Annual Meeting Summary 2008
By Ben Handcock, Executive Vice President

Jim Powers, Perten Instruments, was elected Chairman of the Wheat Quality Council Board of Trustees for 2008. Scott Haley (left), Wheat Breeder at Colorado State University received the Millers Award from Tim Aschbrenner (right), of Cereal Food Processors for the best set of wheat lines in this year’s evaluations. Josh Sosland, Editor of Milling and Baking News, was the keynote speaker at the Wheat Quality Council Annual Meeting Banquet.  

The Wheat Quality Council (WQC) held its annual meeting, forum and technical review sessions February 19-21, 2008 at the KCI Embassy Suites Hotel in Kansas City, MO with over 130 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.


The meeting began with the WQC Board of Trustees meeting on Tuesday, February 19. 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 2008: Jim Powers, Perten Instruments, Chair; Brian Sorenson, NCI, Past Chair; Jan Levenhagen, Mennel Milling, Vice Chair; Brett Myers, Westbred, Executive Committee; Brian Walker, Horizon Milling, Executive Committee; Hayden Wands, Sara Lee, Executive Committee; plus Tim Aschbrenner, Cereal Food Processors; Mike Fassezke, Star of the West Milling; Jay Romsa, General Mills; Jeff Zyskowski, Horizon Milling; Bill Gambel, Caravan Ingrediants; Phil Farmer, AgriPro-Coker; William Johnson, AR Wheat Growers; Laird Larson, SD Wheat Commission; Brad Seabourn, USDA/GMPRC; Ed Souza, USDA Soft Wheat Lab; Glen Weaver, ConAgra; and Jackie Rudd, TX Wheat Producers Board.


The theme of the forum this year was “The Effect of Higher Wheat Prices” on the export market, on the domestic market, on wheat breeders and on the producers. In order, the presentations were given by Ian Flagg, US Wheat Associates, Portland; Hayden Wands, Sara Lee; Rollie Sears, AgriPro Wheat; and Daren Coppock, NAWG. The keynote dinner speaker was Josh Sosland, Milling and Baking news. Many thanks to each of them.

We had two reporters covering the forum. Please watch for Eric Schroeder’s story in Milling and Baking News and Doug Rich’s story in the High Plains Journal. They both do a much better job of reporting than I do. The forum was well received as being particularly timely and many favorable comments were heard in the hallways.


Forty-two breeder submitted lines were entered for evaluation from the 2007 growing year. These lines were either hard winter, soft winter or hard spring.

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

Colorado State University had three very good hard whites in the tests. All three were very well liked by almost everybody, and earned Scott Haley the “Annual Millers Award.” The award is presented for having the best set of lines in the trials, and is given for wheats that make life easier for millers. One line is a potential release in the fall of 2008 and the other two are potentials for 2009. These are very strong wheats.

University of Nebraska had a hard red line that was rated as better than the check, Millennium. It will be released jointly with South Dakota and Wyoming and will do well in western environments. It has been named “Compass.”

Oklahoma State University entered three hard reds and one hard white for evaluation. One is a more uniform version of OK Bullet and they are unsure of its release. All four are under seed increase for potential releases after more data is gathered. One has the distinction of being awnless and could double for forage and grain production.

South Dakota State University had three hard reds and one hard white entered for testing. The hard white is a high yielding, later maturing type. One hard red may be slated for release in a couple of years.

Montana State University had lines in our tests for the first time and we were happy to have them. One hard red with exceptional cold tolerance is a potential release in 2009. They entered a solid-stem hard white to combat wheat stem sawfly, but will use it as a parent in further crosses.

In the Eastern Soft Winters, reports were as follows:

The University of Georgia is releasing a soft red with pretty good overall quality and broad adaptation from Georgia to Arkansas to Virginia. It is moderately resistant to powdery mildew and leaf rust and resistant to Southeastern Hessian Fly.

Virginia Tech entered two soft red lines. “Jamestown” is a replacement for “USG3209” and seed will be available in the fall of 2009. “MPV57” has been privately released for no-till seeding and for forage production.

Cornell University entered a soft white line that has been named “Jensen.” It has good fusarium resistance. Another soft white line will probably be a private release.

Michigan State University entered two soft whites. One is called “Crystal” and is similar to “Caledonia.” The other is named “Jewel” and is quite resistant to lodging, has good winter hardiness and good test weight.

In the Hard Springs, disposition was:

Meridian/Canterra Seeds entered two hard whites and both were rated fairly close to the “Glenn” check. Both have been released, but the names are not known.

University of Minnesota entered a hard red with good scab resistance and resistance to the new rust line Ug99. It was in the trial last year and has been named “Tom.”

North Dakota State University entered three hard reds. One is a Clearfield wheat rated better than the check and will be released in spring 2008. One rated about equal to the check could possibly be released in 2009. One rated slightly lower than the check but has Sawfly resistance. No decision has been made on this line.

South Dakota State University will not release its line due to leaf rust susceptibility, and a lower rating.

AgriPro Wheat entered a hard white rated slightly lower than the check. It will be released as “Alpine” for small acreages east and north of Bismarck, ND for use at the North Dakota Mill.

Trigen Seeds is releasing a hard red named “Hat Trick” that was rated almost equal to the check and has good scab tolerance and low DON levels. Another line was rated lower than the check and will not be released.

Westbred has released two new varieties. One is named “Breaker” and was rated as probably equal to the check. The other has been named “Blade” and was rated slightly below the check. It is slated for the higher producing areas.


A total of 29 cooperators from across the US helped in the evaluation of these lines. We will pick up three more cooperators in 2008. 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 May 5-8, 2008
• Hard Spring and Durum Dates are July 28-31, 2008

2009 Annual Meeting
• February 17-19, 2009 at the Embassy Suites, Kansas City, MO

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