NZ Wheats

Wheat is used in many human foodstuffs and for animal feed. The most important use of wheat in New Zealand is for breadbaking, which accounts for around 60% of total wheat production. Other major foodstuffs made using wheat include biscuits and pasta.

The wheat used for pasta is called Durum wheat. Durum wheat is different from the type of wheat used to make bread and is much harder, with different cooking properties than bread wheat flour, making it satisfactory for pasta manufacture.

Biscuit wheats differ from bread wheats in the hardness of their grains and in the type of doughs which are made from their flour. Biscuit wheats are soft, which means special mills are required to extract their flours. Soft wheats in a conventional hard wheat or bread wheat mill would clog up the sieves used to separate the white inner part of the grain called the endosperm from the rest of the grain. The softness of biscuit flours means they only absorb small amounts of water when mixed into a dough. Doughs made with biscuit flours spread out sideways when baking, and so produce high quality biscuits.

The requirements for breadbaking wheats are quite different. The grains are semi-hard or hard, which produce flours that flow easily through a conventional milling system. Bread flours must absorb a relatively large amount of water, and good bread baking doughs must also have the capacity to stretch into a large volume. Bread baking doughs are expanded by gas from the fermenting yeast and then must retain that volume when cooked.

There are also some small amounts of speciality wheats, such as the purple grain coloured wheat, produced for use in certain types of breads. Purple wheat, which was first commercially produced in New Zealand, is a small but significant part of the New Zealand bread wheat industry. It is used for providing colour and texture in a number of wholemeal and specialty bread types.

Wheat used for animal feed is commonly bread wheat which has been rejected for low quality. Animal feeds in New Zealand are usually compounds of a number of plant and animal products. Wheat or one of the cereal grains (barley, maize) often provides much of the physical bulk for these compounds. At present, relative price is the major factor in deciding which particular cereal grain is used. However, modern feed manufacturers are beginning to analyse the properties of their raw ingredients more closely and particular requirements may soon emerge.

In the future, feed wheat may have its own quality requirements, just like bread wheat, biscuit wheat and Durum wheat have.

Canterbury Wheats - April/May sown



A consistently high yielding winter wheat with excellent characteristics for soft milling and animal feed. 


A high yielding winter wheat with exceptional quality parameters for soft milling characteristics. Stiff straw and high untreated yields.




Bread wheat with medium to strong quality.  Very high yielding autumn/winter wheat with medium proteins and grain size.


Feed Wheat


Very high yielding & early maturing, though not as early as Amarok. Good field characteristics.


Short stiff high yielding feed variety. Has topped yield trials regularly. Stiff straw with good standing power, low cost to grow.


The top yielder in Canterbury irrigated sites over last 2 years.


High Yield, especially on dryland with good test weight.


High yielding of good feed quality grain Later maturing variety.


Very high yielding winter feed wheat.  Short strawed and with good grain characteristics.


A high yielding winter feed wheat. Good grain size.


High yield potential winter wheat. It has short, very strong straw.


A new winter feed wheat with very high yield potential with short strong straw.




High yield potential, Tanker is a later maturing variety with short straw producing industry quality grain.


Consistently high yielding, early maturing variety with short stiff straw, produces grain of high test wt.

Canterbury Wheats - May/June sown



High yielding, early maturing winter wheat.  Good on dryland and irrigated farms. Large grain size.


Produces bread with medium-strong dough properties and consistently good bake scores.  Low risk winter/spring wheat with good grain size, disease. 

Bakker Gold

Premium bread wheat with excellent grain, flour and baking results. Good yields. Sow from autumn to spring.


Medium quality bread wheat. High yield potential from spring sowing.


High quality bread wheat.  Can be autumn to spring sown.


Hard milling, producing strong bread with medium work input.  Med. to high yielding. Large grains.


Very high quality bread wheat.  Suits autumn to spring sowings. 


Bread wheat with medium to strong quality.  Very high yielding autumn/winter wheat with medium grain size and good straw strength.


High quality bread wheat with short straw and good standing power. Can achieve high yields from autumn and spring sowing.


Produces bread dough with medium-strong properties.  High yielding (especially on dry land) autumn/winter/spring wheat with good grain size.




Very high yielding wheat that can be sown from autumn to spring.


Above average feed and gristing variety.