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.
Benchmarking the Michigan wheat farmer
Dr. Roy Black and Martin Nagelkirk
Selected Cultural Practices and Sources of Cultural Practice Information Used by Michigan Wheat Growers
In March 2011, just as the visionary Michigan wheat check-off task force was preparing for a referenda to establish the check-off, two MSU staff members were taking the state’s first industry-wide look at wheat production.
Dr. Roy Black, professor in the Department of Agriculture, Food and Resource Economics, and MSU Extension wheat educator Martin Nagelkirk sent a simple survey to all Michigan wheat growers on record to create a baseline for future comparisons of key performance indicators. The report looks at five-year average yields, varieties planted, nitrogen rates used, scab control measures and other production practices.
Click below to read the final report by Dr. Roy Black and Martin Nagelkirk, which has become MSU Farm Information Resource Management Fact Sheet No. 14-01.