2012 Division Meetings At a Glance
General Session Monday, March 12
NAMA President Mary Waters recognized outgoing Division Chairs Tom Rogers, Wilkins Rogers Mills (Soft Wheat), Bob Giguere, Iowa Corn Processors (Corn), and Mark Ramsland, General Mills (Oats) and thanked them for their outstanding service to the milling industry and to the association.
Dr. Steve Taylor, professor and co-director of the Food Allergy Research and Resource Program at the University of Nebraska, said quantitative risk assessment (QRA) can now be used to evaluate the magnitude of food allergy risk and that this approach is being explored by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). However, he cautioned that the risk assessment is only as sound as the inputs provided and assumptions made.
Dr. Marty Matlock, chairman of the committee developing sustainability standards for U.S. agriculture, identified safety, security and stability as the major threats to sustainable supply chains. He listed four rules for sustainable survival:
“Sustainability is a pathway, not an end point. Agriculture cannot be sustainable. It can only become more sustainable,” Matlock stressed.
Robin Speer, from Canada-based Viterra, a major grain and oilseed handler and processor, provided his vision of what the grain world will be like with a significantly changed marketing environment and a new voluntary Canadian Wheat Board (CWB). He stated the new marketing environment will not impact registering new varieties in Canada. A big focus for the industry will be on improving transportation efficiencies. End use certificates will end August 1.
On the producer side, he predicted a more efficient system as a result of enhanced transparency on market signals, marketing choice through pooling or cash options, enhanced cash flow opportunities, the potential of increased price volatility, and enhanced risk management tools for wheat, durum, and barley.
Soft Wheat Division General Session, Tuesday, March 13
“Are High Wheat Prices Here to Stay?” was the topic of a presentation by Paul Meyers, Foresight Commodities Services. Meyers forecasted:
Ontario farmers like growing wheat, said Scott Krakar, London Agricultural Commodities, London, Ontario, Canada. Looking ahead, 700,000 acres of winter wheat are expected to be planted in Ontario in 2012 translating into 1.400 million tonnes or 52.7 million bushels.
Projections for other wheat classes:
Soft Wheat Crop Forecast
The Soft Wheat Crop Panel forecast a soft red winter wheat crop of 423,107 million bushels, down 8% from last year, and a soft white winter wheat crop of 220,964 million bushels, down 9%.
Oat Milling Conference, Sunday, March 11
Shawna Mathieson, executive director, Prairie Oat Growers Association (POGA), covered developments in oat research:
What does the crystal ball hold for oats? Randy Strychar, president of Ag Commodity Research, North Vancouver, Canada, warned oat millers that a â€œperfect stormâ€ may be brewing thanks to a combination of tighter oat supplies and the possibility of higher cash basis levels. The solution, he said, is through increasing equine demand, innovating to find alternative uses for oats, and increased funding for research.
The good news is that oats are still considered one of the healthiest foods and are a good agronomical crop for growers. With global demand for oat food products rising, he concluded by predicting a recovery for oat prices in 2012-2013 increasing oat supplies.
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