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USDA/NASS forecasts winter wheat production down in 2022USDA/NASS forecasts winter wheat production down in 2022

May 12

TSTA Weekly Update, 05/12/2022


 
Weekly Update from the Texas Seed Trade Association
 
Member News
Registration is officially open for ASTA’s new Leadership Summit, June 25-29 in Indianapolis! Make plans now to send your team to a professional development, advocacy and training opportunity that will benefit your company and your industry for years to come.
For more information, including the latest schedule of events, visit the conference webpage.
 
In an effort to update and maintain our membership records we request you take a few moments and fill out the very brief info request at the following link.
 
 
The link is secure and the information will be used internally by the Texas Seed Trade Association and never shared without your permission. This request is on behalf of your association's board of directors and officers and we greatly appreciate your cooperation. Thank you!
 
5/12/22 - If you have not updated your information please take a moment and do so now. We appreciate it! We continue to update this database and need your input!
 
Conversations among the Texas State Seed & Plant Board membership indicate there may be requests for re-certification of Texas wheat seed. The Texas Wheat Producers have communicated with the board their concern over possible shortages of quality certified wheat seed due to on-going drought conditions in Texas and on the High Plains/Great Plains.
 
If you are a certified wheat seed producer please communicate your thoughts to the TSTA office via a reply to this email newsletter. We have heard from several of our members and are interested to know what you forecast for availability and quality of certified wheat seed for the 2022 planting season.
 
Texas A&M University Vice Chancellor for Agriculture and Life Sciences and Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, an open position, is currently being deliberated by the search committee. The three nominees are: Elsa Murano, Associate VIce Chancellor for Strategic Initiatives, Texas A&M Agriculture & Life Sciences, David Baltensperger, Professor and Head, Department of Soil and Crop Sciences, and Jeffrey Savell, University Distinguished Professor, Regents Professor, and E.M. “Manny” Rosenthal Chairholder, Department of Animal Science. All candidates have interviewed, both publicly and privately, and this link can be used to access their respective public interviews and presentations.
 
If you attended or participated in the public interviews in either College Station or Amarillo, you can fill out a feedback survey. If you desire access to a survey please let us know ASAP as they issued today and will be accepted only until Sunday night at midnight. We'll forward one to you on request.
 
TSTA staff attended all three public interviews and participated in Dr. Baltensperger's in College Station. All three are good, qualified, candidates but we have a favorite and are pulling for David. We would regret the loss of interaction with David that would be inevitable if he became Vice Chancellor and Dean but it is in everyone's best interest to forward the strongest possible candidate into this position. We believe David is the right choice and will do a fabulous job. Stay tuned.
 
 
News Bits
 
U.S. corn and soybean planting lagged again last week. That was due to more wet, cooler than normal weather in some key growing areas, but forecasts for most of the Midwest this week have warmer, drier conditions, which should help planting pick up steam.
 
The USDA says 22% of U.S. corn had been planted as of Sunday, compared to the five-year average of 50%, with 5% emerged, compared to 15% on average.
 
12% of soybeans are planted, compared to 24% normally in early May, with 3% emerged, compared to 4% on average.
 
29% of U.S. winter wheat is in good to excellent shape, 2% above a week ago, with 33% of the crop headed, compared to the usual rate of 40%.
 
27% of spring wheat has been planted due to wet, cold conditions in the northern U.S. Plains, compared to 47% typically this time of year, with 9% emerged, compared to the five-year average of 15%.
 
24% of this year's cotton crop is planted, matching the normal pace.
 
66% of rice is planted, compared to 67% usually this time of year, with 37% emerged, compared to 49% on average.
 
The USDA's next round of production estimates is out Thursday at Noon Eastern/11 Central.
 
Farmers are urging lawmakers to protect the safety net in the next farm bill.
 
Minnesota corn and soybean grower Bill Gordon, who served as president of the American Soybean Association in 2020, tells Brownfield high commodity prices aren't here to stay.
 
"We've seen in the past those prices start to step back and we overproduce. Or that's great for the area that has the production, but what about the drought areas that we saw (like) the Dakotas, Nebraska and Montana? Those crop protection tools are so important."
 
He says the chances of crop insurance being tied to conservation practices in the next farm bill are more likely than ever.
 
"I know that's not always popular, but our consumers and our public want us to make sure we're being as environmentally-friendly as possible, and we are. But we need to make sure that we're telling that message, and tying that with a conservation plan and different items is going to help move that farm bill forward."
 
The first of several farm bill field hearings took place in Michigan at the end of April with participating farmers expressing the need for affordable and flexible crop insurance options.
 
New Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory website brings together sorghum researchers
 
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) have created a website called SorghumBase that serves as the first centralized hub for sorghum crop research. The hub, open to anyone, pools together existing and emerging genetic, genomic, and breeding data and resources worldwide to facilitate crop improvement efforts. Doreen Ware, a CSHL adjunct professor, USDA research scientist, and her team led the project, funded by the USDA and published in the journal Planta earlier this year.
 
Sorghum is the fifth most important crop globally in terms of acreage and production. While primarily used as feed and fodder for livestock, it also finds use in the food and biofuel industries. The crop’s many attractive traits include strong tolerance to drought, heat, low nutrients, and high salt conditions. This makes it a promising crop in agricultural research addressing mounting challenges like climate change and feeding a growing world population.
SorghumBase provides plant breeders, agronomists, and plant biologists a place to share information and discoveries related to key crop traits such as yield, nutrient use efficiency, disease resistance, and plant development. The website also features several educational videos to help navigate new users through its tools and resources. A blog keeps the community up to date on the latest sorghum news.
 
 
Public Comments Due in 11 Days for President Biden's Executive Order to Investigate Competition and the Intellectual Property System: Seeds and Other Agricultural Inputs
 
 
 
It is unlikely that the Texas Seed Trade Association comments will be viewable until sometime Friday. There is a built-in delay to allow review for acceptable content. The comments from the New Zealand Plant Breeding and Research Association are interesting and well-done.
 
 
The comments may be missing context if you have not reviewed the executive order that is accessible by clicking the top link in this box.
 
When we went to press there were 21 comments total on the docket. That seems like very few on what we believe is an important topic for our industry; we still have several days remaining. Most comments lacked any semblance of professionalism and advocated for more government oversight of your business and public ownership of seeds of all types.
 
It's difficult to judge what benefit there is in contributing to public comment at the federal level, and the state level, for that matter. We think we've occasionally done some good and sometimes we're convinced it's an exercise in making a point that no one reads or hears. It remains the only opportunity we have to make our feelings known prior to rule-making so we continue to take advantage of comment periods. We appreciate your support!
 
Food Conversations Started as a Result of the Ukraine - Russia Conflict
TSTA staff
 
It may be grandstanding and it may be taking advantage of a situation to reiterate a strong opinion but we've noticed several prominent articles about organic production and what's perceived as the global food shortage.
 
The first one was a Wll Street Journal Commentary
Opinion: Ukraine Crisis Reveals the Folly of Organic Farming As food prices skyrocket, the world needs to admit it can’t live without modern, efficient agriculture by Bjorn Lomborg. Bjorn is president of the Copenhagen Consensus and visiting fellow at Stanford's Hoover Institute.
 
In the WSJ article Mr. Lomborg references Sri Lanka and we've seen several articles on Sri Lanka in the last several weeks mostly tied to government unrest related to food security issues. If one hasn't been paying attention; wealthy, mostly European countries, have tied economic aid, and pumped propaganda, to third world countries, primarily in Africa, to pressure them into "organic" farming. After all, we shop at Whole Foods; so can they. The prime minister of Sri Lanka just resigned this week. He ran on a platform of agricultural reform which included no synthetic fertilizers, no crop protection products, and no "unnatural" seeds.
 
Predictably meat is unavailable in Sri Lanka after only one year of this experiment, vegetables are five times more expensive than a year ago (and they were high then), and people are literally starving. Food is unaffordable and unavailable. I suppose it makes sense, if you want to experiment with complete changeover to organic production, that you do it somewhere other than your own country.
 
Lots of African countries have wised up and are liberalizing their laws to allow planting GMO seeds and to utilize other advanced plant breeding techniques. Sri Lanka has learned this lesson in the hardest way possible.
 
The Ukraine situation has likewise made Europeans more aware of how fragile their energy sources are as a result it seems there is at least room for discussion about the balance of fossil versus renewables. For now anyway.
 
The last article of interest that pontificates on what you do for a living is from John Stossel entitled "Organic BS" and we'll reprint it here. I had a chance to meet John Stossel several years ago when he was making his transition from "mainstream" ABC correspondent to what was perceived as a more balanced, if more controversial, reporter. He has a style all his own and one of my cohorts, also in the meeting, asked Mr. Stossel a great question. Are you transitioning from "talking head" to consumer advocate and common-sense advocate because you believe mainstream media is lacking in clarity and honesty, or, because you see a potentially profitable niche that hasn't been filled and you're poised to exploit it? I told you it was a great question. Stossel's answer was, I think, as great as the question: he said "a little of both." His honesty and candor won me over. Here's his latest.
 
Organic BS
A group of scientifically illiterate people convinced the government to force all of us to pay more.
 
Activists have convinced Americans that “organic” food is better — healthier, better-tasting, life-extending.
 
As a result, poor parents feel guilty if they can’t afford to pay $7 for organic eggs.
 
