News and Information from Around the Wheat Industry

Some will say that’s just how markets work. Russia is being rewarded because it’s the low-cost [wheat] producer, and U.S. farmers aren’t keeping up. I would argue Russia is not a market-based producer, but is politically using cheap wheat as a tool for advancing military goals that are dangerous to international trade and to the African nations Russia pretends to serve. As is often the case, this is a situation that goes beyond economic theory and is challenging the future of American agriculture and international trade.” – DTN Lead Analyst Todd Hultman. Read more here.

U.S. Competitiveness Increasing

USDA reported that U.S. wheat commercial sales for the week ending Sept. 21 for delivery in marketing year 2023/24 (June to May) were 544,500 metric tons. That volume is up 77% from the previous week and 51% from the prior 4-week average. Export inspections for the week ending Sept. 21 were 584,600 metric tons, a marketing year high. Read more here.

Vessel at port loading wheat to illustrate how dry bulk freight rates have declined.

More Rain for More Grain?

In a seasonal outlook, the National Weather Service said Sept. 21 that “drought improvement/removal is likely” in the central and southern Plains, the heart of hard winter wheat production, through the end of the year. The USDA said that 47% of winter wheat land is in drought at present, up 1 percentage point from last week, but it is 10 points lower than at this time in 2022. Read more here.

Most Americans Think They Should Increase Whole Grain Intake

The vast majority of American consumers (77%) say they think they should be choosing whole grains more often, according to a new survey from the Oldways Whole Grains Council. The 2023 Whole Grain Consumer Insights Survey suggested consumers are increasingly seeking whole grain foods for health benefits and because consumers see them as tasty and sustainable. Millennials are significantly more focused on the sustainability benefits of whole grains compared to other generations. Read more here.

Upcoming IGC International Milling Courses

Courses in this curriculum area at IGC International in Manhattan, Kan., cover all aspects of managing the flour milling process from grain selection to finished products. Courses will explore many areas including; technical milling, mill management practices, quality control, food safety, flowsheet design, process automation and controls, process efficiencies, hard and soft wheat milling, maintenance, and much more. Click here to see upcoming courses.

More Evidence of U.S. Farmer Stewardship

The USDA reported on Sept. 19 a record interest in conservation and clean energy programs one year after President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act was adopted. Over five years, the Act is funding almost $20 billion in Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) programs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase carbon storage. The Inflation Reduction Act made nearly $20 billion available over five years for USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to serve demand for popular conservation programs. Read more here.

To show the productive quality of soil

USDA Investment in Food for Progress

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the U.S. is investing $455 million to strengthen global food security and international capacity-building efforts. The investment will utilize more than 375,000 metric tons of U.S. commodities. The commodities in the Food for Progress program will be sold in local and regional markets and proceeds will help strengthen short- and long-term food security. The commodities in the McGovern-Dole program will go directly to hungry school children to help address hunger and promote education. Read more here.

Wheat Industry Represented on USDA Advisory Committees

USDA’s Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee (APAC) for Trade provides advice on the administration of U.S. trade policy. U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) President Vince Peterson is an appointed member of APAC. The Agricultural Technical Advisory Committees (ATAC) offer technical advice and information about specific agricultural commodities and products to the Secretary of Agriculture. Wheat leaders serving on the ATAC for Trade in Grains, Feed, Oilseeds, and Planting Seeds are USW Vice president of Policy Dalton Henry, National Association of Wheat Growers Vice President of Policy and Communications Jacob Westlin, North Dakota Wheat Commission Administrator Neal Fisher, and USW Past President Ron Suppes of Dighton, Kan.

Subscribe to USW Reports

USW publishes various reports and content available to subscribe to, including a bi-weekly newsletter highlighting recent Wheat Letter blog posts and wheat industry news, the weekly Price Report, and the weekly Harvest Report (available May to October). Subscribe here.

Follow USW Online

Visit our Facebook page for the latest updates, photos, and discussions of what is going on in the world of wheat. Also, find breaking news on Twitter, video stories on Vimeo and YouTube, and more on LinkedIn.


Last month, World Food Program USA reported that in 2022, for the third consecutive year, “the U.S. shipped over 1 million tons of wheat to global hunger relief efforts. The 1 millionth ton of wheat was loaded aboard the African Halycon cargo vessel and left Washington state on Saturday, November 26.”

As that shipment of donated U.S. soft white (SW) arrives in Yemen this month, USAID has issued two new food aid tenders for about 170,000 metric tons of U.S. hard red winter (HRW) to be donated to Ethiopia.

Six Years of Drought

“Years of drought in the Horn of Africa has created a serious food insecurity situation in Ethiopia and other countries,” said Peter Laudeman, Director of Trade Policy with U.S. Wheat Associates (USW). “The donated wheat will be distributed to local flour mills then to the Ethiopian people.”

A large portion of U.S. food aid is managed by USAID’s Food for Peace office primarily as emergency food assistance. USAID purchases U.S commodities at market price and donates them to meet the immediate nutritional needs of those facing hunger. In other cases, USAID will purchase and donate local or regionally grown commodities or provide market-based food vouchers and cash.

Right Food at the Right Time

The type of assistance varies based on local circumstances and needs. More than 541,000 metric tons of HRW wheat was donated to Ethiopia in 2022 and almost 490,000 metric tons of SW was donated to Yemen last year. These two wheat classes best meet the preferences for Ethiopian and Yemeni wheat food products.

Compared to commercial U.S. wheat sales to date in 2022/23, food aid is the fourth largest destination for HRW, the fifth largest destination for SW, and the seventh largest destination for total U.S. wheat sales.”          – USW Market Analyst Tyllor Ledford

U.S. wheat farmers have been partners in U.S. international food assistance programs for more than 60 years and take pride in sharing their harvest with populations that need it most.

“Those of us in the U.S. food and agriculture community talk all the time about feeding the world,” Laudeman said. “I think these humanitarian, international programs really resonate with farmers.”

Ron Suppes on a food aid monitoring visit to Kenya and Tanzania.

“Farmers are unique stakeholders in the international food aid conversation, and we’ve been loyal partners and advocates of these programs since they started. I want to see us continue our trend of excellence in providing food aid to the countries that need it most,” said Kansas wheat farmer and past USW Chairman Ron Suppes (center) in Congressional testimony after visiting Kenya and Tanzania on a trip to monitor U.S. wheat food aid programs in 2017. Mike Shulte (second from right), executive director of the Oklahoma Wheat Commission, also made the trip.

Big Hearts, Abundant Harvests

People in the U.S. have big hearts and genuinely see a need to step up to the plate when there are populations around the world that are experiencing hunger, whether that’s due to drought in Ethiopia or conflict in Yemen, or any of the other countries that the U.S. has sent aid to,” USW Vice President of Policy Dalton Henry told the World Food Program USA in December. These shipments show “the generosity of U.S. farmers, as they produce an abundance of commodities that can be shared around the world,” Henry said.

USW and the Food Aid Working Group, a joint working group between USW and the National Association of Wheat Growers, are proud of the wheat provided through these food aid programs and believe that commodity donation is an effective portion of the whole effort.