Since 2008, MCVET (Manitoba Crop Variety Evaluation Team) has been publishing winter cereal data collected from its trials shortly after harvest to help farmers and seed growers in Manitoba make variety decisions.
In 2015, data is being released for five locations — Boissevain, Carman, Melita, Roblin and Winnipeg — for winter wheat and fall rye.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when looking through the data.
2015 multi-site yield data
In the Winter Wheat Yield Comparisons table and the Fall Rye Yield Comparisons table, yield data from five locations is presented.
Using this table, farmers can make head-to-head comparisons between varieties at each site, using the statistical information provided in the grey-shaded area located at the bottom of the table.
While data from single sites is often more interesting, individual site data and even data accumulated over several sites in a single year, must always be viewed with caution.
For example, the new winter wheat variety AAC Elevate was tested for the first time by MCVET in 2014-15, as were the new hybrid fall rye varieties of Brasetto and Guttino, so additional caution must be exercised when evaluating the performance of these varieties.
Ideally, farmers should look at yield data collected over many years and locations (long-term yield data) in combination with the multi-site yearly data and select those varieties that perform well not only in their area but across locations and years.
Farmers are encouraged to look at past Seed Manitoba guides, available online at seedmb.ca, to see how consistent variety performance is between sites and locations. And although 2015 data has not been incorporated yet, farmers can also visit seedinteractive.ca where they can select multiple varieties, locations and years that best compare with their farm, while still offering the ability to choose their own check variety.
Not just yield
Although yield is generally the first information farmers look at, variety characteristics such as maturity, height, standability (resistance to lodging) and disease resistance are critical to maximizing yield potential, end quality and therefore economic returns.
Consider 2015, where stripe rust appeared early in the season in winter wheat. Or 2014, where fusarium head blight impacted yield and quality of the winter wheat crop. Selecting a variety with a strong disease package is key to protecting yield and quality.
Agronomic and disease-resistance information for the winter wheat and fall rye varieties tested by MCVET in 2014-15 is provided in the Variety Descriptions tables. For winter wheat, please note that long-term yield (as well as protein data and site years), does not include the 2015 data (shaded-grey area in the table).
MCVET is waiting for the remaining sites so data can be incorporated into the mixed model analysis used to generate the long-term yield data. For fall rye, long-term yield data is not presented, as MCVET is updating the fall rye database to conduct mixed model analysis.
Long-term yield data for both crop types will be available in Seed Manitoba 2016 in December.
Note: For information on varieties not tested by MCVET in 2014-15, please refer to the most recent edition of Seed Manitoba. What is not shown in the variety description tables is the winter wheat variety AAC Elevate that has resistance to the wheat curl mite, the vector for wheat streak mosaic virus.
As well, the hybrid fall rye varieties Brasetto and Guttino have high falling numbers compared to varieties like Hazlet or Prima. Quality testing is currently underway.
MCVET not only collects yield data, but quality information from composite samples obtained after harvest. Protein content analysis will be done by our contractor BioVision Seed Labs.
As well, with funding from Winter Cereals Manitoba Inc., fusarium-damaged kernels (FDK) and deoxynivalenol (DON) will be determined from harvested samples.
Look for that additional quality data in Seed Manitoba 2016.
Regardless of crop type, farmers should continually evaluate the performance of old and new varieties, using available data and speaking with extension professionals and of course their local seed growers. It is the seed growers who see varieties first hand as they grow the pedigreed seed.
So after farmers have made their variety selections, consider planting certified seed to take full advantage of the variety’s full genetic potential. The suite of Seed Manitoba products — the Seed Manitoba guide and the websites seedinteractive.ca and seedmb.ca — will continue to provide the latest unbiased information on post-registration variety performance in Manitoba.
All Seed Manitoba products are a collaborative effort between the Manitoba Seed Growers’ Association, Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development and the Manitoba Co-operator.