As expected, the results of the 2023 Hard Winter Wheat Tour the week of May 15 confirmed the extremely short wheat crop in Kansas and surrounding states. Typically, the market reaction would be bullish. But 2023 is not a typical year, and the volatile uncertainty of the Black Sea conflict once again overshadowed basic supply and demand factors.

After following six routes throughout central and western Kansas, far southern Nebraska and far northern Oklahoma, for three days, the average calculated yield average for fields that will be harvested was 30 bushels per acre (bu/a). Kansas Wheat reported that the official tour projection for total wheat production in Kansas is 178 million bushels (4.85 million metric tons) compared to the 5-year average of 303 million bushels.

In spite of that bullish news, the latest extension of the Black Sea Grain Initiative pushed markets down. From May 15 through the end of the tour May 18, the HRW July futures contract lost $0.41. July hard red spring futures lost $0.45 and July soft red winter was down $0.49.

Reuters Photo showing farmer Gary Millershaski examining a stand of drought-stressed wheat during the 2023 Wheat Quality Council 2023 Hard Winter Wheat Tour.

Gary Millershaski, a farmer and scout on the Wheat Quality Council’s Kansas wheat tour, inspects winter wheat stunted by drought near Syracuse, Kan. Photo Copyright Reuters.

People Wanted to See This Crop

The annual Wheat Quality Council (WQC) winter wheat tour always attracts the market’s attention, this year even more so. More than 100 hard red winter wheat crop stakeholders participated, up from about 80 “scouts” in 2022, perhaps to see for themselves just how bad the crop is in the country’s leading hard red winter (HRW) wheat producing state.

“There’s just a general increase in interest this year,” WQC Executive Director Dave Green said to Progressive Farmer/DTN before the tour. “A lot of the big [milling and wheat food] companies want to have people on the ground and not just hear about it from someone else. People want to see this crop.”

Based on May 1 data, USDA estimated total 2023 U.S. HRW production at its lowest level since 1957/58. That includes USDA’s estimated average of 29 bu/a in Kansas. In fact, the wheat tour estimated average yield at 29.8 bu/a on Day 1 and 27.5 bu/a on Day 2 in the hard-hit western region.

Abandonment X-Factor

Wheat tour scouts were instructed to only calculate yield estimates for fields that have the potential to be harvested for grain, and not to calculate yields for abandoned fields. Kansas Wheat CEO Justin Gilpin noted that the 178 million bushel Kansas production estimate is a compilation from field evaluations throughout all 3 days on the tour, individual estimates of abandonment, and potential from this point until harvest. Estimates from scout estimates are pooled and averaged and that is the final production number that the WQC Tour issues at the end of the tour.

USDA NASS on May one estimated Kansas wheat production at 181 million bushels in its May Wheat Outlook. Assessing abandonment, it pegged the harvested-to-planted ratios for Kansas at 81% compared to a long-term average of 93%. Including Oklahoma at 47% (with an average yield potential of 23 bu/a), Texas at 30%, and Colorado at 73%, all are historically low.

Kansas Wheat pointed out that the wheat tour captures a moment in time for fields across the state that are still 3 to 6 weeks from harvest. The WQC coordinates this effort by breeders, producers, and processors to improve wheat and flour quality. The primary goals of the tour are to make connections within the wheat industry, allow participants to meet wheat farmers and see the growing crop, and to highlight the agriculture industry.

Photo at the top of this page from Twitter shows a field near Haven, Kan., with an estimated yield potential of 10 b/ac. Photo Copyright, Corbin Catt/Catt & Crew Farms. See more photos and other information by searching #wheattour23.


Educators describe internal training sessions as “learning so we can teach.” The U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) version for its staff dives a few rungs deeper than that.

“The goal is to learn and do so we can, in turn, teach our customers around the world,” is how Miguel Galdos, Regional Director of the USW South American Region Office, puts it.

