Changes to mildew standards for western milling wheat

Changes will minimize the financial impact on farmers and the grain trade

Mildew damage on individual kernels of 
CWRS wheat.

Mildew guidelines for western Canadian milling wheat classes are getting a bit more forgiving.

Effective immediately visual guides and standards will allow for an increased presence of mildew, something the chief inspection body the Canadian Grain Commission says won’t affect the quality of products made from Canadian wheat.

While the relief will be welcome during a wet harvest season, the CGC says the changes are actually part of a long-running look at the issue.

“The Canadian Grain Commission recognizes the impact mildew has on the bottom line for wheat producers,” said Jim Smolik, the CGC’s acting chief commissioner. “This science-based change will put money directly back into the pockets of Canadian producers, while maintaining the quality of wheat classes.”

Following a two-year study of the impact of mildew on the quality of wheat, the organization met with the Western Standards Committee’s wheat subcommittee October 3, which recommended the changes be made immediately.

New visual standards are currently being established to reflect increased mildew content in the wheat grades.

Quick facts

These changes affect these classes:

  •  Canada Western Red Spring,
  •  Canada Western Hard White Spring,
  •  Canada Western Amber Durum,
  •  Canada Western Red Winter,
  •  Canada Western Soft White Spring,
  •  Canada Western Extra Strong,
  •  Canada Prairie Spring White,
  •  Canada Prairie Spring Red, and
  •  Canada Northern Hard Red.

Mildew occurs in kernels that are affected by field fungi that develop under conditions of excessive moisture.

Samples containing kernels affected by mildew are graded according to the degree of soundness definition in the Official Grain Grading Guide.

The study included assessment of falling number, wheat and flour protein, milling yield and water noodle dough colour.

Tests have shown that mildew primarily affects the appearance of wheat.

The effect of mildew on semolina was found to be negligible.

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