Recent news and highlights from around the wheat industry.
Speaking of Wheat: “Despite all the disruption the coronavirus epidemic is causing the United States, the food supply system is working well. Disruptions are largely limited to changes in demand (such as hoarding), as opposed to challenges to supply. There is zero reason to expect the United States to need to bar food exports,” – Peter Zeihan, April 15, 2020, “Coronavirus: The American Food Security Guide.” Copyright © 2020 Zeihan on Geopolitics. All rights reserved.
Congratulations to our Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association friends celebrating the organization’s 50th anniversary in 2020. The WCWG has produced a commemorative book, “Warriors For Wheat,” illustrating its active engagement in Canadian agriculture policy on behalf of its farmer members.
USW is Sad to Learn that Ben Handcock has passed away after a long illness. Ben directed the Wheat Quality Council for 25 years. Dave Green, who now directs the Council, called Ben “a true friend of the industry and a close personal friend to many of us.” On his retirement in 2017, USW thanked Ben for all he had done for wheat farmers and the amazing experiences shared on WQC tours. Our sincere sympathy goes out to his wife Patsy and their family.
USDA Releases April WASDE Report. The World Agricultural Supply and Demand Report showed an increase in wheat stocks and a reduction in expected 2019/20 (June to May) U.S. exports to 26.8 MMT on slower late year sales pace and higher prices compared to other exporters.
2020 National Wheat Yield Contest. On February 18, 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 until May 15 and entries for spring wheat from June 15 to August 1.
New Tool to Combat Major Wheat Disease. USDA/Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists and their colleagues have discovered a gene that can be used to develop wheat varieties that will be more resistant to Fusarium Head Blight (FHB) or scab, a disease that is a major threat both overseas and to the nation’s $10 billion annual wheat crop. Collaborating scientists from the United States and China published a paper reporting the discovery recently in the journal Science.
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