USW recently hosted – and participated in – the 2023 Core Competency Training, held this year in Santiago, Chile. Much more than a simple training session, the USW workshop brought together USW technical staff, board members and partners for a series of reviews and refreshers on wheat research, product development, market updates and strategy building. Meeting the needs of U.S. wheat buyers, end-users and consumers around the globe was the mission.

USW staff, board members and partners recently participated in the 2023 Core Competency Training in Santiago, Chile. The training sessions were designed to provide participants with tools to help share information and work with customers of U.S. wheat around the world.

USW staff, board members and partners recently participated in the 2023 Core Competency Training in Santiago, Chile. The training sessions were designed to provide participants with tools to help share information and work with U.S. wheat customers around the world.

At this year’s Core Competency Training,  USW was able to take advantage of the new flour milling, cereal chemistry and baking laboratory it opened two years ago in partnership with Universidad Mayor.  Built on the university’s Santiago campus, the lab is equipped with a test flour mill, wheat and flour analysis instruments and bread ovens.

“It was an unbeatable opportunity to bring together USW colleagues and be able to review relevant issues regarding many things, including our U.S. wheat crop quality analysis methods,” said Galdos. “Participants also had the opportunity to compare baking results with different origins of wheat, as well as share success experiences in each of the international markets. Additionally, we had the opportunity to evaluate future instances of collaboration with partner organizations that provide support to USW.”

USW Past Chair Darin Padget and current Chair work together on a baking assignment during the Core Competency Training in Santiago.

USW Past Chair Darren Padget and current Chair Rhonda Larson work together on a baking assignment during the Core Competency Training in Santiago.

Experiences during the Core Competency Training is fundamental: U.S. wheat is the most reliable choice, and its quality is unmatched. So information provided during the workshop is designed to help USW staff share information about U.S. wheat’s advantages when it comes to end-products, such as noodles, crackers, biscuits, tortillas, breads, and other baked products.

There is also a chance to meet with staff from other offices to share information.

Oregon wheat farmer and USW Past Chairman Darren Padget, Minnesota wheat farmer and USW Chair Rhonda Larson, and North Dakota wheat farmer Jim Pellman participated in this year’s training. The noted that the opportunity for USW colleagues to train together is very valuable.

“The format is very focused and was a great way to make sure the technical and marketing teams are pulling on the same oar in every market,” Padget said.

USW staff took time to memorialize the late Mark Fowler, USW’s Vice President of Global Technical Services, who passed away Feb, 20. Fowler was instrumental in creating the USW Core Competency Training program. He also played a major role in the development of the new laboratory in Santiago where USW has now placed a plaque in his memory.


U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) is encouraged that technology company Syngenta expects to have commercial-scale hard red spring (HRS) and hard red winter (HRW) hybrid wheat seed available for U.S. farmers within the next three years.

Hybrid wheat’s primary value is demonstrated in a productive yield increase. This is needed by farmers around the world to offset the currently limited profitability of growing single-line wheat varieties. It is also needed to continue meeting record-setting use of wheat by a growing global population.

Jon Rich, head of hybrid wheat operations at Syngenta, recently told Successful Farming magazine that hybrid wheat should increase yields by 10% to 12% over current varieties. He said there is also the potential for more stable production across a variety of growing conditions. Hybridization also allows breeders to “stack” native and non-GM traits into wheat seed more precisely and efficiently than other breeding methods.

In addition to disease and insect resistance, and functional quality improvement, Rich said “we’re looking at sustainability traits, such as nitrogen use efficiency and water use efficiency,” something that could be very valuable in the future.

Spring Wheat Hybrids First

USW member state commissions in the norther plains have confirmed that several farmers worked with Syngenta to plant hybrid HRS wheat in 2022. Additional hybrid “proof of performance” testing will continue this year on an estimated 1,000 acres according to the company’s head of North American cereals, Paul Morano. He told Successful Farming he expects two hybrid HRS lines will be available for a full launch in 2025.

Morano said similar testing with HRW hybrid lines will take place with the 2023/24 and 2024/25 crops with a full commercial launch expected in 2026 in two Syngenta AgriPro® hybrid lines.

