January 11, 2018

Sustained Demand for U.S. Wheat in a New Price Environment

By Stephanie Bryant-Erdmann, USW Market Analyst

Six months into marketing year 2017/18 (June to May), total U.S. export sales of 19.5 million metric tons (MMT) are 8 percent behind last year’s pace according to USDA Export Sales data through Jan. 4. However, the estimated total value of U.S. wheat export sales is 4 percent greater than last year on the same date at $4.72 billion, due to slightly higher export prices according to USDA Export Sales data and USW Price Report data. Read the full article here.

Cold Temperature in HRW Country Gets Attention; Dry Conditions Could be Worse

Last week in the United States, the potential effects of severe cold over most of the U.S. hard red winter (HRW) and soft red winter (SRW) crops got the lion’s share of attention in media covering wheat production and markets. Read the full article here.

South-central Kansas wheat field on Jan. 9. Source: Aaron Harries, Kansas Wheat Commission

“EatWheat” Campaign to Help U.S. Consumers Better Understand Farming and Wheat Foods

By Marsha Boswell, Director of Communications, Kansas Wheat Commission

In an effort to increase consumer trust in the domestic wheat industry, U.S. wheat farmers have created a consumer-minded marketing campaign called “EatWheat” to increase awareness of farming and production practices as well as the practical benefits of wheat in the United States. Read the full article here.

Wheat Food Trending in the Right Direction

The New Year always brings out trade and consumer media coverage of best products and trends from the previous year and the year ahead. As 2018 dawned, some pundits put wheat foods in a prominent place. Read the full article here.

Source: Bloomberg

The Year Ahead in Trade Policy

By Ben Conner, USW Director of Policy 

USW prioritizes trade policies that support reducing the cost of getting wheat from U.S. farmers to their customers around the world. A time-tested method for doing that is through trade negotiations and agreements. USW will be looking for a more forward-looking trade negotiating agenda from the United States in the coming year, while holding our ground when we believe certain actions might raise the costs of wheat trade. Read the full article here.

USW Director of Policy Ben Conner at a USW board meeting.

Catherine Miller Joins USW as Programs and Planning Coordinator

USW welcomes Catherine Miller to its Arlington, Va., headquarters office staff as Programs and Planning Coordinator effective Jan. 2, 2018. In this role, Miller will support programs by coordinating trade teams and short course programs with USW’s overseas offices and state wheat commissions. She will also support planning with its annual Unified Export Strategy review process. She will report to Vice President of Programs and Planning Jennifer Sydney. Read the full article here.

Wheat Industry News

Congratulations to USW Staff on Recent Work Anniversaries. We are so fortunate to have such devoted, loyal colleagues at USW. Baking Consultant Roy Chung, based in the USW Singapore Office is celebrating 40 years this month, and Director of Information Systems Terry Herman, based in the USW Headquarters Office in Arlington, Va., is celebrating 25 years this month. Thank you to Roy and Terry for their service to our organization, to U.S. wheat farmers and to our customers around the world.

Greenhouse Expansion Provides Home to Additional Researchers. The Kansas Wheat Innovation Center (KWIC) in Manhattan, Kan., is growing with a new four-bay 12,750 square-foot greenhouse expansion that will be used for public-private collaborative wheat research. Molecular and genetic research done in the KWIC laboratories will be supported by the greenhouses and a more control environment will both enhance and accelerate results. Read the full announcement here.

Wheat Disease Breakthrough. Research targeting stem rust through DNA testing results has resulted in a breakthrough in the wheat field. Now, suspect samples could be analyzed within hours instead of weeks. This shortened window of time has the potential to save crops from being decimated by stem rust, historically the most dangerous pathogen to wheat. Stem rust has recently reemerged in parts of the world, where it has devastated crops due to its ability to evolve – reversing much of the work that happened during the Green Revolution. Now, scientists have isolated the very first rust pathogen gene that wheat plants detect to ‘switch on’ resistance. The collaboration includes the University of Sydney, Commonwealth Scientific Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), UK’s Rothamsted Research, the University of Minnesota, and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The new findings are being published in the journal, Science. Read the full article here.

EPA Rules No Human Health Risk with Glyphosate. In December, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) release a draft on human health and ecological risk assessments for glyphosate, which concludes that glyphosate is “not likely to be carcinogenic to humans.” The assessment found no other meaningful risks to human health when the product is used according to the label, findings that are consistent with the science reviews by many other countries, as well as the 2017 National Institute of Health Agricultural Health Survey. Click here for the full announcement and to read the draft risk assessments and supporting documents.