Wheat

Ram Viswanathan / Flickr

Idaho’s reputation for potatoes is taking a backseat – at least in Asia. The Gem State is selling the island nation of Taiwan five percent of its wheat crop. The deal itself is worth more than half a billion dollars.


Overall, climate change is predicted to hurt agriculture around the world. It could even threaten corn production in the Corn Belt.

But in North Dakota conditions are now better for raising corn, and that's a big benefit for farmers.

When I was growing up in Wolford, N.D., up near the Canadian border, wheat was king. It had been the dominant crop since the prairie was first plowed in the late 1800s. So it was kind of strange to go back this summer and find Larry Slaubaugh, a local farmer, filling his 18-wheeler with corn from a huge steel grain bin.

wheat, grain, agriculture, montana
Daimon Eklund / Flickr Creative Commons

The Northwest wheat harvest is in full swing, but the export of grain has all but stopped at the Port of Vancouver, Wash. The shipments have been blocked because Washington state inspectors have stopped checking grain for export at the port because they don't want to cross a picket line in a labor dispute.

Farmers are calling for those inspections to resume after harvesting about 40 percent of Washington's wheat. Washington Wheat Growers Association President Nicole Berg farms 21,000 acres near the Tri-Cities.

Farmers in Oregon, Idaho and Washington are expected to harvest less wheat this summer. The weather forecast has a lot to do with it.

The US Department of Agriculture says stalks of genetically modified wheat found in a field in Oregon look to be an isolated incident. In an announcement Friday the agency says its own tests confirm the suspect wheat carries modified genes designed by agribusiness giant Monsanto.

Northwest farmers appear relieved that the government is calling the discovery of genetically modified wheat “a single isolated incident in a single field on a single farm.”

How Genetically Modified Crops Could Affect Weeds

Jun 13, 2013
EarthFix

After unauthorized, genetically modified wheat was found in an Oregon field, scientists have been trying to figure out what that means for wheat crops. Beyond farmers’ fields, a few pesky plants could also benefit as more genetically modified crops come into play.

An invasive weed called jointed goatgrass mingles with wheat in fields across the Northwest – and throughout the United States.

Carol Mallory-Smith has studied wheat and jointed goatgrass at Oregon State University for years.

Wheat Field
JayneAndd / Flickr Creative Commons

Farmers in Idaho have filed a potentially class action lawsuit against seed giant Monsanto after genetically engineered wheat was found in an eastern Oregon field.

Wheat
Molly Messick / Boise State Public Radio/StateImpact Idaho

Seed and herbicide maker Monsanto Co. plans to hire 24 people at a new center in southern Idaho where its scientists will study ways to boost wheat production.

The Capital Press reports St. Louis-based Monsanto has gotten the go-ahead from the Idaho Wheat Commission for the Wheat Technology Center in Filer.

Monsanto told Idaho officials in an e-mail this represents a "compelling opportunity... to apply our technology expertise in a global crop that can benefit from innovation."

Connell, Wash.-area seedman, Dana Herron
Anna King / Northwest News Network

There’s been a lot of speculation but few answers so far about how genetically modified wheat ended up in an Oregon field. Northwest farmers and seed purveyors say they go to great lengths to keep each variety of grain distinct, tracked and pure. And yet they concede, mistakes can still happen.

Martin LaBar / Flickr

Agribusiness giant Monsanto says genetically modified wheat found in Oregon could be the result of an accident rather than a widespread planting of the controversial seed. In a call today with reporters, the St. Louis-based company says its provided its specific tests to the U.S. Department of Agriculture for use in the investigation.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has increased the number of investigators and field staff looking into the genetically modified wheat found on an Oregon farm. There are now 15 people on the ground in the Northwest, up from nine last week.

In about a month, Northwest wheat farmers will rev up their tractors for harvest. That means USDA investigators have a limited time to figure out how the genetically modified wheat sprouted up.

How Scientists Test For Genetically Modified Wheat

Jun 3, 2013
Wheat Field
JayneAndd / Flickr Creative Commons

The European Union and Korea have said they will test U.S. shipments of wheat for genetic modification. That’s after last week's report that an unapproved strain of GM wheat developed by Monsanto was found on an Oregon farm.

There isn’t a commercially available test on the market that can identify genetically modified wheat. Scientists use a method called the polymerase chain reaction.

flickr/jonny boy

Japan has temporarily suspended white winter wheat purchases from the Pacific Northwest.

The Japanese Ministry of Agriculture announced the move in response to a report that U.S. regulators found genetically modified wheat on an Oregon farm.

Reuters reports South Korea has also suspended U.S. wheat imports.

flickr/jonny boy

The U.S. Department of Agriculture confirmed Wednesday that an Oregon field is contaminated with a genetically modified strain of wheat. Northwest growers are concerned the finding could hurt this year’s export sales.

About ten years ago Monsanto field tested a wheat variety that was resident to the herbicide Roundup in 16 states. But it was never approved for commercial use.

Now the USDA is investigating why that genetically modified wheat appeared in Oregon this spring.