Aerial photos of a wheat production research facility with fields, buildings and people at Junction City, Kansas, operated by Syngenta.

Syngenta’s hybrid development work in North America is coordinated by the Syngenta Wheat Research Center of Excellence in Junction City, Kan. Photo courtesy of Syngenta and Lance Visser.

Challenging Research

There is no doubt that hybrid wheat development has had its challenges. With a complex plant like wheat with three whole genomes in each cell and often six copies of each gene, that process is quite complex. The work requires many years and collaboration with a wide range of scientific disciplines, including wheat quality specialists who test the wheat for grade and functional milling, baking, and processing standards.

In 2018, USW was encouraged by hybrid research by Bayer Crop Science that was later transferred to BASF. Unfortunately, on March 1, 2023, BASF announced it was abandoning its North American hybrid wheat research, and the scientists who were conducting the work.

While hybrid wheat will have to prove itself in widespread, commercial use, it is good news for farmers and their customers that Syngenta is making a proper start.

“As we start to learn about this technology – and what else it can deliver to the farmer above and beyond yield, and how can we leverage the other inputs they put onto their crop – that’s a really big deal,” Rich said.

Photo at top of this page courtesy of Syngenta


Editor’s Note: Important work has been done indicating that U.S. hard red spring (HRS) is a potential “clean label” ingredients for the world’s commercial bakers.  To help wheat buyers understand more about this opportunity, U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) is reprinting  the following post originally published in October 2021.

The concept of “clean label” products is complex but increasingly important in food production and marketing. A blog by the chief science and technology officer for the U.S.-based Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) noted that clean label is not a scientific term.

“Rather, it is a consumer term that has been broadly accepted by the food industry, consumers, academics, and even regulatory agencies,” the IFT scientist wrote. “Essentially, clean label means making a product using as few ingredients as possible … that consumers recognize and think of as wholesome—ingredients that consumers might use at home … with easy-to-recognize ingredients and no artificial ingredients or synthetic chemicals.”

Familiar Example

Clean label has become associated with consumer trust in food producers. The main challenge associated with clean label products arises in part from regulations requiring labels to use scientific names for ingredients. Food makers know their ingredients are wholesome and safe, but the label may put off consumers without a scientific background. For example, the IFT clean label blog demonstrated the potential challenge for consumers who may be reading this familiar label: “Bleached Wheat Flour, Niacin, Iron, Thiamin Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid Enzyme,” and not know that these are the scientific names for the ingredients in all-purpose flour found in homes around the world.

Expert Insight for the Baker

Food scientist Dr. Senay Simsek is well-known and respected by many of the world’s U.S. wheat end-product producers, serving as a USW consultant and as past head of the Wheat Quality & Carbohydrate Research Program at North Dakota State University (NDSU). Before her 2021 appointment as professor and Head of the Food Science Department at Purdue University, Dr. Simsek gave a detailed video presentation on the issue of clean labeling in the baking industry for USW’s 2020 U.S. Wheat Crop Quality program.

In that presentation, Dr. Simsek noted that the clean label concept is globally recognized. She cited a survey conducted in the Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and North America, indicating that almost half of consumers define clean label as “free from artificial ingredients.”

In studies at her NDSU program, Dr. Simsek had a graduate assistant identify all ingredients that can be found in baked bread products. In addition to flour and water, her team identified 53 different ingredients “with so many names that people have difficulty understanding like distilled monoglycerides or calcium peroxide, but which all have functionality.”

Dr. Simsek provided an in-depth look at many of the key ingredients and their bread baking functionality in the video. Noting the list of alternative dough strengthening ingredients, Dr. Simsek turned to the results of a study by her NDSU program comparing the performance of several alternative ingredient combinations.

The Clean Label Potential of Spring Wheat Flour

“The question was, can there an alternative to added chemical ingredients to strengthen the gluten structure in a way that is accepted by consumers and simplifies the label on white and whole wheat bread products?” she said.

