Originally printed in Dakota Gold, June 2020, Volume 37, No. 4; Reprinted with permission from the North Dakota Wheat Commission

Dr. Senay Simsek, Bert L. D’Appolonia Cereal Science and Technology of Wheat Endowed Professor, will be leaving North Dakota State University (NDSU) at the end of June to take a position at Purdue University as the head of the Food Science Department. Even though she may be leaving NDSU, the work that she has done will leave a lasting impact.

Dr. Simsek began her career at NDSU in 2007 after obtaining her Ph.D. from Purdue. While she was fairly new to world of wheat, her background in cereal and food chemistry prepared her well for the role.

A significant portion of Dr. Simsek’s position has been to manage the wheat quality lab at NDSU. The lab analyzes thousands of spring wheat lines each year, including breeder material and samples for the regional crop quality report that is used by thousands of customers each year. Simsek also took on numerous graduate students in her 14 years at NDSU, training the next generation of cereal science professionals. She completed extensive amounts of research, mostly related to wheat quality and performance, many of the ideas which came about after discussions with domestic and international customers and her desire to help solve issues or answer questions customers had about various topics.

Showing Dr. Senay Simsek at work for USW in the Philippines

During one of her many consulting activities promoting U.S. spring wheat, Dr. Senay Simsek paused with Ellison Dean Lee, Managing Director, Universal Robina Co. Flour, Philippines, to point out the American Quality Wheat seal on packages of URC’s Baker John brand pan bread.

Clear Competence

Joe Sowers, U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) Regional Vice President based in the Philippines recalls the first time he met Dr. Simsek in Fargo with a high-level delegation of Filipino millers.

“Through Senay’s affable charisma and clear competence in discussing wheat quality, she and the millers became fast friends. At the end of the meeting the Director of the Philippine Flour Millers Association told me that training from Dr. Simsek was what his industry needed,” Sowers said.

The next year Dr. Simsek provided her first training to the Philippine millers and returned ten times after that, fostering strong relationships with millers in the Philippines and helping to maintain the country as the top HRS market. Dr. Simsek provided training in many other countries and presented on USW sponsored crop quality tours in all the major regions – reaching thousands of customers during her career at NDSU.

“Every visit Senay made to various customers around the world paid off for U.S. wheat farmers,” Sowers added. “Her ability to illustrate the superior quality profiles offered by U.S. HRS was integral in proving its value to the milling and baking industries, reinforcing their preference for U.S. HRS.”

Passion for Wheat Quality

Presenting quality data, conducting training, and completing research on behalf of customers became a top priority for Simsek and one that benefited producers tremendously. Greg Svenningsen, NDWC Chairman says, “when you saw her interacting with a trade team, you could easily see her passion for wheat quality and that her expertise was well received by customers. As a producer, I didn’t always understand the topic or the in-depth technicalities of some of the discussion, but what was evident was that she was providing much needed information to the industry and to our customers. In return, they could better understand our wheat and be maintained as customers.”

Dr. Senay Simsek at Northern Crops Institute

Dr. Senay Simsek enjoys a light moment with USW Regional Vice President Matt Weimar (L) and USW Baking Consultant Roy Chung (R) during one of the many events in which she participated with USW.

Sowers and others in the industry that traveled with Dr. Simsek over the years noted that her energy, friendliness, and willingness to build relationships with customers melded with her extensive scientific background to make her a sought-after resource for customers. While Dr. Simsek will be missed by colleagues at NDSU and North Dakota producers, we hope to see her involved with U.S. wheat promotion in some format.

Dr. Senay Simsek and USW's Joe Sowers at Philippines flour mill.

Dr. Senay Simsek and USW Regional Vice President Joe Sowers (L) with a flour milling team in the Philippines.


The new U.S. winter wheat crop is rapidly developing and U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) will publish its first “Harvest Report” for marketing year 2021/22 on Friday, May 14.

USW Harvest Reports are published every Friday afternoon, Eastern Daylight Time, throughout the season with updates and comments on harvest progress, crop conditions and current crop quality for hard red winter (HRW), soft red winter (SRW), hard red spring (HRS), soft white (SW) and durum wheat.

