On The Farm: Pasta Paradise | VideoRene Thibault | 10/12/2012
Paul Peterson, the Head Miller for Minot Milling said that durum is one of the main focuses for the state.
“I think it`s very important, it`s kind of a mainstay here really. I do see a lot of it turning to other crops, but as far as durum, I think it`s the number one thing we do here”.
Minot Milling is a division of Philadelphia Macaroni, and mills durum for internal use and for sale on the open market.
Pasta is traditionally made from durum wheat. North Dakota produces close to 50 million bushels of durum each year. That`s 60 percent of the national total, and this year`s crop was some of the best in recent years according to Kayla Burkhart, a Grain Procurement Merchandiser for SunPrairie Grain.
“The quality was really good, we saw a great quality crop, there were a few spots here and there that had some off quality durum, but overall its been looking really great so far. In past years with weather issues and things like that we`ve had a lot more off quality durum, so its good to see a good quality crop this year.”
The largest portion of North Dakota durum is sold to mills across the U.S. and around the world. Italy is consistently the largest buyer of U.S. durum, followed by Algeria, Nigeria and Venezuela.
A large Canadian durum crop may affect the price and demand of the wheat crop here in the United States, and a switch from durum to other crops like corn here in the state, have lowered the acres of durum for North Dakota.
While durum has been an important crop to the North Dakota economy, its future rest on commodity prices, and the increasing popularity of specialty crops. But don`t forget, North Dakota still grows enough durum to make 17 billion servings of spaghetti.
The North Dakota Wheat Commission will be celebrating Pasta Lover`s Week October 21 through the 27 in honor of Pasta Month.