Friday, December 16, 2011

Projected Wheat Exports Are Lowered This Month

U.S. wheat ending stocks for 2011/12 are projected 50 million bushels higher withreduced prospects for exports this month. Exports are lowered 50 million bushels with reductions projected for hard red winter, soft red winter, and white wheat.

Larger supplies in several major exporting countries and relatively strong domestic prices, supported by the tight domestic corn supply-and-use situation, are expected to limit opportunities for U.S. wheat in world trade.

Ending stocks for 2011/12, at 878 million bushels, are projected to be up 16 million from last year, but down 98 million from the recent high in 2009/10. The 2011/12 season-average farm price is lowered slightly to$7.05 to $7.55 per bushel compared with $7.05 to $7.75 last month.

A sharp increase in wheat supplies in Australia, Argentina, and Canada is expected to intensify competition for U.S. exports during the latter half of 2011/12. Global consumption is projected higher; however, global ending stocks also rise, putting additional pressure on wheat prices. U.S. wheat export prospects are reduced on increased competitor supplies and the slow pace of sales.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Educational Seminar on Snow Mold Offered to Idaho Wheat Growers

Snow mold diseases of wheat are some of the most dramatic and devastating diseases of plants. In the Pacific Northwest, the snow molds are important in areas where snow falls on unfrozen or lightly frozen soil and persists for 100 days or more.

Snow mold diseases destroy the leaves and crowns of host grasses under snow. Following snowmelt, the leaves of plants with speckled snow mold are matted to the soils, and covered with a whitish gray fungal growth. Growing resistant varieties is the most effective and affordable control measure for snow mold.

The Idaho Wheat Commission will be presenting a web-based grower education seminar (webinar) to help educate Idaho wheat growers about Snow Mold diseases. The webinar will be approximately one hour. Participation is simple and free! Log onto the website at http://connect.cals.uidaho.edu/wheat (requires Adobe Flash Player which is installed on most computers) and enter your name as a participant.

Tuesday, November 22, 9:00 a.m. MST – Guest Presenter Tim Murray, Professor Dept. of Plant Pathology, Washington State University will discuss the disease development of snow mold, symptoms of the disease and the best methods to control the disease. Dr. Murray will also answer questions during the webinar and provide information on disease resistant varieties.

The webinar will be recorded and made available at www.idahowheat.org.

Monday, November 14, 2011

USDA Identifies Step Rust Resistant Wheat Varieties

The Agricultural Research Service (ARS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture said it has identified a number of stem rust-resistant wheat varieties and was retesting them to verify their resistance.

USDA scientists at the ARS Small Grains Research Unit in Aberdeen, Idaho screened more than 3,000 wheat landraces from the National Small Grains Collection against new races of the stem rust pathogen found in Kenyan wheat fields. Landraces with confirmed resistance were crossed with susceptible wheat to determine the genetic basis of the resistance.
The researchers’ goal was to find new genes for resistance to UG99, a rust strain that has the capacity to overcome many of the resistant genes used in the past 50 years. The work will help African growers now and will help suppress disease and reduce damage in developing countries, as well as prepare for the potential arrival of Ug99 in the United States.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Stem Rust-Resistant Wheat Landraces Identified

U.S. Department of Agriculture scientists have identified a number of stem rust-resistant wheat varieties and are retesting them to verify their resistance. Stem rust occurs worldwide wherever wheat is grown. Over a large area, losses from stem rust can be severe, ranging from 50 to 70 percent, and individual fields can be destroyed.


Agricultural Research Service plant pathologist Mike Bonman at the agency's Small Grains and Potato Germplasm Research Unit in Aberdeen, Idaho, and his colleagues screened more than 3,000 wheat landraces from the National Small Grains Collection against new races of the stem rust pathogen found in wheat fields in Kenya. Landraces with confirmed resistance are being crossed with susceptible wheat to determine the genetic basis of the resistance.


ARS is USDA's principal intramural scientific research agency, and the research supports the USDA priority of promoting international food security.


Field trials in Kenya to screen for resistance are vital to this work, according to Bonman, who worked at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) for 9 years before coming to ARS. He is now working collaboratively with the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) near Mexico City, and the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI).


Excellent procedures have been developed by CIMMYT and KARI personnel to promote rust disease in the nursery, enabling Bonman to evaluate which ARS accessions are resistant to rust. According to Bonman, CIMMYT facilitates the nursery and site logistics, and ARS helps with evaluating the level of rust development in wheat varieties.

The research team's goal is to find new genes for resistance to a rust strain called Ug99, because that strain has the capacity to overcome many of the resistance genes that have been used for the past 50 years. This work will help Africa's growers now and will help suppress disease and reduce damage in developing countries. It also will prepare the United States for Ug99 if the disease arrives here, according to Bonman.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Crowd favors dock expansion

Idaho Wheat Commissioner Bill Flory made the Lewiston Tribune with his comments made at the hearing this past Wednesday (10/19) hosted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers regarding the proposed dock expansion project at the Port of Lewiston.


IGPA V.P. “Genesee” Joe Anderson also made public statements in support of the Port.

Crowd favors dock expansion By ELAINE WILLIAMS of the Lewiston Tribune


Businesses and groups supporting a dock expansion at the Port of Lewiston dominated a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers public hearing on the project.Representatives of Clearwater Paper, Avista and six farming organizations were among those who said they favored the project Wednesday during the meeting at Sacajawea Junior High in Lewiston.


About 20 of those speaking wanted the Port of Lewiston to proceed with plans to lengthen its 125-foot container dock by 150 feet. Roughly 10 were against it. The upgrade can't be done without a permit from the corps because the arm of the federal government has jurisdiction for any work in navigable waters of the U.S.One of the decisions the corps will make, likely by December, is whether it will require an environmental impact statement, a detailed analysis that would look at alternatives to the project.


People on both sides of the issue made arguments their stance was the best for the environment. Backers noted barging creates less air pollution than trains or trucks and reduces traffic congestion by reducing the number of semis on the road.


They also talked about the economic benefits of the port. Northern Idaho growers save anywhere from $1.6 million to $8 million a year barging wheat to Portland compared with the costs of rail, said Bill Flory, a Winchester farmer who serves on the Idaho Wheat Commission. That money gets spent in local communities, Flory said. "We need a port with a complete product mix of services."


Opponents asked for an EIS, noting the dock would be constructed in a spot that has less than 15 feet of water.Concerns about sediment collection are so intense the corps is spending $13 million to study how to protect Lewiston from flooding as the levels rise, said Brett Haverstick of Friends of the Clearwater.


A corps official couldn't immediately confirm anything about the study.Opponents also argued the longer dock would turn the port into more of a destination for megaloads that take up two lanes of traffic on roadways.


"This proposed expansion is a boondoggle that should be regulated to the dust bin," Haverstick said.Jerry Myers of Lewiston said stopping the extension wouldn't prevent megaloads from arriving in the Lewiston-Clarkston Valley.


Some megaloads are going through the Port of Wilma, just west of Clarkston, Myers said.Myers also noted the Port of Lewiston has been in the megaload business almost from its beginning. Some of the first oversized loads arrived in Lewiston shortly after slackwater in the 1970s, Myers said. They were steam dryers for tissue machines at Clearwater Paper.

Monday, October 3, 2011

TAIWAN FLOUR MILLERS SIGN $484 MILLION WHEAT DEAL

The Taiwan Flour Mills Association (TFMA) signed a letter of intent to purchase up to 62.5 million bushels (1.7 million metric tons) of U.S. wheat over two years between 2012 and 2013 in Boise, Idaho, September 30. The signing ceremony was held at the Idaho State Capitol Building with Lt. Governor Brad Little.

