You've Heard About Certified Angus Beef - But Have You Heard of OSU's Branded Wheat Program?Thu, 14 Feb 2019 18:58:50 CST
Breaking the ice on a Wednesday Oklahoma Genetics, Inc. stakeholder conference entitled, “Change, Challenges, Opportunities: A Day of Translating Vision into Reality,” was Dr. Brett Carver, lead of the Oklahoma Wheat Improvement Team at Oklahoma State University and one of the premier wheat breeders in the world. During his portion of the call, Carver presented on the team’s recent efforts to develop quality wheat varieties at OSU; a task he described in an interview with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays after the call as something of a “balancing act.” Listen to their complete conversation by clicking or tapping the LISTEN BAR below at the bottom of the page.
“Truly there is so much effort that goes into developing a wheat variety that doesn’t get heard or shown and also doesn’t get maximized in terms of the value that’s inherent to those varieties,” he remarked. “We’ve got to do a better job at getting that value and making sure the entire supply chain reaps the benefit of the value… starting with the seed producers.”
Part of this renewed focus on highlighting and showcasing the value of the products he and his team deliver, has been to better market the team’s available varieties in a way that underscores their unique characteristics and traits. One way Carver has attempted to accomplish this is by trademarking two umbrella brands that OSU wheat varieties have started to be designated to - using phrases coined by Carver himself. By now, most wheat growers in Oklahoma have probably heard this pop up in conversation before as Carver has overtime strategically injected the term “graze and grain” into industry discussions.
“The ‘Graze n Grain’ trademark is something I have thought about for years. We spend so much time and effort in producing a dual-purpose wheat crop… it just seemed like a natural fit. But, what Graze n Grain means to me is good grazability, good production and quality that is acceptable or more than acceptable. Most everything we’ve released would fit that. Varieties like Green Hammer, Showdown, Baker’s Ann, for example - and Duster being the hallmark. Now - if we’re talking about superlative quality - then we need to talk about ‘Gold n Grain',” he said. “With Gold n Grain, we’re going to get an exceptional level of functionality, which means for the baker, something they can use and rely on in that bakery under a range of conditions.”
To survive the milling and baking process, Carver says the wheat used must have superior doughing qualities in order to deliver a superior end product for the end consumer. Recognizing that, Carver says the varieties that fall under the “Gold n Grain” brand will be developed with an emphasis on nitrogen transfer which he says translates into better protein production in the plant which then yields better dough quality.
But with so many varieties available to producers, the question remains - how do you choose the right one for your operation? Carver says the answer is all in the information that the team provides with each release, though he understands how that can get confusing.
“It’s a massive amount of data to absorb. I really feel for the wheat producer. We try to make that as simple as possible and just give them what they need to know,” he said. “Extension helps with that, but we need to continue working on that.”
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