The study used a commonly accepted winter wheat flour base as a control. Several formulations with spring wheat flour were added at different ratios to the base. Vital wheat gluten and different chemical dough strengtheners were also added to various formulations that were all baked and compared.

Conclusion Simsek Clean Label Bread Study

Dr. Simsek’s team at NDSU studied the effects on quality by adding strong gluten spring wheat to bread formulations compared to added dough strengthening agents. Replacing chemical agents with a simple flour ingredient could improve quality and simplify commercial baked product labels.

“In white bread, [crumb] firmness values were lower in the spring wheat blends compared to the control,” Dr. Simsek said in the USW video presentation. “If we just look at the bread comparing with chemicals versus the spring wheat blends, spring wheat blends were more functional, and they provided a better product compared to chemicals. Overall quality in terms of spring wheat blends versus the chemical, water observation was equal or better than additives, farinograph stability was better than additives, and the loaf volumes were equal or better than additives.”

Similar results were seen in whole wheat bread comparisons, Dr. Simsek said.

Noting that more investigation into the clean label potential of added strong gluten flour is needed to expand understanding, Dr. Simsek said, “the take-home message is that spring wheat could be a good option to replace oxidizing agents in bread formulations to have clean label bakery products.”



Reprinted with Permission from the University of Minnesota.

Agriculture is seen as both a key cause of the global biodiversity crisis and a principal means of addressing it. Though some advocates are calling for farmers to return to heirloom varieties of crops as a way for the agriculture industry to address the growing challenges posed by climate change, new research from the University of Minnesota suggests that the solution lies primarily in modern scientifically-bred crop varieties, which have led to an increase in biodiverse cropping practices and significantly higher wheat yields in the U.S.

In a paper recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers from the University’s GEMS Informatics Center, Department of Applied Economics, and the Minnesota Supercomputing Institute assembled area data and the associated genetic pedigrees for the 1,353 commercial wheat varieties that made up most of the U.S. crop from 1919 to 2019. They factored in phylogenetic breadth when estimating both the spatial and temporal diversity of commercial wheat varieties found in fields, and tracked how that breadth changed over time across the country.

“Many perceive that science has led to cropping systems that are less biodiverse. We set out to see if that was indeed the case using newly developed, long-run data for a scientifically intensive cropping landscape,” said Philip Pardey, a professor in the Department of Applied Economics.

The researchers found:

  • The increasingly intensive use of scientifically-selected crop varieties has led to more, not less, biodiverse cropping practices, at least regarding biodiversity in the U.S. wheat crop.
  • This substantial increase in varietal diversity over the past century has been achieved in tandem with a fourfold increase in U.S. average wheat yields.

Success Story of Modern Agriculture

“The increasing number of locally adapted varieties and faster turnover of newer varieties grown by wheat farmers in the U.S. demonstrated a success story of modern agriculture achieved by farmers and breeders,” said lead author Yuan Chai, a researcher at GEMS Informatics Center.

“The push for farmers en masse to return to heirloom varieties or landraces is not a sustainable solution. Innovation in scientifically bred varieties is enabling us to feed more people on less land, fertilizer and water while improving overall crop diversity,” said Kevin Silverstein, scientific lead at the Supercomputing Institute.

The Wheat Genetics Resource Center at Kansas State University

The internationally recognized Wheat Genetics Resource Center is located at Kansas State University, that collects, conserves, and utilizes germplasm in crop improvement for sustainable production by broadening the crop genetic base.

Agriculture is being asked to address an increasingly large number of sustainable development challenges. In addition to the long-standing role of crop productivity improvement to alleviate poverty and improve food security, ever-more sustainable cropping systems are required to address the growing challenges posed by climate change, land and water scarcity, and new pest and disease threats.

Biodiversity, Breeding Innovation Needed

However, public investment in crop breeding research is now on the decline in the U.S., and falls chronically short in many other countries, especially lower-income countries. Building meaningful climate and pest resilience into the world’s food crops in ways that also achieve global food security goals requires doubling down on crop improvement research that enhances not undermines crop biodiversity.

