U.S. Wheat Associates has developed an interactive map showing precisely where each class of wheat in the U.S. is grown and how it is transported to ports.

The new wheat export supply system map is designed to allow wheat buyers to identify where the wheat they want is grown and how it's delivered, said Steve Mercer, vice president of communications for the organization.

U.S. Wheat is the overseas marketing arm for the industry.

Trade servicing is a big part of differentiating and adding value to U.S. wheat compared to wheat grown by competing countries, Mercer said.

The map shows how wheat is delivered from farm to export elevator.

It includes a selection tool that allows the viewer to identify U.S. wheat production by class, wheat shuttle loading terminals, Class 1 U.S. rail lines and spurs, river terminals, major rivers and export elevator locations.

The map comes at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic is limiting travel, which means most of U.S. Wheat's interactions with customers are virtual or online.

"It's another tool our representatives can use," Mercer said. "It will enhance their ability to provide that information."

U.S. Wheat worked with Heartland GIS, which develops geographical information system maps. The Ohio-based company worked with state commissions to develop the map, which uses USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service data and satellite imagery.

Mercer estimated the map cost less than $50,000. U.S. Wheat used funds from the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service's Agricultural Trade Promotion program.

"It's probably the most accurate map of production ever," Mercer said. "It also just shows the depths and reliability of the U.S. export supply system."

U.S. Wheat will update information on the map as it changes, Mercer said.

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