Club Wheat with Kim Garland-Campbell

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Show Notes & Resources Mentioned:

Contact Information:

Contact Kim Garland-Campbell via email at kim.garland-campbell@ars.usda.gov.


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Episode Transcription:

[ Music ]

Drew Lyon: Hello, and welcome to the WSU Wheat Beat Podcast. I’m your host, Drew Lyon, and I want to thank you for joining me as we explore the world of small grains production and research at Washington State University. We have weekly discussions with researchers from WSU and the USDA-ARS to provide you with insights into the latest research on wheat and barley production. If you enjoy the WSU Wheat Beat Podcast, do us a favor and subscribe on iTunes or your favorite podcasting app. And leave us a review while you’re there so others can find the show too.

[ Music ]

Drew Lyon: My guest today is Kim Garland-Campbell. Kim is a wheat breeder with the USDA Agricultural Research Service working out of the Crop and Soil Sciences Department at WSU. She has been a wheat breeder since 1992 and has been in her current position since 1999. The goals of her project are pre-breeding for wheat disease resistance and club wheat cultivar development. She has the distinction of being the only wheat breeder who has a primary focus on club wheat. Hello Kim.

Kim Garland-Campbell: Hi, how are you, Drew?

Drew Lyon: I’m doing well. Club wheat. So besides that funny looking head, what exactly is club wheat and how does it differ from our other wheat cultivars?

Kim Garland-Campbell: Well, club wheat was the original kind of wheat that was widely grown in this area. I think it was brought in — I know it was brought in originally by the Spanish when they came into California — but I think the reason why the early settlers liked it was because it’s probably a little more drought tolerant than the wheats they would have brought over from Ohio and that area.

Drew Lyon: Okay.

Kim Garland-Campbell: And it has that compact head but it also has very unique grain quality characteristics that make it desired in the overseas market.

Drew Lyon: Okay, what are some of those characteristics that make it so valuable? Because I know it’s a component of what?

Both: Western white —

Kim Garland-Campbell: Western white, yeah. It’s usually mixed somewhere between 15% and 30% club wheat into western white with soft wheat. That makes up the western white market class.

Drew Lyon:  And it’s considered a premium product when it’s done that. So what does the club wheat bring to that package?

Kim Garland-Campbell: Yeah. Yeah. Well, I like to say it’s been bred to be the opposite of bread wheat. It has very low gluten strength and it’s very soft and mills much better than any other kind of wheat. So they’re able to use it for two things. One is to make really nice textured and nice tasting cakes, and cookies, and crackers and things like that. And the other is to blend down like when they have a — when we have a high protein year they can use club wheat or the western white to blend the flour down so they can make some of the other products they make.

Drew Lyon: Okay. And no one else in the country has that as a primary responsibility, you’re the one.

Kim Garland-Campbell: Yeah, I’m actually the only one in the world. [ chuckles ]

Drew Lyon: Wow. That’s really amazing.

Kim Garland-Campbell: Right, yeah.

Drew Lyon: Okay, interesting. Anywhere else in the world where club wheats are grown?

Kim Garland-Campbell: Well, they were historically grown in Afghanistan and in Spain kind of across the Mediterranean a little bit in the Middle East.

Drew Lyon: Okay, so that might explain it fits our kind of —

Kim Garland-Campbell: Right, it fits our environment.

Drew Lyon: Mediterranean environment, Okay. So what are the goals of your breeding program with club wheat?

Kim Garland-Campbell: Well, when I first got there the yields of club wheat were running about 5% to 10% behind soft white wheat. So the first thing I knew I needed to make them competitive or farmers just wouldn’t grow them. We have to keep those quality parameters, though, because that’s the whole reason why club wheat is desired. So those two things and then lately we’ve been able to really breed in some good disease resistance, especially stripe rust resistance. And so the growers kind of they associate that with club wheat so we have to keep that there too. And then the areas where they want us to improve our snow mold resistance because a lot of club wheats grow in up north of route 2 in Washington. And they also want me to devise some club wheats that have a lot earlier maturity to be competitive down in the Walla Walla area that part of the state.

