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This spring be wheat variety aware

CWRS and CPSR wheats you seed in the spring could be in the CNHR class when you combine them in the fall

Farmer Walking Through Field Checking Wheat Crop

Western farmers should review which wheat varieties they intend to sow next spring — because come harvest some could be in a different class.

On Aug. 1, 2018, 25 wheats in the Canada Western Red Spring (CWRS) class and four in the Canada Prairie Spring Red (CPSR) class will move to the Canada Northern Hard Red (CNHR) class.

The CNHR class was established Aug. 1, 2016 as part of a plan to tighten up the quality specifications for the CWRS and CPSR classes, while allowing Prairie farmers to grow some of the newly registered, high-yielding American Dark Northern Spring wheats, which, while suitable for milling, lack the protein and gluten strength of wheats in the CWRS class.

“We want to protect the CWRS quality and consistency and we want to ensure the varieties meet the requirements for milling, dough strength, protein and the end-use functionality as well,” Usman Mohammad, a CGC inspection specialist told farmers attending a ‘grading school’ organized by the Manitoba Canola Growers and Manitoba Wheat and Barley Growers associations here Dec. 7.

Around 2010 some of Canada’s wheat customers started complaining the gluten strength in CWRS wheat was weaker than it used to be, said Chris Fleury, a CGC inspection trainer.

“We found some of those (CWRS) varieties (Lillian, Unity and Harvest) that were so popular were at the very low end of the gluten strength when it comes to meeting a quality standard,” Fleury said. “Throw in a little bit of adverse weather and it pushed the gluten even lower.”

After consultations the grain industry agreed to tighten the standards for both CWRS and CPSR and to move the varieties that don’t meet the new standards to the new CNHR class.

It currently already includes the American varieties Faller, Prosper and Elgin ND and two others — AAC Concord and AAC Tradition. The former had been in the CWRS class, and the latter was in the Canada Western General Purpose class, now called the Canada Western Special Purpose class.

It’s important for farmers to know what varieties they are growing and what class they belong as grain buyers require them to sign declarations that they will not misrepresent the grain they deliver.

If a wheat is mixed with the wrong class it could downgrade a bin, or even a vessel, to feed and the offending farmer could be held liable.

The following CWRS wheats move to the CNHR class Aug. 1, 2018: AC Abbey, AC Cora, AC Eatonia, AC Majestic, AC Michael, AC Minto, Alvena, Alikat, CDC Makwa, CDC Osler, Columbus, Conway, Harvest, Kane, Katepwa, Leader, Lillian, McKenzie, Neepawa, Park, Pasqua, Pembina, Thatcher, Unity, 5603HR.

The following CPSR wheats move to the CNHR class Aug. 1, 2018: AC Foremost, AC Taber, Conquer, Oslo.

On Aug. 1, 2019 AC Crystal moves from the CPSR class to the CNHR class.

About the author


Allan Dawson

Allan Dawson is a reporter with the Manitoba Co-operator based near Miami, Man. Covering agriculture since 1980, Dawson has spent most of his career with the Co-operator except for several years with Farmers’ Independent Weekly and before that a Morden-Winkler area radio station.



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