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News and Information from Around the U.S. Wheat Industry

 

Speaking of Wheat

The Women in Triticum (WIT) awards are a fantastic way to recognize and support emerging leaders in our community. The impressive cohort of past and present WIT recipients are actively contributing to global efforts to improve crop production and food security.” – Alison Bentley, Director, Global Wheat Program, at CIMMYT.

New Generation of Women Changing Wheat Science

Over the past 12 years, the Jeanie Borlaug Laube Women in Triticum (WIT) Early Career Award has supported 66 early-career women scientists as they build a stronger, more inclusive community of wheat scholars fighting hunger worldwide. CYIMMT announced that the Borlaug Global Rust Initiative (BGRI) has honored six early-career scientists from Morocco, Indonesia, Ethiopia, Italy, Pakistan and China in 2022. Read more here.

Drought, Thin Wheat Stands a Concern

Crop progress for winter wheat in critical production areas might have inched up a bit from December through January but a long and lingering drought continues to threaten production in Texas, Oklahoma, western Kansas and southeast Colorado. Texas A&M AgriLife Extension economist Mark Welch in a recent report noted the latest USDA Crop Progress report shows at the beginning of January, Kansas wheat in combined good and excellent categories was rated at 19%, down from 22% at the beginning of December. For Colorado wheat, 54% was rated good and excellent on January 1, up from 30% in late November. Read more here.

Changing Wheat Flowers to Increase Yields

Like maize and rice, wheat has been the subject of CRISPR-based yield improvements in the past year. The anatomy of flowers in grain crops has long been understood to be an important determinant of individual plant yield. By editing a gene associated with the development of flowers, researchers were able to markedly improve overall yield of in wheat plants in experimental field trials without any reductions of other important properties. Read more in Innovative Genomics.

Congratulations to Michigan Wheat Farmer Dave Milligan

For each of the past 19 years, Michigan Farmer magazine has bestowed the prestigious Master Farmer award on three people who have demonstrated how to farm more effectively, efficiently, environmentally and economically. This year’s honorees include Dave Milligan of Cass City, Mich., who has been a farmer leader with the National Association of Wheat Growers. Also honored were Joe Bryant, Shepard, Mich., and Louis Wierenga Jr. of Hastings, Mich. Read more here.

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 more on LinkedIn.

 

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News and Information from Around the U.S. Wheat Industry

Speaking of Wheat

Adoption of innovative agricultural technologies is critical to sustainably increase productivity, while reducing the environmental footprint of agricultural production. These breakthroughs can further reduce greenhouse gas emissions throughout the agricultural supply chain while bolstering food security throughout North America.” – From a statement by 17 agriculture groups urging U.S. Mexican and Canadian leaders to strengthen North American agricultural trade. Read more from “World Grain” here.

NAWG Annual Meeting and Commodity Classic

National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) will hold its annual meeting during Commodity Classic in Orlando, Fla., March 7-11, 2023. NAWG will review important policy and issues related to its advocacy for wheat growers’ interests in the 2023 Farm Bill. The conference will also include the NAWG President/PAC Reception and National Wheat Yield Contest Winners Reception. Read more here.

Grain Foods Foundation Names New Executive Director

Erin E. Ball was selected by the Grain Foods Foundation board of trustees to lead the group in its mission to serve the U.S. grain foods manufacturing, flour milling, and allied trades industries as the hub for science-based, grains-positive thought leadership and research funding and translation. For more information on Ball’s appointment and the Grain Foods Foundation, visit their website here.

Research Shows Effective Pathogen Control in Tempering

Energis Solutions™ has released results from a recent study confirming the effectiveness of its pathogen reduction technology, Guardian™ in reducing common pathogens found in the wheat tempering process. For more information, visit the Energis Solutions website.

Western Gulf Terminal Export News

CHS Inc. and Cargill recently announced they intend to incorporate Cargill’s Houston, Tex., grain terminal into their joint venture, TEMCO LLC that currently operates three facilities in the Pacific Northwest primarily serving Asia-Pacific region grain buyers. “We look forward to expanding our joint venture …,” said Sheryl Wallace, president of North America Grain for Cargill. “We are excited to provide additional market access and opportunities for our farmer customers and to better serve our global demand customers.” Read more here.

