Colorado Wheat executive director starts new roll amid launch of new wheat varieties | TheFencePost.com

Colorado Wheat executive director starts new roll amid launch of new wheat varieties

Erker

When he took the reins as the executive director of Colorado Wheat, Brad Erker had several issues that needed his immediate attention.

He started in August 2017 with three positions to fill and two new wheat seed varities to promote. "When I started in the fall, we were right in the middle of seeds being sold; recommendations needed to be made both in state and in surrounding states," Erker said.

NEW WHEAT

Two new strands of wheat were launched in the fall, including a new white wheat variety named Breck, for the Colorado mountain town.

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"It's a high-yielding white wheat variety that has some really positive attributes to it. It's going to Ardent Mills' premium program," Erker said.

Breck is the fourth white wheat strain released by Colorado Wheat, in partnership with Colorado State University and Ardent Mills.

Erker said the recent addition of white wheat varieties to the marketplace is, in part, at the request of Ardent Mills.

"They're able to make a higher quality flour," Erker said. "It's easier to make a whole wheat because they don't need to bleach the flour to make it."

One of the strong aspects of the Breck wheat variety, according to Erker are its high yield and low polyphenol oxidase level, which means the product is slow to brown.

When you take a bite out of an apple and leave it out for a bit, it will start to brown. That's because of high polyphenol oxidase levels.

When making packaged products with the white wheat, since it doesn't have the coloring added, it's important to have those low levels for things such as prepackaged dough or noodles.

The other wheat released during fall 2017 was Incline AX. Erker said this one has a new herbicide-tolerant trait designed to protect wheat against herbicides that attack grassy weeds.

Incline AX is the second weed-resistant variety to launch, the first was produced in Germany and introduced in 2001, according to Erker. He said it doesn't yield as high, based on the test runs, but it will help greatly when it comes to spraying herbicides.

Both Breck and Incline AX are in the launching stage, so the current crop and the crop that will be planted this fall will be used to build seed stock, and should be fully ready for wheat growers to plant in the fall of 2019.

ADVOCATING

Another aspect of Erker's job is working with other wheat groups in other states and nationally.

In early March, Colorado Wheat was one of many wheat groups that are urging the Trump administration to rejoin the Trans-Pacific Partnership. President Donald Trump removed the United States from TPP negotiations last year.

"We'd like to see the U.S. rejoin," Erker said, adding that U.S. wheat producers depend a lot on exports.

Erker is also advocating for the U.S, to continue to be a part of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Erker said there's already been some damage because of ongoing NAFTA negotiations as Mexico is now buying wheat from Argentina, which isn't typical. "We would just like the administration to … protect ag commodities in NAFTA," Erker said. ❖

— Fox is a reporter for The Fence Post. She can be reached at (970) 392-4410, sfox@thefencepost.com or on Twitter @FoxonaFarm.

EPA approves Aggressor herbicide for use in the CoAXium Wheat Production System

Three major agricultural organizations, Albaugh, LLC, Colorado Wheat Research Foundation, Inc. and Limagrain Cereal Seeds, LLC have announced the EPA registration of Aggressor herbicide which is the exclusive use herbicide for CoAXium Wheat Production System. Aggressor herbicide will provide growers with a new mode of action to address tough-to-control winter annual grassy weeds including feral rye, Group 2 or ALS resistant biotypes of downy brome grass and jointed goatgrass. Aggressor herbicide will be the exclusive herbicide brand for use with two new CoAXium Wheat varieties. Incline AX and LCS Fusion AX, both hard red winter wheat varieties, are scheduled for a 2018 fall launch with limited amounts of certified seed available to growers in Colorado, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Montana and parts of Oregon and Washington. Aggressor herbicide and CoAXium Wheat Production System are a result of innovative thinking and vision of Colorado growers and Colorado State University. This joint collaboration focused on delivery of novel solutions for wheat producers in North America and around the globe. The new CoAXium Wheat Production technology platform combines a patented herbicide-tolerance trait, elite germplasm, state-of-the-art Aggressor herbicide brands and best-in-class industry stewardship.

Go to http://www.CoAXium.com to learn more about Aggressor herbicide and CoAXium Wheat Production System.