Wheat Types

There are six classes of wheat produced in the US:  hard red winter, hard white winter, hard red spring, soft red winter, soft white and durum. Producers in Nebraska primarily raise hard red winter and hard white winter.

Hard red winter wheat accounts for the majority of Nebraska’s wheat production. Different varieties can be raised throughout the state. It is very versatile with excellent milling characteristics. It’s commonly used in loaf breads and yeast-raised flour foods. HRW wheat is also good for use in Asian noodles and flat breads.

Hard white wheat is well-suited for production in western Nebraska. The increased moisture in eastern Nebraska poses sprouting problems that restrict this wheat type to the western half of the state. HWW accounts for less than 5 percent of Nebraska’s wheat production, with most grown under direct contract with companies like ConAgra. HWW’s increasing in popularity, due mostly to its ability to provide the nutrition of a whole grain with the appearance and texture of refined flour.

Each class of wheat has varieties that are more suited to certain parts of the state than others. UNL Extension and the Nebraska Crop Improvement Association put out an annual seed guide discussing the data behind varieties suitable for production in Nebraska. Recent guides can be viewed at http://necrop.org/publications#seedbook