U.S. Wheat Grower Wants Canada to Reform Grain Grading System
The National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) President Gordon Stoner and U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) Chairman Brian O'Toole sent a letter last week to Canada's Minister of Agriculture, and Minister and International Trade, continuing to press the Canadian government to reform its grain grading system, which unfairly minimizes the quality of U.S.-grown wheat. Through the letter, NAWG and USW compare the use of this grading system to the arguments that were used by Canada in the recent Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) dispute. Specifically, the Canadian grain grading system affords less favorable treatment for imported wheat as compared to domestically-grown wheat, which aligns closely with Canada's argument that the U.S.
COOL program led to a lower price being paid for Canadian livestock; at the end of the COOL dispute, the World Trade Organization ultimately ruled in Canada's favor.
According to the USDA In 2016, highly leveraged crop farms are expected to reach their highest levels since 2002. USDA notes that because lending institutions use debt-to-asset ratios as one of its criteria to predict the chance of defaulting on a loan, it can negatively affect a farm’s ability to secure a loan. Row-crop farms are more likely than livestock operations to be highly leveraged.