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A golden harvest near Oakesdale.
Photo by Teresa Hodges






Working out the global wheat market

Soft white wheat is only bright spot in outlook

April 2019
By Trista Crossley

According to Darin Newsom, when you talk about wheat, you can’t just talk about U.S. wheat, because out of all the grains, wheat is the most global market of all.

“There’s always a major wheat crop hitting the market somewhere in the world,” he explained. Newsom was the guest presenter at one of February’s Agricultural Marketing and Management Organization (AMMO) seminars. Newsom is a former senior analyst with DTN/The Progressive Farmer. He now owns his own marketing company. “The bottom line is the world is oversupplied with wheat, and there’s a lot of competition out there. Everybody is growing wheat.” See more

Tracking the tariffs

Current trade environment theatens stability of Washington state's agriculture industry

February 2019
By Trista Crossley

Trade, to put it lightly, is a pretty big deal in the Evergreen state.

More than 300 crops are grown here, worth $10.6 billion in 2017. The processed foods sector, in 2016, generated more than $20 billion in revenues, and the value of food and ag products that were exported overseas in 2017 was approximately $6.7 billion.

The current trade environment puts all of that on uncertain ground. Rianne Perry, manager of the Washington State Department of Agriculture’s (WSDA) International Marketing Program, said in regards to the retaliatory tariffs from China, many of Washington’s agricultural products are on at least one of the lists of targeted products, if not more than one. WSDA estimates that approximately $1 billion worth of Washington agricultural exports are at risk from retaliatory tariffs, including those from China, Mexico, Canada, the EU and India. See more


April 2018
By Michelle Hennings, WAWG Executive Director

I’ve been working with the Washington Association of Wheat Growers (WAWG) for 14 years now, and I’ve seen the importance of not only educating consumers and policymakers, but our own industry as well. For many growers, wheat’s story ends at the local elevator, but there’s a much larger picture that all farmers should be aware of. I see a disconnect between the people who are growing wheat and the people and countries who are buying and using it, especially those farmers who aren’t actively engaged in our wheat organizations. In today’s uncertain climate of trade disputes and attacks on agriculture, I think it is more important than ever to appreciate the whole story, from field to flour as it were.

In January, I was given that opportunity by the Washington Grain Commission (WGC) and invited on a trip to the Philippines and Japan. Advocacy is the foundation of WAWG, so I was excited to see firsthand how our customers view the U.S. wheat industry and bring that information back to our growers and policymakers. I was also excited to experience the work U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) does and see how the WGC puts growers’ assessments to use promoting and supporting our industry. See more

AMMO: Marketing at three speeds

Ag economist Dan Manternach discusses his approach to selling wheat

March 2018
By Trista Crossley

The Agricultural Marketing and Management Organization’s 2018 schedule kicked off in high gear last month with ag economist Dan Manternach speaking in front of a packed house. Manternach reviewed current wheat markets, previewed the 2018 growing season under three different weather scenarios and showed producers a three-speed approach to marketing.

“The main takeaway is that it is very, very important to have a marketing plan that is flexible and where you can shift gears, because this early in the season, nobody knows what kind of weather we are going to have,” he explained in an interview after his presentation. “Everybody always tells farmers you want an average price in the top third of the price range for the year. Well, any farmer that knows farm-boy math can figure out what the thirds are if you tell them what the range is going to be. That’s the hard part because that range is a moving target. It keeps shifting around with Mother Nature.” See more