Anyone may subscribe to an email version of the “Harvest Report” at this link. USW includes links in the email to additional wheat condition and grading information, including the U.S. Drought Monitor, USDA/NASS Crop Progress and National Wheat Statistics, the official FGIS wheat grade standards and USDA’s World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report. Harvest Reports are also posted online on the USW website here.

The weekly Harvest Report is a key component of USW’s international technical and marketing programs. It is a resource that helps customers understand how the crop situation may affect basis values and export prices.

USW’s overseas offices share the report with their market contacts and use it as a key resource for answering inquiries and meeting with customers. Several USW offices publish the reports in the local language. Additional links to Harvest Report are available on USW’s Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn pages.

USW wants to thank and acknowledge the organizations that make “Harvest Reports” possible, including:


Each of the six U.S. wheat classes brings unique advantages to the increasingly competitive global wheat market.

First, and perhaps the most important, is consistency in quality and supply. Although each new crop year brings different challenges and opportunities, high-quality U.S. wheat is always available to the global market.

Second, each class of wheat provides the ingredients needed to produce so much of the world’s food. U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) Vice President of Global Technical Services Mark Fowler makes the point this way: “Our six U.S. wheat classes give our customers the opportunity to optimize taste, texture and appearance of thousands of food products made with flour or semolina.”

Every region, country and culture have wheat-based food products that are uniquely their own. The United States has the right wheat class and quality to make every one of those products more appealing and valuable.

In the video below, Mark Fowler talks about each of the six wheat classes grown in the United States, their definition, uses and their functional characteristics.

Learn more about the six classes of U.S. wheat here or leave a question in the U.S. Wheat Associates’ “Ask The Expert” section.

Interested in more USW video content? Visit our video library at

Read more about other classes of U.S. wheat in this series.

Hard Red Winter
Hard Red Spring
Hard White
Soft White
Soft Red Winter


The U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) Board of Directors includes wheat farmer leaders appointed to represent each of the 17 state wheat commissions that are members of USW and meets three times during each marketing year (June to May). For each of the meetings, the USW Market Analyst prepares a “Wheat Supply and Demand Outlook” report based on USDA market data to provide an update on the global and U.S. wheat market. The full Winter 2021 report is posted at

The report includes sections on world wheat supply and demand, wheat production in the major wheat exporting countries and regions, including U.S. wheat production by class, timely reports such as U.S. wheat seeded area, and U.S. commercial wheat sales.

World Production and Use data from the Winter 2021 Wheat Supply and Demand Outlook

The latest report, prepared Jan. 27, 2021, indicates marketing year 2020/21 is a significant one, with several records set. For example, USDA expects global wheat production to reach 773 million metric tons (MMT) following increased annual production in Australia, Russia and Canada among exporting countries. World wheat trade is expected to increase 1% to a record 194 MMT, which would be 7% more than the 5-year average. With strong carryover from 2019/20 and increased production, global wheat ending stocks are projected at 313 MMT, with China expected to hold 159 MMT and India 31.3 MMT of that total at the end of 2020/21. U.S wheat ending stocks, however, are expected to be the lowest since 2014/15.

USDA has also reported that U.S. winter wheat seeded area (including hard red winter, soft red winter, fall seeded soft white, hard white and Desert Durum®) increased for the first time since 2013/14. Hutchins notes in the report that beneficial field conditions and strong farmgate price potential at planting time motivated hard red winter and soft red winter wheat producers to increase planted area from last year.

U.S. Winter wheat planted area data from the Winter 2021 Wheat Supply and Demand Outlook

View the full Winter 2021 Wheat Supply and Demand Outlook at


U.S. wheat farm families grow six distinct classes of wheat across the diverse landscape of the United States. Those farmers take great care in producing the highest quality wheat in the most sustainable ways possible to honor their family legacies and to ensure greater value for their customers at home and abroad. Behind the world’s most reliable supply of wheat are the world’s most dependable people.

