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Feed Grain Development Coop Focuses on Creating Wheats for Feed and Industrial Uses

by 5m Editor
8 January 2007, at 10:52am

CANADA - A director of the Western Feed Grain Development Coop is encouraging stakeholders in western Canada's livestock and ethanol industries to consider membership, writes Bruce Cochrane.

<?=getCodeSnippet(45);?>The Western Feed Grain Development Coop was formed in December 2005 to facilitate the development of lines of wheat suited for feed or industrial uses and it's now working to expand its membership.

Current federal regulations prohibit the commercial distribution of varieties that resemble high quality milling wheats but, as owners of the genetic material, coop members would be free to distribute suitable varieties among themselves.

Coop director David Rourke says the difficulty in accessing these lines has been registration.

David Rourke-Western Feed Grain Development Coop

There is no class for a dedicated feed wheat. Feed wheat is a default class.

Something that doesn't make hard red spring or a durum or a CPS because of production problems or quality problems becomes a feed wheat so we don't have a class for a high yielding starchy wheat that can be grown for that purpose and the Ag Canada breeders are frustrated because there's no system.

They could do this probably as well or better than we could but they have no way to get it into the system into farmers hands because there's no way to register this type of wheat.

What we're reasonably sure of is, if a number of farmers get together through a coop and breed their own wheat and grow it on their own farms and essentially use it within a closed loop system, that we can get that into the market place.

Rourke notes Manitoba is already feed deficient and as the US ethanol industry and starts using up more corn there will be fewer options available for western Canadian end users.

He says the goal now is to expand membership to generate additional seed money needed to help cover the cost of further developing these new lines.

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