Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Canadian wheat quality at risk

Canada’s reputation for high-quality bread-making hard red spring wheat is under threat, according to a report by Allan Dawson of the Manitoba Cooperator.

He interviewed Dave Hatcher, a research scientist with the Canadian Grain commission’s Grain research Laboratory, and learned that customers complained about poor-quality wheats from the 2012 harvest.

Hatcher said there were fewer complaints about 2013 wheat.

He said weather may have been a factor, but another worrisome factor is widespread planting of some new varieties that have only marginal bread-making quality.

Hatcher said consistency is a huge factor in wheat marketing.

The Canadian Grain Commission is responsible for ensuring that every export shipment is up to snuff.

Hatcher said a quality test that was dropped for budget reasons has been brought back. It’s run on strains put forward for registration.

He told Dawson that “2012, from a customer point of view, they were very unhappy. It came as a bit of a shock them too.”