Hucke Farms: Angie and Will Hucke are third-generation farmers and ranchers from Geraldine, about 40 miles (65 km) east of Great Falls in Montana’s “Golden Triangle,” where they grow winter wheat, spring wheat, hay barley and occasionally rotate in yellow peas. Previously, Angie had a corporate job and opted to leave that lifestyle to return to the family farm. Part of returning to the family farm meant being involved in their community and raising their son, Arrow (11), and daughter, Jetta (9) in an environment where they learn about “hard work, taking pride in a job well done and learning that work can be fun.” This year, Arrow drove the grain cart – his first time helping with harvest, and it was clear how excited and proud he was. Both are very involved in 4-H, rodeo, and helping with chores on the farm.

Location: Geraldine, Mont.
Classes of Wheat Grown:  Hard Red Winter (HRW) and Hard Red Spring (HRS)
Leadership: Angie Hucke: President, Miss Rodeo Montana, Inc; Vice President, Geraldine Action Committee; emergency medical technician (EMT); and 4-H leader. Will Hucke: Captain, Geraldine Volunteer Fire Department; Board Member, Chouteau County Livestock Protective Association; high school girls basketball coach; and 4-H leader. Arrow Hucke: Vice President, Willing Workers 4-H Club; and Treasurer, Geraldine Middle School. Jetta Hucke: Reporter, Willing Workers 4H Club.

View other videos and stories in this “Stories from the Wheat Farm” series:

The Next Generation in Kansas
Loving the Work in Ohio
Committed to Stewardship in Washington
Living with Purpose in North Dakota
A Passion for the Land in Oklahoma
Committed to Wheat Quality in Oregon


The 2020 U.S. hard red spring (HRS) wheat crop boasts excellent kernel and grade qualities, with significantly improved kernel soundness compared to 2019. The crop had significantly higher vitreous kernel and falling number values. The crop shows less extensibility and more resistance compared to 2019, but similar to the 5-year average. Other quality factors include improved dough strength with very high bread scores. With above-average supplies and high-quality parameters, the 2020 U.S. HRS crop offers excellent value to buyers.

U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) has posted the full 2020 Hard Red Spring Wheat Quality Report on its website here.

Cool temperatures slowed planting and emergence in parts of the growing region. Timely mid-season rains and a dry, rapid harvest period limited disease pressures and benefitted kernel quality parameters. USDA estimates production at 14.4 million metric tons (MMT), slightly higher than the 2019 crop on reduced planting area.

Here are a few highlights from the 2020 HRS wheat crop.

Wheat and Grade Data:

  • Grade the average grade on the 2020 samples is a No. 1 Northern Spring (NS).
  • Test Weight average of 61.8 lb/bu (81.3 kg/hl) is higher than 2019 and 5-year averages.
  • Vitreous kernel levels (DHV) are notably higher, with overall samples averaging 71%. Nearly two-thirds of the Western samples make the Dark Northern Spring (DNS) subclass.
  • Wheat Protein averages 14.3% (12% mb) protein, similar to 2019 and 5-year averages.
  • DON average is 0.2 ppm, down from 0.6 in 2019.
  • 1000 Kernel Weight average is 31.5 g, heavier than 2019 and 5-year averages, due to good kernel fill conditions.
  • Wheat Falling Number average is 374 sec, a vast improvement in kernel soundness across the crop.

Flour, Dough and Baking Data:

  • Laboratory Mill Flour Extractions average 67.4%, lower than 2019 and 5-year averages.
  • Flour ash was similar to 2019 at 0.52%, while flour color showed higher L* color scores in both regions.
  • Flour Wet Gluten Contents average 33%, lower than both 2019 and 5-year averages.
  • Amylograph values average 642 BU for 65 g of flour, sharply higher than 2019.
  • Farinograph indicates the crop has lower absorption compared to last year and 5-year averages. The average farinograph stability is 12.1 min, significantly stronger than 2019 and the 5-year averages.
  • Alveograph P/L ratio average is 0.59, similar to 2019, but lower than 5-year average and the W-value increased to 368 (10-4 J), up from 2019.
  • Extensograph analyses shows less extensibility and more resistance compared to 2019, but similar to 5-year averages. The overall extensibility and resistance to extension of the 135 min extensograph are 12.8 cm and 856 BU, with slightly more extensibility across Eastern areas.
  • Loaf volume average is 973, smaller than 2019, but similar to 5-year averages. Average bake absorption is 67.4%, higher than 5-year averages. Bread scores are similar in both regions in 2020, with Western area slightly lower than a year ago while the Eastern area is slightly higher.


