Canadian wheat class modernization

Consultations

Consultations

2017 consultation

Consultation period: March 20, 2017 to May 20, 2017

Objective of proposal:

  • add a new wheat class to address requests from eastern stakeholders for innovative alternatives to meet evolving wheat markets
  • ensure that eastern wheat classes continue to meet Canada’s wheat production, handling, marketing, processing and export needs
  • provide the appropriate marketing framework for maximizing returns throughout the entire value chain into the future

Comment period ended. This document is provided for reference purposes only.

2015 consultation

Consultation period: February 20, 2015 to April 20, 2015

Objective of proposal:

  • review the current Canadian wheat classes
  • maintain the quality and enhance the consistency of Canadian wheat classes to support marketability
  • add a new wheat class to address emerging requests from producers and markets

Comment period ended. The document is provided for reference purposes only.

Consultation feedback

Feedback from 2015 consultation

From February 20 to April 20, 2015, we consulted with you (grain handlers, processors, marketers, developers, producers and end-use customers) on our proposal to modernize Canada’s wheat class system. We thank all of those who gave us their comments.

Next steps

Next steps

In January 2016, the Canadian Grain Commission began implementing a plan to modernize Canada’s wheat classes. The plan reflects feedback from consultations in early 2015, followed by discussions with stakeholders on a proposed plan, as well as a scan of international markets conducted by Cereals Canada and the Canadian International Grains Institute.

The plan has been designed to:

  • support Canada’s wheat production, handling, marketing, processing and export needs
  • provide a balanced solution for stakeholders while supporting future marketability for the entire value chain
  • provide clarity and efficiency to the variety registration testing requirements

Western wheat classes

The plan includes the following next steps:

  • effective August 1, 2018, 25 varieties of Canada Western Red Spring (CWRS) and 4 varieties of Canada Prairie Spring Red (CPSR) wheat will move to the Canada Northern Hard Red (CNHR) class
  • effective August 1, 2019, AC Crystal, a variety of Canada Prairie Spring Red (CPSR) wheat will move to the Canada Northern Hard Red (CNHR) class
  • effective August 1, 2021, 5 varieties of Canada Western Red Spring (CWRS) will move to the Canada Northern Hard Red (CNHR) class

Eastern wheat classes

As a follow-up to changes implemented after the 2015 consultation, and in response to stakeholder requests for more flexibility in Canada’s eastern wheat classes, the Canadian Grain Commission consulted with stakeholders on its proposal to introduce a new eastern wheat class. The consultation ran from March 20 to May 20, 2017.

Based on stakeholder feedback, the Canadian Grain Commission continues to work in collaboration with eastern stakeholders to review and evaluate the existing wheat class structure.

The Canadian Grain Commission will continue ongoing discussions with stakeholders and communicate clear information and procedures to the entire domestic and international wheat value chains. The Canadian Grain Commission may proceed as required with a review of the other wheat classes and variety trials to ensure appropriate class placement for varieties.

Variety designation changes

Variety designation changes

To address customer concerns about the consistency of Canadian milling wheat quality, the Canadian Grain Commission has determined that varieties of Canada Western Red Spring (CWRS) and Canada Prairie Spring Red (CPSR) wheat that do not meet the revised quality parameters for these classes will be designated to the Canada Northern Hard Red (CNHR) wheat class. These changes are to maintain Canada’s reputation as a consistent source of high quality milling wheat.

Which varieties are moving to the CNHR class and when?

The following varieties are transitioning to the Canada Northern Hard Red class.

As of August 1, 2018, the following CWRS varieties are moving:

  • AC Abbey
  • AC Cora
  • AC Eatonia
  • AC Majestic
  • AC Michael
  • AC Minto
  • Alvena
  • Alikat
  • CDC Makwa
  • CDC Osler
  • Columbus
  • Conway
  • Harvest
  • Kane
  • Katepwa
  • Leader
  • Lillian
  • McKenzie
  • Neepawa
  • Park
  • Pasqua
  • Pembina
  • Thatcher
  • Unity
  • 5603HR

As of August 1, 2018, the following CPSR varieties are moving:

  • AC Foremost
  • AC Taber
  • Conquer
  • Oslo

As of August 1, 2019, the following CPSR variety is moving:

  • AC Crystal

As of August 1, 2021, the following CWRS varieties are moving:

  • AAC Redwater
  • AC Domain
  • Muchmore
  • Vesper
  • 5605 HR CL

Questions and answers

Why are these varieties moving?

Customers of Canadian wheat told the Canadian Grain Commission that the CWRS and CPSR wheat classes were not meeting their quality needs. Specifically, customers were concerned the gluten strength was not as high as required, and had been declining in recent years.

To address these concerns, the Canadian Grain Commission worked with the sector to tighten the parameters of the existing CWRS and CPSR classes. If a CWRS or CPSR variety didn’t meet the revised quality parameters for milling performance, dough strength, protein or end-use functionality, it was moved to another class. This keeps the overall quality of CWRS and CPSR consistent with customer expectations, while allowing the varieties that are moving to still be grown and sold to other customers.

