The long-term impact on global demand for U.S. wheat and farm income would be devastating if Congress fails to fund the Market Access Program (MAP) and the Foreign Market Development (FMD) program administered by USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. 

That is the conclusion of a new video presentation just released by U.S. Wheat Associates (USW), the wheat industry’s export market development organization.

Titled “Export Market Development: A Vital Partnership with U.S. Wheat,” the video is now posted on USW’s website at and on YouTube at

While U.S. farmers produce wheat of the highest quality, only about 50 percent of each year’s crop is consumed here at home. As a result, developing and growing U.S. wheat exports has a direct impact on farm gate prices.

Through MAP and FMD, the federal government shares costs with U.S. farmers to help them compete in a growing global market. Yet even in the face of increasing export investment by foreign competitors, these programs are at risk in the current federal budget debate. 

“Without the Foreign Market Development program and the Market Access Program, USW would not be able to continue our work overseas,” USW President Alan Tracy says in the presentation.

“The result is that our competitors, including Canada, Australia and Russia, would be ready to swoop in and take those markets. And once we lose them, they don’t come back very quickly.”

Fortunately, U.S. wheat farmers can play an active role in the debate about export promotion funding says Dana Peterson, CEO of the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG), who also appears in the presentation. 
“These programs are authorized in the farm bill and appropriated every year,” Peterson says. “Wheat growers can have discussions with their congressional representatives to make sure they know that export promotion is important and makes a difference on their farms.”