View other summaries of the 2020 U.S. wheat crop:
Hard Red Winter 
Hard White
Soft White
Soft Red Winter

View the full 2020 U.S. Crop Quality Report and other related resources here.



Even in the face of a global pandemic, dependable U.S. wheat farmers persisted in their essential effort to produce the highest quality wheat in the world, while the reliable U.S. export supply system continued operating to move that wheat to the world.

As a key part of its commitment to transparency and trade service, U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) has produced its annual Crop Quality Report that includes grade, flour and baking data for all six U.S. wheat classes. The report compiles comprehensive data from analysis of hundreds of samples conducted during and after harvest by our partner organizations and laboratories. The report provides essential, objective information to help buyers get the wheat they need at the best value possible.

The 2020 USW Crop Quality Report is now available for download in EnglishSpanishFrench and Italian. Arabic, Chinese and, for the first time, Portuguese, translations will be available soon. USW also shares more detailed, regional reports for all six U.S. wheat classes on its website, as well as additional information on its sample and collection methods, solvent retention capacity (SRC) recommendations, standard deviation tables and more. Download these reports and resources from the here.

The pandemic has changed other traditional parts of the USW Crop Quality outreach effort. Unfortunately, face-to-face Crop Quality Seminars are not possible in 2020. Instead, USW is preparing a unique way for our customers to experience and gain more knowledge about the 2020 U.S. wheat crops. For more information, please contact your local USW office.

Continue to look for updates from the 2020 USW Crop Quality Seminars on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.


For 40 years, U.S. wheat farmers have supported U.S. Wheat Associates’ (USW) efforts to work directly with buyers and promote their six classes of wheat. Their contributions to state wheat commissions, who in turn contribute a portion of those funds to USW, qualifies USW to apply for export market development funds managed by USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. Currently, 17 state wheat commissions are USW members and this series highlights those partnerships and the work being done state-by-state to provide unmatched service. Behind the world’s most reliable supply of wheat are the world’s most dependable people – and that includes our state wheat commissions.

Member: South Dakota Wheat Commission
Member of USW since 1980

Location: Pierre, S.Dak.
Classes of wheat grown: Hard Red Winter (HRW) and Hard Red Spring (HRS)
USW Leadership: Milo Schanzenbach, 1983/84; Stanley Porch, 1994/95; Darrell Davis, 2012/13.

The South Dakota Wheat Commission (SDWC) was established in 1961 when the legislature passed the South Dakota Wheat Resources Act declaring it “the public policy of the state of South Dakota, by protecting and stabilizing the wheat industry and the economy of the areas producing wheat.” Its mission “to stabilize and improve South Dakota’s wheat industry through research, market development and education,” has grown the footprint of South Dakota wheat to over 100 countries around the world. Research has allowed farmers to produce high-quality, high yielding wheat that has enhanced the overall appeal of wheat grown in the Great Plains state.

Darrell Davis, 2012/13 USW Chairman and South Dakota wheat farmer at the 2012 USW Summer Board Meeting.

Why is export market development important to South Dakota wheat farmers and why do they continue to support USW and its activities?

South Dakota is historically the sixth largest U.S. wheat producing state. Production is nearly equally split between U.S. HRW and HRS wheat. Unfortunately, despite its production size, there are no flour mills in South Dakota, so every bushel of wheat produced must leave the state. The final destination of the wheat varies between domestic and global markets. Without a strong global market for high quality milling wheat, South Dakota wheat farmers would lack the competition that is necessary to also enhance the value of domestic sales. Collaboration with other wheat producing states, through a USW membership, greatly strengthens South Dakota’s global promotion and export opportunities.

2015 USW Nigerian Trade Delegation visit to South Dakota.


2019 Taiwan Goodwill Mission visiting South Dakota.

How have South Dakota wheat farmers recently connected with overseas customers?