Click on the link to view the video: http://www.ktvb.com/news/business/Idaho-Taiwan-sign-multi-million-dollar-trade-deal-130865633.html

Monday, September 19, 2011

USDA Projects Lower Grain Exports


In the September 12 World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report, USDA projected wheat, corn, and soybean total exports in the coming crop year (2011/12) to be 4.09 billion bushels, 12 percent lower than the 2010/11 crop year. U.S. corn exports for 2011/12 are projected to be 1.650 billion bushels, 10 percent lower than last year. The national average corn yield is forecast to be 148.1 bushels per acre, 16.3 bushels below the 2009/2010 crop year and the lowest since 2005/06. Corn use for ethanol is expected to be 5.0 billion bushels, a drop from last month’s projection of 5.1 billion bushels caused by higher corn prices and a weakening outlook for U.S. gasoline demand. Soybean exports are projected to be 1.415 billion bushels, 80 million bushels less than last year. Overall, WASDE production projections for the new crop of wheat, corn, and soybeans are 17.7 billion bushels, a 2 percent reduction from last year. This year’s crops have been adversely impacted by widespread disruptive weather that included extensive flooding and late-season droughts. On Thursday morning (September 15), an early freeze covered portions of the upper Midwest, including North Dakota, Minnesota, eastern South Dakota, northern Iowa, and parts of Wisconsin. Early frosts and prolonged freezing temperatures could impact crop development; final assessments will be made before the peak harvest season.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

World Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimates

Projected U.S. wheat ending stocks for 2011/12 are raised 90 million bushels this month with higher expected imports and lower expected food use and exports. Imports are raised 10 million bushels with larger supplies in Canada. Food use is projected 5 million bushels lower in line with revisions to 2010/11 based on the latest and final U.S. Bureau of Census mill grind estimates and reflecting reduced prospects for per capita flour consumption during calendar year 2011.

Exports for 2011/12 are projected 75 million bushels lower with larger supplies and exports expected for Canada and the EU-27. The season-average farm price for all wheat is projected at $7.35 to $8.35 per bushel, up from last month’s range of $7.00 to $8.20 per bushel supported by higher corn prices. Global wheat supplies for 2011/12 are projected 7.6 million tons higher mostly on larger beginning stocks in Canada and increased production for Canada, EU-27, and Ukraine. Beginning stocks for Canada are raised 1.3 million tons and production is raised 2.5 million tons, both reflecting the latest estimates from Statistics Canada.


EU-27 production is raised 2.3 million tons with increases for Germany, Romania, France, Spain, and Bulgaria as harvest reports and revisions to official estimates continue to indicate higher yields. Production for Ukraine is raised 1.0 million tons based on the latest harvest reports. Other smaller production changes include 0.2-million-ton increases for both Brazil and Morocco, and a 0.2-million-ton reduction for Uzbekistan. World wheat trade is raised slightly for 2011/12 with increased imports projected for the United States and Uzbekistan. Global exports are also raised as higher expected shipments from Canada and EU- 27 more than offset reductions for the United States and Turkey. Global wheat consumption is increased 1.9 million tons with higher expected wheat feeding in Canada, China, Morocco, and Turkey more than offsetting a reduction for Russia. World wheat ending stocks for 2011/12 are projected 5.7 million tons higher at 194.6 million. At this level, global stocks would be up from 2010/11 and the second largest in the past decade.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Coping with Fusarium Head Blight in S. Idaho



To view guest presenter Juliet Marshall's,
"Coping with Fusarium Head Blight in S. Idaho" webinar, click on the following link



Ms. Marshall explains several factors that may substantially be increasing the risk of Fusarium Head Blight. Key factors include environmental conditions, corn, and the increased aggressiveness of Fusarium Crown Rot.

Marshall described during the webinar how these factors have contributed to the incidence and aggressiveness of the disease in irrigated winter and spring wheat production in southeast Idaho.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Idaho Spring Wheat Production Decrease 5 Percent


Based on conditions as of August 1, Idaho’s spring wheat yield is forecast at 76.0 bushels per acre, unchanged from the July 1 forecast and down 2 bushels per acre from 2010, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service. Production of 45.6 million bushels from 600,000 harvested acres is down 5 percent from last year. Idaho’s winter wheat yield of 80.0 bushels per acre is up 1 bushel per acre from last month and down 2 bushels per acre from last year. Producers expect to harvest 770,000 acres of winter wheat with a total production of 61.6 million bushels, up 6 percent from last year.

For the United States, all wheat production, at 2.08 billion bushels, is down 1 percent from the July forecast and down 6 percent from 2010. Based on August 1 conditions, the United States yield is forecast at 45.2 bushels per acre, up 0.6 bushel from last month but down 1.2 bushels from last year. Winter wheat production is forecast at 1.50 billion bushels, up slightly from last month and up 1 percent from 2010. The United States yield is forecast at 46.3 bushels per acre, up 0.1 bushel from last month but down 0.5 bushel from last year. Spring wheat production is forecast at 522 million bushels, down 5 percent from last month and down 15 percent from last year. The United States yield is forecast at 42.5 bushels per acre, up 0.8 bushel from last month but down 3.6 bushels from 2010.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Governor Appoints Ned Moon to Idaho Wheat Commission

Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter recently appointed Ned Moon of Heyburn, to the Idaho Wheat Commission (IWC). Moon will represent wheat growers in District III, which includes Canyon, Owyhee, Ada, Elmore, Camas, Gooding, Twin Falls, Blaine, Lincoln, Jerome, Minidoka and Cassia counties.

Ned, who grew up on a farm in Heyburn, is the marketing manager for Jentzsch-Kearl Farms, a 16,000 acre partnership growing potatoes, sugar beets, wheat, hay, and seed beans. He also is responsible for chemical and fertilizer inputs, handles all land leases, audits and government programs.

Moon earned a bachelor’s degree in Communications from BYU, and then entered the Air Force where he flew jets for over 10 years. In 1993 Captain Moon left the Air Force and returned to the Burley/Twin Falls area and started his own retail business. He also spent several years as the manufacturing manager for an agricultural chemical company prior to working for Jentzsch-Kearl Farms.

“Ned brings a wealth of marketing and business experience to the Idaho Wheat Commission,” said Gordon Gallup, Chairman Idaho Wheat Commission. “The commission and staff look forward to working with Ned and gleaning from his years of agricultural and business experiences. We are confident that Ned’s marketing knowledge will be a benefit to Idaho’s wheat producers.”

The new commissioner is looking forward to serving as well. “It’s both a privilege and an honor to be selected by the Governor to represent District III wheat growers,” said Moon. “Check-off dollars are grower dollars. My goal is to see that those dollars continue to be managed and invested in programs that will help improve profit margins for our wheat growers.”

Ned and his wife Mary have three grown children. He enjoys golfing, playing the piano and wood working.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Idaho Crop Progress Update


USDA’s July 5, 2011 Crop Progress & Condition reports weather conditions improved significantly during the week ending July 3. Warmer weather advanced winter wheat headed to 76% which was a 26 percentage point improvement from last week. Spring wheat and barley headed improved to 27 and 23 percentage points, respectively. Most cereal grains are in good to excellent condition.

Winter wheat conditions continue to be favorable with 74% Good to Excellent, 14% Fair, 10% Poor and only 2% reporting Very Poor. Spring wheat conditions also look favorable with 85% Good to Excellent, 14% Fair and 1% Poor.
To view the entire USDA report click on this link: http//www.nass.usda.gov/id/


U.S. Crop Progress Update
USDA’s July 5, 2011 Crop Progress and Condition reported winter wheat conditions 36%Good to Excellent, 23% Fair, 19% Poor and 22% rated 22% Very Poor. Spring wheat conditions are favorable with 69% Good to Excellent, 27% Fair, 3% Poor and 1% Very Poor.
The spring wheat crop, however, is behind the 2010 crop in progress with 89 percent of the crop emerged, compared to 100 percent emergence in 2010 by this week of the year.
The five-year average for the crop is also 100 percent emergence by June 26.
To view the entire USDA report click link: http://usda.mannlib.cornell.edu/usda/current/CropProg/CropProg-07-05-2011.pdf

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Idaho All Wheat Acreage Up 3 Percent


Planted acres for all wheat in Idaho are estimated at 1.45 million acres, up 3 percent from 2010, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service. Acres to be harvested for all wheat are expected at 1.38 million acres, up from 1.35 million acres the previous year. Idaho’s spring wheat seedings, at 620,000 acres, are down 2 percent from the 630,000 acres planted in 2010. Harvested acreage is set at 600,000 acres, a decrease of 15,000 acres from last year. Winter wheat seedings of 820,000 acres increased 9 percent from the previous year. Harvested acres are expected to total 770,000 acres, up 60,000 acres from 2010. Area planted to durum wheat is down 60 percent from last year at 8,000 acres, with 8,000 acres also expected to be harvested for grain.

Idaho's June 1 all wheat stocks in all positions totaled 18.0 million bushels, down 7percent from the 19.3 million bushels in storage June 1, 2010.

