Skip to content

Wheat Letter – October 3, 2019

Wheat Letter – October 3, 2019

October 3, 2019

Too Much Rain on a Smaller Soft Red Winter Crop

Originally published September 23, 2019

Following planting in the fall of 2018, much of the U.S. soft red winter (SRW) growing area received excessive moisture throughout the winter and spring, which also caused lengthy harvest delays in many areas. The excessive moisture adversely affected quality by reducing falling number values and increasing DON values in some areas. At an estimated 7.01 million metric tons (MMT), this is a smaller crop than in 2018 because farmers seeded less and average yield per harvested acre was below last year and the five-year average. Processors should find good qualities in the 2019 SRW crop for cookies and crackers and segments of the crop showed good cake qualities. Read the full article here.


Meet the USW Technical Experts: Tarik Gahi – ‘For a Piece of Bread, Son’

Originally published September 26, 2019

By Amanda J. Spoo, USW Director of Communications

U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) Milling and Baking Technologist Tarik Gahi has spent his entire career working with millers from around the world. But the first person to really make his career a passion was his own mother. Read the full article here.










USW Video Team Records the Hope of Winter Wheat Seeding in Oklahoma

Originally published September 27, 2019

“Seeding is an exciting time – and it can be stressful, too, because you are anxious to get the seed in the ground,” said Okarche, Okla., wheat farmer Michael Peters. “There are a lot of decisions to be made and sometimes the weather makes you wonder if you made the right choices. But once you see the wheat starting to grow you think, well, there is hope that it will be a good crop. Read the full article here.


Best Wishes to Utsunomiya-San on His Retirement

Originally published September 27, 2019

In February 2019, U.S. Wheat Associates announced that Mr. Kazunori “Rick” Nakano was joining the organization as Associate Country Director in Tokyo. Rick will become Country Director on September 30, 2019, when our colleague and friend Mr. Wataru “Charlie” Utsinomiya begins a well-earned retirement. Read the full article here.


Expanding Wheat Breeding Resources for Better End-Use Quality, Disease Resistance

Originally published October 1, 2019

The International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) reports that an international team of scientists has identified significant new chromosomal regions for wheat yield and disease resistance and created a freely-available collection of genetic information and markers for more than 40,000 wheat lines. Read the full article here.


Production Update: USDA Confirms High U.S. Wheat Yields Offset Reduced Planted Area

Originally published October 2, 2019

On Sept. 30, USDA released its Small Grains Summary noting that 2019/20 U.S. wheat production increased to 53.3 million metric tons (MMT), up 4 percent from last year due to significant improvements in yield despite lower planted area. While this is still 2 percent below the 5-year average of 54.2 MMT, the production volume coupled with significant carry-in stocks ensure that the U.S. wheat remains the most reliable supply for 2019/20. Here is a look at 2019/20 U.S. wheat production by class.

Read the full article here.


Recent News Releases from USW

U.S.-Japan Tariff Agreement is a Good Deal for Wheat Farmers and Their Customers


“The U.S. farmer is still holding about half a spring wheat crop from last year that will provide some decent quality supplies. Canada, on the other hand, was an aggressive exporter of wheat last year; a poor quality crop will reduce their exportable supplies in this marketing year.     Michael Krueger, Independent Market Analyst. 


Columbia River Reopens to Barge Traffic. A critical navigation lock on the lower Columbia River reopened Sept. 27, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. That means barges full of grain and other materials waiting to get from Inland Northwest ports to Vancouver and Portland and out to export markets can resume. Boat traffic on the international trade route has been stopped since September 5 to repair a lock at Bonneville Dam. Crews with the Army Corps’ Portland division have been working around-the-clock the past three weeks to open the channel. Read more here.

New Partner in New Grain Trade Initiative. Glencore Agriculture Ltd. is joining several other major grain traders in the industry’s initiative to modernize global agricultural commodity trade operations. The initiative is looking at such new technologies as blockchain and artificial intelligence to automate grain and oilseed post-trade execution processes, reducing costs needed to move agricultural and food products around the globe. The group is projecting launch of a new platform in the second half of 2020 subject to regulatory approval. Read more from a joint news release here.

More Women Are Running U.S. Farms. According to the most recent USDA Census of Agriculture, over the last five years, the number of female farmers in the United States has increased, while the number of male farmers declined. Women now represent 36% of farmers, a 27% increase from 2012. Now, 56% of farms have at least one female producer, although only 38% have a female primary producer, the person who makes the most decisions on the farm. USW looks forward to sharing the story of several women engaged in wheat production in 2020. Currently, two female farm owners serve as directors of USW: Rhonda K. Larson grows HRS wheat in northwestern Minnesota and was elected as USW Secretary-Treasurer for 2019/20; Denise Conover grows HRS and HRW wheat in south central Montana. Past Chairperson Janice Mattson of Chester, Mont., served as USW director and an officer, holding the chair in 2009/10.

Oregon Wheat Seeking New Chief Executive Officer. The Oregon Wheat Commission and Oregon Wheat Growers League are seeking a dynamic and proven Chief Executive Officer (CEO) to provide leadership, vision, focus, and unity to their organizations, following the announcement that Blake Rowe plans to retire from the position. The CEO will serve as the principal administrator of both the OWC and OWGL, operating under the direction of the OWC and the Board of Directors of the OWGL, respectively. The full job announcement and position description can be found at Applications must be submitted by 4:00 PM on Oct. 20, 2019.

Subscribe to USW Reports. USW publishes a variety of reports and content that are available to subscribe to, including a bi-weekly newsletter highlighting recent Wheat Letter blog posts, the weekly Price Report and the weekly Harvest Report (available May to October). Subscribe here.

Follow USW Online. Visit our page at for the latest updates, photos and discussions of what is going on in the world of wheat. Also, find breaking news on Twitter at and video stories at

Source: U.S. Wheat Associates