Red Fife (awnless)


A spring growth-habit wheat with hard, red-color kernels. It exhibited weak straw strength during the Kusa Seed organization’s grow-outs with plant heights of 40-71”. It was exposed in the field in Ojai, California, to multiple nights of 16° F. at 50 days of age, with no harm to the seedlings. Accounts differ about its arrival in the United States. One states it arrived from Scotland, coming there from Danzig and Poland. Another states that the original came from Russia and Poland into Canada (1845), arriving in Wisconsin about 1860. It became the founder crop of the great flour industry of Minneapolis (Pillsbury, etc.) after the introduction of the roller-mill and the purifier. For some time it stood as the “number one” commercial hard spring wheat of the United States, commanding the highest price. (Roller-milling technology was stolen out of Hungary in an incident of industrial espionage [i.e. bald theft] and became the chief element in the commercialization of the United States flour milling industry; the end of whole, unrefined wheat flour and the dominance of white, “purified” wheat flour. See the Literature item in The Architecture of Whole Grain.  Came to Canada from Scotland in the mid-1800’s and became the foundation wheat for the large Minneapolis flour industry.


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