News & Events
The global market for gluten-free products has been on the rise in recent years and is expected to reach $6.2 billion by 2018, according to MarketsandMarkets, a U.S. based global market research company. To meet the increasing demand, food manufacturers are relying on gluten-free ingredients to produce baked goods, cereals, snacks and other products that meet consumer demands.
Sorghum: A Gluten-Free Whole Grain
Sorghum is recognized as an important farm crop in the United States and has expanded to become one of the top five crops grown worldwide.
Although sorghum has been predominately grown for livestock feed and ethanol production in the United States, it is mainly used for human food elsewhere in the world. This is partly because the crop can grow in harsh environments with drought conditions where other grains do not typically perform as well.
Barley has been a long-time ingredient in animal feed rations and beer, a beverage enjoyed worldwide. But this ancient grain is also garnering attention by health professionals for its nutritional benefits for human health.
A team of leaders from COPAG, a dairy and beef cattle cooperative in Morocco, traveled to Texas last week to see firsthand state-of-the-art beef feeding, harvesting and processing on a learning journey sponsored by the U.S. Grains Council (USGC). In addition, they learned about management techniques that improve quantity and quality of beef harvested.
The U.S. Grains Council (USGC) in collaboration with industry partners recently met in Fargo, North Dakota, to present the results of three beef feedlot feeding trials and discuss the market implications.
The trials were conducted in North Dakota and Alberta, Canada, and were sponsored by the Council, the North Dakota Corn Utilization Council, the North Dakota Ethanol Utilization Council, Northern Crops Institute, North Dakota State University and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.
When the need arises to apply chemicals to crops in the United States, not just anyone can do it. Pesticides, which include insecticides and herbicides, have both federal and local regulations governing private applicators.
Certifying agencies differ across the country, and the certification process differs from state to state, but all fall under the regulation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Mark Seastrand, a barley farmer from North Dakota, officially finished his 2015 harvest at the end of August. Shortly after completion, Seastrand received reports back from the malters who purchased his barley on contract that they were pleased with both the quality and quantity of his crop.
On his farm, Seastrand also raises barley for seed production. In 2015, he planted a new variety, Genesis, developed by North Dakota State University.
Despite insect pressure on his central Kansas farm, sorghum farmer Adam Baldwin said his 2015 crop is on track to be his best yet.
“About a month ago, we scouted and came across sugarcane aphids in some of our fields,” Baldwin said.
Because of a research project conducted by Kansas State University (K-State), the aphids were detected early.
Over the late summer and early fall months, Iowa corn farmer Greg Alber maintained a positive outlook for his 2015 crop. However, minor set backs included fungal disease and lack of moisture in his fields.
The U.S. Grains Council’s Grain News has followed three producers throughout 2015: Greg Alber, a corn farmer from Iowa; Adam Baldwin, a sorghum farmer from Kansas; and Mark Seastrand, a barley farmer from North Dakota. Each have shared their decision-making processes on their farms for planting, managing the growing season and now harvest.
As harvest approaches and these producers start to take the 2015 crop from the fields, they are keeping their eyes on the ever-changing market outlook, as well as evaluating their inputs for the current year and planning for 2016.