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Public Statements

August 2005 Newsletter: Ending Mexico's Ban on American Wheat

Location: Washington DC

August 2005


Ending Mexico's Ban on American Wheat

In July, I joined representatives from the Imperial County Farm Bureau, the California Wheat Commission, and the Imperial County Agriculture Commission to announce Mexico's removal of a nine-year ban on California's wheat.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Mexican Department of Agriculture have signed an agreement to lift this ban on the imports of wheat from California, Arizona and New Mexico. Along with members of the California Congressional Delegation and stakeholders of the U.S. wheat industry, I have been working to resolve this issue ever since the restriction was put in place in 1996.

The ban on wheat exports began after Karnal bunt fungus was found in limited areas across the desert and the Southwest. Karnal bunt is a fungal disease that infects common wheat and spreads through contaminated seeds. Since the discovery of Karnal bunt, the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) have worked to eradicate the disease.

Mexico is considered the second largest market for U.S. wheat exports. The announcement is good news for wheat growers in the Imperial Valley who can now harvest high-quality wheat for a larger consumer population.



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