Mildew doesn’t impact the milling qualities of wheat as much as it affects appearance, according to a two-year study conducted by the Canadian Grain Commission. For this reason, the CGC says it’s allowing an increased presence of mildew in milling wheat classes in Western Canada effective immediately.
The commission initiated the study after extensive downgrading due to mildew that developed from wet conditions in 2014.
Considering the findings, the Western Standard Committee’s wheat sub-committee on October 3 recommended the visual guides and standards for mildew be adjusted immediately. After assessing protein, falling number, milling yield, dough colour and other milling characteristics, the CGC says the changes will have no impact on the quality of products made from Canadian wheat.
“The (CGC) recognizes the impact mildew has on the bottom line for wheat producers. This science-based change will put money directly back into the pockets of Canadian producers, while maintaining the quality of wheat classes,” noted acting chief commissioner Jim Smolik in a statement on Friday.
The commission says it also consulted with the Canadian International Grains Institute to ensure the loosened guidelines will have no impact on products made from Canadian wheat.
The changes affect the following 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.
New visual standards are currently being developed to reflect increased mildew content.
Read more about the CGC’s mildew study here.