Montana varieties impress at Wheat Quality Council |

Montana varieties impress at Wheat Quality Council

More than 30 South Dakota family farmers and ranchers traveled to Kansas City, Missouri to develop policy advocating for agriculture during the organization's 116th national convention held in Kansas City, Missouri March 4-6, 2018. Photo courtesy SD Farmers Union

GREAT FALLS, Montana — The Wheat Quality Council (WQC) held its 68th annual meeting, forum, and technical review sessions on February 21-22, 2018 in Kansas City, MO with over 125 university and industry participants in attendance. The WQC is the only industry-wide organization that brings together all wheat interests from breeders and producers to millers, processors and bakers. These participants are provided information on the milling and baking qualities of wheat varieties that will be released, grown and processed in the upcoming years. Wheat breeders have an opportunity to network with the industry to determine what quality characteristics the millers and bakers would like to see in new wheat varieties.

Ten hard red spring wheat lines were evaluated across the northern plains region. Montana Wheat and Barley Committee Director, Randy Hinebauch, who sits on the Hard Red Spring Wheat Committee for WQC, helped facilitate a new spring wheat grow-out nursery at the Northern Ag Research Center in Havre. This nursery, managed by Peggy Lamb, had excellent results for the 2017 lines, and will continue to be a valuable research asset going forward. Future lines must be evaluated in a variety of climates and growing conditions, and the Havre site and Peggy have done an excellent job showcasing Montana.

There were 32 winter wheat lines evaluated, ranging from Montana to central Texas. The Montana State University winter wheat breeding program entered one common check, Jagalene, one local check variety, Yellowstone, as well as two experimental lines. Within the group of eight public and private breeding programs involved in hard winter wheat submissions, the Montana program lines ranked third for both milling and baking scores and second for overall performance. One of Montana State University's experimental lines was approved for release in January 2018 and will be given the name "FourOsix". The new variety will be available to seed growers in fall 2018. The Montana set of lines won the coveted 'Miller's Award', the second time MSU has received this honor since 2008. This award highlights quality characteristics desired in the milling and baking industry, and emphasizes how important it is for up and coming varieties to possess traits that not only help producers in the field, but that benefit the entire supply chain.

– The Montana Wheat and Barley Committee