Michigan has a strong market for wheat including mills and processors such as Chelsea Milling (Jiffy brands), General Mills, Kellogg, King Milling, Knappen Milling, Kraft, Mennel Milling, Nabisco (Mondelez), Post and Star of the West Milling.
The main reason Michigan has so many prominent millers is that Eastern-grown soft winter wheat has a distinctive profile preferred in many commercial recipes. Michigan is also within a day’s drive of most of the US population, which keeps manufacturing costs low.
The Michigan Wheat Program is helping evaluate market opportunities for farmers who are considering the importance of red and white winter wheats in their crop rotation plans. As the wheat check-off looks at current market trends, both end users and processors are asking about wheat’s sustainability in the marketplace.
To help answer all of these questions, in late 2015 the Michigan Wheat Program utilized state grant funds to commission a study to establish some benchmarks and future opportunities for Michigan wheat.
The results of that study will be available in 2017.
Previously, some market-based information was developed as part of a 2011 survey of Michigan wheat farmers’ practices in the field. That study is summarized below.