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U.S. Wheat Associates Wheat Letter

U.S. Wheat Associates Wheat Letter

October 31, 2019

Riding with the Wheat On Its Way to Export

Originally published October 21, 2019

By Michael Anderson, USW Assistant Director, West Coast Office

USW’s Michael Anderson recently spent a week on a tugboat that was pushing grain barges down the Snake, Columbia and Willamette rivers from Lewiston, Idaho to Portland, Ore., and is sharing his experience learning about the river transportation system first hand. Read the full article here.




USW Publishes Annual Crop Quality Report and Hosts Seminars to Help Customers Make Purchasing and Milling Decisions

Originally published October 28, 2019

As a key part of its commitment to transparency and trade service, USW produces an annual Crop Quality Report that includes grade, flour and baking data for all six U.S. wheat classes, and invites its overseas customers, including buyers, millers and processors, to Crop Quality Seminars led by USW staff, U.S. wheat farmers, state wheat commission staff and educational partner organizations. In 2019, USW is projected to host 43 seminars in 41 countries. Read the full article here.


USW Price Report is a Valuable Tool to Help Wheat Buyers Make Purchasing Decisions

Originally published October 30, 2019

By Claire Hutchins, USW Market Analyst

Navigating U.S. export markets and making purchasing decisions is a complicated, risk-involved process, especially when wheat customers have so many options for sourcing their supplies. As representatives of the U.S. wheat industry, U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) recognizes it has a social contract to ensure our customers have access to accurate, unbiased price information well into the future to help them make timely buying decisions. One of the ways USW has done that over many decades is by publishing a weekly Price Report on Friday afternoon that gives the world’s buyers an independently derived baseline of export prices for U.S. wheat by class, protein level, export region and delivery month. To help customers make timely buying decisions, the Price Report features export basis and export price estimates information seven months into the future. It also the only public source of U.S. wheat export prices available to buyers that features price estimates so far into the future. Read the full article here.


Welcome News for Science-Based Regulation of Plant Breeding Innovations

Originally published October 29, 2019

By Elizabeth Westendorf, USW Assistant Director of Policy

A recent decision by Japan’s Consumer Affairs Agency is a great step forward for innovative breeding methods that can help farmers address some of the world’s most urgent challenges. Read the full article here.


Challenging Weather Limits New Crop Spring Wheat Harvest; Good Quality Still Available

Originally published October 23, 2019

The 2019 U.S. hard red spring wheat (HRS) crop is one of contrasts with above average yields and high protein, but with key kernel parameters impacted by harvest rains. Due to the unusual harvest conditions and delay, the entire crop is not represented in this year’s data. Functional performance of the 2019 crop shows weaker dough properties and lower absorption but excellent baking properties. Premium quality will command higher prices, but good value can be obtained with diligent contract specifications. Ample carryover from the excellent quality 2018 crop will be helpful in meeting traditional quality needs of buyers. Read the full article here.


Bad Weather Interrupts New Crop Northern Durum Harvest and Affects Quality

Originally published October 24, 2019

Durum production in the U.S. Northern Plains is down from 2018 with a reduction in overall quality due to historic late season rain and snow that also interrupted harvest. Due to the unusual conditions, the entire crop is not represented in this year’s data. Buyers should be extra vigilant and evaluate the importance of each factor for their end-use needs. Premium contract specifications will command higher prices, but good value can be obtained with diligent contract specifications. Ample carryover supplies from the excellent quality 2018 crop will be helpful in meeting traditional quality needs of buyers, but some parameters may still prove challenging. Read the full article here.


“Adios South America! We hosted 5 seminars in 5 different cities and in 3 different countries. We made contact with about 100 buyers, technical staff, or managers of mills to tell them the story of the 2019 [U.S. wheat] crop. I couldn’t ask for a better team to travel with and get to know a little better..” Jason Scott, Maryland Wheat Farmer and USW Past Chairman, commenting on his participation in 2019 USW Crop Quality Seminars in Brazil, Colombia and Peru. 


U.S. Wheat Exports Up for the Week. USDA reported export sales of U.S. wheat for the week ending Oct. 24 at 493,700 metric tons (MT), toward the high end of trade expectations for 200,000 to 500,000 MT. USDA note total known outstanding sales and accumulated exports of all U.S. wheat classes for the 2019/20 marketing year to date were 14.6 million metric tons (MMT), 11 percent greater than last year’s year-to-date total of 13.1 MMT. See USW’s Commercial Sales Report online here.

Another Decline in U.S. Wheat Planted Area? “Dogged by lower prices and tepid demand, U.S. wheat farmers are poised to plant the fewest acres of winter varieties in 110 years,” reported Bloomberg in a story about a survey of farmers. The business news service sites abundant global supplies, farm gate winter wheat prices that are less than corn (maize) prices in some areas and late soybean harvest interrupting some double crop opportunities.

November is National Bread Month. November is a great time for pumpkin spice and everything nice, but it’s also the perfect time to celebrate National Bread Month. Both whole grain flour and enriched flour are important to maintaining a healthy diet. The USDA Dietary Guidelines recommend that at least half of the five to eight servings of grains consumed daily should come from whole grain sources. Read more from the Kansas Wheat Commission here.

Registration for 2020 Agricultural Outlook Forum. This week USDA has opened registration for the 96th annual Agricultural Outlook Forum (AOF), its largest event of the year on Feb. 20 to 21, 2020, at the Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel in Arlington, Va. “The Innovation Imperative: Shaping the Future of Agriculture” sessions will focus on innovations in agriculture, global trade trends, food loss and waste, frontiers in conservation, and the science of food safety. More information will be released in November. USW is a cooperator with USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service.

National Wheat Foundation Scholarship Applications are due by Dec. 1, 2019. The Jerry Minore Scholarship is awarded to deserving high school or college students pursuing a career in agriculture for the 2019/2020 academic year. This year the Foundation will be issuing two scholarships for $2,500 each.

Source: U.S. Wheat Associates