America's wheat farmers are the world leaders in producing high-quality, affordable wheat. Vince Peterson, vice president of overseas operations for U.S. Wheat Associates asserts that his organization works non-stop to ensure U.S.-grown wheat maintains a competitive edge over that of other countries.
Peterson, who addressed the audience at the Kansas Wheat Conference in Wichita in July, says U.S. farmers grow the world's best wheat, regardless of classification. Hard Red Winter and Hard White Winter wheat classes are the two most common in Kansas.
"U.S. wheat rises above a bulk commodity, frankly. In all classes of wheat, it is known for high quality. It is known for its usefulness of purpose. It fits into a class that rises above Russian or Ukraine wheat, or any low level common denominator of wheat," Peterson says.
U.S. Wheat Associates is a grower-funded organization that provides assistance to buyers, millers, processors and government officials worldwide - all of whom are interested in buying and using U.S. grown wheat. Our nation's status as the world leader in wheat production, coupled with U.S. Wheat's expertise, has given the United States a competitive edge, even in politically volatile regions such as the Middle East, where we enjoy a 25% market share. The Middle East countries consume more wheat than any other region in the world.
Peterson adds that the U.S. is poised for export growth in another key region.
"If you look at the U.S. down through Central America, Mexico and South America, we have an advantage in logistics and price. And they have a preference for our wheat. Peru and Colombia are the guts of a lot of effort and frankly, we should be there," he says.
While U.S. wheat stands alone as the go-to market for wheat, however, the competition for wheat exports is stiff. The best Argentine wheat is on par with average U.S. Hard Red Winter; while the best Russian wheat, despite lower protein and gluten characteristics than that of the U.S., is competitively priced.
"Kazakhstan, has high-quality Spring Wheat, but the country is land-locked. It is very expensive to get wheat out of there, so most of it is consumed within the former Soviet Union and surrounding countries," Peterson says.
The continued increase in wheat quality coming from competing countries, therefore, reemphasizes the importance of an organization like U.S. Wheat Associates.
"World consumption for wheat is rising all the time. What we need to do is out-compete our competitors. We have to have a better product and we've made great strides in that. We must continue to offer better service after the sale, and provide technical service, which is one thing we do that no one else does," he explains. "That's the role of U.S. Wheat. We have 16 offices that span the globe and we really are at it 24 hours a day, nearly every day of the week in some corner of the world."
Source: Kansas Wheat