New Milling Wheat Class to be Established on an Interim Basis

Based on feedback received earlier this year, the Canadian Grain Commission is moving closer to establishing a new class for milling wheat varieties with lower gluten strength.

The change is meant to protect the quality and consistency of the Canada Western Red Spring (CWRS) and Canada Prairie Spring Red (CPSR) wheat classes, while also creating a home for new U.S. varieties that don’t fit in any existing classes (as explained here).

Before committing to a permanent class, the CGC says an interim wheat class will be created for the Faller and Prosper wheat varieties, which recently received interim registration from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. ND Elgin, another American wheat variety, could fit in this class if it is registered by the CFIA.

Diagrams comparing the current and proposed classification systems for Canada and the U.S.

Diagrams comparing the current and proposed classification systems for Canada and the U.S. (CGC)

A review of the varieties currently in the CWRS and CPRS classes has also been initiated to ensure varieties meet the revised quality characteristics. Owners of these varieties are being asked to indicate their intention to complete additional trials or to transition their variety to a different class.

The CGC received 45 formal submissions on the new wheat class proposal during the consultation period that ended on April 20th.

“Stakeholders advised caution in introducing a new wheat class. With that in mind, any decision made on a new wheat class will be based on careful study of potential market demand, farm gate value, and grade structure,” noted Elwin Hermanson, the CGC’s chief commissioner.

As for a timeline, the commission says further decisions on the new wheat class will be announced after the CGC has “reviewed further information and input regarding market demand, and has determined an appropriate class and transition period for identified varieties that do not meet the criteria for CWRS or CPSR wheat.”

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Kelvin Heppner

Kelvin Heppner is a field editor and radio host for RealAgriculture and RealAg Radio. He's been reporting on agriculture on the prairies and across Canada since 2008(ish). He farms with his family near Altona, Manitoba, and is on Twitter at @realag_kelvin. @realag_kelvin

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