Nationally, all wheat stored in all positions on June 1, 2011 totaled 861 million bushels, down 12 percent from a year ago. The March – May 2011 indicated disappearance is 565 million bushels, up 48 percent from the same period a year earlier. Barley stocks in all positions on June 1, 2011 totaled 89.4 million bushels, down 23 percent from June 1, 2010. The March – May 2011 indicated disappearance is 48.8 million bushels, 17 percent above the same period a year earlier. Oats stored in all positions on June 1, 2011 totaled 67.6 million bushels, 16 percent below the stocks on hand June 1, 2010. The March – May 2011 indicated disappearance totaled 18.7 million bushels, compared with 17.7 million bushels during the same period a year ago. Corn stocks in all positions on June 1, 2011 totaled 3.67 billion bushels, down 15 percent from June 1, 2010. The March – May 2011 indicated disappearance is 2.85 billion bushels, compared with 3.38 billion bushels during the same period last year.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Schedule of Idaho Crop Tours/Field Days


The University of Idaho will be conducting Field Days in numerous locations during June and July. Field Days provide an opportunity to learn about new wheat and barley varieties while providing growers a forum to ask UI Extension staff questions.

June 27 – Rimrock: UI Crop Tour, Winter/spring wheat, starts at 8:00 a.m. in Genesee. Contact: Lydia Clayton, (208) 799-3096 Iclayton@uidaho.edu

June 28 – Craigmont: Prairie Area Crop & Conservation Tour. Contact: Ken Hart, (208) 937-2311 khart@uidaho.edu. Hosted breakfast 7:00 a.m. Craigmont City Hall. Transportation provided, pesticide recertification and CCA credits available.

July 7 – Burley: UI Cereals Extension Field day, Contacts: Joel Packham (208) 430-7238 jpackham@uidaho.edu, Juliet Marshall, Juliet.marshall@uidaho.edu. Starts at 10:00 a.m. at winter cereal trials (150 N on Meridian Rd, N of Rupert), lunch provided.

July 14 – Rexburg: BYU-Idaho Contacts: Greg Blaser (208) 496-4527 blaserg@byui.edu Renae Zollinger (208) 496-4521. 35th Small Grains and Forages Field Day, ISDA and CCA credits available, lunch provided.

July 19 – Blackfoot: General Mills, Contact: Brett Wilken, (208) 243-0008, brett.wilken@genmills.com

July 20 – Swan Valley: Direct Seed Field Day, Contacts: Gordon Gallup, (208) 251-9552 gogallup@hotmail.com; Pat Dailey, (208) 334-2353 pdailey@idahowheat.org, Juliet Marshall, Juliet.marshall@uidaho.edu. Starts at 10:00 a.m., Gordon Gallup’s Farm, lunch provided.

July 20 – Ririe: UI Cereals Extension Field day with Bonneville County Grain Growers. Contacts: Matt Gellings (208) 524-4946 mjgellings@msn.com, Juliet.marshall@uidaho.edu. Starts at 4:00 p.m. Extension trials in Ririe at LDS Church Farm.

July 21—Aberdeen: UI Extension Cereals & Wheat Breeding Field day, 3:00 p.m. Twilight Tour: 100th Anniversary of Research & Extension Center. Contacts: Steve Love (208) 397-4181 slove@uidaho.edu, Jianli Chen (208) 397-4181 jchen@uidaho.edu, Juliet Marshall (208) 529-8376 Juliet.marshall@uidaho.edu.

July 27 – Soda Springs: UI Cereals Extension Field day with Caribou County Grain Growers. Contacts: Steve Harrison (208) 547-3205, sharrison@uidaho.edu; Scott Brown, (801) 557-5123, Sam Reed (208) 547-7020. Starts at 4:00 p.m. at Cid Cellen’s farm, dinner provided.

July 28 – Ashton: UI Extension Field Day with Jefferson/Madison/Fremont County Grain Growers. Contacts: Lance Ellis (208) 624-3102 ellis@uidaho.edu or Juliet Marshall, Juliet.marshall@uidaho.edu. Starts at 10:00 a.m. lunch provided.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Peruvian Wheat Buyers Get First Hand Look at Idaho Wheat Industry


Executives directly involved in making wheat purchasing decisions for five flour milling and wheat food companies in Peru were in Idaho June 21 to 23. The team visited General Mills and Pendleton Flour Mills in Blackfoot. They also toured the U.I. Research Center in Aberdeen to learn about Idaho wheat varieties and their end use functionality.

Peru produces only a small amount of wheat and has imported an average of about 55.6 million bushels, or about 1.5 million metric tons, annually for the past five years. U.S. commercial sales to Peru have increased during each of the past three marketing years (June – May) and have grown from 20.8 million bushels in 2009/10 to about 36.8 million bushels in 2010/11.

The U.S. Wheat Associates is targeting Peru's artisan bread market, which has the highest level of consumption and more potential impact on U.S. wheat sales to Peru as a replacement mainly for Canadian spring wheat imports.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Idaho Winter Wheat Production Up 7 Percent


Idaho's 2011 winter wheat production is forecast at 62.4 million bushels, unchanged from last month’s forecast, and 7 percent above last year's crop. This report is based on conditions as of June 1. The yield is forecasted to be 79 bushels per acre, unchanged from last month. Acres to be harvested, at 790,000, represent an 80,000 acre increase from 2010.

Temperatures across the state last week ranged from two to eight degrees below normal. All weather stations reported precipitation for the week. Idaho's winter wheat condition is rated 3% very poor; 8% poor; 12% fair, 63% good and 14% excellent. Spring wheat is rated 1% very poor, 3% poor; 20% fair; 66% good and 14% excellent.

Nationally, winter wheat production is forecast at 1.45 billion bushels, up 2 percent from the May 1 forecast but 2 percent below 2010. Expected area for harvest as grain or seed totals 32.0 million acres, unchanged from May 1. Based on June 1 conditions, the United States yield is forecast at 45.3 bushels per acre, up 0.8 bushel from last month but 1.5 bushels less than last year. Hard Red production is up 2 percent from a month ago to 777 million bushels. Soft Red production is up 2 percent from last month and now totals 434 million bushels. White production totals 240 million bushels, up 2 percent from last month. Of the White production total, 11.6 million bushels are Hard White and 228 million bushels are Soft White.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Idaho Wheat Commission Elects Officers, Sets Budget


The Idaho Wheat Commission met May 31 and June 1 in Post Falls, Idaho to finalize the budget for FY 2012 and to elect officers. Gordon Gallup, Ririe, was elected as chairman. Bill Flory, Culdesac, was elected to serve as vice chainman.

Gallup grows wheat, barley, and alfalfa over 3,000 acres and has operated the family farm since 1975. He has been using direct seed tillage since 1985 and was instrumental in organizing and facilitating the IWC Direct Seed Workshops held for the past several years in Idaho Falls.

Flory manages a fourth generation, diversified grain farm raising wheat, barley, bluegrass, canola, and grass/alfalfa hay. He is a graduate of the University of Idaho. Flory has had extensive involvement with the Idaho Grain Producers Association and National Wheat Growers Associations, having served as president of both organizations.

FY2012 Budget

The IWC approved a budget of $2,207,379 million dollars for fiscal year 2011-2012, which covers programs in export and domestic marketing, research and information and education.

The commission increased its research budget this year due to continued reductions in funds from state and federal governments. The IWC continues to focus research dollars on variety development, which helps growers achieve the maximum yield and minimum input costs. Other priorities include research on new pests and diseases.

Friday, June 10, 2011

High Country Still Packing Lots of Snow


Snow Surveyors from the Natural Resources Conservation Service recorded one of the deepest June 1 snowpacks ever measured in Idaho. This year's late season snows and slow snow melt provide more than enough water for users and create a potentially threatening runoff season, especially in the Upper Snake and Bear River basins.

"In an average year up to about two-thirds of the snowpack melts during April and May," said Ron Abramovich, Water Supply Specialist with Idaho NRCS. "More water in less time means the streamflow volumes will be much greater than normal."

Generally, streamflows were above average in May and the peaks on most rivers are still to come. Over 80 of 120 Snow Telemetry sites that automatically measure snowpack conditions around Idaho showed the June 1 snow water content levels at or near record highs.

"Hot temperatures or rain during this critical time period when the snow is receding and soils are saturated, will send a flush of water down many streams and generate big flows," Abramovich said. Streamflow forecasts reflect the unusually high June 1 snowpacks. The forecasts around the state range from a low of 120% of average in central Idaho to over 300% in the Bear River Basin.

For up-to-date information on specific areas, visit the NRCS web site: http://www.id.nrcs.usda.gov/snow/.

