For a magazine focused on news that will in a few weeks’ time mark the 93rd year of its founding — a record almost unique for business publications — declaring an issue to exceed all that preceded it for what is revealed on every page may be overly bold. Yet, that is exactly what this issue represents as a revealing, up-to-date and informative recounting of events within the grain-based foods industry it serves. From the Archives page highlighting occurrences many decades ago that relate strikingly to today to unprecedented acquisitions and like moves, the issue unfolds a period of high, even the highest, drama in history.

In the middle of such great excitement one story may be missed that deserves not just attention but also careful analysis. It is the revelation (right word in view of how it is different from earlier expectations) that wheat flour production by U.S. mills in 2013 attained a new record. Based on interpolated data by staff, output rose to 424,550,000 cwts, up 4,185,000 from the prior year and 3,280,000 above the former peak in 2000 as the new century began.

Yes, those are relatively modest gains, but after years in which decreases sometime occurred, in contrast with the roaring ‘90s of successive output records, 2013 hints of a slightly positive trend. Hardly any background could be more relevant to developments unfolding currently within grain-based foods to transform the industry. Positive production trends are the desired background for grain-based foods in times like these.