Wheat Industry News – U.S. Wheat Associates

Recent news and highlights from around the wheat industry.

Quote of the Week: “New drought tolerant traits have helped corn acres expand [and cut wheat area]. In looking at the adoption … drought tolerant corn traits, since 2012, have been planted at a faster rate by farmers than herbicide tolerant traits when they were released. As a smart farmer in Leoti told me, ‘These drought tolerant corn varieties look more like drought resistant.’” – Justin Gilpin, Executive Director, Kansas Wheat.

Rain Slows Spring, Durum Harvest. The North Dakota Wheat Commission reported on Sept. 17 that very little harvest progress was made in the hard red spring (HRS) and northern durum region over the last week as precipitation was widespread. The U.S. HRS crop is now 76 percent harvested, up only 5 percent from last week. Durum harvest is even farther behind. With the wet conditions, quality on the remaining crop is a concern, but will be highly dependent on maturity level in the crop. Read more on Sept. 20 in the USW Harvest Report at https://www.uswheat.org/market-and-crop-information/harvest-reports/.

Modern Bread Wheat Benefits from ‘Synthetic Hexaploid Wheat.” In a new study, scientists have found that genome segments from a wild grass are present in more than one in five of elite bread wheat lines developed by the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT). Scientists at CIMMYT and other research institutes have been crossing wild goat grass with durum wheat—the wheat used for pasta — since the 1980s, with the help of complex laboratory manipulations. The new variety, known as synthetic hexaploid wheat, boosts the genetic diversity and resilience of wheat, notoriously vulnerable due to its low genetic diversity, adding novel genes for disease resistance, nutritional quality and heat and drought tolerance. Read the full article here.

Trade Deal to Come? The Wall Street Journal recently reported that President Trump has notified Congress that the U.S. and Japan are prepared to enter a limited agreement that would lower some tariffs and set terms of digital trade. Pres. Trump and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced in August that they had reached an agreement in principle to lower agricultural tariffs and industrial tariffs. The two sides said they expected to sign the deal at the United Nations General Assembly this month. By sending formal notification to Congress, Mr. Trump can now sign such an agreement. The congressional letter did not spell out the terms of the deal.

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