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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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Following a year of dramatic volatility, several factors have pressured global wheat prices back to levels last seen before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in early 2022. There are several factors behind this trend. In this article, U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) examines the tenacity of world wheat trade even in the face of serious market uncertainty.

In February 2022, Russia’s unprovoked invasion shook world markets, launching a season of unprecedented volatility and record prices across the agricultural sector. In response to Putin’s war, nearby Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) wheat futures soared to $14.25/bu. Combined with record global consumption, production shortfalls, and a tightening global balance sheet, the war cast a shadow of uncertainty over the grain industry.

In May 2022, the market rallied yet again when India banned wheat exports, just days after Indian government officials assured world buyers that India would lead the charge to offset the supplies from the Black Sea and help tamp global food price inflation. CBOT wheat futures once again touched record highs of $12.77/bu.

Line graph shows how U.S. HRW, HRS and SRW wheat futures prices have changed from early 2022 through early 2023.

Volatility has been apparent in CBOT Wheat futures, Kansas City Board of Trade (KCBOT) Hard Red Winter wheat futures, and Minneapolis Grains Exchange (MGEX) Hard Red Spring wheat futures since the invasion. Source: U.S. Wheat Associates Price Charting Tool

A Black Sea Breakthrough

Flash forward to July 2022, when Russia and Ukraine, with support from the United Nations and Turkey, agreed to the Black Sea grain corridor and created the Joint Coordination Center (JCC) to facilitate exports for the region. The agreement allowed supplies trapped in Russia and Ukraine to re-enter the world market, and in response, wheat futures eased 37% from the spring’s highs.

Bar chart shows Russian wheat production, export sales and other information using data from USDA.

Russian wheat production increased by 21% from 2021, and exports are expected to increase by 30% on the year. Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates.

Return to Pre-War Prices

In the months since the corridor was implemented, wheat futures have continued falling to pre-war levels. The downward pressure of steady, low-priced Black Sea wheat exports remains the primary driver. According to JCC data, since the corridor’s inception, 5.1 MMT of wheat have been shipped from Ukraine. As for Russian exports, the January U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates pegged Russian wheat production at 91.0 MMT, though some private sector forecasts are upwards of 104.0 MMT. With record production, Russian exports are expected to reach 43.0 MMT, 17% above the five-year average.

A record crop from Australia has also helped ease some global supply concerns. The Australian wheat crop is rumored to reach nearly 42.0 MMT, though USDA estimates hover at 36.6 MMT.

On the domestic front, the USDA Winter Wheat and Canola Seedings Report increased 2023 winter wheat acres by 11% from 2022 to 14.9 million hectares. The combined impact of the ample Black Sea supplies and improved outlook in several major exporters has helped turn the wheat market back to buyers.

Bar chart of data from USDA shows global wheat production and global wheat use over the past 10 years.

For the third year in a row, world wheat consumption has outpaced production, even though global wheat production hit a record 781.3 MMT in 2022/23. Wheat is drawn from ending stocks to meet global demand. Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates.

What Comes Next?

Market sentiment has become increasingly bearish and prices have significantly dipped in the buyer’s favor; however, many unknowns linger in the market. The underlying uncertainty of Putin’s war will continue to support the market. As seen in October, when Russia threatened to pull out of the Black Sea Grain initiative, prices spiked in response to the threat. In more recent news, on Jan. 25 a Russian missel struck a Turkish cargo ship in the port of Kherson in Ukraine, also sending futures momentarily higher. Volatility is a concern for as long as the war continues. Global balance sheets will also remain tight into the new crop year, and global wheat consumption continues to outpace production. Another factor, though not unique to this year, the weather will continue to play a significant role in prices as markets closely monitor the drought afflicted Argentine wheat crop and HRW conditions in the U.S. Central and Southern Plains.

By USW Market Analyst Tyllor Ledford

 

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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.

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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.”

 

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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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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

 

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For six or seven seconds Monday afternoon, a group of wheat farmers from Idaho were able to imagine pushing 15,000 metric tons of wheat up the river. Maybe the wheat had been harvested in Idaho, or maybe it came from Washington or Oregon or Montana or even the Dakotas. Regardless, the imaginary barges under their control – the tugboat they each got to pilot was real, the barges not so much – were filled with U.S. wheat destined to be loaded on a ship headed for an export market.

