White wheat success for the US

Published: 01/02/2024

US based Star of the West Milling Co’s investment in an agronomy business has not only provided diversification, but also played a crucial role in sustaining white wheat production in Michigan, according to Michael Fassezke, the president of the milling company. Historically, Michigan, along with Ontario and New York, was a significant producer of soft white winter wheat. Today, New York and Ontario contribute very little, but Michigan maintains a 50/50 ratio of white and red wheat.
Star of the West’s influence, combined with their relationships with producers, has kept white wheat prominent, especially in the Thumb Region and Saginaw Valley. Fassezke emphasised that their unique market niche relies on soft white wheat’s essential qualities for bran and speciality products.
Growers in the region shifted to soft red due to perceived risks such as Fusarium head blight and sprout damage. Fassezke clarified that soft white is not more susceptible to Fusarium but acknowledged its vulnerability to sprouting. Star of the West addresses this by encouraging early harvesting and offering free drying services. Despite challenges, Michigan millers, supported by Star of the West, have successfully maintained white wheat plantings. –