Breeding colored wheat and barley for nutrition and novelty for low-input integrated farms
CSANR Project 148
Status: No-cost extension granted
In western Washington growers utilize small grains as a rotational crop to break disease and pest cycles as well as resting the soil between more intensive, and profitable, crops. We are breeding barley and wheat for nutritional content and end-use quality, using novel color traits to differentiate the crop and increase the antioxidant content of the grain. Unique color traits will distinguish grains grown in this region and the quality characteristics will make them desirable to bakers, chefs, brewers, and consumers. Farmers, processors, and consumers have expressed a desire for colored grains but there are not currently any varieties suited to the region. This research will include the introgression of color traits into adapted varieties, selection of colored germplasm under organic conditions, and the characterization of the nutritional and baking profile of colored grains. Funding will be used for processing samples and nutritional testing to advance material we have developed, towards releasing adapted varieties.