Some of the analytic tools developed by the GEMS Informatics Center to examine this research are being further developed to enable other investigations of the changing crop diversity landscape in other crops and other countries.

This work was undertaken with primary support from the GEMS Informatics Center with funding from MnDRIVE, a partnership between the University of Minnesota and the State of Minnesota, and additional support from the International Science and Technology Practice and Policy Center and the Minnesota Supercomputing Institute. Partial support was also received from the Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station.

Read more about the dedicated scientists producing new, improved wheat varieties:

Wheat Breeding Builds on Historic Processes and Genetic Traits

Public Wheat Breeding Programs Serving Southern and Central Plains Farmers

Public Wheat Breeding Serving Northern Plains Farmers

Public Wheat Breeding Serving Soft Red Winter Wheat Farmers

Public Wheat Breeding Serving West Coast Farmers

AgriPro and Westbred Apply Advanced Research in Wheat Breeding Programs



U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) is pleased to help share the positive stories about how U.S. farmers, ranchers and fisheries are producing excellent quality, delicious food for the world in highly sustainable ways.

In fact, U.S. wheat farm families are featured in several video stories created by USDA and U.S. trade associations as part of a “DelicioUS!” promotion on YouTube, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Common Themes, Shared Values

These high-quality videos illustrate the reality of U.S. agriculture using an approach that shows the diversity and uniqueness of agriculture and cultures in each region of the country. At the same time, the stories capture common themes shared by the multi-generational family operations including their commitment to sustainability, innovation, producing delicious food, and community.

These are values shared by the U.S. wheat farmers USW represents in overseas markets.

Scenes from the Volk family farm in North Dakota and Peters family operation in Oklahoma are included in the “Midwest” program that features the people, crops and food grown in the heartland of the United States.

The images of “amber waves of grain” from Padget Ranches in Oregon and the Bailey family farm in Washington open the video about food production in the “West.”

Sustainable Source of Wheat for the World

U.S. wheat farmers work every day to contribute to a sustainable future in agriculture. Sustainability is reflected in agronomic practices, research and development, and transportation methods, all of which contribute to making the United States a sustainable source of wheat for export. They are proud to represent U.S. agriculture and help share delicious food with other families across the planet.


Some have a basic understanding of the flour milling process. Some have absolutely no idea how wheat from a farm ends up as flour destined for a baker’s oven.

Regardless of their experience, farmers and State Wheat Commission staffers who gathered in Manhattan, Kansas, this week share a common destiny.

“Everybody is going to learn something,” said Shawn Thiele, who led the three-day flour milling course presented by the IGP Institute and Kansas State University (KSU). “From those who have experience with wheat and flour to those who’ve never stepped foot in a flour mill, the course is designed as a thorough look at the action of turning wheat into flour – step-by-step and step-by-step.”

Here is a short video from the first day of the three-day course:

Conducted at IGP and on the KSU campus, the Dec. 13 to 15 training – considered a “deep dive” into flour milling – is a condensed short course specifically built for producers who sit on the boards of state wheat organizations, as well as people who work for those organizations. Representatives from Idaho, Kansas, Oklahoma and Oregon were involved in the course. U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) staffers Peter Laudeman and Ralph Loos also took part.

“It is kind of amazing when you come to know what you didn’t know,” Martin Kerschen, a wheat farmer, a Kansas Wheat Commissioner and one of the students in the IGP-KSU flour milling class, said. “It’s clear how important details are when taking our wheat and turning it into something bakeries and consumers on the other side of the world really want and appreciate.”

In a flour milling lab at Kansas State University, USW's Mark Fowler and Kansas Farmer Martin Kerschen discuss the variety of flour products resulting from the milling process.

In a flour milling lab at Kansas State University, USW’s Mark Fowler and Kansas Farmer Martin Kerschen discuss the variety of flour products resulting from the milling process.

Hands-On Learning

The course included classroom trainings on wheat quality, global competition facing U.S. farmers, wheat cleaning and conditioning, and an overview of the mechanics of wheat milling. Participants also milled wheat during a hands-on laboratory workshop and later toured the KSU Hal Ross Four Mill.

