I have some rye contamination in a wheat field that is being grown for fine SRWW or soft red winter wheat flour. I can rogue the heads out but how bad is rye contamination in a load of soft red winter wheat? Is it a small problem or a large problem?
Rye contamination is not uncommon in wheat production. Where we use so much cereal rye for cover crop, there is always the possibility that some rye could escape our management practices and show up in the wheat. In certified wheat seed production, rye is a no-no. The field must be rogued of the rye or the field is disqualified for seed. If it's disqualified, it goes into the wheat supply. How does the miller deal with it and how much of a problem is it?
Many wheat flours contain some rye and many rye flours contain some wheat. It is not like the joke about garlic showing up in a load of wheat and should not be discounted because the miller can make garlic flavored crackers out of it. It doesn't work like that.
"I am not sure if or how significant this problem might be in commercial wheat grain fields. Each year we receive a few calls on identifying Rye in wheat fields. This usually results from fertilizer spreader contamination in the course of top dressing fields. Furthermore, over many years of attending the Soft Red Winter Wheat Researchers Conference, I have not heard research or technical papers presented on this issue. In commercial wheat, rye grain is a dockage contaminant and high levels result in discounts.
Rye flour has its own characteristics for baking and the baking industry obviously prefers uniform soft red winter wheat flour that has low or no problems with Mycotoxins (Fusarium) infested wheat grain and has other desirable levels of protein, break flour yield and cookie diameter quality factors. Lastly, the milling industry in Ohio, to the best of my knowledge, does not utilize Identity Preserved grain programs for field or post-harvest sample inspection, so OSIA has no file data on this issue. Another question relates to the potential and extent of other GMO crop contamination in wheat grain, introduced by un-cleaned harvesting, storage and conveying equipment."
A farmer had a question about rye in wheat this morning. I answered "There is more rye in wheat than usual this year. I was wondering what happens to the wheat flour if milled. Contamination is common and wheat is usually in rye bread and rye is often found in wheat bread. SRWW is pastry dough though so contamination would potentially be a bigger problem.
Volunteer wheat and rye is both fairly common around here. A shot of grass herbicide in the fall and early spring helps control it. Most rye kernals are smaller than wheat so they will be separated to a point but the contamination is going to be in the grain and in the field no matter what we do.
It's a big no no in seed wheat of course so the field is inspected for seed and will be rejected with rye heads at harvest."
Do you see any rye or other contaminants in wheat fields this spring?"