NCI/IGP Course Focuses on Improving Durum Wheat Milling Skills

Fargo, N.D., USA -- Northern Crops Institute (NCI) and the International Grains Program (IGP) at Kansas State University are co-sponsoring a Durum Wheat Milling Short Course May 21-24 at NCI in Fargo, North Dakota.  This course will provide participants with a better understanding of the durum milling process and add insight into milling performance and semolina quality.

Lead instructors are Mark Fowler, IGP Associate Director and Milling Specialist, and Alyssa Hicks, NCI Milling Specialist.  The course is coordinated by John Crabtree, NCI Assistant Director.

“We are just delighted to partner with IGP for this educational course.  Combining the milling expertise of IGP’s Mark Fowler and NCI’s flour mill that can process both durum wheat and hard red spring wheat provides a very strong milling program for our course attendees,” says NCI Director Mark Weber. 

“The durum course specifically is an opportunity to contribute my expertise as a technical miller and extend the IGP impact by partnering with NCI and their industry partners,” says Fowler. “This course will focus on the differences between milling of hard wheat for flour and the production of semolina for pasta production.  We will apply the basic principles of milling and wheat cleaning and introduce techniques to quantitatively measure and improve milling efficiencies,” Fowler concludes.

Highlights will include principles of durum milling, handling and blending, equipment, plant maintenance, and hands-on experience in the NCI pilot-scale Durum Mill and the NCI Pasta Extrusion Laboratory.  Course topics include objectives of durum wheat milling, durum wheat variety development, durum wheat selection, durum wheat cleaning, durum wheat tempering, durum mill flow sheet analysis, grinding and sifting, purification, air utilization, product quality control, and trends in the durum milling and product utilization industry.

NCI’s pilot-scale mill was converted in 2009 from a durum mill into a swing mill to give the region the capability to mill pilot-scale or test-scale quantities of durum or bread wheat.  The mill is capable of milling flour, durum semolina and whole-wheat flour. Flour milling capacity of the mill is 200-300 pounds/hour, a larger quantity than a laboratory scale mill can produce.

The intended audience of this course is newly hired millers, millers who would like to advance their skills, and quality control personnel wanting to gain an insight into durum milling.

Participants are encouraged to enroll early.  All courses are contingent upon sufficient enrollment numbers. Registration Fee: $850. Registration deadline is May 6, 2013. For more information, visit

International Grains Program (IGP) is part of the Department of Grain Science and Industry at the Kansas State University. The program is designed to educate foreign business leaders and government officials about U.S. grains and oilseeds through technical training and assistance programs in grain storage and handling, milling, marketing and processing. IGP supports marketing activities by national farmer commodity organizations.

Northern Crops Institute (NCI) is the international center for meeting and learning about crops produced in the four-state region of North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota and Montana. Situated on the campus of North Dakota State University, NCI exists as a forum to bring together customers, commodity traders, technical experts, processors and producers from all points of the globe for discussion, education, and technical service programs.