Wheat harvest in just about done in most of the area. Rick Tronson, of Tronson Grain in Doyon, said that in most of the areas around here, Tolna, Doyon, Lakota, 75 to 90 percent of the wheat has been harvested. Garske is the exception with about 60 percent.

Wheat harvest in just about done in most of the area.  Rick Tronson, of Tronson Grain in Doyon, said that in most of the areas around here, Tolna, Doyon, Lakota, 75 to 90 percent of the wheat has been harvested.  Garske is the exception with about 60 percent.

“We’re seeing a good yield,” said Tronson.  “Farmers were a little late in getting going, but so far it looks like there will be really good yields.  The wheat to the north of us isn’t quite as high in protein as the wheat to the south.  The wheat from Tolna is really high in protein, but that’s sand country down there and that soil stresses the wheat to produce higher protein.  Tolna wheat is running 14 percent, and Doyon about 13.2 percent.  Garske is 13.3, 13.4.  It’s a good harvest.”

The grain market is crazy this year.  Tronson said soybeans and wheat have both done some spiking up and down.  “Soybeans were up last week when the Chinese trade delegation was supposed to come to North Dakota,” he said, “but that fizzled for now, so soybeans went back down.  And then there was serious talk in the past couple of days about Russia not allowing the exporting of their wheat and in fact releasing what they had stockpiled.  That sent the market up, but wheat’s back down now, too, because the reports are uncertain.”

Sixteen Chinese trade delegates were scheduled to visit North Dakota in September, but the visit has been canceled.  Russia’s wheat crop and exports are still very uncertain.  Russia claimed they were reducing exports because their wheat crop was devastated by drought, but now Russia claims it will have a bumper crop and won’t reduce exports.

“I’m pretty certain China will come back to the United States for their soybeans,” said Tronson.  “They have to, because Brazil and Argentina can’t fill the hole.  China accounts for 60 percent of the world’s soybean market, and the U.S. supplies half of that, a full third of the market.”

The industry estimate is that there will be nearly a 17 million ton shortage that South America can’t bridge.  A report in the “South China Morning Post” in early August, said that China won’t need the fill the shortage with U.S. soybeans, because there is a huge reserve of corn meal in China that Chinese hog producers, the largest users of soybeans in China, can use for feed.  The Chinese also claim much of the U.S. tonnage of soybeans “were unnecessarily consumed.”  However, this will incur increased costs for the Chinese hog farmers on already thin margins.  The Chinese believe they can wait out the U.S.

“The Chinese have always affected the U.S. soybean market,” said Tronson.  “They’ve had a practice of cancelling orders as the ship is being loaded.  That drives down prices, and then they buy again, but the tender is lost and the grain industry absorbs the loss.”

Tronson said that aside from wheat, it looks like all the other crops will be early this year.  “Unless we get some real rain,” he said.  “But it looks like all crops, dry peas, soybeans, corn, are going to be 15 to 20 days early this year.  It’s going to be an early harvest season.”