Wittal: Head scab hits U.S. winter wheat

June 24 — Financial markets were mixed and some rebounded a little today as reports claiming we have seen the worst of the recession came out this morning. The U.S. dollar regained three-quarters of a cent from yesterday’s losses and the Canadian dollar was down 0.1 cents, closing at US86.88 cents.

The Dow Jones June quote closed down 34 points at 8,299. Crude oil closed down 57 cents, trading at US$68.67 per barrel.

Corn is down one to three cents per bushel from yesterday. Beans are up one to nine cents a bushel today.

Wheat closed down six to 10 cents per bushel on the various U.S. exchanges; Minneapolis July wheat futures closed down 8.4 cents per bushel.

Canola closed mixed with nearby futures up $2.30 and forward months down 20 cents per tonne today.

Barley finished unchanged to close at $168.60 per tonne.

Good wheat harvest weather in the U.S. pushed wheat futures lower today, and beneficial rain and good growing conditions in the corn growing regions forced corn futures lower.

Soybeans were able to show slight gains today on anticipation that renewed buying demand from China is resurfacing and that, along with continued strong domestic crush demand, helped keep beans in a positive position today.

After a wet spring in much of the U.S. Midwest, crop experts say that the crop disease head scab is on the rise in U.S. soft red winter wheat fields.

In the worst-hit areas, as much as 70 per cent of wheat fields are affected by the fungal disease in which airborne spores infect wheat in its flowering phase, resulting in shriveled kernels and reductions in yield.

Indiana has been particularly hard hit, with head scab infecting as much as 60 per cent of some farmers’ wheat crops.

The disease has also been spotted in wheat fields in Illinois, Kentucky, Mississippi, Ohio and Tennessee.

Currently early U.S. winter wheat harvest yields are showing the effects of this disease with reduced yields and shriveled kernels. Just how prevalent is the disease throughout the entire U.S. winter wheat crop? Only time will tell as harvest progresses over the next couple of months.

Weather issues and yield adversity are going to be the name of the game this growing season, as it has been right from the start with floods, late seeding , frost and now drought in some areas. It is going to be interesting to see just how this plays out come harvest time.

That’s all for today. — Brian

— Brian Wittal has spent over 27 years in the grain industry, including as an elevator manager and producer services representative for Alberta Wheat Pool, a regional sales manager for AgPro Grain and farm business representative for the Canadian Wheat Board, where he helped design some of the new pricing programs. He also operates his own company providing marketing and risk management advice for Prairie grain producers. Brian’s daily commentaries focus on how domestic and world market conditions affect you directly as grain producers.

Brian welcomes feedback and information on market conditions in your area, such as current offering prices, basis levels, trucking premiums and special crops contracts. Contact Brian today.

About the author

Glacier FarmMedia Feed

GFM Network News

Glacier FarmMedia, a division of Glacier Media, is Canada's largest publisher of agricultural news in print and online.

GFM Network News's recent articles



Stories from our other publications