ST. LOUIS, Mo. – U.S. wheat acres have declined almost yearly over the last 35 years, and in the current season, they have hit the lowest point in more than 100 years. In a new report from the RaboResearch Food & Agribusiness group, Grains and Oilseeds analyst Stephen Nicholson takes a look at the declining wheat acreage and the potential effects over the next few growing seasons.
The report, “Wh(e)at’s Going On?” finds the decreased number of acres being planted may begin causing a domino effect down the supply chain. Fewer acres leads to less supply, which leads to increased imports that raise the price of the raw goods. The result is, in the end, a more expensive consumer good.
“The largest actual percentage decline in U.S. wheat acres has been in winter wheat acres, primarily hard red winter,” explains RaboResearch Food & Agribusiness Grains and Oilseeds analyst Stephen Nicholson. “This is of particular concern to the baking industry, as most bread flours are milled from hard red winter wheat.”
The contraction of the wheat acres intensifies the impact of unexpected yield shortfall. Due to the lower number of HRW acres and a higher probability of production and/or quality issues, both hard red wheat prices and spreads between U.S. wheat classes are likely to be wider and more volatile in the future.
Swisslane Farms Honored for Outstanding Dairy Farm Sustainability
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (June 29, 2017) — Dairy Farmers of America (DFA), a national farmer-owned dairy cooperative, is proud to recognize one of its member farm families, the Oesch family, owners of Swisslane Farms in Alto, Mich., for receiving a U.S. Dairy Sustainability Award from the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy.
The program, now in its sixth year, recognizes dairy farms, businesses and partnerships whose practices improve the well-being of people, animals and the planet. This year’s nine winners addressed water quality, soil fertility, community outreach, energy efficiency and more through creative problem solving. Swisslane Farms was one of three farms recognized for Outstanding Dairy Farm Sustainability at an awards ceremony on Wednesday evening, June 28, in Chicago.
“Sustainability is part of our DNA at Dairy Farmers of America, and we are proud to have Swisslane Farms as part of our DFA farm family,” says David Darr, president of farm services at DFA. “Their on-farm sustainable practices and engagement with the community are a great example of how farmers can make a difference for generations to come and support our Cooperative’s mission to responsibly produce nutritious, high-quality milk and dairy products.”
Swisslane Farms is located 23 miles from downtown Grand Rapids, the second-largest city in Michigan, which poses both pressures from urban sprawl and opportunities to reach people several generations removed from the farm. Since 2006, Swisslane’s Dairy Discovery program has offered farm tours, reaching more than 36,000 students, teachers and families. The family farm has plenty to demonstrate when it comes to sustainable practices. After a farm energy audit, they made improvements that reduced energy costs by 17 percent per cow. They also took steps to become verified through the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program so neighbors continue to see results.
Judges evaluated nominations for the U.S. Dairy Sustainability Awards based on their economic, environmental and community impact. The independent judging panel — including experts working with and throughout the dairy community — also considered learning, innovation, scalability and replicability.
For more information about the other 2017 winners and the U.S. Dairy Sustainability Awards, visit usdairy.com/sustainability/us-dairy-sustainability-awards.