REGINA, SASKATCHEWAN, CANADA — Viterra Inc. announced on July 6 that Viterra Agronomic System Trials (VAST) will be staged throughout Western Canada during the 2011 growing season.

The VAST canola trials provide producers with the opportunity to plant six canola hybrids from competing manufacturers in 10-acre plots. There will be 45 VAST test sites across the canola growing regions of Western Canada, with each test site providing farmers the opportunity to do a side-by-side comparison of popular competing commercial hybrids including Viterra's newest experimental Genuity Roundup Ready (GENRR) products.

"While yield is always important, the VAST canola trials give farmers a chance to see how a hybrid will perform in an actual production environment," said Monte Kesslering, vice-president, seed and crop protection for Viterra. "Replicated small plot work provides excellent yield comparisons when looking at large numbers of hybrids. The VAST Canola field trials will provide a better evaluation of lodging resistance and harvestability, both of great importance to farmers."

Viterra will be including two new experimental hybrids from their VT Genetics program as part of these trials. Two years of test results indicate that VT Genetics hybrids are surpassing existing Genuity Roundup Ready hybrids by as much as 5% to 10%. Both VT Genetics canola varieties are in the final year of co-operative registration trials, with potential availability for the 2012 planting season.

The 45 VAST canola trials, along with 25 smaller plot trials called the Canola Performance Checks (CPC), will provide additional results on yield potential in 2011 growing conditions. The VAST canola trials and Canola Performance Checks are being coordinated and managed by Viterra's local agronomists with tours being coordinated throughout the summer through local Ag-Retail locations.