Wheat Commission committed to clean grain

The first board meeting of the restructured Kansas Wheat Commission, meeting July 20-21 in Manhattan, agreed to continue their “Wheat Cleaning Initiative” projects to get into the Iranian and Cuban markets and to continue research on uses for hard white (HW) wheat.

KWC will continue to emphasize the need for cleaner wheat at the Gulf ports through the “Wheat Cleaning Initiative.” Many international buyers have indicated they would import more wheat from the Texas Gulf if the grain was cleaned.

U.S. wheat exports from the Texas Gulf are at a competitive disadvantage to wheat that originates from Australia and Canada, where export wheat is routinely cleaned.

The board is also encouraging the Kansas State Animal Science Department to update information on the value of using wheat cleanings as animal feed.

In cooperation with U.S. Wheat Associates, KWC plans to introduce Kansas wheat into new markets in Iran and Cuba through food aid, since a similar effort was successful in South Korea.

After the introduction through food aid, officials hope Iranian and Cuban officials will see that Kansas has a high quality product at a competitive price. They believe this will open Iran and Cuba as new markets for Kansas wheat sales and improve prices for farmers in the state.

Hard white wheat will be a continued emphasis for KWC because it may open international markets that are looking to buy this specific type of wheat.

“Development of hard white winter wheat for Kansas,” a project through the KSU Agronomy Department, will allow researchers to continue to develop hard white wheat that is adapted to Kansas with excellent milling and baking performance and improved noodle quality.

Goals of the project are to improve kernel color (“whiteness”), sprouting tolerance, protein concentration, disease and insect tolerance and milling performance, and to improve resistance to preharvest sprouting because of its detrimental effects on bread and noodle qualities.

In conjunction with the KSU Ag Research Center at Hays and the Department of Entomology, the “Kansas dual-purpose pest-resistant white wheats” project will continue to develop hard white winter wheats adapted to western Kansas.

Hard white winter wheats will be developed that can be used in both the world bread and noodle markets. The board believes this should greatly increase the market potential of Kansas wheat around the world.

Another goal is to incorporate host resistance to the major pest problems in western Kansas: wheat streak mosaic virus, leaf rust, Hessian fly and the Russian wheat aphid.

The board is encouraging additional projects to test the use of hard white winter wheat for other products, such as breads, tortillas and Asian noodles.

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