In today’s show, I visit with Steve Wirsching, Vice President and Director of the U.S. Wheat Associates West Coast Office in Portland, Oregon about white wheat as a class of its own.
Over 30 years ago, Hard White wheat was recognized as an official wheat class. Hard White is a premium wheat class that can effectively compete with Russian and Black wheat that have eroded U.S. traditional markets in Africa and Southeast Asia. Hard White wheat has a competitive advantage over Hard Red Winter because it offers overseas customers higher flour milling extraction rates and improved protein functionality. However, it continues to struggle to increase production to achieve critical mass and suffers from illiquid markets. U.S. wheat producers are harmed by these illiquid markets when country elevators discount this wheat class. When the USW Board of Directors met in Nashville, Tennessee, on July 1, 2021, they passed the following motion:
U.S. Wheat Associates requests FGIS to evaluate and consider the following changes to U.S. Grain Standards to better facilitate the marketing of Hard White Wheat:
1) Differentiate between Hard White Spring Wheat and Hard White Winter Wheat.
2) Create a new Hard Winter Wheat class with subclasses of Hard White Winter Wheat and Hard Red Winter Wheat.
3) Increase the allowable Wheat of Other Classes of Hard White Winter Wheat in Hard Red Winter Wheat to 25%.