USW Vice President of Global Technical Services Mark Fowler, an experienced flour milling instructor, also gave a presentation on the role quality plays in the global wheat market.

“USW finds a lot of value in these IGP-KSU courses because it provides producers and others we work with in the wheat industry insight into the relationship between wheat quality and flour performance,” Fowler said. “It gives growers a new perspective on what international customers look for in quality flour.”


As U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) President Vince Peterson often says, at any given hour of the day someone, somewhere, is talking about the quality, reliability and value of U.S. wheat. Wheat Letter wants to share just some of the ways USW has been working recently to build a preference for U.S. wheat in an ever more complex world wheat market.

Lauding Nutritious, Delicious U.S. Baking Ingredients in China

USW Beijing participated in the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) “Discover U.S. Baking Ingredients and Trends” hybrid virtual promotion in August 2022 (activity banner in the photo above). The purpose of this activity was to raise Chinese bakers’ awareness of the nutrition, health benefits, taste, and versatility of U.S. baking ingredients. The FAS Agricultural Trade Office (ATO) in Beijing and 10 USDA Cooperators with products ranging from wheat, dried fruit and nuts to dairy sponsored the activity partnering with the China Association of Bakery and Confectionery Industry.

USW Beijing staff with ATO Beijing at a U.S. Baking Ingredients event.

In-store promotion product 2 using U.S. dried blueberry and California almond slices and U.S. wheat flour

In-store promotion products using U.S. dried blueberry and California almond slices and U.S. wheat flour.

ATO Beijing reported the activity reached an audience of over 2.5 million netizens in China through social media platforms and

over 200,000 real-time viewers through livestreaming. There was also in-store promotions at leading bakery houses in Beijing where “consumers warmly welcomed the new products featuring U.S. baking ingredients,” ATO Beijing reported. Additionally, ATO Beijing strengthened connections with baking associations and businesses and generated trade leads with this activity. Read more here.

USW Beijing Technical Specialist Ting Liu and Marketing Specialist Kaiwen Wu played direct roles representing the essential quality of flour from U.S. wheat in the events. In the three full marketing years since the trade war ended, China has imported a total of more than 168 million bushels (4.58 million metric tons) of U.S. hard red winter (HRW), hard red spring (HRS), soft white (SW) and soft red winter (SRW) wheat, and have already imported almost 23 million bushels of U.S. wheat in the current marketing year that ends May 31, 2023.

Helping a Mexican Baker Expand Sales

In a technical support activity demonstrating to Mexican bakers how to extend their product lines using U.S. wheat flour, USW Mexico City enlisted Baking

U.S. Wheat consultant Didier Rosada

Didier Rosada

Consultant Didier Rosada to conduct an in-depth, multi-day workshop for one of the top three baking groups in Mexico. The commercial baker selected their best 25 master bakers to learn how to produce internationally recognized sourdough, functional breads, and savory breads for retail bakery sales. Rosada also demonstrated how to standardize pre-fermentation and natural sourdough processes to optimize production efficiency, products consistency, and quality in every store.

Baking is changing in a good way,” Rosada said. “At my bakery, my process is as natural as possible, with long fermentation time, like it used to be done, to bring back the flavor profile of a good bread, its shelf life and texture, etc. And U.S. wheat classes are perfect for that. I am using a flour that is almost 100 percent hard red winter or sometimes combined with hard red spring wheat.”

Mexico is the leading importer of U.S. wheat in the world.

Healthier Wheat Foods for Older Taiwanese Consumers

Chinese wheat foods seminar

Well-known Taiwanese chefs demonstrated healthy Chinese wheat food products .

USW Taipei collaborated with the Department of Food and Beverage Management of Shih Chien University (USC) to conduct workshops on Chinese Wheat Food for the Elderly in October 2022. Chinese wheat foods are popular but a survey by the university indicated that more than 60% of elderly Taiwanese are not satisfied with the healthiness of the products.

