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  • By Lynda Kiernan-Stone, Global AgInvesting Media

Canadian Grain Commission to Reclassify 29 Wheat Varieties

The Canadian Grain Commission (CGC) announced on July 29 that it will be reclassifying a total of 29 wheat varieties.

Twenty five Canada Western Red Spring (CWRS) varieties and four Canada Prairie Spring varieties will be reclassified effective August 1, 2017 based on consultations with both international and domestic stakeholders who are concerned that the gluten content of the varieties was no longer meeting expectations. The new classification will denote Carberry as the lower threshold for gluten strength, and Glenn as the upper threshold.

The commission is taking into consideration whether it will demote the varieties into lower existing classes, or if it will create a new lower-quality milling wheat class to fit the demoted varieties – a move that is causing concern within the industry, as some believe it will only create additional costs to follow through with segregation.

“We don’t support the establishment of a new milling class at this time because we haven’t seen evidence of the value it would provide to farmers,” said Tom Steve, general manager of the Alberta Wheat Commission. “We all support efforts aimed at maintaining our reputation for quality and consistency, but I think where we sometimes differ is on how best to get there.”

Beginning in 2017/18 the demoted varieties will fetch a lower market price, however growers will still be allowed to market their crops in the exiting CWRS class until July 31, 2017.

Growers anticipated the more strident gluten parameters being considered by the commission, however many were surprised by the number of affected varieties. The Alberta commission suggested allowing some of the more popular varieties to be allowed to stay in the CWSR class until growers reduced planting as they have been steadily shifting toward other CWRS varieties in recent years.

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