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.

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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.


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



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:



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.


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:,

An additional source of information is the USDA Economic Research Service December 2022 Wheat Outlook published at


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.


The 10-year anniversary of the Kansas Wheat Innovation Center (KWIC) was not celebrated as a typical milestone event. Farmers and partners who’ve invested time, effort and dollars into the research facility described the occasion more as a “using one eye to look back.”

While keeping the other eye firmly on the future.

Kansas wheat farmer Ron Suppes, a Past Chair of U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) and current Chairman of the Kansas Wheat Commission Research Foundation, addresses those gathered to celenrate the 10th anniversary of the Kansas Wheat Innovation Center

Kansas wheat farmer Ron Suppes, a Past Chair of U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) and current Chairman of the Kansas Wheat Commission Research Foundation, addresses those gathered to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Kansas Wheat Innovation Center.

“This place is here because a lot of people believed in supporting and growing the wheat industry, and they believed in the future of what we do,” Kansas wheat farmer Ron Suppes, a Past Chair of U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) and current Chairman of the Kansas Wheat Commission Research Foundation, said during a Dec. 15 gathering to mark the anniversary.

“Some of those who had this vision are no longer with us, but they were among those who looked forward to developing new wheat varieties for farmers. As for the farmers, we have been willing to invest in sustainable and regenerative practices because we recognize the value of wheat research. Our customers rely on us to produce the best quality wheat in the world, and the work being done here has and will help us to do that.”

Suppes, one of several speakers who addressed the successes and ongoing work at the KWIC, also acknowledged that Fields Forward, a project of the Kansas Wheat Commission Research Foundation, reached its $4 million campaign goal to research sustainability in the U.S. wheat industry.

The KWIC was built by the Kansas Wheat Commission on land owned by Kansas State University, which granted the Commission a 50-year lease on the property. Construction began in October 2011 and the facility was completed in November 2012. Along with being home of the world-renowned Wheat Genetics Resource Center (WGRC), the 48,000 square foot KWIC facility includes research laboratories, greenhouses and office space that houses the Kansas Wheat Commission, the Kansas Association of Wheat Growers, the Kansas Wheat Alliance and a host of research and partner organizations.

Gary Millershaski, a member of the USW Board of Directors and Chairman of the Kansas Wheat Commission, said wheat farmers appreciate the partners that led to creation of the KWIC.

“This facility was built by farmers through the wheat checkoff,” Millershaski said. “But there are a lot of groups, such as the International Grains Program, that play a very important part in what we do and what is done on the research front.”

Kansas Wheat CEO Justin Gilpin, far left, leads a tour of the Kansas Wheat Innovation Center.

Kansas Wheat CEO Justin Gilpin, far left, leads a tour of the Kansas Wheat Innovation Center.


Bill Flory compared it to sliding his feet into someone else’s shoes. It’s a well-worn analogy but one that perfectly describes his experience during the recent flour milling course presented by the International Grains Program (IGP) Institute and Kansas State University (KSU).

“Getting a first-hand look at how wheat from my farm is milled to meet the needs and demands of customers is incredibly valuable,” Flory, a wheat farmer from Winchester, Idaho, and member of the U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) Board of Directors, said. “You analyze things from our customers’ points of view. The technical aspect of milling is something we as farmers — even those of us active with our state associations – rarely get to see. The knowledge we gained in the course can be shared with other farmers. And the things we learned will come in handy when we host trade teams from other countries or when we visit international markets to meet our customers.”

The IGP-KSU course conducted on the KSU campus in mid-December was considered a “deep dive” into flour milling. It was constructed specifically 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 engaged in the course led by Shawn Thiele, IGP Institute associate director and flour milling and grain processing curriculum manager.

Here is a short video featuring Flory’s take-aways from the three-day course:




On behalf of the dedicated U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) colleagues around the world and the wheat farmers we represent, we wish you all a joyous, healthy holiday season and a safe and prosperous 2023!

U.S. Office Schedule

In recognition of Christmas and New Year’s holidays, the USW Headquarters and West Coast Offices will be closed: Friday, Dec. 23; Monday, Dec. 26; Friday, 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.


Holiday card with Season's Greetings and USW Holiday Office Schedule.

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.