The full June Water Supply Report is posted on the website. For current snowmelt and streamflow relationship analyses information, view the snowstream graphs and streamflow graphs at: http://www.id.nrcs.usda.gov/snow/watersupply/peakflow.html.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Idaho Winter Wheat Production Up 7 Percent from Last Year


Idaho's 2011 winter wheat production is forecast at 62.4 million bushels, unchanged from last month’s forecast, and 7 percent above last year's crop, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service. This report is based on conditions as of June 1. The yield is forecasted to be 79 bushels per acre, unchanged from last month. Acres to be harvested, at 790,000, represent an 80,000 acre increase from 2010

Nationally, winter wheat production is forecast at 1.45 billion bushels, up 2 percent from the May 1 forecast but 2 percent below 2010. Expected area for harvest as grain or seed totals 32.0 million acres, unchanged from May 1. Based on June 1 conditions, the United States yield is forecast at 45.3 bushels per acre, up 0.8 bushel from last month but 1.5 bushels less than last year.

Hard Red production is up 2 percent from a month ago to 777 million bushels. Soft Red production is up 2 percent from last month and now totals 434 million bushels. White production totals 240 million bushels, up 2 percent from last month. Of the White production total, 11.6 million bushels are Hard White and 228 million bushels are Soft White.

Wheat Varieties with Herbicide Resistant Traits on the Increase


Each year an increasing number of growers are choosing to plant public and private wheat varieties with a herbicide-resistant trait added to the germplasm. One example is CLEARFIELD wheat cultivars.

The trait available in the CLEARFIELD varieties is not a GMO. CLEARFIELD wheat cultivars carry a gene for resistance to the herbicide Beyond. To protect the longevity of the technology, growers and seed dealers agree to specific licensing terms and requirements before having access to the seed.

It makes no difference if the trait is added to private varieties (such as AP700CL) or public varieties (such as UICF Brundage, ORCF 103) it is the trait that is protected. Locally developed germplasm serves as the carrier to make the technology available to growers in a wide variety of environments. The cost of having that technology available means agreeing to the stewardship plan which helps reduce the risk of selection of Beyond resistant weeds and gene flow to related weed species.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Low Global Wheat Supply Leads to Higher Food Prices


KTVB News Channel 7 featured Idaho wheat during its 10 p.m. newscast on Tuesday, June 7. Nishi Gupta reported that the price of wheat has gone up a dollar or two per bushel, but farmers aren't cashing in.

I've been farming 33 years, and I've never experienced this," said Meridian wheat farmer Drew Eggers.

The cooler weather has made Eggers wheat crop vulnerable to a disease called striped rust.

It turns leaves from green to yellow and red, preventing sunlight from getting to the plant and eventually stopping its growth.

Eggers planted 150 acres of wheat last fall. One percent of it is damaged from stripe rust. He'll spend several thousand dollars spraying it to protect the rest from disease."When the temperature is above 75 degrees you don't usually have stripe rust problems, but with this cool wet weather that we've had this spring," said Eggers. "It's become a problem in quite a few fields in southwestern Idaho."

While we've had wet weather, large wheat growing states like Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma and Nebraska are experiencing a drought. Russia, the world's largest wheat exporter, has put a ban on wheat exports due to its own lack of wheat supply. China and Canada are also struggling to grow the crop. All of those situations are leading to an increase in what we pay at the store.

To view the entire story click on the link: http://www.ktvb.com/news/Low-global-wheat-supply-leads-to-higher-food-prices-123435209.html

Friday, May 27, 2011

Wheat and Corn Outlook Remains Tight


The Grain: World Markets and Trade report, published by USDA finds this could be another year of volatile prices with tight exportable supplies of corn and wheat. In contrast, the rice world supplies are relatively abundant.

Against the backdrop of low carry-in corn and wheat stocks, expectations of a large rebound in global exportable supplies now remain uncertain after delayed corn plantings in the United States, reduced U.S. winter wheat production, continued dryness in the EU, and wet conditions in Canada.

Global corn production is forecast up 52 MMT over last year, with the United States expected to account for half of the gain. However, nearly all of the growth in global corn consumption is expected to come from foreign demand, in countries such as Brazil, China, and Mexico. For wheat, the year-to-year gain in production is a more modest 21 MMT, with more than three-quarters of the rebound coming from larger expected crops in Russia, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan. As a result, production and consumption are expected to be in balance, compared to last year’s shortfall of 14 MMT.

Corn and wheat ending stocks in the exporting countries are up slightly year-to-year, leaving little supply cushion in the event of adverse weather impacting crops. For corn, the exporting countries are: Argentina, Brazil, and the United States. For wheat the exporters include: Argentina, Australia, Canada, EU, United States, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Ukraine.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Traditional Exporter Stocks Decline Again


A key price factor for the world wheat market is the level of stocks held by traditional exporters: Australia, Canada, the EU, Argentina and the United States. Ending stocks are expected to tighten somewhat this year.

The biggest drop is in the United States, but stocks are still abundant. So far this year, the US has exported 33.4 MMT of wheat (46.6 percent higher than this time last
year), 32.1 MMT of corn (2.5 percent less), 37.5 MMT of soybeans (3.4 percent more), 2.8 MMT of sorghum (15.9 percent less) and 119.2 TMT of barley (30.0 percent more).

Slight increases are expected in Australia and the EU, partly offsetting the decline. Although stock levels are expected to recover in Russia and Ukraine, restrictive government export policies will continue to impact prices.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Idaho Crop Progress Update



USDA’s May 23 Crop Progress and Condition report shows spring wheat seeding mostly complete. Northern and some parts of Eastern Idaho have continued to experience planting delays due to the cool, wet weather.

Winter wheat condition are rated 84% Good to Excellent, 15% Fair to Poor and 1% Very Poor. Spring Wheat is rated 75% Good to Excellent and 25% Fair to Poor.

Several locations across the state are reporting stripe rust in winter wheat -- Nyssa, OR, to Parma, Idaho, to Cassia County, Aberdeen, Bingham County, Idaho, American Falls, Power County, Idaho.

To view the entire USDA report click on this link: http//www.nass.usda.gov/id/












Monday, May 23, 2011

Farm States Continue to Suffer From Expanded Drought

USAgNet reports today a dire drought that has plagued Texas and parts of Oklahoma expanded across the key farming state of Kansas over the last week, adding to struggles of wheat farmers already dealing with weather-ravaged fields.

Harvest in Kansas, the top U.S. wheat-growing state, is set to begin within weeks. But a report issued Thursday by a consortium of climatologists said the three most severe levels of drought spread across the state over the last week, with the most dire conditions concentrated in the key wheat-growing south-central and southwest parts.

According to Reuters, Kansas now has 50 percent of the state suffering severe levels of drought or worse, up from 41 percent last week. The Drought Monitor shows that just three months ago, less than 4 percent of Kansas was suffering severe drought or worse. The drought is eroding production potential at a time when every bushel counts.

Meanwhile, wheat harvest is underway and production is expected to be curtailed substantially because of the drought.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture on May 11 forecast that Kansas would harvest 261.8 million bushels of wheat this summer, down from 27 percent from a year ago. The Texas and Oklahoma wheat crops are forecast to fall more than 50 percent because of the drought, causing the overall U.S. winter wheat crop to be estimated as the smallest in five years.

Severe drought stress can be easily seen in many Kansas fields, which typically produce hard red winter wheat, the chief bread-making type.

Wheat futures prices have surged because of the production shortfalls. Chicago Board of Trade wheat futures have jumped nearly 20 percent over the last week and hit a three-month high this week on worries the drought will harm the U.S. wheat crop.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Idaho Crop Progress Update


USDA’s May 16 Crop Progress & Condition reports spring wheat seeding has progressed since last week with 78% of the state planted, up from 66% last week, but still lagging below the five-year average of 90%.

The biggest problem area continues to be northern Idaho where only 52% is planted, up only modestly from last week and well below the five-year average of 90% for this time of year.

Winter wheat conditions continue to be favorable with 84% Good to Excellent, 11% Fair, 4% Poor and only 1% reporting Very Poor.
To view the entire USDA report click on this link: http//www.nass.usda.gov/id/

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Cool, Wet Weather Gives Rise to Stripe Rust


From Nyssa, OR, to Parma, Idaho, to Cassia County, Aberdeen, Bingham County, Idaho, American Falls, Power County, Idaho.

