Quality is king in PNW

When it comes to wheat in the Pacific Northwest, quality is king.

Cover of 2022 Preferred Wheat Varieties BrochureThat’s why the Preferred Wheat Varieties list ranks Eastern Washington, Oregon and Northern Idaho wheat varieties using not just one, but six components to evaluate quality. Washington was the first state in the U.S. to rank varieties for quality, with Oregon and Idaho joining the effort soon after. The Washington Grain Commission is pleased to feature the latest and greatest in wheat varieties in the following 2022 quality rankings.
There are eight new entries to the Preferred Variety Brochure for crop year 2022. The new entries for soft white winter wheat are YSC-215, most desirable; OR2x2CLP, VI Presto CL+, Appleby CL+ and VI Voodoo CL+, desirable; and AP Iliad, acceptable. There was one new winter club, ARS Cameo, which was rated most desirable. The one hard red spring new entry was Hale, coming in at most desirable.

It was a challenging crop year, so locations were chosen for the Genotype and Environment (G&E) study that had test weights of at least 58 pounds per bushel and had a reasonable protein for the class. With nearly all the new entries at the desirable and most desirable levels, we continue to hold steady with the high quality in the Pacific Northwest that our customers expect and appreciate.

These rankings are based on the results of the 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.

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 percent of the score is assigned to a variety’s test weight and protein, while milling attributes receive 30 percent of the focus. The largest consideration is end-use functionality (baking performance), where 60 percent of a variety’s score is assigned. The scores are reviewed yearly, as new data becomes available, and are subject to change. Varieties not listed have not been tested or have less than three years of data. For complete results, please visit the Western Wheat Quality Laboratory web page.

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

Download the 2022 Preferred Wheat Varieties brochure as a PDF.

This article originally appeared in the April 2022 issue of Wheat Life Magazine.

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