Midwest Visitors & Spring Seed Shortage
I'm Lacy Gray with Washington Ag Today.
The USDA has predicted that grain export shipments, particularly corn, will double in 2014. TEMCO grain export terminal in Tacoma, which normally ships out on average 200 to 250 million bushels of grain a year, recently played host to a group of ag producers from the Midwest who were here in the state touring export terminals that ship ag commodities to Pacific Rim countries. Terry Johnson, manager of the TEMCO terminal, told the visiting group that there is plenty of corn coming through this year compared to last year, when the terminal was actually shut down for a while.
JOHNSON: Five to six months we did nothing, and we didn't even have a ship call at the birth. So, it's good to have vessels, and it's good to have grain to move - even if it's not the best logistics year with the railroad. At least we're loading grain and we're trying to keep the doors open.
Those logistic problems Johnson mentioned have been due to increased energy shipments of coal and oil by rail into the Pacific Northwest. Johnson also told the visiting group that grain shipped from Washington ports has an advantage over those shipments that have to go through the Panama Canal by cutting travel times and cost.
At the recent Washington Grain Commission's meeting wheat growers in the south central region of the state reported a lack of needed moisture since last fall, which has resulted in a greater amount of winter damage and higher than normal reseeding. Also reported was a shortage of available spring seed for areas like the Horse Heaven Hills that begin seeding earlier than most. This is due in part to the reluctance of some elevators in later growing regions to release seed before they're confidant they will have enough for local growers.
That's Washington Ag Today.
I'm Lacy Gray on the Ag Information Network.