WMC Role in Quality Testing
Quality is the key competitive advantage that U.S. wheat enjoys in the world market. Public and private wheat breeding programs are constantly developing new varieties to provide growers with options that fit their local growing conditions and balance wheat yield, end use quality, and disease resistance. Customers, domestic and (increasingly) international, and quality labs participate in annual programs to evaluate the end use quality of the most promising experimental lines being considered for commercial release. Wheat Marketing Center tests new varieties and presents results for all three regional programs: PNW Wheat Quality Council, Wheat Quality Council (Central and Upper Midwest/ HRW and HRS wheat classes), and Soft Red Winter Quality Council. These programs have been instrumental in maintaining and improving wheat quality in the United States.
WMC also supports the annual effort to evaluate the quality of the new crop. As harvest begins in the Pacific Northwest, samples are collected and sent to WMC for testing. Bon Lee, Operations Manager, leads the team that tests hundreds of samples over a two month period. Results are shared in several ways:
- Weekly crop reports by class and production zone
- Soft white and hard white wheat data incorporated into USW Annual CQ Report
- PNW Soft White Wheat Quality Report – a more detailed report published with support from the PNW wheat commissions detailing grain, flour and end use quality
WMC tests wheat quality for commercial customers through the for-profit subsidiary WMC Lab Services. Customers include individual growers wanting to know the end use quality of their own wheat, breeders looking for more data on promising varieties, international customers sending samples as ships are loaded, and local bakeries working on new products. Customers’ information and test results are held strictly confidential. Learn more about WMC Lab Services.