Recent news and highlights from around the wheat industry.
Speaking of Wheat: “Innovation in agriculture and food is the key to global food security; the world has to stop farming with systems that my grandfather gave up on 125 years ago. Innovation is an imperative — and it’s not just needed [in the United States], but around the world.” Ambassador Kip Tom, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture in Rome and a seventh-generation farmer from Indiana.
Congratulations. Andrés Saturno and his wife Berenice “Bere” recently welcomed their first child, a baby boy, Alessio Massimiliano Saturno Ramos, 7 lbs, 9 oz, on February 19, 2020. Andrés is a Technical Specialist in the USW Santiago Office. Everyone is healthy and doing well.
China Lifts Some Trade Barriers in ‘Phase One.’ China has begun making policy changes and will soon be accepting applications for tariff exemptions as part of its agreements under the “phase one” trade pact with the United States, the Trump administration announced Tuesday, February 25. Imports of a wide variety of commodities will be eligible, including wheat, soybeans, pork, corn, whey, oranges, cherries, sorghum, soy oil and beef. Read more here.
Coronavirus Could Prevent China from Meeting $80B Agriculture Trade Pledge. With the phase one trade deal with China in effect for just under three weeks, agricultural experts fear the coronavirus outbreak will impede China’s ability to buy a promised $80 billion in farm goods from the United States over the next two years. Read more here.
Ancient Wheat Genome Reveals Clues to the Agricultural Past. A museum sample of a 3,000-year-old Egyptian crop plant yields genomic information that helps researchers track the plant’s domestication and migration reports “The Scientist.” The museum wheat, which carbon dating showed was from between 1130 and 1000 BC, was genetically much more similar to modern domesticated varieties than to modern wild ones, suggesting that the plant lineage the samples came from had already been domesticated. Read more here.
2020 National Wheat Yield Contest. On February 18, 2020, the National Wheat Foundation (NWF) officially opened the 2020 National Wheat Yield Contest. Farmers can submit entries in winter wheat and spring wheat with subcategories for dryland and irrigated. NWF is accepting entries for winter wheat from April 1 and May 15, and entries for spring wheat from June 15 to August 1.
Farmers Join Forces for Sustainability and Responsible Climate Policy. The National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) joined twenty farm and ranch groups representing millions of U.S. farmers and ranchers to launch Farmers for a Sustainable Future (FSF), a coalition committed to environmental and economic sustainability. This coalition will serve as a primary resource for lawmakers and policymakers considering climate policies. FSF’s guiding principles call for policies that support science-based research, voluntary incentive-based conservation programs, investment in infrastructure, and solutions that ensure vibrant rural communities and a healthy planet. Read the group’s recent release here.
Oklahoma Governor’s Wheat Challenge. The Oklahoma Department of Agriculture (ODA), working with the Oklahoma Wheat Commission (OWC) and the Oklahoma State University (OSU) Wheat Improvement Team recently featured the first ever State of Oklahoma’s Governor’s Wheat Challenge in an event at the ODA headquarters March 3. Wheat industry representatives welcomed Governor Kevin Stitt and Lt. Governor Matt Pinnell as they checked on respective wheat plots planted in their names last November in front of the agency’s headquarters, and to get an update from OWC Executive Director Mike Schulte on the marketing and research aspects of Oklahoma’s wheat industry. Oklahoma Secretary of Agriculture Ms. Blayne Arthur called it “a very exciting day for Oklahoma’s wheat industry,” with a friendly competition between the Governor and Lt. Governor spotlighting two newer wheat varieties developed by the Wheat Breeding Team led by Dr. Brett Carver of OSU. The wheat plots will be harvested and evaluated for flour and baking qualities. Read more here.
IGP Institute Milling Courses. The IGP Institute in Manhattan, Kan., has announced a series of milling courses in its upcoming summer schedule, including two Buhler-KSU Executive Milling courses (one in English and on in Spanish), as well as an IAOM-KSU Introduction to Flour Milling course. Click here to register and for more information on these courses.
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