52 | Advancing Seed in Alberta Varieties of Cereal and Oilseed Crops for Alberta THIS annual publication provides information on cereal and oilseed variety performance in Alberta and northeastern British Columbia. Important agronomic characteristics and disease resistance information is provided for varieties of wheat, barley, oat, rye, triticale, flax and canola. The Alberta Regional Variety Testing program for cereals and flax is coordinated by the Alberta Regional Variety Advisory Committee (ARVAC) and Alberta Agriculture and Forestry (AAF). Funding for the program is provided by: • Alberta Agriculture & Forestry • Alberta Wheat Commission • Alberta Barley Commission • Alberta Oat Growers Association • Alberta Seed Growers • Alberta Seed Processors • Prairie Oat Growers Association • Entry fees for the varieties being tested Data for this publication come from various sources, including: • Ag-Quest • Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada • Alberta Agriculture & Forestry • Alberta Innovates Technology Futures • British Columbia Grain Producers • Farming Smarter • Lakeland College • Nutrien Ag Solutions • SARDA Ag Research • University of Alberta • Battle River Research Group (BRRG) • Chinook Applied Research Association (CARA) • Gateway Research Organization (GRO) • Lakeland Applied Research Association (LARA) • McKenzie Applied Research Association (MARA) • Prairie Grain Development Committee The following individuals are the 2018 Regional Variety Trial and crop specific coordinators: • Alex Fedko, Regional Variety Trial Coordinator • Spring wheat, Drs. H. Randhawa, D. Spaner & S. Strydhorst • Barley, J. Anderson • Oat, Dr. J. Mitchell-Fetch • Triticale, Dr. H. Randhawa • Winter Wheat, Dr. R. Graf • Fall Rye, Dr. J. Larsen • Winter Triticale, Dr. J. Larsen • Flax, M. Hartman Sincere thanks are extended to all individuals and organizations who contribute to this publication. Yield Results and Reporting Variety choice should never be based solely on yield performance, as it is only one factor that affects net return. The genetic yield potential of a variety is often masked by numerous factors, some of which can be controlled through variety choice and others through astute agronomic management. Producers are encouraged to consider other characteristics such as maturity, plant height, lodging and disease/ pest resistance when deciding which varieties to grow. Long term satisfaction with a variety is often related to non-yield characteristics. New Format for Reporting Yield Continuing for 2019, the yield data for CWRS wheat are reported in two ways. The first method is the traditional manner that has been used since 2010 (see page 71). New in 2018 was an alternative method that reports head-to-head comparisons of all varieties on the annual trials within a five-year timeframe. This new method retains low and high yield test categories based on the average yield of the Carberry (67 bu/ac), the long-term check in the Regional Variety Trials. The advantage of this method is that all comparisons within a column are statistically valid, rather than only to the check. The Overall Yield is also reported using all data that are available, but since this is a dataset with varying numbers of comparisons over different years, the only valid comparison is to the check, as has been the case in the older method. We welcome your comments on this new format. Producers have often asked for additional checks in the regional variety trials that reflect more commonly grown varieties. Starting in 2018, two additional varieties are grown as “benchmark” checks and reflect the two most popular varieties for the crop or within a market class during the previous year, based on crop insurance data. These checks will change as the popularity of varieties change. Traditional Yield Reporting Method Exercise caution when making yield comparisons among varieties. Variety yield should only be directly compared to the standard reference check. Actual head-to-head yield comparisons between other varieties may not have occurred. Small plot agronomic trials are expensive to grow and new varieties are registered every year. It is simply impractical to grow all varieties at the same time. Following several years of data collection, the yield performance for a particular variety stabilizes relative to the check and further testing is no longer required. It is for these reasons that the check varieties are grown every year (e.g. Carberry for CWRS wheat, AC Metcalfe for barley) and that changes to these checks are infrequent. The “Overall Station Years of Testing” column provides an indication of the unbalanced nature of the dataset. At least six station-years of yield data collected over two years are required prior to reporting the figures in this publication. For new varieties, Overall Yield is often the first indication of yield potential relative to the check. As additional data become available, yield performance is also expressed on the basis of environmental