ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA, U.S. —  European flour millers and food processors seek out the highest quality wheat each year to produce their premium pasta products. That is why U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) is bringing a European trade team to the U.S.  Aug. 24-31 to demonstrate how U.S. durum — the hardest of the six U.S. wheat classes — matches their needs. 

The team’s seven members are procurement and technical managers of the leading Italian, German and Portuguese durum millers and pasta processors, all of which import most of their wheat directly. During visits to North Dakota, Montana, Arizona and California, the team will learn about 2013-14 northern and Desert durum crop outlook and research. Farmers in both the Northern Plains and Southwest grow durum, although there are distinct characteristics between the varieties grown in each region. In each state, the team will hear from wheat researchers, tour grain elevators and visit with farmers in the field. 

“The team is looking for information on advances in wheat breeding, improved gluten strength and reduced cadmium uptake and sustainability,” said Marketing Specialist Rutger Koekoek, based in the USW Rotterdam office, who will accompany the team. “The program for this team will provide an up-to-date, firsthand picture of U.S. durum wheat quality and boost their confidence in the reliability and value of the U.S. grain marketing system.” 

The European durum trade team is sponsored in part by the Montana Wheat & Barley Committee and the Arizona Grain Research & Promotion Council and funding from market development programs administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service. USW also collaborated with the North Dakota Wheat Commission and California Wheat Commission on this team.