Food aid announcement welcomed by wheat group

Wheat growers are welcoming last week’s one-billion dollar food aid announcement from the USDA and the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Peter Laudeman with U.S. Wheat Associates tells Brownfield this is good for wheat farmers and for folks overseas that need food assistance, and orders should be coming soon. “With this announcement last week, we should see the trigger pulled pretty soon to start seeing wheat tenders come in the very near future.”

Laudeman says the agencies did a lot of the hard work ahead of time to determine which countries need aid, and which commodities are needed, and he expects a large percentage of the food assistance will be wheat. “Upwards of a million tons of wheat each year is going into food aid programs and that’s anywhere from 50 or even 60 percent of what the commodity volume is all wheat, so we’re hoping that there’s certainly going to be some large volumes of wheat.”

Laudeman says even with large food assistance purchases like this, wheat supplies remain good. “These food aid programs can make up, you know, a top ten export market of wheat but still kind of a small fraction in comparison to the commercial sales. I think we’re fortunately, not worried about the wheat supply side. We should be good to go there.”

Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says the one billion in emergency food assistance will come from Commodity Credit Corporation funding, and assist with feeding people in 18 countries.

AUDIO: Peter Laudeman discusses the new food aid announcement and what that means for wheat growers with Brownfield’s Larry Lee

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