What do I do if I have any of these varieties in storage or am growing these varieties?

You can deliver affected varieties into CWRS or CPSR up to and including July 31 of their transition year. For example, you can deliver Muchmore as a CWRS variety up to and including July 31, 2021.

If you have a contract for affected varieties that you aren’t planning to deliver before July 31 of its transition year, you should contact your buyer to talk about how this will affect your contract.

To help producers and grain companies manage this change, we’re giving grain companies a period of 5 months following the transition date to clear their stocks of affected varieties. During this time, we’ll monitor export cargoes for ineligible varieties and wheats of other classes, including the varieties moving to CNHR.

What authority does the Canadian Grain Commission have to make changes such as moving varieties between classes?

Our mandate is to maintain the quality of Canadian grain, so that it remains a dependable commodity for domestic and export markets.

Under the Canada Grain Act, the Canadian Grain Commission has the authority to establish wheat classes and to designate registered varieties to a specific wheat class. Each class has its own set of quality parameters that relate to its functional, or end-use, characteristics. This allows customers of Canadian wheat to purchase the product that best suits their needs and, in turn, benefits producers who grow higher quality varieties.

Under the Canada Seeds Act, the quality evaluation team of the Prairie Recommending Committee for Wheat, Rye and Triticale has the authority to recommend varieties for registration. The team sets the quality and performance parameters for each wheat class and check varieties, which are grown along with new cultivars.

Committee members are industry experts, representing all aspects of the grain sector. The committee also agreed to the revised quality parameters and the variety review process proposed by the Canadian Grain Commission.

What was the process for these changes?

Before making any changes, the Canadian Grain Commission held public consultations with all parts of the grain value chain, including producers, commodity and producer organizations, researchers, life science companies, breeders, grain companies, millers and other end users.

The Canadian Grain Commission also worked extensively with the Prairie Recommending Committee for Wheat, Rye, and Triticale. This committee consists of industry experts representing all aspects of the value chain.

Nearly all stakeholders supported the proposal to protect the quality, consistency and end-use performance of the CWRS and CPSR wheat classes.

Based on the results of the consultations, the Canadian Grain Commission took these steps to decide which varieties to move:

  • Reviewed current varieties in each class to make sure each variety met the revised quality parameters set by the Quality Evaluation Team of the Prairie Recommending Committee for Wheat, Rye, and Triticale. If a variety did not meet the revised quality parameters for its class, the Canadian Grain Commission informed all stakeholders that the variety would be moving after a 3-year transition period.
  • If there wasn’t enough information to determine if the variety met the revised quality parameters, the variety was required to undergo additional scientific trials for two years, at a minimum of six sites per year across western Canada, before making a decision. Varieties that went through this process included the following CWRS varieties: AAC Redwater, AC Domain, Muchmore, Vesper, 5606 HR CL.
  • If, after the trials, a variety met the revised quality parameters for its class, it stayed in its class. If a variety did not meet the revised quality parameters for its class, the Canadian Grain Commission informed all stakeholders that the variety would be moving after a 3-year transition period.
Is there any evidence that these changes have improved the performance of CWRS and CPSR?

The acreage of the varieties that are transitioning out of the CWRS and CPSR classes has declined since the classification changes were announced in 2015.

During that time, the acreage of the transitioning varieties dropped from 18% to less than 5% for CWRS and from 55% to less than 15% for CPSR. The following chart provides a summary of the most relevant varieties in terms of acreage planted.

Percentage (%) of Total Prairie Acreage by Variety and Year

Percentage (%) of Total Prairie Acreage by Variety and Year, CWRS
CWRS Variety 2015 2016 2017
AC Eatonia 0.6 0.4 not applicablen/a
Harvest 9.5 5.4 1.7
Lillian 4.6 2.9 1.7
Unity 2.6 1.5 0.9
Other 0.8 0.6 0.6
Total 18.1 10.8 4.9
Percentage (%) of Total Prairie Acreage by Variety and Year, CPSR
CPSR Variety 2015 2016 2017
AC Foremost 43.7 28.5 10.9
Conquer 9.7 8.5 2.6
AC Taber 0.3 not applicablen/a not applicablen/a
Oslo 1.0 0.9 1.2
Total 54.7 37.9 14.7

Additionally, during the 2017 new crop missions, many customers told us they had no issues with the gluten strength in their recent shipments of CWRS wheat.

To ensure that these wheat classes continue to deliver the consistent quality customers of Canadian wheat expect going forward, all varieties in the CWRS and CPSR wheat classes must meet the quality parameters established for those classes.

Will there be more changes in the future?

The Canadian Grain Commission has completed its review of existing CWRS and CPSR varieties, assessing their quality against the revised quality parameters for these classes. Beyond the changes announced for 2021, no further CWRS or CPSR wheat varieties will be moving to another class.

Going forward, all new varieties proposed for CWRS or CPSR must meet the quality parameters for those classes.

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