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OSU wheat researcher honored by Wheat Quality Council for second straight year

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Oklahoma State University Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources wheat researcher Brett Carver and the OSU Wheat Improvement Team won the 2016 Millers Award presented by the Wheat Quality Council.

This is the second straight year and third time overall Carver and the team has claimed the honor, which annually recognizes the breeder of the wheat variety most well-liked by millers participating in the WQC’s evaluation program.

“This award says OSU remains dedicated to producing high-quality, Oklahoma-adapted wheat varieties that meet the needs of all providers in the wheat supply chain – from seed producer to wheat producer to wheat processor,” Carver said. “A healthy supply chain translates to satisfied consumers who consider the final product for both quality and price.”

Carver and WIT earned the award based on three first-time entries from OSU into the WQC evaluation program – experimental lines OK11D25056 and OK13625 as well as Stardust, a newly released hard white wheat variety.

The lines were chosen from an overall pool of 14 experimental entries across eight public and private wheat breeding programs. Millers from across the nation tested the entries to determine a winner.

“Perhaps the best one of the three to the commercial millers and bakers was OK13625, a descendent of Billings, which appears to be a good scavenger for nitrogen along with a good utilizer of nitrogen in the grain protein,” Carver said. “OK11D25056 and Stardust were not far behind, and some millers ranked them ahead of OK13625. It was virtually a toss up.”

Carver, a Regents professor in wheat breeding and genetics and the wheat genetics chair in agriculture in the OSU Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, leads the WIT, an interdisciplinary team of nine OSU researchers established in 1998.

OSU-developed wheat varieties currently account for more than 40 percent of Oklahoma wheat acres and 15 percent of wheat acres in the southern Great Plains, which comes to about 3.1 million acres.

Looking ahead, multiple hard red winter wheat experimental lines, including OK11D25056, are under consideration for possible release recommendation by WIT in the near future.

“The more we as researchers and producers can pay due attention to end-use quality of hard red winter and hard white wheat in the Great Plains, the more likely our crop remains competitive in a global marketplace,” Carver said. “We are not the lowest-cost provider of wheat in that market. We must separate from the pack based on quality. Our future depends on our competitiveness.”

The WQC presented the award to Carver in February during Wheat Council meetings in Kansas City.

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