Farm Talk

Ag News from Around the Country

April 24, 2012

Trade agreement gives Kan. wheat farmers opportunities

Parsons, Kansas — The long-awaited U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement will be implemented May 15, giving Kansas wheat farmers an opportunity to rebuild market share in one of the largest markets for U.S. wheat in South America, just in time for harvest of the 2012 wheat crop.

"We are glad to see this opportunity for trade come to fruition at a time when Kansas farmers are gearing up for harvest of a high-quality Hard Red Winter wheat crop that is well-suited for the Colombian market," said Jay Armstrong, Kansas Wheat Commissioner from Muscotah and a board member of the U.S. Wheat Associates.

Implementation of the FTA will eliminate all tariffs on U.S. wheat imports into Colombia. The agreement creates a level playing field for U.S. wheat farmers, as export competitors Canada and Argentina already enjoy duty-free access to the market.

"Our extensive efforts over the nearly six years since the agreement was first signed have finally become a reality and U.S. wheat exports will now compete on an equal basis with other major exporters," said Alvaro de la Fuente, U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) regional vice president for South America.

Colombia is currently the second largest destination for U.S. wheat in South America. In marketing year 2010/11, Colombia imported about 800,000 metric tons of U.S. wheat from five of the six U.S. wheat classes.

Potentially, Kansas wheat exports to Colombia could increase by nearly $12 million each year, according to the USDA Foreign Agriculture Service.

However, the U.S. must overcome trade competition from existing trade agreements such as the MERCOSUR (which includes Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay) and the Canada-Colombia FTA, which was approved last year.

"We have already started the push to win back the wheat export business we lost without this FTA in effect," said Randy Suess, a wheat farmer from Colfax, Wash., and chairman of the USW. "Based on our work, we know this agreement, and others like them, will help us rebuild and expand markets, grow our economy here at home and remain the most reliable supplier of wheat in the world."

Provisions of the U.S-Colombia FTA state that more than 80 percent of U.S. exports of consumer and industrial products will become duty-free. These include agriculture and construction equipment, building products, aircraft and parts, fertilizers, information technology equipment, medical scientific equipment, and wood. More than half of U.S. exports of agricultural commodities to Colombia will become duty-free, including wheat, barley, soybeans, beef, bacon and most fruit and vegetable products. Meanwhile, Colombia will export a number of tropical fruits, plus a variety of textiles to the U.S.

The U.S. wheat industry has been highly supportive of the FTAs with Colombia, South Korea and Panama and other free trade measures.

"All three of these pacts are important to wheat farmers, who depend on exports to sell about half of the wheat we grow every year," said Erik Younggren, a wheat farmer from Hallock, MN, and president of the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG). "The implementation of both the U.S.-Colombia and the U.S.-Korea FTAs gives us encouragement that we will soon see the agreement with Panama complete in the very near future."

1
Text Only
Ag News from Around the Country
  • China makes its largest weekly purchase of U.S. sorghum

    China continues to buy U.S. sorghum, making its largest weekly purchase since entering the market with 11.5 million bushels for the 2013/2014 marketing year and 3.5 million bushels for 2014/2015, according to the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service’s July 17 report.

    July 29, 2014

  • MANURE34.jpg Manure Expo aids nutrient management

    Valuing manure and the environment was the platform for the 2014 Manure Expo held at the Ozark Empire Fairgrounds in Springfield, Mo.
    The two-day exposition pulled together the resources of over 70 vendors from the U.S. and Canada along with the expertise of Extension professionals from Missouri, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Ark-ansas, Pennsylvania and Ohio.

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • Okla. farmer’s lost phone turns up at Japan grain mill

    TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Oklahoma farmer Kevin Whitney thought his iPhone was lost for good when it fell into a grain elevator last year. Eight months later, his phone was returned unscathed after a trip to Japan.

    July 15, 2014

  • Combustible grain dust prevention workshop, July 31

    Kansas State University will offer a combustible grain dust prevention workshop teaching advanced mitigation methods on July 31, 2014 from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Westin Crown Center Hotel in Kansas City, Mo.

    July 8, 2014

  • House discusses new federal schemes to soak up water authority

    Last week, the House Natural Resources Committee’s subcommittee on water and power held an oversight hearing entitled “New Federal Schemes to Soak Up Water Authority: Impacts on States, Water Users, Recreation, and Jobs.”

    July 1, 2014

  • USDA to ‘cure’ feral hogs

    A preservative used to cure bacon is being tested as poison for feral hogs.

    June 24, 2014

  • Cargill to move sows to group housing by 2015

    Cargill, one of the largest pork producers in the U.S., is continuing its commitment of moving to group housing for its sows that produce hogs for pork.

    June 17, 2014

  • Bethany-Schifferdecker.jpg Girard FFA member elected state VP

    Bethany Schifferdecker from the Girard FFA chapter was elected to serve as the 2014-2015 state FFA vice-president at the 86th Kansas FFA Convention May 28-30 on the Kansas State University campus.

    June 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • thorpe_dairy.jpg Couple goes ‘Kiwi’ for grassfed dairy

    Not many people would move nearly 8,000 miles away to work on a dairy farm.

    June 3, 2014 1 Photo

  • NOAA Seasonal Drought Outlook

    As of May 13, 2014, drought covered approximately 38 percent of the contiguous 48 states, according to the U. S. Drought Monitor.

    May 28, 2014

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Seasonal Content