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Wheat Letter – April 5, 2018

Wheat Letter – April 5, 2018

April 5, 2018

As Always, Weather is the Wildcard for U.S. Wheat Planting and Production

By Stephanie Bryant-Erdmann, USW Market Analyst

According to the March 29 USDA Prospective Plantings report, U.S. total spring-planted area will jump to an estimated 14.1 million acres (5.71 million hectares), 12 percent above 2017/18, if realized. The estimate includes 12.1 million acres (4.90 million hectares) of hard red spring (HRS), up 17 percent from 2017, if realized. It is important to note that this is an estimate, as farmers in the top four HRS producing states of Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota have not started planting due to extremely cold, snowy weather across the region.

U.S. Drought Monitor

Photo courtesy of

China’s Response to New U.S. Tariffs Will Hurt U.S. Wheat Farmers

With the announcement yesterday that China intends to retaliate against the latest proposed U.S. tariffs, hard-working U.S. farmers are clearly in the line of fire from what looks more and more like an escalating trade war with China. Read the full article here.

Global Perspective on Wheat Trade

By Vince Peterson, USW President

U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) President Vince Peterson traveled to Australia last month to speak to an Australian farmer organization about what the future might hold for wheat farmers around the world. His message was far more upbeat than might be expected at a time when U.S. wheat planted area is historically low and Russian wheat production and export demand in on the rise. Peterson shared this summary of his presentations for Wheat Letter. Read the full article here.

March 2018: World Wheat Supply and Demand Situation

USW Board Team Strengthens Relationships with Customers in China and Taiwan

By Stephanie Bryant-Erdmann, USW Market Analyst

Every year USW sends board teams overseas to give leading U.S. wheat farmers the opportunity to learn from customers about the wheat quality characteristics their markets prioritize, and to strengthen the relationship between wheat farmers and their customers. One of those teams returned from a trip to Asian countries in mid-March. Read the full article here.

The 2018 North Asia Board Team visited the United Grain Corporation –

UGC export terminal before their travels to China and Taiwan.


The 2018 North Asia Board Team and accompanying USW staff visit with

the Taiwan Flour Millers Association (TFMA) during their visit to Taiwan.


While in China, the 2018 North Asia Board Team visited Qingdao Weiliang Food Co. Ltd. The team saw many of the

mill’s products that are made with U.S. wheat. Pictured is Mike Carstensen, a wheat farmer from

Washington, and member of the Washington Grain Commission, with Qingdao Weiliang Chairman Mr. Lu.

Wheat Foods Technologist Joins U.S. Wheat Associates Team in South Asian Region

U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) welcomes a new colleague to its South Asian Region Office in Singapore. Kong Song (Ivan) Goh joined the organization March 17, 2018, as Biscuit, Baking and Noodle Technologist. USW represents the interests of U.S. wheat farmers in the global milling wheat market. Read the full article here.

“Last month … 840 growers joined me in a letter urging our Inland PNW Members of Congress to push for action in rebuilding deteriorating relationships with the overseas customers who consume 90% of the wheat we grow. We’re working hard to use their clout to make the case every way we can. Today the issues are more crucial than they’ve been since back in the eighties when we were awash with wheat and high-interest money.”

Alex McGregor, The McGregor Company, Colfax, Wash., serving farmers in Washington, Oregon and Idaho. Read full story here.

New Resources from the Ag Defense Alliance. The Alliance, a national coalition of farmers and agriculture networks, launched a new website providing resources and information about its case against California’s unjustified Prop 65 listing of glyphosate. The site provides research and background on the case, testimonials from farmers, information about glyphosate, how it is used and what the scientific community has stated about this safe-for-use, environmental sustainable herbicide. Visit the site here.

North Dakota Farmers Retire from Commission. David Clough, a wheat farmer from Fessenden, and Brian O’Toole, a wheat farmer from Crystal, have each served the allowable limit of three, four-year terms on the North Dakota Wheat Commission, and will officially rotate off of the board June 30, 2018. Both farmers represented their state on the USW Board of Directors and represented USW overseas on numerous occasions. O’Toole also served as 2015/16 USW Chairman. Thank you, David and Brian, for your friendship and commitment to USW and its mission. Read the full story on the NDWC elections here.

Institutional Knowledge Series. The IGP Institute launched a new video series, “Institutional Knowledge,” that takes an inside look at the institute’s people and activities. Watch the introductory video to the series here.

Buhler-KSU Executive Milling Course. In conjunction with Buhler Inc. and the Kansas State University Department of Grain Science and Industry, the IGP Institute is offering several milling courses in 2018 at the IGP Institute Conference Center and Hal Ross Flour Mill in Manhattan, Kan. The course focus on Buhler equipment and processes meant to add to the knowledge and experience of current industry professionals. The registration deadline for the next course is April 21. Click here to register and learn more.

Cookie and Cracker Technology Short Course. The Wheat Marketing Center is offering this comprehensive technical course that combines lectures with hands-on lab workshops on a custom designed, one of a kind pilot-scale cracker line. The course will provide understanding in flour and ingredient functionality, and processing technology of various cookie and cracker products. Click here to register and learn more.

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