OSU offers limited license for new super soft wheat variety

March 11, 2005

CORVALLIS - Oregon State University is requesting proposals for licensing a new variety of super soft wheat.

This is the first time a cereal grain developed by plant breeders at OSU will be released through only one or a few private companies. The exclusive or semi-exclusive license will make it possible to establish identity-preserved production and marketing of the new wheat variety.

In the past, OSU-developed wheat varieties have been released through public release or open licenses and the grain was typically sold on the commodity market in mixed lots containing several different varieties.

The exclusive licensing process will help this superior wheat to be segregated from other varieties, identified in the marketplace and potentially sold at a premium price.

"As we look at the sustainability of agriculture, we need to provide the highest quality product in a way that preserves its identity and value to end users," said Russ Karow, head of OSU's Crop and Soils Department.

Known as OR9801757, the new soft white winter wheat variety has notably lower grain protein content and exhibits very soft kernel texture, high break flour yields, large diameter cookies, and high sponge cake volume.

The traits of this particular wheat variety may be of considerable value to millers and bakers if its identity can be preserved through the supply chain, according to Karow.

"However, without the commitment of private industry to develop markets and to produce, segregate, and deliver identity-preserved grain, we think that the potential economic value of this variety will not be fully realized," Karow said.

"If successful, we expect this will lead to other identity-preserved marketing opportunities for OSU wheat varieties with value-added traits," Karow said. "Oregon wheat growers will benefit from increased market demand and the ability to directly market superior quality identity-preserved grain to quality-conscious customers, increasing the economic returns from investments in research and development."

The deadline for receipt of license applications is April 1. For more information, contact Craig Sheward, OSU Office of Technology Transfer, 541-737-3439; or email Craig.Sheward@oregonstate.edu

Author: Peg Herring
Source: Russ Karow