USW Taipei Country Director Boyuan Chen and Technologist Wei-lin Chou invited well-known Taiwanese chefs to teach methods for making healthy handmade noodles, pan-fried stuffed buns, silk thread rolls, and pan-fried sweet potato pastry as well as steamed breads using U.S. wheat white flour and whole wheat flour. The 40 participants included teachers, students, and long-term elderly care community volunteers who made pan-fried stuffed buns for the elderly just after the workshop.

U.S. wheat imports by Taiwan have averaged 43.2 million bushels (1.18 million metric tons) of HRS, HRW and SW per year since 2017/18.

Continuing Milling Education Interrupted by COVID in Korea

USW Seoul had started to educate Food Technology undergraduate students at Won Kwang University about the fundamentals of U.S. wheat and flour milling technology in 2018. USW Seoul Food/Bakery Technologist Shin Hak (David) Oh resumed that effort this year. The goal is to give these future industry professionals a better understanding of why flour products from U.S. wheat make superior quality ingredients for Korean wheat foods. The early exposure to U.S. wheat and the value-added technical support from USW also builds future productive relationships.

On average the past five marketing years, South Korean millers have imported about 56.7 million bushels (1.54 million metric tons) of U.S. HRW, HRS, SW and SRW wheat per year.

USW Baking Technogist Shin Hak Oh lecturing to Korean food industry students on U.S. wheat and milling technology

USW Baking Technogist Shin Hak Oh lecturing to Korean food industry students on U.S. wheat and milling technology

U.S. Soft Wheat Best for Cookies, Cakes

USW Cape Town sent six participants from a large South African food company to a specialty soft wheat flour course at the Wheat Marketing Center in Portland, Ore., earlier in 2022. The course focused on cookies, crackers, and cakes made with flour from SRW and SW compared to flour from local and imported hard wheat that is used in South Africa. The participants also visited local grocery stores to gain insight into the many, varied U.S. products made from soft wheat flours.

USW Cape Town Regional Director Chad Weigand accompanied the food industry professionals to the course. He said participants were very impressed with the course results and comparative product quality, and he expected the company to begin testing products made with U.S. soft wheat flour.

Read more here about the South African wheat market.

USW Vice President for Overseas Operations Mike Spier (far right) and Regional Vice President for South Asia Joe Sowers greet attendees at the 2022 USW Crop Quality Seminar in Manila.

USW Vice President for Overseas Operations Mike Spier (far right) and Regional Vice President for South Asia Joe Sowers (center) greet attendees at the 2022 USW Crop Quality Seminar in Manila.

Crop Quality Seminars presented by U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) concluded this week with a universal response by customers in every corner of the world: They are impressed by the high quality of the 2022 crop across all six wheat classes but concerned about the sustained higher prices.

One other common opinion: Those attending in-person seminars were happy to meet USW staff and U.S. wheat producers face-to-face.

“It was great to have a number of U.S. producers sharing their stories and interacting with customers,” reported Tyllor Ledford, Assistant Director in USW’s Portland office, who was part of the U.S. wheat team that presented in South Asia. “There was some great dialogue between the farmers and customers about production practices and risk management topics. And obviously, there was a lot of interaction and feedback on this year’s wheat crop.”

A big part of USW’s effort to communicate supply, demand and crop quality information to wheat buying and milling groups, the annual seminars took place throughout November. Separate in-person or hybrid (in-person and virtual) seminars were conducted in South Asia, Central America, South America, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and the European Union (EU). Virtual seminars were conducted in China, South Korea, Japan and Taiwan with support from videotaped crop quality presentations.

“We had a good turnout in the EU, with a lot of questions about this year’s crop and a lot of interest in future crops,” said USW Vice President of Programs Erica Oakley, who partnered with the USW EU Regional Office in Rotterdam and Erica Olson of the North Dakota Wheat Commission to lead seminars in Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom and Portugal. “Everyone was very pleased with the wheat crop and what we presented, but higher prices remain a concern.”