“Wheat Academy” Breeds Collaborative Research

Washington State University (WSU) recently sponsored a joint “Wheat Academy” bringing together wheat scientists, farmers and crop consultants to discuss changing challenges and encourage collaborative research solutions. “Wheat Academy lets growers and crop consultants learn the science behind many of the recommendations from WSU Extension,” said event organizer and Professor Drew Lyon. “It also helps scientists hear from them about what they’re seeing in the field, which can drive new research to address emerging problems.” Read more in this article from “Western Farmer-Stockman.”

 

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 more on LinkedIn.

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News and Information from Around the U.S. Wheat Industry

Speaking of Wheat

U.S. Wheat Technical Services is an extremely important part of our outreach and service to customers around the world. We got a first-hand look at the importance of the technical details by milling most of the six classes of wheat that the U.S. produces and that is used domestically and on the international scene. For state wheat commissioners, it’s invaluable to understand the details, as well as the competitive world we are in.” – Bill Flory, USW Board of Directors, Winchester, Idaho, after participating in the IGP-KSU Flour Milling for State Wheat Commissioners and Staff Short Course. Read and watch more here.

Roy Chung

Roy Chung

Congratulations to Roy Chung

Our colleague and influential South Asia Bakery Consultant Roy Chung marked 45 years with U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) Jan. 1, 2023. Roy was introduced to USW legacy organization Western Wheat Associates (WWA) in 1986 serving as an assistant and interpreter for a product demonstration in his father’s bakery in Malaysia. He accepted a position with WWA after earning an engineering degree. Capital Press reporter Matthew Weaver profiled Roy in 2018, reprinted here with permission. Roy also described his early career in a 2021 Planet Money podcast titled “The Wheat Whisperer.” The U.S. wheat farmers we represent and his colleagues past and present send Roy congratulations and thanks for his long and dynamic service!

Portrait of Terry Herman, USW Chief Technology Officer

Terry Herman

Terry Herman Marks 30 Years with USW

Congratulations to our colleague, Chief Technology Officer Terry Herman who celebrated 30 years with USW on Jan. 4, 2023. A Virginia native, Terry has played a key role in developing the data bases USW uses to collaborate with USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service export market development programs, maintaining our digital systems and most recently migrating crucial data to “the cloud.” Thanks for all your work over the years, Terry!

 

Q&A with PNW Wheat Commission Leaders

In the latest issue of Capital Press, reporter Matthew Weaver shares his roundtable interview with Casey Chumrau, CEO, Washington Wheat Commission; Amanda Hoey, CEO of Oregon Wheat; and Britany Hurst Marchant, Executive Director of Idaho Wheat Commission, all pictured in the Capital Press photo at the top of this page. USW is proud to be partners in promoting U.S. wheat exports with these Pacific Northwest leaders. Read the article here.

Latest USDA Wheat Outlook Examines Rail Transportation Issues

The December 2022 Wheat Outlook from the USDA Economic Research Service (ERS) explains USDA’s changes in the official projections for U.S. and world wheat supply and use in the 2021/22 and 2022/23 marketing years that were released in the December 9 World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report. A special article, “Rail Transportation Challenges Among Major Factors Weighing on U.S. Wheat Exports,” is included. Read the report here.

K-State Research: Heat, Drought, Wind Hurting Wheat Yields

The compounding influence of adverse dry, hot and windy climate patterns slashed wheat yield 4% in Kansas and five other Great Plains states over the past 40 years, Kansas State University researchers reported in the scientific journal Nature Communications. Xiaomao Lin, professor of agricultural climatology, said the study was the first to quantify a connection between change in the nation’s climate and wheat production. The simultaneous combination of low relative humidity with high temperatures and strong winds were shown to be a negative climate risk in terms of yields. Read more here.