South Dakota wheat farmers enjoyed hosting the Taiwan Flour Mills Association Goodwill Mission in 2019. It was a pleasure to once again jointly sign a Letter of Intent that confirms their desire for the procurement of high milling quality, U.S. wheat. A special fellowship develops in the opportunity to connect outstanding wheat farmers with outstanding global wheat customers. When health precautions prevented the visit of a Sub-Saharan Africa trade delegation to South Dakota in 2020, that opportunity for information exchange and a face-to-face experience was repackaged into a virtual visit. The virtual format provided exposure to an even larger group of customers than might be included in a normal trade delegation visit.

Ralph Bean, Agricultural Counselor, USDA Foreign Agricultural Service, U.S. Embassy Manila (far right), met with farmers from South Dakota, North Dakota and Montana during their trip to South Asia as a part of the 2017 USW Board team. Pictured second from the right is Clint Vanneman, South Dakota wheat farmer. The farmers were guests of honor at the 9th International Exhibition on Bakery, Confectionary and Foodservice Equipment and Supplies, known as “Bakery Fair 2017,” hosted by the Filipino-Chinese Bakery Association Inc.


1994/95 USW Chairman and South Dakota wheat farmer Stanley Porch (far left) hosted the 2015 USW Nigerian Trade Delegation on his farm and is pictured here with past USW Cape Town and Lagos staff, Gerald Theus (middle left) and Muyiwa Talabi (middle right), as well as 2012/13 USW Chairman and South Dakota wheat farmer Darrell Davis (far right).

What is happening lately in South Dakota that overseas customers should know about?

Recent wet climatic conditions have reduced the wheat acres seeded across South Dakota in recent years. Although acres were reduced, the 2020 harvest was phenomenal! A new state record was established for HRW wheat. Harvest results consistently revealed high yielding fields with desirable test weight and protein. Throughout the season, the wheat had strong straw strength with extremely limited disease challenges. Results from the 2020 HRS wheat harvest also showed strong yields, test weight and protein with limited disease challenges. The exceptional wheat harvested in South Dakota in 2020 will produce equally exceptional milling potential for our customers!

Learn more about the South Dakota Wheat Commission on its website here and on Facebook and Twitter.



U.S. wheat farm families grow six distinct classes of wheat across the diverse landscape of the United States. Those farmers take great care in producing the highest quality wheat in the most sustainable ways possible to honor their family legacies and to ensure greater value for their customers at home and abroad. Behind the world’s most reliable supply of wheat are the world’s most dependable people.

The Volk Family: Philip and Lisa Volk and their five children grow hard red spring (HRS) wheat on their family farm in North Dakota that was founded in 1942. Responsibilities are shared among them all, even their youngest who rides along with Mom or Dad during wheat harvest.

Location: York, N.D.
Classes of Wheat Grown:  Hard Red Spring (HRS)
Leadership: Philip Volk: Commissioner, North Dakota Wheat Commission (NDWC); USW Director; NDWC liaison to the Wheat Marketing Center; Chairman, SBARE Wheat Granting Committee.

View other videos and stories in this “Stories from the Wheat Farm” series:

The Next Generation in Kansas
Loving the Work in Ohio
Committed to Stewardship in Washington
A Passion for the Land in Oklahoma
Committed to Wheat Quality in Oregon
Embracing the Agricultural Lifestyle in Montana


For 40 years, U.S. wheat farmers have supported U.S. Wheat Associates’ (USW) efforts to work directly with buyers and promote their six classes of wheat. Their contributions to state wheat commissions, who in turn contribute a portion of those funds to USW, qualifies USW to apply for export market development funds managed by USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. Currently, 17 state wheat commissions are USW members and this series highlights those partnerships and the work being done state-by-state to provide unmatched service. Behind the world’s most reliable supply of wheat are the world’s most dependable people – and that includes our state wheat commissions.

Member: Nebraska Wheat Board
USW Member since 1980

Location: Lincoln, Neb.
Classes of wheat grown: 
Hard Red Winter (HRW), Hard White (HW), Hard Red Spring (HRS)
USW Leadership: Ervain J. Friehe, 1986/97 Chairman; Daniel Gerdes 1997/98 Chairman; Dan Hughes, 2013/14 Chairman.

