Recent news and highlights from around the U.S. wheat industry.
Speaking of Wheat
“It is an interesting year for sure. Drought is the primary concern that HRW producers are dealing with right now as we are just beginning the wheat planting window in Kansas. We received some rain overnight, and this burst of weather has ranged from spotty to adequate in some areas. However, meaningful amounts haven’t been widespread, and has been light in the southwestern areas of Kansas.” – Justin Gilpin, CEO, Kansas Wheat, in his Sept. 23, 2022, weekly report.
South Asian Biscuit and Cake Customer Visit
This week, U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) Bakery Consultant Roy Chung accompanied a team of biscuit and cake bakers from South Asia on a visit to the Pacific Northwest to learn more about the U.S. soft white crop production and quality. The trip included a stop at Tri-Cities Grain’s barge loading facility in Richland, Wash. (photo above), time with the Washington Grain Commission in Spokane, Wash., and a tour of the Wheat Marketing Center, Portland, Ore., including a discussion of the Solvent Retention Capacity (SRC) analysis for use in various confectionary baked goods.
USDA: Spring Wheat Harvest 96% Complete
According to USDA, 96% of the spring wheat crop had been harvested as of Sept. 25, with Montana and South Dakota 100% complete and Minnesota 98 percent complete. The North Dakota spring wheat harvest stood at 93% complete as of Sept. 25, up slightly from 91% the previous week. Progress was anticipated to be stronger this week, with more favorable forecast of warmer temperatures and clearer days. Read more here.
Agriculture Trade Nominees Await Floor Action
The Senate Agriculture Committee on Tuesday cleared the way for a vote on the full Senate floor for Alexis Taylor for the position of USDA’s Undersecretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs. Taylor and Doug McKalip, nominee for U.S. Trade Representative chief agricultural negotiator, await a vote by the full Senate. Read more from the U.S. Wheat Industry here.
Reuters Covers Bioceres’ HB4 Drought-Tolerant Wheat
While there is no genetically modified wheat available for commercial sale today, the Argentinian company Bioceres has developed a transgenic event for drought tolerance in wheat and is seeking approval for commercial use in many countries. The Reuters news service recently published an article that examines the challenging environment of public opinion facing introduction of a transgenic wheat like HB4. Read the Reuters article here, and public statements from USW and the National Association of Wheat Growers here.
Global Grain Stocks Could Drop to Decade-low Levels
A ratio that factors in U.S. wheat inventories compared to usage, along with wheat stockpile levels, is expected to drop to a nine-year low in 2022-23, according to Reuters’ calculations of government data. The same ratio is also predicted to hit a nine-year low for U.S. soybeans. The Reuters story, which can be read here, also explains how lagging shipments and smaller than expected harvests by major crop producing countries is fueling predictions of the tightest grain supply in years.
Open Wheat Industry Position in Idaho
The Idaho Wheat Commission is accepting applications for its Communications and Programs Manager position. With responsibilities to help develop and implement communications strategies that promote use of Idaho wheat, this position offers excellent benefits and a great place to live in the Boise, Idaho, area. Read more about the position and how to apply, here.
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