Researchers Identify Significant Diversity in U.S. Wheat

A team of researchers that studied the biodiversity of “the U.S. wheat crop over the past century” has reported results in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), a peer reviewed journal of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS). Stating that there is a concern “that modern cropping systems lead to an erosion in crop genetic diversity,” the researchers in fact found that “contrary to commonly held perceptions on the negative impact of modern cropping systems on crop genetic diversity, our results demonstrated a win-win outcome where the widespread uptake of scientifically selected varieties increased both crop production and crop diversity.” Read more here.

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 more on LinkedIn.

agricultural field of winter wheat under the snow

Recent news and highlights from around the U.S. wheat industry.

Speaking of Wheat

As far as wheat goes, Russian prices are at a very serious discount. I was personally hoping that the story about Russia’s wheat shipments now being identified as Ukrainian wheat would have caused a strengthening of ally and non-ally sentiments to avoid Russian wheat. I guess getting food bought is more important than politics. However, the decline in wheat has been so dramatic that it has found economic value domestically. We have heard of feedlots out west purchasing #2 hard red wheat for feed. That tells you that the wheat market relative to corn and other feed grains has found value.” – Bill Biedermann, Hedging strategist, AgMarket.Net, writing in Farm Futures.

2022 U.S. Holiday Office Schedule

In recognition of Christmas and New Year’s, the U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) Headquarters and West Coast Offices will be closed: Friday afternoon, Dec. 23; Monday, Dec. 26; Friday afternoon Dec. 30; and Jan. 2, 2023. The USW Wheat Letter email update will resume its bi-weekly schedule on Jan. 5, 2023. The USW Price Report will not be published Dec. 30; the report will resume its weekly schedule on Jan. 6, 2023.

Crossbreeding for Drought Tolerance

Crop Trust’s “wild relatives project” has developed a new drought-tolerant variety of durum wheat. The new wheat named “Jabal,” which means “mountain” in Arabic, was developed by farmers and crop scientists by crossing a commercial durum wheat with a wild relative from an arid region of Syria. The wild relatives project uses genetically diverse crop varieties to help develop more resilient and adaptive varieties of wheat, barley, rice, and potato that can withstand erratic and extreme weather conditions caused by climate change. Read more in The Guardian.

Satellite Imaging Quantifies Ukraine’s Wheat Harvest

U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Earth-observing satellites are deciphering some of the broad impacts of human conflict on the built and natural environment. On Dec. 2, NASA reported that satellite-based production numbers for the 2022 winter wheat crop in Ukraine suggest farmers had a largely successful harvest. The NASA Harvest team calculated a 26.6 million metric ton (MMT) wheat harvest in 2022, much higher than expected in leading forecasts. However, analysis showed that 5.8 MMT of wheat was harvested from areas that were not under Ukrainian control, likely benefiting Russian grain interests. Read more about the technology and outcome here.

Understanding USDA’s Export Sale Reporting Program

“Timely reporting and publishing of agricultural export sales data is key to effectively functioning markets. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is required by law to publicly release summary sales data obtained from U.S. exporters of many agricultural commodities” including U.S. wheat. Each week, U.S. exporters are required to report to USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) any sales transaction entered into with a buyer outside the United States. FAS publishes a weekly summary of export sales activity every Thursday at 8:30 a.m. ET, unless a change is announced, and provides the data USW uses to publish its Commercial Sales Report. Read more about the program here.

Wheat Foods Council “Kernels” Magazine

“What do wheat farmers do after the harvest?” That’s a question answered by several friends of USW in the Winter 2022 issue of Kernels, published by the Wheat Foods Council. Three past and current USW farmer directors from Minnesota, Kansas and North Dakota talk about the work that goes on to maintain equipment, market wheat and plan the next season’s crops while finding a bit more time to spend with family and friends. The Wheat Foods Council, like USW, is directed by farmers and funded by state wheat commission member organizations. It is an industry-wide partnership dedicated to increasing domestic wheat foods consumption through nutrition information, research, education and promotional programs.

