Five more CWRS varieties to be moved to new wheat class due to lower gluten strength

The Canadian Grain Commission has announced it is moving five more Canada Western Red Spring (CWRS) wheat varieties to the new Canada Northern Hard Red (CNHR) wheat class due to these varieties not meeting gluten requirements for Western Canada’s flagship CWRS class.

After hearing concerns about gluten strength from customers, the Grain Commission tightened the quality parameters for the CWRS and Canadian Prairie Spring Red (CPSR) classes in 2015. The CNHR class was established in 2016 for varieties that no longer met the CWRS and CPSR standards.

At the time, it was determined 29 varieties needed to be moved to the new CNHR class — a change that will take place August 1, 2018, but for some varieties, there was insufficient information to determine whether they could meet the new gluten strength benchmarks.

The CGC says seed variety owners had the option of growing their variety for two years at six sites across Western Canada to verify the class for which they are best-suited. Following this analysis, the CGC has decided five additional CWRS varieties don’t meet the parameters to remain in the CWRS class, so as of August 1, 2021, the following varieties will be reassigned to the CNHR class:

  • AAC Redwater
  • AC Domain
  • AC Muchmore
  • Vesper
  • 5605 HR CL

“With these changes, the Canadian Grain Commission has taken steps to protect the reputation and performance of one of the most sought-after wheat classes on the market,” says Patti Miller, chief commissioner with the Canadian Grain Commission, in a statement on Friday. “We have responded to concerns raised by our customers and this will ensure that Canada’s wheat industry maintains its reputation as a consistent supplier of high quality milling wheat.”

Notably absent from this list is AAC Brandon, which was also under review, meaning the popular variety will be remaining in the CWRS class.

The Alberta Wheat Commission immediately expressed disappointment with the CGC’s decisions, noting AC Muchmore and AAC Redwater acres have expanded rapidly since 2014 and 2015. Redwater has gained popularity in northern growing areas thanks to its early maturity.

The provincial wheat group says the reclassification “fails to consider the agronomic performance of these varieties” and that “there have been no known complaints from global buyers on the varieties being pulled from the CWRS class.”

“Farmers are choosing these varieties because they are high yielding, have better disease resistance and are early maturing,” said Kevin Bender, AWC Chair. “If the quality of these varieties has never been raised as an issue with our global customers then farmers should be able to choose them based on their agronomic advantage without losing the economic value of growing CWRS wheat.”

Alberta Wheat pushed for an economic analysis of the class changes.

“Reclassification puts financial stress on farmers with the unexpected need to replace varieties,” Bender said. “We would have liked to see the CGC consult with farmers and consider these economic impacts before making these changes.”


The growing CNHR class

Current CNHR varieties:

  • AAC Concord
  • AAC Tradition
  • Elgin ND
  • Faller
  • Prosper

Varieties moving into the CNHR class as of August 1, 2018:

From Canada Western Red Spring

  • 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

From Canada Prairie Spring Red

  • AC Foremost
  • AC Taber
  • Conquer
  • Oslo

Variety moving into the CNHR class as of August 1, 2019:

  • AC Crystal

Varieties moving into the CNHR class as of August 1, 2021:

  • AAC Redwater
  • AC Domain
  • AC Muchmore
  • Vesper
  • 5605 HR CL

 

 

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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