Ag Sec Paints Dim Picture for Wheat

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) _ Agriculture Secretary Edward Schafer says the world has never been less secure about the near-term future of wheat.

Schafer told the International Food Aid Conference meeting in Kansas City Wednesday that global wheat stocks are at a historic 30-year low. U.S. wheat stocks are at unprecedented 60-year low.

Against this background is the emergence of the highly virulent African stem rust that is spreading quickly. Schafer said that 75 percent of U.S. wheat acres are planted to varieties that are highly susceptible to that disease.

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