California wheat growers have once again given their vote of confidence to the California Wheat Commission. In the most recent referendum that was conducted in January and February, over 87 percent of wheat growers voting were in favor of continuing the California Wheat Commission’s programs for the next five years.
The State Food and Agriculture code mandates the Wheat Commission to conduct research and market development activities and provides for the collection of the an assessment. The current rate, set each year by the Commission, is five cents per hundred weight, or $1.00 per ton, to be collected at the first point of sale.
Commission Chairman and Clarksburg wheat grower Larry Hunn stated, “The Commission’s Board of Directors is very thankful for the support shown by California wheat growers. We take seriously the responsibility of representing the interests of wheat growers at the state, national, and international level. As the Commission plans for the next five years, supporting research into new and improved wheat varieties with increased resistance to wheat diseases such as Stripe Rust will continue to be a priority. The Commission will also strengthen its market development efforts in local, national and international markets by emphasizing the excellent quality and nutritional value of California wheat.”
The Commission is involved with all segments of the wheat value chain, from wheat breeders and growers, to millers, food companies and consumers. "California wheat is used in many different products, including bread, pasta, tortillas, Asian noodles, and animal feed," explains Janice Cooper, Executive Director. "As trends change, we want to make sure our growers are in a position to understand the changing market and to meet new demand."
Commission Vice-Chairman and Brawley durum grower Roy Motter added, “Growers are invited to contact their local Commission representative or to visit the office and wheat quality laboratory in Woodland, Calif. We welcome input from growers as we prepare for our priority-setting board meeting in April. California’s wheat crop is diverse. The crop covers about 700,000 acres from the Imperial Valley through the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys and into the intermountain region of Northern California. We produce five classes of wheat under irrigation and non-irrigation practices. In order to be responsive to such a diverse industry, the input of growers is essential.”