CDC Falcon, Manitoba s most popular winter wheat will remain in the Canada Western Red Winter (CWRW) wheat class until at least Aug. 1, 2014.
The announcement from the Canadian Grain Commission was no surprise.
When we first announced that certain CWRW varieties were moving to the CWGP (Canada Western General Purpose) class in 2013, we stated that CDC Falcon would not move until at least one replacement variety with similar or better agronomic factors was available to producers, said Elwin Hermanson, chief commissioner of the agency.
Right now, it appears that replacement varieties won t be ready in time, so we have decided to keep Falcon in the CWRW class until 2014.
Both SeCan and Canterra Seeds have new winter wheats in the running to replace CDC Falcon. While some seed of SeCan s variety, AC Flourish, will be available in 2013, supplies are expected to be tight. Canterra isn t planning to launch its new variety until 2014. Still known as just W454, it s the first winter wheat rated R (resistant) to fusarium head blight.
CDC Falcon accounted for almost 74 per cent of Mani toba s winter wheat ac res , ac cording to the Canadian Wheat Board s 2011 variety survey a similar total to the previous year.
Moving CDC Falcon and five other winter wheats CDC Kestrel, CDC Harrier, CDC Raptor and CDC Clair from the CWRW class to CWGP is intended to improve the milling quality of the CWRW class, making it more competitive against American winter milling wheats.
Several years ago, those quality standards were relaxed to encourage more winter wheat production in Western Canada. The wheat board also designated several varieties to be eligible for its select winter wheat program because they are well suited for milling. Farmers who grow select varieties that made the grade receive higher prices.
The Canada Western General Purpose class was created several years ago, after the grain industry agreed to transfer inferior milling winter wheats into it. This class of wheat is intended to be livestock feed and ethanol feedstock.
Western Canada has nine wheat classes, although some wonder how they will fare in an open market if customers choose to buy on the basis of their own specifications.
The class system offers some advantages. Grain handlers can commingle different varieties so long as they are in the same class, while end-users are assured of consistent quality no matter the variety.
Nine classes make for a lot of potential segregation, but in fact, 92 per cent of the wheat grown in Manitoba falls into one class Canada Western Red Spr ing. In Saskatchewan and Alberta, 93 and 90 per cent of the wheat falls into either that class or the Canada Western Amber durum wheat class.
Right now, it appears that replacement
varieties won t be ready in time, so we have decided to keep Falcon in the CWRW class until 2014.