You might already know that wheat can be planted in the fall or in the spring, but did you know that wheat can be also classified as hard or soft, red, or white? Wheat is used in a number of products that we consume daily, but there are certain characteristics that make certain varieties of wheat better than others, depending on the end use.
Soft wheat varieties can sprout easier in the time prior to harvest, whereas hard wheats are slightly more sprout tolerant. Wheat that sprouts is usually downgraded in quality, which comes with a financial loss for the farmer who grew it. It’s important to harvest wheat before it sprouts.
Hard red spring and hard red winter wheats both have a premium associated with them for protein content (it can be tested in a lab or at the grain elevator). If the protein content of the kernel reaches a specified level, the crop gets a higher grade. If it doesn’t reach the desired level, the grower doesn’t receive the premium.
Take a look at the table below to see the common uses of the wheat varieties usually grown in Ontario. You can learn more here: ttps://www.grainscanada.gc.ca/wheat-ble/classes/classes-eng.htm.
|Canada Eastern Hard Red Winter||French breads, flat breads, steamed breads, noodles|
|Canada Eastern Hard White Spring||Bread and noodle production|
|Canada Eastern Red Spring||Used for production of high volume pan bread; used alone or in blends with other wheat for hearth bread, steamed bread, noodles, flat bread, common wheat pasta|
|Canada Eastern Soft Red Winter||Cakes, pastry, cereal, crackers, biscuits and filling|
|Canada Eastern Soft White Spring||Cookies, cakes, pastry, flat breads, noodles, steamed breads, chapatis|
|Canada Eastern White Winter||Cakes, pastry, cereal, crackers, biscuits and filling|