Education & Grower Services

The Washington Grain Commission (WGC) funds a portion of it budget for educational and grower services.

Wheat Life magazine is a publication dedicated to the Washington wheat and barley industry and the WGC provides articles and information.

Transportation enables wheat to move from the farm to market. Over 60 percent of the crop moves by way of the Snake/Columbia River system. Another 35 percent moves by train. An important short line rail industry serves as a feeder system to both barge and major rail shipping terminals. All of the crop must move by truck, for a distance, to reach barge and train loading terminals. The capability of shipping their crop to market by train or by barge helps discipline the prices either can charge. The 360 mile long navigation system starts in Lewiston, Idaho and brings barges filled with wheat to Portland where they are unloaded at exporters and reloaded on vessels heading overseas. BNSF is the primary rail service in Washington and there are now three unit train loading facilities which can each handle 110 car trains in the state. These facilities make loading more efficient and the train is shipped as a unit to its destination, again at facilities in Portland or Southwest Washington.
Statement of Fact:
Pacific Northwest growers enjoy the unique position of marketing Soft White and Western White Wheat to the world at a premium price. This is a direct result of our ongoing regional commitment to functional quality and consistency of our product.

Statement of Problem:
Wheat producing areas of the country are experiencing quality concerns for wheat indigenous to their region, thus impacting demand. Our international and domestic customers are expressing concern about the downward trend in end use quality and functionality of wheat shipments. We believe this decline in wheat quality is highly correlated to increased pressure by growers on variety developers for increased yield without the commensurate focus on quality when releasing new cultivars. Yield and quality are both needed to maintain long-term profitability and market access.

Statement of Resolution:
The Wheat Commissions of the PNW hereby resolve to renew our commitment to end use quality by incrementally raising the overall quality t-score designations for new Soft White Winter wheat variety releases in the PNW in the following manner: Varieties with: t-scores values above 2.25 are classified as Most Desirable; t-scores between 2.25 and 0 (check variety) are classified as Desirable; t-scores between 0 and -1.5 are classified as Acceptable; t-scores below -1.5 are classified as Least Desirable. T-scores will continue to be determined using the methodology developed by the Western Wheat Quality Laboratory. This incremental increase in the standard for varieties sends the appropriate message to the entire value chain from the variety developers and growers, to our customers. We value our customers’ business and are determined to be worthy of their trust in our ability to supply them with the quality and consistency they deserve.

Wheat Quality Resolution 1-23-16

Resolution Statement 2:
The Wheat Commissions of the PNW hereby resolve to renew our commitment to end use quality by incrementally raising the overall quality t-score designations for new soft and hard wheats and establishing a new Unacceptable quality designation for varieties in the PNW in the following manner:

For soft wheats, -6 would identify candidates to be classified as Unacceptable Except Customer-Specific Uses after review of milling and baking data.
For hard wheats, -4 would identify candidates to be classified as Unacceptable Except Customer-Specific Uses after review of milling and baking data. Additionally for Hard Red Winter, varieties with t-scores below
-2.5 are classified as Least Desirable.

Preferred Variety Brochure definition for LD would be adjusted and a new definition for UCS would read:
• Least Desirable (LD): These varieties have displayed low quality characteristics for this class of wheat. The intrinsic quality of PNW wheat will be improved if these varieties are not planted.
• Unacceptable Except Customer-Specific Uses (UCS): One or more critical flaws in quality are present in these varieties and will not make suitable products for this class of wheat. Production of these varieties should be targeted to specific end-uses and kept strictly segregated from general commercial channels.

Wheat Quality Resolution November 2016