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Wheat Letter – February 22, 2018

Wheat Letter – February 22, 2018

Early Estimates Expect 2018/19 Wheat Production to Fall in the Black Sea 

By Stephanie Bryant-Erdmann, USW Market Analyst

USDA will issue its first 2018/19 U.S. wheat production estimate on Feb. 23 at its Annual Agricultural Outlook Forum, rounding out the estimates already available for Northern Hemisphere wheat exporting countries. Following is a by-country summary of current production estimates. Read the full article here.

2018 World Master Bakers Come from Taiwan, France, Netherlands

Three elite bakers earned the honorary title of 2018 “World Master Baker” at the “Masters de la Boulangerie” competition, organized by Lesaffre, Feb. 3 to 6 in Paris, France. They are Peng-Chieh Wang of Taiwan for “Artistic Bread Making,” Déborah Ott of France for “Gourmet Bread Making” and Peter Bienefelt of The Netherlands for “Nutritional Bread Making.” Read the full article here.

Master Baker Peng-Chieh Wang of Taiwan


His winning Taiwanese Folklore artistic bread creation


An Appeal to Protect International Food Assistance

By Elizabeth Westendorf, USW Assistant Director of Policy

On Feb. 12, President Trump unveiled a FY2019 budget proposal that included several areas of support for agriculture. It was disappointing, however, to see that the proposal eliminates federal funding for Food for Peace, the most effective U.S. emergency food assistance program helping populations in need around the world. The budget would also de-fund USDA’s McGovern-Dole Food for Education program, which addresses nutrition and literacy goals in rural schools overseas, and Food for Progress, an innovative program combining U.S. commodity donations with commercial purchases and agricultural development. Read the full article here.

Wheat farmers were honored to visit USDA Food for Progress projects in Tanzania last year that had been funded by wheat monetization, and seeing the program in action emphasized the important value of international food assistance work.

USW Directors Elect 2018/19 Officers; Oregon Farmer New to Officer Team

The U.S. Wheat Associates board of directors elected new officers for the 2018/19 fiscal year at their meeting Feb. 10, 2018, in Washington, D.C. The board elected Darren Padget of Grass Valley, Ore., as Secretary-Treasurer; current Secretary-Treasurer Doug Goyings of Paulding, Ohio, as Vice Chairman; and current Vice Chairman Chris Kolstad of Ledger, Mont., as Chairman. These farmers will begin their new leadership roles at the USW board meeting in June 2018 in Seattle, Wash., when current Chairman Mike Miller of Ritzville, Wash., will become Past Chairman. USW is the export market development organization for the U.S. wheat industry. Read the full article here.

Darren Padget,
2018/19 USW Secretary-Treasurer-Elect


(L to R) Darren Padget, Secretary-Treasurer Elect and a farmer from Grass Valley, OR; Jason Scott, Past Chairman and a farmer from Trappe, MD; Mike Miller, Chairman and farmer from Ritzville, WA; Chris Kolstad, Vice Chairman and a farmer from Ledger, MT; Doug Goyings, Secretary-Treasurer and a farmer from Paulding, OH; and USW President Vince Peterson.

USW Announces Headquarters and Overseas Office Promotions 

U.S. Wheat Associates has promoted three associates to Vice President. Ben Conner is named Vice President of Policy, Joe Sowers is promoted to Regional Vice President for Philippines and Korea, and Jeff Coey becomes Regional Vice President for China and Taiwan. In addition, Matt Weimar, Regional Vice President for South Asia, adds responsibilities as Senior Advisor across all Asian countries. Read the full article here.

Ben Conner, 
USW Vice President of Policy


Joe Sowers, USW Regional Vice President for Philippines and Korea


Jeff Coey, USW Regional Vice President for China and Taiwan

Roy Chung: Selling U.S. Wheat with Sincerity

By Matthew Weaver, Capital Press; Reprinted with Permission 

Most U.S. wheat farmers will never meet Roy Chung, but during the last four decades he’s played a vital role in selling the wheat they grow. As the bakery consultant for U.S. Wheat Associates based in Singapore, Chung meets with customers around Asia to show them how to use U.S.-grown wheat in the cakes, cookies, crackers and noodles they sell. U.S. Wheat is the overseas marketing arm of the industry. Read the full article here.

Roy Chung, USW Baking Consultant

“Grain traders are problem-solvers. We anticipate issues and deliver solutions. We deploy critical thinking skills to manage risks … and we collaborate as a team to focus on customer service and deliver grain when and where it’s needed.” Justin Friesz, CHS Global Grain Coordinator, from “Anatomy of a Grain Trade,” C Magazine, Winter 2018.


Study: GMO Increases Corn Yield with No Human Health Hazard. There is a great deal of misinformation out there regarding genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Perhaps some of this distrust will be put to rest with the emergence of a new meta-analysis that shows GM corn increases crop yields and provides significant health benefits. The analysis, which was not limited to studies conducted in the US and Canada, showed that GMO corn varieties have increased crop yields worldwide 5.6 to 24.5 percent when compared to non-GMO varieties. They also found that GM corn crops had significantly fewer mycotoxins (up to 36.5 percent less, depending on the species).

Foreign Agricultural Service: Contributing to U.S. Export Success. International trade was once again an engine for economic growth in rural America in 2017. “I’m proud of the role that Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) has played,” said FAS Acting Administrator Holly Higgins, “especially since those exports generate 20 percent of US farm income, stimulate rural economic activity and support more than a million American jobs.

Texas Farm Bureau “Our Food” Initiative. The Texas Farm Bureau has launched a new initiative to bridge the gap between farmers and consumers, and provide a platform for asking questions about food and agriculture. Visit for more information.

IGP Institute 2018 Flour Milling Courses. The IGP Institute is offering several flour milling courses in both English and Spanish in 2018 at its conference center in Manhattan, Kan. The course skill levels range from introductory to advanced, and cover a variety of topics including the milling principles, U.S. wheat production, mill maintenance, mill management, flowsheet technology and more. Partners in these courses include the Kansas State University Department of Grain Science and Industry, Buhler Inc.,   and the International Association of Operative Millers. Visit for more information.



Source: U.S. Wheat Associates