Varieties of hard white winter wheat continue to emerge in U.S.

by Teresa Acklin
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   KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI, U.S. — Interest in hard white winter wheat is spreading, according to U.S. breeders and researchers who continue to move forward in their studies of the relatively new wheat variety. The perceived advantages that hard white winter has over red winter wheat, including higher milling extraction rates and better color qualities, have piqued interest in hard white, particularly among growers in the Southwest.

   Representatives from a variety of U.S. wheat groups and associations met recently to discuss the potential of winter wheat varieties tested during the 1998 crop year.

   As part of the testing, 25 red and white winter wheat varieties were evaluated from five states and were studied based on milling and baking characteristics. In Colorado, two new varieties were introduced, and according to research findings produced “lower than average” baking properties.

   Breeders tested six varieties in Kansas, five of which were of the white variety, including Betty and Heyne, which were introduced last year and have thus far shown positive results. The wheat lines, grown in Hayes, Kansas, showed signs of higher protein and “average to above average” milling and baking qualities.

   In Nebraska, seven lines were subject to testing, including one white wheat variety. The field-grown varieties produced “average to below average” milling and baking qualities.

   All three red varieties tested in South Dakota were judged to be “average to above average,” while the lines in Oklahoma were said to be “good” in color but “below average” in terms of milling and baking qualities.

   The 25 milling samples were found to be free of any major problems and provided good extractions.