New tour in Virginia may help expand production of soft wheat

virginiaVirginia wheat growers’ crops will be highlighted during a mid-Atlantic tour June 10. Industry stakeholders have conducted wheat quality tours in the Midwest for decades, but mid-Atlantic soft wheat tours are still in their infancy.

“Some people are surprised at how much soft wheat is grown in Virginia,” said tour organizer Andrew Clements, a merchandiser with Gavilon Grain LLC in Kansas City. “This tour may help shed light on Virginia’s wheat industry and help expand production.”

On June 10 agronomists, granary operators, merchandisers, millers and traders will gather on the Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula and in Culpeper County to tour Virginia wheat farms. Virginia Cooperative Extension agents will lead the tours.

Participants will examine wheat fields, check for signs of disease, take sample test weights and estimate yields. Traders and mill representatives will use that data to determine the available wheat supply and its quality.

Wheat will be ready to harvest at the time of the tour, and “this will give us more information about the harvest and take some of the guesswork out of it,” explained Robert Harper, Virginia Farm Bureau Federation grain manager.

“The more information we have, the better,” Clements said. “Wheat is very finicky, and the mills that buy wheat have particular needs for milling-quality wheat.”

Harper said flour mills check wheat for quality factors like mold and test weight. With all the recent wet weather and cloudy conditions, it’s likely that crop quality will not be as good as farmers hoped.

“We had a good March, and by April 1 the wheat crop was ahead of schedule. Then a cold snap hit, and we went into a period of 20 cloudy days and excess rain,” Harper said. “That put the wheat under a whole lot of disease pressure.”

But, he explained, the quality of wheat is ever-changing, so he is hopeful.

The mid-Atlantic soft wheat tour started about five years ago in Pennsylvania when a wheat trader took a local grain elevator representative and a local crop broker to several wheat farms. Since then, the tour has grown to 32 industry leaders and covers Pennsylvania, Maryland and Delaware. This year the tour has added another group in Pennsylvania and expanded to New Jersey and Virginia, Clements said.

Tours in the other states will be held on June 13 and 14, and results of all the tours will be compiled and presented at a June 14 event in Pennsylvania.

augusta free press
augusta free press news

UVA Basketball Fans!

uva basketball team of destiny
Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, by Jerry Ratcliffe and Chris Graham, is available for $25. The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe, and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018 through to the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.

Dick Vitale on Team of Destiny: “This is a hoops story you will LOVE! Jerry and Chris capture the sensational and dramatic championship journey by Tony Bennett and his tenacious Cavalier team. UVA was Awesome Baby and so is this book!”

Ralph Sampson on Team of Destiny: “Jerry and Chris have lived and seen it all, even before my time. I highly recommend this book to every basketball fan across the globe. This story translates to all who know defeat and how to overcome it!”

Buy here.

AFP Business

As professional consultants, Augusta Free Press LLC provides clients in the Shenandoah Valley and Central Virginia and beyond with marketing and PR solutions including website design, SEO, TV/radio, video work, branding and logos, social media and overall marketing campaign design and implementation. Augusta Free Press LLC was founded in 2002.

Web Design

Augusta Free Press has designed more than 800 websites for clients in the Shenandoah Valley and Central Virginia. We take care of all facets of web design – visual design, layout design, content development and SEO. Short on staff? We’ll work with you to update your AFP-designed website in a timely manner or train your staff to make changes.

Marketing/Social Media Management

Augusta Free Press manages advertising campaigns for small- and medium-sized businesses across Virginia. You don’t need to hire a full-time marketing coordinator. Bring the experience of the Augusta Free Press team to work for you – for a fraction of the cost.

Graphic Design

Augusta Free Press will help you take your vision to the next level. From branding and logos to print materials, our team will work with you to develop products to showcase your business. From brochures and rack cards to full-color magazines or print/digital ads, we’ve got you covered.

Event Planning/Fundraising

Augusta Free Press will help you plan the best event for your organization. From an open house or anniversary to a 5K or Pay Per View, we can handle it all. Looking for training for your sales staff? We can help energize your employees or board. Need ideas to raise more money? Let us help you plan a successful event. Want to hold a news conference or need help with a press release? We can do that too.

Click here for more.