Clip from a story in the Winter 2022 issue of Kernels magazine published by the Wheat Foods Council.

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 more on LinkedIn.

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Recent news and highlights from around the U.S. wheat industry.

Speaking of Wheat

A major escalation of the war, as Russia fired over 70 cruise missiles across the country, caused major damage to infrastructure. This left over half [of Ukraine] without power, which resulted in ports becoming inoperable, including those on the Danube River. Continuous attacks on infrastructure are impacting the viability of grain exports and could result in increased shortages and food prices.” – COCERAL, the European association of trade in cereals, oilseeds, rice, pulses, olive oil, oils and fats, animal feed and agro-supply.

Welcoming New State Commission Executive

The Montana Wheat and Barley Committee (MWBC) recently introduced Mr. Kent Kupfner as the commission’s new Executive Vice President. “I’m excited to continue promoting Montana’s top commodities to the rest of the world,” said Kupfner. “Working on behalf of Montana’s wheat and barley growers has always been and will continue to be a top priority.” Before joining the MWBC, Kupfner merchandised wheat and managed grain assets for multiple U.S. companies. Read more here.

New Nebraska Shuttle Loading System

Scoular has installed a new high-speed shuttle loading system at its Grainton country elevator in southwest Nebraska that will feature significantly faster grain unloading speeds. At the new facility, the Nebraska, Kansas & Colorado Railway (NKCR) provides access to the BNSF mainline, opening farmers to Mexico and other markets.

U.S. House Approves Emergency Resolution to Avoid Rail Strike

The U.S. House of Representatives took a first step on Nov. 30 toward preventing a strike by U.S. rail workers. A rail strike would have a significantly negative effect on wheat export basis and add even more uncertainty to an already volatile market. Nicole Berg, National Association of Wheat Growers president and Washington state wheat farmer, said “We are thankful to see the House of Representative’s vote to avoid a rail shutdown and applaud leadership for bringing this to the floor quick enough to avoid any disruptions. Wheat growers are uniquely reliant on an efficient, reliable and affordable rail transportation network, so we urge the Senate to pass this resolution quickly.”

USW Reception at ALIM Conference

U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) is proud to be a founding member of ALIM, the Latin American Industrial Millers Association, and sponsored a reception for members participating in the 40th ALIM annual meeting in Lima, Peru, on Nov. 27. The organization quickly produced a video record of the reception to kick off the conference program Nov. 28. Click below to see the video and look for more information about this special event soon.

U.S. Holiday Office Schedule

In recognition of Christmas and New Year’s, the USW Headquarters and West Coast Offices will be closed Friday afternoon, Dec. 23, Monday, Dec. 26, Friday afternoon Dec. 30, and Jan. 2, 2023. Contact your local USW office for information about holiday hours.

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 more on LinkedIn.

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Recent news and highlights from around the U.S. wheat industry.

 

Speaking of Wheat

We are a family farm raising wheat for a global market, working diligently to be sustainable. Our desire is to share our slice of heaven with others while maintaining our farming heritage so that we can pass it to the next generation in a better state.” – The Heideman Family, Blown Away Ranch, Ione, Oregon

U.S. Thanksgiving Office and Publication Schedules

Thanksgiving is a time set aside as a U.S. holiday the last Thursday of November. The U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) Headquarters and West Coast Offices will be closed Thursday, Nov. 24 and Friday, Nov. 25. In addition, the next Wheat Letter newsletter will be sent December 1 but you can keep up with posts in the Wheat Letter Blog at https://www.uswheat.org/wheat-letter/. In addition, the USW Price Report will not be published Friday, Nov. 25.

