great wheat starts with
great roots.

Cereals Canada, Canadian Grain Commission and Canadian International Grains Institute are pleased to provide a review of the 2017 Canadian wheat crop including information and data to assist customers in optimizing the value and performance of Canadian wheat.

2017 Crop in Review

Quality is in Our Roots

Download the full document

Note: Updated on Dec 7th with revised production estimates for Canadian major crops

Table of Contents
  • Introduction
  • Farming in Canada
  • 2017 Growing Season in Canada
  • Canadian Wheat Quality Report (Canada Western Red Spring, Canada Western Amber Durum, Canada Prairie Spring Red)
  • Other Western Canadian Wheat Classes
  • World Wheat Situation
  • Wheat Quality Evaluation Methods


Canada Western Red Spring


CWRS is a hard wheat with high protein content that is highly regarded for its superior milling and baking quality. It is the most widely grown wheat class in Western Canada, accounting for more than 60% of annual production. Recently registered varieties in the CWRS class build on its reputation for protein strength, good milling characteristics and overall end-product quality.


Properties and Applications

  • Three milling grades available at various guaranteed protein levels
  • Kernels have high test weights
  • High flour milling yields with low protein losses
  • Bright flour colour
  • Strong but mellow gluten strength resulting in dough with good balance of elasticity and extensibility
  • Higher water absorption
  • Ideal for a base level of strength in blends with wheats that have lower protein content or gluten strength

  • Ideal for the production of high-volume pan breads
  • Equally versatile in the production of hearth breads and flat breads
  • Good mixing and fermentation tolerance on all baking processes
  • Produces doughs with a good balance of elasticity and extensibility
  • Breads made from CWRS have a bright crumb colour and high loaf volume

  • Suitable for a wide range of noodle and other Asian product applications
  • Well-balanced dough elasticity and extensibility, ensuring a smooth sheeting process and formation of a uniform gluten matrix
  • A key ingredient in the production of fresh yellow alkaline noodles because of its excellent texture and colour properties and bright, clear appearance
  • Suitable for the production of a wide range of noodle types including white salted noodles, egg noodles and instant noodles
  • Can be used for pasta production in markets preferring pasta made from common wheat



Canada Western Amber Durum


Canada is the leading exporter of durum wheat in the world. CWAD is recognized for its superior colour and semolina yield, important factors in the production of pasta and couscous of the highest quality. Breeding efforts in CWAD have focused on improving the colour and gluten strength in new varieties.


Properties and Applications

  • Five milling grades are available
  • High levels of vitreous kernels resulting in high semolina yields
  • High protein content
  • Excellent yellow pigment content resulting in semolina with bright yellow colour
  • Strong and extensible gluten

  • Pasta produced from CWAD has bright yellow colour
  • Pasta made from CWAD has excellent cooking quality including excellent firmness, tolerance to overcooking and low cooking loss
  • CWAD is suitable for the production of both dried and fresh pasta products

  • Couscous made from CWAD is distinct for its bright yellow colour
  • Couscous produced with CWAD is less sticky when cooked

  • Durum flour milled from high-protein CWAD is well-suited for the production of hearth-style and artisan breads as well as flat breads
  • The exceptional brightness of CWAD flour produces bread with a subtle yellow-coloured crumb that is appealing to consumers
  • Flour milled from CWAD demonstrates high water absorption capacity



Canada Prairie Spring Red


CPSR is an excellent class of western Canadian wheat with medium protein content and hard kernels. New CPSR varieties continue to be added to the class with improved protein strength, milling properties and end-product characteristics.


Properties and Applications

  • Two milling grades are available
  • Excellent flour yields, comparable to or higher than CWRS
  • Low flour ash content, comparable to or lower than CWRS, resulting in bright flour colour
  • Cumulative ash curves show excellent milling performance
  • Low protein loss from wheat to flour, comparable to CWRS
  • High water absorption relative to wheats from other origins
  • Strong physical dough properties, comparable to, or even stronger than CWRS at equivalent protein
  • Useful for blending with high-protein or low-protein wheat in order to meet quality specifications

  • Ideal for the production of pan breads, hearth breads, flat breads and crackers
  • Good mixing and fermentation tolerance
  • Typically exhibits slightly lower absorption than CWRS
  • Exhibits and retains good dough properties during mixing and processing
  • Dough has good elasticity and extensibility
  • Medium to strong dough strength, resulting in good bread loaf volume and crumb structure

  • Good noodle hydration rates
  • Smooth and elastic dough for noodle processing and finishing
  • Strong elastic dough properties
  • Ideal for the production of high-quality white salted noodles with exceptional mouth feel and bite
  • Ideal for the production of quality instant noodles with exceptional elastic texture
  • Can be used to produce pasta with desired firmness and colour where non-durum pasta is commonly consumed


Other Classes


Canada Western Red Winter

CWRW is a medium-hard wheat offering good milling yield, dough strength and flour colour. CWRW is used in a variety of baking applications where lower protein is desirable, and is widely used in the production of noodles and steamed bread.



