TEST OF NEW WINTER DURUM VARIETY IS WATCHED CLOSELY

TEST OF NEW WINTER DURUM VARIETY IS WATCHED CLOSELY

Pendleton Flour Mills is keeping close watch on a winter variety of durum wheat planted last fall in eastern Oregon.

In one of the first private-public partnerships of its kind, the mill provided seed money to help Oregon State University breeder Warren Kronstad develop the nation's first winter durum.The variety - known as Connie - will be patented by OSU and licensed to Pendleton Flour Mills.

The mill can handle only up to 2.5 million bushels of durum wheat, or a maximum 30,000 acres; the potential demand is much greater.

A new Japanese pasta factory in Tacoma, Wash., is using North Dakota durum, but efforts are afoot to have it test the locally grown commodity.

Although year-to-year growing conditions may yet affect quality, initial tests indicate the new variety compares well to Californian durum.

Mr. Kronstad's breeding efforts depended on winter cultivars from all over the world. But he would have liked more data on winter hardiness, hard to obtain during a mild winter.