U.S. Winter Wheat Ratings Improve Slightly

While most U.S. winter wheat is planted and fighting dry conditions to be established before dormancy, USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service reported a slight uptick in good to excellent crop conditions. Hard red winter and winter soft white wheat is off to a good start, industry sources say. Still, winter wheat conditions are still the lowest in many years at this time. At the USW Fall Board Meeting this week, farmers in Texas and Oklahoma said recent rain his keeping them from finishing their wheat planting, but they have several days available before they must declare “prevented planting” on those fields under USDA farm service programs. See the NASS report here.winter wheat ratings

Rail Labor Letter

With two unions voting not to ratify the tentative U.S. rail labor agreement and a Nov. 19 deadline for when a strike/lockout could occur, the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) and other members of an Agricultural Transportation Working Group sent a letter to Congress urging swift action to avert a rail strike. Read the industry letter here.

Can the UN Hold the Black Sea Grain Initiative Together?

Agri-Pulse reports that UN Under Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs Martin Griffiths has stated a commitment to removing the remaining obstacles to the exports of Russian food and fertilizer. He also stressed that negotiations would resume with Russia to try to assure that the deal that keeps millions of tons of Ukrainian grain exports flowing will not expire on Nov. 19. Government officials have not suggested that a deal to extend the Black Sea Grain Initiative and Russian demands for better access to international markets for its fertilizer are connected, but both have become a priority for the UN, which brokered the Initiative with Russia, Ukraine and Turkey.

USDA Drops U.S. Wheat Stocks But Increases Global Supply Estimate

USDA’s World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report for November not suggests lower U.S. ending stocks for 2022/23 based mostly on increased domestic use. USDA held the line on expected U.S. wheat exports at 21.09 million metric tons (MMT). Projected 2022/23 ending stocks would be the lowest level since 2007/08. U.S. wheat futures prices were down slightly midday on Nov. 10 following the report. The USDA’s latest global wheat outlook for 2022/23 is for increased supplies, consumption, trade, and ending stocks. Read more here and in the USW Supply and Demand Report.

South Dakota Cooperative Invests in EGT Export Business

World Grain reported that Agtegra Cooperative announced has finalized a minority stake in EGT, LLC, which operates an export grain terminal in Longview, Wash., on the Columbia River that is fed by four high-capacity elevators in Montana. “We are very excited to become a partner in EGT to provide Agtegra customers greater access to the global market,” said Agtegra CEO Jason Klootwyk. Read more here.

USW Board of Directors Meet

U.S. wheat farmers representing 17 state wheat commission member organizations on the USW Board of Directors met for their Fall meeting Nov. 6 to 9, 2022, in Salt Lake City, Utah. This was a joint board meeting with the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) and included two joint committee meetings on International Trade Policy and Wheat Innovation. The USW and NAWG boards of directors will hold their next joint meeting Jan. 30 to Feb. 3, 2023, in Washington, D.C.

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 more on LinkedIn.

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Recent news and highlights from around the U.S. wheat industry.

 

Speaking of Wheat

We are a family farm raising wheat for a global market, working diligently to be sustainable. Our desire is to share our slice of heaven with others while maintaining our farming heritage so that we can pass it to the next generation in a better state.” – The Heideman Family, Blown Away Ranch, Ione, Oregon

U.S. Thanksgiving Office and Publication Schedules

Thanksgiving is a time set aside as a U.S. holiday the last Thursday of November. The U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) Headquarters and West Coast Offices will be closed Thursday, Nov. 24 and Friday, Nov. 25. In addition, the next Wheat Letter newsletter will be sent December 1 but you can keep up with posts in the Wheat Letter Blog at https://www.uswheat.org/wheat-letter/. In addition, the USW Price Report will not be published Friday, Nov. 25.

U.S. Winter Wheat Ratings Improve Slightly

While most U.S. winter wheat is planted and fighting dry conditions to be established before dormancy, USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service reported a slight uptick in good to excellent crop conditions. Hard red winter and winter soft white wheat is off to a good start, industry sources say. Still, winter wheat conditions are still the lowest in many years at this time. At the USW Fall Board Meeting this week, farmers in Texas and Oklahoma said recent rain his keeping them from finishing their wheat planting, but they have several days available before they must declare “prevented planting” on those fields under USDA farm service programs. See the NASS report here.winter wheat ratings

Rail Labor Letter

With two unions voting not to ratify the tentative U.S. rail labor agreement and a Nov. 19 deadline for when a strike/lockout could occur, the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) and other members of an Agricultural Transportation Working Group sent a letter to Congress urging swift action to avert a rail strike. Read the industry letter here.

