Report: Majority of 2000 U.S. spring wheat exceptional quality
Excellent planting conditions, nearly ideal precipitation and generally
favorable harvest weather helped produce a 2000 U.S. hard red spring wheat crop that was 14% larger than in 1999, despite a 2% decrease in planted acres. With disease pressures confined to fairly isolated areas,
regional survey results show that a majority of the harvested crop was of exceptional quality, according to the 2000 Regional Quality Report for U.S. Hard Red Spring Wheat.
The quality data was analyzed by North Dakota State University, with funding support by U.S. Wheat Associates and the wheat checkoff organizations in ND, MN, SD, and MT, which collectively grow about 93%
of the U.S. hard red spring wheat crop.
The analysis of hard red spring wheat samples from the four-state region indicated an average vitreous kernel content of 68% which kept the regional average grade at No. 1 Northern Spring (NS).
Vitreousness refers to the translucent nature of the kernel. Vitreous kernels are bright and glossy in appearance. The higher the percentage of dark, hard, vitreous kernels, the better the separation of bran from
endosperm in the milling process and the better the uniformity in a miller’s operation.
However, grade distributions among the samples show that 51% of the crop graded No. 1 Dark Northern Spring (DNS). Protein in the 2000 crop was outstanding at 14.4%, and test weight was also higher than
last year and the five-year average at 60.1 pounds per bushel.
Dough mixing properties of the 2000 crop as measured with the farinograph are weaker than the five-year average, but some areas offer wheat with exceptional strength. Overall baking performance including
absorption and loaf volume are considered good.
Quality differences did exist between states and crop reporting areas within each state. That’s due in part to wet conditions that hindered the last 10 to 15% of the 2000 harvest in northern production
areas and caused some quality losses. Still, total defects are less than the five-year average, although slightly higher than in 1999. Pre-harvest sprouting and low falling numbers are evident in a portion of the
northern crop. Damage from Fusarium head blight was also present, but sharply lower than in the last five to six years. It’s always recommended that buyers consider using appropriate contract specifications to
assure that they receive the quality of U.S. hard red spring wheat they need and want.
The 2000 Hard Red Spring Wheat Regional Quality Report can be found online at the North Dakota Wheat Commission Website, www.ndwheat.com/wi/hrs/cropqual/index.asp.
A link to the 2000 durum quality report may also be found on the NDWC website, under the Wheat Information link.
USW presents crop quality seminars
After each harvest, U.S. wheat experts lead quality seminars around the world to brief buyers about
the quality of the latest American wheat crop. The objective is to provide current U.S. crop quality and supply and demand information to key import wheat buyers, with the goal of making them more informed,
successful and satisfied with U.S. wheat.
Traveling to six countries in Asia (Taiwan, the Philippines, Thailand, China, Korea and Japan) to lead wheat quality seminars were Patrick McCluskey, a Kansas State University cereal scientist; John Oades,
director of the U.S. Wheat Associates West Coast Office in Portland, Ore.; and Jim Peterson, marketing specialist with the NDWC.
Asia continues to struggle with the economic recession that began in June of 1997. Recent dramatic increases in world oil prices have intensified the economic situation. The U.S. dollar remains strong
compared with importer currencies as well as export competitor currencies (Australia and Canada). Even though U.S. farm and export prices have been low, when converted into local currencies, the price to the
importer remains high. Although USW
cannot impact prices, it can have significant impact on wheat quality issues and before/after sales service issues.
The team presented the characteristics of this year’s crop to these key buyers. Buyers were informed that average protein content is slightly higher and that this year’s crop produces good quality flour
with sound baking characteristics.
In China, the millers asked about the TCK smut issue, despite the U.S.-China Agricultural Cooperation Agreement. The team expressed support for the agreement and urged that millers immediately report any
infractions to the terms of the agreement that can be documented. Millers complained about high dockage levels in U.S. Gulf origin wheats. The team urged millers to explore tighter dockage specifications with
Millers in Japan and Taiwan inquired about the status of genetically modified (GM) wheat releases in the United States. The team explained that GM wheat releases are probably at least three years out, with
one or two additional years needed to achieve marketable quantities. (Source: Kansas Wheat Commission)
Taiwan becomes million ton market for U.S.
Notching up a healthy 20% growth, U.S. wheat purchases by Taiwan were at a record high in
2000, marking the first time they have hit the million ton level. In 2000, U.S. wheat had a 94% market share in Taiwan, followed by Canada and Australia, both with 3%. Last May, declaring that trade relations with
the U.S. must be maintained and strengthened, the Taiwan Flour Mills Association of the Republic of China committed to purchasing 1.5 - 1.7 MMT of U.S. wheat for the two year period encompassing 2000 and 2001. The
pace of this year’s purchases exceed their commitment. Taiwan is a leading importer of U.S. spring wheat.
New NDSU report highlights U.S.-Canada ag trade issues
A new report by Won Koo and Jeremy Mattson, ag economists at NDSU, summarizes
highlights of papers presented in the conference “Challenges in Agricultural Trade under CUSTA” held in Fargo last fall. The main objective of the conference was to analyze emerging issues in agricultural
trade between the United States and Canada under the U.S./Canada Free Trade Agreement (CUSTA). Koo, director of the Northern Plains Trade Research Center at NDSU, summarized the conference as follows:
“Although most presenters agreed that CUSTA has been good for both the U.S. and Canada, concerns were raised in agricultural trade. One of the concerns discussed during the conference is the substantial
increase in Canadian exports of agricultural commodities relative to U.S. exports to Canada since the inception of CUSTA, which resulted in several trade disputes between the two countries, and its impacts on the
Northern Plains agricultural economy.”
“Some factors that have affected the flow of Canadian exports to the U.S. are differences in agricultural policies and marketing systems and appreciation of the U.S. dollar against the Canadian dollar
during the last ten years. Harmonization of agricultural policies and marketing systems between the two countries may be very difficult, but it is necessary to have some harmonization to promote a ‘fair’ trade
between the two countries under the free trade agreement.”
“In addition, the two countries should cooperate rather than continually having confrontations. One type of cooperation is Canada’s voluntary export restraints of wheat exports to the U.S.; another is a
joint effort in marketing wheat to North American and offshore markets. A NDSU study found that a marketing pool for durum wheat in ND is economically feasible with cooperation from the Canadian Wheat Board. Gains
from the marketing pool would be significant for both durum producers in the U.S. and the CWB through exercising limited market power in the North American market and improving marketing efficiency.”
The full report is available on the Web: agecon.lib.umn.edu/ndsu/aer448.html
WHEAT WORLD is brought to you by the checkoff funded Minnesota Wheat Research and Promotion Council
The majority of the activities cited here are carried out by U.S. Wheat Associates, your checkoff funded international market development affiliate, with offices located in 15 counties around the world.