« Return to all Research Projects

Falling Number in CWRS Wheat

Crop Types
  • Wheat
Collaborating Locations

Falling Number (FN) is used to evaluate the amount of sprout damage in wheat, a critical component of wheat quality. FN is the amount of time in seconds it takes for a plunger to fall through a slurry of ground wheat and water. When a wheat kernel starts to sprout there is an increase in the enzyme alpha-amylase. The greater the level of alpha-amylase, the thinner the slurry, and the faster the plunger will fall through it. A higher FN value indicates the wheat is ‘sound’ and there is less sprout damage. Sprout damage is a concern in years with wet harvest conditions. While FN is not a grading specification, there is a strict tolerance for sprouted kernels and milling companies may request a specific FN value as part of their contract. Typically, bakers and millers are looking for Canada Western Red Spring (CWRS) wheat to have a FN greater than 350 seconds. FN is important to customers because sprout damage can impact the processability and end-product quality of food products containing wheat flour.


  1. This project will evaluate FN on selected CWRS varieties entered into the Manitoba Crop Variety Evaluation Trials (MCVET) over a three-year period. Publishing FN results in the Manitoba Seed Guide will provide Manitoban producers with additional information to select which wheat varieties to grow and ensure customers of Canadian wheat continue to receive the quality they expect from Canadian wheat.

Project Details

Principal Investigator
Anne Kirk
Project Status
Start Date
Completion Date
Funding Partners
Total Project Cost
MCA Funding

Field Issues

  • Harvest