Montana varieties impress at Wheat Quality Council
Last updated 3/7/2018 at 8:34am
GREAT FALLS — The Wheat Quality Council held its 68th annual meeting, forum and technical review sessions Feb. 21-22, in Kansas City, Missouri, with over 125 university and industry participants in attendance, and some new Montana lines of wheat were ranked highly at the meeting.
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 of Chinook, who sits on the Hard Red Spring Wheat Committee for WQC, helped facilitate a new spring wheat grow-out nursery at the Northern Agricultural 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 Lamb 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 is a producer-funded and directed check-off organization for wheat and barley growers in the state. Its mission is to protect and foster the health and prosperity of the Montana wheat and barley industry. Visit http://montanawbc.com for more information.