse Research, Extension and Education Center at Moscow.

The program, "Herbicide Resistance and Persistence Management, is available on a free trial basis to growers. Growers who decide to use the program will be charged a $50 annual subscription fee to cover updates.

The program combines two of the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences' most popular publications into a dynamic program that can provide more frequent updates than printed offerings, Thill said.

The main way to avoid resistance is to change herbicides based on their modes of action on weeds. Growers can face substantial challenges in both trying to use herbicides from different groups to control common weeds and then keeping clear records through multiple seasons.

The University of Idaho's herbicide management program can help accomplish both tasks. The program is available for purchase online at www.cals.uidaho.edu/herbicidemanagement.

Growers who download the program will have a six month trial period before they have to pay a subscription fee. The program's development was funded by the Idaho Wheat Commission, Idaho Barley Commission, and University of Idaho College of Agricultural and Life Sciences.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Is the Tide Turning on Global Trade?


by Rebecca Bratter, US Wheat Associates Director of Policy

After more than a year in office, President Obama has officially unveiled his Administration’s global trade strategy for 2010. Export-dependent industries throughout the United States, including wheat producers, were encouraged to hear the President emphasize action on several long-pending pieces of trade legislation and acknowledge the critical benefits exports offer for economic recovery and job creation.

According to U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, work is already underway to try to resolve issues on the pending Colombia, Korea, and Panama free trade agreements (FTAs), as well as continuing work to achieve a balanced offer in the Doha round and new negotiations on a Trans-Pacific Partnership with seven South Asian and Pacific nations.

While the timing is still unclear, some government officials predict there will be major movement on all pending trade issues in 2010. For the U.S. wheat industry, movement on trade can't come soon enough. Various trade issues are a challenge to some of our faithful buyers at a time of abundant supply. Partly as a result, U.S. wheat’s global export share has fallen to 22 percent from 30 percent in the last year. Languishing new trade deals combined with a challenging trade environment that could bring heavy tariffs on U.S. wheat exports to a number of critical markets have exacerbated an already difficult situation.

The President's Trade Agenda makes it clear that generating jobs and income by eventually “doubling” exports is a policy priority. The document also provides the clearest indication to our global trade partners that the U.S. understands how critical trade ties are both at home and abroad. USW expects this to translate into a concrete timetable for finishing several pieces of important global trade legislation.

U.S. wheat producers know firsthand what is at stake. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce reports that Colombia alone purchased $1.67 billion in U.S. agricultural products in 2008. But this will all be lost if the U.S. does not ratify the U.S./Colombia FTA soon. The scale of potential loss is very large for U.S. wheat producers. Imports by our loyal Colombian customers have been valued at an average of $165 million per year, but most of those sales will be lost to Canada if it ratifies its own trade agreement with Colombia in the next few months. While the U.S. and Colombian millers have long-standing ties and strong customer loyalty, trade diversion will inevitably occur when Canadian wheat enters Colombia at $40 per metric ton (MT) less then U.S. wheat simply as a result of their bilateral agreement.

This is but one example of how a robust trade agenda is critical to U.S. economic growth, to global economic recovery, and to meeting the President's goal of generating 2 million new jobs in the next five years. The President's Trade Agenda emphasizes assistance to small and medium size businesses. We do hope that the President takes into account that small businesses include thousands of family farms that grow wheat and operate on very tight margins to support almost one million jobs generated through agricultural exports.

We agree with Mr. Obama when he noted in his State of the Union address that "If America sits on the sidelines while other nations sign trade deals, we will lose the chance to create jobs on our shores." Despite long-standing global trade ties, U.S. agriculture is already losing income and jobs every day that we do not implement trade deals. We look forward to working with the President to reverse this trend. Doing so will create a robust trade environment that will allow us to enjoy the economic benefits of U.S. agricultural competitiveness and fortify the mutually beneficial trade ties with loyal customers around the world.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Discover How Wheat Works


"How Wheat Works" is a free, online virtual experience built for people of all ages. At www.howwheatworks.com you can virtually grow, harvest and mill your own wheat to create a wheat food product. The interactive, multi-media program will teach you where your grain based food comes from and why it's an important part of a healthy diet.

This exciting program is filled with factual information, vibrant video and 3-D animation and fun, educational activities. Each of the program's four phases -- growth, harvest, milling/baking and the grocer's aisle -- takes just a few minutes to complete, while the program spans the course of four days.

Interactive opportunities include the selection of the type of wheat to be grown and the wheat flour to be milled, based on your preferred end-use food product.

Following the completion of the four phases, a quiz tests your wheat knowledge at which time the Wheat Foods Council, Con Agra and ADM will donate two pounds of flour to Operation Home Front -- a non-profit organization that provides emergency and morale assistance for U.S. troops and their families.

So what are you waiting for? Log onto www.howwheatworks.com today to discover how wheat is grown and feel good about helping U.S. troops and their families!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Hard White Wheat Discussed at IWC Meeting


Boise -- Last week Idaho Wheat Commissioners met to discuss marketing, research and information & education topics.

One of the topics of discussion was Hard White Wheat (HWW).

Currently, Idaho is the second largest producer of HWW in the nation. Each year production continues to increase and demand for the commodity has peaked interest with domestic millers.

This year a local elevator will once again increase it's HWW plantings, offering a twenty to twenty-five cent premium for 12% protein HWW.

Idaho has developed a national reputation for quality HWW. Domestic customers are willing to pay a premium to the grower, but also higher freight rates in getting Idaho's HWW to milling locations.

Some of the growing pains include early signs of maxing out on spring acres. The big gains will now need to come from having a good winter variety of HWW.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Direct Seed Conference In Full Swing


Idaho Falls -- Over 70 wheat growers are currently participating in the 3rd annual Direct Seed Workshop Conference held in Idaho Falls at the Red Lion on the Falls.

Idaho Wheat Commissioner Gordon Gallup, who has been utilizing direct tilling on his farm, is the events Emcee.

Guest speakers and panel members are as follows: Dennis Roe, Conservation Tillage Specialist, WSU; Deb Nace, District Conservationist Idaho Falls Field Office; James Gneiting, Wheat Grower, Lewisville; Dr. Juiet Windes, Extension Crop Management Specialist UI; Ralph Isom, Wheat Grower Idaho Falls; Russ Zenner, Wheat Grower Genesee;Craig McNeal, Pioneer West.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Idaho Commission Meets with University of Idaho Researchers


Boise--The Idaho Wheat Commission met with University of Idaho researchers to review 2010 research proposals. Also in attendance were Idaho Grain Producer Association research committee members Jeff Tee, Sam Reed, Greg Branson, Bob Branson and James McLeod.

Donn Thill UI Assistant Director IAES/Professor Weed Science, opened the day with a presentation on weed control systems. Brad Brown, UI Extension crop Management Specialist reviewed his work on nitrogen management systems. Nysa Bosque-Perez updated the commission on her Hessian Fly research. Jianli Chen and Bob Zemetra, Idaho's wheat breeders reported on their resent wheat releases and discussed their respective breeding programs in Moscow and Aberdeen. Katherine O'Brien gave a brief update on the Wheat Quality Lab in Aberdeen.

Research proposals will be discussed at the next IWC meeting. Proposals will be listed on the IWC website under "Research". All wheat growers are encouraged to review research proposals and provide recommendations.