Can the UN Hold the Black Sea Grain Initiative Together?

Agri-Pulse reports that UN Under Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs Martin Griffiths has stated a commitment to removing the remaining obstacles to the exports of Russian food and fertilizer. He also stressed that negotiations would resume with Russia to try to assure that the deal that keeps millions of tons of Ukrainian grain exports flowing will not expire on Nov. 19. Government officials have not suggested that a deal to extend the Black Sea Grain Initiative and Russian demands for better access to international markets for its fertilizer are connected, but both have become a priority for the UN, which brokered the Initiative with Russia, Ukraine and Turkey.

USDA Drops U.S. Wheat Stocks But Increases Global Supply Estimate

USDA’s World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report for November not suggests lower U.S. ending stocks for 2022/23 based mostly on increased domestic use. USDA held the line on expected U.S. wheat exports at 21.09 million metric tons (MMT). Projected 2022/23 ending stocks would be the lowest level since 2007/08. U.S. wheat futures prices were down slightly midday on Nov. 10 following the report. The USDA’s latest global wheat outlook for 2022/23 is for increased supplies, consumption, trade, and ending stocks. Read more here and in the USW Supply and Demand Report.

South Dakota Cooperative Invests in EGT Export Business

World Grain reported that Agtegra Cooperative announced has finalized a minority stake in EGT, LLC, which operates an export grain terminal in Longview, Wash., on the Columbia River that is fed by four high-capacity elevators in Montana. “We are very excited to become a partner in EGT to provide Agtegra customers greater access to the global market,” said Agtegra CEO Jason Klootwyk. Read more here.

USW Board of Directors Meet

U.S. wheat farmers representing 17 state wheat commission member organizations on the USW Board of Directors met for their Fall meeting Nov. 6 to 9, 2022, in Salt Lake City, Utah. This was a joint board meeting with the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) and included two joint committee meetings on International Trade Policy and Wheat Innovation. The USW and NAWG boards of directors will hold their next joint meeting Jan. 30 to Feb. 3, 2023, in Washington, D.C.

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 more on LinkedIn.

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Recent news and highlights from around the U.S. wheat industry.

 

Speaking of Wheat

This [baking certification] course is an excellent way to stimulate the bakery sector, [that is] essential for the daily lives of Brazilians, even more. We embrace this idea because it aligns with the commitment we have to strengthen and develop this industry that is so important for the country.” – Paulo Menegueli, President of the Brazilian Bakery and Confectionery Industry Association (ABIP), discussing the benefits of the U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) sponsored Online Baking Certification program developed by USW Santiago. Read more here.

Rain in Eastern Australia Threatens Wheat Crop

Widespread rains in Australia’s eastern grain producing states could hurt that region’s 2022/23 wheat crop, traders and analysts told Reuters this week. “Nearly half the wheat crop, or around 6-7 million tonnes, is at risk of quality downgrades in [New South Wales],” said Ole Houe, director of advisory services at agriculture brokerage IKON Commodities in Sydney. “We could end up having large volumes of feed quality wheat on the east coast.” Read more here.

U.S. Gulf Grain Exports Slowed by Low Mississippi River

U.S. crop exports at Louisiana Gulf Coast terminals were at their lowest level in nine years for the first week of October, a period when export shipments typically accelerate, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) data issued on Tuesday. Low water on southern sections of the Mississippi River closed the major shipping waterway for days last week, halting the flow of grain barges from Midwest farms to the nation’s largest grain shipping port. Read more here.

U.S. Rail Strike Back on Table?

The U.S.’s third largest railroad union rejected a deal with employers on October 10, renewing the possibility of a strike that seemed to be averted when a tentative agreement was reached in September. Wheat farmers are uniquely reliant on rail due to the large distances between production and consumption. Rail has moved more than 27 million metric tons of U.S. wheat over the last five years. The group that represents the railroads in negotiations shared disappointed that the union rejected the agreement, but emphasized the union agreed to keep working for now.

