Wheat Quality in Organic and Conventional Dryland Cropping Systems
CSANR Project 053
Park, E.Y., E.P. Fuerst, P.R. Miller, S. Machado, I.C. Burke, and B.-K. Baik. 2011. Functional and nutritional characteristics of wheat grown in organic, no-till, and conventional cropping systems. Abstract and poster for 2011 meeting of American Association of Cereal Chemists, International.
Additional Funds Leveraged
See Project 62. CSREES Organic Research and Extension Initiative and other matching grants.
Impacts and Outcomes
See Progress Report for Details. We have observed many significant differences in grain properties due to organic systems. We generally see lower protein quantity and higher protein quality in organic systems.
We expect that results will clearly document that the relationships among nitrogen fertility, grain protein, and bread quality differ in organic and conventional systems. This study will raise awareness that protein content is not the sole indicator of quality in organic wheat. Furthermore, results may raise important questions about the practice of applying high levels of conventional fertilizer to boost protein content, since protein content alone may be a superficial indicator of grain quality, and not the best method to judge premiums and discounts for farmers based on protein content at time of sale. Eventually this may lead to more meaningful measurements of grain quality at the point of sale. Decreases in conventional fertilizer application would save costly inputs, fossil fuels, and reduce environmental contamination.