Western Canadian wheat class consultations coming to a head

CGC proposing creating a new milling wheat class

Canada Northern Hard Red could be the name of a new western Canadian milling wheat class being proposed by the Canadian Grain Commission (CGC).

However, both the class and the proposed name aren’t a done deal, say CGC officials Remi Gosselin and Daryl Beswitherick.

“We’re going back to industry stakeholders and engaging in discussion to see where they stand,” Gosselin, the CGC’s manager of corporate information services said in an interview Nov. 6.

In addition the CGC is proposing changes to the Canada Western General Purpose class, including the name and scrapping the little used Canada Western Feed class.

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The CGC hopes to reach an industry consensus early in the new year so changes can be implemented by Aug. 1, 2016 — the start of the new crop year.

What the CGC has nailed down is on Aug. 1, 2018, 25 varieties in the Canada Western Red Spring (CWRS) wheat class and four in the Canada Prairie Spring Red (CPSR) class, will be removed from those respective classes because they don’t fit the new quality standards for their respective classes. The CGC proposes they move into the new milling class if it goes ahead.

The CGC had planned to move the varieties out of the CWRS and CPSR classes Aug. 1, 2017.

“Producer and commodity groups are telling us that they needed more time to deal with their stocks of farm-saved seed of these varieties,” Gosselin said. “They just needed a longer transition period.”

If the proposed new milling wheat class goes ahead, the CGC will drop the Canada Western Interim Wheat class introduced this Aug. 1 as a home for three Dark Northern Spring American wheats — Faller, Prosper and Elgin ND. All received a three-year interim registration from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency earlier this year.

Chief CGC commissioner Elwin Hermanson announced a review of Western Canada’s wheat class system last December, partly to address customers’ complaints about a drop in gluten strength in Canada’s premier CWRS class. The CGC suggested tightening the milling and bak- ing quality standards for both CWRS and CPSR.

“I think a lot of things have come together at the same time — the (low) gluten strength issue and the American varieties being grown legally,” Hermanson said in an interview Dec. 11, 2014.

“We want to consult… ask the right questions… get the right answers and make the right decisions.”

The CGC is proposing the Can- ada Western General Purpose (CWGP) wheat class, created in 2008, be renamed and its scope expanded, said Beswitherick, the CGC’s program manager for quality assurance standards and reinspection industry service.

The CWGP class was created for wheats developed for livestock feed and ethanol production. Since they’re not intended for milling and baking, data on those attributes are not reviewed by the expert Prairie Recommending Committee for Wheat, Oats and Triticale when it decides which new varieties should be recommended for registration — a requirement for commercialization.

The CGC is proposing the general purpose class be broadened to include wheats for other niche markets and be called Canada Western Special Purpose, Beswitherick said.

“It could become more of a catchall, but the industry has told us that it will manage the varieties that they need in a class like that,” he said.

The CGC wants to scrap the Canada Western Feed class be- cause there are no wheat varieties assigned to it now and it’s confusing. The feed wheat grade, which is the lowest grade in each wheat class, would remain, Beswitherick said.

Traditionally Western Canada has had eight milling wheat classes as follows: CWRS, CPSR, CPS White, Canada Western Extra Strong, Canada Western Amber durum, Canada Western Red Winter, Canada Western Soft White and Canada Western Hard White Spring. The introduction Aug. 1 of Canada Western Interim Wheat brought the total to nine, plus two non-milling classes — Canada Western General Purpose and Canada Western Feed — for a total of 11 wheat classes.

If the CGC’s proposal is implemented, Canada Western Interim Wheat will be replaced with a permanent new class, possibly named Canada Northern Hard Red. Canada Western General Purpose will become Canada Western Special Purpose and Canada Western Feed will be dropped for a total 10 classes — nine of them milling.

Citizens interested in com- menting on the CGC’s proposals can contact Beswitherick at 800- 853-6705, [email protected] grainscanada.gc.ca.

Varieties being moved from CWRS, CPS Red, Aug. 1, 2018

The Canadian Grain Commission says the following varieties will be removed from the Canada Western Red Spring (CWRS) and Canada Prairie Spring Red (CPSR) classes Aug. 1, 2018 because they fail to meet their respective class milling and baking standards.

CWRS: 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 and 5603HR.

CPSR: AC Formost, AC Taber, Conquer and Oslo.

About the author

Reporter

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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