The last week of June was perfect timing for a team of wheat buyers from Brazil to visit Richard Randall's farm near Scott City. Not only was the visit in the middle of one of the best harvests in the last 20 years, but it comes on the heels of Brazil's postponement of retaliatory action on U.S. wheat and other commodities as the 2012 Farm Bill is developed.
The team from Brazil included seven people who buy about 70% of Brazil's imported wheat. U.S. Wheat Associates, a farmer-funded market development organization, organized the trade team's visit to the U.S., which also included stops in Washington D.C. and Colorado.
U.S. growers have an opportunity to make inroads into the Brazilian market this year because of a shortage of wheat in Argentina, normally a key provider of wheat to its neighboring country.
Randall, who serves as an at-large Kansas Wheat Commissioner in western Kansas, hosted the group, taking them to a neighboring farm where a stripper header was used and the wheat was dumped into a bag at the side of the field. A label on each bag described the moisture content, dockage, test weight and protein of the crop. This attention to detail, coupled with high test weights, good protein content and low moisture, piqued the team's interest.
Brazil imports about 5 million metric tons of wheat each year.