Quality distribution of Argentine bread wheat using maps of a Geographic Information System

Received September 6th 2011// Accepted December 13th 2012// Published online December 19 th 2012


At present, wheat demand requires for specific quality and industrial performance features. Buyers are not
only interested in protein content but also its quality. In order to evaluate industrial aptitude, laboratory tests must be performed to define wheat quality and thus meet the demands of the wheat chain. Millers and bakers
want to know where to buy the most adequate wheat to elaborate their products. Most of the literature on this
topic shows graphs and tables of every wheat growing subregions, but are difficult to understand due to the
numerous details and data that must be analyzed. The aim of this study was to evaluate the distribution of
commercial and industrial quality in the Argentine wheat area using a Geographic Information System that
can handle large databases spatially referenced and then translate this information into maps. During three
crops, five quality parameters were compared with the average of ten years. According to results, higher test
weight values were recorded in 2007 in the reference range between 81.26 – 85.00 kg/hl, in subregions I, II
South, V North and V South. In the average of ten years most of tested samples showed test weight in the
range 77.51 to 81.25 kg/hl, easily reaching Grade 2 or higher of the Argentine Marketing Standard of wheat.
Protein content varied when comparing years and zones, presenting higher values (between 12.0 and 12.9%),
in subregions I, II North, V North and V South. The P/L ratio was optimum between 0.76 -1.50. Average of 10
years of the alveograph W values were fairly homogeneous throughout the wheat area, with W between 241
and 323 Joules x10-4. These values are considered appropriate for wheat used for baking purposes and can
be considered very good for unclassified “commodities” wheat. Throughout the argentine wheat growing area,
subregion IV displayed the highest values of farinograph stability (between 16.0 and 25.9 minutes, average
of 10 years) values for the remaining regions considered in this study were between 10.0 and 15.9 minutes,
whereas in some focus areas values were between 16.0 to 20.9 minutes.
The Geographic Information System (SIG) proved to be a useful and efficient solution for updating maps and
ordaining data, thus helping simplify the interpretation of results.
Keywords: wheat, commercial and industrial quality, regionalization, SIG.

1Departamento de Agronomía, Universidad Nacional del Sur-UNS-.Correo electrónico: nsalomon@criba.edu.ar.
2Departamento de Ingeniería, Universidad Nacional del Sur-UNS-.
3Lab. de Calidad Industrial de Cereales y Oleaginosas, INTA-EEA Marcos Juárez, Córdoba.

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