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.
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