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Japanese trade team to visit north Idaho

Representatives from the Pacific Northwest’s (PNW) largest Soft White importing country will be hosted by the Idaho Wheat Commission in Lewiston, June 8-10. The five team members are from the Japanese Milling Association.

Japan currently buys about 5 million tons of imported wheat mainly from the U.S., Canada and Australia. Last year, the United States supplied about 65 percent of this volume, about 28 million bushels were Soft White wheat from the PNW.

The team’s goal while in Idaho includes gathering information about the Soft White Wheat and Club wheat breeding programs; learning about the barging system; and understanding how farmers and elevators market wheat.

While in Idaho, the team will visit the University of Idaho and the ARS Lab in Pullman, Wash., to meet with researchers. The IWC will provide an outlook on the 2010 Soft White Wheat crop and provide supply and demand information, while researchers will discuss goals of the variety development program and wheat quality research.

The team will also tour Lewis and Clark Terminal where they will learn about bulk grain transportation and the impact of the river closure next year. PNW Farmer’s Coop will provide an overview of how a local elevator operates.

The Idaho Wheat Commission and U.S. Wheat Associates work to maintain and improve export market opportunities for Idaho wheat producers with support from the farmers themselves through a two-cent per bushel check-off.

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