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Producers Encouraged to Prioritize Quality in Variety Selection

By: Jim Peterson
Posted: Apr 17 2024

Producer awareness of quality differences among wheat variety choices is important to maintaining the premium paid for the hard red spring wheat class.   Direct premiums paid at the elevator to producers, or conversely discounts taken are usually for measurable factors that can be quickly assessed in the grain marketing stream, such as protein, grade factors, DON, and falling number.  These are certainly important for end-use wheat quality, as well as meeting contract specifications, but they are not the sole reason why customers prefer U.S. HRS wheat over competing wheats.

There are other important factors that are not quickly measured in the grain trade, including milling, dough and bake parameters.  Specifically, flour extraction, dough strength, water absorption, loaf volume and baking qualities.   These factors are driven largely by genetics in the wheat, environment, and the interaction of both.

Producers can learn more about the differences in the end-use quality performance of available HRS varieties by referring to a recently released brochure that is available for download on the NDWC website, www.ndwheat.com/publications/variety survey.  In the brochure, varieties that were grown in the annual NDSU commercial statewide variety trials were evaluated for milling and baking parameters, and given a score for how they performed.  The varieties in the green category scored the best, with those in the yellow and red scoring poorer for needed end-use traits desired for the HRS wheat class.

As producers select varieties that have the needed agronomics for their growing region, choosing varieties with a higher quality score will help to ensure the U.S. HRS class continues to deliver unique benefits to customers, securing a premium in the marketplace.  Many varieties have strong yield potential, good agronomics and good end-use quality.

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