U.S. Wheat Associates has released its 2008-2009 Annual Report covering worldwide marketing activities and developments from June 2008 through May 2009 for all six classes of U.S. wheat.

“Following a steady decline over 10 years, world wheat stocks rebounded last year to their highest level since 2001/02,” says a letter in the report by 2008-2009 USW Chairman Michael Edgar and President Alan Tracy. The report notes that while the altered competitive situation pressured U.S. wheat sales, producer-funded USW and its team of 80 men and women working in more than 100 countries kept the focus on the reliable supply, high quality, and value of U.S. wheat, which helped the U.S. hold its position as the world’s leading wheat exporter.

Maintaining global markets for the abundance of the U.S. wheat harvest would not be possible without generous support from 18 state checkoff programs and the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS). According to the report, the $4.3 million USW received from wheat producers, combined with FAS program funding, helped return nearly $7 billion in U.S. wheat sales in 2008/09. In fact, the report notes, average annual U.S. wheat exports have grown by 10 percent over the last five years.

“We also worked closely with the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) to begin aligning the eventual introduction of biotechnology traits in wheat with the interests of producers, technology providers and end-users,” the USW leaders say. “We fought trade barriers, including promoting the languishing U.S. — Colombia Free Trade Agreement to protect an estimated annual $100 million in U.S. wheat sales.” USW in 2008-2009 also worked to build relationships with the Obama Administration, emphasizing the benefits of free trade for wheat producers.

The USW 2008-2009 Annual Report will soon appear in several U.S. publications covering the wheat production industry, and is posted on the USW Web site http://bit.ly/chNhc.

U.S. Wheat Associates is the industry’s market development organization working in more than 100 countries on behalf of America's wheat producers. The activities of U.S. Wheat Associates are made possible by producer checkoff dollars managed by 18 state wheat commissions and through cost-share funding provided by USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service.

For more information, visit http://www.uswheat.org or contact your state wheat commission.