Drew Lyon: Okay, so those are your focus areas at this point in time?

Kim Garland-Campbell: Yeah, we’ve expanded both to —

Drew Lyon: North and South. [ chuckles ]

Kim Garland-Campbell: Yeah, in two different directions, yeah.

Drew Lyon: Okay, interesting.

Kim Garland-Campbell: We have a whole lot more head rows down at Pendleton and we have a whole lot more head rows up at Waterville. [ chuckles ]

Drew Lyon: Okay. So all your data goes into — I don’t know about all your data, but a lot of the data on performance comes from the Wheat Variety Testing Program.

Kim Garland-Campbell: Right, yeah.

Drew Lyon: And that’s all available. If people want to learn a little bit more about club wheat and your program is there someplace they can go to get that information other than the Washington State Wheat Variety Testing Program? Do you have a website?

Kim Garland-Campbell: I don’t actually. I should make one. I mean we do have one associated with me at USDA. Our USDA unit has one but there isn’t actually a lot on it.

Drew Lyon: Okay.

Kim Garland-Campbell: So I should really put one together. There is some really good information on club wheat available through US Wheat Associates on their website on how it’s used in the market.

Drew Lyon: Well I know I’ve interviewed a couple of your grad students and they’re doing very interesting work and so I think maybe our listeners wouldn’t mind coming seeing what all you’re doing because you have an active program and a lot of interesting work going on. What do you like about what you do? It’s something you’re unique in the world.

Kim Garland-Campbell: Right.

Drew Lyon: But have you enjoyed your time here in Washington and what do you really like about what you do?

Kim Garland-Campbell: Oh yeah, I love Washington. I was the wheat breeder at Ohio State before I came out here but wheat in Washington is, you know, it’s the thing and so I love working with the growers they are very, you know, they’re innovative and they like to tell you what they like and especially what they don’t like about things. And then a special thing that’s really enjoyable for me is talking to some of these trade teams that come over from Korea and Japan and Indonesia, Vietnam every year and working with the end users more to really, you know, understand what it is that they like and so. And the best thing really is my colleagues. Working with the other two wheat breeders here and the other — the rest of the faculty here and in the region.

Drew Lyon: Yeah, I know you’re very integrated in the Crop and Soil Science Department as an adjunct faculty member and you’re very active and we appreciate that.

Kim Garland-Campbell: Yeah. Thanks.

Drew Lyon: And you told me before recording here that you’re heading right after this to go meet with the Japanese trade team that’s coming over here.

Kim Garland-Campbell: Yeah, yeah the Wheat Commission brought over a group from Japan. This is actually our second group from Japan this summer and they’re taking a tour of the crop kind of so we’re going to meet with them at the Wheat Commission.

Drew Lyon: Very good, well good luck with that. They’re a big buyer of our wheat and I know they like the quality that comes out of here and probably much of that’s due to the club wheats that you help breed and develop here.

Kim Garland-Campbell: Yeah, well thank you.

Drew Lyon: Thanks for your time.

Kim Garland-Campbell: Thank you very much, Drew.

[ Music ]

Drew Lyon: Thanks for joining us and listening to the WSU Wheat Beat Podcast. If you like what you hear, you can subscribe on iTunes or your favorite podcasting app so you never miss an episode. And leave us a review while you’re there. If you have questions for us that you’d like to hear addressed on future episodes, please email me at drew.lyon@wsu.edu. You can find us online at smallgrains.wsu.edu. You can also reach out on Facebook and Twitter @WSUSmallGrains. The WSU Wheat Beat Podcast is a production of CAHNRS communications in the College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences at Washington State University. I’m Drew Lyon. We’ll see you next week.

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