Annual Meeting Update 2007
Date:  February 20-22, 2007
Location:  Embassy Suites Airport, Kansas City, MO


Brian Sorenson of the Northern Crops Institute, Fargo, ND was elected Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Wheat Quality Council at the 2007 WQC Annual Meeting in Kansas City in February.


Hayden Wands (L) of Sara Lee Corporation is congratulated by Ben Handcock, Executive Vice President on becoming the newest member of the Wheat Quality Council.  Mr. Wands was elected to the Board of Trustees and was also the keynote speaker at the annual meeting dinner.

Tim Aschbrenner (L) of Cereal Food Processors presents the “Annual Millers Award” to Jackie Rudd, Wheat Breeder at Texas A&M.  This award is presented very year in appreciation of breeders who breed a top quality wheat that has a personal and professional effect on the lives of millers.  

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The Wheat Quality Council (WQC) held its annual meeting, forum and technical review sessions February 20-22, 2007 at the KCI Embassy Suites Hotel in Kansas City with approximately 120 industry participants in attendance.

The WQC is the only industry-wide organization that brings together all wheat industry participants 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 next few years.

The wheat breeders have an opportunity to network with the industry in determining what quality characteristics the millers and bakers would like to see in new wheat varieties.

Board of Trustees

The meeting began with the WQC Board of Trustees meeting on Tuesday, February 20.  Following discussions on financial reports, membership reports and budget issues, the annual election was held.  The following people will serve on the WQC governing board for 2007:  Brian Sorenson, NCI, Chair; Jim Powers, Perten Instruments, Vice Chair; Mark Hodges, OK Wheat Commission, Past Chair; Jan Levenhagen, Mennel Milling; Brett Myers, WestBred; Brian Walker, Horizon Milling; Tim Aschbrenner, Cereal Food Processors; Vance Taylor, ND Mill; Mike Fassezke, Star of the West Milling; Hayden Wands, Sara Lee Corporation; Jay Romsa, General Mills; Jeff Zyskowski, Horizon Milling; Bill Gambel, Caravan Ingredients; Phil Farmer, AgriPro-Coker; William Johnson, AR Wheat Growers; Laird Larson, SD Wheat Commission; Brad Seabourn, USDA/GMPRC; and Ed Souza, USDA Soft Wheat Lab.


The theme of the forum this year was “Healthy Wheat,” and was well received by those attending.

Len Marquart, Department of Food Science and Nutrition at the University of Minnesota presented information on “The Future of Grains and Health Research.”  He discussed the perceived value of whole grains in preventing many diseases but how enough research has not been done in many instances to be fully confident about making claims to consumers.  He urged academia, government and industry to work closer together to substantiate the value of whole grains.  This could allow wheat breeders to actually breed healthier traits into future varieties.

Nurhan Dunford, Oklahoma State University Food and Agricultural Products Center, spoke on “Power Beyond the Flour in a Wheat Biorefinery System.”  She too stressed how the nutritional and bioactive components of wheat might reduce the risks of coronary heart disease, stroke, type II diabetes and cancer.  She stated that some by-products of the milling industry are much more valuable than is currently thought.  For instance, wheat germ has three times as much protein, seven times as much oil, fifteen times as much sugar and six times as much mineral content as the flour itself.  She feels many of the components of wheat could be used as replacements for typical supplements found in health food and grocery stores.  Wheat could be used for many more value-added purposes.

Ed Souza, USDA Soft Wheat Lab in Wooster, Ohio discussed the “Nutritional and Baking Quality of Low Phytic Acid Wheat.”  Ed stated that phytic acid is primarily stored in the form of Phosphorus in the bran fractions of seed.  Phytic acid is not utilized by non-ruminant animals and chelates important minerals like calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc, rendering them unavailable for humans.  This can result in micronutrient malnutrition.  Reducing the amount of phytic acid in wheat can restore micronutrient availability in flour.  The industry may have to overcome the stigma of higher ash content in flour, even though it consists of the good minerals, and could have impressive effects on osteoporosis and juvenile type II diabetes.

Gerald Combs, USDA Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center, talked about “Opportunities for High Selenium Wheat in Reducing Cancer Risk.”  The country of Finland has actually added Selenium to soil fertilizers to increase the human levels through plant and animal consumption.  China has the world’s lowest known levels of blood plasma Selenium content.  Selenium has been shown to reduce heart disease, viral infections (including HIV/AIDS) and cancer.  Selenium has been effective in every animal tumor study ever conducted.  In one major trial, supplemental Selenium reduced total mortality in humans from 129 to 108 and cancer deaths from 58-28.  It seems to be particularly effective against prostate cancer.  The highest Selenium soils in the US are found in western North and South Dakota.  Wheat grown there and processed into bread products could prove to be very effective in reducing some major health risks.

