June 21, 2013

21/06/2013: Development of heat-tolerant grain; ancient Mexican grain; Israeli trade team examines US wheat crop

Washington State University, with support from the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), is set to lead a US$16.2 million effort to develop wheat varieties that are better at tolerating the high temperatures found in most of the world’s growing regions - temperatures that are likely to increase with global warming.

The work is part of the U.S. government’s global hunger and food security initiative, Feed the Future.

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Amaranth, once as fundamental to Central and South American diets as corn and beans, has virtually disappeared after the Spanish banned it because of its use in Aztec human sacrifice rituals. 

Now there are efforts to bring it back as a staple in Mexico, for its both superior nutritional qualities and its resistance to the pressures of a changing climate.

The world’s flour millers know they can count on U.S. wheat farmers for a reliable supply of high quality wheat, thanks to export market development programs.

That includes millers in Israel, where only 10 percent of milling wheat can be sourced domestically due to a lack of agricultural land and water for irrigation.

To reinforce that relationship, U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) organised a team of technical and commercial milling managers from Israel to travel to Oklahoma, Texas and Washington, DC, June 22 to 28 to examine the U.S. hard red winter (HRW) production areas and crops, visit export elevators and discuss trade policy. 
Amaranth (left) and wheat (right) grains
Amaranth (left) and wheat (right) grains (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
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