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Wheat matchmakers

Agriculture.com Staff 06/02/2011 @ 10:05am

Munching a steamed bun – popular with consumers in Asia’s wheat market – conjures up great memories for grain elevator warehouseman Dan Brown.

“It reminds me of the chicken and dumplings my mother made,” says Brown, who took a two-day class on managing wheat inventory to maximize profits at the Wheat Marketing Center (WMC) in Portland, Oregon.

Classes like this one, as well as others for foreign buyers of U.S. wheat, make an important connection, says Steve Wirsching, U.S. Wheat Associates West Coast office director.

The center’s research, testing, publishing, and technical education helps USW in its international market development work, Wirsching says.

And it provides growers with quality end-use information when making variety planting decisions, WMC director David Shelton says.

Targeting Wheats To Buyers

Chris Cullan, a Hemingford, Nebraska, wheat grower, is vice chairman of the center’s board of directors.

“The name says it all: The Wheat Marketing Center,” Cullan says. “They simply market wheat internationally and domestically from the very diverse wheat production area of the Great Plains, Dakotas, and the Pacific Northwest.

“The value I see as a producer is that the WMC has the ability to find a use for a given quality of wheat from a given class of wheat from a given production area,” Cullan says. “They understand what qualities are available for the desired end users’ needs.”

Staff at the center can help millers change formulations if products aren’t turning out as desired, Cullan says.

The center increases wheat industry awareness about the importance of wheat and flour quality tests. It also helps provide the wheat industry with test results to meet buyer contract specifications, Shelton says.

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