Hayden Wands, Director of Procurement for Sara Lee Corporation, was the dinner speaker.  Sara Lee is the first genuine pan bread baker to join the Wheat Quality Council in several years.  They were welcomed as a new member and Hayden Wands was elected to the Board of Trustees.  Mr. Wands described Sara Lee’s involvement in the baking, meat and food service areas of the industry.  He said they are looking for stronger gluten strength flours that will assure the bread will not squash during stacking on the grocery shelves.  He also noted that many of Sara Lee’s new bread products contain ingredients such as blueberries, further accentuating the need for stronger flours.

Variety Reviews

Fifty-one breeder submitted lines and checks were entered for evaluation this year, up from 35 last year.

In the Hard Winters, the following decisions have been made based on breeder comments at the meeting:

Kansas State University, Manhattan released one variety named “Fuller” following last year’s meeting.  This is a strong wheat best adapted to central Kansas.  They are still evaluating two lines, one which will probably not be released and one on which the decision will be made following this harvest.

WestBred LLC, has released two varieties.  One hard red named “Smoky Hill,” has good leaf and stripe rust protection along with soil borne and spindle streak mosaic virus resistance.  One hard white wheat named “Aspen” has good leaf and stripe rust resistance, good soil borne and spindle streak mosaic virus resistance plus good sprout resistance.

University of Nebraska & USDA-ARS Lincoln will release one had red as “NE01643” to be marketed under the name Husker Genetics.  Two more hard reds are still under consideration.  Both have good stem rust resistance, and once is resistant to wheat streak mosaic virus.  One hard white line beat the check on both milling and baking quality.

Oklahoma State University released a hard red named “Duster” following last year’s trials.  It has performed very favorably in the 2005 and 2006 Southern Regional Performance Nurseries.  No decision has been made on one hard red and one hard white.  Another hard red experimental will not be released.

South Dakota State University entered two hard red winters and one hard white winter.  One hard red will probably not be released and the other is under consideration.  The hard white has pretty good baking and noodle quality and is under consideration for release in the summer of 2007.

Texas A&M entered two hard reds and one hard white.  One hard red has been approved for release as TAM 304 and is a good strong wheat.  The other hard red line has above average baking quality and is on seed increase.  The hard white line had the highest milling and baking qualities of any hard winter in the test this year.  It earned the breeder, Jackie Rudd, the “Annual Millers Award” for a top quality wheat.  It has not been released as of now.

In the Hard Springs, results are as follows:

University of Minnesota entered two hard reds.  One has large kernel size with good yield and scab resistance, a potential 2008 release.  The other is on hold for now and may be back in a couple of years after some alterations.

North Dakota State had three hard red lines entered.  One has been released as “Faller,” and has good dough quality, good yield plus scab and leaf resistance packages.  One is undergoing further evaluation and one will not be released.

South Dakota State entered one hard red line that is under consideration for release in 2008.  It has high yield and is very rust and scab resistant.

World Wide Wheat had two hard red lines entered.  Both rated lower than the check with release status unknown.

WestBred has released one variety named “Bigg Red.”  It is on a managed release for scab impacted northern plains areas due to almost total scab resistance.  It will be on limited acres with pretty low production expected.

AgriPro has released one hard red named “Kuntz,” with strong agronomic performance and some other good qualities.  It is broadly adapted to the northern plains.

Meridian Seeds LLC entered the tests for the first time with two hard white spring lines.  One was rated only slightly lower than the excellent Glenn check.  Both lines are slated for release in the spring of 2007.

The Eastern Soft Winters had seven lines entered this year, up from only two last year.  These lines are used for many different end use products and are tested for cookies, biscuits, soups and batters, crackers, cakes, pretzels and noodles.

Purdue entered two lines, both under consideration for release.  Both are moderately resistant to scab.

Virginia Tech entered one line with stripe and stem rust resistance.  It will be put out under an exclusive release.

University of Georgia had one line with high protein.  It has been slated for release to be produced in Georgia, Arkansas and Virginia.

University of Missouri has one line up for release that has excellent yield and high test weight.

Agri-Pro Coker released one line named “Magnolia,” with good test weight and good winter survival.  It also has stripe rust resistance.  Another line projected for release in 2008 has early maturity and is an awnless line.


A total of 31 cooperators from across the US helped in the evaluation of these lines harvested in 2006.  This is a huge undertaking of time and effort on their part.  They are truly dedicated to our program and deserve our sincere thanks and gratitude for their participation.


Wheat Tours

  • Hard Winter Tour dates are April 30 – May 3, 2007

  • Hard Spring & Durum Tour dates are July 23-26, 2007

Wheat tour registration forms will be mailed and on our web site at very soon.

2008 Annual Meeting

  • February 19-21, 2008 in Kansas City at the Embassy Suites Airport Hotel.

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