The mission of the Nebraska Wheat Board is to increase both domestic and foreign consumption of wheat and wheat food products through marketing and research, as well as to help develop and maintain both domestic and international export markets for the Nebraska wheat producer. The Nebraska Wheat Board will accomplish this by investing the wheat check-off in research, international and domestic marketing, policy development, publicity and education. The Nebraska Wheat Board was one of the first state wheat commissions in existence. The Board has paved the way for trade delegations, international baking schools, national policy reform and the establishment of USW. Today, Nebraska Wheat continues to improve research, influence international and domestic trade policy and promote the wheat crop through education and consumer outreach. This year, the Nebraska Wheat Board celebrates 65 years and would like to thank all of our domestic and international customers for their continued support.

2014/15 USW Officers, including Past Chairman Dan Hughes, seated left.

Why is export market development important to Nebraska wheat farmers and why do they continue to support USW?

Of the wheat produced in Nebraska each year, 50 percent is exported through the Pacific Northwest or the Gulf of Mexico or by rail to Mexico. Nebraska hosts one to two USW trade delegations each year from all over the world. Through these trade delegations, U.S. wheat customers can see how the crop is produced in a healthy, sustainable way. Likewise, the farmers learn what their customers want and how they can adopt practices to meet the growing demand. USW is at the forefront of overseas development. The network of people that promote USW is vast and their enthusiasm for promoting U.S.wheat continues to develop markets for our farmers’ product. With so much of our wheat reaching overseas customers, it is extremely important for Nebraska’s wheat farmers to support USW’s export market development.

How have Nebraska wheat farmers recently interacted with overseas customers?

Even though these unprecedented times have limited travel and canceled conferences, Nebraska Wheat has put international relations as our top priority. In place of hosting trade delegations, the Nebraska Wheat team is producing video of locations in the state that each delegation would typically visit. From highlighting the research done at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln (UNL), witnessing how grain is inspected at the elevators, and capturing the beauty of wheat harvest across the state. Nebraska Wheat Board members look forward to sharing these videos around the world and then visiting with customers to answer questions after they have “visited” each tour stop. Along with these videos, each week the Nebraska Wheat office sends reports to international offices and past trade delegation visitors to keep them updated on Nebraska wheat progress.

A 2017 USW Regional African Trade Delegation visited Bob Delsing’s farm in Nebraska. Delsing is currently a director on USW’s board.

What is happening lately in Nebraska that overseas customers should know about?

  • UNL wheat breeder Dr. Stephen Baenziger was recently awarded a $650,000 grant for hybrid wheat research.
  • USDA recently announced that it is hiring an additional small grains geneticist to be located at UNL to focus on Fusarium head blight research.
  • Harkamal Walia, UNL Associate Professor, discovered a gene from wild wheat that has the potential to improve drought tolerance in cultivated wheat.
  • There has been a resurgence of HRS wheat being grown in Nebraska. Currently, producers in the state grow HRW, HW and HRS.

Learn more about the Nebraska Wheat Board on its website here and on Facebook and Twitter.

Kent Lorens, a wheat farmer from Nebraska (middle) participated on the 2019 board team to Spain, Portugal and Morocco. He’s pictured here with farmers from Montana and Wyoming at Institut de Formation de l’Indstrie Meunière (IFIM) in Morocco, while touring the training mill, where the team saw equipment sponsored by U.S. Wheat Associates. Read more about his experience here.

Nebraska Wheat Board Executive Director Royce Schaneman at the 2020 USW Winter Board Meeting in Washington, D.C.

Four generations of Nodlinski’s (from 3 years old to 102) stand for a picture during the 2020 wheat harvest on the 4th of July on their family farm in Perkins County. The Nebraska Wheat Board publishes weekly crop updates here.

2013/14 Chairman Dan Hughes, a wheat farmer from Nebraska (L) congrats 2014/15 Chairman Roy Motter, a wheat farmer from California (R) on his year of service.

2013/14 Chairman, Dan Hughes and his wife Josie.