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You are here: Home / News / Dr. Brett Carver and the OSU Wheat Improvement Team receives award

Dr. Brett Carver and the OSU Wheat Improvement Team receives award

The Wheat Quality Council awarded Dr. Brett Carver and the OSU Wheat Improvement Team the top millers award in 2016 for the second year in a row. The award was presented to Dr. Carver at the Wheat Council Meetings in Kansas City this week.

The Wheat Quality Council awarded Dr. Brett Carver and the OSU Wheat Improvement Team the top millers award in 2016 for the second year in a row. The award was presented to Dr. Carver at the Wheat Council Meetings in Kansas City this week.

The Wheat Quality Council which was established in 1938 has a long distinguished past of evaluating wheat for milling and end quality use. The Wheat Quality Council sponsors programs where different varieties of wheat are grown side by side locations throughout the various wheat production areas across the U.S. The harvested wheats are evaluated for milling and baking abilities and the resulting flours are tested for- end quality uses by a total of 17 cooperating bakers. The results of these test are then published and   sent to all council members. These tests allow breeders to make adjustments in their potential   varieties. They also allow millers and bakers to become cognizant of the milling and baking   characteristics of the different future varieties. These tests also provide information about how each variety's processing performance can be influenced by environmental conditions.    

A total of 18 variety submissions from the U.S. Hard Red Winter wheat region, from 8 different public and private research programs were submitted in the 2016 Wheat Quality Council technical evaluations. Submissions of OSU wheat varieties sent to the Wheat Quality Council included the variety Gallagher, as well as two other Hard Red Winter wheat experimental lines. One other   submission included the Hard White Winter wheat variety Stardust, which was just announced last week at Oklahoma Crop Improvement meetings to be released from OSU this coming year.   

“In a growing world of increased competition wheat breeding programs across the nation continue   to work on variety development attributes that will allow the farmer the best options when fighting for   market share,” said Mike Schulte, Executive Director of the Oklahoma Wheat Commission. “All breeding programs focus on agronomic traits that will increase yield, but releasing varieties that both the domestic and foreign millers want for quality is becoming more of a greater issue- especially in the Hard Red Winter wheat classes. Giving farmers an option for better yields while also creating   better end quality use components is something the OSU Wheat Improvement Team continues to   place vast emphasis on and it is nice to see that work rewarded.” said Schulte.

Dr. Carver and other members of the Wheat Improvement team are especially excited about the release of Stardust, a new variety developed by the Oklahoma State University Division of Agricultural Sciences since Stardust is the first hard white wheat variety released by OSU since OK Rising in 2008. The new variety, whose parentage includes OK Rising, features an improved level of sprout tolerance with agronomic capabilities and yield potential comparable to some of OSU’s varieties.

“Stardust will provide our north central Oklahoma wheat farmers, in particular, the ability   to produce hard white wheat locally and potentially capture more markets for Oklahoma wheat,”   said Jeff Edwards, head of the OSU Department of Plant and Soil Sciences.   Consumer preference is fueling the high and increasing demand for hard white wheat.   Whole grain white bread is made from hard white wheat, which allows bakers to create a whole grain product without the red color or the slightly different taste.   

Also, millers can extract more flour from the grain of hard white wheat and thereby   “Hard white wheat helps differentiate Oklahoma in regards to functionality and taste   relative to the baking and milling characteristics of our wheat crop, and that is important,” said   Mike Schulte, executive director of the Oklahoma Wheat Commission. “Now more than ever, it   is vital we develop and make available high-quality products that enhance the ability of   Oklahoma wheat growers and related agribusinesses to be more competitive in today’s global marketplace.

Now, there are more than 4 million bushels of hard white wheat flowing into Oklahoma, and specifically into the Enid area, by rail annually from the north for milling purposes. There is   a strong possibility that number will grow thanks to cultural and governmental factors currently at play.

“We believe this market is likely to expand in a stepwise fashion because of our culture, and to some extent, our federal government, demanding more fiber-rich foods for a healthier lifestyle, especially for kids,” said Brett Carver, lead researcher for the OSU Wheat Improvement Team, an interdisciplinary team of nine researchers responsible for developing Stardust.    

“Many of our export markets have always preferred more white wheat, but we lacked the critical mass to meet that demand on a consistent basis,” he said.    

In the past, the primary issue with cultivating hard white wheat in Oklahoma has been sprouting tolerance.   

“The same red tannins and other natural components that give wheat grain its red color also help prevent sprouting. When these unnecessary components are bred away, the sprout   tolerance can go away as well. As a result, hard white wheat production has been confined to the high plains where rainfall after wheat has matured is less likely,” Edwards said. “Stardust offers the right mix of agronomic traits and sprout tolerance to thrive in central Oklahoma.”