Higher Yielding Wheats May Help Ease Feed Grain Shortages Caused by Ethanol Demand

CANADA - The Canadian International Grains Institute is counting on the introduction of new higher yielding wheat varieties to help ward off future feedgrain shortages for livestock as demand for these products for ethanol increases, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 5 June 2007
clock icon 3 minute read

Effective August 1, 2008, the Canadian Grain Commission's classification system for western Canadian wheat will be expanded to include a new class, Canada Western General Purpose (CWGP) wheat.

Canadian International Grains Institute director of Feed Dr. Rex Newkirk notes, in the past, most of the impetus has been around milling qualities so there wasn't a place within the system to develop feedgrains but people are recognizing the need for a class of varieties specifically suited for feed.

Dr. Rex Newkirk-Canadian International Grains Institute

For the last many years we've really relied on off grade grains to provide feed to our livestock industry.

The disadvantage of that system is that we only get off grade materials when there's either weather events or things that would drive down the quality of the grain and put grain in the hands of the livestock industry so it's difficult to build an industry on that basis.

Now the industry is much more forward looking and they're looking at varieties that can compete with food grade in that they have higher yield and can be grown economically for production of livestock or ethanol.

I hope to see in the future a good synergy where we still produce high quality milling products and that we sell those for a premium into premium markets and that we also have this material that we're producing in larger volumes specifically for the livestock industry so we can count on a feed grain that'll provide feed for our animals.

Dr. Newkirk believes the new class will offer livestock producers some comfort that they will be able to access grains and be able to plan further ahead and grain farmers an opportunity to grow higher yielding varieties for livestock on land that may not consistently produce milling grade quality.

He says it allows growers to focus on growing grains where they grow best to meet the quality that is needed.

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