Expanding reports of stripe rust continue in commercial wheat fields. Affected fields include the varieties ‘Brundage’ soft white winter wheat, and ‘Malcolm’, soft white winter wheat, Stephens (SWW), and lower levels are being reported in Moreland (HRW), WB 528 (SWW), WB 470 (SWW), but it is expected that other susceptible winter and spring varieties will also begin to show symptoms soon. Stripe rust has also been found in the Aberdeen area on the University of Idaho’s research farm. The infected plants were at the jointing growth stage. New leaves were not yet showing infection; the disease was occurring on lower leaves likely as a result of an infection that started last fall. Infected plants that were covered by an insulating layer of snow carried the fungus through the winter and is the current source of the disease.

On the Aberdeen research station, Brundage had about 30% affected leaves throughout the plot, while Moreland about 5% of the leaves affected. Active and abundant spores were seen on infected plants. Stripe rust was prevalent throughout the winter wheat variety trials.

Resistant varieties should not need fungicide applications. Growers should scout all wheat fields and should never assume that resistant varieties will always be resistant, as the prevalent strains of the fungi can change, affecting different varieties.

The weather has been very conducive for infection and rapid spread. It is imperative to protect susceptible varieties with a fungicide as yield losses to this disease can be significant. Both strobilurin (Quadris, Headline) and triazole (Caramba, Tilt, Proline, Folicur, Prosaro) fungicides are equally effective in protecting against subsequent stripe rust infections, as are mixed mode-of-action fungicides (TwinLine, Quilt, Quilt Excel, Stratego). However, if stripe rust is currently in your crop, it is recommended that you include a triazole fungicide for the slightly curative activity.

Fungicide ratings for stripe rust from the mid-west are: Excellent = azoxystrobin (Quadris), pyraclostrobin (Headline), metconazole (Caramba), tebuconazole (Folicur), and fungicide mixes rated Excellent for stripe rust includes prothioconazole and tebuconazole (both found in Prosaro), and the strobiluron / triazole mixes line, Twinline, Quilt or Quilt Xcel. Rated very good was propiconizole (Tilt), and the mix of propiconazole and trifloxystrobin (Stratego). In the 2011 Pacific Northwest Plant Disease Management Handbook, Bumper was additionally listed for an effective foliar fungicide.

This information is provided only as a guide. Other fungicides may also be labeled and effective against stripe rust. Inclusion in this list is not intended as a product endorsement and exclusion from this list is not meant to imply other products are ineffective.

Additional information and pictures are available on the Cereals Extension website for southern and southeast Idaho: http://www.extension.uidaho.edu/scseidaho/disease/disease_index.htm

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Net Farm Income Expected To Increase 20 Percent in 2011


Net value added, net farm income, and net cash income—the three key U.S. farm sector financial indicators—are expected to improve in 2011. Net farm income (a measure of profitability that accounts for inventories and capital consumption), is forecast to reach $94.7 billion in 2011, up nearly 20 percent from the 2010 forecast, and the second highest inflation-adjusted value for net farm income in the past 37 years. Over the past three decades, the top five years for nominal earnings have occurred since 2004, attesting to the profitability of farming in 2000-2009.

Net value added, USDA’s measure of agriculture’s contribution to the U.S. economy’s production of goods and services, is forecast to rise by $18.4 billion (14.2 percent). Net cash income (a measure of the ability to pay bills and make payments on debt) mimics these increases and is projected to increase $7.3 billion (8 percent).

Monday, May 16, 2011

Farm Production Expenses Were Up During Past Year


The April price index for U.S. farm production inputs increased 16 percent from a year ago. The USDA says higher prices for nitrogen, feed grains, diesel, and complete feeds more than offset lower prices for concentrates, supplements, and herbicides. Fertilizer prices showed the largest increases, followed by fuels.

Compared to April 2010, prices paid for fertilizer was up 34 percent. The increase can be attributed to nitrogen rising by 40 percent, mixed fertilizer by 33 percent, and potash and phosphate by 21 percent.

Fuels saw a 31 percent increase from April 2010. Diesel prices increased 37 percent, gasoline 31 percent, and LP gas 8.3 percent from the previous year.

Feed increased 29 percent from April 2010. Prices rose for all feed categories. Feed grains saw the largest increase, at 88 percent. Complete feeds were up 25 percent, hay and forages 24 percent, concentrates 11 percent, and supplements 6.4 percent.

Meanwhile, the national seed price index rose 18 percent from April of last year. Field crop seed prices were 19 percent higher, while grass and legume seed prices rose 4.3 percent from a year ago. U.S. chemical prices were unchanged from April 2010. Fungicides were up 4.2 percent and insecticides increased 1.8 percent, while herbicides were down 3.0 percent.

The U.S. prices paid index for machinery rose 5.7 percent from April 2010. The price indices for both tractors and self propelled machinery were up 6.8 percent, and other machinery prices increased 3.8 percent.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Idaho April Weather Brings Expectations for High Runoff


April's cool, moist weather held off the snow melt and even added to the mountain snowpack according to the latest snow survey conducted by the Natural Resources Conservation Service. This summer's water supply is forecast to be plentiful for Idaho's water users but the spring runoff is expected to be high.

"The water supply analysis completed last week shows that April's precipitation and cool temperatures added significant amounts of water to the snowpack," said Jeff Burwell, Idaho State Conservationist. "While this contributes to an ample water supply, it increases concern over how the runoff season will unfold."

The whole state received above average precipitation in April. Precipitation ranged from 110% of average in regions of central Idaho to 250% of average in the Northern Panhandle. However, lingering cool spring temperatures delayed the snow melt creating a potentially threatening runoff season.

"Usually the mid-elevation snowpacks begin melting in April - at least 25% of the snowpack melts off," said Ron Abramovich, NRCS Water Supply Specialist. "Not this year. Below normal temperatures prevented snow melt in the mid-elevation range and kept the headwater streamflow levels below normal."

"The May 1 mountain snowpack is above average ranging from 125 to 190% of average. And, now there is a shorter runoff season," said Abramovich. "This means more streamflow in a shorter time period."

The timing and magnitude of peak streamflows depend on spring temperatures, consecutive hot days, non-freezing night temperatures, and if rain falls when the snow is melting. Reservoir operators across Idaho are drawing down reservoir levels to increase water storage space.

"Our current Water Supply Report forecasts river levels and volumes to be above average through the summer," Burwell added. "Whether you are a river runner or a water manager, expect extremely variable conditions."

View May's full report on snowpack, precipitation, runoff and water supply predictions at http://www.id.nrcs.usda.gov/snow%20
and click on the 'Water Supply' link.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Interior Releases Report Highlighting Impacts of Climate Change to Western Water Resources


Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar recently released a report that assesses climate change risks and how these risks could impact water operations, hydropower, flood control, and fish and wildlife in the western United States. The report to Congress, represents the first consistent and coordinated assessment of risks to future water supplies across eight major Reclamation river basins, including the Colorado, Rio Grande and Missouri river basins.

“Water is the lifeblood of our communities, rural and urban economies, and our environment,” said Secretary Salazar, “and small changes in water supplies or the timing of precipitation can have a big impact on all of us. This report provides the foundation for understanding the long-term impacts of climate change on Western water supplies and will help us identify and implement appropriate mitigation and adaptation strategies for sustainable water resource management.”

The report, which responds to requirements under the SECURE Water Act of 2009, shows several increased risks to western United States water resources during the 21st century. Specific projections include:

A temperature increase of 5-7 degrees Fahrenheit
A precipitation increase over the northwestern and north-central portions of the western United States and a decrease over the southwestern and south-central areas;
A decrease for almost all of the April 1st snowpack, a standard benchmark measurement used to project river basin runoff;
And an 8 to 20 percent decrease in average annual stream flow in several river basins, including the Colorado, the Rio Grande, and the San Joaquin.

The report notes that projected changes in temperature and precipitation are likely to impact the timing and quantity of stream flows in all western basins, which could impact water available to farms and cities, hydropower generation, fish and wildlife, and other uses such as recreation.

Follow the link to read the entire report http://www.doi.gov/news/pressreleases/Interior-Releases-Report-Highlighting-Impacts-of-Climate-Change-to-Western-Water-Resources.cfm?renderforprint=1&

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Net Farm Income Expected To Increase 20 Percent in 2011


Net value added, net farm income, and net cash income—the three key U.S. farm sector financial indicators—are expected to improve in 2011. Net farm income (a measure of profitability that accounts for inventories and capital consumption), is forecast to reach $94.7 billion in 2011, up nearly 20 percent from the 2010 forecast, and the second highest inflation-adjusted value for net farm income in the past 37 years. Over the past three decades, the top five years for nominal earnings have occurred since 2004, attesting to the profitability of farming in 2000-2009.

