European Millers, Food Processors Check Out Montana Durum

Tour this week focused on quality of state's pasta wheats.

Published on: Aug 30, 2013

Montana durum wheat got a close look from members of a European miller and food processing tour this week as they sought the best source for their pasta-making durum wheats.

In a U.S. Wheat Associates and Montana Wheat and Barley Commission mission, the trade team from Europe was shown how well Montana wheat growers an do durum.

Seven members on the team are  procurement and technical managers for Italian, German and Portuguese firms, all which import most of their wheat.

During their visit to Montana and other parts of the West, the team learned about 2013-14 northern durum crop outlooks and research.

The team came looking for information on advances in wheat breeding, improved gluten strength and reduced cadmium uptake as well as  farming sustainability, says Rutger Koekerk, a USWA marketing specialist based in Rotterdam who accompanied the tour.

Selling more grain abroad was the goal of a European trade mission to Montana earlier this week.
Selling more grain abroad was the goal of a European trade mission to Montana earlier this week.

Up to date and first-hand  information on western durum were a focus of the tour, he adds, which was designed to boost confidence of the Europeans in the reliability and value of the U.S. grain marketing machine.

The European durum trade tour was sponsored by the MWBC and the Arizona Grain Research & Promotion Council, with funding originating from market development programs administered by USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service.

USW also collaborated with the North Dakota Wheat Commission and California Wheat Commission for sponsorship. The visitors also attended events in North Dakota, California and Arizona.

The USW is the industry's market development arm which works in more than 100 nations to promote sales of U.S. wheat exports. It is designed to develop, maintain and expand international markets to enhance profits for the nation's growers.

The Montana Wheat and Barley Commission is a grower operation with a goal of securing future prospects for the state's grain farmers. It is funded by voluntary assessments on each bushel produced in Montana.