Past USW Chair Still Giving Back

Keith Kisling, who served as U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) Chairman in 2004/05, and his wife Marlene recently donated a large volume of wheat from their farm that will help fund a new state-of-the-art teaching, research and Extension facility for the agricultural division of Oklahoma State University. With the gift, a faculty office in the new facility will be named in their honor. The Kisling family farms near Burlington, Okla. Read more here.

Climate Smart USDA Grant Earmarked for Idaho Wheat Growers

University of Idaho’s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences is set to receive up to $55 million to help Idaho farmers and ranchers combat climate change through agricultural practices. The five-year USDA grant will support research on building cropping systems, including for wheat, that are more resilient to climate change. The grant will directly benefit more than 100 Idaho farmers and ranchers. Research will focus on the state’s staple commodities, such as wheat, potatoes, beef, sugar and other crops.

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 more on LinkedIn.

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Recent news and highlights from around the U.S. wheat industry.

Speaking of Wheat

It is an interesting year for sure. Drought is the primary concern that HRW producers are dealing with right now as we are just beginning the wheat planting window in Kansas. We received some rain overnight, and this burst of weather has ranged from spotty to adequate in some areas. However, meaningful amounts haven’t been widespread, and has been light in the southwestern areas of Kansas.” – Justin Gilpin, CEO, Kansas Wheat, in his Sept. 23, 2022, weekly report.

South Asian Biscuit and Cake Customer Visit

This week, U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) Bakery Consultant Roy Chung accompanied a team of biscuit and cake bakers from South Asia on a visit to the Pacific Northwest to learn more about the U.S. soft white crop production and quality. The trip included a stop at Tri-Cities Grain’s barge loading facility in Richland, Wash. (photo above), time with the Washington Grain Commission in Spokane, Wash., and a tour of the Wheat Marketing Center, Portland, Ore., including a discussion of the Solvent Retention Capacity (SRC) analysis for use in various confectionary baked goods.

USDA: Spring Wheat Harvest 96% Complete

According to USDA, 96% of the spring wheat crop had been harvested as of Sept. 25, with Montana and South Dakota 100% complete and Minnesota 98 percent complete. The North Dakota spring wheat harvest stood at 93% complete as of Sept. 25, up slightly from 91% the previous week. Progress was anticipated to be stronger this week, with more favorable forecast of warmer temperatures and clearer days. Read more here.

Agriculture Trade Nominees Await Floor Action

The Senate Agriculture Committee on Tuesday cleared the way for a vote on the full Senate floor for Alexis Taylor for the position of USDA’s Undersecretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs. Taylor and Doug McKalip, nominee for U.S. Trade Representative chief agricultural negotiator, await a vote by the full Senate. Read more from the U.S. Wheat Industry here.

Reuters Covers Bioceres’ HB4 Drought-Tolerant Wheat

While there is no genetically modified wheat available for commercial sale today, the Argentinian company Bioceres has developed a transgenic event for drought tolerance in wheat and is seeking approval for commercial use in many countries. The Reuters news service recently published an article that examines the challenging environment of public opinion facing introduction of a transgenic wheat like HB4. Read the Reuters article here, and public statements from USW and the National Association of Wheat Growers here.

Global Grain Stocks Could Drop to Decade-low Levels

A ratio that factors in U.S. wheat inventories compared to usage, along with wheat stockpile levels, is expected to drop to a nine-year low in 2022-23, according to Reuters’ calculations of government data. The same ratio is also predicted to hit a nine-year low for U.S. soybeans. The Reuters story, which can be read here, also explains how lagging shipments and smaller than expected harvests by major crop producing countries is fueling predictions of the tightest grain supply in years.

Open Wheat Industry Position in Idaho

The Idaho Wheat Commission is accepting applications for its Communications and Programs Manager position. With responsibilities to help develop and implement communications strategies that promote use of Idaho wheat, this position offers excellent benefits and a great place to live in the Boise, Idaho, area. Read more about the position and how to apply, here.

