Amadeusz Juskowiak

Us wheat groups call for global action

All major grain producing countries must do their part to help reduce global surpluses and the recent Australian farm policy proposals are flawed two US wheat organizations said

The recent Australian proposals were a good starting point for discussions but we do not want the Australians to feel they are alone in developing an agenda for discussions on world grain trade the president of the National Association of Wheat Growers NAWG and the chairman of US Wheat Associates said in a letter to US Agriculture Secretary Richard Lyng and US Trade Representative Clayton Yeutter

Future discussions on international wheat trade should include three topics a commitment to privatization of governmentrun export trading entities a commitment to public disclosure of sales and other terms if government entities are involved and a recognition that supply reductions by the US have kept world prices higher than they otherwise would be the two organizations said

While the Australian proposals are welcome the two organizations said they are not in total agreement with their assessments

Australias proposals which aim to reduce US target prices and quarantine US wheat stocks would continue to place the burden of supply adjustment and reform on US farmers they said

Other countries including Australia have benefitted from the higher world prices that have resulted from past US acreage and crop reduction programs the organizations said

We will not continue to hurt ourselves economically and subsidize foreign wheat production by unilaterally stocking grain and changing programs which protect our growers Jim Miller president of NAWG said

We sincerely hope for some type of agreement among the worlds major grain producing nations to reduce stocks and restore profitability to agriculture Miller said