Consultations to modernize Canadian wheat classes begin

WINNIPEG — Changes can be expected to Canada’s wheat classification system as consultations begin to modernize the country’s wheat classes.

The Canadian Grain Commission is seeking input from grain handlers, processors, marketers, developers, producers and end-use customers on its proposal to modernize Canada’s wheat classes, the grain commission said.

The proposal includes strengthening the marketability of the Canadian Western Red Spring and Canada Prairie Spring Red milling classes, the addition of a new milling class and a review of current classes.

There are 10 classes of western Canadian wheat and seven classes of eastern Canadian wheat. The wheat classes have been developed by the grain commission through extensive consultation with end users, breeders, producers and marketers.

Each wheat class has its own set of performance characteristics that are primarily based on functional characteristics. The wheat class system is part of Canada’s grain quality assurance system.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency registers new wheat varieties, while the grain commission, under the Canada Grain Act, designates new varieties to specific wheat classes based on their end-use functionality.

The proposed changes include adjusting the parameters of the CWRS and CPSR wheat classes to maintain and strengthen the quality and consistency of these classes. This will ensure new varieties continue to meet requirements for milling performance, dough strength, protein quantity and end-product quality, the commission said.

The proposal also includes a new western Canada milling wheat class to provide opportunities to market Canadian wheat into emerging markets that have specific end-use requirements.

This class will target varieties that have good milling quality but weaker gluten strength than the CWRS and CPSR classes. Some existing U.S. varieties may meet the requirements of this class, the commission said.

The commission also proposes creating a Canada Eastern General Purpose wheat class.

Stakeholders have until April 20 to submit input.

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