Due to Idaho’s unique geographical position in the Pacific Northwest (PNW), marketing opportunities continue to evolve and are equally divided between export destinations and domestic markets.
The Pacific Rim. The Middle East. Latin America. Consumers around the world enjoy products made from Idaho wheat. Several decades ago nearly seventy percent of Idaho’s wheat moved through PNW export elevators to overseas destinations. Today that number is close to 50% of production.
After moving via rail or barge to Pacific Coast export elevators, Idaho wheat is commingled with wheat from Washington, Oregon and other states and loaded on to ships.
Cost efficiencies gained by using the barge system on the Snake and Columbia Rivers and the competitive ocean freight rates form west coast ports can add up to substantial savings on shipments to many export destinations.
As population numbers grow in the eastern states the domestic milling industry has grown to meet the demand.
Nearly half of Idaho’s production moves via rail and truck to various end users in states such as California, Utah and Colorado and nascent market on the west coast of Mexico. Idaho has one flour mill. PFM, located in Blackfoot, Idaho, mills approximately 10% of Idaho’s wheat.
Acres of a new class of wheat – Hard White Wheat – are being grown to meet increasing demand for White Whole Wheat products. Due to quality attributes in our hard wheats Idaho grain continues to replace wheat that was once shipped in from other states.
NOTE: A small portion of wheat (less than 10%) is grown for seed and/or used locally as feed depending on price. When wheat is priced close to barley or corn it can be economically fed to livestock. Wheat straw, as a co product with the grain also has many uses.