This misinformation is spread by people like Alexis Baden-Mayer, political director of the Organic Consumers Association. She says organic food is clearly better: “The nutrition is a huge difference.”
 
But it isn’t. Studies find little difference.
 
If you still want to pay more for what’s called “organic,” that’s your right. But what’s outrageous is that this group of scientifically illiterate people convinced the government to force all of us to pay more.
 
Congress has ruled that GMOs (genetically modified food) must be labeled. Busybodies from both parties supported the idea.
 
Politicians like Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., said, “It doesn’t cost any more. This idea that … this … will raise food prices is ridiculous.”
 
It’s McGovern who is ridiculous. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says the GMO labelling will cost from $598 million to $3.5 billion.
 
“But the public wants GMOs labelled,” say advocates. “Surveys show that.”
 
Of course they do.
 
Ask people if DNA in food should be labelled, and most say yes. Yet DNA is in everything.
 
Polling is a stupid way to make policy.
 
The idea of modifying a plant’s DNA may sound creepy, but people have cross-bred plants and animals for years.
 
“The corn we have today, there’s nothing natural about that,” I say to Baden-Mayer in my new video. “What native people ate, we’d find inedible.”
 
Baden-Mayer laughs at that.
 
“You’re saying indigenous corn is somehow inferior because you’ve seen it dried and it has tiny little kernels?” she asks.
 
“Yes,” I reply. I’ve tried to eat it.
 
“That’s another myth of the industry,” she responds. “People like you believe that.”
 
I sure do. I also believe it’s good that genetic modification lets us alter nature more precisely, gene by gene. That’s better and safer than the more haphazard crossbreeding that’s been done for years.
 
This new precision lets scientists make plants that save lives.
 
In poor parts of the world, half a million people per year go blind due to lack of vitamin A in their diets. Many die.
 
Scientists have created a new genetically modified rice that contains vitamin A. This “golden rice” could save those people.
 
“I’ve heard of golden rice,” sneers Baden-Mayer. “That was a project that all of the chemical companies invested in.”
 
I sneer right back.
 
“Golden rice hasn’t succeeded partly because scientifically ignorant fools like you convinced the world that it’s harmful!”
 
“I knew at a certain point you would resort to name-calling,” she replies. “But it doesn’t change the science on this.”
 
Sadly, in some countries, people listen to advocates like her and believe that Americans want to poison them. One group of GMO fearful protesters invaded a golden rice field in the Philippines, ripping up all the plants.
 
Thousands will die or go blind, needlessly, because the organic cult spreads misinformation.
 
At least educated skeptics now understand that they were wrong about GMOs.
 
The New York Times points out that many “quietly walked back their opposition” to GMOs. “The science is clear,” says a former opponent in The Wall Street Journal. “They’re perfectly safe.”
 
The Philippines recently approved golden rice.
But the hardcore zealots will never be convinced.
 
Baden-Mayer claims GMOs cause cancer.
 
“We’re using more GMOs than ever,” I point out. “There’s less cancer now. Life spans keep increasing.”
 
“Compared to when, 100 years ago?” she scoffs.
 
Absolutely, yes. We live about 25 years longer than Americans did 100 years ago. Even compared to 10 or 20 years ago, we live longer.
 
The National Academy of Sciences calls GMOs safe. So do the World Health Organization, the American Medical Association, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Food and Drug Administration and the USDA.
 
But no amount of science will convince people like Baden-Mayer. “The GMO issue just has not been investigated enough,” she says.
 
Organic promoters are wrong on the costs and wrong on the science.
 
Sadly, they’ve won the battle of public opinion.
 
USDA/NASS forecasts winter wheat production down in 2022
 
U.S. farmers are expected to produce 1.17 billion bushels of winter wheat this year, according to the Crop Production report released today by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). In NASS’s first winter wheat production forecast for 2022, production is expected to decrease 8% from 2021. As of May 1, the U.S. yield is expected to average 47.9 bushels per acre, down 2.3 bushels from last year’s average of 50.2 bushels per acre.
Hard Red Winter production is forecast at 590 million bushels, down 21% from a year ago. Soft Red Winter, at 354 million bushels, is expected to decrease 2% from 2021. White Winter, at 230 million bushels, is up 38% from last year. Of the White Winter production, 15.7 million bushels are Hard White and 214 million bushels are Soft White.
NASS surveyed approximately 9,300 producers across the country in preparation for this Crop Production report. This monthly report contains data for the United States, including area planted and harvested, yield, and production. The report also contains a weather summary, a monthly agricultural summary, and an analysis of precipitation and the degree of departure from the normal precipitation map for the month.
The Crop Production and other NASS reports are available at www.nass.usda.gov/Publications.
 
 
 
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The articles, views, and opinions expressed in the Weekly Update do not necessarily reflect the policies of the Texas Seed Trade Association or the opinions of its members.