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Italy's Pasta Rule Has Wheat Used in Spaghetti Piling Up in Canada

  • Low-carb, gluten-free diets also cut durum demand; price sags
  • ‘Difficult spot’ for farmers may trigger planting shifts
Inside Barilla SpA's New Plant For Italian Pasta Manufacturing

Photographer: Alessia Pierdomenico/Bloomberg

On Gerrid Gust’s farm in Saskatchewan, favorable weather this year brought a bumper crop of high-protein durum wheat, the best in the past few years. The grain used to make spaghetti isn’t fetching the usual premium price, though. It’s stuck in storage because of restrictions on pasta by Italy, the world’s top consumer, and popular diets that avoid carbohydrates.

“We’ve got lots of high-quality durum in the bins,” around 80,000 bushels, Gust, 42, said in a telephone interview. The 3,000 acres he plants in Davidson, Saskatchewan, may be idle next year if the market doesn’t improve. “There’s no use trying to grow more of something the world doesn’t need,” he said.