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Due to Idaho’s unique geographical position in the Pacific Northwest (PNW), marketing opportunities continue to evolve and are equally divided between export destinations and domestic markets.

Export Markets
The Pacific Rim. The Middle East.  Latin America.  Consumers around the world enjoy products made from Idaho wheat.  Several decades ago nearly seventy percent of Idaho’s wheat moved through PNW export elevators to overseas destinations.  Today that number is close to 50% of production.

After moving via rail or barge to Pacific Coast export elevators, Idaho wheat is commingled with wheat from Washington, Oregon and other states and loaded on to ships.

Cost efficiencies gained by using the barge system on the Snake and Columbia Rivers and the competitive ocean freight rates form west coast ports can add up to substantial savings on shipments to many export destinations.
Domestic Markets
As population numbers grow in the eastern states the domestic milling industry has grown to meet the demand.

Nearly half of Idaho’s production moves via rail and truck to various end users in states such as California, Utah and Colorado and nascent market on the west coast of Mexico.   Idaho has one flour mill.  PFM, located in Blackfoot, Idaho, mills approximately 10% of Idaho’s wheat.

Acres of a new class of wheat – Hard White Wheat – are being grown to meet increasing demand for White Whole Wheat products.  Due to quality attributes in our hard wheats Idaho grain continues to replace wheat that was once shipped in from other states.

NOTE:  A small portion of wheat (less than 10%) is grown for seed and/or used locally as feed depending on price.  When wheat is priced close to barley or corn it can be economically fed to livestock.  Wheat straw, as a co product with the grain also has many uses.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016
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Growers’ help needed to improve crop insurance
Sprout damage from heavy rains in southern and eastern Idaho at the end of the 2014 growing season made evident the inadequacy of current crop insurance for wheat growers, which is based on yields and not quality.

USDA’s Risk Management Agency has expressed a willingness to make changes to the quality standard for wheat by addressing the low falling number scale, but the agency wants to address the issue nationwide and needs strong data to support any changes.
Growers can assist the effort by providing multiple years of settlement data, at least the last six years but preferable the last 10 to 12.

RMA does not need and would prefer not to receive growers’ names, addresses and tax ID numbers.

The data must contain: the year; county and state where the crop was grown (not sold/delivered); quality of production; gross price received; net payment (gross less any dockage, but not considering any storage or shipping fees); test weight; and protein.

In addition, the agency needs at least one of the following: DON/VOM; falling number; or other quality spec of interest.
Growers are asked to send info to Blaine Jacobson at blaine@idahowheat.org.