New varieties are the fuel that keeps the seed and agriculture industries going, and the Prairie Grain Development Committee helped provide that fuel at its annual meeting this week in Saskatoon, Sask. Fifty-fourÂ new cultivars in four different crop categories were considered for recommendation, delivering even more options for stakeholders throughout the agriculture sector and beyond.
Twenty-seven cultivars were considered for recommendation by the wheat, rye andÂ triticale committee, with the majority of them being recommended for registration, according to committee secretaryÂ Francis Kirigwi.
The high number looked at by the PRCWRT this year was due in part toÂ modernization of the Canadian wheat class system. Under the modernization plan, two new wheat classes will come into effect on Aug. 1, 2016: Canada Northern Hard Red (CNHR) and Canada Western Special Purpose (CWSP).Â Three wheat classes will be eliminated: Canada Western Interim Wheat (CWIW), Canada Western General Purpose (CWGP), and Canada Western Feed (CWF).
â€œThis offers us a chance to request support for candidates that didnâ€™t make the CWRS class,â€ said committee chair Curtis Pozniak. â€œThis gives an opportunity for us to take another look at lines that might fit into these new classes.â€
OneÂ cultivar that was brought back for re-examination was BW968, a spring wheat bred by AAFCâ€™s Richard Cuthbert that has a 10 per cent higher yield than Glenn wheat.
Fifteen lines were considered for registration by the pulse andÂ special cropsÂ committee. They included six bean lines, four pea lines, four lentil lines and one canarygrass line. â€œItâ€™s a bit less than in previous years, but more diverse,â€ said committee chair Glen Hawkins.
Four flax lines were considered and ultimately recommended for registration by the oilseeds committee, according to chair Daryl Rex â€”Â threeÂ brown-seeded flax cultivars and one yellow-seeded cultivar. Compared to last year thatâ€™s down quite a bit, when there were more than 10 lines considered for registration.
FourÂ barley and four oat lines were recommended for registration by the oat and barley committee, according toÂ committee secretary Pat Juskiw. Out of the four oat lines, three were milling oats and one was bred for equine feed. All fourÂ barley lines were for malting, with two recommended forÂ full registration and two for interim registration.
Seed of the Year and Other Recognition
A recognition luncheon was held, with several members of the industry given special mention for their work.
University of Saskatchewan researcher Pierre Hucl was given the award for Seed of the Year for theÂ hard red spring wheat variety CDC Teal, a variety best adapted to the black soil zone of Western Canada. It combines early maturity with good yield potential, increased kernel size and leaf and stem rust resistance. It was developed at the University of Saskatchewan from a three-way cross involving BW514, Benito and BW38.
Retiring PGDC members Nancy Edwards and Myriam Fernandez were given special mention. Edwards worked withÂ the Canadian Grain Commission and served on the PRCWRT quality evaluation team, while Fernandez worked with AAFC Plant Pathology and served on theÂ PRCWRT disease evaluation team.
Wheat breeder Stu McBean and Seed Depotâ€™s John Smith, who both passed away recently, were also mentioned at the luncheon for their work and time served.