Net value added, USDA’s measure of agriculture’s contribution to the U.S. economy’s production of goods and services, is forecast to rise by $18.4 billion (14.2 percent). Net cash income (a measure of the ability to pay bills and make payments on debt) mimics these increases and is projected to increase $7.3 billion (8 percent).

Idaho Winter Wheat Acreage Up 11% From 2010


The latest USDA Crop Production report showed Idaho's winter wheat acreage will grow to 790 thousand acres, up 11% from 2010. Idaho winter wheat production is forecast at 62 million bushels, up 7% over 2010. The yield per acre is forecast to be down slightly due to less favorable growing conditions. Total 2011 harvest in Idaho, combining winter and spring wheat, is currently forecast at 107 million bushel. Delays in spring planting in northern Idaho may cause this number to soften in the next NASS update.

The USDA Crop Production report for 2011 was released this morning, and it forecast total U.S. winter wheat production will fall slightly to 1.42 billion bushels, down 4 percent from 2010. Expected area for harvest as grain or seed totals 32.0 million acres, up 1 percent from last year. Based on May 1 conditions, the total U.S. yield is forecast at 44.5 bushels per acre, down 2.3 bushels from last year. Hard Red Winter, at 762 million bushels, is down 25 percent from 2010. Soft Red Winter, at 427 million bushels, is up 80 percent from last year. White Winter is up 3 percent from last year and totals 235 million bushels. Of this total, 11.7 million bushels are Hard White and 224 million bushels are Soft White.

To view the entire USDA report click on this link: http://www.usda.gov/nass/PUBS/TODAYRPT/crop0511.pdf

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Farm Production Expenses Were Up During Past Year

The USDA says higher prices for nitrogen, feed grains, diesel, and complete feeds more than offset lower prices for concentrates, supplements, and herbicides. Fertilizer prices showed the largest increases, followed by fuels. The April price index for U.S. farm production inputs, at 215, increased 16 percent from a year ago.

Compared to April 2010, the U.S. prices paid index for fertilizer was up 34 percent. The increase can be attributed to nitrogen rising by 40 percent, mixed fertilizer by 33 percent, and potash and phosphate by 21 percent.

The U.S. prices paid index for fuels saw a 31 percent increase from April 2010. Diesel prices increased 37 percent, gasoline 31 percent, and LP gas 8.3 percent from the previous year.

The U.S. prices paid index for feed increased 29 percent from April 2010. Prices rose for all feed categories. Feed grains saw the largest increase, at 88 percent. Complete feeds were up 25 percent, hay and forages 24 percent, concentrates 11 percent, and supplements 6.4 percent.

Meanwhile, the national seed price index rose 18 percent from April of last year. Field crop seed prices were 19 percent higher, while grass and legume seed prices rose 4.3 percent from a year ago. U.S. chemical prices were unchanged from April 2010. Fungi-cides were up 4.2 percent and insecticides increased 1.8 percent, while herbicides were down 3.0 percent.

The U.S. prices paid index for machinery rose 5.7 percent from April 2010. The price indices for both tractors and self propelled machinery were up 6.8 percent, and other machinery prices in-creased 3.8 percent.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

From Farm to Port, Japanese Milling Executives Tour U.S. Wheat Industry

A team of five milling executives from Japan is visiting the United States as part of an annual educational tour sponsored by U.S. Wheat Associates (USW). The team, which represents some of the largest and oldest milling companies in Japan, will travel across the country from Washington, DC, to Boise, ID, and Portland, OR, to gain first-hand knowledge of current winter wheat crop conditions as well as issues affecting overall wheat supply and demand.

The Japanese team will be in the United States May 3 to 10. In that time, they will have discussions with representatives from nearly every sector of the wheat industry on a variety of topics, including increasing investment in wheat research, soft white (SW) wheat supply and rising production costs.

“Our ability to meet Japan’s strict contract specifications keeps them as a steady customer of U.S. wheat,” U.S. Wheat Associates Japan Country Director Wataru “Charlie” Utsunomiya said. “Participation in a team like this one develops close working relationships and mutual reliance between U.S. wheat farmers and Japanese millers.”

U.S. wheat farmers have maintained this close connection since 1949, when the Oregon Wheat Growers League (OWGL) organized a trade delegation to Japan. Following that trip, a variety of marketing and educational activities were started in Japan to promote U.S. wheat, including a school lunch program and a “Kitchen on Wheels” that travelled through rural Japan from 1956 to 1960.

Since that time, Japan has purchased significantly more U.S. wheat than any other country, importing more than 133 million bushels per year on average for the last five years. Total U.S. wheat purchases now conservatively reach $700 million per year, more than 10 percent of total U.S. wheat exports. Japan imports significant amounts of hard red spring (HRS), hard red winter (HRW) and SW wheat for use in domestic products.

The Japanese milling industry suffered less damage following the devastating earthquake and tsunami this March than the nation’s feed mill industry. Most of Japan’s flour mills are located outside of the region struck by the disaster. The biggest difficulty following the disaster and continuing today is the supply of sufficient electrical power to operate the mills at full capacity.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Idaho Crop Progress and Condition


Poor weather conditions continue to slow field progress throughout much of the state. The Twin Falls extension reports that some fields in the area have dried allowing planting of cereal grains.
Winter wheat condition is rated 1% Very Poor, 17% Poor to Fair and 82% Good to Excellent. Spring wheat planted is 35% completed compared to 28% at this time last year.

Nationally, the HRW crop continues to be of major concern. The USDA reported that 69% of the crop was in poor to very poor condition in Oklahoma, 68% in Texas, 48% in Colorado, and 42% in Kansas. The crop in the north is in better condition. In California 95% was reported to be in good to excellent condition, 75% in Montana, 66% in South Dakota, and 43% in Nebraska.

The SW crop is in excellent condition this year. The USDA reported 89% of the crop to be in good to excellent condition in Washington, 82% in Idaho, and 80% in Oregon.

The SRW crop appears to be in fairly good condition this year. The USDA reported 78% of the crop to be in good to excellent condition in North Carolina, 73% in Ohio, 71% in Missouri, 65% in Illinois, 58% in Indiana, and 57% in Arkansas.

The spring wheat planting season has kicked off. Most states are behind last year’s pace and behind the five year average, the exception being Idaho which is ahead of schedule.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

NEW USDA INITIATIVE CAN HELP FARMERS DEVELOP OIL SPILL PREVENTION PLANS

A new USDA initiative may help agricultural producers in Idaho comply with revised Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations for on-farm oil spills.
The Natural Resources Conservation Service is accepting applications for the Spill, Prevention, Control and Countermeasure pilot initiative through May 20, 2011.

EPA’s revised Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure regulations require agricultural operations to have an oil spill prevention plan in place. The USDA set up a pilot initiative for eight states, including Idaho, to help producers comply with the EPA’s SPCC regulations.

“An important part of the USDA mission is helping farmers and ranchers develop plans to protect human health and the environment, including assistance to comply with new regulations,” said Jeff Burwell, Idaho NRCS State Conservationist. “This new pilot initiative will help agricultural producers meet a new regulatory requirement designed to reduce the dangers of on-farm oil spills.”

For farms with aboveground storage capacity of more than 10,000 gallons of oil or oil products, the EPA requires that the SPCC plans be developed by a professional engineer. The NRCS initiative offers a set payment for producers that use a certified Technical Service Provider to develop a SPCC conservation activity plan that meets the EPA’s requirements.

To learn more about the Spill, Prevention, Control and Countermeasure regulation and pilot initiative, contact the NRCS office in your area. Find the one nearest you at http://www.id.nrcs.usda.gov/ and click the link “Find a Service Center” at the end of the list on the left side.

Monday, April 11, 2011

High wheat Prices Despite Abundant Exporter Stocks

USDA's Grain World Markets and Trade reports in their latest circular that there is normally a strong inverse relationship between international wheat prices and stocks held by major exporting countries because they are mostly available for export to the world market. Global wheat prices, as reflected by Hard Red winter (HRW), have nearly doubled over the last year. The surge was initially fuelled by smaller crops and export restrictions in some major exporting countries, then concerns over available supplies of milling quality wheat. Prices are reflecting other factors, including a tight U.S. corn market, poor winter wheat crop conditions in the Unites States, and political unrest in North Africa and the Middle East.

