Monday, July 19, 2010

Reducing Discounts for Low Falling Numbers

The Idaho Wheat Commission (IWC) has assembled information helpful to growers on how to avoid and/or manage discounts for low-falling number wheat in a YouTube video. The informational video features IWC Commissioner Joe Anderson and ARS/USDA Food Technologist Art Bettge.

The falling number test measures wheat embryo germination activity, which may be a result of sprout or frost damage, or from wide temperature swings during ripening.

“Two years ago an additional test was done after there was rain during harvest,” said Joe Anderson. “That was the falling number test. Discounts were severe and some elevators even discounted for both low falling numbers and sprout.”

The IWC produced the nine-minute video to explain what the falling number test measures, why the falling number value is important, what causes low falling numbers and what wheat farmers can do if they have a low falling number score.

“There seems to be a wide variability in the results of falling number tests,” said Anderson. “We are learning that many things can influence the results, get a second opinion, and get a re-test.”

The Reducing Discounts for Low Falling Numbers video can be viewed at
Additional information about laboratories which perform low falling number tests and wheat varieties that are susceptible to low falling number can be found at

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