MANHATTAN, KANSAS, U.S. — The status of the wheat crop throughout the Great Plains was the focus of the Producer Market Awareness seminar held March 29-30 at the Kansas State University (KSU) International Grains Program (IGP) Conference Center.

Twenty-five wheat producers and industry representatives from Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Colorado, Wyoming and Texas attended the seminar hosted by IGP in partnership with Plains Grains, Inc. Along with the on-site attendees, 22 participants from the U.S., Brazil and South Africa joined in the seminar through a live web connection.

In addition to the 2011 crop conditions, producers learned about how climate, transportation and markets impact their business decisions.

“It was beneficial for me to see how broad the industry really is and how all these factors work together,” said Paul Fruendt, wheat producer from Guthrie, Oklahoma, U.S.

Armed with the most current information, producers like Von Johnson of Cambridge, Nebraska, U.S., are able to use their knowledge to make business decisions.

“This information helps me with my marketing plans and deciding what wheat varieties I am going to use for the seed business,” Johnson said.

Along with discussing the status of the wheat crop, Kansas wheat producer Scott Van Allen, Clearwater, Kansas, U.S., said he learned a lot about how the various grain commodity markets impacted wheat prices.

“I have a new perspective on how much our wheat market is intertwined with the other commodities,” Van Allen said.

All three wheat growers were surprised by the interest abroad in the information presented in this producer seminar.

“The overseas interest in the webinar just shows how global our product really is,” said Van Allen.

His thoughts are echoed by, Fruendt, who said, “As producers, we need to be more connected to what is going on overseas so we can make the necessary adjustments in our own businesses.”

These comments relate to one of the messages seminar planners hoped to convey to their producer attendees.

“Wheat is truly a global commodity and events around the world impact wheat markets and prices,” said Mark Fowler, IGP associate director.

For co-planner, Mark Hodges, executive director of Plains Grains, Inc., he hopes the attendees have a better understanding the current wheat situation and looks forward to planning more of these types of programs in the future.

To view the webinar recordings, go to the IGP website at