Iraq Needs Vegoil And Pulses, Not Wheat

The United States will not donate any further wheat or rice to Iraq, as the country has sufficient supplies for the foreseeable future, the U.S. advisor on Iraq agriculture recently said.

According to Reuters News Service, U.S. Senior Ministry Advisor for Agriculture Daniel Amstutz told reporters Iraq has enough wheat, rice and other grains to meet its needs into the fall.

The USDA, through the U.S. Agency for International Development, has shipped about 60,000 metric tons of U.S. wheat donations, taken from the USDA's Bill Emerson Humanitarian Trust.

Another 100,000 tons of wheat or rice were expected to follow, and the USDA put a further 400,000 tons of the trust's wheat on standby to be sent if needed.

What Iraq needs now are donations of vegetable oil and pulse crops, another USDA official said.

"We've been working with (USAID) to procure those commodities," said Ellen Terpstra, administrator of USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service.

Terpstra said the USDA will likely use much of the additional food aid Congress allocated for Iraq in April to get the vegetable oil and pulse crops, such as chickpeas and lentils.

"That's what's needed at the moment," she said.

Editors note: Richard Brock, Soybean Digest's Marketing Editor, is president of Brock Associates, a farm market advisory firm, and publisher of The Brock Report.