Senior Farm and Ranch Broadcaster, Ron Hays, visited with the vice chairman of U.S. Wheat Associates and Oklahoma wheat producer, Michael Peters at the National Association of Farm Broadcasters convention in Kansas City. Hays and Peters talk about the mission of U.S. wheat.
Through operations and offices in several different countries, Peters said U.S. Wheat Associates meets with millers and bakers in those countries to help in areas such as the baking and shipping of that wheat.
“As you well know, U.S. wheat is always going to be priced higher than other countries, but we have the best quality,” Peters said.
It is critical to have offices and people overseas to promote U.S. wheat and teach about the quality, Peters said, so they can utilize that high-quality wheat for the flour they mill. Other countries are out promoting their own wheat at the same time, Peters said, so it is important that the U.S. continues to teach about the quality wheat we produce.
“If we are not, there is another country there,” Peters said.
Peters talked about the impact of the Russia and Ukraine conflict on global wheat prices and availability.
Russia has had a good wheat crop this year, Peters said, and they have exported more wheat this year than they have in previous years, which has increased the price based on the fear of what may or may not happen in the future.
“I think the biggest issue there from a U.S. wheat standpoint, the American farmer, we always want to feed the world,” Peters said. “So, these increased prices, due to that conflict, for some of your developing countries is really tough on those. They can’t necessarily afford the higher prices to feed their country.”
Hard red winter wheat, which is used mostly for bread wheat, Peters said, is a valuable product in countries south of the U.S., such as Mexico. Because of the drought in Argentina, which is a large competitor of U.S. wheat, the U.S. had the chance this year to export more wheat to Brazil.
Information about the wheat crop is extremely important to the global community, Peters said, as they look at metrics such as protein, loaf volume, and more. This information is gathered through sampling, he added and represented in a booklet for customers to utilize.
“If you look as far as everything that gets put into our programs to educate and promote U.S. wheat overseas, a study done a few years ago said for every dollar we spend on that, there is a 24-dollar return back to the U.S. economy,” Peters said.
As for Oklahoma’s wheat crop, Peters is hopeful for continued moisture as hay and water supplies have been short.