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Asian interest provides opportunities for US hard white wheat

AMARILLO The United States could sell 1 million metric tons of hard white wheat to Asian countries now if the wheat was available, said Texas Agricultural Experiment Station state wheat breeder.

An obvious choice to fill the order is the High Plains, with it's drier climate and large wheat production.

Dr. Jackie Rudd, associate professor at the Texas A&M University System Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Amarillo, attended a two-week Wheat Quality Improvement Team trip to Asia. The trip was hosted by U.S. Wheat Associates and sponsored in part by the Texas Wheat Producers Board.

Rodney Mosier, Texas Wheat Producers Board executive vice president, said this trip was an opportunity for Rudd to see what the Asian countries are demanding and report these needs to the board and producers.

Rudd and researchers from Oklahoma, Colorado, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana and Oregon, heard both the likes and dislikes of these countries. The researchers also had the opportunity to teach about the U.S. wheat breeding program.

The team visited mills and bakeries in Korea, China, Taiwan, Thailand and the Phillipines. Together these countries purchase almost 4 million metric tons of U.S. wheat. The majority is used for making noodles, followed by western style and steamed breads.

They purchase another 4.4 million metric tons of wheat from other countries, which represents an opportunity for growth in the U.S. export market.

"They prefer hard white for some of their products," Rudd said. "They are buying almost all of their hard white wheat from Australia now. Canada and the United States are both trying to get this new class of wheat started."

Millers can get a higher extraction rate from hard white wheat. Lower ash content and good color stability for the dough also are important qualities for steamed breads and most types of noodles, he said.

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Contact: Kay Ledbetter
skledbetter@ag.tamu.edu
806-677-5608
Texas A&M University - Agricultural Communications
1-Mar-2005


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