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Wheat Letter – May 31, 2018

Wheat Letter – May 31, 2018

May 31, 2018

Drought and U.S. Rail Rates Prop Up U.S. Export Prices

By Stephanie Bryant-Erdmann, USW Market Analyst

Since the beginning of the calendar year, export cash prices for hard red winter (HRW) wheat prices have rallied an average 73 cents at the Gulf across all protein levels. However, export cash prices are made up of two components — wheat futures and export basis. Most of the export price rally matches the futures market, which climbed from $4.37 per bushel in January to $5.64 per bushel on May 25. However, U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) and the farmers it represents also face historically high rail rates that support the export basis. Read the full article here.

USW Technical Specialist Excels at AIB International Course

By Jeff Coey, USW Regional Vice President, Hong Kong

The Baking Science and Technology course at AIB International in Manhattan, KS, is an intensive, 16-week program combining science, hands-on lab work and baking tradition. It is the “gold standard” for baker training and is well attended by aspiring, industrial scale bakers from around the world. Read the full article here.

Dr. Ting Liu, USW Technical Specialist, Beijing

USW Harvest Reports Now Posting Every Friday

Generally cool spring conditions delayed the start of the 2018/19 U.S. winter wheat harvest, but the combines are now in the fields and U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) published a preliminary Harvest Report on May 25. USW Harvest Reports are published every Friday afternoon, Eastern Daylight Time, throughout the season with updates and comments on harvest progress, crop conditions and current crop quality for HRW, SRW, HRS, SW and durum wheat. Read the full article here.

Innovation in the Breadbasket of the World

By Jennifer Latzke, High Plains Journal, May 22, 2018, Experts Reprinted with Permission

The reports from the U.S. Department of Agriculture can feel bleak. This year farmers are projected to plant the second lowest total wheat acreage on record for the U.S. since 1919—47.3 million acres. Read the full article here.

High Plains Journal stock photo by Jennifer M. Latzke

“I am very grateful to USW for giving me the opportunity to study at AIB International. It was an unforgettable experience. I will continue working hard to apply the knowledge I learned to provide technical service to customers and make contributions to the Chinese bakery industry and U.S. wheat producers.”  Dr. Ting Liu, USW Technical Specialist, Beijing.

Reduced Gluten Wheat. A biotech company in Davis, Calif., is launching a new reduced-gluten hard red spring (HRS) wheat. Arcadia Biosciences says it also has other wheats with distinctive health-benefit traits in its pipeline. Arcadia is hopeful that introducing these traits into wheat will increase the value of cereal grain products to consumers, and open premium niche markets to producers. Read more here.

U.S. Consumers Favor ‘Farm Fresh’; Gluten Free? Not So Much. Fresh is hot according to a new study of consumer trends in the U.S. food and beverage industry. The same survey indicated “gluten free” is among the least appealing claims on food labels. In a survey of more than 2,200 U.S. consumers, 81% said a food or beverage is more appealing if the label says “fresh.” More than a third said the label “vegan” made it less appealing. “Fresh,” and “farm-fresh” were the top words or phrases that made a food or beverage more appealing, with “gluten free” only a fraction more appealing than “vegan” and “diet” claims, according to survey respondents.

Virginia Tech Research to Focus on Wheat Disease Spread. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University has received a grant to study how rain splash physically liberates and disperses wheat disease spores. Over the next three years, the Virginia Tech team will conduct experiments on the leaves and spikes of wheat plants, some with surfaces treated with fungicides. They will also show the synergistic role that rain splash plays in assisting the condensation-driven removal of spores. Read more here. 

Bayer Must Divest Hybrid Wheat Research, Other Assets for Monsanto Takeover. Reuters reports that the “largest ever divestiture ever required” by the antitrust division of the U.S. Department of Justice would give Bayer approval to complete its planned takeover of Monsanto. The businesses being divested include Bayer’s research platform for wheat hybrids, the global vegetable seeds business, certain seed treatment products and certain glyphosate-based herbicides in Europe that are predominantly used in industrial applications. In addition, three research projects in the field of total herbicides and Bayer’s digital farming business will also be transferred. In return, Bayer will receive a back license for certain digital farming applications. If the deal does not close by June 14, 2018, Monsanto could withdraw. Read more here.

Wheat Marketing Center (WMC) Seeks New Technical Director. The Wheat Marketing Center is seeking an experienced cereal/food scientist to lead its expanding research and education program. As WMC conducts a search, it also ask its stakeholders, including USW and state wheat commissions, to consider priority products and markers they want to focus on. Read the full story here and learn more about the open position here.

Cereal Science Events Calendar. Prof. Dr. M. Hikmet Boyacýoðlu, associate editor of “Cereal Science,” contributing editor to “World Grain” and a cereal science consultant continues to track industry events. Contact him to receive the calendar.

Source: U.S. Wheat Associates