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Grade designation changes for winter wheat

If you grow winter wheat and are targeting the Canada Western Red Winter (CWRW) class, you should be aware that some varieties will be moving from CWRW into the General Purpose (GP) class on August 1, 2013. The Canadian Grain Commission (CGC), which oversees class designations in Canada, has been working towards segregating winter wheat varieties into different classes for the last several years.

“Under the Canadian Wheat Board, some winter wheat varieties were marketed to milling markets under the CWRW Select program that included some of the CWRW varieties but not all,” says Daryl Beswitherick, program manager, quality assurance standards and re-inspection, with the Canadian Grain Commission in Winnipeg, Manitoba. “Three years ago, the decision was made to segregate the varieties into a CWRW milling class and the rest into the General Purpose class.”

Those segregations are determined by intrinsic quality parameters, including the ability of these varieties to meet a minimum 11 percent protein level for CWRW #1 and #2 grades.

On August 1, 2013, the winter wheat varieties CDC Clair, CDC Harrier, CDC Kestrel and CDC Raptor will move out of the CWRW class into the GP class. CDC Falcon will move into the GP class on August 1, 2014. These varieties have lower milling qualities than some of the new varieties on the market. The moves help to make the CWRW class more consistent in milling quality.

Beswitherick says that the CGC worked with winter wheat industry stakeholders to make sure there were good CWRW replacements for the varieties that were being moved over to the General Purpose class. As new varieties came along, the low milling quality CWRW varieties are being moved over to GP.

“CDC Falcon was an exception. It is the number 1 winter wheat variety in Manitoba and the CGC wanted to make sure there was a good replacement for Falcon available to producers prior to moving CDC Falcon to the General Purpose class,” says Beswitherick.

CDC Falcon accounted for almost two-thirds of Manitoba’s insured winter wheat acreage last fall. It is popular with farmers because of its high yield and short straw that resists lodging.  

A few replacements are coming on line for CDC Falcon. Flourish, a new CWRW variety developed by Rob Graf with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada at Lethbridge, Alberta, is one of them. SeCan Association distributes it and expects relatively good seed supply for planting this fall. Flourish has short straw of excellent strength, high yield potential similar to CDC Falcon, early maturity, and good disease resistance to leaf and stem rust, and resistance to common bunt. It is well adapted across the Prairies.  

Emerson is being touted as another CDC Falcon replacement. It is being handled by Canterra Seeds and is one of the first western Canadian wheat varieties to have resistance to fusarium head blight. Rob Graf at AAFC also developed it. In registration trials, Emerson yielded similar to CDC Falcon, with intermediate maturity and excellent lodging resistance. A limited supply is available for 2013.

Another potential CDC Falcon replacement is another Graf variety named AAC Gateway. Seed Depot is distributing it, but commercial quantities won’t be available until 2014. In the Western Winter Wheat Cooperative Registration trials from 2009 to 2011, AAC Gateway exhibited high grain yield similar to CDC Falcon, good winter survival, short straw of excellent strength, high grain protein concentration, and resistance to intermediate responses to stem rust, leaf rust, stripe rust and fusarium head blight.


June 17, 2013  By Bruce Barker


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