The tugboat “driving lesson” was part of the Wheat Export and Marketing Workshop, an annual educational seminar and tour sponsored by the Idaho Wheat Commission and anchored at the Wheat Marketing Center in Portland, Oregon.

Here’s a brief video from the first day of the 3-day workshop:

 

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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.

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USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will publish its first official estimate of U.S. winter wheat planted area for the 2023/24 crop on Jan. 12, 2023. Along with U.S. wheat importing customers, U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) will be watching trade estimates before the report is issued and make some comparisons to NASS estimates in 2022.

USDA’s Economic Research Service has noted that “the general downward trend in U.S. wheat plantings over the last two decades is attributable to lower relative returns for wheat, changes in Government programs that give farmers more planting flexibility, and increased competition in global wheat markets.”

The past three marketing years, however, have seen a slight change in that trend.

At planting time in 2022, the relatively high farm gate prices for hard red winter (HRW), soft red winter (SRW) and white winter wheat (including winter soft white and hard white) provided some incentive to plant more winter wheat. Looking ahead, the pre-report predictions to date for total winter wheat planted area of between 34 million acres (MA) and 36 MA are both higher than the final 2022 crop NASS estimate of 33.27 MA. A survey of traders by Bloomberg posted Jan. 9 estimated total winter wheat planted area at 34.5 MA.

More Planted Acres Expected

Wheat analyst Jeffery McPike with WASEDA Commodities and McWheat Trading Inc., recently pegged that group’s initial 2023 planted area forecast at 35.7 MA that, if realized, would be a 7.3% increase over NASS’s final 2022 estimate. The high end of estimates in Bloomberg’s survey is 36.2 MA.

The group’s forecast of 24.8 MA for HRW planted area is 7% more than the final NASS 2022 estimate based mainly on expected gains in the Central and Southern Plains. The Bloomberg trader survey estimate averaged 23.9 MA.

McPike said the group is bullish on SRW planted area with a forecast of 7.22 MA, which is 11% more than NASS’ final 2022 estimate. For example, an Arkansas Extension official recently reported that “good prices and a relatively dry fall likely encouraged farmers to plant more winter wheat for a 2023 harvest. Early estimates are that winter wheat acres in Arkansas will be up 25% to 30% from last year.” Traders surveyed by Bloomberg estimate the average at 6.9 MA.

The group sees only a slight uptick in white winter wheat planted area to 3.65 MA. The Bloomberg trader estimate average was 3.7 MA. The January 2022 NASS estimate for winter white planted area was 3.56 MA.

Bar chart depicting USDA's estimates of U.S. wheat planted area from 2013 through 2022, by wheat class.

Change in Direction. Compared to the general downward trend in U.S. wheat planted area, higher wheat prices for farmers have provided an incentive to plant more wheat the past three marketing years. Planted area for the three winter wheat classes (HRW, SRW and white winter) are all up since 2019/20. Note that “White” wheat on this chart includes spring-planted soft white wheat.

And Watch Harvested Area and Production Estimates

NASS will adjust its winter wheat planted area forecast throughout 2023. And, as McPike pointed out, the currently unknown harvested area, along with production estimates, will be  major price determinants. For example, compare the final 2022 NASS estimate of HRW planted area of 33.89 MA to final harvested area of 24.05 MA.

“After the NASS figure is published and gets digested, the market will likely quickly move to winterkill issues (again) in the U.S., Europe, and the Black Sea regions,” McPike said, “and harvested area discussions, along with the many macro issues that continue to roil the markets.”

The annual NASS Winter Wheat Seedings report will be published here: https://usda.library.cornell.edu/concern/publications/z890rt24s,

An additional source of information is the USDA Economic Research Service December 2022 Wheat Outlook published at https://downloads.usda.library.cornell.edu/usda-esmis/files/cz30ps64c/hh63v4630/zc77v192n/WHS-22l.pdf.

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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.