Exporter stocks remain relatively high and are boosted almost 4 million tons this month. In fact, they are estimated to be 55 percent higher than during the price crisis of 2007/2008. Stocks are up this month on more supplies from key Southern Hemisphere countries, namely, Argentina and Australia, and less import demand, particularly from Russia. U.S. stocks are raised on lower foreign demand ans a result of greater competition from Australia.

Friday, April 8, 2011

March Precipitation Boosts Snowpack Across the State

The Natural Resources Conservation Service's snow surveyors recently completed the April 1 snow measurements and found that March's above average precipitation ensures an adequate summer water supply for Idaho's numerous water users.

"With more snowy days than sunny ones in March, snowpacks increased measurably and now range from 100-140% of average for most Idaho basins," said Ron Abramovich, Water Supply Specialist with the Idaho NRCS.

Streamflow forecasts also increased. "With the good precipitation in March, most people would have thought the March streamflow volumes would be higher than they were," Abramovich said. "But most of the 60 plus stations that we use for water supply forecasting were in the 70-95% of average range."

That's because most of March's precipitation fell as snow in the higher elevations. Streamflow forecasts range from near average in the Salmon basin to 150-160% for southern Idaho's high desert rivers.

What does this mean for Idaho's water supply? Irrigation water supplies will be ample with most reservoirs holding enough supplies to last through the summer. Water is being released from some reservoirs to make room for the anticipated snow melt.

Most of southern Idaho's reservoirs will fill except for the large storage facilities such as Salmon Falls, Oakley and Bear Lake. However, their water users will still have adequate irrigation supplies based on current storage and projected inflows.

Abramovich added, "How the snow melts and fills our rivers and lakes greatly depends on spring air temperatures and rain." The three month extended forecast calls for wet, cool weather.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

View the Webinar on EPA's Fuel Containment Rule

If you were unable to participate in today's live webinar on "What You Need to Know About EPA's Fuel Containment Rule." Click on the following link to view a taped recording. http://connect.cals.uidaho.edu/p31474037/

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

What you Need to Know About EPA's Fuel Containment Rules Webinar

The Idaho Wheat Commission and the Idaho Grain Producers Association will be presenting a web-based grower education seminar to help answer questions you may have about the SPCC program. The webinar will be approximately on hour. Participation is easy and free! Simply log onto the website at http://connect.cals.uidaho.edu/wheat April 7 at 8:00 a.m. MST -- Guest presenter Adam Lyman, Professional Engineer, "What You Need to Know About EPA's Fuel Containment Rules." If your farm stores, transfers, uses, or consumes oil or oil products such as diesel fuel, gasoline, lube oil, hydraulic oil, adjuvant oil, etc, be sure to participate in this informational webinar. Mr. Lyman will explain the SPCC program and discuss which farms are required to complete an SPCC Plan by EPA's deadline of November 10, 2011. Greg Weigel, EPA and Clint Evans, NRCS will also be available during the webinar to answer questions about the SPCC plan.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Idaho 2011 Prospective Wheat Plantings Increase


According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) Spring wheat plantings are expected to be 640,000 acres, 2 percent more than last year. Winter wheat seedings, at 830,000 acres, increased 11 percent from 2010. All wheat planted in Idaho is expected to total 1.49 million acres, up 6 percent from last year.

Other interesting planting news, Idaho farmers intend to seed 390,000 acres of field corn in 2011, up 22 percent from last year. If realized, this will be a new record high for Idaho.

Nationally, wheat producers intend to plant 58.0 million acres for the 2011 crop year, up 8 percent from the previous year. The 2011 winter wheat planted area is estimated at 41.2 million acres, up 10 percent from 2010 and up 1 percent from the previous estimate. Spring wheat growers intend to plant 14.4 million acres this year, up 5 percent from 2010.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

World Wheat Supply, Demand, and Prices Webinar

Learn the global factors behind this year's surge in exports and run-up in prices and gain current perspective on world plantings, production and prices. An educational webinar, with guest presenter Vince Peterson, U.S. Wheat Associates, Vice President of Overseas Operations. Click on the link to view the webinar: https://connect.cals.uidaho.edu/p89049794/

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Idaho Wheat Commission Presents Web-based Workshops

The Idaho Wheat Commission will be presenting a series of web-based grower education seminars (webinars). Each webinar will be approximately one hour. Participation is easy and free! Simply log onto the website at http://connect.cals.uidaho.edu/wheat
(requires Adobe Flash Player which is installed on most computers) and enter your email address as a participant.

March 10 at 9:00 a.m. MST – Guest Presenter: Dr. John Oades, U.S. Wheat Associates, Vice President West Coast Operations "Wheat Quality Needs in the Export Market." This was a popular presentation by Dr. Oades in this year’s Northern Idaho Cereal Schools. If you missed John’s presentation during Cereal Schools, be sure to log into this educational workshop.

March 22 at 8:00 a.m. MST – Guest Presenter Vince Peterson, U.S. Wheat Associates, Vice President of Overseas Operations “World Wheat Supply, Demand, and Prices.” Learn the global factors behind this year’s surge in exports and run-up in prices and gain current perspective on world plantings, production and prices.

April 7 at 8:00 a.m. MST – Guest Presenter Adam Lyman, Professional Engineer, “EPA’s Fuel Containment Rules and What You Need to Know.” If your farm stores, transfers, uses, or consumes oil or oil products such as diesel fuel, gasoline, lube oil, hydraulic oil, adjuvant oil, etc, be sure to participate in this informational webinar. Mr. Lyman will explain the SPCC program, which farms are required to complete an SPCC Plan, and what farmer’s need to do by EPA’s deadline of November 10, 2011.

Friday, February 25, 2011

UI Wheat Breeder Receives Grant to Study Climate Change on Wheat


A $750,000 project to analyze the water and fertilizer use efficiency of 3,000 wheat and barley lines will occupy University of Idaho wheat breeder Jianli Chen for the next five years at the Aberdeen Research and Extension Center.
The project is part of a $25 million USDA-funded project led by University of California at Davis wheat geneticist Jorge Dubcovsky to develop new varieties of wheat and barley to help farmers prepare for climate change.
Chen’s preliminary research into drought stress supported by the Idaho Wheat Commission helped her to become a key part in the grant to do phenotypic screening for water and nitrogen use efficiency.
According to Chen, Aberdeen is the perfect location because the regions’ rainfall averages 10 inches a year, cereal grain production in southern Idaho relies on irrigation. Simulating drought conditions simply means turning off or reducing the water supply.
She will focus on the holdings of the National Small Grains Collection, which is maintained by the Agricultural Research Service at Aberdeen. The collection holds germplasm gathered by researchers worldwide since about 1897.
The project will be the first effort in the genebank’s history to measure the water and nitrogen efficiency of various wheat and barley lines in the collection.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Net Farm Income Forecast Up Nearly 20 Percent in 2011


Net farm income is forecast to be $94.7 billion in 2011, up $15.7 billion (19.8 percent) from the 2010 forecast, despite a $20-billion jump in production expenses. The 2011 forecast is the second highest inflation-adjusted value for net farm income recorded in the past 35 years. Cash receipts are expected to increase 9.1 percent, with cotton, soybean, wheat, and corn receipts showing the largest gains.

The value of the farm sector's equity (net worth) is forecast to rise 6.8 percent in 2011. The estimated increase in farm sector equity is largely due to an estimated 6.3-percent increase in the value of farm business real estate. Farm asset values are expected to have the largest percentage increase since 2007. With modest increases in debt, inflation-adjusted equity should exceed 2007’s peak levels. The farm business sector's debt-to-asset ratio is expected to decline from 11.3 percent in 2010 to 10.7 percent in 2011, and the debt-to-equity is expected to decline to 12.8 percent in 2010 to 12.0 percent in 2011. This indicates that the farm sector’s solvency position remains strong.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Indemnity Fund Updates


The Commodity Indemnity fund was established in 1989 and the Seed Indemnity Fund in 2002. Both were established as a consequence of financial failures by warehouses, commodity and seed buyers. Producers are encouraged to participate in the program so they can be protected against a warehouse failure. Licensees withhold and remit assessments to the Idaho State Department of Agriculture, which administers the program. Producers can sell to an unlicensed business inside or outside the state and do not have to pay in to the fund, but they also are not covered by the fund in such cases.

The current Commodity Indemnity Fund (CIF) balance at the end of January was $8 million dollars. The maximum fund balance set by law is $10 to $12 million. Bonded and licensed warehouses and commodity dealers withhold .002 of gross sales price paid to producers and remit the assessments to the CIF on a quarterly basis. There is also an assessment of a penny per cwt. on commodity withdrawn from storage, due at the time of withdrawal. A committee comprised of 6 producers and 3 industry representatives advises the Director of ISDA concerning the fund.

