News and Information from Around the Wheat Industry
Speaking of Wheat
“While our wide-open spaces are admired for their beauty, they also create excellent conditions for growing wheat and raising beef. Just a four-hour drive north of Yellowstone National Park sits Montana’s Golden Triangle. There our farmers seed more than two million acres of wheat each year. Hot days and cool nights in the summer make for some of the finest wheat in the world. Earlier this year, we were honored to host a delegation of flour millers in Montana to showcase where and how we grow these crops.” – Montana Governor Greg Gianforte in remarks to Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen Oct. 31 during a trade delegation visit to Taiwan.
U.S. Winter Wheat Conditions
U.S. winter wheat conditions showed incremental improvement over the same time in 2022 according to USDA’s Nov. 7 report. Winter wheat rated good to excellent was at 50%, up from last week and 20 percentage points over 2022. Ratings are based on grower surveys and other measurements. Read more here.
$5 Billion Investment in Rural America
The Biden Administration has announced over $5 billion in funding for Rural America. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said it includes $1.7 billion for conservation. “It’s the single largest investment in any one year of conservation in the history of our conservation programs and a significant portion of it is $1 billion in regional conservation partnership program opportunities in 35 states. It’s funded from the Inflation Reduction Act which itself is a record level of investment in climate-smart agriculture,” said Vilsack. Read more here.
St. Lawrence Seaway Strike Ends
Union workers ratified a labor contract with the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation and shipping activity in the Port of Duluth has resumed. The 7-day strike shut down the entire St. Lawrence Seaway system and multiple ships were loaded out of Duluth and unable to leave. Read more here.
United Grain to Purchase Pendleton Flour Mill
United Grain Corp. (UGC) announced this week it will acquire Grain Craft’s Pendleton, Ore., grain elevator, more than 19,000 square feet of warehouse and accompanying property. The sale follows a fire last year that destroyed Grain Craft’s flour mill on that property. UGC says the Pendleton acquisition will support UGC’s McNary River Terminal by acting as a wheat satellite and positioning the company for growth in existing and new product lines. Read more here.
USDA Funds Help Advance Wheat Breeding
Montana State University professor Andreas Fischer is using funding from the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture to fill what he calls a “foundational gap” in plant science knowledge. The work could ultimately help develop new wheat and barley seed varieties to be more specialized towards their end use, a plant breeding benefit for farmers and their customers. Read more here.
U.S. Agricultural Trade Shows Negative Balance
John Newton, Chief Economist, with the Republican side of the U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee posted on “X” that USDA Foreign Agricultural Service agricultural trade data revealed FY23 farm exports at $178.75 billion and imports at $195.37B, resulting in a negative trade balance of -$16.6B, shown in the graphic posted at the top of this page.