CWB: Farmers adopt tried-and-true grain varieties

by World Grain Staff
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WINNIPEG, MANITOBA, CANADA — Western Canadian farmers are sowing most Prairie acres with established varieties, according to results of the CWB's 2011-12 variety survey, released on Sept. 29.

Harvest and Lillian remain the preferred choice for Canada Western Red Spring wheat (CWRS) varieties among Prairie farmers. Harvest, known for improved sprouting resistance, now accounts for 17.6% of total CWRS acreage. Lillian, favored for wheat stem sawfly management, fell behind slightly to 17.4%.

The survey also reveals a trend towards the rapid adoption of newer varieties with wheat-midge tolerance. Unity VB jumped from 1.6% to 6.6% of total seeded CWRS acres and Goodeve VB broke the top 10 with 3.1%, up from 0.7 last year.

"The overall picture hasn't changed much from last year, but we are noting the emergence of midge-tolerant variety use," said CWB agronomist Mike Grenier. "These varieties have good yield potential and, due to their wheat-midge tolerant traits, offer an effective management strategy against this pest."

More than 5,000 farmers participated in the CWB's annual variety survey by indicating the wheat, durum and barley varieties they seeded in the spring. This information is used to determine how variety trends align with customer requirements for milling, baking and brewing, and to assist farmers with variety selection. Full results and online analysis tools are available at www.cwb.ca/variety .

For Canada Western Amber Durum (CWAD), Strongfield remains the strong favorite among farmers, increasing from 60.2% to 65.8% of total durum acres. Shortly after its introduction in 2006, Strongfield quickly became the popular choice for its strong agronomic yield performance.

For two-row malting barley, AC Metcalfe acreage declined, but maintains it status as the preferred choice, with 54% of total two-row seeded acres. CDC Copeland remains the second-highest preference, with 26% of acres. For six-row barley, farmers are increasingly turning to Legacy, while Tradition dropped 6.8 percentage points to capture 14.9% of six-row acres.

Controlled by western Canadian farmers, the CWB is the largest wheat and barley marketer in the world. One of Canada's biggest exporters, the Winnipeg-based organization sells grain to more than 70 countries and returns all sales revenue, less marketing costs, to Prairie farmers.
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