The Seed Indemnity Fund (SIF) balance was $4 million at the end of January 2011. The maximum fund balance set by law is $10 to $12 million. Bonded and licensed seed buyers withhold .005 of gross sales price paid to producers and remit to the SIF on a quarterly basis. Seed withdrawn from storage is subject to a penny per cwt. assessment due at time of withdrawal. A committee comprised of 7 producers and 2 industry representatives advises the Director of ISDA concerning the fund.
Producers are protected up to two years after sale or transfer of crop against nonpayment for up to 90% of the value of their crop if they sell or store with a licensed buyer. According to Dave Odgen, Warehouse Control program Section Manger, “It is a really inexpensive protection in a very volatile economy.” Producers can verify if a buyer is licensed by checking at http://www.agri.state.id.us/Categories/Warehouse/indexWarehouse.php
or by calling ISDA’s Warehouse Control at 208-332-8612.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Idaho wheat producers predict stable market amid Egypt unrest

by Justin Corr
NWCN.com
Posted on February 4, 2011 at 5:02 PM

IDAHO -- The unrest in Egypt has some people worrying about their crops right here in Idaho, specifically, wheat.

Egypt is the world's largest importer of wheat. Meanwhile, Idaho is in the top 10 of states in the union for exporting wheat. So some of that crop that pumps hundreds of millions of dollars into the state economy depends on buyers that are right now in the midst of a possible revolution.

That raised concerns with Sam White, chief operating officer of the Pacific Northwest Farmers Cooperative. He's worried that changes in the Egyptian government could mean an anti-American shift, stopping all U.S. wheat imports into the country.

White told the Moscow-Pullman Daily News that, "We want that Egyptian demand, it's a vital part of the market...they buy a lot of wheat from the world, so it's vital they keep buying it."

However, producers in the area we talked to, weren't too worried.

"Given the global nature of Idaho wheat... well, U.S. wheat and Idaho wheat production in general, I think we'll be alright," said Travis Jones, Executive Director of the Idaho Grain Producers Association.

Jones says the demand for U.S. and Idaho wheat around the world remains strong.

"Worldwide, the demand for wheat is high," said Jones. "The supply of other major wheat-producing countries is down, due to weather conditions, mostly. But in Idaho, we're looking really good. In fact, our wheat will be up, or is expected to be up this year. And prices are good. So, there's a lot of optimism with Idaho wheat producers."

Jones believes whoever is in charge after the dust settles in Egypt will need Idaho wheat.

"There's a long history of a relationship there, not only with their government, but with some of their private industry," said Jones. "So we think we can get across those hurdles and keep this high quality Idaho wheat continuing over to the Middle East area."

Another reason local producers are optimistic is the demand there for the specific type of wheat grown here. Soft white wheat is the most popular wheat produced in Idaho. That type is used in flat breads, which are commonly eaten in Egypt.

Idaho produces over 100 million bushels of wheat each year. The state's 2009 wheat crop was valued at $512 million.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Columbia Free Trade Agreement Vital to U.S. Wheat Growers


Columbia Ambassador Gabriel Silva, a guest presenter at the U.S. Wheat Associates winter meeting, provided an overview of Columbia’s growing economy and its importance to U.S. wheat growers. Colombia has the second-largest population in South and Central America and the Caribbean, and is the third-largest economy in the region.

Colombia is an important growing market with its imports nearly tripling in the past 7 years. Agricultural products, including corn, wheat and soybeans represent about 10% of total imports. Colombia imports 97% of the wheat it consumes. Until 2009, the U.S. was the main supplier of corn, wheat, soybeans and their products in Colombia with a peak of 76% of market share in 2007. However, in 2010 U.S. market share of these products fell to 27% and for the first time, U.S. lost its place as Colombia’s main supplier.

The U.S. Colombia Free Trade Agreement is crucial to the U.S. wheat industry to maintain sales and market share in an increasingly competitive trade environment. In 2009/10, Columbia was the eighth largest market in the world for sales of U.S. wheat. A fully implemented free trade agreement will immediately eliminate the country’s price ban system and remove tariffs on U.S. wheat imports upon implementation. This would level the playing field, ensuring U.S. products can compete in the Columbian Market.

U.S. wheat producers face an increasingly competitive and uncertain market in Colombia despite long-standing ties with Colombian millers, the U.S. wheat industry will continue to lose market share to Canada, Argentina and possibly the EU under implemented FTAs. Based on direct input from Colombia’s milling industry, at current prices, U.S. wheat producers across the country stand to lose up to $100 million in wheat sales every year if we must compete without a ratified FTA.

The U.S. wheat industry, along with other agricultural commodity groups, supports immediate ratification of the U.S./Colombia free trade agreement so U.S. producers can compete fairly in the Colombian market. Without the U.S./Colombia FTA, U.S. wheat growers and producers will face an uphill battle in this hard-fought and critical export market resulting in millions of dollars in losses of both exports and jobs.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

2011 Cereal School Schedule


The University of Idaho will be presenting eight cereal school events held across the state. These educational workshops provide wheat growers the opportunity to learn about insect issues, cereal disease updates, variety trials, weed control and a number of other important issues facing the wheat industry.

The Idaho Wheat Commission will be providing up-to-date information about the status of biotech wheat along with world wheat supply and demand numbers. Growers will earn 3 pesticide applicator recertification credits by attending a cereal school in their area.

Southern Idaho Cereal School Schedule
February 1 – Burley Cereal School, 9:00-3:00 p.m. Best Western Burley Inn
February 2 – Pocatello Cereal School, 9:00-3:00 p.m. Red Lion Hotel
February 3 – Idaho Falls Cereal School, 9:00-2:45 p.m. Red Lion Hotel
February 3 – Ashton Cereal School, 9:00-3:00 p.m. Trails Inn
February 4 – Preston Cereal School, 9:00-2:30 p.m. Robinson Building, Franklin County Fairground

Northern Idaho Cereal School Schedule
February 7 – Greencreek Cereal School, 7:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. Creencreek Community Hall
February 8 – Lewiston Cereal School, 8:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Lewiston Elks Lodge
February 9 – Bonners Ferry Cereal School, 8:00 a.m. – 1:40 p.m. Memorial Hall Boundary County Fairgrounds

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Inflation Strikes!


The headline “Inflation Strikes!” probably caught your attention, writes Dr. Dave Kohl. Let’s take this issue a little bit further. According to Kohl, when the news media reports on inflation, core inflation is a docile 0.8 percent, well under the 1.0 percent ideal rate. Headline inflation, which includes food and energy, is 1.6 percent, below the 4.0 percent target - a 50 year average.

In Kohl's seminars many agricultural groups question these numbers. First, let’s go globally and examine the number two economy in the world, China. Overall, inflation is in the mid-4 percent range in China. Isolating food, the inflation rate is nearly 12 percent. Many in Chinese leadership are concerned with this high rate of food inflation, because it could result in social unrest and possible food shortages and hoarding.

For the agricultural industry, inflation is approximately 4 to 8 percent depending upon the segment and location in the country. For example, fuel, fertilizer, feed, cash rents, and, yes, the appreciation of land values, medical, and education costs are indicative of a higher inflation rate. So why such low rates of inflation in the general economy? This is the result of less expensive airline tickets, some consumer goods, and housing costs, which have been in a deflationary spiral.

It will be interesting to see what happens to interest rates. In the past sixty days, mortgage interest rates have increased over 60 basis points. Inflation in interest rates could be very detrimental to profit margins in farm businesses.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Idaho Winter Wheat Seedings Up 12 Percent


Idaho’s winter wheat seeded area for the 2011 crop is estimated at 840,000 acres, up 12 percent from the 750,000 acres seeded for the 2010 crop, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service.

Nationally, winter wheat planted area for harvest in 2011 is estimated at 41.0 million acres, up 10 percent from 2010 but 5 percent below 2009. Seeding began last August and during September was slightly behind the 5-year average. During October, seeding progressed slightly ahead of the 5-year average. More acres were seeded this year due to the early row crop harvest and higher prices. The winter wheat crop condition at the end of November was rated 47 percent good to excellent compared with 63 percent the previous year. Approximate class acreage breakdowns are: Hard Red Winter, 29.6 million, up 4 percent from 2010; Soft Red Winter, 7.76 million, up 47 percent from the previous year; and White Winter, 3.66 million, up 4 percent from 2010.