SNOWBIRD IS the first variety of a potential new Canadian Western Hard White (CWHW) class, which offers Canadian Western Red Strong (CWRS) quality with higher flour extract and colour preferred by key markets, such as the Asian noodle market. The variety is the product of a major strategic shift in Western Canadian breeding programs over the past decade to add a white-seeded version of the CWRS class.
"We already have a large following around the world in terms of our Canadian Western Red Strong wheat class," says researcher Odean Lukow of the AAFC Winnipeg, which developed Snowbird. "We feel the CWHW has quality equivalent to the CWRS class, except that it is white. With the hard white wheat, we're looking at developing a totally new class of wheat and providing a new market outlet for the farmer and for the industry."
Most world markets are either neutral on colour or prefer white. Australia has long developed only white-seeded wheat and is the world's leading exporter. In recent years, US breeding programs have also shifted heavily into white-seeded wheat.
Source: Western Grains Research Foundation