Owners of Canada Western Red Spring (CWRS) and Canada Prairie Spring Red (CPSR) wheat varieties have until month’s end to decide whether to put their products through more trials, or let their varieties be reclassified.
The Canadian Grain Commission on Friday announced a review of the CWRS and CPSR wheat classes will start immediately, citing “strong support” from the industry, during a consultation period ending April 20, to protect the classes’ “quality, consistency and end-use performance.”
The CGC said it plans to make further decisions on a modernized wheat class system will once it reviews “further information and input regarding market demand” and finds “appropriate” classes into which it will transition any varieties that don’t meet the criteria for CWRS or CPSR.
Letters are headed out to CWRS and CPSR variety owners requesting that they indicate their intentions for their varieties before the end of May, the commission said.
Most stakeholders, during the consultation, said they want the proposed variety transition process from one designated wheat class to another to be “carefully managed, by communicating clear information and procedures to the entire wheat value chain,” the CGC noted Friday.
For varieties shifted to another wheat class, some stakeholders told the CGC, a longer transition period may be needed, giving seed growers the time to exit those varieties and find “suitable replacements.”
The CWRS and CPSR classes today include 81 and 17 varieties respectively.
Wheat varieties Faller and Prosper, which last month picked up interim registration from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, will go in an “interim wheat class” for now, the CGC said Friday.
Generally considered lower-protein and higher-yielding, Faller and Prosper are grown in Western Canada for U.K. bakery firm Warburtons under identity-preserved contracts — but farmers may now also buy certified seed and grow the two American Dark Northern Spring varieties for any buyer, without an IP contract.
The interim class could also include the Elgin-ND hard red spring wheat variety, if it gets CFIA registration. Elgin, developed at North Dakota State University and licensed to FP Genetics for Canadian distribution, was supported for interim registration by the Prairie Grain Development Committee (PGDC).
This move, the CGC said, will allow it to assess the viability of a new wheat class before deciding whether the new class will become permanent.
“Stakeholders advised caution in introducing a new wheat class,” CGC chief commissioner Elwin Hermanson said in a release Friday. “With that in mind, any decision made on a new wheat class will be based on careful study of potential market demand, farm gate value and grade structure.”
The CGC noted “many” stakeholders, during the consultation, wanted a six-month period for a market scan, now being done by Cereals Canada and the Canadian International Grains Institute (CIGI), to be completed before a new wheat class is created. — AGCanada.com Network