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NC State Extension

Wheat Quality Data

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Wheat Quality for Commercial Entries in the NC OVT 2018-19

Falling number is a relative measure of the enzymatic activity in a living wheat seed following harvest, specifically alpha-amylase activity. It is a measure of end-use quality of milling and baking wheat and purchasers use it along with protein and test weight to evaluate wheat quality and determine the price for a grower. Alpha amylase breaks down starches in the endosperm of the seed and results in decreased final flour quality. Acceptable falling number, protein and test weight values will vary depending on the purchaser and the product they intend to make from the milled wheat. Please be in touch with your purchaser to determine their specific requirements.

In the 2018-19 cropping season, we evaluated all commercial entries to the NC official variety test for falling number and protein in addition to the usual reported metrics of yield and test weight. We collected this data for Union and Lenoir County locations by reserving a subsample of wheat from every plot. Protein numbers presented are the average percent protein of all four replications at a given location. For falling number, all four subsamples for a location were homogenized and a 100g sample was ground for evaluation. Falling number is reported in seconds. Falling number and protein content are affected by both genetics and environment. The following data provide a representative look at the performance of commercial soft wheat lines in two locations in North Carolina for a specific crop year.