Canada Western Hard White Spring

CWHWS features many of the same quality attributes associated with Canada Western Red Spring (CWRS) wheat while its white bran coat offers the added benefits of brighter flour colour and reduced bran specks. This combination makes CWHWS ideally suited for a wide range of applications. Small production of the class limits availability to customers.



Canada Western Soft White Spring

CWSWS is a soft wheat with low protein content and weak gluten properties. It is grown under irrigation in southern Alberta and Saskatchewan. Small quantities of CWSWS are produced and exports of this wheat class may not always be available. CWSWS is suitable for a variety of bakery and other food applications that require low protein content. CWSWS is also highly sought after by the industrial ethanol industry on account of its low protein content (i.e. high starch content).



Canada Northern Hard Red

CNHR is a red spring wheat consisting of hard kernels. Introduced on August 1, 2016, the target quality of this class is for it to have sound kernels (good falling number), very good milling quality, with medium gluten strength (lower than both the CWRS and CPSR classes). Protein content of CNHR will be variable and span the protein content range of the CWRS and CPSR classes. There are three milling grades available.




New Crop Presentations


During November and December 2017, new crop seminars are being held in 18 countries throughout Asia, Europe, Africa, Middle East, North America and South America. Representatives from Cereals Canada, Canadian Grain Commission, Canadian International Grains Institute, grain exporters and producers are presenting on a number of topics including farming in Canada, the growing season, and 2017 harvest assessment data and end-product evaluation results.

Copies of these presentations are below. Some are available in different languages based on the regions where they were presented.

Grain Farming in Canada

Crop Selection
Sustainable Farming Practices
Quality Control on the Farm

Wheat and Durum Production

World Wheat Situation
2017 Growing Season in Western Canada
Canadian Wheat, Durum and Crop Production


Note: Updated on Dec 7th with revised production estimates for Canadian major crops





Quality Assessment

Grade breakdowns
Grading factors
Protein results
Variety distribution

Milling and Functionality

Milling Quality
Bread Baking
Noodle Making
Pasta Making

Farming Practices

Clean Air, Clean Water, Clean Land

  • Minimal tillage technologies reduce soil disruption, keeping Canada’s land nutrient rich to produce high-quality crops
  • Reduced tillage practices help maintain soil health and minimize soil erosion
  • Best management practices optimize plant nutrient use to reduce nutrient run-off
Spring Wheat, Prairies - Energy Use per Harvested Hectare
energy use
A Sustainable Future

Modern Canadian agriculture has a very good story to tell about sustainability. Modern practices such as conservation tillage are increasing soil health by reducing the amount of fuel used and reducing soil and wind erosion.

Precision agriculture, which uses satellites to steer equipment, allows for fewer field passes and maximizes the efficiency of crop inputs, further reducing fuel use and protecting water from nutrient run-off.

Most Canadian production is naturally rain-fed, and a small portion of crops are irrigated using clean water from natural sources, giving Canadian agriculture a strong sustainability record.

Best management practices are providing the next generation of farmers with clean air, clean water and clean land and an environment that is healthier than when previous generations began farming.

Variety Registration

The foundation for consistent Canadian wheat quality is the Variety Registration Process. A new variety of wheat must have the right intrinsic properties before it can be grown as a registered variety in Canada. This extensive process is overseen by the Government of Canada’s Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Variety Registration Office. This process addresses farmers’ concerns regarding agronomic practices, yield and disease resistance, while the quality attributes of the wheat undergo rigorous scientific testing during three years of trials.

The variety registration process ensures that newly registered varieties will reflect the quality characteristics expected of a particular wheat class. This process guarantees continued consistent high-quality wheat for Canadian customers no matter where the wheat is grown throughout Western Canada.

2017 Growing Season in Canada
growing wheat

The 2017 growing season in Canada was diverse across the country, including in the prairie region.