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Trade a concern as farmers prepare to sow spring wheat

North Dakota Wheat Commission policy director Jim Peterson says while soybeans get most of the attention, trade with China is extremely important to American wheat growers.

“Soybeans have obviously caught the headlines just because of the importance of China and dominance of that market. But for spring wheat, China has been a growing export market out of the Pacific Northwest. So (a resolution to the trade war) can’t happen soon enough.”

China was the fifth-largest customer of U.S. wheat before the trade war began.

“A lot of the operating notes were pretty tight this year, and the budget outlooks (were tight too). I know there’s some old crop to move and price yet, so we’re hoping to see sales even as the talks are going on. Hopefully we can get a few sales on the books.”

He tells Brownfield Japan is another crucial market.

Peterson says U.S. wheat is now at a disadvantage to countries in the CPTPP like Canada and Australia, and he’s hoping bilateral talks with Japanese officials progress quickly.

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