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

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USW Vice Chair Michael Peter( left) with Sen. Frank Lucas, R-Oklahoman (center) and Yi-Cheun "Tony" Shu, chair of the TFMA, after the Letter of Intent signing at the U.S. Capitol.

USW Vice Chair Michael Peters ( left) with Sen. Frank Lucas, R-Oklahoma (center) and Yi-Cheun “Tony” Shu, chair of the TFMA, after the Letter of Intent signing at the U.S. Capitol.

Representatives from the Taiwan Flour Millers Association (TFMA) signed a Letter of Intent September 14, 2022,  with U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) to purchase 1.9 million metric tons – about 69.8 million bushels – of wheat from the U.S. over the next two years, a commitment with an estimated value of $576 million.

The signing, held at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., was a much-anticipated stop for the 2022 Taiwan Agricultural Trade Goodwill Mission, a team made up of Taiwanese government officials and representatives of some of the largest importers of U.S. grains. The group is led by Yi-Cheun “Tony” Shu, chair of the TFMA and of Formosa Oilseed Processing Co. Also participating is Dr. Ching-Cheng Huang, deputy minister of Taiwan’s Council of Agriculture.

Taiwan is the 6th largest U.S. wheat export market and the 7th largest overseas market for U.S. agricultural products. Along with its intent to purchase U.S. wheat in 2023 and 2024, the team also signed Letters of Intent with the U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC) and the U.S. Grains Council (USG) to purchase soybeans and corn. The total estimated commitment in the three letters total $3.2 billion.

Michael Peters, USW Vice Chairman, signed the TFMA Letter of Intent on behalf of the U.S. wheat industry.

“American farmers place great value on the relationship between U.S. agriculture and Taiwan,” Peters, a wheat producer and cattle rancher from Okarche, Oklahoma, said during the signing ceremony. “We pride ourselves as being dependable partners who grow the highest quality agriculture products in the world. The TFMA and its members have been great trading partners who fully recognize the value of purchasing U.S. wheat.”

Among U.S. officials on hand were Senators Kevin Cramer, R-North Dakota, John Hoeven, R-North Dakota, Frank Lucas, R-Oklahoma, Jim Risch, R-Idaho, and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa. Representative Steven Chabot, R-Ohio, co-chair of the Congressional Taiwan Caucus, was also present to witness the signing.

Following the visit to Washington, D.C., flour millers on the Mission headed west to get a first-hand look at U.S. wheat production and meet the people responsible for supplying high-quality wheat to Taiwan. The team is scheduled to visit wheat farmers in Kansas, Idaho and Oregon. Other scheduled stops also include the Kansas Wheat Innovation Center and the Port of Portland in Oregon.

USW also joined USSEC, USGC, the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) and the North American Export Grain Association (NAEGA) in hosting a reception for the Mission team on September 13. The event provided leaders of the U.S. wheat and grain industry an opportunity to catch up with members of the Taiwan Goodwill Mission, which last visited the United States in 2019.

USW President Vince Peterson addresses those gathered for a reception welcoming the 2022 Taiwan Agricultural Trade Goodwill Mission

USW President Vince Peterson addresses those gathered for a reception welcoming the 2022 Taiwan Agricultural Trade Goodwill Mission

USW President Vince Peterson addressed the gathering by pointing out the long and beneficial history of cooperation between Taiwan’s flour milling industry and the U.S. wheat industry that first opened a promotional office in Taipei 56 years ago.

“Our legacy organization Western Wheat Associates established a presence in Taiwan in 1966, so we are going on six decades of working with the country’s flour millers and food industry,” Peterson said. “In that time, Taiwan has purchased more than 45 million metric tons of U.S. wheat. This partnership between TFMA, U.S. Wheat Associates and U.S. wheat producers has been on a great path, and we plan to continue on that path in the future. We truly thank the Taiwan Goodwill Mission for coming to the United States and for its ongoing preference for U.S. wheat and other agricultural products.”