Potentially containing a mycotoxin known as DON (deoxynivalenol), fusarium-affected wheat can be a challenge to market, and a safety hazard to handle. But, new work suggests sorting tactics could help improve sample quality.
Rex Newkirk is the vice president of research and innovation at Canadian International Grains Institute (CIGI) and has been heavily involved in looking at how optical sorting and Near Infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS) could be used to upgrade wheat. The premise of the former is quite simple: it looks for differences in colour and shape. The latter, marketed as “BoMill” out of Sweden, is more costly, but with precision, and promise.
“We tested some samples from producers a couple of weeks ago,” explains Newkirk in the following video, “and we were able to significantly reduce the DON levels — down to less than 1ppm DON in these heavily infected samples.”
Newkirk believes that farmer, and others, may choose to buy NIRS units in order to improve the quality and marketability of Fusarium-affected wheat.
In this episode of Wheat School, Newkirk differentiates between the two technologies, discussing the pros and cons of each. Newkirk also explains what he’s seen in assessments so far, and what producers can learn about the systems at an upcoming workshop.