Bakers support summit elements

by Josh Sosland
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WASHINGTON — Nearly one month after wheat industry groups gathered in Kansas City for Wheat Summit II, the first official reaction to the proceedings was issued this week. The Commodity Task Force of the American Bakers Association on May 18 expressed support of efforts to strengthen the transportation and marketing infrastructure for wheat and agreed with two domestic farm policy priorities from the summit: farm bill commodity programs should be commodity neutral and conservation programs, especially the Conservation Reserve Program, "should be given increased flexibility that will allow productive acres to return to production." The A.B.A. said its members are "split" on a proposal for a hard white wheat development program and will therefore remain neutral on the program. The A.B.A. described itself as "generally supportive" of National Wheat Improvement Committee and National Association of Wheat Growers’ wheat research priorities, but expressed reservations about bioengineered wheat. "There is much value in the work done at the U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service wheat quality laboratories focusing on ways to improve productivity, profitability, end-use quality, food safety and security, disease and insect resistance and environmental health," the A.B.A. said. The summit was held April 19 at the Hyatt Regency Crown Center in Kansas City.

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