USW Secretary Treasurer Clark Hamilton (at podium) and Dave Green, Executive Vice President, Wheat Quality Council, present at the USW 2022 Crop Quality Seminar in Bangkok, Thailand.

USW Secretary Treasurer Clark Hamilton (at podium) and Dave Green, Executive Vice President, Wheat Quality Council, present at the USW 2022 Crop Quality Seminar in Bangkok, Thailand.

In the MENA region, seminars were held in Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Morocco. USW Regional Technical Manager Peter Lloyd said the uncertainty of the Ukraine-Russia conflict and the future of the Black Sea Grain Initiative weighed heavily in the discussion.

“Overall, participants were impressed by the high quality of this year’s U.S. wheat harvest, but the strong U.S. dollar and high freight rates are not helping the prices affecting the region,” Lloyd said. “We will likely be helping our customers deal with a reduced availability of high-protein wheat in the next marketing year.”

In South America, seminars in Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Chile also attracted buyers and millers eager to learn about the 2022 crop. There were curiosities about potential U.S. transportation problems and how it may affect U.S. wheat exports in the future.

USW staff and partners pose for a photo with a group of U.S. wheat customers during a 2022 Crop Quality Seminar in Quito, Ecuador on Nov. 10.

USW staff and representatives of partner organizations pose for a photo with a group of U.S. wheat customers in South America during a Crop Quality Seminar held Nov. 10 in Quito, Ecuador.

“There were questions about ongoing drought and transportation issues, such as the Mississippi River barge situation and the potential railroad strike in the U.S.,” explained Miguel Galdos, USW Regional Director in Southern America. “That, of course, is based on the concerns about pricing. As far as the crop quality, attendees were pleased with the U.S. crop this year, especially the baking quality of hard red winter wheat.”

The South Asia seminars conducted in Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines featured USW staff and a seven-member USW board team that shared information about their farm operations.

“Millers meeting with U.S. wheat producers is vital to promoting our product,” said Joe Sowers, USW Regional Vice Present for South Asia. “Discussions about challenges and opportunities on each side of the wheat industry provide great insight into the value of U.S. wheat, which is a primary goal of the seminars each year.”

The 2022 USW Crop Quality Report and by-class reports can be found here.


U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) has published its 2022 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.

This is the cover of the 2022 USW Crop Quality Report

A Wealth of Information for Wheat Buyers can be found in the 2022 USW Crop Quality Report. There is quality data on HRW, SRW, HRS, SW and Durum by region and export tributaries. A separate crop quality report on hard white wheat is posted online.

You can download the 2022 Crop Quality Report now in English, Arabic, French, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish. USW also shares more detailed, regional reports for all six U.S. wheat classes, including hard white (HW), on its website, as well as additional information on its sample and collection methods, solvent retention capacity (SRC) recommendations, standard deviation tables and more. View and download these reports and resources here.

Crop Quality Seminars Underway

In addition to the detailed report, USW has already started to share quality information in person or online through its annual Crop Quality Seminars. USW is very pleased that pandemic restrictions have eased in many countries, allowing farmers and industry representatives to personally share the good news once again about the 2022 U.S. wheat crop with many overseas customers.

For those who cannot participate in these seminars, USW will post new video quality reports about HRW, HRS, SW, SRW, Northern durum as well as a World Supply and Demand report. Look for a separate announcement when those videos will be available.

Excellent Quality, Every Class

USW has often shown how U.S. wheat farmers and export grain trade overcome many risks to produce quality crops for domestic and overseas use. Even with dramatically inflated fertilizer and fuel costs and unprecedented market volatility, the report demonstrates once again that U.S. wheat farmers and the export grain trade has overcome many risks to produce a range of wheat classes with excellent functional quality.

“This 2022 Crop Quality Report represents our goal to provide the most complete information about the milling and end-use qualities of U.S. wheat. With market factors keeping global wheat prices and volatility high, using this data will help you increase the value of your purchases, improve your products, and grow your business.” – Vince Peterson, USW President

For more information about the 2022 USW Crop Quality Report, Crop Quality Seminars and video quality reports, contact your local USW representative.