A team of major Taiwanese wheat processors and a group of 34 Washington wheat growers met in a talk shop in the Pacific Northwest during June.
They shared ideas of quality and varieties in a session conducted by the Wheat Marketing Center in Portland, Ore.
The processors were part of the End Products Collaborative project conducted by the WMC and sponsored by U.S. Wheat Associates.
The team from Taiwan studied and experimented with blending hard red winter or hard red spring with soft white wheat to improve traditional product quality and to formulate a replacement for Australian standard white and Australian hard white wheats.
Horse Heaven Grain took part in the talks, with Prosser branch manager Kathy Ripplinger on hand to talk with the visitors. "Wheat Marketing Center often conducts wheat quality workshops for farmers," says WMC Executive Director David Shelton. "Whenever wheat buyers and wheat farmers can get together at the Wheat Marketing Center, life is good."
The group took part in a day in the WMC wheat quality workshop, making sheeted noodles, steamed breads and flat breads for taste-testing.
Of particular interest to soft white growers was the desire of the Taiwan wheat food processors for higher protein SW wheat for steamed bread and noodle products.
"Japan buys SW wheat at a less than 10.5 % protein level," notes USWA West Coast Office Director Steve Wirsching. "Now, we may have found a niche market in Taiwan for limited quantities of 10.5% or great protein of SW wheat for blending purposes."
Segregating by protein level should not be a big problem for our country elevators and wheat farmers as we do most of it already for the Japanese requirements," he adds."However, in the past few years, average protein levels have been low. With the results and success of the blending done at the workshop, we have found a most favorable conclusion to both market needs."