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New wheat and barley varieties hitting the market

Varieties registered in 2006 are reaching commercial availability in 2008.

March 5, 2008  By Bruce Barker

The Western Grains Research Foundation (WGRF) supports wheat and barley plant breeding through the Wheat and Barley Check-off funds collected by the Canadian Wheat Board on final payments to producers. The voluntary check-off is set at $0.50 per tonne for barley and $0.30 per tonne for wheat.

The WGRF supports plant breeders in their quest for better wheat and barley varieties. Photo By Bruce Barker.

The following wheat and barley varieties were registered in 2006. Typically taking several years for seed multiplication, certified seed is becoming commercially available in 2008 and 2009.

Alvena: An early maturing CWRS wheat with strong straw strength and leaf and stem rust resistance. This variety has a high grain yield, is early maturing and holds on well to its protein content. Alvena is suitable for growing in all areas of the prairies. Developed by: Ron DePauw, AAFC Swift Current. Distributed by: SeCan.

Kane: A CWRS variety suitable for growing in all areas of the prairies, with some very good improvements when compared to other varieties in the same class. These improvements include higher yield in Manitoba, high test weight, very good leaf rust resistance, good stem rust resistance and very good resistance to pre-harvest sprouting. Developed by: Stephen Fox, AAFC Winnipeg. Distributed by: SeCan.

Binscarth: A six row forage barley that has high silage production potential for the Parkland region of Manitoba and Saskatchewan. It out-yields Virden and AC Ranger by up to nine percent across the growing region for forage, and the forage quality is superior to any other forage cultivar. Binscarth also can be used for emergency grazing where needed, as it can be regrazed. Developed by: Mario Therrien, AAFC Brandon. Distributed by: Wagon Wheel Seed Corporation.

CDC Coalition: A two row feed variety with good adaptability across western Canada. It shows top yield potential, excellent straw strength, high test weight and is resistant to stem rust and the smuts. Developed by: Brian Rossnagel, University of Saskatchewan, Crop Development Centre. Distributed by: Canterra.

Millhouse: The first ever registered food barley, Millhouse contains properties that allow barley grain to be processed in the same fashion as wheat for use in bread. Millhouse is developed to complement wheat for milling purposes. The advantage lies in the fact that it provides more dietary fibre than wheat, as well as other unique health benefits tied directly to barley. Work is currently being conducted to develop the food barley market domestically and internationally to create a demand for this variety, and others that are soon to follow. Developed by: Mario Therrien, AAFC Brandon. Distributed by: FarmPure.

A lasting impact on cereal production
Since 1983, the WGRF has supported plant breeders in western Canada. To-date, check-off funds have supported, in part, more than 55 new varieties of wheat and 25 varieties of barley, with more in the research pipe line.

Superb CWRS wheat is an example of how the check-off dollars support western agriculture. Superb was cited as the most popular CWRS variety grown in western Canada this last crop year, according to the 2006 Canadian Wheat Board Variety Survey. Of the 14 classes of wheat and barley that the CWB Variety Survey examined, eight of the classes have a WGRF funded variety as number one on the list, with many others listed in the top five. Some of these varieties include Harvest, AC Avonlea, Snowbird, AC Vista, AC Crystal, CDC Falcon, AC Andrew, CDC Copeland, CDC McGwire and AC Ranger. -end-


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