The drought has had a definite impact on U.S. grain exports this year. Tom Sleight, president and CEO of the U.S. Grains Council says the tight supplies and high prices prompted some of our foreign customers to go elsewhere. He says about the time the drought started to show-up in our markets our competitors were ready to jump in and fill any void. “And customers bought early because they were worried about U.S. supply,” he says that is why we see slow exports now because those customers bought ahead.
Given the projected tight stocks at the end of this marketing year, some contend we should limit exports but Sleight says you can be sure the piles of grain will return.
Another thing that has been very frustrating for many in agriculture is the lack of a farm bill. Sleight says part of the problem is, members of Congress are not hearing from farmers. He says the Congressional staffers believe that “crop insurance took care of the drought and everyone is happy out in the country.” He says farmers need to drop their Congressional representatives a couple of lines every week to let them know what is really happening out here. “Let them know, this is important!”