Recent news and highlights from around the U.S. wheat industry.
Speaking of Wheat
“We had to work on everything at once. We worked on [wheat] varieties to expand the market for Montana farmers. They not only had to have disease and sawfly resistance for certain areas, but varieties were also developed to make sure millers and bakers had the highest quality of winter wheat,” – Retired Montana State University Winter Wheat Breeder Dr. Phil Bruckner discussing his work with colleagues to develop hard red winter (HRW) wheat varieties for Montana farmers.
Happy Retirement to Wheat Breeder Phil Bruckner
Dr. Phil Bruckner, now retired Montana State University and Montana Ag Experiment Station winter wheat breeder, leaves behind a long legacy of developing strong winter wheat varieties that were popular with farmers and helped them be successful in the marketplace over the years. Bruckner began as MSU’s winter wheat breeder in 1992. He worked as breeder for 90 percent of his time and 10 percent teaching field crop production and genetics. Bruckner will always be known for the kind of cultivars that impacted Montana farmers favorably and helped them compete in export markets. Read more here.
Call for Reinvestment in Wheat as Foreign Policy Tool
Kansas Wheat CEO Justin Gilpin joined Boston University political science professor Rosella Cappella Zielinski in writing an editorial for “War On The Rocks” strongly advocating for the U.S. government to help increase the competitiveness of domestic wheat production. They suggested increased support for wheat breeding innovation, policies that reduce the cost of transporting wheat to export terminals, a renewed use of wheat in food assistance, and export credit policies that make it easier for developing countries to purchase U.S. wheat. Read “Breadbasket Diplomacy: Preserving Wheat as a Tool of American Statecraft” here.
Discovery Could Reduce Nitrogen Use in Wheat Production
Researchers at the University of California, Davis, have found a way to reduce the amount of nitrogen fertilizers needed to grow cereal crops like wheat and rice. The discovery could save farmers billions of dollars annually in fertilizer costs while also benefiting the environment. The research comes out of the lab of Eduardo Blumwald, a distinguished professor of plant sciences, who worked with rice plants to find a new pathway for cereals to capture the nitrogen they need to grow. Read more here.
Legislation Supports Agricultural Conservation
The Inflation Reduction Act signed into U.S. law Aug. 15 includes nearly $8.5 billion for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, $7 billion for the Regional Conservation Partnership Program and $3.25 billion for the Conservation Stewardship Program. USDA also received $300 million to quantify carbon sequestration and greenhouse gas emissions from farmland. There’s money for farmers with prevented plant land to grow cover crops. Read more here.
Whole Wheat Dough Analysis
KPM Analytics has introduced an updated version of the Chopin Technologies “Alveolab” functional and rheological dough analyzer that analyzes whole wheat doughs for all rheological characteristics: tenacity, extensibility, elasticity and baking strength. Bakeries, milling companies, wheat breeders and grain storage facilities all my use the dough analyzer. Bakers may use the Alveolab to evaluate the quality of incoming wheat flours, test new recipes and adjust processes to provide brand-consistent products, according to Westborough-based KPM Analytics. Read more here.
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