Canadian Grain Commission
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Wheat is a member of the grass family of plants. It originated in the Middle East thousands of years ago and is now cultivated worldwide. Wheat ranks second for total production as a cereal crop.

A close-up of a wheat head that is bright green.A close-up of a wheat head that is brownish-yellow.

Top left: A head of wheat in July, the growing season.

Top right: A head of wheat in August, close to harvest.

Canadian wheat

A dish filled with Canadian Red Spring wheat seeds.

A sample of Canadian Red Spring wheat

Description

The Canadian Grain Commission provides resources about Canadian wheat that are related to the Canadian Grain Commission’s functions as defined under the Canada Grain Act. This includes information about Canadian wheat classes and varieties, Canadian wheat standards and grades and the results of scientific analysis of Canadian wheat.

Biological classification of wheat

Family: Poaceae
Species: Triticum
Type: Cereal

Growing areas in Canada

Major growing areas: Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan
Other growing areas: British Columbia, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Ontario

End uses for Canadian wheat

Wheat has a variety of end uses. It is milled into flour which is used in baked goods. It is also used to make beer and vodka. Wheat may also be used to make biofuel. In agriculture, wheat is used to feed livestock.

Canadian wheat and Canada Grain Regulations

Wheat is one of the grains defined in Canada Grain Regulations – Section 5. This means that the Canadian Grain Commission establishes and maintains quality standards for wheat. Also, this means that wheat is one of the crops protected by security. If a licensed grain company refuses or fails to pay for a delivery of wheat, the producer can make a claim against security.

Canadian wheat classes and varieties

Under the Canada Grain Act, the Canadian Grain Commission has the authority to designate the class of grain for which new grain varieties are eligible. For each class of wheat, we maintain a list of varieties that are eligible for that class in Canada. There are 10 western Canadian wheat classes.

Canadian wheat standards and grades

The Canadian Grain Commission defines Canadian grain standards and assesses the grade of grains against these standards. The Grain Grading Guide contains all the standards for Canadian grain. Chapter 4 presents the standards for wheat.

The Western Standards committee and Eastern Standards committee review these grading standards and recommend changes when necessary. The committees also select the standard samples of Canadian grain used each year.

Declare the class of your wheat at delivery

Grain producers must follow certain procedures under the declaration system to help ensure that the wheat they are delivering is eligible for a specific Western Canadian wheat class.

Scientific analysis of Canadian wheat crops

The Canadian Grain Commission’s Grain Research Laboratory conducts scientific analysis of harvest and crop export quality and generates reports that offer information about each year’s crop. Crop quality data is taken from samples collected during our annual Harvest Sample Program. Export quality data is taken from samples collected from export shipments.