Kyle durum wheat wins Seed of the Year-West
By Western Grains Research Foundation
One of the more significant varieties of durum wheat in Western Canada is Kyle, and it has now been recognized by the Western Grains Resarch Foundation and SeCan as the Seed of the Year -West.
December 5, 2008
Seed of the Year is proud to announce Kyle, a durum wheat variety, as the winner of Seed of the Year – West. Congratulations go out to Dr. Fred Townley-Smith and the research team responsible for Kyle, and the phenomenal footprint this variety has left on agriculture in western Canada. Kyle was registered in 1984 and became the most widely grown durum cultivar by 1988. It predominated until 2005, with peak acreage share of about 78 per cent in 1999. Kyle has been grown on a total of more than 22 million hectares to date, adding more than $300 million in additional farm income through higher yield and market grade.
Seed of the Year is designed to provide recognition to publicly-developed varieties that have made a significant contribution to the economy, agriculture, and the Canadian public in general. Although the name, Seed of the Year indicates the contribution in a particular year the program is much more broad reaching and considers total lifetime achievement and contribution over time. We felt it was important to recognize the value of the contributions of our public plant breeding programs, as well as encourage the entry of new plant breeders to the industry. Since 2005, Seed of the Year has been in operation in eastern Canada and
2008 is the first year the program has expanded to include western Canada with its own western Seed of the Year winner. Part of the western award is a scholarship for $2000 that is awarded to a student enrolled in a western Canadian university and currently completing a masters or Ph.-D in plant breeding or genetics. This year’s scholarship winner is Meghan Rose. Meghan is a 2nd year
MSc student at the University of Manitoba and is working on evaluating yield and yield components in winter and spring wheat. Meghan truly believes that, "Plant breeders are the driving force in agricultural innovation, and no matter how many inputs we use on the farm, it all comes down to the genetic capabilities of the crop.” As the breeder of Seed of the Year, Dr. Fred Townley-Smith was asked to select the scholarship winner. Fred was fortunate to be a recipient of a scholarship when he was finishing his Ph.-D at the University of Guelph, and said, "I think awarding a scholarship is a great way to keep the research process moving forward, things have really come full circle for me."
The Seed of The Year award program highlights the importance of plant breeding and the seed industry to crop production in Canada. The scholarship aspect will contribute to the education of a new generation of plant breeders with the skills and dedication of Dr. Fred Townley-Smith and colleagues.” said John Clarke, nominator of Kyle durum.
Seed of the Year would also like to acknowledge its sponsors: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Alberta Barley Commission, Canterra Seeds, Cargill, Canadian Wheat Board, Parrish & Heimbecker Limited, Canadian Seed Growers Association, Viterra, Richardson
For more information on Seed of the Year, as well as application forms for next year pleasevisit: www.seedoftheyear.ca/west