2024 quality rankings released

front cover of a brochure with wheat stalks that says "2024 Preferred Wheat Varieties"
2024 Preferred Wheat Varieties
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The Washington Grain Commission is pleased to provide the 2024 wheat quality rankings for the Pacific Northwest (PNW). Considering about 80% of PNW wheat production is exported each year, producing a high-quality crop that meets customer demands is critical to maintaining export markets.

The Preferred Wheat Varieties Brochure ranks Eastern Washington, Oregon, and Northern Idaho wheat varieties using six components to evaluate end-use quality. Washington was the first state in the U.S. to rank varieties for quality, with Oregon and Idaho joining the effort soon after. Wheat growers are encouraged to reference these rankings when deciding between varieties.

End-use quality determinations were based on results from grain, milling, and product quality tests. The most desirable ranking characterizes varieties that have high test weights, appropriate protein content (kernel properties), and excellent milling and end-use properties. Desirable ranked varieties range from good to very good kernel, milling, and end-use qualities. Acceptable varieties have qualities ranging from acceptable to good and may contain potential minor flaws but are acceptable in international trade.

Of the components used in evaluating quality, 10% of the score is assigned to a variety’s test weight and protein, while milling attributes receive 30% of the focus. The largest consideration is end-use functionality (baking performance), where 60% of a variety’s score is assigned. The scores are reviewed yearly as new data becomes available and are subject to change.

There are 16 new entries to the Preferred Wheat Varieties Brochure for 2024. The new entries for soft white winter are Nova AX and WB1621 — Most Desirable; VI Encore CL+, TMC M-Pire, WB1922, Rollie, and YSC-93 — Desirable; LCS Kamiak — Acceptable. There were four hard red winter entries: LCS Missile and Gemini —Most Desirable; Battle AX — Acceptable; LCS Blackbird — Least Desirable. There were three new soft white spring entries: Butch CL+ — Most Desirable; TMC Lochaven — Desirable; WB6211CLP — Acceptable. There was one new hard red spring entry: WB9303 — Desirable. Most of the new entries are at the Desirable and Most Desirable levels, so we continue to hold steady with the high quality varieties in the Pacific Northwest that our customers expect and appreciate.

These rankings are based on the results of the genotype and environment study (G&E) quality testing conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Western Wheat Quality Laboratory, the Washington State University Wheat Quality Program, the University of Idaho Wheat Quality Laboratory, and the Oregon State University Cereal Quality Laboratory, including relevant breeding nurseries.

The quality scores presented here reflect a minimum of three years’ data in the G&E study, using a reference variety for each class. Therefore, varieties may be in commercial production before they are included in the list. The list is reviewed annually and includes the top varieties currently in production. Varieties not listed have not been tested or have less than three years of data. For complete results, visit wwql.wsu.edu.

All classes have shown dramatic improvements in quality since the G&E study first began gathering data in 1997. The Preferred Wheat Varieties Brochure is provided courtesy of the Washington Grain Commission, the Oregon Wheat Commission, and the Idaho Wheat Commission.

2024 Preferred Wheat Varieties

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Alecia Kiszonas, USDA’s Agricultural Research Service research biologist, contributed to this article.

This article originally appeared in the April 2024 issue of Wheat Life Magazine.

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